The hook pull we perform stems from a long history of other body stress rituals that have been practiced since ancient times. While we have found inspiration from sources like Sundance, Okipa, Chidi Mari, and Thaipusam, this particular ritual is unique to us, and we credit Fakir Musafar for creating the first iteration of the modern hook pull in 1996. Prior to this, Fakir, Cleo Dubois, and Mark Joplin had created a ritual which involved an energetic dance with pierced flesh intended to provide positive energy to their friends dead and dying during the height of the AIDS crisis. This ritual has evolved since then, and is not intended to replicate any other historic rituals other than itself. We choose to honor our intersectional heritage of Leather, kink, and spirituality. Our methodology remains one of inspiration, not appropriation.
For our specific ritual, each willing participant will be pierced with 2 extremely sharp needles, in clean, semi-clinical conditions with sterile equipment similar to what would be done for any typical body modification piercing. The difference is that for our purposes, the “jewelry” transferred into the piercings will be sterile hooks that will then have a length of cord attached so that participants can pull on their piercings safely. Pulling can be done with another single person, in groups, or against fixed objects. The intensity of the experience is entirely within your own control.
This ritual is done as a group, but the experience is intensely individual.
The placement of the hooks in the chest is intended to open your heart chakra. The opening and freeing of this chakra can allow the participant to release negative emotion, absorb healing emotion, let go of guilt, shame, hurt, or anger. It can also be used to feel love, peace, contentment, and warmth. The hooks can literally and spiritually connect the wearer to Nature, to a God, to their loved ones or community, to share in a collective energy beyond what they could generate alone. Connectedness is a vital part of a hook pull, giving the participants the opportunity to feel with others in a safe place. This experience can lead to a trance-like, or ecstatic state, a renewed sense of empowerment, joy, and/or general uplifting of the soul.
This is not something anyone can prepare you for – it is very much a rite of passage for all participants in whatever way they need it to be. Simply being PRESENT is participation. You do not need to be pierced until you are ready and willing. When you are ready, you will know.
In the end, what you will take away only you will know. As with many rituals it the end result will most likely be what you need, even if you don’t know you need it when you begin.
If a participant doesn’t quite feel “ready” for hooks yet, there are other piercing options available. Additionally, participation can manifest through drumming or playing of other percussion instruments, chanting, praying, or just being present to witness and lend support to the room.
Here is the full selection of ritual piercings we can facilitate for this event:
Hooks: Two, in any location you choose. Typical placement is in the chest to open the heart chakra and allow for energy flow while pulling with other participants. Alternate placements in the back, forearms, thighs, or knees. Note that alternate placements may make it challenging to interact with other participants.
Third eye piercing: A needle placed vertically in the flesh between the eyes and capped with a small cork. Opens the third eye chakra to allow altered/energetic vision.
Cheek spears: Used as a physical manifestation of a vow of silence. Being “unable” to speak can completely change the nature of the experience. A Single 6” needle inserted through both cheeks and capped with a cork.
Throat piercing: Opens the throat chakra to give voice to the energy. Energetically the opposite of a cheek spear. May be done with a needle or hook, but hook allows for pulling.
Ball/bell dance: Weights, bells, or other items sutured onto the skin with monofilament to provide additional sensation when dancing to the drums and music with other participants. Note that you will need to provide the weights; these may be lemons/limes, fishing weights (min 1oz), bells, etc. In the case of fruits, please pre-rig these with paracord (pierce the fruit, run cord through, tie a knot) to create a hanging loop that we can tie to.