Suicide. This is the name of one of the basic suspension positions. Sure, it's not a positive name. But there is a deep principle of ritual hidden in it.

With a suicide type hinge, the skin in the upper back is pierced with two hooks. The pull rises the skin on the back, the hanged has a slightly tilted head, so the position really resembles a hanged man. Looking hanged isn't exactly something people want. Therefore, the position is often simply named back.


I don't want a suicide

Several participants in Hell suspension workshops mentioned that it was precisely because of the name of the position that they did not choose suicide as their first curtain, although we recommend it at the beginning. "I don't want to hang on to suicide because I don't like the name. It's dark and reminiscent of death, and I don't want to associate that with hanging on hooks," says one of the participants. No wonder. Suicide carries a moral stigma in most societies. Moreover, "Western thought is permeated with a deep fear of death and aging" (Stephenson, 2012, p. 95).

Hooks on your own skin: Several times a year we organize Hell suspension workshops. Depending on the weather, we hang ourselves outside or indoors. If you are interested in the ritual of hanging on hooks, check out the

Symbolic Death

Anthropologists and psychologists, however, agree that the principle of death is an integral part of the rites of passage to which hanging on hooks or suspension belongs. This is not a physical death, but a symbolic death. It serves as a milestone and at the same time refers to the circle of life: birth – death – rebirth. This cycle is evident, for example, in nature during the changing of the seasons or we know it from the myth of the Phoenix reborn from his own ashes.

A rite of passage means that we are moving away from something to something else. We leave something behind and get something else. This is very pronounced in the rites of passage from childhood to adulthood, which are still practiced by various tribes, communities and indigenous peoples around the world. Modern suspension, as we do in Hell, does not predetermine what the participants are moving from. On the contrary, it gives them the freedom to use the aspect of ritual, passage and symbolic death and rebirth on what is current for them in their lives.

Smrt jako podstata rituálu

Symbolická smrt, tedy mezník, který nám pomůže vyznačit, kde končí staré a přichází nové, je v rámci rituálů často představován záměrným zraněním iniciovaného. Může jít o závěs na háky, tetování, jizvu nebo i jen malý řez do kůže. V případě, že by součástí rituálu nebylo riziko, strach a diskomfort představovaný v tomhle případě bolestí, neměl by rituál hloubku a tedy ani význam a schopnost transformovat (ibid., s. 94).

Symbolická smrt v podobě závěsu na háky má také za úkol vyvolat tzv. smrt ega. To je psychologický termín, který „označuje dokončení vývojového stádia nebo stav, kdy starší aspekt osobnosti uvolní místo nové obohacenější verzi“ (ibid., s. 94). To je podstatou přechodových rituálů.

By choosing to experience the ritual of suspension, we undergo symbolic death in order to learn and experience something and to continue to walk richer in life for that experience. The title of the position suicide, suicide, in this light loses its negative meaning. It reflects our willingness to undergo the symbolic suicide of the old self and move to a higher level.

The name suicide is not as elegant and poetic as the names of the suspension positions of lotus, ballerina or rising Venus, but it bears in rawness one of the basic principles of rites of passage that humanity has been practicing for thousands of years.


Literatura: STEPHENSON, Bret. Co dělá z chlapců muže: duchovní přechodové rituály ve věku nevšímavosti. Praha: DharmaGaia, 2012. Nová éra. ISBN 978-80-7436-019-0.