Through ritual symbols, metaphor and mythic stories we effect the emotional, physical, erotic and spiritual aspects of our being. In ritual, as far as these aspects are concerned, we are experiencing reality.
Movies, theatre, books, music and art evoke ritual reality. The body and emotions react, even though we are not experiencing “reality” (crying for instance).
Like movies, we can create and safely perform things in ritual space, not allowed in everyday reality.
Ritual is a path to call up partially or fully hidden parts of our self. In the ritual of D/s and BDSM, I believe we can access archetypal personas we already carry inside. These may be programmed in the DNA, or in metaphysical contexts such as the soul or spirit. The ritual process supports fully embodying the archetype, while holding conflicting parts offline during the ritual. In the erotic BDSM context, the archetype may be the slut, the predator, sacred whore, rapist, supreme bitch, biker, master/slave et al.
Liberating the parts that may have been hidden or repressed in everyday life can be therapeutic and joyous. It can create healing, wholeness and acceptance of who we are in all ways, generating greater self-love.
Calling up these parts can also raise their counterparts. The ones that have been generally, if not extremely successful at holding our erotic truth in check. The counterparts may have to do with a variety of subconscious fears, guilt, shame, cultural or religious morality.
Both sides have distinct personas. They contain voice, point of view, emotion and intention. The repressed side may contain the stern father, shaming mother for example. The sometimes painful and foreboding inner messages we hear are powerful in the subconscious, and for most of us have been highly effective at holding back our truth. These parts seldom go away, just because you have finally crossed the threshold of your desire.
Part of the ritual process I practice is to help you engage these resistances, to learn about them. What is it exactly, they are afraid might happen. By bringing these parts into your conscious awareness, it helps to unhook them from the emotional and physical body. Without their emotional and physical power (fear or shame, clenched throat, knotted stomach etc), you are free to make conscious choice about the value of their judgments.
The foundation of ritual is trust. The process to get to trust is different for each person.