My scarification experience....
Let me start out by saying that I am very young, as far as most of the extreme body art community is concerned. I'm 19, and I've been into body art for about 4 years now. I did my first navel piercing when I was 15, did my septum at 16, and went from there. I discovered early on that I enjoyed the action of being pierced, and having a trophy of that experience. I then began to look for different sensations. I got my first tattoo at 18.
In September of 96, I met Mikel when I started working the counter at Andromeda in NYC. Around the end of October, I decided that I wanted him to do a scarification piece on me as a public performance.
Months passed, and he couldn't get a show where he could let blood. So May rolled around, and I was getting ready to go back to Georgia for the summer. We finally decided that we would do it at his house a week before I left. I also knew that I was doing this more for the experience, and the finished product was a trophy. I drew up the "thunderbird" design as a symbol of my rebirth, because I was nearing a crossroads in my life.
I had to travel from Brooklyn to Staten Island, a trip I'd never taken. So, I saw it as a physical journey to the unknown to prepare for the mental journey that I was about to undertake.
I went to his house Saturday afternoon around three, and we chilled out for a while, got relaxed, smoked a bowl, etc...until his friend showed up with the video camera. He also had a "brainwave stimulator" that we were going to try out, kind of mixing of primitive ritual and modern technology. It had headphones with a constant tone for certain relaxation states, and glasses with lights that flashed at the same frequency.
We then began the meditation, with a tape of tribal drumming in the background. Mikel burned some incense of his own concoction, and I sat down, closed my eyes and began breathing in beat to the drums. At that moment the room ceased to be a room. I felt something lightly brushing my back, relaxing my muscles. I didn't want to move from that spot. But I had to. We moved to the middle of the floor, where Mikel had a rug layed out, with surgical towels layed out where my shoulder would be, and I lay down. We put on the glasses and headphones, and my Scorn CD in the stereo. I could hear the stereo over the tone, which was even more relaxing. Mikel layed out his equipment, and put a large knife in my right hand, and said to me "Whatever you do, don't let go of this."
He started to run through his procedure with the cap on the scalpel, to figure out positioning, and that's when I started to freak out. I had to take the glasses off. If anything happened, I wanted to be able to open my eyes and see Mikel.
Then we were ready to start. I took that deep breath in, and as I exhaled, I went somewhere else. All I was aware of was Mikel telling me when to breathe as he cut. I was almost literally outside looking into my head, and learning about myself.
About 30 minutes later, I came out of my trance, and Mikel cleaned me up. I stood up, and felt weightless, like I was floating. He told me not to look at the scars yet, as he was taking pictures. Then he walked me to another room to look in the mirror, and I was in awe of myself. I actually did it.
Then came the long journey back home to Brooklyn, but I don't really remember it. When I finally got home, I took a nice, scalding hot shower. I was looking in the mirror at my trophy when my roommate walked in, and really bugged out. But he was brave enough to take a few pictures for me.
It was definitely worth it. I learned a lot about myself, where I had been, where I was going, and how I would get there. It's all one journey.
- Ash firstname.lastname@example.org
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 23 July 1997