First off, I forgot two important links for yesterday’s article. I’ll be linking to a bunch of other articles as well.
This post on John Beckett’s blog is very much worth reading and I would suggest you go read it now. This post by Morpheus Ravenna is also good reading. Both of those touch on points I was making yesterday while also delving into other very relevant issues to modern polytheists.
A post over on The Rose Bell caught my eye in the ways that I find similarities and differences, and also in certain phrases and desires I’ve seen voiced by many people I’ve interacted with online and in person – especially that for a physical sacred space. I’ll be writing up a larger piece on my thoughts and the reflections this piece stirred in me tomorrow or the day after.
I’m reading Gender and Transgender in Modern Paganism as a part of a reading group I’m in. If I do respond to any of the articles here, it will be more of a contemplation and reflection. There is an incredibly problematic article in the mix, and I recommend this post that delves into why there are problems in the last article. Here on this blog I’ll only be exploring the other articles, if I do so at all, though I may discuss the problems privately with the reading group.
And because I absolutely love the sound of my own voice, I’m linking to two posts I wrote up yesterday on my Otherfaith blog – one is the story of how the Westernlands came to be and the other is a brief piece for the Dierne.
Now, moving on to the main meat of this post – sexuality, non-sexuality, pleasure, and the profane and sacred.
I’m reading through way too many books at once, as I usually do. One of those books is Thuri Calafia’s Initiate. It’s a neoWiccan workbook, part of her series teaching how to practice as a solitary in her tradition (the first is Dedicant). The book is aesthetically pleasing, and I find it useful in learning how to lay out a workbook and 101. I’m really reading it to learn how I want to write introductory books, but I’ve gotten more out of it than just learning how to plot and plan.
That said, a lot of what I’ve gotten out of the book is total and absolute disagreement. Initiate, as with Dedicant, is full of heterosexism, and in Initiate the heterosexism only gets worse. This is highlighted most especially in the 22 chapter, “April”. Really, the chapter starts of rough enough and progresses into more erasure and problems, but it did provide a lot of ideas to chew on. And I’m grateful, because it’s given me an opportunity to reflect on sex and sacredness in my own faith.
the Dierne is pretty much the patron of sex and sexuality in the Otherfaith. He loves sex, and he loves learning and teaching and exploring that area. He’s patron of kink and fetish, and within him is all gender and orientation there is. Including non-sexuality. Because, as he is patron of sex, he’s also patron of pleasure. Pleasure is not limited to sex. He wants to feel good, and he wants others to feel good. For many people, sex is a part of that. And for others, sex isn’t a part of that.
In one part of Initiate, apart from many ‘x’s marking where I disagree with a statement or idea, I scribbled out, “Kink does not automatically equal sex.” It took me a long time to realize this, and it was very disappointing to see this idea perpetuated that sex and kink are always connected. Non-sexual and asexual people can engage in kink, and it doesn’t matter if you think the only ‘real’ kink is one that incorporates sex. the Dierne helped me really understand what it meant to be kinky and also my relationship to pleasure, and he’s told me often that pleasure is not limited to sex.
Eating a really good doughnut is pleasurable. Reading a good book can be a joy. What makes me love the Dierne so much is that he completely understands that some people are going to want to hop in bed and mess around, while others really just want to play video games instead. And there is no judgement about which is better or more sacred. Just because the Dierne loves, loves, loves sex doesn’t mean all of us need to love it. the Dierne cares much more that we can accept ourselves entirely, for whatever we are, and that we pursue joy. We find what makes us feel good and we chase it.
And one thing that struck out to me is that not all the sex the Dierne has is sacred or holy. It’s just sex – messy, wild, fun. Other times it’s heartfelt and aching and deep, and sometimes it’s awkward and funny. Certainly, sometimes when he has sex it is a great meeting of holy power and energy, but not always. Sex that isn’t sacred isn’t less important than sex that is. the Dierne likes a bit of profanity. He likes laughter and pleasant shivers and fun. What makes us sing or dance like fools? Falling in love with a new person or a new book? the Dierne is the entire spectrum of pleasure and joy.
This post was a bit shorter than intended, but I think I’ve said everything relevant on this topic – so, thank you for reading!