Myth, Archetype, Symbols of D/s & BDSM

 

argyle.hair .LR  300x273 Myth, Archetype, Symbols of D/s & BDSMMyth, symbol, archetype, shadow,  embodiment, paradox, ritual, and the ritual container are concepts ready-made for integration into our experience of D/s-BDSM.

They are tools that can open us to the realm of our deepest emotions, strengthen intimacy and trust, fully access explosive erotic intensity, and open a path to empowerment and healing in a committed D/s-BDSM relationship, or even a one-time negotiated scene with a play-partner.


Learning how to use these tools can support you in discovering and inviting in what is personally sacred and meaningful to you.  They can open a pathway to deepen the physical, emotional, intentional, and spiritual connection between D/s partners. Their purpose is to help create more trust, intimacy, healing and soulful connection within the self and the relationship.

A D/s couple’s intention can be to aspire to the highest ideals of their respective positions as Dominant and submissive, and bring these qualities to the relationship.

The use of ritual can be a way to connect with and renew these intentions and commitments through practices and protocols that are meaningful to both. Ritual can be a process that connects each partner to the aspects of character or soul they aspire to. Rituals help bring the aspirations to a deeper, consistent awareness, and open the potential to discover and heal reluctant, protective, traumatized unconscious parts, that may be holding us back from our aspirations.

As a Dominant for instance, if I aspire to integrity (walking my talk), accountability, or leadership, I have to be aware of, own and examine all aspects of the ways I may not be in integrity, accountable or in leadership. And learn to address the underlying reasons why this may be showing up in my life.

The tools of ritual and their use are simple to understand, easy to put into practice, and are meant to be personalized, in a way that is meaningful and sacred to you.

I believe sacred means to allow everything that is true about myself or others, both dark and light, to have a safe and welcoming place to exist, to be witnessed, encouraged, explored, expressed, honored, healed and loved.

 

Sacred is what has meaning to oneself. It is personal. It does not come from dogma or a tradition that is not meaningfulflogger6 108x150 Myth, Archetype, Symbols of D/s & BDSM to the individual in the present. It has to resonate with something deep within. It may be quite different for different people, and can only come from one being connected physically, emotionally, soulfully, spiritually to the experience, practice, object or person that represents something sacred.

 

The concept of a “container” to hold what is sacred (or profane) is simply a space, either within your consciousness or an actual physical space. A ritual container is an environment that through its design, intention and ambiance, can allow one to explore things in a more focused, fully present way. In the hub-bub and tumult outside the ritual container  – the container of our everyday life, it may be  more challenging or impossible to connect deeply to the things we desire and aspire to.

 

There is the metaphorical container of your D/s-BDSM relationship, that you can internalize, and the real container you create in your living space.

 

There is an important distinction to be made between the D/s and BDSM aspects of this lifestyle.

 

On the D/s side, there is the metaphor of what I call the Outer Chamber (container) of Dominance/submission. This holds all the day to day interactions, protocols, agreements, rituals etc., for the relationship.

 

The Outer Chamber represents the mythic, noble, sacred connection between Dominant and submissive.

 

In this mythos the Dom can be thought of as aspiring to their personal ideals of the good King/Queen or similar archetype. In traditional myths throughout the world, the archetypal figure of the King/Queen blesses, protects, inspires, makes clear agreements, holds boundaries cleanly, is in integrity, accountable, responsible and many other qualities.

 

The submissive, the loyal devotee/one-in-service archetype, aspires to the ideals of service, surrender, devotion, obedience and more.

 

The Inner Chamber (container) – the Dark Eros/BDSM side, holds all that is dark, taboo, forbidden, painful cruel et.al.

 

The Inner Chamber, the Dark Eros/BDSM aspect can be thought of as a concentric sphere held within the protection of the Outer Chamber. The Outer Chamber protects the soulful, loving, intimacy between a D/s couple, and allows them to safely shine the light into the dark, forbidden underworld of the Inner Chamber of Dark Eros.  A place of the taboo, the forbidden, pain, suffering, cruelty, degradation, sadism and other, in a way that does not traumatize the core body, heart and soul of each, but in fact increases trust, intimacy and erotic ecstasy.

 

These two metaphorical containers are the interior landscapes where you hold, protect and nurture yourself, your submissive and the relationship, in ways both Light and Dark.

 

It is my experience that these two aspects of D/s and BDSM are paradoxical. One sacred and one profane. Sacred and profane are the yin/yang of D/s and BDSM. They need to be untangled from each other, and allowed separate contexts so that both aspects can express fully and not be diminished or inhibited by the other. This can allow them to flow seamlessly back and forth as is right for the moment, without confusion or emotional harm.

 

There are two containers required, in my judgment, to hold this moral, ethical and spiritual paradox of the sacred (D/s aspect) and profane (Dark Eros/BDSM aspect) of this lifestyle. The two separate, but concentric containers, allow both the sacred and profane energies to co-exist together, in their full polarity, in a way that is honoring, safe, clear, honest, enriching, and authentic for both.

 

The “container” can also be a real physical space you create to hold your ritual ceremonies.  You can physically develop a ritual space in the moment, or more permanently, in your home. You make it as safe and private as possible. You make the container able to be sealed “tightly” so unnecessary or unwanted things don’t “leak” out or in. You fill it with personally resonant ambience, lighting, aroma, sound, texture that will enliven your senses, thus activating your body with sensation, and bringing more presence to your awareness. You adorn it with personally sacred objects. Things that symbolize what or who is important to you, or what you aspire to, or a memento of a meaningful experience or transition.

 

These sacred objects/symbols in your ritual space will resonate with the corresponding part in your unconscious or your conscious intentions. This resonance in the unconscious will also bring you to a deeper state of awareness and presence, aliveness, making you more active, creative, connected, embodied, heartful, and insightful during your rituals. You fill your ritual space with your conscious intention to heal, grow, express, explore, connect or whatever your intention may be.

 

In the metaphorical container that holds a D/s relationship, there can be rich and meaningful protocols, ceremonies and rituals that connect to your and your submissive’s deepest yearnings, help resolve your deepest fears, and begin healing old wounds. You have the power to create personally meaningful rituals that tangibly feel sacred and soulful. Rituals can be fashioned that are healing, honoring and empowering to both the Dom and sub. Rituals can also be powerful ways to explore and examine parts of us that have been disowned, unresolved, feared, wounded, or significant insights might be revealed  from our unconscious, that were previously flying under the radar.

 

Embracing a D/s container as a practice for a relationship to develop in, is immersing the relationship in a romantic, erotic mythos that exists beyond the relationship. The myth of the noble, regal, powerful, benevolent Lord or Lady (King/Queen/Master/Mistress archetype) and the devoted Lover (Devotee/Loyal Servant/Slave archetype).is an elegant yarn to weave a relationship with.

 

There is no adequate expression for me as a Dominant for the feeling of being treated with total adoration, humility and respect by my slave or sub. Both in the way it feels physically, emotionally and psychically, to be held so highly, as well as in my ability to break past my own internal resistance (my shadows and wounds) to receive it.

 

There is a deep, personal, soulful, physical, emotional, alive connection to this feeling for me. As well as a connection I feel to the collective mythos where these archetypal personas of King/Queen and devotee/one-in-service, and all variations, exist metaphysically. These mythic stories and personas have been known and used in ritual, and as a mainstay of cultural literature, for thousands of years. Their universal, collective nature as an aspect of all human experience has been well noted by Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell and many others. The multitude of archetypes and mythology in these stories from cultures all over the world, are part of the human software already embedded in our unconscious. We may not pay attention consciously, but we do respond and resonate to these myths in ancient or contemporary form, as we do to symbols of all sorts.

 

Each small ritual act you perform, to high-protocol, ritual ceremonies you create with your partner, can be rich in meaning to both, and keep your connection rooted at the level of a physical, romantic, emotional, mental, spiritual, embodiment of Dominant and submissive.

 

Imagine a protocol that requires your submissive to kneel upon entering your space, naked, collared, no eye contact, crawling to kneel before you, head bowed at your feet, ass up, in silence, until given permission to speak.

 

Consider all that may be going on consciously and unconsciously from this simple yet highly symbolic scenario between Dominant and submissive.

 

The imposed but voluntary adherence to protocol by the submissive is rich in mythos. As Dominant and submissive, we are immersed in a number of archetypal pairings or counterparts, dancing together on a number of levels.

 

Embodying and expressing these mythic pairings can strike deep chords that seem to be right from the core of my soul. I feel beheld in a mythos beyond my personal mythos. A familiar feeling, like I know about this, but not from personal experience. It feels sacred. It is physically, emotionally, spiritually, authentic, real, and tangible. It is rich in symbolic nuance. Meaningful and intentional symbols can activate strong emotional connections within both partners.

 

First there is the symbolism of the submissive crossing the threshold of her Dominant’s realm (container). The threshold is an important place. It divides the container into what is outside and what is inside. It is a place of choice. A place to pause and connect deeply with one’s intention in crossing the threshold. A place to be in gratitude for what is within. Here the submissive can do a small ritual meditation…to pause, breathe, get grounded in intention, let go of unnecessary, distracting  thought, before entering and kneeling.

 

Witnessing my sub’s impeccable obedience and devotion resonates a deep sense of trust within me. This symbolizes and consequently generates the emotions accordant with being honored through the keeping of agreements, even challenging ones, with grace and style. There is no resistance.  Only devotion, and the desire to please, are evident in the truth of my sub’s body, crawling to kneel and bow before me. I feel physically and emotionally disarmed, tender, even awed. I feel the tremendous trust my sub displays so vulnerably, and a sense of the sacred responsibility that trust implies.

 

There is the relief, ease, and satisfaction of knowing my sub is surrendered and will not require correction or discipline, won’t act out in a way that disrupts the intoxicating flow and romantic beauty of complete power exchange.

 

As well, the way the body moves in its crawl, evokes an animal nature, both the grace of movement and the physical vulnerability stirs my own animal nature. Some primitive, predatory Eros is in play in my body and soul.

 

Seeing the shape and pose of the body at my feet, is a powerful visual symbol of surrender. It is a classical embodiment of devotion evident in human nature and protocol in temples, churches, monasteries and castles of the realm for many ages past.

 

The ass, arched in sexual submission, offering, an invitation, is another potent image. To be treated so reverently, to have my sub totally available for use, nurtures my sense of power and control.

 

The submissive is fully exposed and vulnerable at all levels, at my whim, pleasure and mercy. I feel appeased.

 

The humble pose on the floor represents one in devotion, service and Eros. This resonates with the counterparts in me. I take in the truth that I am worthy of devotion, that I am the one above, elevated, the one being served. The feeling for me, is one of humility and grace, not inflation. My body, emotions and soul feel imbued with the birthright of my Dominance.

 

Many Dominants, myself included, carry unresolved parts of them that may be blocking them from fully claiming and owning their rightful place. Ritual practices I use, help me to get closer to allowing these powerful emotional and physical feelings to flow into my body and awareness without restraint. This is being, present, authentic and alive in the truth of the moment. Making it a practice to breathe, open and receive this offering from your submissive can lead to deep healing and full sense of empowerment. It may also be important for both partners to do more personal inner-work. This means looking at any unconscious, subtle resistances to fully embracing their Dominant and submissive natures.

 

The submissive, when bowed in surrender at my feet, also embodies the physical energetic of prey. In the animal world there is a natural point of surrender between predator and prey. A transition where fighting for survival/control by the prey, transforms to a physical embodiment of surrender.

 

The Dominant and submissive are reenacting nature’s ritual of predator/prey or alpha/beta mammalian pack rituals.  Resistance and the fight have ceased, and the “prey” instinctually exposes vulnerable parts of the body. The eyes are cast down. Any physical movements are meek and stripped of all expressions of aggression or challenge. The Dom’s body language will also hold this same instinctual attitude. How deeply either hold this instinctual posture depends on how deeply they have freed all the restraints in the physical and emotional body that hold back natural authentic expression of what they feel.

 

These instinctual postures are part of our biological, psychological heritage from reptilian forward. The body and these ancient aspects of us stored in the unconscious, responds to the vibration and instinctual memory of this part of the psyche. Just like any other predator and prey would in nature. It is not thought about. It is instinctual.

 

My experience is that of feeling these aspects of my evolutionary heritage alive in me. My animal nature. The symbol of my submissive posed before me rouses this instinct, It feels powerful and sacred to own, be aware of and embody these aspects of my psyche. The wild, untamed, primitive, instinctual nature still resides in me. No matter how civilized we might consider ourselves to be, these instinctual responses in our bodies and unconscious, are very much intact and operate  in us daily.

 

The submissive also represents an object. As Dominant, I have the absolute power to make my submissive a sacred or profane object. This absolute power can manifest as the Good King or the Merciless Tyrant.

 

As a sacred object, I am moved treat my sub with a certain reverent tenderness. My desire is to bless and protect, while also being served royally. This is not just some abstract concept in my head. I am connecting emotionally and physically with these energies and personas.

 

One tangible embodiment that I have experienced is the archetypal persona of “Daddy”. It is strongest in me, if the counterpart is also alive in my submissive. In this mythos the Daddy’s little girl totally loves and adores him. She knows she needs to be obedient and is eager for Daddy’s love and affection. She gives affection freely and generously. My “Daddy” persona feels drawn from my soul, in a ritual moment like this. I may not shift the core of my energy or embodiment there, which would be quite possible to do, but a significant portion of my embodied content may be channeling the Daddy archetype. To connect with this part of me is emotionally powerful and enriching. The feeling of tenderness and love is intense.  Who could Daddy love more than his little girl. especially when she is being so devoted, adoring, vulnerable and pleasing.

 

The point is, the feelings and experience are authentic in this moment, in this ritual, even if this is not true in the reality of everyday life. Nor am I condoning in any way, real life interactions between parents and children. Accessing the Daddy archetype can be a gateway for me to connect with my true tenderness and love that I may have been holding back or disconnected from in some way.

 

Connecting with these archetypal parts of us in ritual, is a sacred act that can transform and alter ways we may be holding back our deepest feelings for each other. It can help open up emotional blockages and allow deeper levels of emotional intimacy and free expression.

 

As a profane object my submissive becomes the symbolic counterpart of my darkest urges. In the realm of Dark Eros these urges are linked to sinister, mythic stories alive in my unconscious that can be called up. The lead characters are paired in polarized relationship. Generally speaking, these can be predator/prey, daddy or mommy/ daughter or son, teacher/student, rapist victim, Shadow Master/Mistress/shadow slave or many other dyads.

 

I consider shadows to be parts of me that are not consistent with my values and my conduct in the Outer Chamber of the day-to-day relationship. If I show up in the Outer Chamber in my “Tyrant” (shadow of the King/Queen), then I am being out of integrity to my code of conduct. I am not being present or just. I am no longer objectively listening.  I am misinterpreting data, and weaving it to fit my “story” inside. I am projecting unconsciously some past experience that wounded me, onto my submissive, in the present situation.

 

But the Inner Container is a place I can ritually own and embody my tyrant, sadist and other dark forces, in a way designed for safety, with agreement, awareness of emotional safety, and highly charged Eros.

 

In the Inner Chamber of Dark Eros my submissive is totally objectified, stripped of rights and entitlements, a target of pain, degradation, brutality, and cruelty. I can unleash my own shadowy dark desires as superior, all powerful, ruthless`, disdainful, disrespectful, asshole, mother fuckin’ tyrant and any other energies that I carry in me.

 

This is an astoundingly liberating experience to allow these dark aspects of my soul to be witnessed and expressed. To shine the light on them, to no longer hold them back, after having hidden them so long in my life. The fact that my sub is able to hold space for these shadow parts of me, and even beg for them to be unleashed, leaves a feeling of liberation and joy. And even in the midst of some cruel rampage upon my sub’s body and persona she is entwined with me in the Light.  I am at moments so aware of the tenderness and awe I feel, to be so loved and honored and encouraged to show all of me.

 

There is also an important note to make clear. Except for the mildest forms, humiliation and degradation are what I consider edge-play. It requires a lot of self-evaluation, communication, trust, and deep connection between the Dominant and submissive. There are real emotional traumas many of us carry around self-worth and image. Intentional humiliation and degradation is not a place to rush into or take lightly. I will speak more in depth about this in another piece. If you do find areas of consent that feel safe to explore these edgier places, these scenes can carry an intense emotional, physical, sexual catharsis.

 

Another level of symbol and imagery in the scenario I described, connects to the carnivorous animal heritage in our body and psyche. Letting your wild, savage, beast hunt, take down, bite into the back of the neck, or overpower activates survival level, eat or be eaten instincts, emotions and body language. These are a predator’s natural responses to hunger, and the need to dominate it’s hunting grounds to survive.

 

To feel these alive in your body and psyche is awakening deep connections and awareness of how complex and layered our experience can be. And how primitive, “uncivilized” and predatory responses within, can be consciously exercised/exorcized in the ritual container of Dark Eros. This can also bring greater awareness of how we let these shadowy energies loose in the world, in many unconscious ways. This can lead to “cleaner” communication and interaction in our relationships in the Outer Container, and in the rest of our lives.

 

I will describe more about use of ritual and symbolic tools to examine the shadows of the Dominant and submissive in the relationship oriented Outer Chamber, and talk further about Dark Eros and the shadows and wounds that may be inhibit its full expression, in a future offering.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  3 Responses to “Myth, Archetype, Symbols of D/s & BDSM”

  1. Excellent article ~ thanks so much!
    Jaeleen recently posted..Fifty Shades of FictionMy Profile

  2. thank you for inviting me to read this. your thoughts resonate deeply and i find that i need to take some time soon to reflect on your words here.

    grace and peace,
    bruisedginger (aka bridgette marie)
    bruisedginger recently posted..for You, Sir. *blush*
    bondedletters:

    niceMy Profile

  3. You are so interesting! I don’t suppose I have read a single thing like that before.

    So nice to find another person with a few genuine thoughts on this topic.
    Seriously.. many thanks for starting this up. This site is something that’s needed
    on the web, someone with some originality!
    http://www.lindenchamber.net/ recently posted..http://www.lindenchamber.net/My Profile

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