Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain

We've discussed, in the past, offerings to deity that involved blood, or sacrifice (human and/or animal) but, as far as I can tell, we've not really delved into the offering of pain to the gods or the use of pain in ritual work.

Most often, pain, whether emotional or physical, is a signal that something is wrong that needs to be fixed. We are conditioned to accept that pain = bad/no pain = good and, for many, this model works well. But for some, pain is a tool carefully applied to bring the user knowledge and growth.

Pain in ritual is accepted, so long as it is done by "outsiders". There's a kind of "your-ritual-is-not-my-ritual-but-it-is-okay" mentality when talking about Kavandi ceremonies, or ball dances, or ritual body modification done in places we don't live. But, when a seemingly "normal" person mentions using pain in ritual context, conversations cease. People are scorned and vilified (see prior threads about Cauldron Farms and/or Raven Kaldera for case in point). The idea that anyone could want to use pain in ritual, or as an offering, is too alien, too "out there"...and yet it happens on a daily basis around the world, and often closer to us than we think.

In order to remove the stigma, the topic must be discussed in an open way so that it can be shown, in the light, for what it is. With that in mind, I am asking the following questions:

(1) If you work with deity, has pain ever been requested as an offering? If so, did you offer it? If not, would you consider it?

(2) Do you use pain in ritual? If so, have you seen a benefit from it?

(3) Is the use of ritual pain something in which you have any interest? Why or why not?

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