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On Branding and Being Branded

Ok, this is an experience I had while attending the Fakir Intensives Basic Branding course. Don't expect any "special secrets" or anything. First, that's not how reality works, and second, this is about my experience, not the course. Let me start by saying what an incredible class this is. I highly recommend taking it if you are interested in branding. While I was in the class, I became friends with another girl named Amee. We also attended the Basic Piercing class together afterwards. During the branding class, we decided we would brand each other. Since Amee was the one I knew best in the class, I certainly felt more comfortable with her than any of the other students, although everyone attending was fully competent by the end of the course. We all took a great deal of time picking our brands. I chose an entirely Multi-Strike brand, meaning it would be done with pieces of metal held by pliers, as opposed to the cautery pen. Amee chose a mixture of the two. My brand was chosen to represent the forces within myself pushing out against the forces without, pushing in. When, I look at it, it makes me feel like the within is stronger because the strokes are wider, a pleasant, but unintended affect. Amee's brand was a large star (multi-strike) and two smaller stars (cautery) on each calf. The meaning, of course, is hers, and I'm am not sure of it. As I remember it, I was the first to go. I laid down on the table, and found that I was rather nervous. I'm not used to being nervous, I would have been seen as a pussy at the shop I used to apprentice at. I was actually glad to be nervous, it was a nice release. There were a few people witnessing and/or helping, (holding the torch,) Amee with my brand. I was spoken to in calm voices and made to feel as relaxed as possible. I think somewhere between comfort and fear there is this outer region where you can achieve both. This is where I am most comfortable, and I certainly felt as if I had found that region. Amee got the first piece ready for branding and heated up the metal. The first hit hurt the least, I would say, but it was also the smallest. The next piece was more intense, and I jolted a little. A good part of the brand was my body tensing up for the next hit. The feeling itself was almost comforting. It hurt only for a moment, an then the pain was gone. And the smell...I can't describe it. Burnt flesh smells strange, but it's kind of intoxicating. My brand consisted of a total of thirteen hits, all, admittedly, on my arm, a place that isn't as pain susceptible as other areas, however, it was the place I felt was most appropriate for the brand. I would like to try somewhere more intense in the future, I have a fascination with seeing how much pain I can take, and also with conquering the fear that comes beforehand. When the brand was done, I felt almost light-headed, not faint light-headed, but the type you feel when you've experienced something that stretched you spiritually. It was something I won't forget, and certainly want to do again. As for branding Amee, well it was an entirely different experience in and of itself. I really feel that I enjoyed it more than piercing. I shook at first, but eventually became comfortable with the process. I won't say I am a master-brander yet, but I really felt it, and I think I could become quite competent with time, not to mention truly enjoying the process. Amee's brand was quite a deal bigger than mine, and used both the pen and multi-strike. I found that I had to be careful with how hard I pressed, my first hit put a brand in her leg that she could fit her pinky in. I was so careful after that, that my brands struck slightly lighter than would have been best. The cautery was a little more controllable, but it was harder to tell if you were going too deep or not. As for Amee and her reaction, she seemed to take it all rather well, I felt that she was rather comfortable and didn't show any signs of stress or fear. Anyway, I can say for sure that branding is something I do not want to give up, either as something I get done, or as something I do for others. There is something about fire and burning flesh for a scar that is very internal to me, and connected with a part of my spiritual self. I don't personally believe in a higher power or a universal order, what I feel within myself, that is my goddess. To me, it all had a great deal of purpose, something I sorely needed in my life. So. If you are looking into getting a brand, as long as whoever you find is someone you trust as competent, (please do your research, of course), I really think it is worth it. Also, it goes without saying to examine branding's worth to yourself, and not what it means to me.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 04 Sept. 2001
in Scarification

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Artist: Amee+Gaugher
Studio: Fakir+Intensives+Basic+Branding+Class
Location: San+Francisco

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