Some longtime Modified Mind readers might remember a previous Agni Kudra Profile, entitled Agni Kudra: Dreaming of Faeries. Agni requested that Profile be removed from this e-zine, as she felt it no longer reflects the person she has become. Agni's dreams of faeries might not be as intense as the original Profile suggested, but she has come a long way in discovering the important role body modification plays in her life.
What body modifications do you have?
I have 9 piercings left, 3 implants on my arms (2 silicone stars and a stainless steel heart), a split tongue, many tattoos, and a couple of years ago I finally got my ears pointed.
9 piercings left, so are you phasing the piercings out?
Not consciously; I've just lost a few, got sick of a few, and I'm mostly into getting tattooed at this point.
Are the implants incorporated into your tattoo work or are they
I've chosen the implants with an idea of a tattoo that I want over/around them. The stars are accented in my hand tattoos, and the heart that I got will one day have the veve for Ezili Freda around it.
What are your inspirations behind getting into body modification?
It's something that I was always attracted to from a very young age. A lot of different tribes I saw in National Geographic inspired me when I was younger, long before I actually realized I could do these things to myself. I'm still very attracted to the Wodabe and Yanomamo tribes. For a while I was very inspired by all of the activity in my life revolving around body modification. Now I am just inspired by the things and ideas I've wanted to express for a while through tattoos.
Why those specific tribes?
I just find the Wodabe men to be incredibly beautiful. When they have on their make up to find their brides, there is just something about their dancing, eye rolling, and big, wide smiles. I really like the facial piercings the Yanomamo women have. I enjoy their culture and the way their community works.
What are your future body modification plans?
At this point I just have major tattoo work planned. For the last five years I've pretty much only been worked on by my good friend Nate Hudson (please check out his website at www.opticnervearts.com). He's done a lot of work on me. We have my sleeve half finished, and for the last two years we've been working on my back piece so the sleeve has been put off. Nate died in March and it's been a really hard time for me emotionally. He was one of my best friends. If you check out his art on his website you can see what an incredibly talented artist he was. Everyone has lost something with his passing....it's kind of put a damper on my plans. His good friend Pedro is working at Optic Nerve Arts, the shop Nate and his wife Tracy owned, and I think he will eventually finish up my back piece and sleeve because Nate would have wanted him to be the one to finish his work. Right now I still feel very strange at the thought of anyone besides Nate working on me...it's been three months and I'm still going through my initial processes of realizing that my good friend is gone. I miss him a lot.
Other than that, I do want to try getting my cheeks pierced again sometime soon, and maybe my other conch. At this point I don't see myself getting any more implants done.
In the original interview with you, we focused on a few topics -- among
those was a full body transformation involving faeries and your involvement
with Trance Send.
First of all, are you still involved with Trance Send?
Trance Send was a suspension group that hasn't been around for a few years. I think there are a few groups in Portland now, but that's not something I keep too up on. My involvement with the group ended quickly after the last interview was done. After my first suspension I wanted to be able to do that all the time, and so I got interested in Trance Send. But the more I thought about it I knew it just wasn't for me; for me getting suspended is a really private thing and there is no way I want to have a bunch of people gawking at me when I'm in a very private headspace. I may as well invite everyone to my house to watch me have sex or watch me have a ritual by myself. I find it somewhat tacky.
How many times were you suspended while with Trance Send?
You said you never suspended with Trance Send, who has been involved in the suspensions you've done?
I've never done anything with any groups, just with friends. I don't think it matters who has suspended me.
Was it just a realization that public suspension wasn't for you or was
the group not a good fit?
I was just really turned off pretty quick about the public side of it. After I was first suspended it was such a great experience that I wanted to be able to do it all of the time. But once I really started thinking about how it would make me feel to do it in front of a gawking crowd I realized that wasn't the way for me to go about it.
You prefer private suspension, but can be seen in a Gallery on Modified Mind (Agni & Sasha: A Modified Wedding) suspending while taking vows.
By private I mean not on stage. I've been suspended in the woods with just a few of us there, and I've been suspended during my friend's December 11th event surrounded by over fifty people, and both of those times felt private.
You've been involved with fire dancing as well, which is performance
based, so one might find it odd that you seem turned off by public
suspension...what's the difference in your opinion?
There's nothing really spiritual or life effecting for me doing a fire show. When I got involved with fire it really was one of the most transformative periods I've gone through, and it meant a lot to me. But suspension is something that is just a really private ritual for me. There are times I play with fire alone with friends, and that is a great time. But mostly it is a performance like juggling or doing a magic trick. It's a show of skill, which suspension is not.
What would be your ideal suspension?
I've had my ideal suspension. That was in the woods at my favorite camping spot, hoisted between two trees that it took us a few hours to get everything set up on. I had a handful of friends there and it was so nice being outside. I did pass out, though, which wasn't too good. I would have been fine with it but a couple of my friends had never seen anyone pass out while suspended and they insisted that I be brought down.
Have you continued your quest for the full body transformation?
I think something got sort of lost in translation in the original interview over this subject....I didn't ever feel that I was seeking a full body transformation. I don't think there is really anyway to do such a thing with faeries. I wanted my body to be a little more faerie like, and I suppose that has happened with the ears. I remember wishing I could get hip implants, but that's nothing that I believe would be practical or even possible.
If the hip implants were a possibility though...
I would have at one point in time, but it's nothing I have any interest in anymore. I don't see myself getting any more implants ever again.
Tell us about the ear pointing.
Steve Haworth did them. It was a pretty good experience. It was extremely painful and the healing process was horrendous. But we did them in my room, so that made it a lot more pleasant experience.
What was horrendous about the healing process of the ear pointing?
Fourteen gauge sutures are very uncomfortable!!! And I had scabs surrounding the top of my ear that were probably over an eighth of an inch thick; just one giant scab. It was pretty unappealing to look at, even for me. So I wore a beanie down over my ears for two weeks at work until I could take the sutures out. That didn't make it any more comfortable. It was just an extremely painful process to have done, and the healing wasn't really any better. I could feel my heart beat in my ears a lot; that sort of pain.
How long did the ears take to fully heal?
Honestly I don't remember. I think the sutures were in two weeks, and they were still healing after I took those out. I remember wishing I had left them in longer.
"Full body transformation" might have been overstating it, but do you
feel you have succeeded in attaining the look you desired or do you feel
there are still some ways you could enhance the faerie look?
I don't really have any interest in enhancing any sort of look anymore. I just get more and more tattoo work done. With how long I've been working on my back piece that's really the only thing I think about. It will be so much longer until it is done now that Nate has died that I don't spend much time even planning out any future work.
For those wondering, the original interview was removed at your
request. Can you tell us the reasons behind your request?
A few people at work took it upon themselves to tell every person that ever walked through the door about it. I have no shame about my body or what I've done or what I have to say, but it was just tiring at work. I don't appreciate being a conversation piece, and I don't really enjoy tons of attention over what I've done to my body. I know it's more...interesting maybe than other things I or someone else could do, but it's just not something I need to hear about all the time. The cherry on the cake was walking into my new boss's office and my co-worker at the time had just had him pull up the interview. We're in the middle of work for chrissakes, and here Tony is, "man, you have to check this out." It really pissed me off. There was just a lot on there that I didn't feel people needed to see, and even the things I had to say got to be irritating to me because I feel so differently about everything at this point in my life -- I'm thirty now -- then when I was 24 or 25.
Other than the issues created by the original interview, have your body
modifications really caused any problems with your employer/co-workers?
Not at all.
How has your view of body modification and people's reactions to it
changed since the initial interview?
It's just not my driving force anymore. Of course I'm into it; I think I'll be getting tattooed for many, many years to come. It's nothing that is going to stop. But I'm just not into it being the primary topic socially, online, all the damn time anymore. A lot of things just led to me being burnt out with the social passion I once had. I'm not going to go into what those things are. And as far as people's reactions to it, I could still just really care less. I suppose it's not something I want everyone at work freaking out over, I don't need to deal with that there, but I just really don't care. It's no cause for defensiveness on my part, and people looking at me just doesn't phase me. I've got better things to do and worry about.