GLBT Pagan

One of the reasons I didn’t get into Wicca, was the whole issue of gender and gender identity. I started exploring paganism in my teens, and there were a lot more Wiccans than Druids about in those days. Wicca would, perhaps, have been an easier option, and in many ways I felt myself to be ‘witchy’. However, reading up, I ran headlong into the masculine-feminine polarity that seemed to me to be a very core concept, and I beat a retreat.

Many Wiccans worship The God and The Goddess, and what I’ve seen of ritual descriptions (and my one personal experience) involved some symbolic recreation of heterosexual sex and utilisation of male/female pairings. To me, Wiccan practice seemed very heterosexual, and I didn’t know how to relate to that. I‘ve always been more complex both in my preferences and my gender identification (especially in my teens) and I don’t feel easy about not seeing where GLBT folk fit in. I particularly can’t see how it works for gay guys, or people whose identity is either not about their gender at all, or more of a mingling of male and female.

My experience of Druidry is that the same gender polarity doesn’t exist within it. Yes, Druids honour Gods and Goddesses, and also entities of no gender. There’s no prioritising of heterosexual contact and fertility – we honour fertility, but it’s not the only, or even main focus. Inspiration and creativity, in a broader sense are very much more the emphasis. It would be also fair to say that I’ve encountered far more gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual Druids than I have Witches. (In fairness, I’ve encountered more Druids so I have a bigger sample population, but even so, there’s a marked difference in percentages.) I feel far more at ease being in a conceptual space that evidently has room for everyone. It’s a big, complex tribe. I like the diversity, the different kinds of energies it creates, and the different ways of doing that grow from it.

I also feel very strongly that human fertility, in a biological sense, is not an unequivocally good thing. We could, as a planet, do with a bit less of it. I’m very much in favour of children and reproduction (I have a child after all) but unbridled fertility is about the last thing we need. Channelling energy into other forms of creativity too has to be a good thing. This isn’t meant to be a dig at Wicca – it’s a faith I have great respect for – but it also isn’t for me, and I thought it worth picking over some of the whys of that.

I’d be very interested in hearing from any GLBT Wiccans – how does it work for you?

5 thoughts on “GLBT Pagan”

  1. I enjoy the easiness of the Pagan/Druidic religion and being bi/lesbian. No one judges me for how I am. I’ve learned that I can transfer energy from female to male. It’s not easy, but it can be done. The energy from female to female is awesome. I’m one of those that believe that sex magic should only be exercised between a loving, long relationship.

    Not just because you want to or because it seems to be the thing to do after or during a ritual. I know a lot that respect the nature of it. I think everyone has a path chosen for them, but they must accept that path and hold it dear. No matter what, you should always be yourself.

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  2. There are some traditions (roughly = denominations) of Wicca that are more explicitly GLBTQ-friendly than the British-Traditional-Witchcraft Trads (Gardnerian, Alexandrian).

    For instance, Dianic Wicca, as the name suggests, is focused on worship of the Goddess only, is strongly feminist, many (though not all) covens are women-only, and the linked article says: “Originally lesbians formed the majority of the movement, however modern Dianic groups may be all-lesbian, all-heterosexual or mixed.”

    Here’s another relevant Wikilink to such groups as the Brotherhood of the Phoenix, a gay men’s Wicca group (I do know one member, the chair of Milwaukee’s Pagan Unity Council).

    The nice thing about Druidry often* is — you needn’t set up separate groups with separate theologies (M/F here, F or F/F there, M or M/M over there) and wind up with segregated enclaves — the whole system allows one big diverse theology with one big diverse tribe attending all the gatherings, and no-one has to fit any one narrow mold.

    Sometimes, just sometimes, a “big impersonal” setting means MORE personal freedom for the individual. Strange, but true.

    (*Unless you’ve wound up encountering some control-freak-guru’s personal version of it, in which case all bets are off. Please see Isaac Bonewits’s Cult Danger Evaluation Frame.)

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  3. Many Pagans worship alone. I have not found any group I feel like joining and my worship and rituals are created by me – from my heart, from what my intuition tells me…they are not static or elaborate –
    I try to follow what the Goddess invites me to examine and play with.
    I seek guidance from people I feel are further along the path than me; mainly a Shaman lady I have never met but we speak on the phone. I describe my journey or meditation to her and she chuckles and says ‘ oh, yes! Things like this happen!
    I also read a lot of books for guidance.
    Anna

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  4. Anna, that’s such a good way of working and there’s much to recommend it. If it doesn’t come from the heart, what’s the point? I think there’s a lot to be said for having some kind of contact with pagan people – if nothing else it can be lonely otherwise, and the sharing of inspiraiton is always good.

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