Pagan Fleshworks

The Alchemy of Body Modification
By (author) Maureen Mercury
Photographs by Steve Haworth
Pagan Fleshworks
The Alchemy of Body Modification
By (author) Maureen Mercury
Photographs by Steve Haworth

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Pages : 128

Book Size : 8 x 10

ISBN-13 : 9780892818099

Imprint : Park Street Press

On Sale Date : September 01, 2000

Format : Paperback Book

Illustrations : 41 color photographs

Body modification--tattooing, piercings, brandings, and implants--is a way of reconnecting to our bodies, to the earth, and to the divine. With riveting color photographs by leading body modification artist Steve Haworth, Pagan Fleshworks shows how radical body modification can result in uniquely satisfying self-expression and deep psychic transformation.
Description

About Pagan Fleshworks

A groundbreaking work that sees the contemporary cultural trends of tattooing, piercing, implanting, and branding as a quest for a transformative psychic experience.


• Features unforgettable color photographs by Steve Haworth, the foremost body modification artist in the United States.


• Introduces a subculture that has gone far beyond the realm of simple tattooing.


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

Pagan Fleshworks reveals that the prevalence of body modification--tattooing, piercings, brandings, and implants--is the postmodern way to heal the body and enliven the soul. These "fleshworks" are the result of people creating their own rituals and symbols of meaning 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. 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 30 riveting color photographs by leading body modification artist Steve Haworth provide the perfect visual complement to this examination of the soul as it rises toward freedom. 

Table of Contents

Table of content


Introduction

1. The Pagan Path

2.
One House Divided: Healing the Mind/Body Split

3.
Psyche as Image Maker

4.
Portals to Psyche

5.
The Alchemy of Fleshworks

6.
The Body as Soulscape

7.
The Landscape Expands

Notes

Bibliography

Acknowledgments
Author Bio
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.
Reviews

Reviews

Book Praise

Book Praise

"This book will make you think."

International Tattoo Art, March 2001

Back Cover

Back Cover Copy

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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