Prayers and rage

Content note: violence against women

A terrible story has come out of America’s heartland. A young man murdered a woman. Allegedly, she was the last in a string of sexual harassment complaints made against him at a mall where he worked security. He went home, got a gun, came into the mall, and shot her three times in the back. She was twenty years old. She worked at the Iowa Children’s Museum. She died.

A man may have murdered a woman for her words. Her words defending herself. She felt unsafe, and he proved that she should have felt unsafe. He killed her. He probably felt a misplaced righteous anger. “How dare she? I lost my job! That stupid bitch.”

She died.

I offer this advice to you, angry young men of America and beyond. When a string of sexual harassment complaints are made against you, STOP. Stop harassing someone. Stop making unwanted comments or gestures. Stop. Don’t keep harassing someone to the point where you get fired. Don’t blame another for telling the truth about what you did. Don’t murder someone for speaking her truth.

She died.

He sealed his unemployment fate and will go to prison. His life may be ruined, but he will live. She won’t have that privilege. She is gone.

Stop.

Please stop. We are scared. We are scared in alleys. We are scared in our homes. We are scared in our neighborhoods at night. We are scared on buses and subways, in churches and libraries and classrooms and malls, at parties and rallies and work meetings. Stop.

She died, and a little piece of me died, and part of the shooter died, and nothing good came of this.

I am running out of candles for tragedies. My eyes are tired of crying.

Stop.

Twenty Shades of Red: The Truth About BDSM

In response to the misconceptions offered as truth in the novel Fifty Shades of Gray, I have teamed up with a good friend to present the Twenty Shades of Red, twenty facts about the BDSM lifestyle presented by two of its adherents, one dominant and one submissive.

Everyone here already knows me as a witch and a feminist. For purposes of this piece, I would also like you to know that I am also a Lesbian dominant. I am writing the ten facts from a dominant perspective.

  1. Consent is needed for each session of play, and cannot be derived from a single contract. There must be consent for the types of acts being performed.
  2. Limits are acts that a BDSM participant does not permit during a play session. These can be laid out by either dominant or submissive. These could be anything, from face slapping to anal penetration. Many people do not do anything with animals or former food.
  3. BDSM in its many forms is about the mutual enjoyment of all involved. Some are thrilled by power and control, some by pain, rebellion, or vulnerability. It is important that both involved take into account what the other enjoys.
  4. Many people have a main type of play they enjoy. Flogging, piercing, blood play, dominance and submission role play, gender fluid role play, and various types of bondage, everything from psychological to literal.
  5. Safe words are crucial. Participants use terms that would not commonly be used during a session in order to bring a halt to whatever is going on. It could be because a previously unknown limit has been reached, or simply because one or the other are not enjoying the session for various reasons. If a participant is unable to speak, it is important to develop a signal.
  6. It’s important to research how to use various toys safely, especially floggers and restraints, and anything else that could potentially cause harm.
  7. Read the signs. Building up the intensity of play in stages gives both time to become aroused or to slow things down. Emotions play a huge role, and if any negative feelings are present, it may be a good idea to take a break and reevaluate what’s being done.
  8. Some people like being bitten, flogged, burned, pierced, etc. It’s important to take physical health into consideration. Sterilize toys, avoid striking vulnerable parts of the body, and be conscious of sexually-transmitted infections. Use condoms or dental dams, and do not consume blood or other fluids of a partner unless you are certain they are disease-free.
  9. After care involves both participants reverting to a regular state of mind. It is the responsibility of the dominant, mistress, mommy, daddy, master, etc, to reassure their partner to bring them back to their original state of mind. Spending time together also builds the bond of trust between partners.
  10. Trust is the most valuable asset BDSM participants have. Whether people play as partners or as a group, they need to trust that their limits and needs are respected by all others involved. Including themselves!

 

The author of the ten facts below is a friend of mine, Andrea, also a member of the BDSM community. She also goes by Felivi. She created the list of ten facts from a submissive point of view.

 

  1. Having fun with consenting people is awesome, and enjoying yourself isn’t something you have to be ashamed of.

 

  1. 2. Reach out to local kinksters and attend munches and gatherings. People there really are friendly and welcoming. Even if you aren’t positive on who you are or what you like, it’s totally acceptable to say, “I’m not sure”. Doing this provides an excellent way to enjoy the scene and still be safe.

 

  1. 3. When talking to a potential play partner, no question is too small or “dumb”. Anyone mature enough to partake in such activities would want all of your concerns and questions addressed.

 

  1. 4. An honest and open discussion will ease a lot of nerves. Let your play partner know what things are totally off-limits and what may be approached with caution. Also talk about what each other would like to happen after your scene so good aftercare is achieved.

 

  1. 5. Just because your station of choice may be Submissive doesn’t mean anyone holds power over you. You are your own person, and you and your Dominant will discuss how power exchange will be handled.

 

  1. 6. Plan ahead! If you have the opportunity to play with someone in private, there’s no harm in finding out their reputation. It can be scary putting yourself in private situations, even with someone you know. “Safe calls” are a wonderful thing that I frequently use. Set up a specific time to call a trusted and reliable person to let them know you’re okay, and let them know where you’ll be.

 

  1. 7. No matter what kind of relationship you become a part of, do not fear getting “stuck” if something happens to go wrong. If you want to leave your relationship but are afraid, there is always help in the form of friends, vanilla or otherwise, (like ones met at public gatherings), family, or police officials. A D/s relationship, or however your relationship is structured, still involves human beings and holds as much importance as a vanilla relationship.

 

  1. 8. Don’t be afraid to use your safe words! They exist for a reason, and using them doesn’t make you a wimp or “less subby”. You have to start somewhere, and you can’t enjoy yourself if your limits keep being pushed. Your partner is there for you too and they want you to have a good time, even if that means easing up or taking a break.

 

  1. 9. Your partner cares about you. They wouldn’t have gone through the trouble of getting to know you, your limits, and wants if they didn’t care. Subdrop may happen or last after you have parted ways, and you can reach out to your partner, (or friends you’ve made at gatherings), if you’re still feeling down.

 

  1. 10. There is a ton of information on many aspects of BDSM from various perspectives, so browse around and have fun learning.

 

We decided to add a small list of terms and their definitions

Dominant: a person who takes the active or role in a scene or play session. Roles can include master/mistress, sadist, mommy, daddy, top, etc.

Submissive: someone who takes the passive role in a scene or play session. Roles can include slave, bottom, brat, masochist, etc.

Switch: someone who can be either dominant or submissive.

Master/mistress: A person who takes control within a set of formal rules or over a slave’s daily life.

Slave: someone who submits to a master or mistress

Safe Word: a term used to slow down or halt play for any reason.

Subdrop: The drop in emotions or energy within hours or days after a session. Also relates to physical symptoms.

Aftercare: Coping with emotions and symptoms after a session, especially necessary for subs.

Sadomasochism: the use of pain and humiliation between a sadist (dominant) and masochist (sub)

Bondage: control through literal restraints or psychological control through verbal directive.

Discipline: control through acts like flogging, spanking, etc.

These are some of the basic terms. I’m adding links to two websites for those interested in the BDSM lifestyle.

www.early2bed.com

Has advice, guides, and sex toys for sale.

www.fetlife.com

A community for kinksters, people who engage in the BDSM lifestyle. I am Sablerose9.

 

This is a group for Lesbians involved in the BDSM lifestyle.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/635666666579980?refid=46&sld=eyJzZWFyY2hfc2lkIjoiZDQ0MjZmZmUzMTQ2NDJmNTY5Y2Y3NmFmYWJiZTRkMTUiLCJxdWVyeSI6IkJEU00gTGVzYmlhbiBMaWZlIiwic2VhcmNoX3R5cGUiOiJTZWFyY2giLCJzZXF1ZW5jZV9pZCI6MTAyNTA1NzkxMSwicGFnZV9udW1iZXIiOjEsImZpbHRlcl90eXBlIjoiU2VhcmNoIiwiZW50X2lkIjo2MzU2NjY2NjY1Nzk5ODAsInBvc2l0aW9uIjowLCJyZXN1bHRfdHlwZSI6Njl9

Updates: Sable Arrow Press, Staff of Asclepius, and more

First let me say I am sorry for the long absence. I’ve felt a little drained these days, as always seems to happen when ol man Winter comes to visit. Many other things are going on as well.

–I have begun doing some commission art work.

I’ve had a few pieces custom ordered by friends and family, among my pre-made items which I finally found consignment for.

–Bracelets for Maeve is complete.

I delivered 70 bracelets to Transitions here in Champaign, now called Courage Connection I believe.

–I have begun a niche publishing press, carrying the books written by myself and Nornoriel Lokason.

Here is our Facebook page. We have a poetry collection coming soon, and I have a feminist grimmoire in the works.

https://www.facebook.com/SableArrowPress?refid=46&sld=eyJzZWFyY2hfc2lkIjoiM2M4YzFiMzEyYTIyZDVlZjcwZmVlNjYzMDg0ZmY3YzYiLCJxdWVyeSI6IlNhYmxlIEFycm93IFByZXNzIiwic2VhcmNoX3R5cGUiOiJTZWFyY2giLCJzZXF1ZW5jZV9pZCI6NDQ5OTU3NzY2LCJwYWdlX251bWJlciI6MSwiZmlsdGVyX3R5cGUiOiJTZWFyY2giLCJlbnRfaWQiOjE1MzU0MDAzOTMzOTgyNjEsInBvc2l0aW9uIjowLCJyZXN1bHRfdHlwZSI6Mjc0fQ%3D%3D

–I have a room mate, a fellow coven member who will be renting a two-bedroom apartment with me in spring.

I hate to do this. But at this point I need to share a link. We’re having some problems with finances, so as a backup we have created a very small GoFundMe campaign to give us a hand with the security deposit. If anyone donates, it would be greatly appreciated. Please share this as much as possible.

http://www.gofundme.com/lzfrxw

–I still write for Staff of Asclepius.

Current topics for me are things like public health in sacred space, disabled dominance in BDSM, and frustrations with the growing list of medical problems, which are the main reason for financial troubles. Arthritis, migraines, constant fatigue, IBS, unstable periods, and my thyroid being off kilter. No insurence means no tests to find out what is wrong. The whole thing has been pretty depressing.

–I have picked up abstract water color painting.

I will try to post some of my landscapes in the near future.

That’s about it. Thanks for being there. Stay hopeful, universe.

 

Celestial Sisters: New Moon Winter Solstice

For those choosing to focus on Goddess energy this Solstice, I offer Celestial Sisters. Feel free to let this inspire you to create other sun/moon pairings in festivals to come.

Celestial sisters rising

This winter solstice

New moon, hidden silver,

Quicksilver,

Ever changing, ever constant

Ebb and flow

Sister sun, golden one,

Surging and rebounding

Moon reborn

Sun reborn

Celestial sisters embracing the new

As we sisters embrace our light and shadows

This Midwinter Night’s Dream

We dream of peace, equality, power, protection

We weave a new dawn and a new dusk

Celestial sisters, weave with us

change us

renew us

embrace us

Pour your silver and gold upon us

Shower us with understanding

Sprinkle us with stardust

Enter this circle of sisters

Kiss us

Change us

Be here!

As above, so below

As without, so within

We call the Celestial Sisters!

My Crystals

My Crystals

This is just a log of what I have, and what I use them for.

Purple Fluorite: Focus, meditation, calm during hectic times (1)

Snowflake Obsidian: Understanding, willpower (2)

Imperial Jasper: confidence (1)

Blue Tiger Eye: sleep, clear dreams (3)

Black Obsidian: energy, decisiveness (2)

Pyrite: patience, endurance (1)

North Tx Flint: Determination (1)

Malachite: banishing negativity, soothing anxiety (2)

Lumerian Seed Crystal: amplifies other stones (1)

Tree Agate: business, fertility, giving birth (1)

Nuomite: shielding, grounding, dark spells, patience (1)

Bloodstone: pain relief, precognition (2)

Moss Agate: loneliness, comfort, security, home and hearth (2)

Clear quartz: all-purpose, amplification (5)

Lithium quartz: dreams, pain relief (1)

Red Tiger Eye: creativity, menstruation, inspiration (1)

Golden Topaz: creativity, energy (1)

Mangano Calcite: love, death (1)

Riverstone: earth connection (1)

Citrine: hope, friendship, wealth (4)

Tourmaline: grounding, thought, creativity (1)

Fossil: ancestral and animal connection (1)

Tibetan Quartz: light, calm, anxiety relief (1)

Howlite: peace, clarity, purity (1)

Yellow Jasper: calming, energy (1)

Black Moonstone: feminine, intuition, lucid dream (1)

Danburite: protection (1)

Appetite: weight loss, lucid dreaming (1)

Hematite: grounding, clarity, visions (3)

Smokey Quartz: protection, astral projection, visions (3)

Amethyst: spiritual growth, psychic power (2)

Rose Quartz: love, friendship, abundance, fertility (2)

Rudilated Quartz: amplifies, purifies (1)

Bronzite: stability and confidence (1)

Garnet: strength, protection, feminine, intuition, blood magic (1)

Tiger Iron:Tiger Iron: material wealth, security (1)

Blue Kyanite: energy, amplification, cleansing (1)

White Moonstone: intuition, feminine, sleep (2)

Rodocrocite: relieves anxiety, focuses the mind (1)

Pietercite: meditation, mental focus (1)

Agatized Coral: healing emotional scars, warms the heart (1)

Jet: protection, banishing negativity (1)

Mukaite: prosperity and power (1)

Desert Rose Calsedony: summer’s warmth, contentment (1)

Rainforest Jasper: shamanic work, meditation, sleep (1)

Bird’s Nest Jasper: knowledge, meditation, joy (1)

Prehnite: inner knowledge, love (1)

Obviously some may disagree with my uses. Really, it is how each stone speaks to you.

 

My Altar

I thought, just for fun, that i would show all of you what my altar looks like.

Shot from above:

at the top of the altar is a statue of two seated women that I made myself. One is black-haired and clothed in white, the queen of heaven. The other is blond, clothed in red, the queen of hell. Both wear silver crowns, as equals.

The tree bark is North, the element of Earth. Below that is a coyote tooth, for the element of spirit.

A candle is the center piece, meant for creating a gateway to all realms.

The silver ring below that is the element of Light, and below that is a jar of volcanic salt, because I can’t decide what to use for fire.

Top left corner is the dagger, symbolizing our personal potential, which is infinite.

There is a bottle of oil meant for any kind of blessing.

Below that is a piece of shell for water, and a blood-blessed quartz, a connection to ancestors.

Top right are two bowls. One bowl is full of stones, which are what I use for offerings. Beside that is a small bowl of water, into which I mean to release a lot of things that I don’t need anymore tonight.

Below that is a hickory nut for Air, which carries seeds to their place of growth. It’s hard to see, but beside that is a piece of black ribbon, to represent shadow, balancing light. I am going to put that piece of ribbon in the north, and put the spirit symbol, the coyote tooth, in the east, so it is opposite the blood quartz.

Spirit balances blood,

Shadow balances light,

Air balances Water,

Fire balances Earth,

and the Goddess, in her many forms, rules over all.

 

Dancing with the Dead Pt. 3: Honor

The belated third and final part of my series on Staff of Asclepius.  Enjoy.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/paganswithdisabilities/2014/10/dancing-with-the-dead-pt-3-honor/

Dancing with the Dead Pt. 2: Connection

The second segment of the series I am writing for Patheos this weekend.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/paganswithdisabilities/2014/10/dancing-with-the-dead-pt-2-connection/

Dancing with the Dead Pt. 1: Legacy

This is the first part of a series I am writing for the Staff of Asclepius.  Enjoy.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/paganswithdisabilities/2014/10/dancing-with-the-dead-pt-1-legacy/

Worth While

For those of you who do not already follow him, this is one of the blogs published by my friend Nornoriel.

http://serpentslabyrinth.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/sometimes-it-gets-better/

Check it out. His posts are pretty insightful.

Also, here is his Etsy store.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/elfswag