Chakra Piercing is a ritual technique I have been developing for
about four years since the original inspiration by Ange/Lilith and myself. I have co-ordinated and been involved in five
ritual performances using this combination of harmonic chanting, chakra work, body piercing and acupuncture; most significantly the Pentacle Piercing ritual at the recent Rainbow Gathering in Omeo, Victoria on the February full moon. This was a group ritual of an energetic intensity rarely experienced, and will be the main focus of this essay; It's all leading towards a vision for the year 2000 of a spectacular 13-Tribe Weaving symbollically uniting all races and cultures.
But first I will briefly describe earlier workings and introduce the theory behind this method of gnosis.
The chakra tones I practice have been recently modified to incorporate the Bindu chakra, the lunar energy-center of the subconscious mind (cerebellum) which is located at the top of the back of the head. This is a very important energy centre, ('the seat of the sexual power' according to Kenneth Grant) despite its ommission from most modern westernized chakra sytems. It is of course very related to the ajna or third eye chakra at the same level on the front of the head, and the two unite in the pineal gland in the centre of the head, as explored in my 'Liber Pennae-Ultim-Atum' . Thus the two can be considered as one chakra, and this is usually how I treat them in Chakra breathing and meditation exercises. However the seperation of this energy 'core' through the top of the head into Ajna and Bindu for chanting purposes allows the Chakra toning to fit better with the musical Octave: the focus for the 'nnnng' tone is shifted to this area, the Bindu -use of kechari (tongue in back of throat) with this tone is appropriate for the 'inwards-turning' or 'backwards-turning' nature of this rear chakra- thus allowing a high, 'Ohhh,' to complete the octave for the Crown Chakra. This tone is thus the same as the 'Ohhh' of the Base Chakra except an octave up. This is because the Crown chakra of the self is also the Base chakra of the Universe -it is our connection with the All. It is still recommended that a return to the low 'Ohhh' be toned to complete the cycle and ground the energy in the individual self's body. White light -all the colours of all the other chakras combined -is usually considered an alternative visualization for the Crown chakra, so this can be used with the high 'Ohhh' and the violet colour shifted to the Bindu.
Sceptics argue that we wire our own bodies according to these systems if we choose, that there is no hard evidence for their prior existence. While we can no doubt increase our awareness of chakras and specify their exact locations by thus focusing our attention on certain areas, there is information to suggest innate energy centres within our physical systems.
There are ancient statuettes found in Middle America which show that the Mayan/Aztec cultures who had no known contact with the Hindu tradition were aware of corresponding 'power centres'. These clay figurines have a number of dots at each power centre which correspond to the number of 'petals' in the Hindu chakra system. According to Mayan priest Hunbatz Men in his book 'The Maya: Science and Religion', the prophesied 'return of Quetzalcoatl' in 2012/2013 is a metaphor for the raising of the kundalini energies through these power centres/ chakras on a mass consciousness level.
(I have elaborated on this in my new essay on 'Aeonics', 'ZUVUYA')
The concept of 'chakra piercing' began as a basically theatrical premise, developed by myself and Ange (then called Lilith); the idea being to bring the audience's awareness to these energy centres by an external piercing in the region of their locations. However, the depth of gnosis undergone by the person pierced demonstrated that there was more to the practice than theatricality, that it was actually an unusual means of activating these centres, and even of raising kundalini energy. Further rites have evolved this process, also symbolically expressing relationships between the various individuals pierced. The culmination (thus far) of the exploration of these ideas were the transglobal PENTAGRAMMATON RITUALS in Melbourne (Oct.98)
Following are brief summaries of the first four chakra-piercing rituals which led up to this major event:
- At the Mutation Parlour 'THANATEROS' CD Launch, Repentance Creek Hall, N.S.W. -July '96
The first chakra piercing rite was performed as a part of a 'Change Room' episode at the launch of Mutation Parlour's CD 'Thanateros'. Mid-set, curtains at the side of the stage were opened to reveal a middle-eastern scenario of exquisite drapery, fromwhich emerged two bellydancers while the band played 'Tattoo Tarot Tantra'. 'Miss Pain' -played by Ange/Lilith who came up with the original idea of performing chakra piercings and co-developed this first ritual with me- entered and unveiled Nygir's Spinning Machine, to which was strapped 'Miss Blackboard'.
As the chakra chanting began (at this stage very undeveloped!) Miss Pain proceeded to run a needle and thread (from the symbolic webs in the corners of the hall) through each of Miss Blackboard's chakra points. Coloured lights according to each chakra were projected onto her body during the ritual.
After the crown chakra had been etherically (as it sits a few inches above the head) pierced, there was an intense energy built up within the hall.
The tension was broken by the bumbling entrance of 'Electric Mr Sqigil' with tattoo gun on nose, demanding, 'Upside down Miss Pain, Upside down!' The spinning machine was turned on and Miss Blackboard inverted. While she squirmed with expectation, Electric Mr Sqigil fumbled around with his equipment, until an impatient Miss Pain eventually grabbed the back of his head and pressed his needlenose into his own thigh, creating a sqigil which he has yet to make into a picture! (For the further exploits of Electric Mr Sqigil see CARNIVAL SATURNALIA.)
Mutation Parlour then launched into their appropriate 'Stick-In-Sect' song as the curtains to the 'Change Room' were drawn.
2nd CHAKRA PIERCING RITE
- METAMORPHIC RITUAL THEATRE PERFORMANCE at NEW YEAR CONFEST 96-97, MOAMA, VICT.
The first full merging of Mutation Parlour the band with Metamorphic Ritual Theatre occurred at New Year Confest Festival '97. The culmination of this show on the 3rd of January was a chakra piercing performance. To the song 'Journey to the Centre of the Medicine Wheel', dancers Ken and Zya ritually spiralled into the centre of a wheel created with bark and dirt in front of the (band) stage.
They focussed their energy as the music shifted into the tone of the base chakra. As Zya began to weave a needle and thread up Ken's chakra points, the chanting, now fully developed and practised in group circles, began. At one point a friend's dog, which happens to be two-thirds wolf, entered the circle. Rather than just charging in, however, she travelled the spiral path we had created, sniffed the weaver and the weaved then respectfully spiralled back out! Wolf medicine messenger.
While leading the chanting onstage, Bex and I danced a caduceus with our arms, to which were tied snake-skins, unfolding a pair of wings from behind our heads when the crown chakra was reached in the weaving before us.
This was an immensely powerful ritual and very symbolic as Ken was just beginning to learn about raising the Kundalini, with the help of Zya, his new lover.
photos by Jethro
3rd CHAKRA PIERCING RITE
- 'METAMORPHOSIS' EXHIBITION OPENING, POLYMORPH BODY ARTS GALLERY, SYDNEY, N.S.W. - MAY '97
This ritual performance occurred as part of the opening of the Order of Chaos group exhibition 'Metamorphosis' at Polymorph Body Arts Gallery in Sydney. Towards the end of the opening the lights were turned out. B and I lit candles and laid them out in a figure-8 lemniscate shape, one loop containing an installation of the spinning wheels of fate from The Labyrinth, the other creating a sacred space for our ceremony.
As B and I disrobed and took our positions, Z as Clotho, the Spinner of the 3 Fates, spun the wheels. B as Lachesis, the Weaver of the 3 Fates, pierced my foreskin as we began the chanting of the base chakra tone. I then 'took fate into my own hands', taking the needle and piercing Lachesis's labia in return. Thus, in a symbolic interplay of self-created and 'pre-destined' fate, B and I wove each other's chakras together. We had quite a few problems for a while with inappropriate equipment (clumsy gloves insisted on by the venue and some golden thread left over from the Labyrinth which looked lovely but broke several times!), and the gallery crowd were generally less supportive and respectful than those at festivals, but we persevered and after some initial fumbling around we moved more fluidly through the upper chakras.
As the rite culminated with us sprinkling rose petals on each other's heads for the crown chakra, we stood to reveal the pattern we had created: -by crossing at every second chakra point we had woven a caduceus between our bodies... The cutting of the threads was a humorous affair. M was supposed to play Atropos, the Cutter of the 3 Fates, but as she was still setting up for the post-opening gig downstairs, she sent up G in his 'Thanatos' costume, inc. gasmask, to cut the threads. This he did very strangely, having extreme trouble cutting the final base chakra thread until he eventually discarded his shears and tore it apart with his hands.
The whole event was an interesting reflection of the relationship between B and I at the time!
4th CHAKRA PIERCING RITE: PENTACLE PIERCING- RAINBOW GATHERING, OMEO, VICT. -FEBRUARY '98
The idea of weaving together five people's chakras in seven layers of pentagrams was originally conceived for the exhibition opening above. There were not enough people then committed to the idea for it's manifestation.
The original aesthetic premise of such a ritual was later refined to incorporate more purpose. The intense energies raised by such a weaving, we realized, could be used to send off things unwanted for the initiates and for the earth into the universe, and (symbolized by hexagrams simultaneously woven downwards on the containing structure) bringing things desired for the individuals involved and their planet into manifestation via the magickal grounding symbol of the pentagram/pentacle.
This elaborated pentacle weaving was projected for New Year Confest festival 97-98, but lack of communication between those involved due to dispersed locations (in three different states of Australia) again prevented its culmination. It was decided that the weaving, being such an intense and delicate project, would be left to a time when those involved could be together for at least a week before the rite.
That time and place seemed to be the Goongera Forest Festival, where those involved gathered before the festival began and started creating a group energy by daily circles and chakra chanting together. Props were prepared, mock weavings were done, energies were raised. Then throughout the festival it poured with rain, one of the initiates was terribly sick, and it became impossible to perform the ritual. Many were intensely disappointed; it later became apparent, however, why we were having so many postponements of the ritual -the Rainbow Gathering where it eventually manifested was the perfect place...
After Goongera I left for Sydney to work on some recordings. On the way there we stopped at a blowhole. It was a calm day with little spray, and as I sat on the rocks waiting to see the blowhole blow, I began to do my daily Chakra Breathing Meditations. As I reached Ajna, the 'third eye' chakra of visions, the blowhole blew twice. In the jet of spray was a brilliant rainbow.
I reflected on the attribution of a colour of the spectrum to each chakra point, and realized that the imminent Rainbow Gathering would be a most appropriate place to do the chakra weavings. Just how appropriate I was yet to discover -little did I know how much such an innocuous (to me) rite would bring up at such a diverse tribal gathering.
In Sydney I became seriously ill for several days, the same bug as one of the other initiates had at Goongera; no doubt related to my spirit's disappointment at the failure of the ritual to occur at Goongera after so much preparation and anticipation. At the height of my fever, Sydney Medicinewoman H did a healing ritual on me, forwhich she used (amongst other tools) a small pyramid-shaped clear-quartz crystal. The next day (I was feeling much better) we were astounded to find that a picture had formed within the previously-clear crystal. Investigating with magnifying glass, it looked like a small group of people encircled around another, hanging figure. A rainbow ran across the bodies of this group! This looked like a representation of the ritual as we had intended it for the Goongerah festival. I was going to be suspended by one ankle like the tarot's Hanged Man from the structure which encased the pentacle weaving, weaving hexagrams (representing the planets and the universe) downwards while the pentagrams (representing the earth and the body) were woven upwards, in an exchange of energies between microcosm and macrocosm.
Looking at the crystal again half-an-hour or so later, the image had changed. The Hanged Man figure had disappeared, as this aspect did indeed disappear from the ritual; for at the Rainbow Gathering I instead became (due to someone's absence) one of the initiates who were pierced, for which I am now incredibly grateful.
We looked at the crystal again a few hours later to find the rainbow strip of colours within had moved up from the cluster of figures to the 'sky' above, just as we intended with our ritual to release energy off into the cosmos!
These visions were enough to reinspire me and I began trying to organize the rite for the Rainbow Gathering. I had difficulty locating some of the people involved, suspecting that they were already at the gathering which was way out in the bush. I realized I just had to go there.
Travelling down from Sydney with one of the initiates and photographer Jethro, we arrived about four days before the full moon onwhich the ritual was to occur. I was frustrated to find that one of the initiates had left that very morning, for Sydney. And apparently she had even known I was coming, due to having many stick-in-sects crawling over her! We managed to find a replacement, however, and I replaced the other Goongera initiate who wasn't able to make it.
It was a positive sign on arrival to discover a large tripod structure with a mercabar woven with sticks hanging in its apex -this was a suspended (3-dimensional) hexagram as we had originally intended to create as part of our weaving. Seeing such a structure already on site, it became easier to let go of the Hanged Man/hexagrams part of the rite. There were even intricate webs woven around the bottom of this tripod. Here is a picture I took of it, overlayed (incamera) with a pyramid box which sat on the air altar during the ritual.
Over the next few days I held several workshops on chakra chanting, so that many present at the ritual would be able to add their energies to those of the initiates. There were some surprised reactions when at the end of intensive chanting sessions I elaborated on the ritual these tones were intended to support. Rumours began to abound in the village. The day before the full moon I called a circle after lunch circle (almost everyone at the festival attended the meal circles) for those who were organizing rituals or performances for the full moon, in an attempt to create some kind of co-ordination between these different rites in terms of times and places.
Some beautiful synchronicities arose at this small circle, but there was also a degree of resistance to our plans. A few people felt uncomfortable about the idea of body piercings, one girl reacted with admitted fear about the ritual. We stressed that fear usually was of something not understood, that the best way to absolve such fears was to face them; that if she saw our rite and felt it's energy, she would understand our true intentions.
Nothing was truly resolved as to the time and location of our ritual from this circle, which continued to go over and over the same stuff until I left and started a chakra chanting workshop elsewhere. This workshop was intense, as we went into the tones individually for about fifteen minutes each. By the crown chakra many were expressing how intensely 'out there' they were feeling, and it became very necessary to sit down and return to the base chakra tone to ground out the energy. If such intense vibration could be raised by mere prolonged group chanting, it became clear to me just how full on the ritual entire would be.
Resistance spread in some quarters, however, and it all came to a head at the lunch circle the next day, where doubts and concern about the ritual began to be expressed. In an attempt to allay the fears of those half-informed, I took the talking stick and expressed clearly our intentions. What followed was an intensive council of many peoples which lasted for about four hours and ran the whole gamut of human emotions and perspectives. Personal judgements were exposed, fears absolved and misinformation corrected.
The reasons for opposition to our rite were multiple. Some were offended by the idea of body piercings, some confused about the symbolism of the pentagram which they took to be an 'evil' symbol, some misunderstood what wicca was, some were obviously affected by the penchant of most of our clan for wearing black and darker colours, in stark contrast with the bright attire of many there. All these issues were brought to light and clarified. Many cross-cultural and cross-subcultural barriers were broken down, which, I stressed, is what the Rainbow Tribe and Rainbow Gatherings are all about. The Hopi prophecy of the 'Warriors of the Rainbow' expresses that this new tribe who heal the earth will be formed of all the previous races, and all types of people -all the colours of the rainbow, including white which all the colours together form, and black without which light cannot be perceived.
And this synthesis of different cultures and traditions was also exactly what our ritual was about, incorporating as it were Celtic Wicca, Hindu energy systems, Mayan, Greek and Egyptian mythologies, American Indian shamanism, etc. We explained our stance on piercing not as an act of mutilation, but as one of mutation -of achieving gnosis through the transmutation of 'pain', and as a magickal technique used heavily by the Hopi Indians, amongst other tribal peoples, for inducing visions.
As the debate became more heated, our council seemed like a desperate microcosm of the World. With the news coming in a few days earlier about the beginning of a war, it seemed at one stage to be a sad reflection. Here was a gathering of people concerned with creating peace and healing the earth. If we could not resolve our differences within such a circle, then what hope was there for the outside world?
And yet, ultimately, we did resolve all of our differences, down to the last person there being content with the results. The Rainbow tribe ideal of 'total consensus' was carried through, although at some stages it had seemed impossible and ridiculous. The main concern with our ritual, once deeper misunderstandings were clarified, was that it should be in a space where it was sufficiently away from the main circles that those not wishing to see it or deal with the intensity of its energy wouldn't have to, without being blocked from other activities.
This compromise was granted. The site eventually decided (after several relocations) ended up being perfect for the ritual. Only those who were really into it came (what with all the 'advertising' everyone knew where it was!) Everyone present put in energy, there were no gawkers or mere spectators.
The council ended with a general feeling of relief, victory (for all parties!) and joy. Amidst a barrage of hugs I left the circle, ecstatic at the amount of support and understanding we had been given. It felt like some great breakthrough had been made not just for the gathering at Omeo, but for the human race at large. After such a circle, I wondered if perhaps the actual ritual might be anti-climactic. I needn't have worried... ...
After such a lengthy circle, not to mention the time it took for everyone to recover from it, our plans had been delayed quite considerably. We had a final chanting circle, to which people had been invited to bring along different instruments. These were incorporated with the chanting, different types and styles being used for each chakra, such as didgeridoo for the base (Muladhara) chakra (this was particularly effective; several didge-players attended), pipes and flutes for the heart (Anahata) chakra, etc. Hans devised a small bull-roarer kind of instrument for the throat (Vissuddha) chakra which emitted a subtle yet intense vibration that could be felt as much as heard.
Immediately after this final circle preparations of the ritual space began. The site for the rite was a small clearing just over the hill from the main gathering area. Amongst beautiful light forest we constructed a tripod, then adding two extra branches to make it a 'quinpod', the base of each pole forming a corner of the pentagon shape made with five branches laid out on the ground. Earlier (Confest and Goongera) plans to build a dodecahedron had long since been abandoned, and this structure seemed all we needed. I later revelled in the fact that it was ultimately a pyramid (albeit with an extra facet) which contained the ritual, just as a pyramid crystal had contained the preceding vision of it!
The space was laid out according to the American Indian medicine-wheel, as this seems the best one to use anywhere in the world. The angle of the directions was shifted slightly to fit with the traditional elemental attributions of the pentagram, including the extra element of Spirit, which normally resides in the middle of the wheel. The piercing priestess's difficulties with this 'chaos magick' juxtaposition/adjustment were resolved when she remembered the large spider she had seen that morning, which seemed to be surviving quite well with only five legs. She related this messenger to the idea of adapting a fourfold/eightfold system to a fivefold!
Altars were made in each direction behind the corners of the stick pentagon; magickal tools, ornaments and bits of appropriate road-kills placed according to their medicine and element. A wisewoman met at the gathering who had given us much support at the council contributed wings of tawny-frogmouth owl she had found on the way there, and a clear-quartz crystal with a pyramidal point which was placed atop the quinpod as a transmitter/antennae to the cosmos (inc. backwards in time to that other quartz crystal?). Also atop the quinpod was placed a small firework donated by Robin of the international sculpture group Mutoid Waste Company.
By the time all our preparations were done dusk was encroaching- it seemed our plan of doing most of the ritual in daylight was impossible, so we relaxed, gathering jars for candles and ensuring that everything was exactly right.