Some Words About Rituals

Students, you might want to prepare to take some notes today. I talked about rituals once before, about having rituals and including them in D/s. Today, I want to talk more specifically about creating a ritual. One can just string some actions together, repeat it all a few times, and call it a ritual. But one can also be more thoughtful about it, and give specific meaning to specific actions and thereby create a ritual with more significance and beauty. And hopefully create a ritual that enhances the D/s experience.

I have been watching some of the shows on a channel called NHK World. The majority of the non-news shows on that channel are about Japanese culture in various forms. One of the things that has appeared on several different shows is the Japanese tea ceremony. There are formal and informal versions of the tea ceremony. There is even a picnic version of the tea ceremony. The basic form of the tea ceremony is several hundred years old. In the formal version, everything has a specific way of being done, and it all has a specific meaning, from the preparation of the space for the ceremony, to the making of the tea, to the receiving of the tea by the guests.

One of the goals of the tea ceremony is to show respect, primarily by the host to the guests, but also from the guests to the host. This engenders a sense of friendship and bonding between the host and the guests. And while at a tea ceremony tea and food are served, the focus is less on the tea and food, and more on the aesthetics of the ceremony and presentation of the tea and food. In other words, the point of the tea ceremony is not to provide tea and food, but to share something beautiful.

There is a lot more to say about the various forms of Japanese tea ceremony, but that is not the focus of this post. You can find more information on the intertubes, and I recommend looking into it.

One thing more I do want to say about Japanese tea ceremony, specifically the formal version, is that it is not something done every day. So do not think I am I talking about trying to incorporate something as involved as the formal tea ceremony in everyday D/s. But there are ways to create ritual that is meaningful to a D/s relationship, and then use it for special occasions.

If you want to create a ritual within your D/s relationship, it should start with a discussion between Dominant and submissive. First just talk about the idea of creating a ritual. Is there anything you already do that lends itself to a ritual? Or is there something new around which you want to build a ritual? Talk about what the ritual means. Talk about what the parts of the ritual mean. Talk about what items will be used in the ceremony and why. Talk about how the items will be used and why. Give each part of the ritual meaning.

And do not just have a one-sided ritual. Yeah, I am looking at you, Dominants. Do not have just a bunch things the submissive does and call that a ritual. Give yourself a part to play in the ritual. Have a response to the actions of the submissive that are part of the ritual. Make the ritual something that encompasses both of you. Use the structure of the ritual to engage in the meaning of the ritual. A couple of examples from the tea ceremony: One of the important parts of the space in which the ceremony takes place is the hanging scroll, usually with simple and elegant calligraphy or a painted scene of nature, and near the beginning of the ceremony the guest should examine the scroll and may ask questions about it. Another thing done by the guest is when handed the bowl with the prepared tea, the guest gives the bowl two quarter turns to not drink from the front of the bowl, as a sign of respect to the host.

In other words, create a ritual that involves both the Dominant and the submissive participating. And if you really want to be daring, Dominants, consider a ritual in which you serve the submissive. You do not have to switch roles. But you can have a ritual that involves you, O Dominant, doing something deliberately and specifically for the submissive. You can use this as a special reward for the submissive.

Once you have a ritual planned out, practice it a few times. You will want to see how it works and to become used to the ritual. And practice will help you remember the ritual for the next time you do it.

The Japanese tea ceremony involves tea and food. You can make a ceremony that involves food, but you do not have to do so. Your ritual can use anything as a center point. A meal, a cleaning, a shower, clothing, discipline.

A formal tea ceremony can last for hours. An informal tea ceremony can take less than an hour. Keep in mind, when planning your ritual, how much time the ritual needs.

One of the major parts of the Japanese tea ceremony, even the informal ones, is the aesthetic of the items used and the surroundings. Consider having a special space just for a specific ceremony. Consider also choosing an aesthetic that has meaning not just to the ceremony, but to you personally. The Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic reflected in most tea ceremonies is not just about appearance, but also about reflecting a philosophy.

Is this all starting to sound complicated? It does not have to be. I am not saying you need to have every last detail worked out the first time. I am just suggesting ways to add layers of meaning to the ritual. The more layers of meaning you can add to the ritual, the deeper and more profound the ritual will be when you perform it.

Okay class, that is… Yes, cute girl in the front row, what is your question? Can you build a ritual around being spanked? Yes, you could do that. What’s that? Yes, if you will come to my office after class, I will give you some tutoring in that.

Now then, class… Yes, cute girl in the back row, what is your question? Can you come watch? Watch what? Oh. Yes, you may come to my office after class as well.

That is all for today, class. As always, feel free to ask questions. I will do my best to answer them.

I plan on having a post for Dominants up by the end of the week. And sometime in the next couple of weeks the Spiritual Discipline part of this blog will begin anew. I still owe a Dream story, and I will be working on that as well.

Until next time, students, be good. Keep breathing. Keep learning.

6 Responses to “Some Words About Rituals”

  1. littleannab Says:

    Reblogged this on Diamond Eyes.

  2. Really enjoyed this article. I can appreciate it because I’m stationed in Okinawa Japan and have personally been invited into the homes to witness several Japanesse tea ceremonies. Very humbling experience and I enjoyed the symbolism in which you used to correlate them. Could you give specific examples as to rituals one might use? I’ve never done any, but am curious on your thoughts. Also, if I had a specific question regarding D/s relationship would it be possible to sent you a private message for answering? If not no worries, just have a few and I’m new/ wanting to learn. Thanks.
    Sincerely,
    Amanda

    • Examples of rituals? Hm. Well, rituals could be as simple and small as a kneeling and presentation motion for serving the Dominant dinner, or something more like a richly layered ceremony reaffirming the submissive’s submission to the Dominant.

      As for asking private questions, the current policy is as follows. You leave a comment telling me something about who you are and asking a question. You may indicate in the comment that you wish it to remain private. Since I must approve your comment before it appears, I will see it but no one else will if I do not approve it. Anyway, if I believe you are sincere and respectful, I will respond to your question via private e-mail. If you continue to be sincere and respectful, you may be allowed to ask more questions.

  3. Ritual is a little lost in our contemporary society, speaking generally here from a ‘Western first world’ perspective. In the past ritual was much more integrated throughout our lives. Personally I find the sense of sacredness and attentiveness created by employing ritual deeply rewarding.

  4. Hello again Xajow

    What a great analogy for this. I like the thought of it and can see how little things could be a great way to start. Like kneeling down with head down and hands together to greet him as he comes home each day. Hmm.. I need to get my imagination going and think of something more creative.

    Also like the way you ended it with the cute girls asking questions.. You know your audience well. Adorable!

    Thank you again Xajow for the ideas.

    *kisses*
    ~Nickole~

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