8/29/2009

About Hedon; Wedding Vows

The vows for a Hedon Circle Binding.

(All parties actually being bound strip completely nude, though this is NOT obligatory. The Shaman or a Priestess presides, telling each party what to say and do. If only two parties, they join hands completely, if 3 or more, they hold hands in a circle. The person to the immediate left of the Shaman/Priestess goes First. The first party speaks the first sentence, beginning with an id and a declaration of their willingness to be here)

- My name is (Your full name here), and I stand here of my own will and choice.

(Other party or parties, in clockwise order from the first, repeat)

- I stand here, naked and vulnerable, before all who may be present and in the gaze of Hedon, Mother of all things, nothing to hide, my heart exposed.

(Again, this is repeated Clockwise)

- The Circle of my heart has many links in it's chain, and this day I add one more, as I declare my eternal love and need for (State all relevant names)

(Repeated again)

- I add you to the Circle of my heart, equal among all whom I love, cherished and desired, no one loved more, no one loved less, all loved equally yet differently. I add you to my family, and to my protection, guidance, support and companionship.

(Repeated again)

- (State relevant first names), I give to your for all time a piece of my living heart. It belongs now to you, an eternal part of the whole of my being. I trust you with this sliver of my heart and soul, and have faith in you not to wound it with lies, deceit or malice.

(Repeated Again)

- With all this vowed, sworn before my Goddess and my heart, I share with you my blood, and to your heart I thus forever bind.
(Each person, after stating THIS sentence, pricks their left ring finger with a pin, and lets each love in the binding taste a droplet)

- (State Relevant names one last time), now and forever, my wife, my sister, my lover, my friend, I love you and always will, no matter how much our circle grows or shrinks.

(The ceremony concludes, all involved are now married in the Circle of the Heart.

About Hedon; Our Holidays

Hedon celebrates only four official holidays. Other celebrations focus on Circling parties, (Think Wedding reception), birthdays, and Rememory, (a wake celebrating the deceased's life).

But the 4 official Hedon holidays are as follows.

The Green Womb

- Held every February 28th to March 2nd. Hedon "New Year" for lack of a better term. A celebration of the Green (Nature) Waking from it's sleep, giving new life to the world. It's also a celebration of the gift of love, be it romantic or familial.

The Long Light

- A 3 day festival from June 13th to 15th, celebrating the dawning of summer. A time to cherish family and revel in appreciation of the gifts of being alive.

The Shadowed Souls' Festival

- Running from October 28th to November third, this is an 8 day festival of many points. You could think of it as a union of Remembrance Day/Veteran's Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the Day of the Dead. Shadowed Souls celebrates the continuing cycle of the Green as it prepares to sleep going into winter, when the world dreams it's dusk and the Green rests until spring. It's a time for cherishing your living family and honoring those no longer with us.

The Winter Harvest

- A symbolic harvest, held from December 23rd to 28th, wherein we "harvest" the love we've sown all year, with our lovers, our family, and our Circle. We sow the seeds of this love all year in the kindness and affection we give our cherished ones, and come the Harvest we reap that love in a time of joy and giving.

About Hedon; Views On The Other Views

VII; Hedon's Stances

On War; There is no justifiable reason to pick a fight. Never START a war, but never surrender if your home and family is being bullied. Fighting back is acceptable to survive. The Blood Night proved that.

On Christianity; No repression ever serves a constructive purpose. Used too often to hurt and control. Generally best avoided if possible. Granted there are some very good and noble Christians in the world who find the good in the religion and live by it, but sadly they aren't the ones most people encounter. Christianity's public face is worn by small-minded bullies who don't understand the nature of what they claim to serve. Avoid the loud bullying Christians, and open your heart to the kind ones.

On Islam; The oppression and abuse of women as non-entities existing only to serve men is enshrined in it's principles. Best avoided if possible. Again, I've met and loved good wise Muslim people who find the good in the religion and live by it, and these are people worth knowing, but the bullies of Islam who abuse the faith without ever understanding it are far more dangerous than those of Christianity, and finding yourself at odds with an extremist could get you killed.

On Judaism; As a people they've suffered horribly, as a religion they're not much different from Christianity. Used their faith to justify stealing an entire country because an antique storybook says God wanted them to have it. Sympathy for their persecution by others should not excuse their own persecution oF others. So to Hedon, they're not a race, just people following another religion. No better or worse than any other human, and no more deserving of special status above other people than anyone else is. Treat like any other normal human being.

On Buhddism; A nice peaceful religion I respect, aside of it's negative stance on Homosexuality.

On Hinduism; I've never been verbally assailed on a street corner or condemned to eternal damnation by any Hindu I ever met. Plus their gods just look really cool. I'm well aware that many Sihks are disgusted by varying sexualities and such but they're far more private about it, there are no Hindu/Sihk organizations dedicated solely to restricting homosexual rights. There's no Sihk Fred Phelps picketing funerals. So I have no issues with them, they can be a very beautiful faith.

On Kabbalah; A fad as far as I can tell, based on a real faith being perverted by bored celebrities.

On Scientology; I personally proved Scientology a fraud a few years ago, and any religion founded on a dare and based on a fiction novel isn't ever to be taken seriously. L. Ron Hubbard was a consumate bullshitter, who founded Scientology because Steve Allen bet him he couldn't create a religion on the Tonight show half a century ago. His life was a constant string of bullshit stories and it's resulted in a creepy greedy dangerous cult. And if you don't believe me about L. Ron, go read THIS.

On the Mormons; Mormonism is utter bullshit, founded by a creep who fooled near an entire town into believing God gave him silver tablets ordering men to have multiple wives, which of course mysteriously disintegrated before anyone else could see them. It's the bad joke of Christianity that even the Vatican mocks and laughs at.

On Gor; See above. Also, ew ew ew ew ew. Avoid at all costs, hopefully without vomiting. Also, ew. The fact this bullshit is becoming a real way of life perverts the love and trust that true BDSM is built on, and is everything the ignorant fear about BDSM that real BDSM has never been.

On Televangelism; Ugh, just Ugh. Nothing but greasy white people sucking money from the wallets of stupid people.

On Religion in Politics; Why should Religion be kept very far away from politics? Two reasons. 1) George W. Bush. 2) Iraq.

On Orgies; Not a healthy expression of sex unless everyone present cares about each other. Even then, they're rarely a good idea with good results. Not discouraged so much as just not recommended.

On Monogamy; Not a natural state for human beings honestly but if it feels right to you it's fine with us.

On Bigamy/Polygamy Versus Polyamory; Bigamy/Polygamy is a patriarchal man marrying several women to subjugate for his selfish needs. Polyamory is a group of PEOPLE, of any sex, freely and truly all equally loving and caring for one another. There is a HUGE difference.

On HedonISM; As stated at the begininng, Hedonism is a bullshit philosophy of "Pleasure comes first" that's nothing more than an excuse for rich people to fly to the Caribean every summer to have orgies at tropical resorts.

On Pornography; It isn't always exploitative, and so long as everyone involved is freely choosing to do so, willing, and enjoying their work, there's nothing wrong with it. Once you start doing it to express violence or disrespectful depictions of nature's greatest pleasure, or performing to feed a drug habit, you've crossed the line into visual poison.

On Drugs; Marijuana isn't a drug. It's a healing herb. Mushrooms grow naturally. Those are acceptable. Theraputic and legal medications are fine, in moderation. Anything illegal that requires a lot of processing and can KILL you? Stay away from it.

On Sex Education; We're for it. Teach our kids not to be fucking idiots. STD's will drop heavily if we just stop being so damned repressed about talking to our children.

On Transsexuality; Nature can screw up, mostly due to Man's meddling with it. If you're a woman, regardless of having a male body, or vice-versa, then BE who you are, and fix it however you need to physically to feel right.

On Abortion; Wouldn't be neccessary at all if not for religious sexual repression and rape. Personally I believe it's only acceptable if you were raped, but prefer it be an absolute last resort. The Hedon stance is that your body is your own, and so is the choice, but it's a choice you should NEVER make unless there really IS no other choice. If you're pregnant solely because you were stupid enough to not use protection and don't want a child, let it be adopted.

On Homosexuality; No such thing. There's only who you love. Homosexuality is a myth created by Religion to segregate people they view as lesser. Same-Sex attraction is a neccessity in nature, you can find it in most species. It's a population control tool. It's SUPPOSED to exist.

(Side note; I love how before it was widely known that animals have Gay Sex, Christians cited Gay was evil because only humans did it, and it wasn't anywhere else in nature. Now that it's commonly known that animals have gay sex, suddenly gay sex is wrong BECAUSE animals do it and humans are supposed to be "Better than that". Hypocrites.)
Well, there it is. I've done my part for you, I've given you another option. What you choose to do with what you've read is completely up to you, whether that means you choose to believe or choose to call it garbage. The choice was always yours, and always should be.

The Mother's Love Warm you. Go in Peace.

- Penny Sautereau-Fife, Shaman Of Hedon.

About Hedon; Other Matters

V; Hedon Customs

- Hedon has no church, only it's symbolic Temple and, fates be kind, a temple in the real world someday. This Temple is not for worship either, it's a gathering place for community, a place to meet and talk, share ideas and stories, potluck community meals, make friends, and find a place to feel you belong. But there is no Mass, no sunday service. At best the Shaman or a Priestess may occasionally speak to those gathered about Hedon, telling the stories that once made a community a wondrous place. But every faith has it's customs, every people it's traditions. Some I have decided aren't needed or relevant in today's world as they were in the old home, but there are those that still matter.

A Circle Binding; A wedding of sorts. When you meet someone you fall in love with, and wish to declare to all that another link has been forged in the chain that represents the Circle Of Your Heart, a Circle Binding is performed to "Marry" that person permanently into your polyamory. It's a siimple ceremony, done in the nude, repeating vows offered by the Shaman or a Priestess, to declare before Hedon and all present that you love each other.

Sexual Healing; No, not the Marvin Gaye song. Sex is a powerful tool, an act that creates energy, and in the right hands, it can be used to heal most any hurt that weighs on your heart, and even ease some physical ailments. It isn't something to be abused, or used frivolously in this context, as there are MANY other methods to heal, but it IS a choice.

Communal Cuddling; Simply as it sounds. Cuddling non-sexually with those around you. A simple warm hug does wonders.

VI; Hedon Terms

Hedon; The Goddess, a Trinity that watches her children.

The Mother; Hedon's nurturing aspect, the Mother of All Things, who guides us with love and compassion.

The Lover; Hedon's passionate aspect, the Lover of ALL Good, who helps us appreciate passion and life, who shows us how to live with zeal and joy.

The Walker; Hedon's masculine aspect, the Walker of the Wolves, who watches and teaches, protects and shows us how to mind the world around us.

The Mother's Love Warm you; A common Hedon farewell, said to one you care for dearly when you part company at any time, meant to express a desire that your loved ones are always warm in their heart.

Be Well & Safe; Another common farewell, a more generalized term expressing a wish for those you meet to be healthy and free of harm.

Loved Be; A term of affection, usually reserved for those you share your heart with intimately.

Circle Of The Heart; the circle of lovers with whom you share your deepest love in your heart, wives and husbands for lack of a better term, or boyfriends and girlfriends. Basically the Heart-Circle is everyone you are in love with.

The Fallen; Our slaughtered ancestors. Always remember them.

The Dreamers; Those who dream of Hedon, who already live their lives in the Hedon way but can't put a name to what they feel.

The Blood Night; The night they came and killed us all.

The Lost; My wife believes the Walkers did in fact manage to save a few children during the Slaughter and flee the isle. In her dreams she remembers it. The lost are those who would have been secretly taught about Hedon from birth, waiting for the return.

The Birthplace; The Island near Greece we believe was once Hedon.

The Green; Nature, the natural world, plants and animals.

About Hedon; Precepts And Tenets

III; The Precepts of Hedon

Precepts are guidelines, not absolute rules. These are Hedon's suggestions for living a good life. Unlike the Tenets which follow this section, the precepts are not absolutes.

Precept I; A true heart needs no rewards.
- This is to say that you ought to help people for the sake of helping them, not to get something for it. If someone offers you a reward however there is no ill intent in politely accepting it. If a reward is offered freely there is no reason to be rude and decline, unless the reward is greater than the giver can afford to give, in which case you should always decline politely. But you never ever should ASK for remuneration.

Precept II; Care for those around you.
- This is to say that the people you meet and live around are living breathing feeling creatures like yourself, and should be treated kindly, without excess or insincerity. And only until they treat you with malice or unkindness, after which you need only be civil and otherwise ignore them.

Precept III; Care for yourself.
- This is to say that your own body is a gift, and you should at least try to keep it cared for and working well. (The precept I myself have the hardest time living up to).

Precept IV; Share your talents.
- This is to say if you are good at something, truly good at it, don't hide it. If you can paint let your paintings be seen. If you can cook feed the hungry. If you can sing soothe the weary. A talent is not a treasure to be hidden away, it's a tool to make other people feel better, and through doing so make yourself feel good.

Precept V; Give as good as you get.
- This is to say that you should try not to be selfish, and when someone gives you joy, be it through a gift, a service, or even sex, you should at least attempt to give joy in kind. It's best to spread joy, not hoard it. There's no joy in being alone because you were selfish.

IV; Tenets of Hedon

Tenets are rules, of which Hedon has few, but what few it has are considered absolutes, and must be at least attempted to be adhered to. Tenets are the foundation for a good life as Hedon views it. You are only obligated to follow the Tenets if you believe.

Tenet I; Respect The Green.
- The world around you sustains you. It gives you the food you eat and the clothes you wear. Respect the Green, care for it, protect it. There are few things more selfish and destructive than hunting for sport, killing for unnecessary fashion, or destroying chunks of forest for a mansion or a mini-mall. Take from the Green only what you need, and protect the rest.

Tenet II; Respect Life.
- The people around you may frustrate you. They may be sheep who bleat at you to believe only what they believe, trod on your rights, and abuse you for being different, but they are still alive, and it is that life, not their abuse, that you must respect. Killing for ANY reason but survival is wrong, as is arbitrarily hurting someone. However...

Tenet III; Respect Yourself.
- That does not mean you should be a meek mousey carpet, turning the other cheek and letting the sheep trample you. You should always stand up for your right to be who you are, even if it's as simple as saying "Look, shut up. I don't tell you what to believe, kindly keep your nose out of what I believe. It is not your place or right to convert me." Then just walk away. Also this means to take pride in what you accomplish. You're born with the tools you use to succeed, and unlike some deities, Hedon doesn't need or want to be thanked and given all the credit for everything you do.

Tenet IV; Cause No Trauma.
- Sex is among the most wonderful things in nature, and any religion that villifies the free expression of it is trying to dominate you. Be open with your sexuality without being excessive, and NEVER use sex as a weapon. Sex is an act of affection and intimacy. To use sex to hurt or control someone is beneath contempt and beyond reprehensible. Also, just normal every day behavior should never be designed to hurt. Words can be weapons, always mind how you wield them. Even words should only slice in self-defense. Above all else, this means protect and respect children. Do not hide truths about sex from them, but NEVER foist sex upon them. No adult should EVER touch a child for sexual ends.

Tenet V; Keep Love Unchained.
- Love is what makes life worth having, be it loving your family, your children, your friends, the ones you're IN love with, your pets, your work, your home, it doesn't matter. Love is the most positive healing force in existence, and without going to, pardon the phrase, "hippy extremes" of running around trying to hug everyone you meet, show love in everything you do, be it growing a garden, building a home, helping a stranger in need, and especially in relating to your Family and your Circle. Hate is a poison, leave poison to the big leagues, they're so good at it. Cure that poison with love, and NEVER let anyone restrain your love.

Tenet VI; Condemn Action, Not Belief.
- It is the right or place of NO ONE on this earth to judge or condemn. I freely admit I loathe Christianity and Islam the RELIGIONS, but I never pass judgment on those who believe in it, or even on how cruelly a few very loud ones can act making the millions of decent ones look bad. But I never try to tell a Christian it's wrong for them to be a Christian, and most Christians actually are decent, non-judgmental people who take the good from the Bible and live by it. That tolerance does not extend the the small percentage of loudmouths who think they represent Christians everywhere and bellow loudly their ignorant judgments, using their beliefs to hurt others. Condemn a person for how they behave, not what they believe. And unless your life or safety or that of your loved ones is directly threatened, keep that condemnation limited to "You're a horrible bitter person, may your god forgive your malice", and just walk away. Nothing is served by arguing with a zealot, but never walk away without telling them they ARE one.

About Hedon; Where Were We?

The web url below links to Google Maps and shows what we believe to be the greek island that was once home to the Hedon people.

The Isle Of Hedon

About Hedon; Reviving Hedon For A World That Desperately Needs Her Back

Prefix; If you don't believe the spiritual things or historical claims made in this document, you don't have to. However do not ridicule us who do. We didn't MAKE you read this. If you do read this and have questions, you can e-mail me at theaerie@shaw.ca

Flame e-mails will be deleted and not replied to. I will only answer honest questions, even if they are opposing views, but I will NOT get into a flame war with idiots.

Prefix II; This is about a faith, (I hate the word religion), called the Trinity of Hedon. Which is NOT to be confused with Hedonism, which is little more than an excuse for rich middle-aged white people to have orgies in Barbados every summer.

I; The Purple Sage, Shaman of Hedon.

My name is Penance Sautereau-Fife. I've lived a very uncomfortable and trauma-filled life. I'm an intersexed woman, (read; hermaphrodite), in a world mostly controlled by either Islamic zealotry or Judeo-Christian repression. I'm one of those rare people who rejected the church at a very young age. I can't really say why I did then. As a small "boy" I just knew in my heart everything church had to offer was a lie, it was wrong, at least for me. Fortunately my parents, in as little as they did care about me, weren't churchgoers either, so there were only one or two times I can recall being forced to attend church.

I got in trouble in Grade school for refusing to attend Remembrance Day ceremonies. I had no issues with remembering those who had died in wars, but Grade School ceremonies were always about glorifying the actual war, telling us kids how noble a death our fallen had found, how there is no greater honor than dying for your country. I think it was a post Veit-Nam reaction. Maybe the School Board had some odd military agenda. But I refused to honor the fallen by watching what was ultimately an emotionally manipulative recruitment presentation. And I was outcast and ostracised. My Grade 4 teacher actually told the other kids in class to ignore me at recess and lunch because I was a bad influence.

I got expelled from grade four for calling him a fucking nazi cocksucker. The fact that this was said in reaction to him first slamming me into the blackboard and then throwing me over his desk into a student's was ignored. My broken ribs were ignored. None of the other kids in class were brave enough to speak against the teacher. Even my parents assumed I probably had somehow asked for it. Yes, by asking him if I could be excused from class while he read a prayer, (In a PUBLIC school), I was asking to be seriously injured at age EIGHT.

That was when I first learned two things that would help me survive the life I was going to suffer through.

First, that religious people who talk loudly and often about their religion and expect you to believe exactly as they do are bullies. Always have been. Always will be. They will beat you and hammer you relentlessly with their bibles and qurans and crosses until you're as afraid of God as they are. After all, what good is a God you don't fear?

God-Fearing... *shudders* I've always loved that term, if only because it embodies a lot of what's wrong with Christianity. No one should fear their God if their God truly loves them.

Second is that bullies count on fear in all forms to stay in control and keep from having to face the consequences of their crimes. My teacher made the other kids afraid to say he had in fact slammed me and thrown me. Fear of lawsuits made the Principle ignore the blood on my lips and the evidenciary chalk-dust on my back. Fear of having uncomfortable attention drawn to them made my parents go along with the white-wash and expulsion. And fear of ME, a dissenting voice that asked so young "Why should I believe what YOU tell me to?", that lead to the real beginning of my miserable life.

Now don't get me wrong. I've reached the point where I'm actually proud of the miserable life I've survived. There are certain horrific things that if I had not been through them, I'd be a very different person today.

I might still be living as an awkward socially retarded man, keeping my breasts taped down and wearing baggy clothes to hide my hips.

I might have become a rapist or a serial killer. God knows in my early teens I was so bitter and angry I thought seriously about doing both.

I might have successfully commited suicide.

Worst possibility of all, I made have gotten dull and bored and given into the bullies and become everything I hate, standing on street corners trying to force a pamphlet into someone's hand.

*shudders at the thought*

Instead, I'm an impossibly kind, foolishly generous, insecure, self-abusing lesbian with an outie who has let herself be a carpet in an almost pathological need to put everyone else's best interests above my own. I'm meant to be kind, warm, affectionate, loving, nurturing, motherly, sisterly, and all those things I am. I wasn't supposed to have such bad health or low self-esteem. I wasn't supposed to be a carpet.

I'm not sure how I'm to accomplish my tasks that lay ahead of me, but I have a mission. A Divine mission. One I've been running from and hiding from all my life. Because it scares me, it's too big, and I don't think I have the strength or charisma to pull it off. I can think of a hundred people better suited to the task. But she insists it has to be me.

She, is Hedon. My Goddess, my sister, my mother, my lover, my friend, the Goddess of a people long since erased from history.

I am her Purple Sage, her Shaman, the tool through which she'll be restored to the world, to give those disillusioned or abused by Islam and Christianity an option. Those who those faiths work for are welcome to them. But they aren't right for everyone. That's who Hedon is for.... us outcasts.

II; The Dreams

I've had strange recurring dreams all my life that I never understood, but it was only around 3 years ago they began to focus. I saw a place, a specific place. A community of people, a tiny place, on a small island near Greece. It was a secluded community called Hedon, named after it's goddess. Here there was no war, no strife. Everyone worked together, lived together. There was no gay or straight because you loved who you loved. The sexes were equal because it never occured to anyone that one should be regarded more highly than the other.

Children were raised by the entire community together, though never taken from their mothers. No one ever feared a child would be molested because the concept didn't exist. And Children never got into dangerous situations because there was no repression. Hedon custom was when a child asked a question it was because they were ready to know, and so the question asked was answered honestly, but only that question. No information was volunteered until puberty.

In Hedon society there was no peer pressure, so no one had sex before they were ready. Love was unhindered by oppressive moralities, and the circle of each person's heart had room for many links in the chain. Polyamorous love was normal, and beauty was a concept relegated to the world of nature, because all Hedons were beautiful to each other regardless of bodyshape.

Sex wasn't repressed, and thus was treated in a healthy manner. There weren't orgies in the street, everyone didn't have sex with everyone else. Since it wasn't vilified or forbidden people were comfortable to have it when they felt like it. It was cherished intimacy, and the priestesses used it for healing purposes.

Hedon was also flourished with a creative culture of artworks, painting, writing, sculpting. Hedons worked within nature. They respected the trees and the earth. The Green was held sacred, and they took only what they needed to live, always caring for the plants and animals around them like family.

This is what Hedon was. Granted, that description makes it sound perfect, but it did have it's flaws. And those flaws are shared only with those who become Children of Hedon, as they are the parts of Hedon life I intend to leave safely in the past, never to return.

The Hedon people also did not worship Hedon. They loved her to be sure, but she was more like a mother figure. Her teachings were guidelines, not absolutes. Hedon wasn't as insecure as some Gods, and didn't need constant praise or ego-stroking. She required no worship, and asked only that her people lived good lives and helped others.

So you can imagine when Christian Missionaries stumbled across the isle some 900 years ago roughly, that they were horrified by these people and their clearly heathen way of life.

In the dreams the missionaries tried in vain for months to convert us. Not one person was fool enough to be converted. And when they saw they stood no chance of converting us, they butchered us.

In the dreams they returned to Hedon with Christian soldiers, and slaughtered every living human on the Isle in the name of God. They genuinely believed their cause just, their bloody deeds righteous. After all, they were ensuring the poison of our ways did not spread outside our Isle. They destroyed everything, left no traces of us, no sign we ever existed, save maybe a few artifacts they may have kept as trophies. I often wonder what manner of lost civilizations are represented only by the treasures hidden deep below the Vatican.

These dreams traumatized me, terrified me. I often prayed to no one in particular to be rid of them.

Then, ironically, a videogame showed me my path.

I had gotten into Neverwinter Nights, an RPG for PC's by Bioware based on the D&D "Forgotten Realms" system, and created with it's toolset a mod recreating the Hedon of my dreams, hoping to purge the dreams by giving them life. It was never a popular mod by any means, but among those who did come to play it were a few people who asked me if I had ever dreamt about EXACTLY what I had been.

That was when I knew. These were no dreams, they were past-life memories. Hedon was real, it existed, and Hedon was making me remember so I can give her a voice again, in a world being destroyed by Religious repressionists and extremists. I believe it is my path to put Hedon back into the public consciousness, and let those who want an alternative to the big leagues for their spirituality choose for themselves.