Show off those sexy feet and go barefoot tomorrow!

A reader, who is a big fan of the Blessed Be Thy Feet Series, suggested One Day Without Shoes.  One Day Without Shoes is an organization dedicated to raising awareness about the diseases and dangers that many people in the world face because they don’t have shoes.  So, if you want a good excuse to go barefoot tomorrow and piss off your boss, join the movement!

These folks will be going barefoot tomorrow:
Erotic Sensations:
Tonia Brown:

Blessed Be Thy Feet, Part 5: Salvation for Your Sole– Ceromancy, Falaqa, and Bastinado

He, sir, that must marry this woman. Therefore, you 
    clown, abandon,–which is in the vulgar leave,–the 
    society,–which in the boorish is company,–of this 
    female,–which in the common is woman; which 
    together is, abandon the society of this female, or, 
    clown, thou perishest; or, to thy better 
    understanding, diest; or, to wit I kill thee, make 
    thee away, translate thy life into death, thy 
    liberty into bondage: I will deal in poison with 
    thee, or in bastinado, or in steel; I will bandy 
    with thee in faction; I will o’errun thee with 
    policy; I will kill thee a hundred and fifty ways: 
    therefore tremble and depart.  (As You Like It (1599); Act V, Scene 1, 45-56)

From Merriam Webster’s online dictionary:

a blow with a stick or cudgel; a beating especially with a stick; a punishment consisting of beating the soles of the feet with a stick; stick, cudgel
According to the entry, the word is Spanish, but originally from Latin, and it was first used in 1572.  I suspect, however, that the date may not be entirely correct.  The custom of punishing the soles of a person’s feet has been around far longer than that, especially in the Middle East.  If bastinado was not in Spain before the Moorish Invasion, it definitely was after 711 AD.  The practice is also know as falanga and falaqa (the Persian word for it).  Falaqa refers to the board, which looks like an English foot stock, that is often used to immobilize a person’s feet for whipping.

 Bastinado is a delicate subject, not only because it’s administered on a part of the body that is both tough and delicate at the same time, but because most instances of bastinado aren’t for “love and pleasure”.  It often falls into the dark side of the light and dark dichotomy.  Historically and in modern times, it was used in religious schools as punishment, by the military as an interrogation and torture method, by governments as a sentence, and in seraglios as a way to keep order. 
Bahá’u'lláh of the Baha’i’ faith under went Falaqa in Iran.
Political dissidents and religious minorities are often the ones to suffer bastinado.  The insidious thing about bastinado is that it’s a lot like being beaten by a phone book: it can inflict ungodly pain and physical damage but it doesn’t usually leave marks.  People tend to fold quicker under bastinado than they do with other types of torture.
So, if there is so much pain and horrid misery associated with bastinado, why am I covering it?  For one thing, a reader requested that I cover it.  I try to be a pleaser, when I can.  For another thing, it’s a perfectly valid thing to discuss within the context of this blog.  Lots and lots of people have a bastinado fetish: giving, receiving, and watching.  More than you might think.  Type anything in this blog into You Tube and your mouth will drop and your eyes will bulge.  
It has been awhile since I’ve been around any bastinado, and even then, it wasn’t something I was around very much.  In doing research for this blog, I came across a series of videos by Barefootcecilia on Youtube, which gave me a lot of ideas.  However, just now when I went to link her channel to this blog, I received: “This account has been terminated due to repeated or severe violations of our Community Guidelines and/or claims of copyright infringement.”  Sorry, darling.  Guess you were just too hot for You Tube (and she was hot!)

 Before I go further, the standard warning statement should be made: All things should be safe, sane, and consensual.  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 with foot whipping, don’t over do it.  The object is to lightly stimulate nerves, not break bones (and break bones you can very easily).

There are several options for integrating bastinado into Pagan worship. Some ideas have been mentioned in the The Many Textures of Deity section and in the Cut Me a Switch, Bitch section that is under BDSM Rituals. Another idea is to have one person offer their feet up as a ritual object.  In this case, the person’s feet would be used for several different things.  Their feet could be used as a drum, an incense holder for stick incense, a candle holder for small tapers, and if they’re talented, a flat surface to hold a chalice or a bowl of water.  If the person is really good at being still and completely zoning out, their whole body could be used as an altar.
Feet as a drum:  Since most people don’t regularly undergo bastinado, I would advise only using your hands, like with bongos.  If you’d like to use drumsticks but want to play it safe, super thin plastic rulers are good implements for bastinado.  They have a loud “slap” but a fleeting sharp sting that won’t do any damage.
Feet as an incense holder:  Unless the person has extremely calloused feet (which I’m not covering here), only use stick incense tucked in between the toes.  For added sound effects that will make the “incense burner” squirm, you can periodically wet the foot down.  As the ash drops, it will sizzle.
Feet as a candle holder: You can implement this idea in much the same way you would do with the incense, even down to the water.  However, everybody involved should be aware that candle wax will get on the person’s soles and aloe should be available for possible burns.  After all the wax has dripped, ceromancy can be practiced on the images left on the person’s sole.  Ceromancy is traditionally the practice of divining meanings from the images of wax dripped into water, it can easily be applied to flesh as  well.  As with other types of divination that deal with formed images (like tea leaf reading), different shapes mean different things.   After becoming familiar with the with the meaning of the shapes, use your own intuition to divine what they really mean to your situation or that of your sub’s.  This is a well honored method of divination among those of the kinkier sort.  According to, the Italian courtesan Veronica Franco faced the Inquisition on charges related to ceromancy.  I wonder if she underwent bastinado as part of the inquest?

As a nice way to wind down after circle, don’t forget to tickle your “altar’s” feet.  According to Mistress Marmot, who started out as a sub, “When I was a sub, my Doms would tickle my feet, except I wasn’t ticklish there.  Instead, it would make me want to scratch my feet.  It would bother me.”  So, tickling might not be the pleasure you intended! 

Here Comes the Sun: Merry Yule!

I hope the night was not too horrible for you and that you got to spend it by a warm fire cuddled up to the one you like best doing naughty things with evergreens!
As was discussed in yesterday’s blog, there are many ways that people use Sungazing and there are many ways that the practice can be integrated into religious practice.  I’m still getting a lot of helpful feedback from the Sungazing community, so as information continues to come it, I’ll post it.
This is Issac’s story:
I am not affiliated with any religious or spiritual group, organization, lineage or tradition. I live in surrender to Divinity, receiving guidance from Spirit and communing with Spirit in daily meditations.  My first regular sungazing was in 1997. I currently sungaze on an irregular basis, according to my inner guidance. On average, I sungaze once every five weeks, for one minute at a time. I always remove my glasses and stand barefoot on bare ground (I prefer gravel or dirt, but grass or stone will do, and occasionally even concrete). I often close my eyes after sungazing, and use my attention and breath to move the energy I’ve received evenly throughout my body, discharging any excess.  Most of my sungazing is usually with the rising sun, less often with the setting sun, and even less often with the mid-day sun. Ever since I was little I have enjoyed looking directly into the sun for only a few seconds at a time. I do this at any time in any conditions.
I sungaze only when my Heart tells me to do so. This guidance can range from a mild message that I may sungaze if I would like to, to a stronger message that tells me that it would be best to sungaze at a particular time.  By only sungazing when I receive inner guidance to do so, my natural interest in sungazing is yet one more thing that helps to keep me tuned in to my inner guidance, awaiting the signal / nudge / “go ahead”.My Heart and Solar Plexus and Belly chakras became larger and more open as a direct and prompt result of sungazing one morning, and were filled with a special energy from the sun, which felt wonderful, and stayed with me for a week or so afterwards, slowly fading.On more than one occasion I have experienced a connexion with the Sun as a living being, gazing back at me. This connexion helps me to transcend my personal self, and gives me a deeper understanding/knowledge of life and my place in the universe. This is not an intellectual knowledge but rather a heartfelt and bodily knowledge.  I have experienced the sun as a manifestation of Divinity, and communicated with the Sun, both sending and receiving thought & feeling.  The intensity of the Sun’s light touches me in a way that few things in the physical world can compare with.

Sometimes when I gaze at the sun, it splits into three or more different suns which overlap. Sometimes a colored halo appears around it, very striking, rainbow-colored or diaphanous diamond white or with other coloration. Sometimes the sun shimmers, or waves of light rapidly run across its surface in various ways. This is not really important but I appreciate it when it happens.
Halo with sun dogs, aka mock suns
My vision has at times been better after sungazing.  My appetite and digestion have often improved. I’ve felt quite energized at times, with a very focused and efficient mood.  Fall, winter and spring can all be rather overcast for much of the time where I live. When I sungaze, this tends to not bother me. A small amount of sungazing goes a long way in this regard.  I have experienced impaired or reduced visual acuity, temporarily, from sungazing. Nothing serious. I’ve had my eyes checked plenty of times over the years (I wear glasses) and the most recent tests, about half a year ago, confirmed that my eyes are very healthy.

When I first sungazed, many years ago, I was never grounded (bare feet), I gazed at the sun while it was high in the sky (very intense), and I also did not know to remove my glasses. I gazed only with my left eye. I was very ungrounded at the time and suffered from various mental issues, and sungazing in this fashion may have exacerbated things, but was not the cause. Even though, from my current perspective, I was doing it all “wrong,” I think that it was more helpful than harmful at that time. However I would never recommend that someone try to copy the “technique” I had! In fact, I don’t recommend sungazing to people at all unless they are guided to do so by their Higher Self, by Divinity / Spirit, and/or by their Heart and Gut Knowing.
I always love it when he gods shimmer and separate before my eyes!