Tag: gender studies

God, Goddess, and Other: Fertility faiths and queer identities

By Deirdre Riley | November 26, 2014 | 7 comments

Monticello Gardens and Pavilion, photo by Mr Tin DCI 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


Letters: Queer inclusivity

By Spiral Nature | November 21, 2014 | Leave a comment

Spiral Nature Letters, Mailbox background by RaSeLaSeD - Il Penguino, with additional work by Psyche

 

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


Gender and the elements

By Psyche | June 12, 2013 | Leave a comment

Elements - erix!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


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