A septum piercing, located in the area of cartilage that separates the two nostrils, has become an increasingly popular type of body modification in recent years. However, beyond just a fashion statement, septum piercings hold a variety of spiritual meanings and significance across different cultures throughout history.

Cultural History and Origins

  • Septum piercings have ancient roots, originating over 1500 years ago with the Aztecs and certain Native American tribes
  • They were seen as a symbolic rite of passage into adulthood and a sign of heightened social status
  • The piercing was believed to enhance spiritual vision and connectivity to the metaphysical world
  • It also represented prosperity, fertility, and life force

In India’s Hindu culture, septum piercings known as nath were traditionally worn by holy men and yogis. The piercing was thought to stimulate the ajna (or third eye) chakra, increasing intuition, spiritual awareness and vision during meditation.

Similarly in New Guinea and Borneo, tribal customs involved septum piercings as part of both male and female coming-of-age rituals. They signified entering a more spiritual phase of life and developing deeper connections to deities or ancestral spirits.

Modern Spiritual Perspectives

Today, even as septum piercings have been popularized in Western culture, they still retain much of their original spiritual symbolism:

Ritual and Rite of Passage

  • The actual process of getting a septum pierced can be seen as a meaningful, almost ceremonial experience
  • It can signify a transitional period into a new stage of personal growth and development
  • The pain and subsequent healing process echoes themes of endurance, strength and rebirth

Connectivity and Vision

  • In yogic philosophy, the area between the two nostrils relates to the ajna (or third eye) chakra
  • This chakra governs intuition and higher consciousness
  • A septum piercing can therefore serve as a symbolic stimulation of this energy center

Tribal Identity and Belonging

  • Septum piercings today are often adopted to connect with ancestral tribal heritage
  • They allow modern wearers to pay homage to ancient rituals and longstanding cultural traditions

The Meaning of Different Septum Jewelry

Beyond the piercing itself, the specific type of jewelry worn in a septum piercing carries additional symbolism:

Circular Barbells and Hoops

  • Represent eternity, universal oneness, and the sacred cycles of life
  • Also signify spiritual vision unobstructed by physical limitations

Spikes and Claws

  • Indicate inner strength, resilience, boundary setting and protection
  • In tribal rituals, claws were believed to ward off evil spirits


  • Signify lightness, freedom and transcendence into higher states of being
  • In some Native American tribes, feathers in septum piercings indicated the ability to communicate between earthly and spiritual realms

The Spiritual Practice of Septum Piercing Rituals

For some, the entire process around septum piercings – mentally preparing, getting pierced, healing, inserting jewelry – can become a meaningful spiritual practice when done with intention:

Preparing Mind, Body and Spirit

Prior to a piercing, mindfully center your spirit through meditation, reflection on your intentions, talking with guides, and visualizing handling discomfort with grace. Avoid alcohol/drugs to enhance clarity.

Piercing as Ritual

Approach the needling, pain and subsequent breathing and letting go as a sacred ritual. Allow it to open your consciousness and cement your intentions. You may wish to recite a mantra as the needle goes through the sweet spot.

Healing and Integration

During the healing process, be conscious of any lessons about patience, stillness and resilience. Integrate these into your spiritual practice. Use saltwater cleansing rituals.

Jewelry Insertion

When healed, mindfully inserting your first jewelry can represent the completion of a ritual. Awaken your spiritual vision as you open your eyes and integrate this new gateway in your nose.

In Summary

A septum piercing is ultimately much more than a modern fashion statement or trend. With its ancient tribal roots, intimate relationship with spiritual vision and vision, and potential for meaningful ritual, the septum piercing retains a powerful esoteric significance that transcends time, culture and personal expression. Whether as a rite of passage, stimulator of intuition, or a symbolic act of eternal belonging, the septum piercing can hold deep spiritual meaning for those who choose to embody it.