Normally when you see a photo of a suspension, you’ll see one of three things. The first and obvious one is the person in the air, the second is after they’ve landed, and the third is of the moment before lift-off where the person is preparing themselves with the rigging and hooks all in place.
Well this photo doesn’t fit into any of those three categories, yet somehow it is still one of the most significant moments in the ritual of a suspension. I use the term ritual intentionally, as modern suspension has strong ties to rituals from all over the world, but also because it has become its own modern ritual. The person suspending is preparing to enter another state of being, as their flesh is pierced and they are lifted from the ground, suspended by only their own body. The practitioners are modern day priests, there to ensure the ritual follows the rites that have been set down before them. They prepare the individual mentally, by talking them through it. They facilitate the ritual itself, by throwing the hooks, setting up the rigging, and observing to ensure everything is done safely. Finally they are there for the person when they return to earth, to guide their transition back into world that they had left.
So while to some it may seem like a suspension is just some guy hanging from hooks, to the people involved it can be a very spiritual and powerful experience, one that can change someone’s life, even if it is just for the time they are in the air.
I want to thank IAM: oOunbekanntOo for sharing this image with us.
You can check out the suspension itself over in the suicide suspension gallery.
Do you have any images from a suspension you’ve done? What about a story to tell of a time that you suspended?