When Linda and I first met Dakota (dakota0therbee) in December 2014, we knew she was something very special. She was kinda shy, but I could immediately tell this was a girl who was extremely intelligent.
Fast forward one year later to November of 2015, and I found myself engaged in deep conversations with her in email about her life, D/s, BDSM, in addition to the other usual mundane topics.
My initial observations about her being seriously smart were confirmed, and we got to know one another quite well, which culminated in her formally becoming my Ward a few weeks later.
It was through our conversations that I later learned about Woland (hulijing), and about their very long friendship with one another, a friendship that had gotten deeper over time and had slowly blossomed into something more.
I'll be honest and say that I've always considered Kota collared to Woland even before their ceremony. They are just two people who fit well together, a couple so in tune with one another that their lives intertwined in the most natural of ways.
And so it was with little surprise that I greeted the news of the impending collar of Kota in front of her Austin friends and Austin family.
The venue for their celebration on September 9 was Austin's Ceremonial Arch, and when I dropped in briefly at the beginning of the event, I was amazed at the beauty of the place. While I was still there, more than 32 people crowded in and admired the splashes of red that adorned the trees surrounding the area.
Unfortunately, I could not stay beyond the first few minutes of the ceremony due to RL considerations, but Linda stayed for the entire event and told me how moving it was.
The collaring as always began with Ratzu Darkstone introducing the couple and saying a few words about the importance of the collar.
Then Woland came up and explained to the happy crowd the core philosophy that guides their journey together.
Today is the most important day in our lives. Although it is conventional to call this a ‘collaring ceremony’ I think of it as a collaring rite. This is a sacrament between two souls, your soul, Kota, bound to mine, my pleasure, my joy and my muse. My soul caring for you and nurturing you.
We began in role-play years ago, and our relationship blossomed…then crashed into the rocks of my limitations. We have both grown, and I have learned to accept you as you are, every facet, and you have learned to accept me, every wart. You fulfill my needs in every way, as I do yours. But we have only begun. The tree is young…and growing, tended by love.
My background is in the study of rituals and religions, particularly those of early China, and I have studied the ancient Classic of Changes from China, the Yi Jing, since I was a boy. I have taught Kota my ‘Dao’, my path, and we now walk that path together. That is part of our ritual, and our discipline, and we faithfully pursue it every day.
I feel that in that Dao there is an important lesson that applies to D/s, as it does to the world as a whole. You are familiar, no doubt, with the concept of Yin and Yang. They are pictured as equal and balanced forces taking turns in prevailing over events as the four seasons change, the Yang of summer giving way to the Yin of winter.
But I have found two secrets hidden within the ancient texts and in the world around us…imperfection and prevalence. There is no perfect thing. Every crystal has a flaw, every snowflake an imperfection that makes it unique. Every person, even the most powerful and resourceful…is broken in some small way. And that produces a need, a place in their lives for that one person who perfectly fits that imperfection, who fills it in and matches up as the two parts of a broken seal that come together to produce a whole.
|(photo by O-girl Aisha Sohl)|
Prevalence, for me, explains both the core of D/s and the core of human society. Because Yin and Yang are not in perfect balance. If they were balanced the world would come to a grinding halt, a slow entropy turning all into a cold darkness that is neither Yin nor Yang, but ‘Hun Dun’….the primordial chaos. Instead there is a spin to reality.
The Yang predominates ever so slightly, it pushes events forward as if turning over an engine, allowing it to reignite to produce heat and motion. You can see that prevalence reflected in the calendar. Even numbers are Yin, Yang numbers are odd. Some months end on a Yin day and some on a Yang…but the first day of each month is invariably Yang. It is a symbolic reflection of the way the world is put together; that slight prevalence of the Yang over the Yin.
Those outside D/s do not understand us. What we do fills a craving, yes. It seems to those outside to be a flaw, and perhaps it is our flaw, the imperfection in our crystals, but it is also our joy and the key to our growth. It is just not a vanilla flaw. And it perfectly displays that principle of the prevalence of the Yang. I am not speaking of gender here. Although Yang is traditionally male and Yin female I am speaking of a Dominant Yang and submissive Yin, and those take no account of gender.
I have rambled on enough, and hopefully given you, our dear friends who share this wonderful day with us, an insight into some of the philosophy that Kota and I explore in our ritual life.
I wish I could share in words how I feel about this woman. She is my wife, my lover, and most important of all she is mine. I am her Master, and today I will ask her to take my permanent collar. We come together today to bring the two halves of our seal together. We are already two sides of a coin as people. Now we shall be newly minted, a Master and his beloved submissive.
|(photo by O-girl Aisha Sohl)|
I am not a submissive....probably not what anyone would expect to hear at a collaring ceremony, but I'm not in the way that I hear some girls refer to it...like it's their core nature.
What I am is a woman who likes to see people happy and to do things for people I care about. I have learned that a part of me has a desire to give submission, not to everyone, but to those who sincerely offer their Dominance in return.
It took a long time before and almost a year at Austin to accept this fact. It took me a long time to see I didn't have to fit any mold or ideal of what a submissive should be. It was ok to be just as I am.
It was also ok that my gift of submission was in a long box for some, a round box for another and in an average sized box for most. What I found is that the box shape and size was completely correlated to how much trust I had in the Dominant. Not just trust with my physical safety, but my emotional and mental safety as well. Trust that they were present and there because they wanted to be there.
|(photo by O-girl Aisha Sohl)|
One ready with all my worries and fears and laughter and joy and reverence and insecurity and hunger and OCD tendencies and stubbornness and fire and sillyness and omg-she's-a-nerd all wrapped up inside.
I found the right Dominant... one who wanted to take it with a smile and say, thank you...this is just what I was ready for.
I'm not sure I could put into words how that feels.
To trust someone with that big box and know that they can use it.
That this Dominant, this Master, will use me and all the service I have to offer. That anytime a little worry slips from that box it will be ok, because HE is capable of handling that and not wishing I'd given him something else.
To know that I am perfect in my imperfect service and always will be. It makes me want to be BRAVE.
It makes me want to say "Yes! Yes, Master" even when I'm afraid. It makes me want to never hide anything from him. I know that I don't always get my way, but I never ever have to hide my desires. I am safe.
What I get in return is a Master who is trustworthy, wise, creative, true to himself, consistent, intelligent, funny, caring, persistent *smiles*, did I say wise?, smoldering hot and reliable to say the least. He has nothing to prove. He is my teacher, my guide, my husband, my porn and...my Master.
I wanted to say this for anyone starting on this path. Those who are close to me know that getting to even this point was not easy. (Small moment of silent gratitude for those that had to deal with my freak outs...grins).
It took time to get to this level of trusting and it's still not finished... it can go even deeper. I started off years ago giving my Master an average sized box of my submission and trust and as time went on...each time things went ok...I'd give a bigger one the next time.
For some, it's gut, they know right away. But for me, time was my friend.
I've kept this huge box on a shelf for what feels like eternity and I am driven to tears writing this because I can't fucking wait for the time each night when I get to watch this Master unwrap it.
Thank You so much for Your Dominance, I'm ready Master.
At this point, the crowd was asked to stand for the exchange of vows.
Woland: I offer you my collar.
Woland Removes the training collar
Woland: In accepting this collar, you acknowledge that you trust me. Do you trust me?
Dakota: Yes, Master, I trust you with all mind
Woland: I commit to care for you and protect you.
Woland: In accepting this collar, you acknowledge that you submit to me. Do you submit to me?
Dakota: Yes, Master, I submit to you with all my soul
Woland: I accept your submission and commit myself to love you.
Woland: In accepting this collar, you acknowledge that you belong to me. Do you belong to me?
Dakota: Yes, Master, I belong to you with all my heart
Woland: You belong to me, and I am your Master. You alone are truly mine from this day. So mote it be.
Woland: Draws her to her feet and takes out the collar
Woland: Looking down with love, protection and commitment....puts the collar on
It was done.
|(photo by O-girl Aisha Sohl)|
Attendees at the event while I was still there included (in alphabetical order):