"I just wanted to thank you again for a profound experience on Saturday. As someone who had never been pierced except in one ear, the chance to experience self-piercing, hooks and a cheek spear was a chance to broaden my perspectives on so many things. I appreciated the tone you both set for this experience and also the tone set by your assistants—the wonderful body workers and drummers. I found the ritual intensely personal, interpersonal and communal. I allowed myself to be myself among this group of strangers, and felt both empowered and at peace in doing so."
"I was a dancer. When the hooks went in I cried. No, not cry...I broke down. Not from pain but from release. All of this garbage, fear, hate came pouring out. When it had been purged, I entered a state of grace. I walked...no... floated to where I was to have the points of the hooks covered with corks and a rope attached. As my friend placed the rope over my head for safe keeping he said to me, 'You own this'! I can not tell you much more about the ritual, not in any great detail. But I do remember slipping in and out of conscious awareness at a few points."
"The ritual was full of sexual energy for me. At one point I became a wolf crazed with lust, power and need. My conscious self was gone and in its place a primitive power came out and connected with my partner in an amazingly deep way. Words simply can't describe the feeling when I grabbed her towards me, pulled against the hooks and connected in a fiercesome way. Weeks later we are still dealing with the intensity of emotions and energy we shared during the ritual. It was an amazingly wonderful ceremony for us."
"Individuals drifted into the circle to dance and pull. During the dance I saw their egos, their own identities, begin to fall away. Although each dancer and their puller reacted differently to the drums and rattles -- some quietly trancing out, some enthusiastically playing tug-of-war with each other -- a solid group finally formed from a collection of individuals from all parts of the country and all walks of life. By the time they came together in a circle, individual identities had completely fallen away and a tribe of sorts had taken their place. It was breathtaking to see people interacting with each other on such a wordless level."
"My thinking has opened up and my spirit is much lighter since dancing. It has been a very long time since I felt peaceful enough to let my mind wander knowing that it would not hit the same negative dead-end thoughts. And the real irony is that I am generally such a cynic about such things. I am much more the empiricist than most but occasionally I stumble over something that makes me think twice about my hard core Western ideology. This was it."
"I got pierced near the beginning so the pull was quite long for me. The first part, pulling from the stationary scaffolding, was about letting go. Tears began flowing from me and I had a continuous mantra running through my head: ' I am just one small drop in the river'. After some time, I really felt the need to connect with my partner and pulling with him was simply amazing. I could see his aura and dazzling lights spreading from his chest. I felt so free and connected to the flow of universal energy. When the witnesses arrived, I didn't notice for a long time. When I did, I felt the need to open my arms to them for I had the feeling that I could take them, and everyone else in the world, into my heart -- it was that expansive and open. Thank you for creating a safe and loving space in which to dance and open our hearts."
"Throughout the ritual space participants are in all levels of discovery and inner travel. Some are hanging with almost full body weight on their hooks, others are dance partners pulling on each others ropes. A tribal ring is started. My partner and I clip into the ring. The ring grows slowly to a dozen or more participants. This is unbelievable! The energy level from the group is mind-blowing. Senses are in full awareness and all tribal members hooked to the ring are psychically linked together. We pull and scream from our soul, the drummers begin to beat to the rhythm of the ring's movement. Then Fakir clips into the ring opposite me and starts pulling the entire group hard and around the floor. Each of his hard pulls forces me deeper out of head space releasing my own pain and energy, and in return, picking up the energy of others in the ring. It's an energy power exchange orgy!"
"This was transcendent. This was holy. This was religion in its original sense: re-linking us with the Sacred and with each other. At the risk of being corny, it was a privilege to participate in building this Sacred thing."
"I am still in awe of everyone who did the hooks and want to take this opportunity to thank everyone there for being a part of our amazing day. The hours seemed to go by in minutes, and before I knew it, the ritual was over. I longed for it to last and it has in my memories and in the higher level of connection it has meant for my partner and I. The issues and emotions brought to the surface as a result of this deeply connecting ritual have brought more understanding and meaning to me about so many things in my life. I feel calmer and more focused on the people that are important to me. I highly recommend Fakir and Cléo's Spirit+Flesh workshop and ritual to anyone now considering participation. As for myself, I look forward with great anticipation to the next such event."