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

Deviant Divination, Part 1

So, you’re a witch–or at least Pagan–and every Tom, Dick, and Harry–and their sister Susie and her fuck buddy Darrell, expect you to be able to tell fortunes.  If you are or were formally trained, most likely you were expected to learn some form of divination and to learn the rudiments of the Tarot so that the above crowd was correct to expect you to be able to see into their futures.  Unlike some religions of the world, most Pagan religions are open to divination and in fact often encourage it.

While there are a plethora of divinatory systems out there, many people eventually settle on the Tarot–which is actually one of the harder systems of fortune telling.  Not only does each card have multiple meanings depending on how they’re facing or what cards are around them, but each deck (and here again plethora is the key word) can have variant meanings as well.  Then, just when you think you have everything down pat after having read numerous books, some smart ass crone tells you to fuck the book meanings and go with your gut–once again putting you at square one in the confidence department.

Tarot decks are tricky.  Some decks seem to have a mind of their own.  If you’re trying to read with a deck that doesn’t “speak to you”, chances are you will either give incorrect or oddball readings.  For many people in the CollarMe and Fetlife crowds, finding just the right deck to suit their interest in both BDSM and Tarot has been difficult.  Niki, who is both a practicing Pagan and kinkster, is doing something about the problem.  She is working with a small team on creating a BDSM Tarot deck that should be ready sometime next year.

“I had this idea several years ago as I was starting to get into the lifestyle. I had already been a Pagan for years, and I’m a so-so tarot reader, but at the time I thought of it I didn’t know the tarot well enough to conceptualize what was needed for an entire deck. And I certainly am no artist in the visual sense. Now I have a best friend who is a professional tarot reader and teacher and a…something…I hesitate to use the term boyfriend, and he’s still kind of vanilla….so something…anyway, he’s a professional artist, primarily in the comic book industry. So it occurred to me recently that hey, now I have the team to pull this off.”

I found out about Niki’s project on Fetlife, where she was soliciting suggestions on different BDSM fetishes, tableaus, and ideals that should be connected with traditional Tarot cards and Arcanas.  She has since received more than enough suggestions and is working on synthesizing them with her and her team’s ideas.  While Niki doesn’t have a publisher yet for her deck, she does have some leads.  If you are a publisher and are interested in Niki’s project, please email me at chirp_sparrow@yahoo.com, and I’ll forward your email to Niki.

How can you help Niki out?  Look for future updates on her project here and on Fetlife, send energy to her project from your own home or at the Barbed Pentacle Shrine http://nshrine.com/shrine/Barbed_Pentacle, and make sure to buy a deck when the project is completed.

Check out these folks too!

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

Erotic Sensations http://eroticsensations.us/