Caleb, 4 hook Suicide, SuspenDC, 2022/04/30, The Crucible, ShutterDoll

Suspend your disbelief.

Why We Fly

Some of you may be looking at these images and wondering:

“Why would anyone want to do this?!”

“What is going on here?!”

Hook experiences create trials by ordeal. The acts themselves pose relatively little danger to the individual when done with proper care, and the body heals from the piercings within a few weeks. Yet for some flyers, the endorphin rush of suspension brings unparalleled joy into their life for much longer. For others, the act of facing a fearful challenge head-on can change deeply held beliefs about themselves in an instant. For still others, there is something more, an aspect that we at SuspenDC honor and encourage folks to contemplate: the Magik that ordeal reveals. Every flyer has their own reasons, and those reasons make the challenge worthwhile.

At SuspenDC we welcome and support everyone seeking to gain awareness by challenging their point of view, no matter the viewpoint they start from.

The Body

We can frame the experience of the body throughout the ordeal in a number of ways.

Body sacred. The body is a sacred temple. As such, renovations, upgrades, paint jobs, and the like constitute temple beautification projects. A good temple reflects the tastes and nature of the god within.

Likewise, physical challenge shows the strengths in the structure, along with where improvements can be made. Enduring a physical challenge shows off who we are under stress. With that knowledge, one can strengthen the wanted parts and work on making change where needed. Experience the lesson of your body and come closer to your inner divine.

Body movement. The Divine can express itself through movement. Our bodies hear the Song of the Divine and must move to Its melody. Every heartbeat keeps time with the Song. Every turn, gesture, pause and movement are a visceral interpretation of the Song. There is music all around us and we must dance.

Body art. The Divine can express itself through the art we make of ourselves. The clothes we wear and what we do to our hair and nails are shadows cast by the Divine. Patterns of being that shift and change through time. Coming and going into and out of fashion. Beneath this ever changing skin, the patterns we create on our skin and in our skin show the Divine as we know it. Every symbol is a glyph of understanding. Every picture becomes a window looking in on the Divine. Every scar a sign of being touched by the Divine. We see an image of the Divine and allow it to be seen through us.

Feeling with the body. The Divine can be a feeling, quiet or loud, deep within. There is a drive within each of us to feel, a need to experience the world first hand at the level of our gut. We feel our way through life and into the Divine. With our skin, we feel the ever changing world of illusions to learn its secrets. Within our skin, we feel the Divine squirming and wriggling. It touches us softly to guide us. It shakes us to get our attention. Every feeling opens us up more and more to the Divine. Intensity approaches Divinity.

Body alchemy. The Magik of SuspenDC lies in our use of ancient ritual technology to explore the self and one’s connection to the divine through the experience of the moment, what we call body alchemy. We use the symbols of alchemy as a common language to talk about something deeply personal and experiential. Many terms are intentionally vague to allow the individual to hang their own meaning on it. Others present specific ideas that we each come to in our own terms.

We start with the idea that everything is an experiment. Good experiments have design and intention and are executed by a competent researcher. Every suspension has design behind it, some more complex than others. We encourage all flyers and dancers to bring intention to their experience; to know why you are struggling can make the struggle easier. Our suspension team has years of successful practice together. On with the experiments! In our sacred laboratory we turn the burners to full intensity. Hooks can only be described as a stressful experience. Within the lab, one finds the tools to manipulate the intensity in a variety of ways. When all the pieces work together well, a flyer lifts off. When they work perfectly, a wonder-filled person lands.

The Divine

At SuspenDC, we practice finding the Divine through our bodies and our experience. From the pain, sweat, and tears of our ordeal, we create a personal alchemical philosopher’s stone, an elixir of life that heals the body and soul. We push ourselves to discover what we can endure and then reap the rewards of persevering. We transform, and through ecstatic awareness, we reach the Divine.

Deep within us, the seed of the Divine sleeps. We struggle and work to wake it up and shake it out of Its dream. When we awaken the Divine within, we begin the process of discovering.

Once one has an awareness of the Divine within the Body, the Divine shows up in everything and in everybody we touch and allow to touch us.

Now the hard work begins. Finding peace, love, and the Divine can just happen in a safe space surrounded by supportive peers. Once you touch it, you must find a way to bring some of it home. If we can bring that awareness back to our everyday life after we come down from our hooks, we will have helped the world transform into a more Divine place to live.

So, we invite you to: Move. Feel. Touch. Be moved. Be felt. Be touched. Be Sacred. Be Art. Be Alchemy. Be Divine. Become. Be welcome. Be.