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My rite of passsage.

It was about 10 years ago that neo-primitive ritualism first truly came into my life.

I had been raised in a moderately strict baptist christian home and through the years become somewhat disillusioned with the faith of my family, though the moral value held true.

I feel that maybe I should preface this a little more, you see, from the earliest time I can remember I had always been fascinated with primitive people, I can remember doing everything I could to get my hands on materials that had something to do with primitive living people. I had 'read' every anthropology or culture study book I could check out from the library and was always one of the first to show up at the book sales just so I could get first crack at the old issues of National Geographic. My family never thought anything of it really, just that that was the thing that was holding my interest. Little did they realize that it was the culture and the myriad variety of types of tribes and their ways that had me going bonkers. I would sit in my room late at night and draw little designs on my skin that I thought up or had seen in a picture. So I would go to school looking like all the other kids but underneath the clothing were the marks and I would laugh to think o f myself as the little 'savage' amongst the school body. I have sometimes wondered what might have happened had my teachers or any other students ever seen them, luckily they never did.

So this went on for many years, I slowly gathered every bit of 'useless' info I could on

these primitive peoples and in addition to what I had learned from my family about hunting and fishing and woodlore, I became quite the little survivalist. All those times that my grandmother thought I was just out running around in the woods behind the house being a little boy doing normal little boy things, I was really playing 'savage', I would go out there and strip and I had a little loin cloth I had made from a rabbit skin and would pretend that I was a Masai warrior hunting down killer lions or an Indian of the rainforest out gathering food and meat for his tribe. luckily there was a little stream out there that I could always wash the mud and markings off in. Well except for this one time I got hold of some nice juicy purple berries and had a blast putting designs on my self with a stick and the juice. Well, it took about 4 days for them to finally come off no matter how hard I cleaned, luckily that day I had chosen not to put any on my face. I wonder how I wou ld have explained that to parents and teachers. Some would say I spent far too much time alone and had become socially stunted by these things, and in some ways that may be true, but I had always seen myself as different from the other kids anyway.

We jump forward to about the summer of my fourteenth year, I had gotten into medievalism and had been playing D&D for a few years with the few real friends I had made around that time, and had gotten involved with a group of re-enactors about 6 months prior, one of these people was a woman that saw the trouble I was going through with my faith. Remember that christian upbringing I had mentioned, well about a year before I had been sitting down talking to my grandmother and I asked her; "Granny, you have told me that if you reject the word of jesus then you will burn in hell right?" "Yes." "Well what about those people who were around before he was born or those people who have never heard of him, what about them?" "Well, then they will be judged for what is in their hearts." "So then why do we send missionaries out to these people in the forests and so on, when they are already happy with their ways and the ways their people have lived for so many centuries?" "Bec ause if we don't then they will never know the love of jesus and hear his words." "And if they choose to continue living as their people always have, and not wear modern clothes and not go to church and just live with nature and the world as they have before?" "Then they shall be punished by god and burn in a lake of eternal fire!"

Well, I think you can see where I fell along the way. Based on what she knew of me this woman introduced me to the idea of making my own faith from within my own heart and the things I knew. I decided that I was to be in essence destroyed and reborn. After some deal of planning we decided on this:

I was led into a circle of fire in which I was asked of my intentions and so on, then I was stripped and my clothes were tossed on the fire and I was left naked within the ring to burn itself out symbolizing the cleansing fire that would erase the being I was before.

Afterwards I was carried from the circle blindfolded and bound by my ankles and suspended head down, whereupon five other people smeared the ash of the fire upon my skin and I was scraped and pricked by branches and thorns until the blood had blended with the ashes. (thinking back on it sometimes I am surprised that none of them took on the ash and remained as a tattoo. it was not the intent anyway.) I was left there blindfolded and suspended for I don't know how long by myself, She informed me later that though I thought they had all gone, one had stayed behind to watch over me.

eventually after quite an experience hanging there. (sorry that's private.) I was gently brought down and washed and robed and greeted a new day as a new person. that was 10 years ago, and I am 29 now. I have not done anything of the ilk since, I would love to experience something like that again. though I did begin stretching my lobes shortly thereafter. (I had pierced them myself when I was 12. little did I know the risks I was taking.) to the 5/8s they are now. Maybe one day I will find some others who would help me to do something like this again. I tell you what though I can feel the desire to do so itching underneath my skin every time I see a suspension pic.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 15 June 2002
in Ritual

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