Are you thinking of getting a nose, ear, or other body piercing? Before getting any piercing, you need to pause and reflect on the message you want to communicate.
Yes, piercings are more than just symbols of good looks. Like tattoos and other body modifications, piercings express a variety of spiritual and moral meanings.
In fact, the Māori, the people of Africa, Aztecs, Indians, and Asians decorated their bodies with piercings to represent fertility, strength, protection, and wealth.
In this post, you will learn the spiritual meanings of body piercing. This way, you can find more clarity, spiritual purpose, and value in your piercing, rather than simple fashion adornments.
What Is the Spiritual Meaning of Piercings?
Throughout the centuries, many cultures have practiced body modifications, including tattooing, branding, piercing, and even mutilation.
However, the popularity of body piercings arises not only from the fashion statement they make but also from their spiritual significance.
1. Shield Themselves from Dark Forces
Many cultures practiced body piercings to shield themselves from dark forces. This holds for ear piercings because they thought evil spirits entered the human body via the ears. Therefore, wearing metal around the earlobe might stop the spirits from entering the body.
But it was not only metal, some cultures used feathers, stones, bones, and other things that could get implanted into the skin.
2. Controls Emotions
For other cultures, like the Hindus, piercing helped in aligning the solar plexus that controls emotions like self-esteem and willpower, particularly belly button piercing. Since piercing had such a significant meaning to the wearer, the jewelry used was selected with great care.
3. A Sign of Maturity
Egyptians saw piercings as a sign of maturity. As a fact, when a child approached puberty, they got their ears pierced to celebrate the event. But body piercings hold other significant cultural and spiritual meanings.
This is evident with the holes found on the ear lobes of the mummy of King Tutankhamun, the Pharaoh of ancient Egypt.
In many western cultures today, ear piercing is still seen as a sign of maturation. It marks the journey of an individual from childhood to adulthood. It’s also a representation of individuality or rebellion.
4. Recovery from Injury
Some individuals even use it to restore their physical and mental health after injury. Piercings also allow them to gain body and mind awareness after facing a life-threatening disease.
While the bible warns against cutting and tattooing the body of the dead, it says nothing about piercings. But remember, Hebrew women wore nose rings and earrings to symbolize beauty and blessing from God. So, it makes sense why some Christians would have piercings.
What Does a Piercing Symbolize?
Body piercing is an art that dates back five thousand years ago. As a fact, the oldest human mummy in existence, Otizi, had ear piercings. That means piercings played a significant cultural and spiritual role in even the old civilization. The same goes for modern civilization.
In terms of spirituality, body piercings can represent several symbols, some of which we’ve highlighted below. So, check them out!
In a world where everyone is out to step on you, it’s important to assert your individuality. Do not fear standing your ground and expressing your feeling to others.
But how can one be assertive without coming out too pushy or appearing insecure? That’s where piercing comes in.
Luckily, we live in a world where people are more accepting of piercings. They understand it’s a form of expression.
Concealed piercings, like nipple piercings or belly button piercings, allow the wearer to hold on to a sense of freedom, self-confidence, strength, etc. They also provide them with an effective way to take control of their lives.
2. New Beginnings
Piercing involves shedding a small amount of blood. The released blood means letting go of the past and embracing new beginnings. The act also symbolizes reclaiming your connection to your body, control over life, and integrity.
Like tattoos, piercings are common among individuals who have had a traumatic experience, be it in their early childhood or adulthood. This form of body art acts as a coping mechanism.
By getting a piercing, they can exchange negative energy and emotions for positive thoughts and feelings. As a result, these people can kick-start their healing journey.
After childbirth or sexual assault, intimate piercings can give women a sense of strength, agency, and protection.
The physical pain during piercing gives victims of assault and even self-harm a sense of control over their physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual state. It allows individuals to reclaim their bodies and heal the hurt.
Some people believe piercing and tattoos can also help undo any shame related to trauma. These body modifications act as a visual representation of an individual’s narrative, thus providing body reclamation and cathartic release.
4. Staged Passed
As mentioned earlier, piercings in western culture symbolized a stage passed. It denoted the shift from childhood to adulthood. Other cultures replaced ear piercing with ear stretching rituals. People wore different types of jewelry on the stretched ears not only to make a fashion statement but also to represent their state of consciousness.
Spiritual Meaning of The Different Body Piercings
1. Nose Piercing
In medieval times, a pierced nose was a sign of riches and prosperity. And only people from royal and important families could get this body piercing. But that’s not the case today! Anyone can get their nose pierced.
The spiritual meaning of nose piercing will vary depending on the side of the nose you pierce. According to Traditional Chinese medicine, the right side of the nose stands for male energy, while the left side represents female energy.
When done correctly, piercing on the right and left nostrils can also activate acupressure points for body and mind health and positive balance.
- Right Side
Piercing on the right side of the nose symbolizes confidence. It shows that you’re sure of yourself and your abilities. It also stands for consistency in your life and symbolizes a strong spiritual connection with your partner.
- Left Side
Like the right side, the left side of the nose also has a spiritual benefit. Indians believe the left-nostril links to a female reproductive organ, which in turn affect fertility. Therefore, a left-side nose piercing can help release distressing energy affecting a woman’s childbearing ability.
Besides standing for fertility, Africans believed the left nose piercing can help reduce menstrual cramps and ease labor pains in the absence of adequate healthcare.
The piercing also amplifies your emotional strength and offers protection against negative energy.
2. Septum Piercing
The septum is the cartilage or bridge that separates your nostril. Most women, especially from India, pierce the septum and place a ring or stud through it.
This is an ancient body modification process that dates back to Egypt and Greece. Ancient warrior tribes pierced the septum and inserted a bone to intimidate their enemies.
In terms of spirituality, septum piercing stands for fertility just like nostril piercing. In some cultures, it signifies a woman’s coming to age and in others, it’s a sign of success.
3. Ear Piercing
Common between men and women, ear piercing is an ancient ritual performed by several cultures around the world.
In China, acupressure and acupuncture done at different points of the ear can help improve one’s health and cure illnesses like Asthma.
In India, the piercing of the ear lobes opens a child’s inner ear for receiving scared sounds that help to cleanse sin and nurture the spirit.
4. Lip Piercing
Lip piercing is a popular cultural practice among the Nuba of Sudan and Ethiopia, the people of Papua New Guinea, and the Dogon people of Mali. However, this type of body modification can be found among people from the Amazon basin in South America.
For the Dogon people, lip piercing represented the world’s creation by the goddess Nomi. In other cultures, the piercing symbolized a strong connection to the spiritual realms.
5. Belly Button, Eyebrow, and Nipple Piercing
Belly buttons or navel piercings symbolize a person’s sexual passion. That explains why most belly dancers often get their navels pierced. The piercing awakens the sexual desire of men.
The only catch with belly button piercing is that it poses a few health risks. If not cared for properly, it can get infected with bacteria leading to swelling.
As for other forms of modern piercing like nipples, tongues, sexual organs, and eyebrows, some experts argue that they have no health or spiritual benefits. But others say pierced nipples can point to an individual sensuality, whereas eyebrow piercing stands for awareness of the body and a person’s ego.
Many people get body piercings as a form of self-expression for beauty and to make a fashion statement. But some focus on the spiritual significance of piercings, like healing, protection, and fresh beginnings.
So why do you want to get a piercing? Tell us in the comment section below!