WHY SO MUCH SEX AND VIOLENCE IN A NOVEL THAT DRAMATIZES THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTIANITY?

By John Neeleman (author of Logos)

I was raised mostly in Salt Lake City, Utah, by devout Mormons, a culture that reveres Great Men: where I grew up, history is a series of hagiographies honoring the Great Men who made us a great people – the Prophets, Jesus, the “Latter Day” Prophets, and “the Founding Fathers of the United States”.

Brigham Young and his polycule and children

In high school I worked the cash register in my grandfather’s convenience store. I preferred the wee night hours because usually they were slow and I could get some reading done. Close to the cash register there was one of those rotating wire racks bearing paperbacks, and one night I picked up a book called Burr, by Gore Vidal.

“Hmm,” I thought, “Aaron Burr, wasn’t he a traitor, and he murdered Alexander Hamilton,” who was one of the Great Men? Yet here he was – the hero of Vidal’s celebrated novel. I started reading, I took it home, and I blazed through it. Reading that book was such a liberating, permanently mind altering experience!

Burr portrays Aaron Burr as an intelligent, worldly, and thoroughly honorable gentleman, and portrays Burr’s enemies – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Alexander Hamilton – as deeply flawed mortals: Washington as an incompetent general who lost most of his battles and was acceptable to the more intelligent politicians of the day as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and eventually as President because he was such a bland, easily manipulated dupe; Thomas Jefferson as a ruthless, manipulative hypocrite who carried on sexually with his slaves and framed Burr, Jefferson’s vice president and formidable political rival to whom he almost lost the presidency in 1800, for treason (of which charge Burr was acquitted by a jury); and Alexander Hamilton as an unscrupulous opportunist compelled by his overweening ambition to invent and propagate the slander that Burr was involved in an incestuous love affair with his daughter, which led to the infamous duel in which Burr killed Hamilton (after Burr let Hamilton fire the first shot).

From what I understand, George’s ass was fatter than the horse’s.

I well understood that Vidal had not actually written a history of our Republic’s founding. But I also appreciated that in an important way he had come closer to the truth [whatever that is]1 than the hagiography. It was thrilling to see the Great Men dramatized as human beings. I am convinced that like the founders of the United States, the man Jesus and the founders of Christianity were just human beings.

Much later, after I started writing, I read Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece Blood Meridian, possibly the work of fiction that has most taught and inspired me as a writer. Blood Meridian is memorable partly for the horrific cruelty and violence that are absolutely cinematic. The Indian hunters lack any of Clint Eastwood’s charisma and decency—the Glanton gang is ISIS in the old southwest bearing six shooters and bowie knives and riding horses. The Comanche are just as savage and lacking in nobility. “The judge” makes Blood Meridian truly special: He is the personification of pure evil, but also all-knowing, terrifically witty, even sometimes funny, and thoroughly grounded in his own way, which is sui generis. The diabolical judge is a prophet! He certainly talks like the King James Bible’s prophets.

Logos is a novel set almost two thousand years ago, but like Burr and Blood Meridian it is very much a novel for our age. While Logos uses various tropes from scripture, Classical epic poetry, adventure novels, Christian films such as Ben-Hur, and so on, it subverts those tropes, much like Blood Meridian does to scripture, epic poetry, and spaghetti westerns.

Too much sex or too much violence strikes me as very subjective. But the sex and violence are not there for titillation. There is thematic purpose. Like Burr and Blood Meridian,my aim with Logos is realism, to subvert the hagiography. We are in the Roman Empire, after all, and my characters are worldly Greco-Roman Jews. The hagiography artificially closes the bedroom door. But modern, empirically based dramatizations of ancient Rome do not shrink from dramatizing the sex and the violence. Rome fascinates because it is our ancient antecedent most resembling us, and it is lusty and violent, as is our culture.

**The seed of Logos is Nietzsche’s ironic statement that the Gospels are “deliberately subversive of nature, and of life.” Nietzsche, possibly the philosopher still most influential today, speculated that the founders of Christianity who pursued this ironic and subversive revolution, started by Paul of Tarsus, were refugees of the destruction of Jerusalem. Apparently they were Greco-Roman Jews; the Gospels were originally written in Greek, after all. The earlier violent battle scenes in Logos are the backdrop against which Jacob and his co-conspirators plan their new order, born of personal experience with the inevitable cycle of violence and its futility. This has struck me as a spectacular premise for a postmodern novel.

Logos in turn subverts the Gospels. And while Logos is not history, in doing so I believe it achieves a novelistic truth that is in a way closer to truth [whatever that means] than are the Gospels. Indeed: nature, natural selection, is relentlessly sexual, and relentlessly violent.

Indeed, humanism vs. asceticism is a constant tension in Christianity. The Renaissance drove Martin Luther to his rebellion. Personally, I favor Christianity’s humanistic side, and in Logos we see an original Christianity that is imbued with books, works of art, music, and sensuality—itself very much a product of Greco-Roman society.

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Lego My Logos!

I finished Logos this afternoon by John Neeleman, and I have to say it’s a long read.  Most of that length, however,is necessary as a story vehicle.  Neeleman takes you on a walking tour of the main character Jacob’s life, from childhood until an ultimately happy ending (more on that later).  The story starts in the opulence of Roman occupied Jerusalem and ends in the opulence of Rome.  Along the way are sojourns in the barren deserts of Palestine and the lush oasises of the Levant.  The landscape itself is featured so often that it is a major character central to the plot.  The character of Jacob, a rich Jew and son-in-law of Ananias of Bible fame, goes from having everything, to having nothing, to slowly climbing his way back onto the top, very similar to Barabbas.   He even comes to a reconciliation with the Christians at the end, just like Barabbas.  However, Jacob is an emotional child through out much of the book.  He reflects a lot of men and people.  He rages when he should be calm and loses his nerve when he needs it the most.  While the loss of nerve is a realistic character trait, Jacob’s naivety and ability to be easily won over by those that have terribly altered his life is somewhat beyond the suspension of disbelief.

Logos deals not only with one man’s life journey, but also with the fictionalized lineage of the Christian faith.  Turns out the Baptists were wrong.  The story of Christ is just a made up story, pulled from tidbits of reality, the myths of the Middle Eastern world, and the Jewish belief in a Messiah.  Modern Pagans have been saying this for years.  While of course this is a figment of Neeleman’s imagination, this story is very plausible.  And, just as I always suspected, Paul is a very slimy person and a liar.  And gay.  In fact a lot of these characters come across as gay, bi, and into dominance and submission.  Of course, in reality, that’s the whole of the Roman world.  Although Jacob has three wives, one legal and two common law, he still engages in common adolescent and early adult bi-curiosity. Jacob is often put into positions of power and expected to be dominant, but he is never able to fulfill that role and constantly defers to the Alphas around him.  He may look like a bear for most of the novel, but all he really wants to be is a cub.

Neeleman never gives in to the temptation to explore the homosexuality that is constantly poking at the robes of this novel begging to get out, but he does indulge his readers in several incredibly hot heterosexual sex scenes, which is wonderfully refreshing.  Sex between Jacob and Hannah, the legal first wife, is very kosher and married.  Sex between Jacob and Maryam, his second wife, is fiery and wild, just like the sand they lie in.  Sex between Jacob and Hypathia, his third wife, is opulent and bestial.

It helps to have a small background in Biblical history, but it’s not necessary.  If you want to read related books, I suggest Agrippa’s Daughter by Howard Fast, and Dr. Hillman’s double trouble duo: Original Sin and Hermaphrodits, Gynomorphs, and Jesus.  

So, what about this ending I alluded to?  Well, the ending had such promise to go so many ways, yet in the end it went the way you could see it headed toward, which left me a little disappointed.  I had really hoped that Jacob would finally get a steel rod for a backbone, but Neeleman never gave him one.

Info From Novel Publicity–I didn’t write any of the Following stuff, just an FYI

About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of LOGOS! Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on another participating blog:

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official LOGOS tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

About the book: While novels and cinema have repeatedly sought after the historical Jesus, until now none have explored what may be a more tantalizing mystery—the Christian story’s anonymous creator. Logos is a literary bildungsroman about the man who will become the anonymous author of the original Gospel, set amid the kaleidoscopic mingling of ancient cultures. Logos is a gripping tale of adventure, a moving love story, and a novel of ideas. None of this should be regarded as out of place or incompatible in a novel about Christianity’s origin. Dissent, anarchism, and revolution—and incipient Christianity was no less these things than the Bolshevik, the French or the American revolutions—inevitably have involved ideas, adventure, and romance.
In A.D. 66, Jacob is an educated and privileged Greco-Roman Jew, a Temple priest in Jerusalem, and a leader of Israel’s rebellion against Rome. When Roman soldiers murder his parents and his beloved sister disappears in a pogrom led by the Roman procurator, personal tragedy impels Jacob to seek blood and vengeance. The rebellion he helps to foment leads to more tragedy, personal and ultimately cosmic: his wife and son perish in the Romans’ siege of Jerusalem, and the Roman army destroys Jerusalem and the Temple, and finally extinguishes Israel at Masada. Jacob is expelled from his homeland, and he wanders by land and sea, bereft of all, until he arrives in Rome. He is still rebellious, and in Rome he joins other dissidents, but now plotting ironic vengeance, not by arms, but by the power of an idea.
Paul of Tarsus, Josephus, the keepers of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and even Yeshua, the historical Jesus himself, play a role in Jacob’s tumultuous and mysterious fortunes. But it is the women who have loved him who help him to appreciate violence’s dire cycle.Get LOGOS through Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: John Neeleman spends his days working as a trial lawyer in tall buildings in downtown Seattle. He lives in Seattle with his wife and children. He also represents death row inmates pro bono in Louisiana and Texas. As a novelist, his editorial model is historical fiction in a largely realistic mode, though there are hallucinatory passages that reflect Neeleman’s concern with philosophical and spiritual matters, in part a residue of his religious upbringing. He was raised as a seventh generation Mormon, and rebelled, but never outgrew his interest in metaphysical concerns.
Connect with John on his publisher’s website, Facebook, Twitter,or GoodReads..
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Is that a crystal in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?

I’ve been consuming a fair amount of tea lately, and while I was consuming this herbal tea I read the book Crystals for Beginners by Corrine Kenner.  I LOVE gemstones and I love hunting for gemstones, but despite my past attempts, I never really got the whole “love your crystal like its a pet” kind of mentality that a lot of Pagans have.  Yeah, I have some gemstones on my altar, but I’m not even really sure why they’re there.  Occasionally in the past I’ve used gemstones in magical or energy work, but there was never any kind of communication with these gemstones.  Well, that has changed.  Corrine Kenner’s book is not a magical field guide to gemstones and minerals as so many crystal books are; this book is a great user’s manual for crystals of all kinds.  All the activities that had been proposed in past crystal books that made no sense or seemed stupid all now make sense.  And I discovered something else, crystals can be extremely sexy.

Forget the magical correspondences of gemstones that can be incorporated into sexual play for a moment.  Just the energy that crystals transmit alone is reason enough to integrate them into sexual practices.  They can give things a jolt, particularly if you do electro-play.  Crystals can be charged up with a person’s desires and intent.  When these charged crystals are inserted into the body, then that energy will transfer to that person.

If you have not explored using crystals and gemstones in sex, now is the time.  There are several manufacturers of carved gemstone penises and dildos, but some of them are quite cost prohibitive.  Instead, you can use a large crystal.  Crystals are ideal for insertion play since there are such a wide variety of shapes and structural types.  Crystals can be heated in the sun or chilled in the freezer for heightened sensation.

Not only can crystals be inserted into orifices, they can be laid in cracks and crevices, and clumps of crystals can be used as tactile stimulants.  You can slip one into your panties for all day gentle stimulation.  I think I’m going to sew little holster on the inside crotch of all my panties so I can slip my little crystal in there for rubbing on the go!

Pele, a mother of igneous gemstones.

Gemstone beads can be made into anal beads.  I looked on the Internet for some already on the market gemstone anal beads, and I didn’t really see any worth purchasing or promoting, so I’m going to make my own.  I’ll keep you posted!

Another way to get a crystal’s energy into you is via a gem elixir enema.  Gem elixirs are made by leaving a crystal in a cup of water out side over night in the moonlight or in the sunshine for a few hours.  Heating the gem elixir in the sun would be a nice way to heat the water for a warm water enema.

One word of caution: crystals can have sharp points and edges that may damage skin and tissues.  If you think this may be the case with your crystal, slip it into a condom before use.

 

Crystals’ powers and magics can be transferred to a person in sadomasochistic ways other than insertion.  They can be transferred via flagellation.  A gem flogger can be made by gathering together 2 to 3 foot bunch of lengths of heavy twine, plastic lacing or thin leather cords.  The traditional number of cords is nine, but it can have as many or as few tails as you want.  If you wanted to be fancy, you could use number magic in determining the number of tails.

Gather up one end of the tails into a clump and rubber band them together.  You can wrap this in duck tape for a crude handle, or you can research online how to make a finished handle.  On the other end of your flogger, slip one or several gemstone beads onto the end of each tail.  Then knot the end to keep the bead on.  A prayer or wish can be said when you tie each knot for a little  knot magic.  Be careful when you play with this flogger.  It’s very easy to cause damage with thin tailed floggers and with floggers with things on the ends of the tails.  So, use a very light hand, especially at first.  If you doubt your abilities to wield your new flogger in a safe way, then practice on a pillow.  

I highly recommend Crystals for Beginners.  It’s a great companion to Scott Cunningham’s book on crystals.  It is more of a New Age book instead of a Pagan book, which makes it very accessible to people of all different religions.  There are foot notes and a bibliography, which makes me extremely happy.  Plus, it’s easy to read and navigate.  Here’s the Amazon link:  http://tinyurl.com/oh6r7pk  Thanks Miss Meow Meow for passing the book along to me!  I’ve enjoyed it during my tea time.

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“Original Sin” Revisted (This time with dollars for the titty bar!)

It was pointed out to me that some of you might appreciate a link to Amazon for Original Sin.  So, here it is: http://www.amazon.com/Original-Sin-Sex-Drugs-Church/dp/1579511449/ref=sr_1_fkmr1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1352693399&sr=1-2-fkmr1&keywords=Original+Sin%3A+Ritual+Child+Rape+and+the+Church 

Here’s the link to Ronin’s site for the book:  http://roninpub.com/orisin.html

These folks have crisp dollars for the tassel twirlers:

Mystic Artisans: https://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/

Knotjokin Rope Floggers: http://www.knotjokin.etsy.com

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Christ, Jesus, you’re leaking titty milk!

Original Sin has it all: man fucking, child fucking, Pagan fucking, Christian fucking, and drugs. Written by Dr. DCA Hillman, the genius who penned the epic Chemical Muse and contributed the penisrific article about Priapus (http://barbedpentacle.com/2012/11/who-has-priapism/), Original Sin will make you question the crumbling sandstone foundation that Christianity has been built upon.

Written in a casual prose similar to his Priapus piece, HIllman’s eloquent, avian style makes it impossible for readers to miss anything. Original Sin is organized into lunch break length chapters that take you on a leisurely tour of the ancient world starting a few years after Christ’s death through Constantine’s big fuck up. This era in history was a weird, turbulent time that was full of strife and impending doom for many of the people living then. It was also the last time that Western society saw women in a place of religious power, psychic and divinatory abilities elevated and valued as an honorable occupation, calling, and skill, and drugs used with wild abandoned. Like always, the Christians came to the party and ruined all the fun.

‘What would Jesus do with breasts?’ I certainly hope he would lick his own nipples because I can and it’s a wonderful party trick. What does Jesus with a rack have to do with anything? In Original Sin, Dr. Hillman proposes that early church fathers, such as Cyril, Ambrose, and Clement, advocated starving, raping, and then subsequently comforting street urchins as a means of conversion. (And if you don’t recognize the names of Cyril, Ambrose, and Clement, then you either didn’t pay attention during Sunday services or you attended an uneducated church in your previous life as a Christian. In either event, hit up Wikipedia.) Who knew that ancient Christians understood the complexities of Stockholm Syndrome? Hillman surmises that the early leaders did this in part because Jesus was a pedophile and that he was also a hermaphrodite with a uterus. So, Dr. Hillman, did Jesus menstruate? And if so, what brand of feminine products does he want us to use today? (WWJU: What would Jesus use?)

Like a good cock teasing Tri-Delta pledge, Dr. Hillman gives lots of coy hints and promises through out the book, but you have to wait to the very end of the before he blows you hard with the down and dirty details. However, in the preceding chapters, he writes about the titillating lives and practices of the various ecstatic religions and oracular orders that inhabited Rome during the early Christian Era. I’d be interested to see Dr. Hillman publish a well-researched book on the subject aimed at modern Pagans (hint, hint). It would be an invaluable resource to the Hellenic Recon community and to the Pagan community at large.

The media has criticized Dr. Hillman for his lack of end notes, citations, and reference lists in Original Sin. Dr. Hillman assured me that all the research and scholarship is above board and that he can produce a bibliography on command. According to him, Ronin Publishing discouraged him from including the normal scholarly citations due to the perceived intolerance of the general American non-fiction market. I think that view is preposterous and something that Ronin should consider rethinking. Never underestimate the educational level or expectations of your target market. Despite the criticisms, Hillman has included some in text references to support his research, but they are as slippery as the well-oiled little boys that Ambrose would butt fuck. If you’re curious to see the evidence for yourself, slip on your deerstalker hat, open up Google, and keep a highlighter handy as you read Original Sin. I did.

These folks like a good romp with a Triple D pledge:

Mystic Artisans: https://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/

Knotjokin Rope Floggers: http://www.knotjokin.etsy.com

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Tip Your Bootblack!!! A review of “Playing Well With Others”

If you are looking for a book along the lines of  ”S&M 101″ or a technique book, this book is not for you.  However, if you are new to S&M or are an experienced player that is looking to reach out and stroke someone in the greater community, then this is book is a must read and definitely something to add to your Yule list!

The authors, Lee Harrington and Mollena Williams, both of whom have recently wrapped up a book tour to promote this book, are well-respected in the BDSM community and have 30 years combined experience as players, purveyors, and educators.  To find out more about Lee and Mollena, check out their profiles: http://www.playingwellwithothers.org/mo/  www.playingwellwithothers.org/lee/

Playing Well With Others, is available both electronically and in work book format.  The book is written in a very approachable style that is easy to read either cover to cover or one section at a time as the mood strikes you.  The prose is broken up with cute side bars featuring cartoon Lees and Mollenas that often given personal anecdotes about the topic at hand.  The topics in the book range from how to act and find your first munch all the way through the many permeations of BDSM society that end at the big, bad expensive convention.  In fact, cons are covered quite a bit in this book, and it’s obvious that the authors enjoy and attend conventions often.  Some of the information in the book is repeated in several different spots, presumably because the authors think that it’s important and a point you need to commit to memory.

In addition to all the wonderful information contained within the main part of the book itself, Playing Well With Others also contains several appendices at the end that folks new to the scene will find extremely helpful.

The overall themes of the book–remembering your manners, taking time to learn new etiquette, and learning when it’s appropriate to ask questions (which is something you’re strongly encouraged to do)–are applicable not only to folks who are looking to start playing in the BDSM community, but also to people looking to join the Pagan or Heathen communities after being solitary practitioners or to anyone who is going to be joining a new community soon.  And if you’re going to have to attend a convention in the near future, whether it’s for fun or for business, the sections on conventions are extremely helpful.

For more information on the book or to purchase the book, click here (Do it!  You know you want to!):   http://www.playingwellwithothers.org/

These folks know the importance of tipping your bootblack:

Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/

Knotjokin Rope Floggers: http://www.knotjokin.etsy.com

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Just Smack Me!: http://barbedpentacle.com/just-smack-me-a-wooden-spoon-decorating-contest/

 

 

If you only buy one book this year…buy this one!, Feed Your Head, Part 3

If your interest has been ignited by this series and you’re looking for a good resource to add to your library, let me suggest The Magical and Ritual Use of Herbs by Richard Alan Miller. http://richardalanmiller.com/http://www.amazon.com/The-Magical-Ritual-Use-Herbs/dp/0892814012

Richard Alan Miller is an old hippie who was smart enough to go to college and become a physicist, a bio-chemist, and an herbalist before he fried his brain (unlike other old hippies that I know).  He is also a Pagan who feels that it’s ridiculous for the American government to allow Native Americans the legal use of peyote in religious ritual but not Wiccans and other “legal” nature based religions.  This is a stance that I strongly agree with.  While there’s not an unbroken lineage between the Earth-based religions of today and the religions of history, our modern Pagan paths are based on the practices of the ancients, and they used drugs as part of their religious ceremonies.  If I want to have a good time I’ll get drunk or stoned, not spend an hour or more preparing peyote and then spending several more hours trying to force myself not to vomit as I hallucinate and commune with the Lord and Lady, wondering if the ants I feel on my skin are real or fake.  Despite the ants and the nausea, the other experiences that I get from taking a substance like peyote are meaningful to me and my religious path and should be legal for anyone who wants to experience it.

Miller also views these plants and substances used in ritual as “sacraments,” which is similar to the way that many Central and South American native groups view them.  These groups often view the plant’s spirit as a deity that you are taking into your body and asking to become one with you.  It’s a whole other form of aspecting.  Miller is also cool because he is very prompt about returning emailed questions from readers about dosage and recipe substitution.  He replied to me within 24 hours with out having ever met me.  He’s that dedicated.

The book is very easy to use.  If you don’t want to read the whole work, you don’t have to.  The book starts off with an intro into ritual and magic for new Pagans or non-Pagans who are reading the book (I have a feeling that a lot of anthropology classes probably assign this book as a companion reference to Castaneda’s questionable Don Juan series (beware of brujas, sparkling crows, and dogs that want to piss on you)).

The book is then divided into sections: stimulants, depressants, narcotics, and hallucinogens.  There is also a quick reference chart at the end of the book which is really handy because we all know that Pagans are too lazy now to actually learn and memorize stuff (or as my partner claims “too busy”).  Each plant entry contains an excellent line drawing of the plant that is good enough to identify a majority of the entries from nature, sacrament type, Latin and common names for the plant, the location where the plant grows wild, the habitat where you can find the plant, a botanical description, the history of use, the chemical make-up with diagrams, the primary effects, how to prepare the sacrament, ideas for ritual use, and any precautions that the user should keep in mind.  Miller’s prose is not boring or overly scholarly.

Most of the plants that Miller covers in his book are legal (more or less) in most states in the US.  Some of the plants do fall into gray areas, so do your homework.  ”I didn’t know” never seems to work as a legal defense.  Some of the plants are exotics that can easily be ordered online or found in local herb and health food stores, but many of them can be found for free in wild places or cultivated.  Passion Flowers, lobelia, scullcap, Mormon Tea, valerian, wild lettuce, wormwood, calamus, morning glories, psilocyben, and datura (thorn apple or jimson weed) are all often found in gardens, pastures, and roadsides.  Check out from the library a field guide for wild plants in your area and have fun harvesting.

I use my copy of The Magical and Ritual Use of Herbs all the time.  If you’re willing to shell out $15 for some book from Llewellyn, then you should definitely spring for this book.  If you’re too poor or cheap to buy it, well there’s always Tortuga.

These folks enjoy ingesting plant deities from time to time:

The Geeky Kink Event http://thegeekykinkevent.com/

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Chris Eagle Music http://chriseaglemusic.weebly.com/

Erotic Sensations http://eroticsensations.us/

Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/

 

 

Act how you are: a book review of “Give”

Give (www.DeadlyChallenge.org) is a free e-book written by Jeff Mach, who is a Pagan that follows a Druid (ADF) and Discordian path. When Mach first entered “the scene”, many people mistook him for a submissive. His true inclinations were far from being submissive.  Give was written as a way to deal with his dominant tendencies while in a vanilla relationship (a relationship he has not been in for some time).  According to his website, Mach wants to “see what they [the readers] think, see what connected with people, what made them upset, what perhaps inspired thoughts or new ideas.”

While on the surface, this self-reflective piece with a slight stream-of-consciousness current running through it is about submission through a dom/me’s eyes, it isn’t much of a stretch to see how the themes and exercises covered in the book can be applied to a person’s relationship with their chosen deities. “Give” is organized in such a way that it can be read straight through or slowly, piece by piece as each exercise is tried out. In between the exercises, Mach has included anecdotes of his experience as a dom and bits of dialogue with an unnamed sub.

Some of the exercises, such as “Bow your head,” “Let Go,” “Focus,” “Gone,” should be adapted for perspective clergy to try before ordination. While a lot of Pagans are bothered by the idea of being submissive to a deity, the act of worship itself is a submissive act (http://barbedpentacle.com/2012/04/my-blogoversary-party-post-sexy-dark-and-bloody-of-wiccan-bondage/,http://barbedpentacle.com/2011/08/worship-is-a-submissive-act-a-ds-dichotomy/ ). This is especially true if you are answering the call to become clergy. If there is no call to serve, then chances are that you really have no business being ordained and are just doing so to have your ego stroked.

“Give” is a good read for submissive and dom(me) a like. It’s also a good read for those who are not into D/S but are curious about submission in general. Dom(me)s remember this: Respect your subs. If you don’t, one day they won’t be there. While you may not need them for sex because you can masturbate, domination doesn’t really work on your own hand or sex toy like it does with a nice pliable sub!

Submit and check out these fine folks:

Erotic Sensations http://eroticsensations.us/

Quadrivium Supplies  http://www.quadrivium-supplies.com

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Chris Eagle Music http://chriseaglemusic.weebly.com/

The Geeky Kink Event http://thegeekykinkevent.com/
Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/

To Hunt the Cunt and Other Country Matters, Part 4: Don’t tan me like that!

Mood music as you read: Dark as a Dungeonhttp://chriseaglemusic.weebly.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Skin-Trade-ebook/dp/B007PCVFDC (really click this to look inside)

Trapping is a sensitive, divisive subject.  Most people either recoil when you talk about animal trapping (especially using traps that are not live traps), or people will vehemently defend their right to trap.  And to be honest, personally, I’m torn.  I am intimate with trapping, but I numb myself to the necessary grim reality of the practice to be able to continue my intimacy.

Most of the animals that are fur bearers in the United States are not eaten; they’re only harvested for their fur.  That’s not to say that some trappers don’t also eat the animal, but it’s not the norm.  Animals who are caught in traps are sometimes shot, but they are usually killed with a blow to the head  with a blunt object–like a baseball bat or an ax handle.  With skunks, the animal must first be hit in the middle of its back so that the spine is broken and it cannot spray the trapper before it’s finally killed.

Some traps are laid with bait, but some traps are simple hidden in high traffic areas (like on the way to a watering hole).  Because of this and the fact that the trapper has little control over which animal actually becomes trapped, trapping carries its own unique Karmic price.  If the trapper traps something, like a raccoon, that is edible and he or she decides to eat it, then karmically speaking, things aren’t so heavy because all the parts are being used.  If a trapper doesn’t use the meat, obviously there’s instant karmic ripples due to the waste.  There’s also the Karma of laying a trap that the animal has little choice about stepping into.  If the trap is in plain view, whether it’s baited or not, there’s still some choice in the matter.  If the trap is hidden under water or leaf litter (as is very common and is why most traps appear rusty) and it’s on a path that the animal would naturally follow, there’s no choice at all.  Also, one must consider the need of a warm pelt versus the want of a warm pelt.

So where does that leave us as Pagans.  Having a blanket statement of “trapping is wrong and should be made illegal” is not the answer.  Obviously, trapping goes against the Wiccan Rede, but not all Pagans follow the Rede, and it is rarely interpreted the same way twice.  Think about all the Pagans that like to have an Arctic fox tail tied to their asses at festivals and events.  Most of those tails came from animals on fur farms.  Are fur farms really any better than trapping?  Is it better to wear the tail of an animal from a fur farm as opposed to one given to you by a trapper?  Something to ponder for a future entry.

Prolific zombie, steampunk, weird West, and Pagan author, Tonia Brown, has taken on the issue of trapping in her novel Skin Trade, which was published earlier this year.  Skin Trade is set in the second half of the nineteenth century, after the Great Undead Uprising of 1870.  Once again our government has fucked up.  In an attempt to control Native American populations (a la small pox blankets), a virus has been introduced that has wiped out most of the Native American population and a good portion of the settlers in the West.  The Badlands are now zombie central, and the government and army have now allowed trappers into the area. Sounds a lot like how DNR is handling the coyote outbreak.

So what do you do with a trapped zombie?  You dispatch it, of course, and tan its hide.  Just like the Nazis and ancient grimoire makers, Americans now see zombie skin as a fine luxury item.

Some may read this story simply as a good weird West or zombie story.  Others may read this as a story about a troubled girl coming into womanhood in uncertain times and draw all kinds of parallels between today’s young ladies and Samantha Martin.  I, however, see this as a story about a little whore being faced with yet another unpleasant side of humanity, and having to deal with the fact that she wishes she had a penis a majority of the time.  Freud, you have it all wrong.  Penis envy occurs when you need to aim urine into a trap, and you’re tired of always having to spread your legs.

If you’re even vaguely interested in trapping and the humanity behind it, then join Tonia Brown’s ragtag team of little whores, ex-slaves, milk sops, and sadistic tyrants on a fast paced romp through the Badlands in Skin Trade.  (Oh, and there’s a goat in there too!)

Be a good reader and get trapped into clicking on these fine folks’ links:

Quadrivium Supplies  http://www.quadrivium-supplies.com

Erotic Sensations http://eroticsensations.us/

Tonia Brown www.thebackseatwriter.com

Labor Day Libertine http://ldl.tribussolvo.org/home
The Geeky Kink Event http://thegeekykinkevent.com/

 

 

 

 

The Wicker Tree–Watch it with a flask on Tortuga

I wish I had been drunk when I watched this movie.  I wish I had toked something too.  However, I’m glad I went to Tortuga to view this because I would have been super pissed off and let down if I had paid real money to see it.  I also wish that the movie had been released under its original title in the U.S. because it sounds like a gay porn movie and it makes me giggle.

The whole time that I watched the movie, I kept asking, sometimes audibly, “Where’s Rowan Morrison when you need her?”  ”Where’s the Landlord’s Daughter?”  ”Where’s the music!”  ”Caper, damn it, caper!!!!”  I wish the movie had capered.

The basic premise of the movie is similar to the original.  I suppose that makes sense since both movies were made by Robin Hardy, and “The Wicker Tree” is suppose to be a sequel.  Instead of the populace suffering from poor crop harvests, the populace this time is suffering from poor baby harvest due to a nuclear accident. Instead of a single born again virgin cop, we have a pair of born again promise ring Texans.  This time, it’s not just Rowan Morrison that needs saving, it’s all of Scotland’s souls (I’m sure the Church of Scotland would have something to say about that since all of Scotland’s souls are predestined..)

“The Wicker Man” was full of wonderful, memorable songs, many of which I dearly love to fuck to.  Not this movie.  Yes, it has music.  It even has music as one of its themes, but I don’t remember a lot of the songs.  The bits that I do remember, I can’t find anything about them on the web.  I remember something about the Laddie and horses of the fairy breed.

The movie also needs more sex and nudity.  Lolly is the only character who is comfortable with sharing her goods.  Some of the other characters talk about being comfortable, but when it comes time for show and tell, their clothes never come off.

“Scots and Englishmen can always find their way to the pub, but when it comes to the clitoris, they think it’s an island off of Greece famous for its ouzo.”  That’s the best line of the movie.  Only one line.
I did like the character of Jack the Raven Man.  It was fun to figure out which poems he his dialogue came from.
I also liked the card trick scene.  In this scene Promise Ring boy whips out one of his missionary tools and has corresponded the cards in a standard playing deck to the Bible.
Here’s my Wiccan version:
1: 1 stands for how many it takes to worship.
2:  2 stands for Hieros Gamos, the holy union.
3:  3 stands for the Triple Goddess: maiden, mother, and crone.
4:  4 stands for the four directions: north, south, east, and west.
5:  5 stands for the five elements: fire, air, water, earth, and spirit.
6:  6 stands for something, but I don’t really remember what.
7:  7 stands for the Charge of the Goddess because you’re pretty lucky if you remember all the words.
8: 8 stands for the Eight-fold path.
9:  9 stands for Hecate, the crone at the crossroads.
10: 10 stands for I’m too fucking tired to come up with something clever.
Jack: The Jack is the young Lord, ravaging the countryside.
Queen:  The Queen is the Goddess–queen of Heaven and queen of the Underworld.
King:  The King is the Dark Lord, harvesting as he goes.

Run, Promise Ring, run!

I did learn some things from this movie:

  • There are supposedly people in Scotland who do not even believe in angels.
  • You can wear promise rings if you’re not a virgin.
  • Jesus invented a new kind of love.
  • Jesus was braver than Rob Roy.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I fell asleep while I watched the movie.  So, I watched it again.  I fell asleep again.  I don’t think I missed much.

Check out these Summerisle residents:
Sub-shop.com: http://bit.ly/subshop
Erotic Sensations: eroticsensations.us