the empress

creativity / nature //

i have been thinking a lot, lately, about the eroticism of power dynamics, especially as they manifest in queer relationships. (side note: i had a dream last night in which i chatted with my college mentor and he asked me if i had any favorite anthropologists, so between that and the previous sentence, i may be missing academia a little.) part of this stems from personal trauma of mine, i admit, but it’s also that i’ve seen an increase in folks talking about being tops and/or bottoms online. plus these days i’ve been listening pretty much only to king princess.

so, knowing that the subject is an interest of mine and that i enjoyed her previous games, it was only a matter of time before i played christine love’s third game, ladykiller in a bind. i’m hesitant to mention it, because it feels - well - like i am revealing too much about myself. it makes me feel vulnerable.

it’s hard, to be vulnerable. most of us don’t like it, i think, and so we avoid it. we make a joke of it, or we glide over the surface of it. in the game, though, we are given the opportunity to play at being forced into vulnerability. there is a catharsis in it that both does and does not have anything to do with sex.

i pulled the empress twice, this morning: once for the newsletter and once for my own daily card. i laughed and took a picture. the card also showed up recently in a celtic cross reading i did for myself, as advice, for which i simply quoted the wild unknown guidebook: “her strength comes from being gentle & compassionate, & loving without binding.”

before the game starts, it tells us: “all power exchange must be negotiated. fiction is a safe space. in real life, there’s nothing more important than clearly communicating your desires and limits in advance, without either party feeling uncomfortable or pressured.”

loving without binding doesn’t mean, of course, that you can’t tie your partner up, because it’s not that kind of binding. it means loving them without either party feeling uncomfortable or pressured. it’s hugely difficult, and hugely important. it makes space for all kinds of relationships, monogamous or not, erotic or not.

darlings, this week, practice showing up as your whole self for the people you love, whatever that may look like.


this week’s decks: dreaming way tarot, wild unknown
this week’s gems: rainbow moonstone pendulum, milky quartz, selenite, aventurine