Blessed Be Thy Feet, Supplement A: My sole is bound to you

Shibari (and all its bastardize, alternate spellings) is Japanese rope bondage.  It is more properly know as kinbaku.  The art form is a true discipline, every bit as much as karate, and people who master it are true masters, not just in the S&M sense.  It can be done to any part of the body, including hair, and the designs range from simple to a level of complexity that takes hours to create.  Most shibari designs appear to be knotted but really are not.  That’s the beauty of it.

I love having shibari ropes on me.  It puts me in a most delicious head space, perfect for play or ritual.  Shibari makes me feel special and cherished–one of the nicest feelings you can convey to a partner.   While I love having the ropes on me, I, however, make a mess when I try to put the ropes on other people.  At the end of this blog, I’ve included two simple tutorials for foot shibari.  Also, if you decide to really get serious about the discipline, check out anything by Two Knotty Boys or try to see Nikki Nefarious.

Foot shibari is ideal in ritual situations because not only does it lend itself to several different uses, but it can be done in solitary, partner, or group ritual.  It can be done to help you reach a meditative state.  It can also be done to help with prayers in much the same way prayer beads are used.  For every knot or special loop, a line from a prayer can be said or a specific deity remembered.  The knots and loops can also be used in conjunction with number magic and knot magic.  If using knot magic, you may want to cut the ropes off instead of untying them so that the magic is not undone (unless, of course, that’s part of the ritual).

Probably the most intimate and meaningful way foot shibari can be used in circle is in binding rituals.  Usually when folks say “binding rituals”, they mean a ritual to bind someone, thing, or tendency up so that it/they can’t do any harm.  This isn’t that type of ritual.  What I mean by binding here is becoming bound to someone, a deity, or a group.  Think of it this way, whoever controls your feet controls you. Feet are your mobility and free will.  That’s why it’s worse to have a foot cut off than to have a hand cut off.  However, many of us would gladly give up our freewill to a god or goddess, which is why foot shibari makes a good addition to group or self dedication ceremonies.  If your deity has a sacred number, make sure to have that many knots or twists in your design.  If your deity has a sacred color, get the right color of rope.

As with any bondage, make sure all participants are of age and do consent.  Make sure that your bondage is not so tight that you lose blood flow.  Numbness isn’t really ideal.  Also, make sure that safety scissors are handy in case the bondage needs to be cut quickly.  Test cutting your rope with your scissors before you start.  Have fun being all tied up!

Sadomasochism, Pain, and Wicca/Paganism

Beardsley’s Frontispiece to “A Full and True Account….”
If you’re reading this blog, then I assume that you at least know what S&M or BDSM is.  If you are looking for a how-to in terms of technique, some of the following books may be helpful:
Sensuous Magic 2 Ed: A Guide to S/M for Adventurous Couples by Patrick Califia
SM 101: A Realistic Introduction by Jay Wiseman
Screw the Roses, Send Me the Thorns: The Romance and Sexual Sorcery of Sadomasochism   by Philip Miller and Molly Devon
There are tons of books out there on the topic of basic S&M and S&M from all angles, but just like books on Paganism, some are good and some are fluff. 

 When the idea for this blog originally came to me, I, of course like most folks, felt sure that my ideas were fresh and original.  Well, there are few fresh and original ideas out there.  As I come across other people’s take on my “fresh and original” ideas, I’ll post and review them.

            S&M and the pain that is its intended purpose and by product can be related to Pagan/Wiccan practices, ideas, and motifs in many different ways:

·        Sadomasochism as a mystery tradition

·        Pain as an initiatory ordeal

·        Pain as sacrifice

·        Pain as meditation

·        Pain as a drug

·        Sadomasochism as “all acts of love and pleasure”

·        Sadomasochism as ritual

·        Sadomasochism as a vehicle for enacting the drama of myths

·        Sadomasochism as a healing vehicle

·        Sadomasochism as sympathetic magic

·        Pain as a purifier

All of these things, of course, bring us closer to our deities and our understanding of them.  I believe that when we orgasm we may be the closest to the pure energy force of the divine that we can experience here on Earth.  Using S&M in conjunction with sex and magic can enhance that feeling.