dydan: (kinky)
Over the years, I've lost track of the number of times I've joked about providing "Temple Services" to my lovers. Late last week, I learned that such things really do happen.

Phoenix Goddess Temple was raided after a 6 month police investigation. Something like 30 people were charged with prostitution. Not surprisingly, the people who run PGT have loudly proclaimed their religious rights are being trampled upon. Also not surprisingly, the Pagan community has been very split in its opinions.

Team #1 says: Prostitution should be legal, man! Sex is sacred, man! If these people are saying they are offering sacred sex, that's good enough for me!

Team #2 says: They are hookers trying to hide behind a religion. And they are about as Pagan as Billy Graham.

I've definitely gone to Team #2.

Their website is predictably vague. But if you see some of their online ads, I don't see how it can be viewed as anything other than a high priced hooker.

Here's the issue I have:

Let's give these people the benefit of the doubt and say they are doing deeply personal, therapeutic work to help people on a psychological and spiritual level. Before their profiles got taken down (due to the legal problems) I can tell you that NOT ONE of their staff had any kind of credentialing or licensing as a therapist, sex therapist or even a sex surrogate. Not one. A few have Reiki credentials, but the last time I checked, Reiki doesn't involve a happy ending. A few have massage therapist licenses, but again...no massage therapist I know would be willing to put their license on the line by performing anything that could be remotely viewed as a sex act. In fact, the LMT's I know have zero tolerance policies and have been known to kick clients out in the middle of sessions when they have gotten too frisky.

And yet here they are, publicly promoting themselves. That's stupid if you ask me. If you are going to put yourself out there in a very public way doing some kind of business that could be easily questioned by the general population (and the law) you better damn well make sure you have some kind of documentation to legitimize yourself and avoid the embarassing perp walk.

I like to think I am a good friend. I'm a good listener. I've been known to give damn good advice to people and have helped people I care about through some really shitty times. Does that make me qualified to open shop and call myself a therapist? HELL NO. I haven't got the degree or the state license to be able to claim that. So if I were stupid enough to advertise myself as a therapist, I'd have no one but myself to blame when the local law comes a'callin' to rein my ass in.

Does owning all the ER episodes ever made make you qualified to be a doctor? No. Watching every Law & Order episode doesn't make you a lawyer. Because again, you don't have the education and licenses required by the law.

This debate should not be about whether prostitution should be legal. I happen to think that it should be made legal, heavily regulated and taxed appropriately. And if people feel that strongly about legalized prostitution, then go on out and lobby to change the laws. But for now, the laws state you can't exchange payment for sex acts, no matter how therapeutic or religious you think that act may be.

Playing the religion card? It just doesn't work. Not here. Yes, yes, there's plenty of Gods and Goddesses out there who are quite sexual. And yes, there's probably plenty of Pagans out there who incorporate sacred sex (and lots of it) in their traditions. There's nothing wrong with that at all and I don't think the law would have an issue with members of a church getting frisky with each other in the privacy of their own spaces. But when you step outside and invite the general population in to partake of your services, request a payment, and you call it some form of therapy, you better damn well cover your ass.

Pun intended.
dydan: (Default)
I've been watching the circus of the San Antonio Pagan Pride Day on Yahoo Groups for a few weeks now and if nothing else, it reinforces my thought that the local community sucks.

Pagan Pride Day is supposed to take place in the Fall, sometime around the Autumn Equinox. Its meant to a public showing of ourselves...community outreach, de-mystifying ourselves to the general population, etc.

Last year there was all sorts of drama involved with the Coordinator and a local coven. The coven was sponsoring a fundraiser in the form of a raffle. PPD isnt free...there's space to rent, a security guard to pay for, food/beverages and all that. And being that Pagans are notoriously broke, it was clear the money necessary to pull off PPD was not going to come from our own purses, hence the fundraiser. Somehow the Coordinator decided she was going to use the money raised for something else...and the coven who sponsored this raffle was understandably angry about it. It was shady, it was full of drama and hate and ended with the coven publicly giving the Coordinator and PPD a big fuck you.

You would think there would be someone new as Coordinator this year, right?

Oh no. Same lady. More shady shit this year!

This year's great fundraising idea was a Midsummer's Ball. This was decided back in like...January. And on paper, it seemed like a good idea. It was supposed to be for Pagans and the general public (in keeping with the spirit of PPD). Unfortunately, they did NO advertising. None. Hell, I didnt start hearing anyone talk about the Ball until roughly a month before it was supposed to happen! So when they came within a week of the event and had only sold FOUR tickets...the event was cancelled. So long, fundraiser!

The Coordinator posted a bunch of pics on the local site that were supposedly from last year's PPD. Only, they werent. They were actually pictures from a private event the "angry Coven" from last year held. The pics heavily featured children. The Coven politely asked that the pictures be removed from the site. Seems reasonable enough: the pics are NOT of PPD. The Coven pointed out that as a parent, Coordinator had to respect another parent's wishes in not having a child's image plastered all over the Internets for some group's advertising. Coordinator completely ignored the request. And THREE other requests. It wasnt until someone got bitchy about the photos that she decided to speak up about it. And of course, that was snarky.

She made the comment that if you arent out of the closet, then you shouldnt attend PPD at all. That got EVERYONE pissed off because the whole purpose behind PPD is being able to attend whether you are Pagan or not, closeted or not. Community outreach, remember? Coordinator never retracted her statement, never apologized for it either.

Coordinator regularly pops off with snippy, rude remarks to people in the group, especially when people are asking legitimate questions that need answers. And heaven forbid your opinion is different than hers! She'll bitch you out, then tell you to take the conversation off-list. Oh ok, so you can rip into people publicly, thus displaying your superiority...and then you can send the bad little Pagan to her room for a time-out where you'll presumably do more bitching? Classy, lady...oh so classy.

Several questions people have are blatantly ignored. Important questions pertaining to actually running said event. Like, how much $ do we have in the bank for this? Who is doing advertising - and what is being done? Who is running certain important committees? And what progress is being made in those committees? Late last week a number got dropped. They need $850 for the space and the security guard. If we dont cough up that money asap, the event will be cancelled.

So let me get this straight. The event is roughly 2 months away and you need close to a Grand and you've done NOTHING to get that money all year long? And you STILL aren't advertising this event in any way?

One of the volunteer coordinators said something about this in her private Facebook. Coordinator lady took said posting and made it public to the PPD list, bitching out said volunteer for her opinion. It was tacky and childish, something I'm seeing regularly from this stupid Coordinator. Predictably, the posting created a shitstorm all weekend long. Most of the volunteers that were helping organize this fiasco have quit in disgust (including the co-chair). Not just over the latest flame war, they are disgusted with the way the whole thing has been done (or not done as the case may be)

Its downright pathetic if you ask me. San Antonio is the 7th largest city in the United States and we have a large, diverse Pagan population. And yet the majority of the "public" Pagans in this area are snooty, catty bitches who cant play nice with anyone - including themselves. Worse, when they do get someone with brains and a willingness to volunteer, they refuse to cooperate with that person - because they CLEARLY know best, what with how wildly successful their events have been. Gee, no wonder we are all apathetic and lazy! As much as I am willing and able to volunteer and help out, I absolutely refuse to deal with those people. Maybe next year someone will get smart and take over because as long as that crazy woman is in charge it will be nothing but a Clusterfuck Circus.

Goodie...another year, another lame excuse for San Antonio's Pagan Pride Day.
dydan: (Default)
Mother Oak

The air is still
Unusually quiet
Even greedy baby birds
Hold their breath
The scent of rain
Lingers teasingly
The clouds gather
Low and heavy
Full of promise
But still holding back
In the distance
Thunder faintly rumbles
A squirrel leaps
From branch
To branch
Eager to find
Her safe haven
At last, the cool breeze
Caresses branches
Like a lost love
The leaves rustle
In approval
As the first drops
Fall
dydan: (Default)
The summer breeze is keeping my wind chimes busy
I slipped outside to bask under the beautiful glow of the moon.
I felt the elements as I called to them.
My skin prickled like unseen hands were tickling at my aura.
I opened my arms to draw Her in.
I heard Her say "My Daughter"
And I let the wave of bliss roll over me.

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dydan: (Default)
dydan

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