Archive | January 28, 2014

I’m a bit apprehensive about my paper or specifically, presenting it.

I’m getting nervous about my paper on Lesbiphobia and the Pagan Community. I’m going to be stirring a hornet’s nest and I know it. I can tell just by the data I got back on the survey for all non-lesbians. A lot of people are very sure they have never discriminated against a lesbian and that ain’t so.

It’s probably because they assumed they were being inclusive and that very assumption is part of the problem. Pantheacon says it’s inclusive but by caving to people who wanted to tell Z Budapest what to do at her ritual that they had invited her to have there, they were discriminating against lesbians. The whole nature of the original Dianic movement is to enable women born women to have a safe space. To have a place where their bodies and experiences are accepted. Blood mysteries, especially are part of the Dianic mysteries and you used to be required to take the Blood mysteries classes just to join Circle of Aradia. If it wasn’t required it was highly encouraged. To insist and devalue the blood mystery component and insist transgendered males to female be included when they can never take part in a blood mystery is discrimination against the women.wimmin/wymin that want to have those kinds of safe spaces. Non-lesbians that insist that lesbians allow transgendered mtf or even gay men into their circles are discriminating are missing the point and ignoring the fact that male privilege is being asserted on women who are the lowest on the privilege scale except when practicing the Dianic version of the Craft.

(For those who don’t know, Blood mysteries involve a women’s menstrual cycle and the changes a women’s body goes through monthly and through her life time.)

I had a lot of lesbians refuse to fill it out because they didn’t trust me to use the data responsibly. So I had some conversations about it with them instead.

So this is going to be interesting and I know I’m going to be hitting some oh so liberal thinking people with the concept that they aren’t as liberal as they think they are.

Thank your Mr Seeger!

Whether we knew it or not, the great bulk of the music we sang at camp was due to Pete Seeger. Without he and Woodie Guthrie, and the rest of the Weavers helping to give birth to the folk music movement of the 60’s we would have been singing endless choruses of Ash Grove and all the rounds we sang. That isn’t bad but the 60’s music was created out of the social justice movements and its music influenced the children that were sung those songs.

The music of most Girl Scout camps was anti-war, anti-discrimination, pro-environmental and music that created a wish for those things whether we were conscious of it or not. We sang Peter, Paul and Mary. We sang Joan Baez and John Denver. We sang Cris Williamson and Meg Christian and Holly Near and Margie Adams to soothe our baby coming out souls. We made it safe to even think about those things.

We sang the Weavers and the Seekers and the Byrds and many that we had no clue about who had written them. They just suited our need to create a perfect world with our voices.

We sang about freedom and a world where all children and people are free and no one was discriminated against. We sang about peace and we sang about love and we sang to create a new tomorrow and I think, for the most part it worked. The people I know that were at camp working still feel that way and the people who I choose as friends still feel that way.

Those people helped create the Goddess movement that has grown into the wider pagan movement. They worked for what was then the Gay pride movement and grew to add the other letters. They have worked for children’s rights and safety and yes there has been a right wing backlash but pendulums swing both ways and things to change for the better for all people and that, I think is because we sang it first. So thank you, Mr Seeger. We Shall Overcome One Day.

Turn, Turn, Turn by Pete Seeger –

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time for every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time for every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time for every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time for every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time to love, a time to hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

The flame we keep

I was born as I flew from the flint down through the air into the straw in a bowl many hundreds of years ago. The bowl was carried by a woman to a lamp and I have been tended by women ever since, a constant parade of ever changing and ever the same women, always 19 at a time.

Women of all sizes and shapes, at first they were mostly women with red hair like my flame or hair dark as the soot I leave behind or hair as grey as ash. I burned year after year tended by these 19 women but every 20 days and I was left alone. Then I was tended by the Goddess who seemed as ever changing as the women. Some times she was young as a spring lamb and as fresh as dew chanting poetry and singing as she kept watch. Sometimes she was older and had muscles and would come in blackened and sooty and smelling of iron and sweat. Sometimes she was much older and came in smelling of flowers and leaves and had a peace in her face as she tended me that soothed my fiery spirit.

It went for years like this first tended by women robed in white or green who sang to their Goddess and of the people they prayed for and much later the women changed to a somber black robe and were swathed in cloth and only their faces and their hands were visible to me. They sang different songs. Songs that didn’t always seem to be about their Goddess but the Goddess still came. She used to wink at me and tell me stories. She said they didn’t always know who she was anymore but she loved that they still faithfully tended her.

Then the men came, men in steel like the Goddess smelled of, men reeking of hate and with ugly looks on their faces and they tried to douse me with water and leave me as a steaming and cold thing. They didn’t know that the women had taken a gift from me and hidden me in a lantern and took me in a boat over the water. I burned and burned in that new land for hundreds of years and then, not so long ago more women brought me home and I am tended again in this place near a well, ever tended by women but now every once in awhile a candle dips into me and I’m taken to a new lamp or a new candle or even sometimes a radiant and lovely bonfire and I am tended by new people. People of all colours and races, people whose faces shine back at me all over the world and not just women but men too. People whose face shines with love for their Goddess or saint, people who pray for other people to be well and strong or whole in what ever way that needs to be even if well and whole means a quiet ending.

And every twenty days my Goddess, Brighid returns to me. Telling me stories and smelling of herbs or of hard work before she goes out again into the world and the people she loves and I shine in many places, on many hearths and I shine for my eternal Goddess.

This story is also available in my book The Heart Town Witch and Other Stories.