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

Give ( 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 (, ). 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!

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Passion And Soul:

Worship Is A Submissive Act: A D/S Dichotomy

Recently I did some solitary spirit work where I interacted with my matron goddess on an extremely personal level.  During this work I saw sides of my matron that I had never experienced before:  the Lover and the Domme.  I am intimately acquainted with these facets of my patron god–perhaps too much so, and I know they exist in other goddesses, but it was exciting and refreshing to be treated this way by my matron.  I felt like I had finally been let in on a secret about her.

The idea of worship being a submissive act is certainly not a new one.  Anyone who is a true worshipper and not just a part-time actor is being submissive to their deity.  This is clear in how many religions refer to “Lord” or “Lady”.  People bow to pray, sometimes in extremely vulnerable and suggestive ways.

The word Islam in Arabic means “submissive”.  As Bob Dylan sings, “Everybody’s got to serve somebody.”
       However, this dominant-submissive dichotomy gets complicated as our spiritual lives and mundane lives mix and swirl.  For most people, clergy and spiritual leaders in particular, in one world they are a leader and in the other they are a follower.  It’s hard to balance these two roles out, but that’s often what is required of us.  To continue with the BDSM motif, we all must be switches.  Without balance, there is chaos and that’s when we become the most vulnerable and weak.
        There’s no best way to solve this problem.  For myself, when the imbalance starts to occur, I have to rearrange my life so I can give my deities and my spiritual self the time that is needed.  This often requires a sacrifice of something–something fun I want to do, inconveniencing someone else to cover my obligations–but sacrifice goes right along with submission.  It’s hard to relinquish the control and ego that goes along with being the dom/me in our everyday lives.  But it has to be done.  As those in the scene will tell you, you can’t be a great dom/me if you’ve not been a sub first.  It’s that balance thing again.
        Before I end this mini-sermon on the virtues of submission, let me pass along these pearls that were given to me in my temple:
1. We all need to tend the “flame” in our own way and be mindful of it.  We need to use the periodic monotony and tedium of the chore to reflect on our path and listen for guidance.
2. It’s not personal.  It might seem personal or sound personal, but it’s not.  We need to take everything that comes our way and use it as fuel for the flame we are tending.  By doing this, the actions and words are changed and sent out into the universe as new energy.
3. Be a good sub, shut up, and listen!  Your deity dom/mes will always take care of you–but only if you listen and follow directions.
Blessed Be!