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Sex-Positive Spiritualities Panel

Lynna Landstreet

9ICB — June 16/06

  • Speaking from Wiccan perspective
    • Background:
      • Wiccan for over 25 years
      • WCC priestess
      • Run own coven for nearly 15
    • How many people familiar with Wicca?
    • Define:
      • 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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