Homosexuality and Paganism

Jean Broc - The Death of Hyacinth (1801)
The myth of the Greek god Apollo and the young Hyacinth speaks of the love between these two men and the sadness which follows after a tragic accident. Several great Roman and Greek writers retold this myth, including Ovid, Hesiod, Pausanias and Lucian. I would like to present Lucian's version of this myth from his work Dialogues of the Gods 16 which I think is the most straight-forward of the versions I found:
"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."
Although the myth varies from author to author (the quoit is sometimes replaced by a discus, the circumstances of the youth's death may differ etc., you can read other versions here), one thing always remains the same; Apollo is always in love with Hyacinth and their love is always depicted as romantic and honest. 

But what does this myth have to do with the title of this post? Well, I wanted to begin by showing that homosexuality was not unfamiliar to the ancients. On the contrary, they were quite comfortable with it in their stories, religious life as well as their mundane lives. This was one of the arguments that came to my mind when I started asking myself about the acceptance of homosexuality in the Pagan community. I know quite a few gay men and lesbians, some of which are also Pagan. Although I myself am heterosexual, I still felt for them when they experienced unpleasant situations because of their sexuality, both inside the Pagan community but even more so outside of it. It seemed to me as though homosexuality was better accepted in Paganism than in most other western religions and I started wondering why. This, of course, wasn't always true; Paganism was much less tolerant of homosexuality a few decades ago, but times change (...I'll get to that later). 

So after I asked myself these questions, I started asking other people. I gave out a questionnaire which I asked my fellow Pagans to fill out for me in an attempt to get a broader view of the situation and to be able to write as objectively as possible. The answers varied and really did give me the full picture. Also, the people that volunteered to answer the questions don't come from the same country, they aren't the same age, they follow different Pagan paths, come from different backgrounds and are of different sexualities. All of this ensured a wide range of answers which I was given permission to share with you. So thanks to all of you who took the time to write down your answers! :D

The question which I will attempt to answer in this post is the following: Is Paganism gay-friendly or homophobic? In order to find an answer, I had to ask both myself and others a few additional questions. What follows are the results of my inquiries and contemplations. 

(Note: most of the respondents wished to stay anonymous so almost all of the names you will read are pseudonyms)

Is Homosexuality Accepted Enough in Paganism?

The answers to this question greatly varied depending on the individual's personal experiences. So I got some very confident, positive answers such as the following ones:
"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)
But most of the answers were multivocal:
"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
When I received all of these positive answers, I assumed that these individuals believed that homosexuality really should be accepted. When I asked them about this, I again got very positive answers. I especially like the following one:
"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
Most of the answers emphasized this responsibility we have towards other human beings as well as basic human morality and empathy. Discrimination is a form of harm and I as a Wiccan completely agree with the above answer. Apparently, modern Pagans, as far as I found out, are very accepting of all sexualities. I wondered why this was so. 

Growing Tolerance

Pagans (or should I say Neopagans) weren't always so tolerant of homosexuality, but something seems to have changed. 

In order to explain this, I have to say a few words about Gerald Gardner. This man is often called the "father of Wicca". Indeed, he did form this spiritual path greatly, but he is by no means the sole founder, or a messiah or anything along those lines. He is viewed as an important figure in Wicca's past and as an important author in this field but not everyone agrees with his opinions. In his work Witchcraft Today (pp. 42, 46 in this pdf), he says the following:
"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
One must take into consideration that these quotes are taken out of context, because they are from the chapter which talks about the Catholic Church's persecution of the Knights Templar. Some have claimed that these quotes aren't Gardner's personal opinions on the subject precisely because of this, but it seems to me that they are, He clearly states that "the witches told him" and that "witches teach" this. Also, it is very easy to differentiate the sections of this chapter which explain the views of the Catholic Church from those that explain Gardner's views. If you read it for yourself, you will see what I mean.

All in all, most traditionalists (i.e. traditional Wiccan practitioners) agree with these claims. This includes strict followers of the Gardnerian tradition. It is basically a rule that Gardnerians have to work in male-female pairs. As for their acceptance of homosexuals into their covens, I can't say from personal experience, but I assume that there are more liberal groups even in this traditional circle of people. Still, Gardner's possible issue with non-heterosexual orientations have to be questioned because of his relationship with Aleister Crowley who was openly bisexual. Crowley initiated Gardner into the O.T.O but they also had a personal relationship...so Gardner was bound to know this piece of information. But if only the dead could speak...

Still, just because Gardner was opposed to homosexuality doesn't mean that all Wiccans or Pagans are or even should be. This anti-gay phase in Wicca's history was precisely this - a phase. It lasted very shortly and ended with the formation of the Alexandrian tradition. Alex Sanders, the founder of this denomination, was bisexual. He also didn't force male-female partnership during rituals as far as I know. Although, June Johns explains in her work Alex Sanders the King of the Witches, that Sanders didn't see how homosexuality could fit into Wiccan ritual practice. As she says (p. 60):
"'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."
Despite this claim, I believe that Sanders marks the beginnings of the acceptance of homosexuality in the Wiccan community. 

I would now like to quote a part of an interesting article that I found on this topic. It's entitled "Wicked? Homophobic wizards, gay witches and the fight for acceptance in the Wicca community". One of the people interviewed in it is a wonderful woman (in my opinion) by the name of Morgana Sythove who is also quoted there. But I'll let the excerpt speak for itself:
"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."
The 60s marked the beginning of the Gay Liberation Movement. During that time, society wasn't very accepting of homosexuals, but it seems that some of them found sanctuary in Paganism. From this point onward, gays started gaining civil rights all over the world, experiencing moral victories and thus gaining self-confidence (generally speaking of course). The number of homosexual Pagans seems to have grown since then. Actually, maybe it hasn't grown; maybe it's just the fact that more people were willing to come out of the closet thanks to the growing tolerance towards homosexuality. I mean, who's to say that there weren't just as many homosexuals in Pagan groups in the 50s? The 50s were just a different time which was much less accepting of this sexual orientation; people were simply afraid to "come out" back then. The 60s changed this significantly.

Since we're on the subject of coming out of the closet, I believe this is an important commonality of Paganism and homosexuality. Members of both groups often come across the same problem of "coming out" to their friends, relatives and colleagues. I know I really racked my brains about how to tell my parents about my Pagan beliefs. I also know that this was a huge issue for most of my gay friends when it came to their homosexuality. This may be one of the reasons why homosexuals are, I dare say, "attracted" to Paganism.

Then there is the fact that Paganism doesn't state that you'll go to hell if you have a same-sex partner. Plus, Paganism generally has a very accepting aura to it that attracts many kinds of people. I had a nice laugh when I read Sandra's comment on this topic:
"...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 feel obligated to emphasize that the phrase "all the weirdos" doesn't mean anything bad really. I actually found this comment warm and truthful. This is how most of my non-Pagan friends feel about Paganism and I think we all believe this is true to some degree...it just sounds strange when we say it aloud. Nevertheless, our (un)acceptance of this fact doesn't change its verity.

But what about those Pagans out there who aren't so accepting of homosexuality? All of the things I have said so far are quite general, but there are individuals out there who would disagree with all of these claims and could be called homophobic. Of course, everyone has a right to their opinion and claiming that all Pagans are accepting of homosexuality is prejudiced. As is the case with any group of people (be it religious or not), there are disagreements and divided opinions. So let us have a look at them.

(Note: the titles "anti-gay" and "pro-gay" can be debated, but I'm sure you will understand what I mean. The point is: they serve the purpose of this topic.)

Anti-Gay Arguments

When I started thinking about this topic, I first asked myself if I was slightly homophobic. The research I have done since then really opened my eyes. The issue I was faced with at the beginning of this journey was how homosexuality can fit into a (among other things) fertility-based spiritual path. In my defense, I usually think of male-female polarities when I think of fertility, but not everyone does. I couldn't see how homosexuals manage to balance this male-female polarity in themselves or even how they can relate to this belief system. But I found out, to my great pleasure, that they don't have any problems with either of the above. 

Nevertheless, many Pagans will take this "incompatibility" of the male-female polarity notion and homosexuality as one of their anti-gay arguments. In the previously mentioned article, Kevin Carlyon claims that homosexuality doesn't belong in a fertility-based religion. As much as his following remark made me laugh, I still find it very offensive. He says: "Energy can’t really be raised by a man sticking his willy up someone else’s bum. Like terminals on a battery, if two of the same polarity are touched together the power supply is short-circuited rather than energised". When he puts it that way, it may seem logical, but I have asked many homosexuals their opinion about this issue and I have to admit that their arguments made even more sense to me (but I will let you develop your own opinions). 

But let us return to the main topic. Some may claim that this male-female polarity forms a key point of Paganism. Proof of this is the importance of the Great Rite (a real/metaphorical sexual unity of the Goddess and the God - essentially heterosexual) in traditions such as Wicca, but also the very perception and naming of the two main deities of Paganism: the Goddess and the God themselves (one female and the other male). If one is to take these concepts literally and compare them to worldly states, then yes, homosexuality cannot fit into Paganism. When I asked one of my volunteers the question "Do you think that homosexuality is compatible with Pagan beliefs and principles? (especially with regard to male-female polarities)", the reply argued precisely the above ideas:
"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)
I believe that the problem with this kind of thinking is that it is restricted. The Divine cannot be compared to the mundane in terms of sexuality or gender; it rises above such issues. As Morgana Sythove says: "God and Goddesses are not human! They exist within the realm of Spirit, they are archetypes, personifications of the great abstract universal forces. The law of polarity should mean anything that is a polarity: hot and cold, up and down". So there is some food for thought for you. :)

Honestly, I couldn't find any other argument against homosexuality apart from this one. To sum up this section of the post, some believe that homosexuality is contradictory to the Pagan belief system because Paganism is based on the celebration of the duality of nature (which is generally perceived as male-female). If the term "polarity" is perceived as solely male-female, then this may cause problems for our homosexual brothers and sisters. But there are still many more opinions to be expressed.

Pro-Gay Arguments

It seems to me that there are many more pro-gay arguments in the Pagan community than their air anti-gay ones. A very interesting opinion, which relates to the beginning of my post is the following one:
"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
This opinion is still centered around the issue of male-female polarity. You don't really think about it, but not everything is black or white or simply male or female. There are men with many "female" qualities and there are many women out there who have "male" qualities. So not everyone is completely one or the other. This is one possible pro-gay argument.

But what if we are to completely disregard with male-female polarity as being important? What if we say that nature is not male-female based and that Paganism, while celebrating polarity, does not celebrate this specific polarity but just polarity in general? Here are two more opinions which take on this opinion:
"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)
Obviously, not all Pagans see nature as the duality of male and female. Most are actually aware that homosexuality is also present in nature, just as heterosexuality is:
"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
If we were to return to the etymology of the word "Pagan", we would have to emphasize the original connection to the country and the land. There is no implication of male-female polarities here but just the worship of the land and, by extension, of all of nature. Obviously, Paganism isn't only about celebrating fertility (although this is an important aspect of the faith). If we look at Paganism from this point of view and say that it is about worshiping all of nature, then we have to acknowledge not only the "heterosexual" parts of nature, but also those of "other sexualities". In fact, scientific research has determined that several hundreds of species of animals practice some sort of homosexual behavior. And this is only the tip of the ice-berg. What about all the animals that reproduce asexually? Or the number of hermaphrodite species? All of the issues we see as problematic in humans are evident and common among animals (and yes, that includes mammals). If you're willing to do a bit more reading on the subject, you can have a look at Yale Scientific magazine and newsmedical.net (although you will definitely be able to find more information on the subject online and in your local libraries).

Another argument that is worth mentioning here is the alternate understanding of the terms "gender" and "sex" in Paganism (sex=man/woman; gender=male/female). The usual assumption is that men are masculine and that women are feminine, but in reality, this is not always true. What most Pagans believe is that gender and sex are not strictly tied down together. As I have already said, some men may be effeminate and some women may be very masculine; it all depends on the balance of qualities and energies in a person. No one balance is good or bad; each individual has their own balance which is just right for them because it makes them what they are. Like Kel wonderfully pointed out, we are all created perfect in our own way...we just have to realize this.

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

As you might have concluded, I am a Wiccan and, even though this is perhaps the most quoted line for this topic (for the "pro" side at least), I have to emphasize it. The quote I am referring to comes from the Charge of the Goddess (an essentially Wiccan text) and reads:
"Let my worship be within the heart that rejoiceth; for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals."
The Charge itself and, more importantly, this quote have been accepted by many Pagans (this implies non-Wiccans also). So what does "ALL acts of love and pleasure" include? This means that any act, any emotion, any thought that is positive, that shares love and spreads pleasure (not hate!) is welcome and encouraged. If this act/emotion is homosexual according to society's standards, then so be it, as long as it does not do any harm, or rather as long as it gives only love and pleasure. This does not only refer to sexual love and pleasure, but also emotional, spiritual and any other kind you can think of. 

In my opinion, any Pagan that truly wishes to follow a Pagan path has to accept nature in its fullest, even the parts they are not comfortable with or that may seem illogical sometimes. Nature exists the way it does for a reason and everything in it is perfectly balanced out, including humans. It is mutual hatred, intolerance, greed and exploitation that disrupt this balance.

At the risk of sounding like a hippy (not that I personally have anything against this), no act of hatred can lead to anything good. I can only hope that people (Pagan and non-Pagan alike) will realize this before everything goes to rack and ruin.

I hope you enjoyed the post and that I gave you something to think about. :)
Until next time. Yours,
Witch's Cat

4 komentara:

  1. I really liked this post. I will say a few things though: In my experience, the entirety of Paganism isn't focused on the male/female duality. I believe that's mainly a Wiccan focus that bleeds into others' practices. My own practice has really nothing to do with male/female polarity. I honor the Goddess and see Her just about everywhere.

    My practice also has very little to do with fertility. I don't look at the wheel as a birth chart for the next Sun King or what have you to be born. The only way my path has anything to do with fertility is the fact that I pay attention to when the trees start to floom and flowers sprout, and the production of ideas and creativity. As a woman who doesn't want kids, focusing on fertility in the baby sense makes very little sense to me.

    If Queer folk (like me) don't fit into Paganism because of the male/female and fertility things, then you have to also ask where do people who don't want kids fit into it? I'm not saying you said LGBTQ folk aren't welcome in Paganism. I'm just giving food for thought :)

    Fertility isn't the only thing in Paganism that we can focus on.

    1. Well I completely agree. But then again, there are different aspects of fertility. I also see the blooming of flowers or sprouting of plants as a form of ferility; of the fertility of the land. And it's a points like this that fertility and earth celebration coincide.

      Although I recall saying that Paganism is NOT all about fertility. I just hope that this was clear enough.

      And this is an interesting point that you bring up. But as you obviously see for yourself, you find other aspects of Paganism and put them in the center of your focus :) and then there is also the issue I mentioned in the first part of this comment; fertility doesn't only cover human reproduction...it covers sooo much more.

      And yes indeed, Paganism isn't entirely focused on male/female duality...and I though I made this quite clear. Did I? I just have to ask so I'm hoping for a response here. :)

  2. I absolutely loved this post. Not that I'm biased or anything because I'm in it ;), but because it's extremely well written and covers a wonderful topic that has a lot of controversy behind it.

    Wonderful job! It's inspiring a post for myself, to elaborate more on the "Two Worlds" experience.

    1. Thank you very much on the positive feedback! :D it's always nice to feel supported :) if you have anything else to add, please do! :) I realize this is a controversial topic and I do expect both positive and negative comments, but that's all well and normal ^^