Since the dawn of human consciousness, body modification has been used to align ourselves with something greater: the universe, our Selves, ancestors, and more. Today, people use tattoos, scarification, and piercings [among other techniques] for many purposes including magical work, marking a rite of passage, and much more besides.
Here are some ideas on how to use body modification in your spiritual practice.
- Piercings can be used to stimulate energy meridians.
- Certain materials placed in/on the body can create beneficial magical change. For example, carnelian jewelry can be used to stimulate confidence and self-esteem.
- As a meditation: suspension and play piercing are usually performed as a kind of meditation. Native Americans did this. The idea is to turn inward. I think all modifications can be seen as a kind of meditation, especially while they are being performed.
- Remember that we are not our bodies. The body is only our vehicle for spiritual transformation during this incarnation. A lot of people mistake the body as being the sum of who they are.
- We can push the body to its limits — to overcome physical and mental blocks.
- Another way of realizing we are more than our bodies is: rebelling against traditional beauty standards and celebrating your own.
- By pushing the body to its limits with a spiritual intent, we can unlock doors in our minds, transcend, and enter a meditative, prayerful state.
- Rites of passage: birth, death, coming of age, or any other significant milestone can be marked and remembered with body piercing.
- Modifications can certainly be a reminder that the body is “ours.” We can remember and celebrate this bond by decorating it.
- Mods can be used to reclaim the body after a traumatic experience.
- Mods can be used to mark an ecstatic or celebratory experience.
- Use modification to align yourself with ancestors, ancestral practices, and ancient energies.
- Mods can be done to honor a deity.
- Modifications can be done to “align” our inner selves and self-image with our outer appearance.
To honor ancestors or a deity during a piercing:
- Pray and/or meditate beforehand. The mod can be seen as a blood sacrifice of sorts, as a long-term wearable prayer, or as a magical working.
- Beforehand, think on your piercing goal: if it is a long-term spell [for confidence, for example] think on confidence. If it is a prayer, pray.
- While the needle goes through your skin, imagine the pain being given to a deity or spirit as an offering. Say [in your mind] a few words such as, “From your blood I came, o my ancestor, so with blood I honor you,” or “The needle goes through and the spell is cast,” or “Odin, lord of the ordeal path, I do this in remembrance of you.”
- Whenever you clean the piercing, remember the one you honor. Use this time as prayer or meditation time.
The placement of the piercing could influence the meaning of the ritual.
I consider all of my piercings and modifications an extension of my spirituality.
- Bill to Ban Certain Tattoos, Body Piercings Passes Senate (getholistichealth.com)
- Spiritual and Philosophical Reasons Behind Body Modification (drinksmokewrite.wordpress.com)