I’ve been discussing some things about Feri with Lee over at his blog PASSIONANDSOUL and on a private list:
I wanted to repost part of my last response to him here. As always, what follows is my opinion and reflects no one and no tradition but myself.
|Image from TENNA-LT on DeviantArt.|
I think (Feri) people tend to look at the extreme. “To be a submissive is to submit your life force to another. God forbid!” Um, no, not in a healthy sub/dom relationship. There’s a difference between letting someone else be in control and “submitting your life force”. I’ve heard it said that the sub actually has more power than the dom because she (to use generic pronouns because this sentence got unwieldy) is in control of her partner’s power over her. She decides to let him (or her) have that power and can stop it or take it away at any point. The ultimate control is actually with her, not her partner. His control and power is by consent and limited by her agreement. She still has control of her life force. It’s kind of like selling someone a license to publish and sell an art piece that you created. You still own it and can do what you want and can revoke the license at any point (in the analogy, I’m not sure legally in real world situations).
|Spirit possession in Bali.
Image from Dharma Records blog.
It’s the same with the gods, I think. Ritual possession is a major part of some trains of Feri, like it is in Voudou, yet (Feri) people don’t get up in arms about that being “submitting your life force to another”, well at least I’ve never heard of anyone getting up in arms about it. Possession is by consent with a god you already have a relationship with and is limited in duration. There are limits understood by both the god and you. You willingly submit for a time. So, too, with our day to day relationship with them. We serve them willingly, submit to them willingly, but it’s always our choice, we aren’t submitting our life force to them, but lending it to them.
Whether it’s a relationship with another person or with a god, look at, as Lee said, whether you’re blossoming in that relationship. If you control your life force, you will be, but if they do, it will be a drain on you, like a psychic vampire, and you, the flower, will wither and eventually die.