September 2nd

Hi guys. Thursday through Monday was Wet Spot In Paradise and I've never been more exhausted in my life.

Now, there was a lot of sex and a lot of SM and a lot of making happy and stuff. I'll try to write about that in a day or so. Right now I want to write about Saturday evening. Some of us who were family with Al D decided to hold a ritual to bring a bit of Al to Paradise and to bring a bit of Paradise to Al. Troy - the young man who had been Al's apprentice, Panther, Stephanie and myself. In the middle of a meadow, with a loose dirt circle about 50' in diameter and with Stonehedge-like rocks around, Stephanie cleansed an area with smudge. On a blanket we had an altar of mementoes - a particular necklace that Al had made Troy, a clutch of leather he had given Panther, one of the buffalo skulls that had previously hung around his sweat lodge, other special items. It was dusk. Several dozen friends, lovers, and others gathered respectfully silent around.

We made a couple of simple introductory comments to the group, and then focussed on our business at hand. Troy pierced me first, and like usual I had a cathartic bellow come out with The Beast so loud that here on Tuesday my throat still hasn't recovered. He pierced Panther and Stephanie and then I pierced him. It was 10 gauge needles followed by 8 gauge fishhooks in the flesh over our upper pecs. We also got thin 6" spears through our cheeks. They were through the cheek and out the mouth. We tied off 10' lengths of parachute line to the hooks, my right hook tied off to Stephanie's left hook, Steph's right hook tied off to Troy's left hook, and on around to Panther's right hook tied off to my left one.

The piercing supplies and the table and all were pulled away and it was just the four of us, naked and hooked to one another, standing in a circle in the dirt.

We slowly walked out to extend the circle until the lines were taut, and then all of a sudden - with more authority than any drill sergeant - Troy yelled "Pull!" We all lurched back and from there for I don't know how long we would pull and relax, pull and pull more, pull and then pull and then pull more. We walked in a circle with the lines taut many times. Occasionally we would walk in, tension off the lines, and then back out again. It was primal, and it was as real as could be. Troy's strength in leading were a surprise and we all followed. Finally my legs gave out and I had to be unhooked. I was sobbing, fearing I was failing my friends. Troy was crying, we were all in each other's arms. They were hooked into a triangle then, and I stumbled off to the side.

At this moment from behind me I felt a blanket wrapped around me and a bottle of water thrust into my hand, and a chair under me. I was sobbing that I wasn't out there. It was a crone who had gone to bed earlier and had been woken by and drawn by the ritual who had comforted me. I was fine other than that my legs - my lower back really - had given out. In a second I threw off the blanket, dropped the water bottle, and reached up to the 6" lengths of line left when I had been cut free, and I began to pull on those lines in time with my family's pulls out on the dirt. I pulled as hard as I could on them each time until it was suddenly over. I rushed out to hug and be with the others as they disengaged from one another, and we started to de-hook and de-spear and start to return from our journey.

The same crone who had given me comfort earlier spent some time that evening making sure that all of us were grounded and safe. Friends of Al's were crying. We were all crying and not-crying and my memories are a bit of a jumble. I know at one point I went back to the room where my things were and got dressed, but then couldn't stand being inside in a small room and had to go wander and talk and be. Steph walked by at one point radiating energy like a microwave with the door off. Panther went back into the arms of her large family encampment. One of Troy's hook wound ripped about a half inch through his chest but he declined sutures, preferring to bear the scar happily.

The next morning I was woken by a lady who had had a vision of an eagle descending into our vortex. She will be sending each of the four of us a copy of the picture she will draw of it. I had friends over the next couple days come to me and tell me how touched they - also friends of Al - were. Some of our hosts - who have been raising energy in that site for over 20 years - pulled me aside the next day at one point to ask about it, and they asked some of the right questions to show they understood what it was for us.

I'm rambling. I'm going to quote a letter I got from Troy here, with his permission. He asked me to pass it on.

I survived the Wet Spot In Paradise, and all i got was this lousy flesh wound.

I would like to express my gratitude for this weekend. I would also like to explain why it was so important to me.

I would like you to understand the hook pull on saturday night was not fantasy, it was not play, and it was not a scene. It was a real life blood ritual. It was in fact the most powerful ritual i have ever seen or participated in. I hope everyone who witnessed our ceremony can understand its magnitude. I hope that you will accept the experience as a gift you may carry with you for the rest of your days.

Peter, Panther, Stephanie, and myself did it to honor Al D. Sowers. Al was an extremely powerful man, and touched many people's lives. He was a piercer, an educator, a friend, and a mentor. Most importantly, for the four of us, he was family.

I am proud to have known Al D. I am proud to carry on piercing and teaching in his absence. I am proud to be his family. I am proud to perform blood ritual in his place. I am proud to help others in their rituals.

Al D. and I were kindred spirits. I hope he knows I would be proud to be his son. Not his boy, but his son.

Thank you Dad for all of the wonderful gifts you bestowed upon me and for all the lives you have touched.

And thank you all for being respectful, supportive, and for sharing in a very special offering.

Thank you all, friend and stranger alike, who shared your experience with me.


That's Al in the picture. I'll write more about the usual fisting and swimming and frolicking in the woods and stuff soon. This is enough for tonight, and it is good.

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