This post is prompted in part by Rowan Pendragon's post about Safety in Wicca and in part by the latest episode of Once Upon a Time, where Rumpelstiltskin learns that magic always has a price. My whole approach to magic is focused on experimentation, which necessarily involves experimenting with magic in ways that aren't necessarily tested or true at the time. There's a bit of risk involved.
I also hold a traditional view of magic, I suppose, in that I think that magic comes with a price. I know its not fashionable to look at magic in that way, but in my experiences there is always a payment. Magic never comes free, nor should it. If you desire a result, you have to put something into attaining it and if you choose to work with an entity, then you need to be prepared to offer something in return.
When I did my ritual where I gave my blood to the elemental spirits in return for some of their power, I wasn't going for a safe version of magic. I was offering something of value, something that had meaning in return for something of equal value from the elemental spirits. I knew I had to offer something of value and the fact that I gave blood, which might be considered scary to some didn't bother me at all.
Magic isn't meant to be sanitized or safe. Truth to tell, spirituality in general isn't meant to be safe or sanitized. It challenges you to grow as a person and puts you in some uncomfortable places. If it doesn't, you're doing it wrong.
Part of the thrill of magic, part of the experience is the willingness to go places where angels fear to walk, where there be dragons and the unknown. What's the point, if you don't challenge yourself?