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What is spiritual/ritual modification?
Topic Rating: +10 (10 votes) 
January 8, 2011
2:11 pm
Chris Carter
Pennsylvania
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What is spiritual body modification? I know, in the membership app, everyone described how they have been spiritually affected by body modification. Now is your chance to share with everyone and describe your beliefs and what spiritual body modification is to you.

In your own words, tell us what body modification is to you, what spiritual significance it has, and why you modify yourself.

Church of Body Modification, President

January 10, 2011
10:03 am
modernprim1980
Ayden , NC
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Body modification to me is very enlightning . From the pain of peiricings stem a spritiual high for me. I channel the pain and let loose the inner soul. I use this same method in strechings, weights , and sexual negation. Tattoos to me give me a sense of calm and centering. As I am what is classed as circus tattooed ( many little tatts arranged on the body) .Each one holds a very special meaning and has its own story. I also modify through altering my mind (no not drugs) I read alot and study almost everything I can. from simple writing to biology to survival. I enjoy my modified life and wouldn't and will not change it for anyone !

ModernPrimitive
January 25, 2011
9:27 pm
Arun
Iowa
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To me ritual modification is creating my personality in my skin. With each new tattoo and piercing I am learning new techniques and discovering my own style. The things I have inked in my skin are unlike anyone elses'. I am creating my own image of myself. But then again I also get an adrenline rush from getting something new too though.

February 1, 2011
2:23 pm
summerxwillems
Washington
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To me, it's a way of personalizing the one thing that has stuck with me through everything. Making it something more comfortable to live it. I also like to modify for the pain, I think the more pain I endure, the stronger I become mentally. I normally get piercings to represent something I have overcome in life, weather it be a tough couple of months or quitting smoking. I'm not of age for tattoo's yet, but I'm sure those will have a deeper meaning to me as well. 

I'm still trying to fully grasp how body modification effects me spiritually, I'm not quite sure exactly how to put it to words yet. That's what I have realized so far. :]

February 7, 2011
3:06 pm
Necro
New Orleans, Louisiana
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What body mod to me is a way to reach a hard to grasp form of inner peace, a way to reach something that not much else offers. It's a way to reach that peace and a way to get closer to the gods, or goddesses, or whatever you believe in

The woes and sorrow that this world causes isn't worth the pain of living, of suffering through. The torture, oh the torture, this hell lives within me. The voices of the demons are the forces that torture me.
April 26, 2011
9:38 pm
jennifer
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for me when i modify my body via piercings and/or tattoos, it seems to take me to a higher plain, i don't know if it is the pain itself, but i find an inner piece and seem to be able to leave my body for moments when i am having it done. at times not even noticing the pain that a tattoo might bring at the time it is being done. it is hard to describe the feelings that one gets when their body mod is being done.

December 27, 2011
9:13 pm
geriejinx
Seattle, WA
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"That which doesn't kill me, makes me stronger." For me, that is the best explanation. I feel that every time I endure the rites of passage I choose, I grow stronger spiritually, emotionally and mentally. Modification, in my opinion, is the only way to truly connect mind, body and spirit in a 'communion of the flesh'. Mentally, I must first prepare myself and make sure I am in the right state of mind to proceed with the mod. During a mod, the moment of pain becomes the realest and truest moment in existence, overcoming me and forcing me to deal with it, be physically and spiritually strong. Emotionally, I feel transformed, overjoyed and I feel like I earned or gained something (other than the mod). Another bit of carnal wisdom. Every ritual does something different for me, changes me in a different way. I also feel more connected to others who have endured similar rites, as if we are now in a family. We have undergone the same, maybe for different reasons, but have endured and survived. We are brothers and sisters in pain and transformation.

:)o (<-- smiley with large labret)

April 23, 2012
2:56 pm
Starshine
Miami, FL
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I know this topic is relatively old, but felt I could add a little something here. I've been honored with the ability to share body modification in ritual setting with various members of the Pagan community down here in South Florida. Aside from my own strong personal practice, which includes ritual scarification and piercing within sacred space, the opportunity arose for me to gift that experience with others in my community. This is full blown ceremony, tapping into the mythic "Hero's Journey" on a personal level. 

Ritual piercing/modification can take place anywhere at any time, as long as you have, in my opinion, the right state of mind. You can turn a regular trip to the tattoo shop into a ritual experience just by setting your state of mind. Within my practice I lean towards a more shamanistic way of preparing myself for the experience which includes fasting, medicines, and a space set aside primarily for ritual modification. This space includes an altar, items that lend towards my intent and/or purpose, candles and lots of creativity (laughter, painting, ecstatic dance, music, and poetry often arise). 

Because when you modify your body, you aren't just modifying yourself. You are adorning your temple and empowering your spirit. You are tapping into your Inner Power and Strength. Spiritual modification is an ancient practice that connects us to our Ancestors. We shed blood and tears for these experiences, and in our blood there is Power, our tears hold memory and in all cases there is healing to be had.

I feel kinda silly posting this, but I feel the article gives great insight into what it is we're doing here in South Florida. Now I know it isn't for everyone, and the ritual piercings I do and perform are catered to the Pagan community, however I think it's really great that more and more our Community is opening up and sharing with one another and the growth that stems from that is truly a beautiful and humbling thing. 

http://florida.pagannewswireco…..ng-ritual/

April 23, 2012
3:56 pm
UnholyResonance
Seattle, Washington
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Ritual modification is one of the main reasons why I joined the CoBM.

All of my body modifications were done because I feel as if I wouldn't be human if I did not have them.

They help my pursue my image of "Beauty" and it's one of the most profound things I have ever gotten the chance to do in my life.

I joined the CoBM to get acquainted with people who know and have experience ritual modification so that I may be able to find people willing to help me perform them.

I've never been able to find someone in my area willing to perform a first-time suspension on someone, but with a little help from this community I found someone willing to help one of my dreams become a reality.

"Welcome Friends, Romans, and Circus Freaks to the generation in circuitry."
November 4, 2012
5:34 pm
Phoenix6435
San Antonio Texas
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for me I view getting tattoos and/or peircings as a way of personalizing my body to celebrate my individuality. The way I see it, our bodies are temples. What is a temple but a house for a higher divine power? I don't know about anyone else but how long can one live in the same "house" before they need to redocorate? Each peice I get is the result of much reflection and planning and is done with a sense of ritual. In my case the ritual is in the designing, choosing placement, and things I do each and every time I get new work. The ritual helps me center myself and when I get a new project done I feel a sense of calm and happiness. I feel closer to the best me I can be.

December 5, 2012
3:35 pm
Origen
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My interest is whether , within the COBM castration can be considered a spiritual voyage, or is that too extreme a modification to consider. I ask since the guys on eunuch.org seem to think so , but they are " preaching to the choir" so to speak. So I wondered what a more general audience might think

“The sky hides the night behind it and shelters the people beneath from the horror that lies above.” ― Paul Bowles
December 5, 2012
3:45 pm
vampyremage
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I certainly cannot claim to speak for the CoBM as far as official policy or for anyone aside from myself personally. However, I don't see why castration couldn't be a spiritual voyage. As I see it, what is and is not spiritual is Avery personal question. One individual's spiritual journeyay not be spiritual when another insividual follows a similar path because the spiritual aspect simply doesn't resonate with them in the same way. In no way does that invalidate the spiritual nature that the journey jas for the first individual.

If you don't mind the question, might I ask about your interest in castration?

December 11, 2012
4:17 pm
Origen
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It is something I have seriously considered as a path to inner peace

“The sky hides the night behind it and shelters the people beneath from the horror that lies above.” ― Paul Bowles
December 11, 2012
6:20 pm
Oakbear
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Hi Origen, welcome to the forum!

The COBM doesn't judge whether a mod is extreme or not, it simply asserts the right to explore spirituality through modification, and that modification can provide us benefit and development. It doesn't matter what that modification is.

Castration is a massive life event and permanent change. I struggle to imagine how it could not be closely integrated with one's identity and spirituality. As you have found, at least some of those who have undergone this seem to think so, and i think they are best placed to know!
As with any modification that has dramatic and permanent impact, i advice serious education and soul searching, as well as time passing, to consider this. Not something to do lightly! Those on a website may not represent the whole cross section of people who have undergone this, so research research research!

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
December 17, 2012
7:36 am
Sommersett
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The diversity of your interest in castration as a body mod brings a dynamic perspective to this CoBM site and is welcome. We all enhance this space in our own way.

Everyone has something to say about the Mona Lisa until you're standing in front of it speechless.
January 14, 2013
11:41 am
Origen
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I have met 9 eunuchs in the past few years. Their reasons for castration vary from gender issues to S&M, but after it is done, the results seem to be fairly consistent. Only one of them seems to regret it, and the others have experienced positive changes that they did not anticipate.Lloosing the source of testosterone in their bodies had a huge influence on their world view and who they are as a person. For most men it is an unthinkable act, but for those who are looking for a profound change and do not want children it seems to be a valid choice. I tend to think of it as a form of gender anarchy… rejecting a lot of the highly sexualized capitalist market based economy, if that does not sound too insane

“The sky hides the night behind it and shelters the people beneath from the horror that lies above.” ― Paul Bowles
January 15, 2013
3:13 am
Oakbear
UK
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I find it a very interesting idea, like you say gender anarchy, and the result is so dramatic in so many parts of life. Modifying oneself on a very deep level. It seems sad that you know someone that regrets it. All the more reason to take your time in deciding i feel.
That is not to say there aren't benefits, or it isn't the right choice, but one which has such a large irreversible impact, is thus one which needs very serious soul searching.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
January 16, 2013
5:09 pm
Origen
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The guy who regretted getting castrated did it for religious reasons and what seemed to be sexual shame, not for a positive reason. A common thread in the eunuch community, is " self mastery" being able to turn the sex drive on and off at will instead of having your testicles direct so much of your thinking and actions. We are taught that sexuality is always desirable but in reality this is not the case for many men.

“The sky hides the night behind it and shelters the people beneath from the horror that lies above.” ― Paul Bowles
May 21, 2013
6:43 pm
CateZ
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To me ritual body modification is any sort of mod that means something, for example giving one inner peace and/or spirtiual growth, therefore giving that mod deeper meaning.

I joined the CoBM because I found that body modification has very strong spiritual meaning for me, and helps/helped me move past alot of anger, fustration, and depression I've struggled to deal with for a very long time. Body modification helps me feel closer to god (or what ever term one chooses to use :) ), expand myself spirtually, and become a better, more full filled person.

November 3, 2013
3:47 pm
ShylaRose
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To me body modification is a way of mastering my body and reconnecting with/taking control over my body. Ive got some really serious health issues and often feel out of control over my body. For me,each new piercing or tattoo is me saying "This body is mine and right now,at this moment,it belongs to me." With all the meds and doctors I dont often get to make that claim so I treasure and savor each moment when I can.

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