Cover your bellies–it’s Mother Night!

While there are many different theories about when Perchta is due to come this year, we here at the Barbed Pentacle like to believe that she’s going to visit tonight.  Make sure your house work’s done!

The Barbed Pentacle’s very own Perchta image, drawn by Aramis September.

Light a candle for Perchta:  http://nshrine.com/shrine/Perchta

Our Lady of the wooden spoon,
whose two faces see the old and new,
You who admonish us to do our work and keep it true,
Keep us focused and strong so we may never swoon.
Bless us with thrift, industry, and tidiness.
Bind up our laziness.
Slit our bellies and remove all silliness.
Replace it with the straw of discipline, fortitude, and management.
A well run home brings gold to the pockets.
One great worker is worth three lazy ones.
Push us to strive for greatness.
Beat it into our souls and being.

These folks don’t want straw in their stomachs:

Mystic Artisanshttps://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

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

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com

No Hide Floggers: http://jinglepets-nohide.blogspot.com/

Hyperdreams Interactive Sex Stories:  http://www.hyperdreams.com/

 

Krampusnacht

Happy Krampusnacht!  It’s our favorite day of the year here at the Barbed Pentacle.  If you’re not familiar with Krampusnacht, we have a whole section devoted to the festivities in our archive section (look right and scroll down).   Tonight is also the last night of Hanukkah.

This year seems to have been the year of Krampus projects.  While all of these projects have expired, the artist involved I’m sure still have products for sell and would appreciate some clicks to their sites.

Project 1:   Krampusnacht Edmontonhttp://krampusnachtedmonton.wordpress.com/

Edmonton, Canada will be holding their second annual Krampusnacht tonight at 8pm.  If you want to be Krampus are a Pertchen, they are still looking for volunteers.  Or if you just want a little taste of Krampus’ switch, I’m sure somebody in the holiday entourage will oblige you.

Project 2: Krampus Hoodies and Cards by  Benjamin Holdredge : http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1636647854/holiday-krampus-hoodies-and-cards

Benjamin wanted to jump start his graphic design business and start a seasonal Krampus merchandise site.  Unfortunately, his kickstarter campaign was unsuccessful.  It’s a shame because his hoodies are really kick ass.  They may or may not be available still for purchase.

 

Project 3:  Project Krampus by Aramis Septemberhttp://www.indiegogo.com/projects/project-krampus

This project was brought to our attention by a reader.  For this project, Aramis wants to start printing and selling Krampus cards, his first solo project as an artist.  Indiegogo runs their projects differently than Kickstarter, so although this project was successful and has ended, you can still contribute if you want–in essence ordering a product.

Happy Krampusnacht!

These folks will last eight nights for you too!:

Mystic Artisanshttps://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans

Passion And Soulhttp://passionandsoul.com/

Tonia Brown:  www.thebackseatwriter.com

No Hide Floggers: http://jinglepets-nohide.blogspot.com/

Leave your shoes out tonight to see if St. Nick leaves you some gold.

A Different Discipline

Congratulations, again, to Tonie Ervin for winning the “Just Smack Me” spoon decorating contest. Although she has a vast amount of artistic talent, Tonie was a shoo-in for the contest because she was the only person to enter a spoon.

I don’t know what happened to all of you folks who posted on Facebook and Twitter your interest in the project or all of you who emailed me privately for more information. Perhaps you broke your hand or popped out a baby earlier than expected or weren’t smacked up side your head by inspiration. What’s more likely is you were full of promises and plans but mismanaged your time because you’re undisciplined. Does that sound like what happened with your spoon plans? It’s ironic, because Holda/Pertcha would smack you with a wooden spoon for not following through with your plans.

Discipline is something that seems to be slipping away in many cultures, particularly in the United States. Folks think that once they turn 18 that they don’t have to answer to anyone, and while that’s true, that doesn’t mean that you can act like a child and be irresponsible.

There’s a concept in the BDSM community called domestic discipline. While like many concepts, it means different things to different people, most practitioners agree that at its core it’s a relationship where one party is answerable to the other for keeping the home and household running smoothly. If things go awry, then there are reasonable consequences. Couples from all walks of life and religious backgrounds practice domestic discipline, but it has a strong following among Christians because of the scriptures that seem to support the practice (http://www.christiandomesticdiscipline.com/home.html).

To see how my fellow Pagans felt about domestic discipline, I posed this query on a Fetlife group: “I’m curious how Pagans/Heathens/other nature path folks that also practice domestic discipline blend the two together.” I was met with mix reactions. I found that a majority of the kinky Pagans in the group were ignorant of what domestic discipline meant and completely misunderstood the question. Some of the folks who responded seemed angry that I would even pose such a question. Perhaps they had bad experiences from their Christian days or perhaps they were just dumb assholes. Who knows? However, I did receive a few bits of positive feed back and good ideas.

Why would someone choose to go this route in their relationship? Why do folks join the army? Some folks join the army to serve, but a lot of people join the army so that they don’t have to think about how to order their lives and for the comfort that comes from that. Many of the people who are in a domestic discipline relationship crave the structure that this type of relationship brings to their lives. While there is a certain amount of stress related to having to meet expectations and responsibilities, this type of relationship is often less stressful overall because you have help from your partner in meeting your goals–big and small. It’s the same concept as having an exercise partner. You’re more likely to meet your goals if you have a partner backing you up that you’re accountable to than if you just go it alone.

Unlike the Christian “DD” folks, Pagans don’t have holy texts backing up the practice of domestic discipline, but there are plenty of deities that could be described as domestic discipline deities–or as I like to call them “Triple D’s”. Essentially, any deity can be viewed this way, but it’s not uncommon to see domestic and martial deities in a more disciplinary fashion. Domestic deities, such as Holda and Hera, often have myths attached to them of what happens when their human followers lack discipline. If you think that you may be interested in pursuing a religiously based domestic discipline relationship, looking to your deities is a good first step. You can go about this two different ways. You can engage in a DD relationship with only your deity of choice, which is a good option if you’re single or if your partner is not interested in a DD relationship. A second option is to engage in a DD relationship with your partner and your deity. In this case, your deity acts as a kind of back bone for the agreement–and agreement is the key word here. For either choice, you will need to negotiate with the parties involved and come up with an agreement and possibly a contract. And of course, if you are engaging in a DD relationship with actual humans, all parties involved need to be at least 18 years old.

The second step for engaging in a DD relationship from a Pagan standpoint is to incorporate an act of magic in the process. A suggestion from MrSennerael, who participated in the Fetlife discussion, is “Pick a rune [and] walk with it through a moon phase. Some runes would be easier than others, but if your partner likes to be marked that can be fun [to] see how and what energies [and] deities play better in your home [and] with what stimulus.” I really like the idea about the symbols. To seal my own commitment to Holda– my Triple D, I created a sigil from Futhark runes that I can easily reproduce all over the place, like a school girl writing her name constantly. Every time I see the sigil, it reminds me of my commitment, and every time I reproduce it or touch the sigil, it recharges and strengthens the magic behind my commitment and contract.

Daphne (above and below) has taken the concept of a commitment to deity and domestic discipline to a higher level. She felt a call from Hera, a classic Triple D, and not only entered into a dedicated contract with her, but as part of her contract, she has completely transformed her appearance and behavior.

At a recent ritual that I attended, the facilitator charged the participants to ditch the idea of creating New Year’s resolutions that would be abandoned with in a few months due to a lack of discipline. Instead of resolutions, we were charged to make a commitment to our deities in the new year. I charge you to do the same and to bring some discipline into your renewed relationships.

These folks are always disciplined:

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

Krampusnacht Remembered

As I’ve been doing research and soliciting interviews for upcoming blogs, a fond memory of my Krampusnacht popped into my head.  Hopefully your Krampusnacht was all you wanted it to be, and if not, well there’s nothing stopping you from having Krampusnacht tonight!

If you’d like to contribute blog ideas or be interviewed for a blog (I’m currently interviewing Earthwalkers, barefooters, Hare Krishnas, Mormons, Muslims, foot washers, Pagans, and Sungazers), please drop me a line at chirp_sparrow@yahoo.com.

Happy Krampusnacht!

Who is Krampus and his hermaphroditic counterpart Frau Perchta?  They are the epitome of Yuletide Dom(mes)!

As you can tell from the video, Krampus hails from Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and into France and Northern Italy.  Pretty much anywhere they speak German or once spoke German, he makes an appearance.

Although now most folks associate him with St. Nick and Santa and see him as a minor devil, he was originally a Pagan nature spirit in his purest form that was associated with the Winter Solstice.  His original purpose wasn’t to necessarily punish people, although he was a bringer of justice.  His original purpose was to scare off winter and bring about spring.

He is a carry over of the horned nature and pastoral gods like Pan and Cernunnos and of the trickster god Loki.  This can clearly be seen in his appearance and in the etymology of his name–”claw”.    Originally he brought chains to bind up winter and any roaming negative spirits.  He wore bells to wake the Earth up from it’s slumber and to ward off negativity.  He was also a bringer of fertility.  He is often portrayed riding a broom, which was a common sympathetic magic performed in fields to show the crops how high to grow.

In the same spirit of Lupercalia, he bears a birch rod.  The rod is seen as a phallic device. With every lick he imparted his fertile seed to the community.  The beatings with the birch can also be seen in the same light as beating the bounds of ones home to ward off evil, which may be how his whippings were twisted into a punitive context by early Christians.

And why does Krampus have his tongue out?  The better to eat you out with, my dear!

Even Krampus is a switch!
The Christian version of Krampus is still a big deal in German speaking countries and the pockets of the world where Germanic folks settled.  Instead of celebrating him on the Solstice, he is celebrated the night before St. Nicolaus’ Day.  Every year there are huge Krampus runs in the Alps, where everyone turns out.  The runs were originally done by young men to chase away winter and to bring about the spring.  However, in some areas the runs were more like an enactment of the Wild Hunt than of a Yule Vigil. Kids today look forward to Krampusnacht and stoically bear whatever beating they may receive.
Carting the babies off to Hell.

Krampus’ counterpart and sometime companion is Frau Perchta.
As previously stated, Perchta is a hermaphrodite, but often carries herself as a woman.  She represents both man and woman, both light and dark.  She is an incarnation of the goddesses Holda, Holle, and Frigg and vaguely of Brigid.  Her name means “blaze”,  and she is seen as a spinster who checks on the girls to make sure they’ve spun all the materials that they have available. She is also a leader of the Wild Hunt in some areas.  Sometimes Perchta is pretty and sometimes she is not!
Instead of beating you with a birch like Krampus, Frau Perchta slits open your belly, steals your guts, and replaces them with straw.  Dommes are always more sadistic than Doms!  If you’re on her good side, you can leave her an offering (she likes herring) and she’ll bestow upon you riches and fertility.  Around the solstice before she visits, folks usually smudge the house and barns to chase away evil spirits but to also cleanse the air of any germs.  Sage is a wonderful antiseptic.
Krampus and Perchta
Now to review just who Krampus is:
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Winter’s a long cold season.  Make it more fun by enacting some of these old traditions with your partner(s).  One night you can be Krampus and the next night the naughty one. Or maybe you’re always Krampus!   If you’ve never prepared a birch rod before, there are instructions in the BDSM ritual section to the right of this post.  Chains should be tight enough not to get caught and tangled in things but loose enough to allow for blood flow. Clips for chains are safer than locks.

If you decide to go into Frau Perchta territory, make sure that you are experienced with edge play, and have antiseptic and other first aid materials near by.  If you are not experienced with edge play, an alternative is to blind fold your partner and use a plastic or wooden knife.  Both can be made to have sharp edges that don’t cut.  If your hoodwinked partner thinks you’re still holding a real knife, it will feel like a real knife to exposed skin.  Using a sterilized pin to simulate a knife point works well too.  Since Perchta means “blaze”, wax play would be an appropriate tribute to her as well.

There are a myriad of other Solstice traditions out there that are meaningful and fun as well.  The wild hunt is one of them.  This can be enacted by partners or a group and be something as simple as wild hide and seek or something more complicated and serious.  There’s also the battle of the Holly and the Oak Kings (or it can be Queens).   The Holly represents the waning year and the Oak represents the waxing year.  In some myths there is also an Ivy girl/boy who is a mediator.  An idea for this tradition is a mock Holly and Oak king battle, with the weapons being oak and holly switches.  The looser can be bound with strands of ivy for the real fun to start.  Holly leaves can also be used on the skin like a Wartenburg wheel or spurs.

Have fun and remember:

As with any sort of S&M and or sex ritual, be responsible.  Use safe words and condoms and respect boundaries.  No under aged participants or spectators.  Outdoor sex should be on private property.  Bondage should allow for blood flow.  If you break skin, use first aid to treat it and clean your equipment properly.  And for heaven’s sake, avoid the spine and kidney area!
May your Krampus put you in the best chains with the loudest bells, wield the stoutest birches, and be super horny to put that long tongue to good use!