I was Wiccan for several years. It was my first exposure to Paganism, as it is for many people. I enjoyed feeling connected with nature, I was happy to find a faith that didn’t shame me for having a vagina, and of course, like most geeky 11-year-old girls would, I relished the feeling of empowerment that knowledge of magick brought.
It wasn’t long before something in me I couldn’t quite identify began to butt heads with what I was reading and practicing. There are many aspects of the Horned God I felt (and still feel) a connection to, such as his associations with wild nature, magick, and the death and rebirth cycle, but I felt discouraged from exploring these ideas because they were deemed “masculine.” Instead, I tried to explore the mysteries of the Goddess as I felt I was “supposed” to. Despite being young, I felt unable to relate to the Maiden, and I felt stifled by the seeming inevitability of becoming a Mother, then a Crone — neither of which particularly appealed to me. It was also around this time that I began to realize I was gay, which only served to intensify my feelings of alienation. How could a spiritually necessary “union of opposites” occur when I didn’t even find my so-called “opposite” attractive? Continue reading
Recently we posted a call for writers where we outlined what we’re looking for in terms of content and writers for the site, and it included this line from our submission guidelines:
We are especially excited to receive pitches from writers who are queer, trans, people of colour, and/or awesome.
This call was crossposted on Facebook, Twitter, and also to the wonderfully socially conscious Tumblr, where we received the following anonymous ask:
I like what you’re doing but I really hate the word “queer.” Not everyone is comfortable with reclaiming that slur, so maybe you could move away from it as an umbrella term and just say “LGBT+” or something like that? Idc if individuals call themselves that but I dislike being referenced that way.
This kind of feedback is really important, and I replied on Tumblr, but I thought I would address it here on the website as well, for any other anons who may have felt uncomfortable with the term. Continue reading
I’ve written before about sexism before, particularly as it relates to contemporary occulture, but systemic sexism is something that affects all of us, pretty much all the time. Continue reading
The four classical elements date back to the 5th century BCE. In the fragmentary writings that survive from Empedocles, he established , among other things, the four roots (later elements) as Earth, Air, Fire and Water, and that these roots (or elements) are associated with specific gods: Hera, Zeus, Hades, and Nestis (Persephone), respectively.
These associations had complex geographical and mythical attributes which are rarely (if ever) taken into consideration. They don’t specify mystic sexual or gender-based properties inherent in the elements themselves, but rather describe mystic attributes relevant to these specific divine couples. (For more on Empedocles and the establishment of the four classical elements, I recommend Peter Kingsley’s Ancient Philosophy, Mystery, and Magic: Empedocles and Pythagorean Tradition.)
Taken out of context, the elements often get (mis)classed as: Earth/female, Air/male, Fire/male, Water/female. This tradition has become entrenched in modern occultism, and it is patently absurd. Continue reading
Divine Duality: The Power of Reconciliation Between Women and Men, by William Keepin, Ph.D. with Cynthia Brix, M. Div. and Molly Dwyer, Ph.D.
Hohm Press, 9781890772741, 298 pp., 2007
Divine Duality is perhaps one of the most interesting attempts at a meaningful reconciliation of contemporary gender issues I have read in a long time. It asserts no certain formula or particular answer and so I cannot find any particular or certain fault with it. Abandoning the trite simplifications of popular self help models (Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus) which ultimately not only fail to address the deeply conditioned and limiting idea’s about gender (held internationally, regardless of social model, religious bias or cultural prerogative,) but most often shamelessly reinforce them.
Instead, Dr. Keepin attempts to provide guidelines for a compassionate deconstruction. Men and women are brought together and made to confront the realities and limitations of each other’s lives and perspectives. Continue reading