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Acorn & Antler: What’s Under Your Robes?

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Morgana Post number 26032 Posted: 9th December 2019     Subject: Acorn & Antler: What’s Under Your Robes?
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Not a new article... but I thought an interesting one...
Acorn & Antler: What’s Under Your Robes?

Transgender Identities in Traditional Wicca

The flames flicker across the naked bodies in the Circle. A figure steps toward the altar, their body fully illuminated by the numerous candles. The attendees of the Circle do not notice that the person who is their Priestess is transgender, and those who do couldn’t care less. The Priestess has been doing this for years; she was a Third Degree Initiate of her tradition. All of this sounds pretty normal, right? Well in some traditions, it is entirely possible that our Priestess would not even be allowed to be initiated. Let’s unpack this aversion that some Traditional Wicca has to trans bodies.

Forest Witch by Victoria_Borodinova, via Pixabay

Let’s go back to the beginning of Wicca, founded by Gerald Gardner and first introduced to the public in 1954. The ‘50s are not particularly known for their transgender rights, and Wicca was founded as a rather cis-gender and heterosexual religion. The early covens would not even allow those who self-identified as homosexual. Many covens often refused to initiate gay and lesbian people because they did not fit with the religion; their gods were not homosexual and therefore the Priests and Priestesses could not be either. If you ask most people in my tradition what they think of this, you would get a lot of, “That’s stupid, and of course gay, lesbian, and transgender people are capable of being Priests and Priestesses. ” Unfortunately I have to say most, because not everyone feels that way.

In my tradition, Blue Star Wicca, I was taught about “Seeing the God in Every Man and Seeing the Goddess in Every Woman, ” but I was also taught the opposite, “Seeing the God in Every Woman and Seeing the Goddess in Every Man. ” This exercise was one of the most powerful for me as a queer and trans individual. My initial training in my first Grove was rather unique in that our entire Grove was some flavor of LGBTQ and did not have a straight person join for a long time. Let’s dive into one of the hottest topics I often find myself in personally: Cross-sex initiation vs. Same-sex initiation.

Some Initiatory Traditional Wiccan groups do not and will not recognize Same-sex initiations as valid. I was often warned by my teachers that if I wanted to enter an Inner Court Circle as a future Initiate, it is possible that my password may be denied and I may not be allowed to enter the Circle. That idea blew my mind and then immediately made me kind of depressed to think that some of my Craft Family would deny me entry into a Circle. This is not just in my tradition, it’s in others as well. Chthonioi-Alexandrian Wicca for instance is a family of covens with an unbroken lineage going back to Alex and Maxine Sanders, however many Alexandrian elders do not recognize them as true Alexandrian because of their acceptance of Same-Sex Initiations.

Read on... ... -your-robes/
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