Question asked: “What animal toy always makes you feel grounded and why?”
The animal toy i have is a stuffed beluga whale, his name is Whaley. He’s been more of a mascot and has traveled almost every single trip Master and i have been on. One of our very first dates was to the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago where Master bought him for me. And, ok, if you must know, he has a silky tag which has been nearly rubbed off. 🙂
I was asked about covering and how I was covered, and what the traditions were. This was in a private email, so I will keep the sender anonymous.
There were no specific steps outlined for me to earn my cover by folks that I knew. It was understood, within Chicago Leather Club, and by my friends and kinky/leather people that I knew and learned from, that it was up to elders and leaders in the circles you moved in as to whether you had earned your cover. It was a subjective thing, without a time frame or limit. That is why early on, even though I was learning about and moving towards being a Master in a Master/slave relationship, I did not call myself “Master Michael” outside of the relationship. I was always just “Neurowiz” (my first scene name), or “Michael” or “Michael S”. I decided that if I were ever honored enough to be covered, that would be the point I would start to call myself “Master Michael.”
So I don’t know exactly how that decision was reached. To the best of my knowledge, my slave angie inquired to Mistress Joanne Gaddy as to what the steps were to cover someone. Mme. Gaddy, who has known me for a long time, was surprised to hear I had not been covered. I don’t know if she discussed it with other folks, but Daddy T (then, the President of the Chicago Leather Club which I am a full member of), Master Rick Storer and the rest of CLC, plus Nancy Weinberger were all present at my covering. So I’m assuming that Mme. Gaddy had some communication with them.
It was a private ceremony, held at the 2010 Chicago Leather Club Annual General meeting. Mistress Joanne stood up, spoke a few words about leather history and what the cover signified and then called me to stand next to her. She spoke a few words about things I had done. Slave angie was standing behind her, holding the cover. When Mme. Joanne took it from her, angie kneeled. I don’t remember what the other members were doing, they may have stood at that moment. Mme. Joanne put it on my head and allowed me to speak. I think I mumbled a few words, I was in shock. The whole thing was a blur. The rest of the club and those in attendance stood (or were already standing) and applauded. That was it. It was a blur. I was stunned.
I had not expected it, and at the time, I even questioned if I was worthy. I don’t question the opinion of my elders too often, but that day, I did! Ha! Later on I whispered to Mme. Joanne that I knew she had just given me a whole lot more work to do. She just smiled and nodded and said “Welcome to the club.”
As far as traditions and so forth, there is nothing handed down from “Ye Olde Guarde” or the “Council of Elders.” I was taught some basics by my mentors and teachers, but each ceremony seems to be unique and geared towards the participants and recipients, or to the club/family/circle that is doing the covering. If you want to learn about traditions, ask around your region or city – there’s probably 15 traditions for every 10 people you ask.