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?

There lay the problem. I worshipped deities I believed were all-encompassing, but I could not see myself within them, and that truly hurt. I thought there was something deeply wrong with me. It wasn’t until years later that I became aware of non-binary identities, and found a word (agender) to describe that something I felt. I carried on for a few years, thinking I just needed to fake it until I made it, until eventually in my late teens I put down my Wicca books and started looking elsewhere. I’ve dabbled in many, many different belief systems, and ended up with a practice heavily influenced by Celtic and Greek Paganism, Otherkin culture, and the Cthulhu Mythos — a universe full of strange, amorphous, ambiguously gendered beings that I could relate to. But that has left me feeling distant from the here and now and so, at a slightly more mature 22, I’m looking back to my time with Wicca to find ways to connect to the world I’m currently inhabiting.

I could have leafed through my books, picked out some rituals and meditations and left it at that, but it got me thinking: can Wicca and other fertility-based faiths be reconciled with gay and non-binary identities? I felt I owed myself an answer if nothing else, but then I thought of others who might be in this same position and decided I should share what I’ve found.

Where we’re coming from

The beginning is usually a good place to start, so I started by looking deeper into Wicca’s history. I won’t go into too much detail about the origins of the modern Pagan movement, since that information is readily available, but I did want to touch on the harmful attitudes of some prominent Wiccans, and how they are still perpetuated in the religion today.

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I started with the big guy, Gerald Gardner, and I found some things that didn’t make it into the Wicca 101 books. Lois Bourne, a High Priestess in one of Gardner’s covens, wrote in her book Dancing with Witches that Gardner was deeply homophobic, regarded homosexuality as a transgression of natural law, and even flat-out stated that “It is not possible to be a homosexual and a witch.” Gardner was also what I call a sneaky sexist — a man who claims to support and respect women, but considers them inferior to men, apparently not seeing the contradiction. “For the Gods love the Wica, as a man loveth a woman by mastering her,” he wrote in his “Old Laws.”1 He also argued that a High Priestess’ power comes from the High Priest, and that she should step down from her role once she becomes old, citing the necessity of youth and the virtue of humility — yet, of course, there were no similar age or meekness requirements for the High Priest.2

I looked into Dianic Wicca as well, thinking that since is has less emphasis on the God and Goddess duality, I might be able to relate to it more. I found the heavy focus on feminism appealing, but that lasted about a minute until the movement’s ugly history of gender essentialism (the mentality that women are A, men are B, and nothing outside of those ideas exists) and transmisogyny (that nasty combination of transphobia and misogyny directed at trans women) revealed itself. Many Dianic events are billed as welcoming “women-born-women,” intended to specifically exclude transwomen from participating. Dianic Wicca’s founder, Z Budapest, is frighteningly transphobic and has perpetuated and encouraged these attitudes from the beginning.3 Recently, in 2012, after a group of transwomen protested being excluded from a “women-only” ritual, Budapest responded by calling them male, using transphobic slurs and accusing the women — who simply wanted to join other women in a women’s space — of some vast patriarchal conspiracy to deny women the right to their own spirituality.4

One could make an argument for Gardner being a product of his time, but that’s no reason not to be critical of what he wrote, and it’s certainly no excuse for contemporary Wiccans to perpetuate his hateful attitudes. I recognize that these views continue to be endorsed by only a small minority, and that most Wiccans aim to be more welcoming and accepting. But because the Pagan community is generally a safe(r) place for LGBTTIQA+ folks, it makes it especially tragic when hateful beliefs rear their heads.

Many Wiccans cite the “Charge of the Goddess” (which states that “All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals”) as an argument for the inclusion and celebration of LGBTTIQA+ identities. It’s a step in the right direction, and a sentiment I appreciate, but it still comes from a faith that defines divinity as a cisgendered straight couple having sex. There is also, as I mentioned before, the issue of non-binary identities and how Wicca’s heavy woman versus man focus tends not to acknowledge the many identities outside of “woman” and “man.”5 These identities are part of natural human variance, and right now Wicca has no real framework to understand or celebrate them. How much of all this is a consequence of Gardner’s beliefs and how much came from his sources I don’t know, but it is omnipresent in the faith and can be a source of inner conflict for queer Pagans.

I don’t think Wiccans are bad people, and I don’t think Wicca as a faith is inherently exclusionary. The core of Wicca — a faith that seeks to celebrate nature and its cycles — is good. I just think there are a few things that can be done to help people like me feel more included.

What we can do

I believe that the words we use shape our thoughts, and so how we talk about things is very important. With that in mind, I started brainstorming ways to modify existing Wiccan ideas to be more inclusive.

I’ll start with what I spoke about before: the common archetypes in Wicca and how I found them alienating. I’m not denying the importance of balance or archetypes, or saying that dualistic philosophy is inherently flawed. But I do feel very strongly that over-simplifying others in order to fit them into an archetype-box is harmful to everyone involved. It harms the one in the box, who now cannot express themselves, and harms the one who put them there, who now cannot learn from them.

Take the Maiden-Mother-Crone archetype, for example. Even though I can’t relate it to myself, I can acknowledge that power it has and the important place it can hold in someone’s life. But there are countless others, and each hold some important place in our collective psyche. If the traditional narratives aren’t working for you, I’d suggest giving Carl Jung or Joseph Campbell a look, and discovering which archetypes speak to you.

There is also the issue of sex and spirituality, and how they’re discussed. Wicca is a sex-positive fertility religion; it holds sex as sacred because it creates life and gives pleasure. I think that’s great; sex is a beneficial thing for many people and people should be able to have as much or as little as they want without being shamed. But I’ve noticed that the opposite tends to happen in Pagan circles. In such a sex-focused environment, people who don’t want sex or don’t want to talk about it are considered the outliers, which can be problematic. For instance, when someone claims that everyone has sex or masturbates, or ties everything in life, spiritual or not, back to (human-style) sex, it is a form of asexual erasure. Asexual people, who don’t experience sexual attraction, exist as part of the natural spectrum of human sexuality,6 and I feel they should be honoured for that. If sex is important to your practice, that’s great, just recognize that it isn’t as universal as you might think. Simply assume nothing about another person’s sexuality when you meet them, and always speak about it respectfully.

I feel it’s worth pointing out that many animals other than humans have exhibited same-sex attraction (a good point to bring up if someone claims that being gay is “unnatural”), and others have biological sexes that are nothing like humans’. There is also incredible variance in plants and how they reproduce. I plan to explore honouring gay and non-binary forms in nature in much greater depth in another article, so keep your eyes peeled!

It would also go a long way (and be very simple!) to re-word rituals to be more open and inclusive. As an example, I’ll use “The Fivefold Kiss” which, unless things have drastically changed since I’ve stopped practicing Wicca, is pretty common and standard. Let’s take a look at it:

Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these ways
Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar
Blessed be thy [womb/phallus], without which we would not be
Blessed be thy breasts, formed in [beauty/strength]
Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names

Lines 1, 2, and 5 are fine and dandy, but with 3 and 4, we run into some issues. Namely, people being defined by their genitals. Let me put it this way: if I were a cisgendered woman who wanted to bear children, I wouldn’t mind that blessing on my womb, but since none of those things apply to me, it rings hollow. Not everyone’s identity and self-image match their biological bits, and even out of those who do, not all of them are interested in sex or baby-making. I’ve seen some covens use “Blessed be thy sex” which is nice; it’s more universal, and acknowledges intersexed individuals as well.

But I’d still like to come up with one more, one that doesn’t involve genitals. This is not because genitals are “dirty” in any way, but because some people do not want others’ attention (or mouths!) focused on them like that. So let’s think of another central part in that area of the body. How about the centre of gravity? It’s universal, essential, and has a certain sturdy appeal to it. Maybe something along the lines of “Blessed be thy centre, that guides you in balance and peace”?

And what about the breast? Why is the breast of a woman always formed in beauty, and the breast of a man, in strength? I might suggest using “strength” universally, or emphasising the breast as the seat of the heart and lungs, and writing a blessing accordingly.

Anyone who identifies with the original blessings is, of course, welcome to keep using them. If you’re deeply connected with your womb or phallus and your beautiful or strong breasts, that’s perfectly valid. My suggestion would be to have many potential blessings available, and simply ask each participant beforehand how they would like to be blessed.

So there we have it. Some rambling, some history, some working suggestions. The question is, did I do what I set out to do?

So what now?

I do have an answer on whether fertility-based faiths can be compromised with queer identities and that answer is: potentially. There’s been a lot of progress over the decades, but I think there’s a lot of systemic oppression left in it that might take more than some re-wordings to fix, and I believe that should be handled by someone more knowledgeable in these matters than I. Personally, I don’t see myself returning to Wicca, having found other Pagan paths that speak to me more.  But I think I have a better understanding now, and I hope that this can be helpful to someone else going who is questioning their faith or identity.

Image credit: MrTinDC

Footnotes:

  1. From the Gardenarian Book of Shadows, “The Old Laws.” Specifically, sections A and B. []
  2. ibid. []
  3. See “Oh, My Pop Culture Goddess: Transgender Issues in Wicca and Paganism” for more on this. []
  4. See “Women Born Women: Dianic Wicca and Transphobia” for more coverage. []
  5. For more on this, see “Genderqueer Identities and Terminology.” []
  6. See “Asexuality 101” for more. []

11 COMMENTS

  1. Hey another Pdx’r! Greetings!

    In agreement with much of what you stated here. As a gay cisgendered male pagan, I have followed and thought deeply on many of these issues. Firstly, while Z Budapest’s transphobic display at ‘the event in question’ was far and away the most offensive thing I could imagine coming out of her mouth, and support a trans-inclusive feminism, I would problematize the event itself. I believe in diverse ritual communities, and their freedom to create exclusive spaces within them. For instance, if a group such as the Unnamed Path wishes to create mysteries for ‘born males’ in groups exclusively made up of cisgender gay men, I support them their right to do so. Similarly with the Z Budapest situation if she wanted to open that space exclusively to persons who do or did menstruate, that is entirely reasonable. Her statements in the matter were hateful and ignorant, but the space should have been allowed to exist. But is it appropriate for the forum of Pantheocon? Certainly the Unnamed Path seems to shy away from offering that level of ritual work publicly, which is probably wise.

    I have many transgender friends, and I love them deeply. Even more so after completing the TRAElevation. A trans man was one of my initiators into the 1st degree of an Alexandrian descendent tradition of Witchcraft. And I have a lot still more to understand. But the creation of those kind of spaces seems unthreatening to me, and the creation of a trans EXCLUSIVE ritual space seems almost an imperative. During that rite they were careful only to put content from trans people on the main page, and I totally applaud them for that intentional ritual move.

    We could problematize my statement further., and ask does anyone have the right to request only people of a certain genetic ancestry to participate in a certain ritual space?? That would certainly be a no-no at pantheocon, although their rights to such rites privately of course is enshrined in our constitution. Since I personally know people falsely accused by uptight internet antifascists of being “crypto” racialist pagan figureheads due to their fame in certain subcultures, this becomes a complex subject to live out.

    What if someone created an event that only allowed people in who passed a test by divination through sanctified sortilege which would declare them clean or unclean? Could such a thing be allowed or acceptable in a large public pagan event with a workshop format like pantheocon?

    The other thing I wanted to say is while on paper and I’m certain in some circles that kind of gender essentialism holds sway, on the ground, in the coven that trained me and many I’ve heard of, such simplistic understandings simply were not the case. For example, most of my training covens (circa mid 90’s) priesthood was bisexual! A trans man was our primary storyteller and wisdom keeper. While there was a rule that a woman had to teach a man and vice versa, if queer people were involved and demonstrated their ability to “flip polarity” energetically this situation could take on all kinds of forms and shapes. While I no longer identify as Wiccan, I hold those initiations as powerful still.

    So, great post, but I just wanted to complicate your analysis a bit and look forward to your response.

    • I don’t know about that. I have a problem with exclusionary rules such as those you’ve proposed. I rather agree that public spaces should take steps to be as open and inclusive as possible, and take corrective measures when it’s proven that this hasn’t been the case. In private, I also believe people should strive to be inclusive. What possible benefit could come about from trying to ban people based on (incorrectly perceived) gender, race, or, for that matter, an unfavourable divination?

      In public gatherings, such as at a Toronto Pagan Pride event a number of years ago, I was subject to gender-based discrimination, and once I spoke up, a number of other people began to speak about their experiences as well. Certianly it’s not true of all covens, or public gatherings, but it does happen, and I don’t think it benefits anyone to pretend that these things don’t occur, or that these attitudes aren’t ingrained in certain systems. (See also “Sexism in contemporary occulture” and “Why I left the OTO.”)

      Thanks for your comments! It’s always great to get another perspective.

    • Hello Sylvan! Thanks for your comment! I’d like to take a second and complicate your complication of my analysis.

      In regards to Z Budapest’s ritual, I ask you this: if the ritual was meant specifically for women, why did it exclude transwomen? And if it was meant specifically for people who do or did menstruate, then why were transmen and dfab (designated female at birth) non-binary people not invited to attend? Either way, the ritual operated under the cissexist notion that woman=menstruation and menstruation=woman, and excluded people it shouldn’t have. I ask you the same question about the mysteries of the Unnamed Path: since the main focus seems to be on gay men as an identity, what do you gain by excluding trans and non-binary gay men?

      “Does anyone have the right to request only people of a certain genetic ancestry to participate in a certain ritual space?…I personally know people falsely accused by uptight internet antifascists of being “crypto” racialist pagan figureheads due to their fame in certain subcultures”

      I believe very strongly in creating safe spaces for marginalized groups. For example, women need their own space in order to be safe from misogyny and patriarchy, and people of color need their space to be safe from racism and white supremacism. But from the nature of your vague “crypto racialist” comments I’m guessing your friends want a white-only space. But since we live in a racist, white supremacist society, virtually every space is white people space. You’re right, nobody can stop you doing that in your own private space, but I honestly don’t understand what you would gain, and I think you’d lose a lot of valuable perspectives.

      “While there was a rule that a woman had to teach a man and vice versa, if queer people were involved and demonstrated their ability to ‘flip polarity’ energetically this situation could take on all kinds of forms and shapes.”

      Well, it’s a step in the right direction, and I always enjoy seeing how people work to make their shared spaces more inclusive, but it still doesn’t account for some people. What about androgynes, for example, who sit right in the middle of masculine and feminine? Or people like me, who identify with neither energy and exist outside the masculine-feminine spectrum? Hypothetically, how might a coven like yours work with androgynous or non-gendered energy?

      Again, thank you for commenting, and I look forward to hearing your response!

      • Thanks for your response. I wish I had been able to edit or had thought harder about posting it in the first place, but I guess it went down as it did.

        “I believe very strongly in creating safe spaces for marginalized groups. For example, women need their own space in order to be safe from misogyny and patriarchy, and people of color need their space to be safe from racism and white supremacism. But from the nature of your vague “crypto racialist” comments I’m guessing your friends want a white-only space.”

        I’ll start with this, since I wasn’t clear enough and should have been more lucid. These people are not to my knowledge racialist pagans nor did any space I’d ever been in associated with them or would be in, have any such intention of being a racially-defined space. Nor have I heard of that happening, although I am open to being corrected. Nor would I say that many are really ‘my friends’ in such a way that I am privy to all the nuances of their ritual practices, although we have been ‘associates’ for years due to existing in the same vague sphere of DIY experimental music/noise organizing & promotion.

        However, I have known some of them, the bands they are in (by association), and persons whose organizations they are not part of but don’t necessarily speak ill of publicly, to be painted by others as espousing some kind of racialist ideology. I have never heard them say anything of the sort, when asked directly and in detail. What some do have is arguably essentialist ideas about the spiritual nature of genetic ancestry, most of which are fairly nuanced, and largely personal to the individual. Since I personally find some kind of relationship or even reckoning (!) with ones blood ancestors to be essential to a well-balanced ancestral practice, does that mean I hold an opinion which would put me in a similar position of being associated with racialist pagans and their ilk*? Should we have the right to hold such essentialisms as a religious opinion, so long as we don’t hold them over others, or by doing so are we creating an oppressive space? I am trying to tease out the relationship between thought and deed here.

        “But since we live in a racist, white supremacist society, virtually every space is white people space. You’re right, nobody can stop you doing that in your own private space, but I honestly don’t understand what you would gain, and I think you’d lose a lot of valuable perspectives.”

        Real talk. But I think we aren’t talking about any kind of social space here, but a ritual space, intended to focus a particular ‘thing’ whatever it be. Are you implying that only oppressed minorities should have rights to such a space, due to their systematic disempowerment (which I am not seeking to deny the grave realities of in any way)? There are plenty of black-only or black-focused spaces in the religious fringe, many replete with deep gender and racial essentialisms, at times even to violent intents. Should these spaces be shown respect or should they be the recipients of our valuable perspectives?

        Here’s an interesting way homosexuality was belittled by a representative of one of the more reasonable of these African-descendent focused traditions in a forum discussion I am having:

        “Even in Kemet, an initiate striving towards his/her goal by living Maat through the system of the Paut Neteru (the tree of life), they will eventually have to approach the form and function relationship amongst creations in relation to the whole and ultimately come to the conclusion that there is no biological, physiological or spiritual support for homosexual sex. I don’t think they will vilify you or ostracize you but rather let you come to your own conclusions.”

        Kind of infuriating right? So is the whole thing shit? Can it be ‘broken to work’? Is it ‘our place’ to care? Sounds much like a comment you’d get on homosexuality from olde Gerald Gardner himself. Paganism got many of its conventional wisdoms from their elders reading anything ‘spiritual’ they could get their hands on, including Victorian-era ‘magnetism’ speculations, moronic readings of Vedic doctrines a la Theosophy, and other things replete with gender essentialist doctrines as core impulses. Should the systems, lineages, and wisdoms gained from the work on these be tossed, or dismantled? Or should gender-variant individuals confront these systems head on and create new sets of nuances and definitions for dealing with the material?

        “In regards to Z Budapest’s ritual, I ask you this: if the ritual was meant specifically for women, why did it exclude transwomen? And if it was meant specifically for people who do or did menstruate, then why were transmen and dfab (designated female at birth) non-binary people not invited to attend? Either way, the ritual operated under the cissexist notion that woman=menstruation and menstruation=woman, and excluded people it shouldn’t have. I ask you the same question about the mysteries of the Unnamed Path: since the main focus seems to be on gay men as an identity, what do you gain by excluding trans and non-binary gay men?”

        Well as I commented before, its not so much what they gain from excluding, but what they gain from concentrating one thing. I will not defend Z Budapest or her attempts to define who she wants to do her traditions rituals for since she has dug her own hole in this debate, and can dig herself out of it. But much as I wouldn’t expect to be gay married in a Church which opposed homosexuality, I will defend her right to define who she wants to do her traditions rituals for. Much as I would defend the right of trans people to protest the appropriateness of such a ritual in an inclusive public space. But understandings, for instance, of sacred sexuality as it is understood by the Unnamed Path** is at its root determined by ones biological experience. And as far as I know the ritual cycles which were only deemed appropriate for other cisgendered gay men was private work.

        As a cisgendered gay man I have the right to determine that I am exclusively sexually attracted to other cisgendered men without being oppressive to trans women or trans men or metagendered persons who might be attracted to me. Similarly, I would expect the same rights regarding who I let in my circle as in my bed. And the ability to talk about such concepts without being oppressive as long as it was done respectfully. There are plenty of reasons one wouldn’t be a good fit for a coven without making them ‘bad people’, and in the eyes of these mythical (have yet to meet one) cisgendered heterosexual MonoGardnerians being homosexual or having a non-conventional gender identity is one of them. I know for a fact there are young genderqueer magical communities that feel much the same, the other way around. These people are exciting and doing great work.

        “Well, it’s a step in the right direction, and I always enjoy seeing how people work to make their shared spaces more inclusive, but it still doesn’t account for some people. What about androgynes, for example, who sit right in the middle of masculine and feminine? Or people like me, who identify with neither energy and exist outside the masculine-feminine spectrum? Hypothetically, how might a coven like yours work with androgynous or non-gendered energy?”

        I think that would involve a reading, and unfolding spiritual investigation, of the individual in question. Which to be honest it ALWAYS SHOULD ANYWAYS. While many covens present the idea that they have some kind of curriculum (particularly to market books), the call of the gods to the priesthood should really bring them to investigate each person brought to them by the gods as an individual. And each individual has their own needs, and ‘spiritual character’. I would say in regards to your last question that I lack a working definition of androgynous or non-gendered energy.

        Have you ever done Qi Gong, or some kind of system of Eastern internal work? There are certain hand signs made by men with one hand, women with the other, and my teacher calls on genderqueer people to make their own decision in the matter. Although, upon deep investigation, it may be that the more ‘appropriate’ sign to their character is the one not assumed by their chosen gender. This is not seen as a ‘flaw’ in their assumed gender identity, but rather that trans and other non-binary identities are complex and unfolding. Something to be investigated rather than preached to.

        Sorry for the wall of text. And thanks again for the discussion.
        Due to the TRAElevation a lot of this material was on my mind and I had to go there.

        *This is no joke, as antifascists in Portland Oregon have threatened violent disruption of a DIY community space run by a woman of color for booking the wrong show. They were successful.

        **And I am not an initiate nor can speak in depth about this path so please feel free to correct me if I am speaking out of place here.

  2. Great article, thanks for sharing!

    Another thought I had about the genital line in the fivefold kiss, it assumes that everyone has a womb or a phallus, and is capable or reproduction. I’m a trans man and have neither, and even within the cis population there are women who have had hysterectomies and men who have lost their penises in accidents. The emphasis on reproduction is alienating for those who can’t and don’t want to, and to me says that genitals are fine as long as they are only used for reproducing and not pleasure (an attitude I’ve surprisingly heard replicated in Wiccan groups)

    • Absolutely! It’s exactly this kind of thinking I’d like to see addressed more in public discourse, and it’s great that it’s finally starting to happen.

      Thanks for your comments!

    • Hi Chris!

      I definitely understand what you’re saying. There are many different situations that can make a genital-centered blessing alienating or uncomfortable, which is why I wanted to create an alternative. Thanks for your input!

  3. I love this and it is synchronicity that I found this! I am fairly new to paganism and have been researching various traditions. I haven’t found a particular path yet, but I’m bothered by the notion of binary sexes and genders in Wicca. I’m a bisexual cisgender woman, but when I look around in nature, I see varying genders and sexes, as well as differing ways to reproduce or not. Ritual tools and the altar set up is indicative of this basic duality thinking. A candle to represent the god and one for the goddess. A cauldron to represent the womb and the athame as a phallic symbol. There is also the Great Rite which celebrates cisgender straight sex. As you stated in your essay, this is great for those to whom this speaks. I personally can identify with the cauldron, but not phallic symbols. I’m drawn to and have an affinity for certain goddesses, but not gods. Is there a place for me in paganism? The search goes on. :) Thanks for writing this!

    • There’s definitely a place for you! Contemporary Paganism is as broad and varied as the people who practice it. Dianic Wicca, for example, focuses solely on the Goddess in her various aspects, and other Pagan groups also focus more (or solely) on the Goddess.

      Worship in a way that feels right to you, and know that you can always modify what you read to suit your practice. There’s no single “right” way to be Pagan.

  4. This article speaks to me on so many levels! What a wonderful coincidence I came to this. I am very surprised that the Faerie, Radical Feri, and Reclaiming traditions have not been brought up (Wicca’s pretty queer cousins, right?). I came to paganism through the popular discourse of Wicca, of course. I too was long troubled by the heterosexuality of the God and Goddess pairing, even though for years I chanted to them as such. I have also been troubled by the heteronormativity (and related phobias) of paganism in general. I wanted to honor the Goddess, but the whole son and consort just didn’t speak to me (neither to my stubborn Western JudeoChristian sensibilities nor my identity as a gay guy- I’m just realizing I don’t like “gay man”). I have always been aware of the Cosmic Parents, but this manifestation didn’t fit. I just dealt with it, though. Until I discovered the concept of the Divine Twins, the children of the Star Goddess (just this Imbolc). They are simultaneously everything (Male and Female, Two Males, Two Females, Two Opposing Forces, Two Complementing Forces, etc, etc…). Long story, short- I have been working with, honoring, and exploring the relationship of the Coupled Gods (The Lord of the Hunt and The Lord of the Harvest, Father Sky and Father Earth, The Sacred Lovers). Being raised Catholic and then with the Triple Goddess, I guess the Trinity is hard to shake. They are also the Horned God and the Green Man as two distinct entities. It is definitely a great way to explore and play with polarity and unity. Working with different aspects of the God alone didn’t feel right to me. But working with different aspects of two Gods as they relate to each other and everything else has opened up the Universe. And as Diedre has said, just because this works for me does not mean that I think this is better than pre-existing modes like the Horned God and Triple Goddess which works wonderfully for others. It is not exclusive or elitist in anyway. It works for me and may work for other queer men (or anyone else or no one else for that matter). In no way, do I think this “male” pairing trumps female manifestations of divinity. In fact, I hope that there are others honoring and exploring paradigms like Coupled Goddesses or the The Quintet Marriage or any combinations of genders, sexualities, quantities, and qualities. Just sharing how I adapted my Wicca-esque Paganism to my Queerness (or maybe the other way around)… because seeing others doing this online is what helped me. Here is one of the articles that helped me on my path to truly find Diety. May my queer siblings find theirs! In Love and Light. (http://www.feritradition.org/grimoire/deities/essay_queer_twins.html).

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