I want to give a shout out to all those who bear sacred marks on their flesh: the ordeal masters and ordeal dancers, those who’ve scarified, tattooed, and shed their skin, undergone rights of pain and rites of passage in homage and devotion to their Gods.
It’s not something that everyone or even the majority are called to do, but for those who are, there is something tremendously powerful and profound in literally giving back to the Gods the physical territory of our skin. We undergo these rites of transformation and initiation, or tear ourselves open in order to experience the barest shadow and microcosm of our Gods’ ordeals. It is a way of paying homage in flesh to where we have been, where we’ve walked, and where our Gods have walked too. It is a way of laying ourselves out in devotion to Them, and of carrying Them literally wrought into our skin and… it is so much more.
This is something our ancestors understood too. There are mummies that have been found with tattoo marks dating back five and six thousand years. Those of us who walk the path of ordeal are part of a legacy and lineage as old as humankind itself.
So for those of you reading this who incorporate ordeal or sacred marks into your spiritual work, who praise your Gods by what is writ in your flesh, know that you’re following in the footsteps of our ancestors and know that you are touching something very, very holy. That is all.