Tag Archives: sacred sexuality

New Year New You 2016: Week Eight – Shoulder to the Wheel

I’m doing Miss Sugar’s New Year New You Experiment in Radical Magical Transformation (again) because I find it’s a really good way to kick my own ass into getting things done. You should try it!
 
Instructions: “What’s the hardest thing for you to do? What do you keep putting off? Do it now. Grit your teeth and push, baby. You’re making something beautiful, don’t stop now. Show the universe what kind of wonders you’re capable of this week.”
 
Tarot Card: Two of Cups.
Maybe it’s telling that I’m chosing a “feelings” card rather than a “passions” card for this entry. I almost wanted to choose the Six of Cups – for a lot of reasons, including the generocity & reunion aspects of it, but also the more bitter, painful aspects (naivete, being out of your depth) – but felt like that would be setting myself up for failure.
In the Wildwood deck, this card is “Attraction“, and sticks with a fairly traditional meaning for this card (which is sort of “The Lovers” Lite, if you want to put it that way). In the Osho Zen deck, on the other hand, it’s “Friendliness” (an image that calls up that “grow not in each other’s shadow” quote from The Prophet, at least for me), which is also accurate, but less typical (I find). Either way, this card tends to mean “starting over” – sometimes that means “starting over with someone new”, and other times it means “reconciliation” or a change in the way two(?) people relate to each other. I think it can sometimes mean “enfatuation” or “NRE” as well, but I’d need to look into it a little more. Regardless, it’s sometimes characterized as a “passive” card, or a card whose indications hinge a LOT on context which… feels appropriate for this week’s prompt.
 
Thoughts:
Way back in Week Two, I talked about how “It’s hard to think of ‘receiving’ as something I can initiate”. And it still is. (And I also kind of am falling down that whole Second Chakra Energy money-and-sex rabbit hole, even if I’ve mostly staved it off for the past while). I touched on this feeling in Week Three, as well, when I talked about how being “proactively receptive” would involve being both More Trusting and More Vulnerable (which worked out so well…), and now I’m here, and this week’s prompt is asking me to do the Hard Thing that I’ve been putting off.
 
The first time I looked at the Osho Zen depiction of the Queen of Cups (Receptivity), what I saw in her double-helix-stemmed lotus blossom body was the Chalace (Brittish Traditional Wiccan style, in case you missed the metaphor). I keep thinking about the message to Slow Down from back in early April, and about not being as in my body as I thought I was and, maybe it’s because of the afore-mentioned sex-and-money rabbit hole, but I kind of feel like the Hard Thing I’ve been putting off is sex, specifically bottoming in sexual situations. (It’s something I can do, and something that I can enjoy a LOT… but I’m also really out of practice, and the last few times I’ve tried it, things have not ended well. I’ve wound up clinging to my various partners asking them over and over “Are you safe? Are you okay?” – a dissociative Thing where it’s pretty easy to spot what I’m really asking. FML.
And I’m fucking tired of it!
 
So I did a Hard Thing the other night, and asked for something specific from someone specific. And the someone specific said Yes.
 
Which you’d think would have been it for the hard part, but you would be wrong!
Turns out, there’s a whole other Hard Part that I didn’t even know was there!
 
So. Working this out:
Brené Brown writes (in The Gifts of Imperfection, iirc) that Joy is one of the most vulnerable feelings out there, and that because of this, people (i.e.: ME) are quick to numb out joy with things like Preemptive Tragedy or by setting up a permanent campsite in the Slaugh of Despond (perpetual, pre-emptive disappointment).
 
Slogging through the internal landscape of what I think I am, and am not, Supposed To feel – I’m not supposed to want things OR I’m supposed to “want things” but only in-so-far as I’m able to psychically predict what other people want to me to want, which I an then present to them like it was all my idea OR Wanting specific things is greedy, and makes you a burden/bother, and you should know better than to be like that OR You can WANT things all you like, but actually ASKING for them is heaping social pressure on someone else to do what you want, whether they want to or not, so you might as well just tattoo “rapist” on your forehead and get it over with, you horrible, horrible, self-centred, demanding jerk… You get the idea. Slogging through that stuff is hard. Getting the words out of my mouth is hard. But, for me at least (and in a situation where there was at least a 50% chance of getting a Yes in the first place), it was even harder to get through what came after.
 
The Hard Thing, it turns out, is stopping myself from slamming my own fist down on hope and joy by telling myself All The Stories – stories like “They’re just saying yes to be ‘nice’ to you, they don’t really want to do this and you should just let them off the hook before you screw this up even worse” OR “Okay, you’ve asked, and they’ve said yes. Now what happens if you freeze up and reneg on the deal? What happens then, huh? You’ll have Led Them On and then Let Them Down, that’s what! Maybe you should just call the whole thing off before you screw this up even worse”.
 
The hard part is staying open, and it took recognizing the feeling as one I’d had before (over a year ago actually, back when C first said they were interested in me and I spent a train-ride home from Toronto wanting to sob my eyes out because I was so full of hope that was trying so hard to turn into despair) for me to figure out what was happening.
Maybe if (when?) I feel that feeling again, I’ll be able to recognize it and tell myself: “Wait! This isn’t something that you have to squash! Stay hopeful! Stay open! This is already going somewhere good!”
 
Staying open felt like being filled up to overflowing (with something really positive), feeling a little overwhelmed and like I needed to dial things back or else Something Would Go Wrong… But it didn’t, in and of itself, feel bad. And staying emotionally open had some er… pleasant side-effects on the physical front? Yay? 🙂
 
I think that feeling – brim-full and possibly overflowing, but able to accept that more is coming – is the Queen of Cups Feeling.
 
I read something in Healing Sex (which I’d forgotten I’d bought years ago and in-which I’d already made a bunch of notes) the other day, about how as you push through barriers, you are going to feel all the uncomfortable, crappy feelings all over again, and you’re going to have to figure out which of those uncomfortable (emotional and/or phsyical) sensations are crappy-and-triggering because you don’t like them, versus which ones are uncomfortable but actually okay (like: If you try to stop yourself from getting turned on because of bad experiences or feelings around getting turned on during a Bad Situation, it’s okay to continue with a Good Situation, even if you are trying not to get turned on, and you might be able to let yourself get turned on in those Good Situations eventually). This reminds me a little of that.
 
Learning (or remembering?) how to discern which Intense Feelings mean “stop” versus which ones mean “keep going”, rather than treating all of them as “This is Too Intense! ACK!” is… kind of a big deal? I feel kind of like I’ve had a penny-drop moment, albeit probably one that’s going to involve a lot of practicing before it becomes something I can do without having to talk myself thorugh it on a concious level. (Although talking myself through “stay hopeful, stay open” in the emotional sense is actually a mega-tonne easier than talking myself through “stay in your body, don’t over-think everything” in the physical sense has ever, ever been, possibly for obivous reasons).
 
I have a chunk of rose quartz tucked into my bra, near my heart. I have Plans for this, but one of them is a little bit of self-glamoury to keep some love-for-me close at hand when I need it.
Touching on the Two of Cups again, the Mary-El version, as Beth Maiden puts it, depicts the “[…J]oy of emotional connection, the sublimity of blending energies[…]”. Of offering and accepting and receiving and offering back; of feeding each other.
I want to do this with my partner(s).
I want to build on this and keep opening.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad.

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Y is for Yes – Pagan Blog Project 2014

Some of my favourite YA and Middlegrade books are about characters who say Yes. Meaning: characters who make choices and live by them, who dive in with their eyes open, who strive.
I am a fairly fearful person when you get right down to it. And fear is enough to keep me frozen in one spot far too long and far too easily.
 
I’m fearful right now, as it happens. The tarot reading I did for my birthday included the Tower card in the “future” position, and – while I think it might still wind up being A Good Thing – I am absolutely DREADING what it means. What’s going to crumble? What’s going to fall apart? I’m scared.
Scared enough that I put the pictures away and haven’t done a full-scale interpretation yet.
Scared that I’m going to lose someone I love (because isn’t that my deepest fear, right there?)
 
And yet… Yes.
Yes, because I’m still chasing ecstasy (in a two-steps forwards, one step back kind of way); still singing, however intermittently; still taking baby-step after baby-step towards fully practicing my polyamoury. Every tiny Yes makes the next one a little bit easier, every tiny Yes brings me closer to myself.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

U is for Unholy Harvest (Sacred Desire Ritual) – Pagan Blog Project 2014

Hey!
So I’m just back from nearly a week in Toronto, seeing my People and my extended leather family/phamily, and it’s been a wonderful thing. I mean, yes, I’ve got “Con Crud” with the sore throat, slight fever, and runny every-damn-thing that go with it, but it was still a wonderful thing.
Every year there’s a current of Woo that runs through Harvest. A lot of us aren’t Woo People – either because we’re atheist-skeptic types who want nothing to do with that stuff, or because we’re “Woo Adjacent” but understand it in psychological/physical terms rather than magical/mystical/spiritual/religious/energetic terms, or because their particular Faith does Woo differently from the pagan weird-ball types that crave this kind of ritual – but a tremendous number of us are Woo People, are witches and tantricas, TCM & Reiki practitioners, warlocks and Wiccans and Heathens, who make up this subsection of my People who need to put our roots down in this space/Space together.
And we did ritual this year: On purpose, and as a group.
Now, before I get into it, I want to just acknowledge that some of the venue rules (no open flames, essentially) were broken, and I’m not okay with that. I understand the importance of having Actual Fire in this kind of ritual, both because it’s a ritual about desire and because there’s nothing like candle light in this digital/electronic world to open the doors in people’s minds that say “we’re outside of the every-day now”. But in ritual space it really is the thought that counts, and I know that. A flickering LED “tea light” in a red glass cup, blessed and dressed appropriately will accomplish the same ends (I’ve had way too many moments of “Oh, yeah, you don’t need to blow this one out” to not know that they make really excellent stand-ins for wax candles) without putting us at risk of losing our ritual/play/learning space or our opportunity to keep doing rituals like this in this space.
So there was that.
BUT.
The ritual itself was pretty amazing.
Given what I’ve been studying over the past year or two, I was able to recognize a lot of the threads that went into it (or relate what went into it to stuff I’ve been studying… I won’t know which is which until I’ve had a chance to swap book lists with a couple of awesome femme witchy types, but still). I saw elements of Reclaiming, of Barbara Carellas style Tantra, of (Blue Star?) Feri, of Wild Wood ecstatic techniques, as well as touches of martial arts sparring that had been retooled into something more erotic and dance-like, and breathing techniques that I recognize from my own (rather rusty) singing practice. There was a lot of body work and some trust/touch stuff happening as well.
I cried through a lot of it, which is not surprising.
The over-arching work of the ritual was to create a sigil that called up/in your deepest desire. I won’t tell you what mine is (clearly), but I feel like I’ve taken another step towards putting myself all the way back together again, which is a good thing. What surprised me was how easy it was to come up with a sigil for this particular working. Usually I draw a total blank when it comes to stuff like that, so I’m taking the ease of that creativity as a good sign.
Beyond that, my partner for one of the body exercises told me she had a good time “meeting my horned beast” and her words shot through me because I know where my horned beast lives. Walk onto my shadow-bus and he’s in the front row, sometimes with a bull’s head, sometimes with a boar’s. It was kind of like having a puzzle piece slot into place, like… “Oh! That’s who you are, that’s where you fit. That’s what this face in the basement of my brain relates to in how I live and what I do.”
I mean, I have no clue what to do with that information, exactly, but… at least I have that information. Y’know?
The other thing that happened, that was big enough to be picked up on by other people (I think, going by the comments one of my friends made after the fact) was that, during the energetic washing portion of the ritual, I called in water to wash me over, and she came. Like, two BIG waves that bowled me over and rocked me in that rocking-in-the-spirit kind of way.
So it was big. And I got to sing. And I have a piece of the thread we used – symbolic of blood ties – to connect us all together, which I’ve since spun into the yarn that will go into making of the stripes on my fetish shawl (my spinning kit was in the room, pretty-much by accident, for the whole thing which, like… I feel like that was a necessary thing as well as a happy accident, y’know?) so things are… coming along and doing what they need to do to be what they need to be. Which sounds kind of weird, when I write it down, but there it is.
My wife was waiting for me when I came out, and I asked her “are you getting anything off of me right now?” and she told me I was glowing like a lighthouse and “Oh, god, the photons”. Which kind of matched how I was feeling, so it’s nice to know it wasn’t just me… y’know?
So that was the (deliberate) holy ground at Unholy Harvest. I hope we get the chance to do it again. ❤
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

Q is for Queerness (Otherness, Sexual Deviance, and The Witch) – Pagan Blog Project 2014

So… Miss Sugar has a post on Being The Other as a witch (in the sense of magical-practitioner/spell-crafter rather than in the sense of someone who practices Wicca). This has got me thinking about queerness again and about how “witch” is tied up with “sexually deviant woman” in much the same ways as “slut” and “dyke”. See… I do magic. Sometimes I even do it professionally, as folks who have commissioned jewelry from me will know. I’m a spell-crafter, as well as an arts-and-crafter, if you will. 😉 I’m also a femme dyke and a professional naked person and, as such, I’ve got some personal freedoms tied up with the human rights of (and denial there-of, and the resulting tacit encouragement of violence against) sexworkers. I live in a neighbourhood where multiple people make their living – in an official, “I’ve got signage in my front windows” capacity – as diviners and fortune tellers and umpteen others do so in a more casual/unofficial way (myself included).
 
My neighbourhood is full of (a) racialized and/or immigrant/new-comer people, (b) kinky, poly dykes, (c) broke-ass, working-poor, fixed-income, and otherwise economically-screwed people, (d) sexworkers in various fields & on various career paths, and (e) folks who are some or all of the above at the same time. It’s a neighbourhood that is full of Othered People, is what I’m getting at. If you’ve ever read “Baseball Magic” (or Mama Fortuna’s blog, for that matter), you’ll know that people turn to spell-craft and divination and similar when they can’t control their situation through more mundane means. No surprises, then, that neighbourhoods where marginalized people tend to live also tend to be neighbourhoods where witchcraft flourishes (relatively speaking, at least) as a trade.
It’s also not surprising, being as we live in The Patriarchy, that women who know-damn-well that they possess personal and sexual agency and don’t act like good, little, self-policing Stepford Wives competing for men’s attention, are (a) scary as fuck to said Patriarchy, and (b) Othered all the heck because of it.
 
Witch has always been a word leveled, like a threat, against “sexually deviant” (too pretty, too ugly, too wanted, too wanting, too available, not available enough…) women. So has “dyke”. So have “slut” and “whore”. We are all related.
Glamour is a tool of the vamp, the femme fatale, the witch as beautiful seductress. Femininity is art/artifice/artificial, set up in our cultural narrative as lie in order to make masculinity look “natural” and “honest” next to us.
 
This shows up everywhere from the damn Maleus Malificarum to the fairy tale witch who is set up as “woman gone wrong” with her stealing/eating of children, her house on chicken-legs or made of questionable-yet-alluring materials, her seducing of men away from their wives, her dangerous beauty; to relatively recent pop-culture icons like: the spooky, short-skirt-wearing, self-identified “weirdo” girls in The Craft; Jilly the “bad girl” in Practical Magic – who was totally comfortable using her power to her own advantage and who was also kinky, promiscuous, and generally “wayward”, right alongside her “good girl” sister Sally’s status as a witch being an open secret “she’s… different” whose “coming out” is commented upon by her co-workers – two characters who, in different ways, ping dyke buttons on their own; Willow Rosenberg who, as she grew in her power and her comfort there-with, also came out as a dyke and took a trip down her own “wayward”, stand-in-for-recreational-drug-use, path; and Lisle Von Rhuman (Death Becomes Her), the seductive, sensual, dominant, sorceress who holds the secret to eternal life and perpetual youth.
 
Goddess Spirituality, labrys pendants, and similar iconography have had a few surges in popularity as a means of flagging dyke to women who might want to hook up with you – the late 70s and early/mid 90s being two that I can think of myself. (Starhawk definitely had a hand, intentionally or not, in that one. Morning Glory Zell, too, for that matter – bi, poly, and pagan both of them).
 
Slut, dyke, and witch are all set up as “home-wreckers” in various ways, and thus contrasted to the “home-maker” status of idealized/expected/“respectable” (safe) womanhood.
Whore, Slut, Femme, Dyke… Witch.
Witches are transgressors.
We are Circe, every one of us.

F is for Fetish – Pagan Blog Project 2014

So, Lee Harrington has a podcast about leather and spirituality (yeah, yeah, that totally narrows it down), in which he says “It’s called a fetish for a reason” with regards to the power/symbolism with-which we imbue certain fabrics (leather, rubber, as just a couple of examples).
I tend not to wear my leather skirts to Any Old Event. I wear them almost-exclusively to kink-related events (with some added queer events thrown in because Representing). Part of this is, honestly, because my leather clothes are not that comfortable. They’re fine, as clothes go, but they tend towards pencil skirts and corsetry, which means they’re not the best for every-day Getting Things Done wear.
None the less, the idea of clothing as Objects of Power and Place, is both (a) a thing that gets me thinking, and (b) something that has resonated with me since my mid/late teens.
See, back when I was dressing my most gothically – complete with black lipstick and velvet everything, even on my most casual days – I still had what I thought of as “Regalia”. I think we all did. Our very best dress which – like leather garments, particularly gifted ones, in the Leather Community – were on par with full formal wear. When I dressed in that stuff, did my makeup all the way, added the extra, more cumbersome accessories (the finger armour, the rings connected to bracelets by delicate chains, the collars, the ear cuffs, the pony-falls and veils), I felt like I was putting on Full Ceremonial Dress: Regalia.
 
And – possibly because my leather clothes aren’t the easiest to move in, but also because I’m investigating Sacred Kink and Leather Woo more and more these days – I find myself wanting some sort of Ceremonial Garb. Something elegant and comfortable (and warm, but not oppressively so) that I can toss on to Formalize whatever I happen to be wearing (or not wearing) to this Ritual or that Leather Event.
I am making myself a shawl. Knitting it myself and, in a lot of cases (the shawl is, essentially, going to be a bunch of sewn-together scarves) hand-spinning the yarn as well. And, when I thing about this shawl, I see myself at Unholy Harvest. I see it fringed with bone beads and stone rings, soaking up all the sex-blood-desire energy – and also the home-phamily-tribe energy – of that time-outside-of-time world. I think about the way the colours I’ve chosen to spin together for my colourful stripes (a) are reminiscent of the bi pride flag, and (b) unexpectedly correspond to my own kinks (see: Hanky Code) in remarkably accurate ways: Purple. Maroon. Fuschia. Dark blue. Black. I didn’t pick them for those reasons – I picked them because they look good on me – but they work out that way anyway.
I think about the fact that wool – like leather – was once alive, came off the back of someone else, and that matters to me, that’s part of what makes it magical, makes it holy. I think about the fact that, as the creator of this object (on a number of different levels), I will be imbuing it was a lot of my own energy – and that effects the mindset that I try to hold while I’m working on it. Spin joyfully. Knit with love and certainty. That kind of thing. (Like making bread).
I think it’s that – the mix of magico-religious materials and the imbuing of an object with power and place – that make me think of this shawl as “kinky attire”. It’s “fetish” wear in the religious sense, and that’s carrying over (in multiple directions) to “fetish” wear in the bdsm/leather sense of the word.
 
Anyway. Thinky thoughts.
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.

New Year New You – Reflections, Two Years Later

So, Miss Sugar did some reflecting on the as-of-now results (out-growths? Maybe that’s a better term?) of her New Year New You experiment.
 
So I thought I’d jump on that bandwagon and have a look at my own goals from Solstice 2011.
 
Specifically, I want to look at this:
 

I want my LIFE to be this glorious mash-up of art and sex and joy and beauty, I want my LIFE to be built on and fueled by, and in a symbiotic relationship with, pleasure in all its many forms.

 
I spent last summer learning how to structure a novel, and one of the key must-haves for the main character is a time-bound and measurable goal.
The above is not a time-bound or particularly measurable goal.
It’s an admirable goal, one that I still deeply want to achieve, but it’s not something like “finish a novel” or “update my etsy site once a month”.
 
Never the less, I do feel like I made some (nebulous, granted) progress.
At the end of 2011, I was working a temp job. I’ve worked one temp job in the past year, and I did it in a situation where my wife had been laid off unexpectedly and I needed to make sure the rent got paid. Otherwise, I’ve been coving my portion of the rent (typically about 1/3) plus the vast majority of our groceries and our various hotel bills and registration fees (two conventions – The Feminist Porn Awards back in April, and Unholy Harvest this past October) through my work with a queer-and-trans health organization (the day job), art modeling, fetish work & glamour modeling, craft sales (very, VERY limited), freelance writing (mostly content and landing pages), and transcription work.
Which is pretty good, as far as making a living goes. I wouldn’t be able to do it (at least not like this) if I didn’t have my wife contributing to our household income as well. But I’m holding up my end of things, even if it is by the skin of my teeth.
 
I have to tell you, from a “making money” perspective, things are… a little demoralizing, in spite of all that. My craft business is feeling like a non-starter[1]. Which is not the end of the world, but it’s still… frustrating. When someone buys a piece of my work, I am joyful and motivated to make a dozen more. But real-time craft shows aren’t reliably profitable enough (I don’t think I’ve ever failed to make my table fee back, so it’s not like I’m in the hole, but there have been a number of times when that’s all I’m managed, and it’s felt like a real waste of a day) for me to be confident in shelling out for table fees that I can only aford if I make money at the show. Online sales are rare – loved, but rare. I know that I’m happier making items for my home and as gifts (where I know they’ll either be used or – at the very least – be removed from my house) than I am making items for sales that might never come to fruition.
I didn’t get a whole lot of modeling last semester. I got some, thank goodness, and what I got was good money. But not as much as I might have. I’ve sent out my every-four-months email saying that I’m taking bookings for January-April, but I’ve only had one response (I’ll send another one out in early January, though, once the schools have started up again). The woman who reliably hired me for a full week (~18-22 hours at $20/hr) of modeling, twice a year, isn’t working this year (crap). Currently, I’m looking at alternatives, sending out applications, and hoping that I can get some more reliable (and/or more profitable) work in short order.
 
It’s really easy for me to get distracted by money.
 
I mean, go figure, right? This stuff that one needs to get by, day to day, is kind of a big deal, even if I wish it wasn’t. It’s really easy to get hung up on things like “If I’m doing crafts “for fun” (home use), rather than sale, then… why am I treating this as anything other than a hobby?” or “If I rarely get accepted for publication, hate the main character in my novel-in-progress, and rarely get paid when I *do* get published… why am I not just writing fanfic and finding a “real job[2]” to cover the bills instead of insisting on calling myself A Writer?” or various other variations on the theme of “I’m not making a realiable living[3] wage, so why am I calling myself a professional artist, again?”
 
And that distraction comes into play when I consider where I’m at in relation to that previously stated goal.
 

I want my LIFE to be this glorious mash-up of art and sex and joy and beauty, I want my LIFE to be built on and fueled by, and in a symbiotic relationship with, pleasure in all its many forms.

 
So where am I on this, and what steps am I taking to further it?
 
I spend a lot of my time being creative. Some of that is working on The Novel and other written projects (“Poly and Power: Queer Women Writing On the Intersections of Consensual Non-Monogamy and Power-Exchange” and “Eat The Seasons” potentially also titled “The Year of the Pig”), but a lot of it comes out in home-crafts like candle making, weaving, spinning, knitting, and (oh hell yeah) cooking.
The cooking, in particular, fits into the hedonism/pleasure part of that goal.
I’m supporting my wife as she builds her dream career as a cobbler and custom leather worker (it’s going rather well – she’s looking for shop space at the moment, and if she can make that happen, then we’re golden), which means I’m supporting pleasure and creativity and the making of beautiful things in the life of someone near and dear to me. Which I think is part of this deal.
I’m trying to find ways to get more and better-paying fetish-related gigs, partially because they’re fun and I like them, and partially because I think they’re in line with Where I Want To Go.
I’m looking forward to attending the Feminist Porn Conference (two days this coming year!) in April, and potentially going to Playground (we’ll see what their workshop line-up is like) in November.
I’ve signed up for a course on spirit work run by a kinky-type (I think) who gets stuff like ordeal rituals (which are connected to some of the stuff I do), and I’m working my way through Radical Ecstasy as well. I took a leather leadership course last year (which got cancelled part way through, but still), and started the very earliest parts of prepping for editing an anthology (finding a publisher being a big one – I think I’ve got one, so yay – and figuring out what I actually want the book to be about – also pretty much sorted). I’m going out to a leather-dyke bar night that happens to include a lot of karaoke, which means that I’m (eating really good locally-sourced food and) singing a lot more than I was this time last year. I continue to run my Poly and Power Salons. I’m paying attention to when magical/energetic stuff Happens to/through me, and trying to sort out how that works.
 
I’m working at it, is what I’m getting at.
 
I told my wife what my goal was/is, and she said “It kinda looks like you’re accomplishing that really well.”
And I said “Uh…” … Because there’s that unspoken “and make money at it” part that’s hard to shake. But, yeah. I’m getting there. I’m doing it. Now all I need to do is (A) do it more, and (B) get it to pay me reliably.
 
Wish me luck on those two fronts. 🙂
 
 
TTFN,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] I read that book, Book Yourself Solid (Illustrated Version), and… yeah. Maybe it’s because I offer a product rather than a service, but there’s no cute quip of a tag-line for why people would by my jewelry or soap or lip balm instead of the next eco-freak’s, magical properties or no magical properties. “Pick-me-up treats made with Magic in Mind”? Accurate? Sure. But not necessarily something that makes me stand out all that much. Anyway…
 
[2] Meaning, of course, a job that eats 8 hours of my day, plus commute, give me zero personal fulfilment, stunts my creativity, probably also pays me inadiquately, and makes me want to cry in my cubical under Big Brother’s snearing, overpaid nose.
 
[3] Meaning “survival wage” because “poverty line” is so far above my personal gross income that it’s a distant dream, quite frankly.

S is for Sacred Sexuality – Pagan Blog Project 2012

Okay. Strictly speaking the concept of sex – in the sense of both body and desire – as holy is rooted pretty deeply in neo-paganism, whether we’re talking about Wicca’s Uncle Gerald, goddess spiritualists’ refusal to accept the shame-and-blame that rape culture heaps on women, or posts like this one by hedge-rider Foxfetch.
But when I talk about Sacred Sexuality – when I talk about sacred kink, when I hunt up podcasts that talk about how “holy sexuality doesn’t have to smell like three-kings incense”, when I read Ecstasy Is Necessary or Urban Tantra and treat them as stepping stones on my own path – I’m going (I think) a little further than that.
It isn’t just that my body and my wife’s body are holy flesh. It isn’t just that a lot of the life of this planet – life that we hold holy because our gods are in and of them, are touchable – is created through sex, so sex is (or can be) a holy act of creation. It isn’t just Thou art Goddess or All Acts of Love and Pleasure are My Rituals.
It’s that I can write pornography that is also an act of magic. It’s that I can use the tools of pain, bondage, even fear to create a ritual that helps connect you to your gods or helps you meet, understand, and know your own demons[1]. It’s knowing that prostitution can be a holy profession but understanding that sexworkers don’t need a mantle of holiness in order to justify their career choices. It’s finding tribe, and facilitating Woo, in your leather community[2]; it’s finding a holy calling in O/p or using techniques found in Tantric sex to get yourself into trance for non-sexual rituals or acts. It’s chasing ecstasy as simultaneously a way to reconnect, get vulnerable in a safe way, with someone – or many someones – who matter to you and as a really fun way to spend an afternoon; and recognizing that sex that isn’t, or sex that can’t be, for making babies… is still holy. It’s getting it that The Sacred Feminine can be a cis man in fishnets, glitter, and fairy wings; can be the Venus of Willendorf with a walker and an insulin pump; can come carrying the twin hammers of cobbler and carpenter in her hands; is way more complicated than Maiden-Mother-Crone would have you believe; can look like Leeta, but isn’t required to. It’s recognizing that divine masculinity can be 200 pounds of butch woman in hiking boots, can be slender and bespectacled, can be the surrendering grain at harvest time; can look like Conan – complete with chest harness and gym body – but simultaneously be gay or trans or a ballet dancer or a poet, or otherwise upset the expectation of what a Conan-looking-guy is supposed to be. It’s knowing that “god” doesn’t have to be masculine, that “goddess” doesn’t have to be feminine, or even human-shaped, to bear that title.
 
It’s a whole lot of complex, layered things.
I want to know more.
 
 
Cheers,
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 
 
[1] Okay. Maybe I can’t. At least not right this minute. But other people can, and it’s something I want to learn how to do. I don’t doubt that it’s going to be a long road, but it’s… talking to me. I’m paying attention.
 
[2] Those who are absent, those who are gone. The gathering of the tribe. Femme-ily.