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Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Vernal Equinox 2015

Ostara Witch

The apparent path of the sun will cross the celestial equator at 22:45 UTC tonight.  Happy Ostara, Dear Readers, and Blessed Be!

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I think I can safely speak for virtually all sex workers when I say that we don’t want to be passive tools used by governments and NGOs as the excuse for tyranny; we simply want to be left alone to live our lives like anyone else, with the same rights, privileges, duties and legal protections as people in every other profession.  –  “Only Rights Can Stop the Wrongs

sex workers uniteToday is International Sex Worker Rights Day, a day for protest and activism held on the anniversary of a 2001 sex worker festival in India which succeeded despite efforts by prohibitionists to stop it via their usual means, collusion with the “authorities”.  I think that has tremendous symbolic value:  prohibitionists would like to stop our whole movement if they could, to silence us, suppress us and turn us into the helpless, voiceless victims who populate  their masturbatory fantasies; it’s therefore important to celebrate a major victory over them so we can remind ourselves that no matter how strenuously our enemies fight to hold us down, and no matter how many cops and politicians they conspire with, we must still win in the long run.  Furthermore, the fact that the observance started in India is in my mind very important; Indian sex workers are an inspiration and an example to their American sisters, and what we take lying down or weakly protest in small groups, they shout down with the thunderous voice of tens of thousands working together.  When I first wrote about the day four years ago it was barely even known in North America (though well-observed all over Asia and Africa), but has since caught on and gets more press every year.  I don’t think we’ll ever have anything like the sheer numbers the Indian groups can boast, but maybe by observing their day we can fortify ourselves with some of their indomitable spirit.  I don’t mean by some sort of sympathetic magic, mind you, but rather by keeping their example in our minds.

Today of all days is especially important to me personally, because it will be the first group sex worker rights event I’ve ever participated in.  I’ve been writing about sex worker rights online for almost eleven years now, and collecting those writings in one place (and under one name!) for five of them; last year I spent months travelling across the country speaking on the subject to anyone who would listen, from individuals to groups of dozens to TV audiences of many thousands.  But everything I’ve ever done as an activist was undertaken either completely alone, or with the help of sympathetic outsiders.  And I’ve come to realize that, as effective as I’ve been, I’ve never had the experience of working with other whores on a concerted action.  It’s one of the things I moved to Seattle for; if you read yesterday’s column you already know another, equally important reason.  As I said on New Year’s Day, I’ve broken out of the cocoon in which I had wrapped myself for so long; though I’m still going to do a lot of my fighting from behind this keyboard, I’m also going to be doing a lot of hands-on work.  And though much of my most important activism will still be solitary, a lot of it will follow the example of my Indian heroines, battling side-by-side in the trenches with my sisters.

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Mardi Gras 2015

The deities who preside over [carnival] are not those associated with Christianity, but rather the ancient pagan gods who, in New Orleans alone out of this whole grim, Puritanical country, have never fully relinquished their rule.  –  “Mardi Gras 2014

If you’re a new reader and not from New Orleans, you may not understand why the day is still important to me even though I no longer live there (and in fact, I’ve never been as far from the Crescent City on a Fat Tuesday as I am today).  So take a look at my previous columns for the day (the one linked in the epigram plus 2013, 2012 and 2011), and if you want to celebrate in your own small way try indulging yourself in whatever way makes you happiest, at least for one day; that’s exactly what I’ll be doing!

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Valentine’s Day 2015

An obligatory “gift” of a certain expected value which must be presented at a certain time in order to retain a woman’s sexual favors is not a love offering, but rather a whore’s fee.  –  “St. Valentine’s Day
Kitten Valentine
Regular readers know that I don’t care much for Valentine’s Day, mostly because it’s so nakedly hypocritical but also because, as I explained last year,

…while all the others are inclusive, this one is exclusive.  Holidays are times for friends, families and others to gather and celebrate together, but Valentine’s Day festivities (except, perhaps, for polyamorists) are exactly the opposite.  Lovers tend to seek every available excuse to be alone together anyway; it hardly seems necessary to set aside a special day for that, especially one on which the show is celebrated above the substance.

In fact, I like the classical Roman Lupercalia much better; dudes running around naked and hitting women with whips seems to me a much more exciting way to celebrate than being given a box of chocolates I can’t eat without worrying about my waistline.  Even most Valentine images are annoying or even creepy, which is why I like the little kitten one above so much.  SEE HOW CUTE IT IS??? Major, major cute.  7.5 on the Richter scale of cuteness.  And therefore one of the few I can stand.  Starting next year, I’ll be generating my own images for this occasion, but until then you’ll have to settle for…no, I can’t say it; some puns are just too awful, even for a Valentine.

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Imbolc 2015

Brooke Imbolc
I’d like to thank Dr. Brooke Magnanti for supplying the art for this sabbat.  If you’d like to provide one for the vernal equinox, Beltane or the summer solstice, please let me know!

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Diary #237

Pioneer Square in winterLast Tuesday I brought Jae to the airport, and was I ever sorry to see her go; as you can probably tell from my frequent mentions of her the past few months, we’ve become very close since I stayed at her place while in Seattle last November (though we’ve known each other for about a year and a half).  The last person I bonded with so rapidly was Grace, and they actually share quite a few personality traits; as you might expect they, too, became friends immediately and have already made plans for a road trip together that I’ll report on when the time comes.  But I have a road trip coming long before that; as I mentioned in “Boy Juice” I’ll be headed back up to Seattle in just a few weeks, and I think it’s time to reveal that I’ll be spending a lot of time there this year.  There are a lot of reasons for the temporary relocation, many of them related to a desire to be more directly involved in on-the-ground activism; in the long run we also plan to turn my ranch into a center of the US sex worker community, and my time in Seattle will be instrumental in securing the backing and support to turn that into a reality.  If that sounds cryptic, I apologize; it’s just best not to announce one’s chickens before they’re even laid (let alone hatched).

The relocation is only one of several major life-changes, as I alluded to in my New Year’s Day column; I’ll address the others at the proper time.  But for now, I’d like all the prayers, good wishes, positive vibrations and financial support y’all can give, and I promise to keep you up on developments as they continue to unfold.

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There is neither heaven nor earth
only snow, falling incessantly.
 –  Hashin

You may be wondering why I’m featuring this lovely picture of a beautiful witch on this particular day.  Well, since this is Christmas Eve in Russia, you might think of her as the Frost Maiden, granddaughter to Ded Moroz (the Slavic Santa Claus).  And since today is also Epiphany,  when children in many Catholic countries receive their presents, you might think of her as Befana, the witch who performs that function in Italy.  Befana is traditionally depicted as an old lady, but since Italy is Italy sexy Befana images are now quite common there; besides, if I were an immortal witch with magical powers you can bet I wouldn’t go around looking like a hag.  Befana is a Christianized version of the minor Roman goddess Strenia, who was herself associated with the Greek witch-goddess Hecate.  So as you can see, a sexy witch image is totally appropriate for this first day of the carnival season…and besides, it’s my blog and I’ll use just about any excuse I can think of to post a picture of a beautiful fantasy chick.

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