|Jean Broc - The Death of Hyacinth (1801)|
"Hermes : Why so sad, Apollon?Apollon : Alas, Hermes,--my love!Hermes : Oh; that's bad. What, are you still brooding over that affair of Daphne?Apollon : No. I grieve for my beloved; the Lakonian, the son of Oibalos.Hermes : Hyakinthos? he is not dead?Apollon : Dead.Hermes : Who killed him? Who could have the heart? That lovely boy!Apollon : It was the work of my own hand.Hermes : You must have been mad!Apollon : Not mad; it was an accident.Hermes : Oh? and how did it happen?Apollon : He was learning to throw the quoit, and I was throwing with him. I had just sent my quoit up into the air as usual, when jealous Zephyros (damned be he above all winds! he had long been in love with Hyakinthos, though Hyakinthos would have nothing to say to him)--Zephyros came blustering down from Taygetos, and dashed the quoit upon the child's head; blood flowed from the wound in streams, and in one moment all was over. My first thought was of revenge; I lodged an arrow in Zephyros, and pursued his flight to the mountain. As for the child, I buried him at Amyklai, on the fatal spot; and from his blood I have caused a flower to spring up, sweetest, fairest of flowers, inscribed with letters of woe.--Is my grief unreasonable?Hermes : It is, Apollo. You knew that you had set your heart upon a mortal: grieve not then for his mortality."
Is Homosexuality Accepted Enough in Paganism?
"Yes, in my experience, people of all orientations are well accepted in the Pagan community." - Rational Witch
"I believe it is. I have yet to encounter a magical/occult group which lists sexual orientation as a criterion for admittance or practice. But then again, this is my experience as a heterosexual. Maybe someone who is homosexual could answer this question more clearly." - Baphomet (freely translated from Croatian)
"I think it is accepted for the most part, but not enough. There are some circles that don't accept it or claim they accept it, but if you're homosexual you are not allowed in them. (Just like there are some groups that don't accept heterosexual people regardless of their beliefs)." - Alberica
"I think that homosexuality is accepted a lot in Paganism, but just like with the national acceptance level, it could probably be accepted more. There's a lot of institutionalized heterosexism in the world, and it's not any different within the Pagan community.Interestingly, there's books out there that are specifically oriented to people of the same sex. Gay Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak is an example." - Kel
"In my own experience, it's pretty mixed.On one hand you see practices cropping up that are really open about various orientations and gender expression . . .
On the other hand, though, you still see a lot of issues with Queer acceptance in the Pagan community - especially in traditions who focus on the gender and masculine/feminine binary. There was a blog post at some point (for the life of me I can't remember where, but it wasn't long ago) where the author talked about their experiences with a coven who was set on male-female pairs regardless of the sexual orientation, gender, and latent energy of the people in the pair. I've also encountered groups who were all female who were strict about not allowing lesbians into the group for whatever reasoning they had.
So it's mixed, I think. But I also think it's getting better - slowly - as more people get to more openly explore the concepts of non-straight sexuality and non-cis-gender expression and it becomes more open and accepted in general society." - Sandra
"Yes, I feel very strongly that it should be accepted by all, especially Pagans. Many of us live by the Wiccan Rede, “An it harm none, do as ye will’. I think that ostracizing someone just for their sexuality, race, gender, or particular beliefs is a form of harm and I choose not to participate in that. I believe that we as a new faith have the responsibility to learn from the mistakes of the past, including those of discrimination." - Rational Witch
"The witches tell me: 'The law always has been that power must be passed from man to woman or from woman to man, the only exception being when a mother initiates her daughter or a father his son, because they are part of themselves.' (The reason is that great love is apt to occur between people who go through the rites together.)They go on to say: 'The Templars broke this age-old rule and passed the power from man to man: this led to sin and in so doing it brought about their downfall'. " - p. 42
"Witches teach that to work magic you must start with a couple, a male and a female intelligence being necessary, and they must be in sympathy with each other; and they find that in practice they become fond of each other. Sometimes it is undesirable that they should fall in love. Witches have methods by which they try to prevent this, but they are not always successful. For this reason, they say, the goddess has strictly forbidden a man to be initiated by or to work with a man, or a woman to be initiated by or to work with a woman, the only exceptions being that a father may initiate his son and a mother her daughter, as said above; and the curse of the goddess may be on any who break this law. They think that the Templars broke this law and worked magic, man with man, without knowing the way to prevent love; so they sinned, and the curse of the goddess came upon them." - p. 46
"'Initiate me,' urged his companion. 'Then you would have a coven of two, and I promise I shall do all you ask of me.' Alex explained that no male witch may initiate another male, nor a female a female. The natural laws of witchcraft, which regard homosexuality as a denial of the basic tenet of fertility, insist on man always being paired with woman, especially in a ceremony as personal as initiation."
"I’m becoming disillusioned with my older friends – traditional Wiccans that marginalise the gay community,” she [Morgana] declares, exasperated yet resolute. . . As a religion of self-acceptance, Sythove explains, when Wicca emerged in the early 60s and 70s, it went hand in hand with homosexuality. “Much like the stigma against homosexuality, many people, despite the fact that witchcraft has been against the law since 1735, saw paganism as diabolical. Wicca provided the community and acceptance for gay people that was lacking in greater society."
"...Paganism seems to have this air about being "for all the weirdos" (essentially, people general society has a harder time accepting, who often feel pushed out by a society that is largely still cis-sexual, heterosexual, and white), it's not unlikely that that's also attributed to our own growth and progress."
"I believe it [homosexuality] goes against the principles I use in my won practice (the principles of polarity, male/female, yin/yang, passive/active, the Goddess/the God). This isn't a problem in most situations but in some rituals (those of a sexual nature), I don't see how two people of the same sex could work together. And despite how chauvinistic I will sound, it seems to me that this would be easier for two women than two men because of the type of energy that they represent. How can a man be compliant with the energy of the Goddess if he has never specifically experienced it? Maybe this isn't an issue when solely male energies, such as the energy of Mars are evoked, but when polarities are evoked, I believe this can be a problem. But this doesn't mean that a practice which could overcome this obstacle doesn't exist. It's just that I still haven't heard about such a practice" - Baphomet (freely translated from Croatian)
"The male-female polarity is very extended in Paganism, mostly in Wiccan and Wiccan-like religions, and not everyone falls in the male or female category.Well, I think that polarity permeates every aspect of our life, not only the religious side. It's very common to hear and speak of "the priest" or "the priestess", but there are lots of people that don't self-identify as male or female, and for those people, what are they going to call themselves if they are part of a tradition as such? This happens also in everyday life. So many times, when someone meets a same-sex couple, they ask "who plays the male and who plays the female part?". That is SO disrespectful! But for the majority of people, there HAS to be someone who acts as male and someone who acts as female, otherwise they can't make any sense of it.Same thing for the god/goddess idea. There are gods that don't fall in an either/or category. There are gods that have both sexes at once, and gods that are sexless. But people will put them on a "god/goddess" dichotomy, as if that's the only thing that exists. Maybe it's easier to understand things that come in pairs, I don't know. Like "good/bad", "black/white", "day/night" etc., without realizing that there are other options from one end to the other and not everything needs to be extreme." - Alberica
"The Ancients believed in dualism: the male-female polarity, if you will, but I think it was more a belief in the wholeness of existence, if that makes sense, rather than an actual polarity. When I'm talking about the wholeness of existence, the easiest way for me to explain it is to compare it to my Christian upbringing.When I was growing up, I was raised to believe that we, as humans, were created less than perfect. We were born into the world as sinners, so we had to spend our entire lives striving for a perfection we would never reach. We would pray for forgiveness for our sins which could be anything from dressing wrong, thinking wrong, speaking wrong to being fundamentally wrong (aka, gay). Because we were fundamentally flawed and sinners, we needed a savior to speak on our behalf so that we wouldn't be condemned to a place of torture for all eternity.
We weren't whole beings, basically, because we sinned and needed saving.
The Ancients believed in and loved symmetry and balance. There was a theory or idea (and some sources say it's real and some say it's not, so it depends on who you read) that there were "Two Lands." There was this land and another one where our exact opposite twin lived and experienced everything we did, including the same birth and death dates. We may live a life here where we are "less than" and have bad days or moments or don't necessarily have everything (like maybe we lack math skills), but it's okay because our opposite twin has all those things we lack and we have all the things our twin lacks.
In that sense, we're whole beings who exist on this planet. We, as humans, encompass all traits, but we only express some of them. And maybe we gain traits or lose traits over time, but they're still all there. There's no reason for being saved or asking for forgiveness of the Gods because They created us as whole beings. We may slip up, and need forgiveness, but it's not from the Gods, it's from the people we hurt here on the planet.
We aren't constantly striving for a perfection we can't ever get to because we're already perfect. And when we are able to accept that perfection, we can spend our time working more towards helping others and making the world a better place." - Kel
"There is no point according to which Pagan principles and homosexuality are contradictory to one another and they aren't contradictory in my opinion. Of course, the archetypes of the "mother" and "father" exist everywhere, but as is the situation with everything else, they are just symbols of loved ones/lovers and if whether two men or two women stand behind them is absolutely fine because this doesn't make the love between them any smaller or disgraceful as is, unfortunately, usually thought." - Soror Morgan (freely translated from Croatian)
"Male-female polarity is the pattern of Nature (though there are plenty of homosexual/asexual/hermaphroditic animals too), and whether or not a particular person is oriented that way personally has nothing to do with their ability to worship the Goddess and God. If someone chooses to follow a Dianic path or other single-gender form of belief, it’s fine with me. We are all connected with the Divine, however we choose to worship." - Rational Witch
So basically, every person has both male and female qualities regardless of their sex. Nobody is completely male or completely female. In this sense, homosexuality can be seen as a leaning towards one of the genders which just so happens to be the one less supported by society for that person's sex (e.g. a woman should be feminine according to society, though many lesbians can be described as masculine). Of course, this can be the case with any person notwithstanding their sexuality. Although this example just served to illustrate this specific point so I apologize for the generalization.
When one meditates on this, another issue may arise. Why, then, are the God and Goddess perceived as solely male or female? Both of them have several aspects which are differently balanced out. For example, some may perceive the Horned God as more masculine than the Green Man (although this is also individual). As is the case with both deities and humans, nature itself isn't solely male or female. These characteristics simply protrude one another and I believe it would be best if we accepted this because it would make it easier for us to accept ourselves and all those around us.
Most Pagans are in search for an "ideal" balance between masculine and feminine because they believe that this is the point where they can be equally in touch with the Goddess and the God. This is very hard to achieve of course. Most women end up being more in touch with the Goddess and most men with the God. If nothing else, each individual is encouraged to explore the "opposing" gender so they can try to balance this out. So men are urged to explore their feminine side in order to understand the Goddess, women, their emotions and so on. The opposite may be true for most homosexuals. They are usually already in touch with their "opposing gender" and have already established a deep connection with the God/Goddess or actually both. This argument is often mentioned when this topic is discussed and it is indeed in favor of homosexuality.
If we really want to sum up this whole issue of polarities, sexes and genders, then I believe it can be said that the real polarity here isn't male/female or masculine/feminine but rather receptive/projective. This is again very individual. Not all men are projective and not all women are receptive in terms of energy and personality. The main thing, at least in Pagan practices, to have this projectivity and receptivity balanced out. If two people are working in a pair, it is best if one is receptive and one is projective (generally speaking; this may vary on the goal) because ultimate balance will be achieved (as both polarities are present). Whether or not both of these individuals are men or women, or of different sexes is completely irrelevant.
Why I Believe Pagans Should Be Tolerant
"Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals."
Until next time. Yours,