A couple of years ago, someone forwarded me a post on some Pagan list where I was being accused of posting pictures of torturing someone mentally retarded and homeless on "a blog of mine". While people do come to me and ask me to help them with spiritual ordeals, I have never had a blog, and I have never posted pictures of those ordeals. I would consider that a breach of privacy. So I figured that it was just someone making things up, and I ignored it, as I ignore the many rumors circulating about me. No one could come up with these pictures, anyway.
Recently, however, someone else asked me about the rumor directly. (Wow, someone actually coming to the source instead of merely passing on inaccuracies!) I reiterated that I had never had a blog, and I had never posted any such pictures. The questioner went to the rumor-spreader, who was still swearing up and down that she had seen these pictures. The mysterious blog photos were described: "There was a picture of her face with 1 or 2 wounds, a picture of her laying face down on something with 4 - 5 wounds on her back. They appeared to be puncture and lesions." And it clicked - we knew what pictures she was talking about.
Our friend, Wintersong Tashlin, of the Barking Shaman blog, had borrowed our back field to do some ordeal work with a friend of ours, Ruth. He'd taken photos of it and put them in his blog, with Ruth's encouragement. In fact, she used one of them as her LJ icon for a while, with the blood running down her face and all. (That pic has since been chosen to be part of a Tarot deck, I understand.) The pictures corresponded to the description. Wintersong's Blogspot blog had been "friended" to my partner Joshua's LJ through some kind of a feed, but the feed went wonky and he took it down - right about that time, summer of 2007 - we checked the date in Ruth's LJ (fetish666) and she mentioned in her July of 2007 entry that she had done a needle scene with a friend and was looking forward to the pictures. (The irony is that if the feed hadn't gone awry, the pics would have been easily found and seen to be on Wintersong's blog. They were later taken down, along with that post, but at the time we all had no idea about this issue.)
We're pretty sure that it was these pictures that created the problem, because they match the description and the timeline. So I went to Ruth and asked her for help on the matter, and she has gotten a couple of the pics from Wintersong and posted them HERE. She invites anyone who'd like to know about her mental status (very intelligent and completely capable of consent) or her willingness to get needles in her face and on her back (very willing, she does ritual ball dances on a yearly basis) or her ability to correctly identify the owner of the needles and the camera (Wintersong, not me) to contact her.
Neither Ruth nor Wintersong are Northern Tradition. Ruth's patron deity is Baphomet and Wintersong follows a non-Northern goddess, with his husband Fireheart.
As I said, I do help people with ordeal rituals. I wrote a book about that: Dark Moon Rising: Pagan BDSM and the Ordeal Path. (All the photos in that book were taken and donated by the talented photographer Lee Harrington.) I'm open about that. I never do ordeals with someone who is not completely and legally capable of consent. In addition to having gone through extensive training in ordeal work, I have taken the Ordeal Master's Binding Oath, which magically prevents me from messing someone up. If I'd taken those photos, I'd claim them - but I didn't.
Considering that Wintersong's blog opens with "poly pagan shaman with Tourette syndrome", I can understand that people reading quickly might mistake him for me - but he is his own kind of Ordeal Master, and very competent as such. So let's give credit where credit is due.
All my websites are available off my my "hub" site, ravenkaldera.org. As I said, I don't blog. If I'm going to write studiously on something every day, I'm going to get paid for it. There is a "Cauldron Farm Update" blog, but it belongs to my partner Joshua and when he posts (which isn't often) it is mostly recipes, event announcements, and photos of his cute dog.
Hopefully this will clear up the misinformation. You may now return to your regularly scheduled world.
- Northern Tradition Shamanism
- Northern Tradition Paganism
- The First Kingdom Church of Asphodel
Eclectic Paganism in Central MA
- Asphodel Press
Independent Pagan publishing
- Pagan Book of Hours
Daily rituals from Asphodel
- Cauldron Farm
My home in Central Massachusetts
- Mengloth’s Market
- Pagan Prayer Beads
For many traditions and purposes
- Pagan BDSM
Spirituality and sadomasochism
- Alfred Press
Books on alternative relationship structures and sexual lifestyles
- Evil Overlord of the Transsexual Empire
Join our Legions of Terror!