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Author Topic: Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain  (Read 6633 times)

veggiewolf

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Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain
« on: October 04, 2011, 03:25:47 pm »
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?

My answers will be in my next post.
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"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
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Devo

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Re: Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2011, 04:07:33 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;23907

(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?


It depends on how you define pain. I have had mental pain- sure. Set wants me to grow. He wants me to endure. He wants me to get stronger. All of these things can cause pain- usually of the mental sort. If he asked for pain in a different manner- it really would depend on the situation, I think, as to whether I would do it or not.

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


Sorta. My trance work involves dancing until I more or less use up all my energy. This is taxing on my body. With other health issues (shin splints, bad shoulder, stomach issues) it can really become painful. Sometimes to the point that I have to stop what I'm doing and pick it back up another night. The act itself has benefit, yes. But totally tearing up my body? Not really. If I push too far, my body will be in too much pain, and it won't allow me to do what I need to do- which is useless in the end. It's about knowing how far to push and when to decide that you shouldn't push any further.

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


Yes and no. I'm always interested in seeing how others practice, but certain forms of pain are not up my alley. And I have to see some sort of reason behind them in order to want to do them, if that makes sense. Perhaps if I learned more about it, I'd become more open to the idea. I can't really say either way at this point, though.

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veggiewolf

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Re: Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2011, 04:15:07 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;23907
...

(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?


Yes, just recently.  I've not yet offered it, but I know I will.  I am procrastinating at the moment (see my post on Growth).

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


I have used emotional pain in ritual, with some very good, cathartic results, but not physical pain as of yet.

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


Yes.  Pain will be one of the tools I use for growth; my path and the amount of energy potential to be directed ensures it.
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JuniperMorgan

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Re: Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2011, 04:17:34 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;23907

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?

My answers will be in my next post.

 
First: Bravo to you, for being courageous enough to bring up this topic, and to do so with an aim to understanding and not bashing.

Now as to your questions:

(1)  Pain has not be blantantly asked of me by any diety.  But has been expected, in a way, from me by any powers that be my entire life.  

Before anyone blusters over that statement, allow me to explain.  I was born through c-section after 5 days of hitting my head against my mothers pelvic bone.  Smiling and so happy do be out, I didn't cry at birth - despite a goose egg covering most of my forehead.  I was born with two club feet, that had to be broken and reset.  At a very early age I had scarlet fever, as a result, by the age I was 5 I had rheumatoid arthritis. I had also had a head injury by this age, as well as a broken arm that went untreated for nearly a full day because all I said was that my arm hurt a little.   Now, I am not stating any of this for a "oh my you poor thing" response, but rather to explain why I say I have been expected to live with and through pain all my life.  Each day I wake up is a day that inevitably is filled with pain, just in going through every day life.  Spoons and all that.  But that hasn't given me the right to just curl up in my bed and ignore the rest of the world.  If I wanted to have any semblence of a "normal" life, I had to learn to do and be despite the pain.  Sometime, because of the pain.  Because not doing something because of the pain one day, would lead to not being able to do it because of the pain another day, and eventually I'd be unable to do most things.  How much of this is circumstantial and how much I may have agreed to before beginning this life, I choose not to contemplate.  It is what it is.  Life, for me, equals pain.  

So, while an offering of pain has not been specifically requested (so far), I would accept the challenge if it was.  I have already been dealing with enduring and overcoming pain.  Perhaps that's why it hasn't been asked of me.  Would I really notice any difference from simply adding more on?

(2)  I haven't used pain in ritual so far, so I can't comment as to any benefits or lack there of.

(3)  The use of pain in ritual has been an intriguing idea for me.  Mostly, because it would be a way of utilizing something I already have in great supply and turning it from "something that must be endured to survive" to "something which the endurance of can have significant meaning other than basic survival".  It will, and is, taking a lot of careful research and thought before I implement any of it however, simply out of consideration for my partner and those who care about me.  That it be useful to me as a spiritual tool, without giving needless concern to those that help me in my daily struggles already.  If that makes sense.  

That's my $0.02 for what it's worth.
You can also find my ramblings at my blog although I\'m not the best at regular updates.  I\'m working on fixing that. Or look for me on FB here or Google+ here. :)

veggiewolf

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Re: Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2011, 04:31:51 pm »
Quote from: Devo;23917
It depends on how you define pain. I have had mental pain- sure. Set wants me to grow. He wants me to endure. He wants me to get stronger. All of these things can cause pain- usually of the mental sort. If he asked for pain in a different manner- it really would depend on the situation, I think, as to whether I would do it or not.


That's basically how I see it as well; what He asks, in this instance, is something I can do and need to do - it fits with my path and so I am willing.

Quote
Sorta. My trance work involves dancing until I more or less use up all my energy. This is taxing on my body. With other health issues (shin splints, bad shoulder, stomach issues) it can really become painful. Sometimes to the point that I have to stop what I'm doing and pick it back up another night. The act itself has benefit, yes. But totally tearing up my body? Not really. If I push too far, my body will be in too much pain, and it won't allow me to do what I need to do- which is useless in the end. It's about knowing how far to push and when to decide that you shouldn't push any further.


I've said this to you before, but this method of trance speaks to me and the more I hear about it, the more I want to try it.  I should probably add it to my list and *not* procrastinate.

Quote
Yes and no. I'm always interested in seeing how others practice, but certain forms of pain are not up my alley. And I have to see some sort of reason behind them in order to want to do them, if that makes sense. Perhaps if I learned more about it, I'd become more open to the idea. I can't really say either way at this point, though.

-Devo


I think this is important.  We all need a reason beyond "it seemed like a good idea at the time" to try a new practice, and gods know that nothing works for *everyone*.
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"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

veggiewolf

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Re: Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2011, 04:36:13 pm »
Quote from: JuniperMorgan;23921
First: Bravo to you, for being courageous enough to bring up this topic, and to do so with an aim to understanding and not bashing.

Thank you. :o

Quote
(3)  The use of pain in ritual has been an intriguing idea for me.  Mostly, because it would be a way of utilizing something I already have in great supply and turning it from "something that must be endured to survive" to "something which the endurance of can have significant meaning other than basic survival".  It will, and is, taking a lot of careful research and thought before I implement any of it however, simply out of consideration for my partner and those who care about me.  That it be useful to me as a spiritual tool, without giving needless concern to those that help me in my daily struggles already.  If that makes sense.  

That's my $0.02 for what it's worth.

I think it is worth more than $0.02.

My using emotional pain in ritual grew out of this; I needed a greater source of energy to get through something with which I was struggling, so I tapped into the one place I knew I had some to spare our of desperation.  Not only did it work, but it helped burn away one of my long-term "issues".  I'm hoping to do more healing work on myself in the same manner but will take it more slowly this time.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 04:36:36 pm by veggiewolf »
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"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

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Re: Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2011, 05:45:29 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;23907

(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?

 
Not ... precisely.

Straight up:  I have a self-injury history.  Mostly not a big deal anymore, but.  It has left me with a certain amount of ... caution about using pain (even though I also have a history of using it as an energy raising technique in non-maladaptive ways).

Basically: because the use of certain forms of pain is heavily associated with psychologically unstable states for me, I fear using it in case it might also invoke those psychologically unstable states.  Even though I know from techniques that don't trigger this issue that it can be very effective as a tool for me.  I just have this wall built up so that I don't risk going to That Place again by accident.

It has been made clear to me in the past that I need to be able to use this tool in situations where it is the appropriate mechanism, and that, well, if I can't do that, then I will be put in circumstances where I have to.  I've done a little work around this but it has not come up as something I need to be doing Right Now.
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Re: Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2011, 08:15:09 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;23907
(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?

My answers will be in my next post.

 
1) What the God of Abraham requires would more appropriately be called discomfort.  There are several fast days in the calendar.  At Yom Kippur, when we strike our chest, it is meant to be more symbolic than self-injuring.  Many observant folks still rend their garments during times of mourning and so forth.  We are asked to do a lot of things that are mentally uncomfortable, maybe even painful (such as asking forgiveness from those we have wronged) but physical pain is not a requirement.  I think the only exception to this might be male circumcision, and even in that case, the pain is not the point and the baby is numbed and given a little wine.

2)  I have not used ritual pain.

3)  No.  It simply isn't in concert with my belief systems or my understanding of God.  In fact, I would argue that physically harming myself would be against the tenets of Judaism as I understand it.  Traditionally, this is a faith that has been against altering one's body (male circumcision excepted).  Traditional Jews would never engage in body modification such as tatooing for example.

monsnoleedra

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Re: Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2011, 09:22:01 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;23907
..

(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?


Today I can't say any reoccuirng request involving pain has been asked.  Yet through out my life that would not be so.  I've physcially died as a young child, and barely avoided death in more instances than I can count.  Been hurt in so many ways that my grandparents and parents called me accident prone.

My earliest memory is of the goddess Artemis though I honestly can't say she was the one doing the inflictions upon me.  But perhaps she was for while I recall vague facets of the many incidents my parents & grandparents swore something was watching over me.

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


As a norm no.  Yet I have used it in the past.  Try cutting yourself with a sharpened stone or rock for instance.  Even picking up burning embers.  That doesn't even touch upon the physical pain one may inflict upon themselves as they do endurance type things.

But as I stated not so much in recent years.

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


Ritual pain from pearcings or such I have no interest in for personal usage though I have read of them.  Fire walking or other similar type riutals again I have no interest in.  Ritual pain from sensory deprivation or sensory / physical overload is potentialy possible but depends upon the reasons for such an act.

Ritual pain inflicted because of quest type situations perhaps but then a quest is very specific so its not something that would be a common occurance.

sephira

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Re: Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2011, 09:25:45 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;23907

(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?


 
1. My current patron has not requested that I use pain as an offering and I'm hoping he doesn't as I don't think I'm prepared emotionally nor physically(see below)to obey. OK, maybe obey is a strong word. Comply is a much better word.

2. I was once in a coven where pain was used in a ritual. I was whipped with a cat-of-nine-tails. It was somewhat painful, but not bad enough to leave welts  (due to a pain condition I suffer from I have a very low threshold for pain). I didn't really notice a benefit from it other than it was appreciated by the entire coven that I took part in the ritual (It was my second ritual with them).

3. I don't any have particular interest in using pain in a ritual due to my pain condition.
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SatAset

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Re: Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2011, 12:03:41 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;23907


(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?


The deities I work with have not asked for pain as an offering.  I have offered tears before from crying because of emotional pain.  I have offered healing from emotional pain before, but not physical pain.  

I don't think I would offer physical pain as an offering.  I deal with pain due to migraines and headaches from a surgery.  I have other physical issues too, so making it harder for me to function will not help me function.  

But taking care of myself while I am in pain can be an offering.  

Quote

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


I do not use pain in ritual.  I think it can be a useful tool for others, just not me.  

Quote

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


Not really.  I like to hear how others practice their faiths, but I don't think it is something I would do for my gods.  

Thank you, Veggiewolf for starting this topic.  It's good to discuss this openly.
I am the Goddess of Who I can Become. I mix the magic of the sorceress with the blade of a warrior. I walk the liminal pathways to see the face of the Goddess, both terrible and kind. As She stares back at me, I tremble in awe and ecstasy.  --SatAset

hufflee

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Re: Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2011, 01:05:57 am »
Quote from: veggiewolf;23907

(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?


I have never been requested by a Deity to inflict pain as an offering.

Quote

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


Once, sort of. I wasn't looking for the pain so much as the scar. The pain was a side effect. I wanted the scar to remind me of something. It's very small - about half an inch long, and it's on the palm of my left hand so no one has ever noticed it unless I pointed it out. (to one specific person). The benefit is that whenever I see the scar, it reminds me of what I wanted to remember.

Quote

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


Not at this time. I can't say that I would never use intentional pain in a ritual, but I would have to have a damn good reason and no other alternative.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change - Unknown
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veggiewolf

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Re: Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2011, 02:16:17 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;23931
...I just have this wall built up so that I don't risk going to That Place again by accident.


I know I've got walls up when it comes to using physical pain, largely due to my past history, and I am afraid to break them down even know I know it will benefit me in the long run.  

Quote
It has been made clear to me in the past that I need to be able to use this tool in situations where it is the appropriate mechanism, and that, well, if I can't do that, then I will be put in circumstances where I have to.


How do you see yourself working through this, if you don't mind answering?

Quote
I've done a little work around this but it has not come up as something I need to be doing Right Now.

 
Knowing you have tons on your plate, that last is probably a relief, yes? ;)
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veggiewolf

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Re: Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2011, 02:25:56 pm »
Quote from: Sperran;23951
1) What the God of Abraham requires would more appropriately be called discomfort.  There are several fast days in the calendar.  At Yom Kippur, when we strike our chest, it is meant to be more symbolic than self-injuring.  Many observant folks still rend their garments during times of mourning and so forth.  We are asked to do a lot of things that are mentally uncomfortable, maybe even painful (such as asking forgiveness from those we have wronged) but physical pain is not a requirement.  I think the only exception to this might be male circumcision, and even in that case, the pain is not the point and the baby is numbed and given a little wine.


Fasting is interesting; for some reason, I'm remembering reading about ascetics that fasted for long periods of time in order to focus on study of the Talmud but that individual fasting of this nature was not encouraged in the general community.  *wanders off to examine bookshelves*

Long period of fasting, in my book, constitute pain and would strike me as pain willingly endured to gain wisdom/connection with God.  Just my $0.02.
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
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"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
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veggiewolf

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Re: Pain as Offering/Ritual Work through Pain
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2011, 02:33:54 pm »
Quote from: monsnoleedra;23963
...
 As a norm no.  Yet I have used it in the past.  Try cutting yourself with a sharpened stone or rock for instance.  Even picking up burning embers.  That doesn't even touch upon the physical pain one may inflict upon themselves as they do endurance type things.

But as I stated not so much in recent years.


Endurance work is fascinating to me, although it isn't something currently on my DO THIS RIGHT NOW list.

Quote
... Ritual pain from sensory deprivation or sensory / physical overload is potentially possible but depends upon the reasons for such an act...


Sensory deprivation isn't something I've looked at as a spiritual tool, although it makes sense.  If you don't mind me asking, have you used it?  Was it of benefit?
Fluid Morality - my spiritual blog
Eating Monsters - my mental health blog

"Religion does not define a deity- it defines the human approach and interpretation of deity." - Juni
"I hate magical thinking in my magic." - Darkhawk
"...a baseball club; a soccer unkindness; a hockey murder; a football team..." - Cecil, Welcome to Night Vale

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Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall