Pagan Fleshworks: The Alchemy of Body Modification

Pagan Fleshworks: The Alchemy of Body Modification

by Maureen Mercury
     
 

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SELF-TRANSFORMATION

“Those who choose to modify their bodies cross a sensate threshold in addition to a psychological one, which places them within the ancient tradition of using the body as a vehicle for the search for ecstatic experience.”

Body modification is a way of reconnecting to our bodies, to the earth, and to the divine. Acts of body

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Overview

SELF-TRANSFORMATION

“Those who choose to modify their bodies cross a sensate threshold in addition to a psychological one, which places them within the ancient tradition of using the body as a vehicle for the search for ecstatic experience.”

Body modification is a way of reconnecting to our bodies, to the earth, and to the divine. Acts of body modification--tattooing, piercings, brandings, and implants--are deeply rooted in physical impulses that are obscured in our modern technological society. As we daily become more and more removed from the physicality of our existence,we lose touch with an essential part of our humanity.

Pagan Fleshworks reveals that body modification is the postmodern way to heal the mind/body separation and to enliven the soul.These “fleshworks”are the result of people creating their own rituals and symbols of meaning, their own rites of passage, in order to feel a sense of the divine within.

Maureen Mercury relates the various stages of obtaining fleshworks to the stages of alchemy, showing how fleshworks lead to psychic transformation--soul-making--the alchemical process of making extraordinary gold. Using mythological imagery and the stories of those who have chosen to modify their bodies, she identifies the signposts of our journey toward self-expression, exploring the connection between our desires and our outward life. More than thirty-five riveting color photographs by Steve Haworth, the foremost three-dimensional body modification artist in the United States, provide the perfect visual complement to this examination of the soul as it rises toward freedom.

MAUREEN MERCURY is completing her Ph.D. in depth psychology and has an M.A. in counseling psychology. Her earlier work includes an in-depth view of modern male tattooing. Mercury also holds workshops that focus on the ritual piercing experience. She lives in Ventura, California.

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Editorial Reviews

International Tattoo Art
"This book will make you think."
March 2001 International Tattoo Art
"This book will make you think."
From the Publisher
"This book will make you think."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892818099
Publisher:
Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date:
09/28/2000
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.40(d)

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