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Sex-Positive Spiritualities Panel
9ICB — June 16/06
- Speaking from Wiccan perspective
- Wiccan for over 25 years
- WCC priestess
- Run own coven for nearly 15
- How many people familiar with Wicca?
- Modern syncretic religion drawing influence from a variety of pre-Christian pagan religions, as well as from turn-of-the-century occult orders
- Once thought to be literal survival of ancient religions, now not believed to be
- Based around reverence for nature, practice of magic, cyclical view of time, life and death, and balanced duotheism
- Model for complementary duality
- All gods and goddesses regarded as parts of whole
- Sexuality regarded as sacred:
- …and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise. For mine is the ecstasy of the spirit, and mine also is joy on Earth.
- Let my worship be within the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals.
- Sexual imagery often used in ritual; union of God & Goddess bringing forth all things
- From bi perspective, not enough to simply be sex-positive — what kind of sex?
- Sexual imagery in traditional Wicca almost exclusive het
- Central theological model of God/Goddess, while good for gender balance, privileges heterosexuality, and can be viewed in gender-essentialist way.
- Often justified as being based in fertility religion
- But notion of fertility religions questioned by historians.
- Based in projection from Victorian sexual repression
- Ancient religions not solely focussed on fertility; much more wide-ranging
- Ancient deities from which God & Goddess composites did not always reflect archetypal masculine and feminine qualities.
- All of this leads to problems for queer Wiccans
- Less so for bisexuals than G/Ls, but still problematic
- Challenges for queer Wiccans:
- Recognize that as young religion, still evolving
- Losing sense of false history can be freeing
- If want to be true reflection of older faiths, need to be more diverse
- Polarity can be viewed in non-gendered ways, or gender can be acknowledged as metaphorical
- But caution also needed:
- Beware of changing too much too fast — don’t want to lose sense of depth, tradition.
- Also don’t want to tone down too much — when completely inoffensive, can lose power (SF story)
- Know what symbols represent before trying to change or remove them.
- Balance needed
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