Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Question....

I write this mostly to you Jeanne, and Aine, as you two are the only people so far who've ever taken the time to comment and have conversation with me.

Does sexuality and sexual identity have a place in witch craft or paganism?

It's something Punky and I often discuss. I have little experience/knowledge and she has very very singular personal beliefs.

For example, she and I were watching Big Love recently. We both love/hate the show. The drama is good, but the morals are .. twitch inducing. One of the wives on the show was previously an LDS Mormon but is currently a polygamist/fundamentalist. Her and her husbands beliefs include a deity called Heavenly Father, who seems very male oriented. In this last season she feels that she is a Priesthood Holder. Apparently, this is not something a woman should hold. It's sort of a big deal.

Having both been raised Christian as children, Punky and I had pretty strong feelings about this. Mostly we stuck out our tongues and raspberried the screen. We believe women can be preachers/pastors/people of titles in all religions. Even in ones that ask that their women be more subservient. Subservient does not equal non-title-haver to us.

In my case however, I can always see the other side of it. I'm the devil's advocate that way. Punky could not. I asked how she might feel if a man approached her, claiming to walk the witch craft path, but... rather than identifying with The God dude, he were to claim The Goddess instead. What if he claimed to embody her in his rituals.  She did not bat an eye. That's my Punky. Equality for all. She thinks a man can embody The Goddess, and vice versa, that The Goddess would totally crawl up in a dude.

Is she alone? I've met a fair share of witches and pagans of many different paths but I noticed that all of them seem to have little room for homosexuality in their path. Mostly, I think, because Wicca can be so God Goddess based. The Great Rite is about a man and a woman. The cycles of life and death and life are so imbued with women on one side, having babies, growing wise, and men on another. What happens when two men are in love and walk such a path? Or two women?

Just some questions, humbly posed to two of the ladies I admire most on the interwebs. Open of course to anyone else who might drop by with their own two cents.



  1. I posted - and lost it. I will come back and try again!

  2. Darn... I hate it when that happens, so I sympathize. Silly computers. Silly interwebs. Thanks just the same, both for trying and for taking the time to indulge me.

  3. Ok, let's try this again!! First of all, thank you for making me feel so special!!

    I guess homosexuality could be an issue with some who walk this path depending on their idea of balance. If people see balance as an individual man and an individual woman embodying God and Goddess respectively, then obviously there will be conflicts.

    But if one sees balance as a blending of both male and female within one, as in each one of us having a blend of both typically male and female energies, then it doesn't really matter. This is how it is in nature (think flowers) and this is how it is in the spirit world. Balance is actually the natural state of things and imbalance is a product of humanity - we create imbalances where there once were none.

    When I first started down this path I practiced a Goddess-only system and felt nothing wrong or imbalanced about it. The Goddess embodied both male/female (even in her mythology) and so everything was right in my world. Now that I walk a more nature focused path, without deities as such, this idea is even more apparent.

    I can understand the twinge felt by some women when a man decides to claim something once so feminine, but I think that has more to do with the empowerment of women and less about spirituality. So many women and their ancestors fought for a right to their own power and are very hesitant to let go of it, or even share it. As time goes on and we forget about the past, I suspect there will probably be less resistance.

    It's also my personal believe that we as a race will evolve into beings more like the entities we work with in the spirit world and we will not feel the need to be so linear and precise in our practices. The separation we sometimes feel will also be a thing of the past as well.

    I hope that answers some of your questions. But it's only my thoughts - and what I know SO FAR!

  4. Angelwick, I enjoy your posts and our conversations. You have such a fresh look on things. I appreciate that. :0) And Thank You for the kind words. ♥

    I do not follow a strictly Wiccan path. Though I would be considered a Pagan. I am like Aine in that I follow a Nature based path - I had a HUGE Native American influence on my religion while growing up. And I am married to a Cherokee.

    For me, the Nature Spirits which are the main focus of my beliefs are androgynous - being neither male nor female but both. These Nature Spirits are a part of a greater consciousness which is neither male nor female. But again both. So, I see no reason why a man could not encompass the Goddess and a woman can encompass the God. It is all one and the same 'in my book.'

    Because I am not that familiar with Wicca, I cannot say whether or not homosexuality has a place in Wicca. But I can tell you that in many Native American belief systems, Homosexuals were considered very special people. Because they embodied both the male and the female in one body. Often they had a place of high respect in the tribe. And most Native American tribes were Matrilineal - the woman was in charge of the family and responsible for making most of the major decisions for their family as well as the tribe.

    People through the ages have chosen to "see" their God/Goddess being in the shape/form that they are most comfortable with - man, woman, cow, bird, etc. When males took over the religion management department, they made sure that the MALE image was the focus of the people following that religion. Did they have an ego problem? Maybe....

    So, there's my two cents worth. Not sure if it helped or hindered....

    You might want to check out another blog by Robin Larkspur. She explains a lot about Wicca. She is a really nice woman who would be glad to answer any questions that you or Punky might have. http://wiccanwrites.blogspot.com/

  5. Found out about your blog from Aine's site. As a fellow New Yorker, or should I say a Brooklynite who works in the city, I wanted to say hello.

  6. Hi, I found your blog through a link from Aine.

    Interesting post. Not being Wiccan I can't speak from that point of view, but here is mine for what it's worth.

    As an animistic pagan I don't believe the spirit or life force that flows through the earth has any gender at all, but I think there is dualism in everything and we are all made up of both a female and male side to our spirits. It would seem that it is normal, as in most common, for our outward appearance to match our inner gender leanings. This match though is not a certainty. It could be that no matter what the outward gender of a person may appear to be, the inner spirit could most closely relate to the opposite gender. In this view I see it as perfectly natural that the inner spirit would have more say over who they embodied more either god or goddess.

    If you believe in reincarnation, there I think is the question of do we remain the same gender through time, I think this is doubtful. If we have had a strong connection to a deity in a pass life, would that spiritual connection be broken by death or change of gender?

    As for religion and homosexuality, I don't think it matters which religion you look at, there will always be sections in it that will refuse to acknowledge that some people are wired to follow a different path to others. These people will look for anything to reinforce their own cultural prejudices, including religion. I know of heathens who are anti homosexual and declare it's part of their faith, yet a reading of the mythology shows that the northern gods and goddess were very flexible about gender on a number of occasions. I would imagine that Wicca is no different, if someone wishes they will twist their religion to match their own view points. Christians have been doing it for years.

    Ancient archaeology is showing that human kind did not come pre packed with these prejudices. Discoveries like the 5,000 year old caveman in Prague show that our early societies seem much more relaxed about gender orientation than many are in the present day. This ancient man was buried with as much care as others in the time frame, in the same head to west manner of other males. Yet every other point of the burial such as position and grave goods point to the fact that he lead a much more feminine life style than his male contemporaries.

    As mankind advanced it would appear we became frightened of any who for what ever reason did not follow the carbon copy of the majority. We then sought for any means including religion to try and control what was perceived as a threat.

  7. -Aine,

    Thanks again for taking the time. I definitely like your ideas on balance, and each person having both male and female qualities in themselves. This is something I agree with completely, I see it all too clearly in almost everyone around me. Whether you're a girl who is one of the boys, or a boy who is one of the girls, gender can sometimes be a frivolous thing. Or so I think. I still don't know how that fits into witch craft/wicca/paganism, but your answer definitely helps. Also.. thanks for the mention in your blog. That was awesome.

    Aww.. you know you're totally awesome. I love chatting with you in comments, I think you were like the first commenter ever here on the fire escape. I also regard you as very wise. I'm also grateful for your informative lessons on the fae, and now you've taught me a little something about your native american beliefs. Those factoids about homosexuals in tribes were very interesting and even uplifting. I will definitely be checking out the blog you mention, perhaps haunting it as well.

    - Mxtodis
    Welcome to the fire escape. Aine was very kind to mention and link me in her blog. She's a wonderful person. It's also cool to meet a fellow New Yorker. Hope to see you around the blog again soon.

    Welcome also. Very informative comment. I think that much of what I personally believe coincides with what you're saying. For example, I believe in reincarnation from a removed point of view. I believe it happens, wholeheartedly, but I also believe that it hasn't happened to me. This I could be wrong about, of course, but it is just a feeling and feelings tend to be what I guide myself on. I most definitely believe in the duality within all of us. How could I not believe in something I can see and feel so clearly? While that doesn't necessarily bring me any closer to understanding those who don't/can't see it in their own religion, it has just the same been nice to talk about it and even meet new people through this conversation.

    I apologize to you all for the late reply, but late late night is when the house is settled enough for me to take the time to blog and comment. Thank you all again for stopping by and sharing your knowledge, I'm endlessly grateful.