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Dark Moon Rising: Pagan Bdsm & the Ordeal Path Paperback – July 17, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 438 pages
  • Publisher: lulu.com (July 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847288928
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847288929
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #564,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is not an introductory text on paganism, or on S&M, nor is it a how-to guide, as evidenced by the fact that the contributors stay well away from the rough waters of defining BDSM in favor of sounding the depths of personal experience and spiritual context. The difficult and necessary work of guiding beginners through the rocky shallows is done well by others, and nearly everyone who wonders "How can I blend my BDSM practice with my pagan spirituality?" will have read and/or thought enough to understand what constitutes their own pagan spirituality and their own BDSM practice.

Instead the contributors discuss frankly their perspectives on reasons for engaging in pagan BDSM, their own experiences, and rituals incorporating pagan spirituality and pain play and restraint. There is a level of honesty here which I think is missing from other books about pagan spirituality, a willingness to engage in confrontation with the animalistic desires all humans have, and which for some manifest as sexual desires to dominate or to be dominated, to give or to receive pain. Although it would be unfair to dismiss all that is bright, light, or joyful as shallow and unimportant, it can easily become superficial without also acknowledging the importance of those aspects of spirituality that really grapple with the truths that the world is often painful and nature requires death, without trying to erase these truths or encourage people to divorce themselves from experiencing them fully. For some, the way into a profound awareness and acceptance of these truths is through willingly accepting pain, restriction, and service to another. If you are one of these, this book is one of only a very few offerings that actually address this perspective.
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Format: Paperback
I liked this book a lot. It focuses on some topics in BDSM that are rarely addressed, including an in-depth exploration of the mixing of spirituality and BDSM, as well as dynamics with D/S in spirituality, god-slavery, and comfort zones for tops and bottoms.

The rituals included in the book were a nice touch that can give people some good ideas for rituals that they can use. I felt like I could take most of those rituals, and with a few personal touches, incorporate them into my own practice.

With that said, I do want to emphasize that this book focuses on spirituality based approach to BDSM. Practical magical applications, beyond personal transformation magic, aren't explored in depth. This isn't a bad thing, just part of an on-going trend in BDSM/occult books that is focused on that particular venue, as opposed to other venues.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for inspiration and also spirituality in how they approach BDSM. Raven is an excellent writer who will make you feel as if you're chatting with him.
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Format: Paperback
If the reader is seeking insight into modern pagans who offer profound sacrifice this book will act as a communion with the experiences of practitioners on the Ordeal Path. For those who are moved to offer the flesh of our bodies, the blood that flows within, the flower of our pain, and the fruit of our endurance Dark Moon Rising provides a framework to begin to understand why we are moved to do so.

The mental health industry and religious reformers would have us believe many ancient spiritual practices are no longer appropriate for modern spiritual needs. Yet countless people seek union with the Divine through body modification, BDSM play/work, and difficult and exhausting physical tasks. There is a strong connection between the exertion of the body and altered states yet the use of these techniques are looked down upon by many people as inappropriate and abusive.

Raven Kaldera presents an array of experiences involving the sacred use of the body, mind, and soul as conduits of transformation. The rituals themselves are not the focus of the book as much as the compassionate exploration of how and why many of us are called to worship in this way.
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Format: Paperback
I like this book. A lot. It's not the usual chapter-by-chapter explanation of things; rather, Kaldera has collected a number of his essays, as well as a significant number of guest essays from such folks as Mistress Damiana and Morning Glory Zell. The topics are far-ranging, including everything from BDSM spirituality in service to the gods, to practical considerations both mundane and magical. Some ideas are presented in a very straightforward manner; others are personal accounts used to illustrate the concepts therein. There are even some rituals presented, including rites of passage, and some lovely poetry that could easily be worked into a ritual context such as an invocation or evocation. In short, it's full of variety.

It's pretty obvious that Raven and fellow essayists have quite a bit of experience. The various BDSM and fetish techniques utilized cover a pretty decent range of possibilities, and many of them are not for the (relatively) faint of heart. You may find yourself squicked; I am in no way, shape or form a fan of *anything* that pierces the skin (even hypodermic needles) and I found myself literally covering pictures of hook suspensions. Still, this is what works for others, and despite the not-my-kink factor, I found even the personally squick-worthy parts to be valuable additions. Regardless of what your particular tastes are, there are some great ideas that can be adapted to just about any consensual kink in a ritual context.

Much of the material seems to be oriented towards spirituality and service to the Divine, though there are some practical magical techniques as well. The concept of god-slavery is covered in decent detail here, and both it and the concept of service in general are presented not as unhealthy obsessions, but as spiritual dedication.
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