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First time pulling

I did an energy pull Sunday, in ritual space within the greater context of a kink/alt/spiritual sexuality retreat. It was not what I expected.

I was coming to the ritual from a class which had pushed my comfort boundaries a bit, and so took about twenty minutes to focus and re-center myself. All the same, I was terrified. I'd been wanting to do something like this for a decade, and here was an opportunity. On the one hand, it seemed a much safer environment than a public suscon or some such; on the other, the (pagan) spiritual orientation of where we were made me more than a little uncomfortable (still recovering from a very xtian upbringing), and the ritual was promoted (for lack of a better word) as spiritually oriented. Had there been too much Pagan-y talk, I'd likely have had to safeword out.

Plus, I'd never taken a 10g needle before. And my relationship with needles is a delicate balance of fascination and fear...

So yeah, terrified.

We began the ritual with a circle, creating the sacred space for us to pull in; each of us had the opportunity to share something about why we were there, or anything we felt was significant to the experience. S., who led the ritual, began with a few words about what she felt about the ritual, and how it was a journey that only started with the pull. L., W., * and I were to pull; each of us had a support partner, and two others provided music in the form of DJing and live drumming. My introduction: "I'm N., and this scares the hell out of me. Which is why I'm here."

L. was pierced in first, followed by W. As S. finished piercing each of us, Barbara led us over to the tree and tied us in. I followed W. The first hook was hard, and seemed to take forever to go through. Not surprisingly, it took MUCH more pressure to push through than the 18-22g that I'm mostly accustomed to using. I was very, very close to bailing out after the first hook - and S. could, I think, see that. She waited until I got control of my breathing again, and pierced the second in when I was ready - but before I thought I was ready. Perfect timing.

my hands were shaking. But I shook it off enough to walk through the circle and take my place uphill of the tree, facing East-ish. I sat, cross-legged, and made myself relax slowly back against the hooks.

Pretty quickly, I found I needed to scoot backward in order to maintain the control I wanted over the pressure without having to brace too much behind me (and open my chest, which was pretty uncomfortable given the way the hooks were rigged).

At this point, my detail-awareness goes a little fuzzy. I know I changed position to kneeling, in the Aikido-kneel pose, leaning back harder and harder. I know that at several points I felt tears coming, and then passing... I came up a few times from wherever I was to check on my hooks, make sure I wasn't tearing, because I was pulling pretty damn hard.

But I had no sense of time. I knew where I was physically, and was aware to a point of the people around me, but that wasn't where my head/consciousness/spirit was... I'm still figuring out where that was; perhaps I'll never entirely know.

After an eternity which seemed very, very short (about an hour, not that I could have told you that myself), S. came around and began disconnecting people from the pull. She helped L.'s partner walk her back to the chair where L's hooks were removed, and then she sat in the grass to recover for a bit. W., the only one of us who had pulled before, followed.

Then it would have been my turn, but I wasn't ready to stop. Before going to unhook *, S. said to me, "Let me show you how the Warriors do it." (This was damned significant; she takes the historical spiritual significance of pulling very seriously.) She helped me to my feet, and then had me raise and extend my arms, almost in a sky embrace. The pressure on my chest (I can't rightly call it pain anymore) increased, and I was gone.

She left me for a few minutes to go unhook *, then returned - at which point I was ready. Walking back, I felt light, and weak, and full of light. Everything fell away, and I was crying. Weeping, not out of sadness or pain, but because I didn't know what else to do. Something deep and wonderful had happened - was happening - and it came through as tears.

Unhooking was painful, but OK. There was pain, there was release... I bled a bit; had to hold paper towels over the holes, applying pressure to stop the bleeding.

I asked to keep my hooks after they were out; she had to go back in and fish them out. I still have to decide whether to solder them together into a hook heart for wear as a necklace, or have them autoclaved and packaged for another round of use for my next pull...

The holes seemed to clot up fairly quickly; I headed for dinner, shirtless, and was unconcerned. They did start to weep a little bit during dinner, though. Arm movement? Rehydration? I don't know... Stopped soon enough.

I don't know yet where my spirit went Sunday afternoon as I pulled, but I know I went to a good place. And I know I need to go there again. And I will.

Everyone has said it takes a few days to decompress. S. said there would be messages. I tend to sleep deeply, not remembering dreams; they haven't come yet, but I think they may yet, if I listen right. I know my sleep Sunday night was deep, but short, and I needed to go meditate at 6:30 Monday morning - for me, very unusual indeed. And I've been very sensitive to touch, especially my partner's. I've wanted relatively little contact, and it was an effort to resurface Sunday night enough to give her the attention she needed.

It was a beautiful ordeal. And it was a spiritually rich one, though I don't know what that means other than that it touched me incredibly deeply.

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 23 Sept. 2008
in Ritual

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Artist: S.%2C+a+shaman
Studio: outdoors
Location: +

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