Candle flames flickering, incense smoke curling in the twilight, standing in a circle of firelight, chanting sacred words. Deep in the woods where everything is transformed by the moonlight. Where the warm summer rain falls softly on the leaves.
The atmosphere of ritual is like no other: electrifying, life-enhancing, comforting. It can jolt you out of your complacency and reconnect you with your deepest desires, your authentic self, sometimes both at the same time.
I always have a look at the census results whenever they’re published, and the articles never report the Pagan numbers properly as they only look at people who write “Pagan” or “Wicca” (they never think to include Druidry and Heathenry in the total). So I always go to the detailed spreadsheets and make my own list.
One of the ways that the right and the centre tries to shut down discussion and debate is by dismissing it as “identity politics” and “the bickering of the left”. But what they fail to say is that there wouldn’t be “identity politics” if they were not constantly trying to remove the rights of marginalized people such as trans people and sex workers.
If a person I have known and loved before were trans (or intersex or non-binary or something else) I would honour that.
I would initiate them with a Priest or Priestess or all of us together or whatever the fuck worked to generate the dynamic interplay of energy needed.
I would invoke upon them the Goddess or the God and trust that the Gods know their own and would come.
I would kiss them as a sibling and hold them and call them by Priest, Priestess or Priestex or whatever term meant servant of the Gods to them and us.
I would teach them the beautiful and awe inspiring mysteries of the Gods and not shy away from the heterosexual generative story, but I would also explore the mysteries through other stories too and encourage them to write and share their own.
I would introduce them to the wider Gardnerian community and help them make friends and connections there.
I would work to heal them when they needed healing and receive healing from them also when I needed it.
I would work to confront my own discomfort and reconcile it, not seek to remove its source in fear.
I would work to understand where I may have done wrong and try to do better.
The person who wrote this chose to remain anonymous because of the way that transphobes tend to target inclusive people. I have shared it here with their permission.
“Inviting us to examine many different aspects of Initiatory Wicca, this book is aimed at both initiates and non-initiates. It could certainly be used as the basis of a coven training programme but is also invaluable for the solo practitioner.”
“The Night Journey utilizes the historical legend of the witch’s flight to the sabbat to expand Aburrow’s notion of a modern witchcraft which is “queer, transgressive, and resistant to authoritarian versions of reality.” In the spiritual world of The Night Journey, witchcraft isn’t seen as some sort of rarefied practice isolated from the messy mundane world, but as a beautiful, viable, and practical way of living in the world as a person of power and integrity … a revolutionary vision of traditional Wicca which looks to the Craft’s future while simultaneously honoring its traditions.”
Misha Magdalene, author of Outside the Charmed Circle: Exploring Gender & Sexuality in Magical Practice
“an outstanding Wicca 201, intended for already-active, primarily initiatory covens, that examines Wiccan praxis and theology. This is the next step once you have established a solid Wiccan practice. Many aspects of Wicca are examined with an eye towards inclusivity; Aburrow covers LGBTQ, BDSM, polyamory, and asexuality; physical and mental disabilities; cultural appropriation; and trauma recovery in the context of ritual practice, relationship to divinity, and mythology. …The author looks at some of the common Wiccan myths and makes suggestions for ways to incorporate deep ecology, from adapting the Wheel of the Year to appropriately reflect your climate and geography to reducing your carbon footprint.” — Sable Aradia
Both individual Pagans, and Pagan traditions, have unexamined baggage from their childhood. Individual Pagans have intellectual and emotional baggage from the tradition they grew up in (even if that tradition was atheism). Pagan traditions have baggage from the era in which they emerged.
Inclusive doesn’t mean that we have to include everybody who asks to join; it means that we don’t exclude whole classes of people due to their innate or acquired characteristics (such as ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or physical characteristics).