Fakir Musafar; From Spiritual Piercer To Gender Revolutionist

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Fakir Musafar; From Spiritual Piercer To Gender Revolutionist

Fakir Musafar, a pioneering figure in the world of body modification, left impactful marks on the piercing community through his revolutionary approach. With a deep appreciation of gender, he challenged societal norms and expanded the possibilities of personal expression. Beyond mere aesthetics, Fakir viewed piercing as a spiritual medium and a rite of passage.  


This article explores Fakir Musafar's invaluable contributions to the piercing community, his exploration of gender fluidity, and his transformative emphasis on piercing as a profound spiritual journey.


Contributions to the Piercing Community 


Fakir Musafar's contributions to the piercing community were groundbreaking, ushering in a new era of understanding and appreciation for body modification. His work centered around the belief that piercing should not be seen as mere adornment, but as a transformative experience that could connect individuals with their bodies, cultures, and spirituality.


Musafar's most significant contribution was his role in popularizing the practice of "modern primitive" body piercing. He organized workshops and conferences where he shared his extensive knowledge and expertise with enthusiasts, piercing artists, and scholars alike. These gatherings served as platforms for learning, sharing experiences, and pushing the boundaries of body modification.


Fakir Musafar pushed the boundaries of self-expression, challenging societal norms, and exploring the depths of human experience through body modification and spirituality. Fakir held a deep and profound reverence for spiritual piercings. For Fakir, spiritual piercings were not simply acts of physical adornment or self-expression; they were profound rituals that connected individuals to the realms of spirituality, self-discovery, and personal transformation.


Photo by Marina Pecorino


Fakir believed in the power of community and shared experiences in spiritual piercing. From 1992-1997 he published Body Play and Modern Primitive Quarterly regularly as well as launched The Fakir Intensives in 1991, which still hosts classes to this day. 


Fakir and his close-knit community facilitated workshops and gatherings where individuals could come together to undergo these rituals collectively, creating a supportive and transformative environment. Through communal piercing experiences, Fakir fostered a sense of unity, understanding, and spiritual connection among participants.


Furthermore, Musafar actively promoted safe and responsible piercing practices. He stressed the importance of hygiene, sterilization, and proper aftercare to minimize the risks associated with piercing. His dedication to education and safety set the foundation for the professionalization of the piercing industry.

Fluidity of Gender 


Fakir Musafar's work challenged conventional notions of gender, embracing the fluidity and diversity that exist within the human experience. He believed that body modification, including piercing, offered a powerful means of expressing and exploring one's gender identity.


Musafar's own journey with gender fluidity was a source of inspiration for many. He viewed the body as a canvas upon which individuals could create their own narratives, free from the constraints of traditional gender roles. By pushing boundaries and exploring alternative gender expressions, Musafar paved the way for others to embrace their own authentic selves.


Fakir even had a femme persona named Fakiki she would do rituals as, wear corsets, and wear female-style attire for distinct periods of time.  


Through his extensive body modifications, including genital piercings and elaborate rituals, Musafar sought to transcend gender norms and embrace a holistic understanding of the human body. He challenged the idea that piercings were solely for aesthetic purposes, highlighting their potential as tools for self-discovery and empowerment.

If you’d like to read more about The History of Queer Piercing check out our other blog.


Piercing as a Spiritual Rite of Passage 


For Fakir, piercing was not just an outward expression or a form of self-decoration but a profound spiritual experience and a rite of passage. He believed that the act of piercing could help individuals connect with the world around them. 


That the body was the veil and pain was its currency through the threshold.  



Photo from Fakir Intensives


Fakir Musafar believed that spiritual piercings had the power to unlock hidden dimensions of the human experience. He saw the act of piercing as a means to transcend the boundaries of the mundane world and tap into the profound depths of one's spiritual being. Through piercing, Fakir believed that individuals could embark on a journey of self-discovery, confronting their fears, and embracing their true selves.


Musafar drew inspiration from various indigenous and ancient practices that viewed body modification as a sacred ritual. He sought to revive these ancient traditions and reintroduce them into modern society, emphasizing the spiritual significance of piercing.


Through his work, Musafar developed and popularized rituals such as the Sun Dance, which involved body piercings as a means of transcending physical limitations and achieving a higher state of consciousness. These rituals were not performed solely for personal growth but also to honor cultural heritage and preserve ancient traditions.


Moreover, Musafar emphasized the importance of intention and mindfulness during the piercing process. He encouraged individuals to approach piercing as a transformative journey, fostering self-reflection, personal growth, and a deeper connection to the spiritual aspects of life.


The Never Ending Cycle


Fakir Musafar's contributions to the piercing community were groundbreaking. He revolutionized the perception of piercing as more than a simple adornment. By emphasizing one’s spiritual dimension and its potential as a rite of passage, Musafar opened doors for individuals to explore their bodies, challenge gender norms, and embark on transformative journeys. His dedication to education, safety, and cultural preservation propelled the piercing community forward, fostering a greater understanding of the profound significance of body modification. 


Photo for Cleo & Fakir from Fakir Intensives


Fakir Musafar's legacy continues to inspire and empower countless individuals, leaving beautiful patterns on the world of piercing and beyond. As a master piercer, he along with Jim Ward, made many of the roots of the body piercing industry possible.


Fakir Musafar passed from lung cancer on August 1st, 2018, just 9 days before his 88th birthday.  


He will always be fondly remembered by the numerous people he pierced ritualistically as well as his spiritual legacy that will continue to echo for future piercing enthusiasts. 

Resources (Text & Photos) Used