In A Nutshell.

I am currently hurtling back towards Massachusetts via Bolt Bus after a week at sex/kink camp in rural Maryland. I am exhausted in multiple ways, but there was an amazing amount of personal insight gained and I did Good Things.

The experience really started for me the Friday before I left and the tone was sort of set from there on out. I was bumming around the internet and I can’t even remember what I was looking for, but I somehow came across a particular cigar that the Mister wanted. It was a vaguely stressful moment, as I had already spent quite a bit of money on cigars and really had not budgeted for more. I also did not have the time to have them shipped to me—I was essentially leaving Monday night, as I was going to work and bringing all my junk with me. I spent most of Saturday researching local-to-me cigar and tobacco stores and making a lot of phone calls and visiting a few in a desperate search for this very specific type of cigar.

No luck.

So, I said a prayer and ordered them via the internets and had them shipped to Boyfriend’s house, which is where I would be arriving. Thankfully, there was no shipping screw-up and they arrived safe and whole and I had them for the event, which was important. First hurdle jumped.

The second major hurdle was that I was scheduled to teach a class entitled The Spirituality of Service. This was very challenging to me, as my relationship to service both in the human and divine sense has shifted dramatically since I submitted the class for approval. I have been essentially Told that I am not allowed to engage in service and service dynamics as I have done previously due to my inability to do it in a healthy manner, or, at least, what Mr. Mister deems a healthy manner. As such, my mindset has really shifted and I felt like I didn’t have much to say on the topic, so I procrastinated writing it until the very last minute. I was tapping out the last of my notes and resources list when my bus entered Baltimore.

It went as well as I could have hoped. We talked about what I see as the different methods of spiritual service and the different types as well as a whole lot about the various archetypes of spiritual service. A big challenge was being inclusive of nonbelievers and atheists, a few of which showed up to my class. My beliefs say that atheism is it’s own spiritual path and I wanted to make sure that they got something out of what I was saying. I spoke with one person at length after class who said that it was really helpful and that they felt it had opened doors for them, so that was very nice.

The next part was not so much a hurdle as it was a complete bum rush. Thus far, a lot of my Work has been theoretical. Yes, my day job is Work but it’s Work with a specific population and doesn’t incorporate some of my experiences and skills. This event, however, was apparently the setting where that was changed. My on-duty light got plugged in and a fresh light bulb was installed and away we go.

I gained two clients and two others who, while the on-duty light did not blaze to life for, could really benefit from some of the things I know and do. One of the clients is ‘easy’ for me and the other…oh boy. Without going into details since I feel that would be inappropriate, I have very rarely not wanted to do something so intensely. I just Did Not Want to engage. I really wanted nothing to do with this person and, had I not been directed to interact with them, I probably would have given the entire situation a pass. It was surprising to me, as I can usually talk myself into finding something in any given situation that I enjoy or can bring myself to enjoy or, at the very least, embrace without crankiness.

That failed me in this situation. I found myself putting on a serious game face to get phase one of the Job done and, had other things not happened [more on that in a minute], I likely would have completed phase two. Boyfriend theorized that the reason I had such strong ‘ugh’ feelings on the task at hand was two-fold. One, it was the first time I had been ‘activated’ and there is something to be said for doing a Job where there are no feelings involved that could potentially make it messy. In some ways, especially in the long run, it is much easier and way ‘safer’ to have a Job that doesn’t involve personal feelings. Two, it is possible that this is Mr. Mister’s way of pounding on the reality that a lot of what I will do will not be easy or personally fulfilling. I don’t get my fulfillment from interacting with clients, I get my fulfillment from Him.

The personal Big Deal, though, was being involved in the programming for the Ordeal track. The Ordeal track was a series of classes and rituals aimed at providing seekers with spiritual insight and experiences via challenging their beliefs both physically and emotionally. I was involved in two of the rituals, which was new for me. I’ve attended a billion public and private rituals and usually my involvement consists of running logistics or being an assistant to the ritualist or focal figure [like, being a page/assistant to a Deity while They are embodied]. However, I was asked by one of my best friends to participate and it felt like the right thing to do, so I said yes.

The first ritual I was involved in was entitled the Rite of Chance. It was designed to be a divinatory ritual where the Fates would give the ordeal dancers a theme, thought, or archetype to guide their experience of the weekend and take out into their lives with them. The divining system of Clan Tashrisketlin was used and the participants were split up into groups via blindly choosing various options. I ended up with two people in my group and both reported having intense and useful experiences. That was one the first times I have seen tangible results to things I was doing in a spiritual environment.

The second ritual was a beast, plain and simple. It was the culmination ritual of the Ordeal track and it was designed after the story of Inanna, Who descended into the underworld and was stripped of all that She valued. The ritual was set up with a variety of stations where the Ordeal dancer would have vital parts of themselves either removed or challenged. The first station was a figure of authority challenging the dancer on whether or not they were worthy/ready/prepared to walk in Inanna’s footsteps. The last station was where their physicality was challenged via either being pierced with hooks or being pierced with another modality, such as needles, and then participating in an energy pull.

I was the second station, where the dancers were to have their gender stripped away. When I saw the ritual outline, I was immediately tapped to do that station and was given instructions via the Mister and/or Others as to how I would do that. First, I would energetically remove their major sex characteristics, namely their breasts [regardless of gender identity] and their genitals. Then, I would energetically cut them open and rip out their gender. I personally found the concept rather terrifying but Ordeals are not meant to be comfy and easy.

I needed some significant time to prep for the ritual, so I started in the early evening. I spent a lot of time alone by myself and alone in crowds of people. I went to one of the other events and people-watched while smoking one of the Mister’s cigars and having a drink at His request. This made me incredibly nervous, as the last time I was involved in a ritual where I had drunk alcohol, I ended up possessed, and because I would be wielding a knife during the ritual. I got unusually tipsy off a fairly weak drink and, after I left the event and returned to my room to dress in what I had been directed to wear [boots, jeans, white t-shirt, belt, and locked chain collar], I was Told to take a shot of the whiskey that I had bought specifically for the Mister.

It should be noted that I am not a big alcohol drinker in the least. In fact, I consumed more alcohol this past week than I have in the past year. I get tipsy very fast both because I don’t drink often and because of the medication I’m on

However, as soon as I began getting dressed, I ended up stone cold sober. All the tipsy-ness was gone and I felt incredibly focused and ready. I have a theory that drinking alcohol makes it easier to open me up energetically and He uses that because I currently don’t have any other skills to accomplish that. I’m just pleased I wasn’t using a knife [His knife, to be exact] while a bit drunk.

After I finished dressing, I lit up another of His cigars and headed to the meet-up spot for the dancers. It was, as one of the other facilitators said, game on. The energy that was flying around was ridiculous and I found myself a bit giddy. Of course, it could have been the cigar/smoke, which apparently freaked out a few participants.

The ritual went as smoothly as a ritual of that nature was going to go. It was intended only to be several hours long, but instead became an all-night vigil, as the last person made it through at about 6:15AM. I was utterly spent afterward both because of the energetic work I was doing and the fact that I was on my feet for almost seven hours straight. Slicing someone open, sticking your hand inside them, and dodging all their other Stuff while feeling out their gender so you can rip it out is a lot easier said than done. I told Boyfriend, who did all the hooks and piercings, afterward that I had handled so much gender that it felt like my own gender had dribbled out my toes. I was supposed to go to a post-ritual processing session the next morning, but I awoke in a fairly non-human state and barely able to walk. I figured that my presence would not have helped the attendees, as I was barely able to string together coherent sentences never mind be able to process thoughts and feelings with others.

Perhaps the most amusing part of the ritual for me was when Mr. Mister showed up. I had a long table set up behind me where I was placing the participants clothes, as they had to go through the descent naked, and beside it I had a chair which I had fully intended on sitting in when I could. As the ritual began, I finished the cigar that I had been smoking and placed it on the edge of the chair to burn out. I got busy with the first participant and I suddenly had this feeling of being watched. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the Mister was sitting in my damn chair, eyeing what I was doing. When the ritual lagged, I had wanted to sit because I was already in some physical discomfort, and I totally got ‘what, are you going to sit in My lap?’. So, I stood. He stayed for awhile and then left, which made me worry that I had done something wrong. Boyfriend posited that He had simply gotten bored and wandered off, which makes sense.

Besides His visitation, there was the overarching message from Him that it’s time to get my shit together and to stop fucking around and that I need to engage in the ways He needs and wants me to. I don’t disagree so it’s time to get off my ass and get going, especially if He is going to be sending me clients like He did this weekend.

Overall, the weekend was a valuable and enlightening experience. I can see just how I’m needed and what my skills and background can do. I believe I was helpful and, while not perfect, I did the best that I could have done under the circumstances. I feel like, in some ways, I have found my niche and it feels like the right thing for me right now, which is pleasant. I spent a lot of time with old and new friends, networked a bunch, relaxed when I could, and generally tried to have a good time. I got to meet, albeit briefly, a fellow blogger and they had very sweet things to say about my blog and writing, which was gratifying. I remembered exactly how much I dislike heat and humidity and how much I really need alone time to be whole. I am exhausted, but I foresee more writing in the next few days as I unjumble my brain. Otherwise, it’s back to the daily grind. I’ve got a couple interesting prospective projects and regular life stuff to attend to this coming week. No rest for the wicked..

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~ by Alex on June 25, 2013.

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