hey everyone, im new to this site but not to witchcraft. ive been actively practicing on & off for about 12 years now, and have only recently experienced the use of blood in a ritual. i did not draw a lot (in fact it was just a couple drops) and after the ritual, i felt exhausted. not in a negative way, but in the way that maybe i had exercised intensely like my body had overcome a challenge of sorts. the ritual was to promote prosperity, mental/emotional health, and ridding myself of negative cycles/thought processes ive routine indulged in.
******please lets discuss this outside of health and safety concerns, because for the sake of discussion we are assuming that all of us know how to draw blood without unintentionally causing serious injury, and know to keep any wounds clean & healthy.*******
Blood magic is widely used by many different religious paths. It is symbolic in many as well (not just in the form of using it, but seeing it-such as in the Catholic religion, blood from Jesus being nailed to the cross or bleeding from his head from the thorn crown, drinking the blood of Christ,etc.) Other religious symbols of blood are promenade from bleeding trees or crying blood tears from status idolized to the deities of that religion.
The practice of drinking blood or blood letting, goes back in not just vampirism cultures and practices but native and tribal manifestations of trans-like state of mind, allowing visions and almost hypnotic means of decipheringmeaning to questions one may have.
While I neither promote or discourage any of this, it is easy to see that blood plays a significant role in many areas of religion and beliefs. In terms of using blood when casting, most believe the power that blood holds is significant in that it is part of you and has life in it. By using it in your spells, one can fully be devoted to the spell and connected to it. It isn't necessary but if practiced, many feel that it is more beneficial in having a better connection to their spell as well as control. For those wishing for blood use but don't want to use their own, I would recommend not using animal blood (since there is no connection to it and more than likely the animal used is already dead so there is no "life" to it) I would use herbs and other plant based items that you can mix and create a red liquid (such as dragon's blood root).
While this method gives the illusion of blood without actually using blood, the connection won't be as deep or significant as using your own few drops of blood. The drain you felt isn't from blood loss (since you wouldn't need more than a drop of two for any spell-it isn't the amount used but the significance and intention behind it) You were more than likely feeling an energy loss. You will want to practicegrounding more and if you haven't, be sure to have a shield or casting circle done prior to help preserve your energy and prevent you from taking in anything negative. When you cast you are opening yourself up to release your intentions out and sometimes you take in, without realizing, negative energies.
I think you have started out fine with using blood in your magic. I would plan to drink water after and take some time to ground yourself and restore your energy.