Author Archives: revkess

About revkess

Rev. Philipp Kessler (aka RevKess) is a simple small town Pagan who has found himself near neighbors with the Nebraska state capital building and the politics of the Cornhusker State. He has been involved with the Pagan community for 20 years. Co-founder and international facilitator of the Pagan Alliance Network, co-owner of Pangaia Metaphysical Store and a High Priest in the Covenant of Cernnunnos Tradition (12 years). He is also a Pagan broadcaster; celebrating four years as a "minion" (cohost) on KZUM's Murphy's Magic Mess, the world's longest running Pagan program on terrestrial radio (20 years in April 2013). Along with KaliSara he hosts the Pagan-Musings Podcast on the Pagan-Musings Podcast Channel, with Zaracon he hosts the Pagan Weekly News also on PMPChannel, and with Corwin he hosts Lavender Hill (Nebraska's first LGBTQ news and talk program) on KZUM.

When Family is More than Blood

Three Mother Goddesses of Egypt. Photo by RevKess.

My High Priestess shared an article with me in December 2014 about how many have turned the concept of the Coven into a Family. The author seems to feel that Coven members should be friends at most, hinted that near strangers may even be better. I may be interpreting her intent incorrectly. It is not my purpose here to pick apart the article or the author.

What family means to me…

Family is one of the most important things to me. Both in my mundane life and in my spiritual life. When you break it down, there really is little difference between the two. Continue reading

When Freedom of Speech & Expression Are Shot Down

Controversial cover of Charlie Hebdo, cartoon depicts the Prophet Mohammed making out with a Charlie Hebdo artist. 8 Nov 2011

On 7 January 2015 in the city of Paris, France, two gunmen entered the offices of a magazine and killed 12 people. Charlie Hebdo, a satire magazine known for sometimes taking their exercise of free expression to extremes, became another statistic in the “war on terrorism” that has been waging since long before 9/11. Many have made this tragic shooting into a discussion of religion (which it may well be), others have tried to claim that the shooters’ religious beliefs had nothing to do with their actions. Vox.com and others are making an attempt to say that the tragedy had nothing to do with the cartoons and other satire published by Charlie Hebdo. All over the interwebs, especially on social media, I have seen numerous postings by average people regarding this incident. Everything from outcries against Jihadists to victim blaming, from confused and terrified people to bored and I-don’t-give-a-damns (though if they are posting about it they obviously do care, or are trolls). What I see the most is people saying this tragic shooting of 12 people (including two police officers, one of which is said to have been Muslim, Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility) was an attack on the freedom of speech and freedom of expression that so many of us in Western culture hold as sacred. Continue reading

I’m not as young as I used to be…

Triple Goddess altar with Ganesh incense burner. Photo by RevKess

Triple Goddess altar with Ganesh incense burner. Photo by RevKess

(by RevKess)

I’ve spent most of the last three months trying to figure out what to write about for my fourth entry to Pagan Activist. Since September I have traveled out to Colorado to visit my Mother Coven, I’ve spent time with my mother. I’ve worked long and hard at my bills-paying-job, and I’ve spent many hours putting together programming for both my podcast and the community radio station I volunteer at. Since September the United States (and recently Australia) has seen protests, mass shootings, hostage situations and police brutality. Since September the Pagan world has seen many wonderful things, and many not so wonderful things. The New Alexandrian Library has completed construction on the first dome, Raven and Stephanie Grimassi have seen the love (and indifference) offered up to them in a time of need, my old pal and brother Zaracon has seen the miracle of funding a dream for his dying sister.

I could write on any of these topics and many others. I could write about the Winter Solstice (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere).  I could even go about writing something predicting changes and wonders in the Pagan community for 2015. But I’m not going to do that. You can go just about anywhere in the Pagan blogosphere and read about any and all of these topics. That’s not why you come to PA.

Continue reading

A Rainbow Pentacle (or other religious symbol)

by RevKess

LGBT Pride season is over and done with for 2014. There may be a few events yet to happen, but June and July are the main months for such festivities. We’re now in full swing for the Pagan Pride season, August 1-October 31. Both are opportunities for “fringe” or “marginalized” segments of the community to celebrate their pride in themselves and share of their communities with the rest of the world.

In both instances it is sometimes dangerous or even life threatening to be out and proud. Around the world, in the Middle East, parts of Africa, Asia, even in some areas of Europe and the Americas it can be extremely dangerous to be out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, etc. In many of those same countries, and elsewhere in the world, it can be very dangerous to be public about non-Abrahamic religious and spiritual paths. All we have to do is look to Uganda, South Africa, or Iraq to see what can and does happen to people who are either non-hetero or of a different religio-spiritual persuasion. The full-scale hunts of gay men in parts of Africa and the rabid accusations of witchcraft in South Africa or the displacement of the Yezidi in Iraq are just a few examples of what can happen to someone who is open or discovered to be “other” (or even rumored to be).

In the United States we are a little more lucky than some other parts of the world. Since the Civil Rights Movements and the Feminist Movement in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s we have seen gradual improvements in the public view of homosexuality and non-traditional religions. We still have many strides and baby steps to take before both segments of the greater community are accepted. Events like Pride and PPD help take those baby steps.

My personal experience with Pride events is limited to my immediate local community. I’ve sat a booth for Star City Pride the last four seasons. First to help the host of The Wimmins Show on our local community radio station, KZUM, and then with my co-host on Lavender Hill. Each time we are there representing KZUM. I’ve seen churches and local community outreach programs, as well as businesses, artists, and eateries with booths at the events. What I haven’t seen are visible representations of the Pagan community. I know that most of the local Pagan community is supportive of the LGBTQIAA community, they just don’t have a booth to share their support. I’ve heard that many other Pride events have Wiccan churches, Pagan temples, and other organizations sit booths or have some other visible presence.

Many LGBT community members are drawn to Pagan religions and spiritual philosophies. Wicca and other flavors of Paganism embrace the LGBTQ community, openly and without reservation. In my own local community the largest Wiccan church has many openly gay, lesbian, bi, or trans members. Many Unitarian churches have CUUPS chapters as well as LGBT Welcoming Committees, their memberships often overlap.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve not had the opportunity  to attend any PPD events. I have attended several Pagan festivals in the Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado areas. Many of these having overlap with the LGBTQQIAA community.

Both communities can learn from each other. They have grown up alongside each other, though there was little overlap in the beginning – at least open overlap. I should point out here that the Feminist movement overlapped with the Pagan movement and the Lesbian community while the gay men’s community overlapped with certain segments of the early Pagan movement. A clear and distinct overlap was not present.

In my first post with Pagan Activist I wrote about how some in the Pagan community have difficulty accepting transgender persons. The outpouring of support and response from other segments of the Pagan world showed that those who have difficulty are a minority. What I wrote about there is only one example of how Pagans need to work on their acceptance of “the other” within their own community. It should be obvious that I am going to focus on the acceptance of the LGBT community in this article, but the intersectionality of the Pagan world is far from limited to that. Others on this site have written about Pagan issues with physical disabilities, mental illness, dietary preferences and the like. I’ll leave it for them to continue on that topic of they desire.

It has been my personal experience that much of the discrimination and ‘phobia around homosexuality (bisexuality, transgender, gender fluidity, etc) can be traced to the simple fact of ignorance. In the past I would frequently encounter people who were homophobic because they did not know someone who was gay. Being open, frank, and honest with them helped to open their eyes to the reality of what knowing a gay person means. Quite often those same people would come back to me days, weeks, even years later, and apologize for their past words and actions against myself or other members of the LGBT community. Saying that getting to know me helped them to understand that a gay person is pretty much like a straight person.

The same holds true for when someone who is afraid of Pagans, or the concept of Paganism, gets to know someone who is Pagan. When you boil it down to the base elements of spirituality and religion, there is not much of a difference between Paganism (in its many flavors) and the Abrahamic traditions. I know, I’m going to get a lot of flak for that statement. I believe it to be true. The real differences are a matter of perception – how we as Pagans see the Divine compared to how members of the Abrahamic faiths see the Divine. Even within Paganism there is a vast difference in that perception. But stop and think, don’t all religions give guidelines on morality? Don’t they all address the afterlife (whether or not there is one in that faith)?

Being open and willing to talk with people about your religious and spiritual beliefs, about your sexual identity, or about both can go a long way to resolving issues that may come up when someone is suffering from that all too common intellectual affliction called ignorance. When time allows, even at work, I will try to dispel misconceptions that someone might have about my religious and spiritual beliefs or about my sexual identity. I’m rather open and frank about things in my life. The majority of my customers know that I am gay, many have learned that I am Pagan. All o my coworkers know and are cool with it all. I can also go years working with someone and them not knowing that I am gay. If it never comes up in conversation, it never comes up.

Ultimately, how you choose to work within one or the other or both communities is up to you. It is my experience that being able to work openly within both makes for a happier and healthier life. I’d imagine that most of the readers of this site are Pagan of some sort or another. Think back to an experience you’ve had an event where someone who was gay came into the gathering and was uncomfortable because they seemed to be the “only one”. Maybe you were that person. What did you do to help make them comfortable? What was done to help make you comfortable? What do you wish had been done?

You may have noticed that throughout this article I’ve used several acronyms for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. I did so because there are far more “flavors” to non-heteronormative sexualities and identities than lesbian, gay, bi, and trans.

Inter-Traditional Cooperation

roundtableI’ve been pondering how to write about this topic for quite sometime. Actually ever since Shauna first suggested I write for PaganActivist.com. It is a broad topic, but that’s not what makes it so difficult to write about. I keep thinking about my own experiences and how they are possibly outside of the norm – that is, they are relatively good experiences. Not to assume that every other person’s experience with working within a diverse community winds up in the realm of negative.

My first real attempt at working with multiple traditions and paths was back in 1997. My friend Sarah and I had this wonderful idea of trying to get the local Pagan community to work together on a single project, something like adopting a park or a stretch of high way. I really don’t remember.  What I do remember is the overwhelming number of local community leaders who showed up at the table. We put the call out over a local radio show – Murphy’s Magic Mess – on the local community radio station. We decided to meet at a local restaurant and see what we could accomplish. Unfortunately, even with over 20 local leaders at the table we couldn’t even agree on the term “Pagan” let alone what project to do together as a community. (Note: I am purposefully leaving their names out of this.)

In 2009, I sat down to coffee with one of those same leaders. We discussed what had happened over the years to change how our two groups had changed. Both groups have grown, matured, and branched out into new and better projects. We’ve still not reached the point of adopting a park or stretch of high way, but in some regards both groups have gone much further than that. What was the result of that conversation? We planned and executed a large group ritual for Beltaine that Spring.

I did learn a few things from that original meeting back in 1997. Namely, when you get that  many community leaders together for a “round table” discussion you are bound to run into egos and power struggles. It is part of human nature. As I often say (and I know someone famous said this), “wherever two or more people are gathered there will be politics.”

  • Sarah and I were 19
  • The average age of the other participants was 38
  • Sarah and I were “new” to the scene
  • Everyone else at the table was a known element

Those are just a few examples of why we didn’t feel like we had been taken seriously.

There were a few surprises along the way, as well. More than half of the people sitting at that table had never even met before. Here we had over 20 leaders of the local Pagan community and most of them had never even met! Can you believe that?! They all knew of each other, some had even stood circle together, but they had not spent any real time together. The biggest surprise was that everyone else at the table knew that one of the people at that table was a registered sex offender and a pedophile. Yes, a matter of public record – but not something that two 19 year olds were thinking about. (And yes, I did just admit that at 19 I didn’t know everything.) Some time after the round table we were finally informed of his crimes.

Fast forward to the present. Sarah and I are still friends, we still work together on community projects and try our best to work within the Pagan community. One of those projects is our podcast (shameless plug!). We’ve had a variety of guests on our show over the nearly five years of our series. Well known Pagan names like Oberon and Morning Glory, Wendy Rule and others. New comers to the scene like Faith Hamilton and Crystal Blanton (when she was very new on the scene). Musicians, authors, visual artists, etc. Why do I even mention this? It is safe to say that the majority of our guests are from different traditions and paths than we.

We open ourselves to new experiences. And that is one of the reasons why inter-traditional cooperation is important. Opening yourself to new experiences is not just broadening your horizons.  It is allowing yourself to experience something that may be out of your comfort zone.

Last December at your Yule time, I participated in a blot hosted by Nebraska Heathens United, a new group in my area. This wasn’t the first time I had attended a blot. I’d attended one 20 some years ago and again a few years back when visiting my mother coven in Colorado. I don’t remember much from that first blot. The one in Colorado was definitely interesting – meeting Hel at Samhain is a very interesting experience. The blot at Yule was a lot different from Hel. Somewhere around 50 people were gathered in the common room at the local Unitarian Church, passing the horn and toasting the Gods. Only about ten of them were Heathen, the rest were some flavor or another of Wiccan. We were all having a good time and I do think that some in the room truly had a spiritual experience.

Flashback time. My mother coven is a construct of many different paths. Twenty-three years ago we started out as an off-shoot of the Georgian Tradition. That said, we were not your typical Wiccan coven. Faerie and Native American influences abounded – and still do. Our trad’s founding HPS was influenced by the Eastern Star and her life partner is Druid. Our trad’s founding HP is where the Faerie and NA influences came in. We also had a heavy dose of activism at the beginning – still do. At our founding, we could count the number of straight members on just a few fingers. As Lady Rhiannon quips, she walked into a group of Dianic gay men waiting for a high priestess. Here we are today, a progressive and (we like to think) unique group of individuals with a vastly differing collection of back grounds. Everything from Native American to Ceremonialist, Wiccan to Druid, Egyptian to Celtic and just about anything else you can imagine.

But if you think about, the modern Pagan movement started out as a construct of many different paths. I know there are those who will argue that Gardner received his lessons from a long line of witches, some will argue that today’s Druids come from an unbroken line. To be honest with ourselves, the only “unbroken” traditions are those that have been passed down through the native peoples of certain lands (the Aborigines of Australia, the surviving traditions of Native Americans and First Nations Peoples, small pocket communities in the Middle East and the Basque region of Spain, just name a few). To hear Janet Farrar tell it, as she did at a workshop at Heartland 2013, Gerald Gardner basically made it up from bits and pieces of folklore and teachings of the Masons and other “secret societies.” That doesn’t make it any less valid.

That said, sometime after the advent of Alexandrians there began to be decent within in the Wiccan world. The Gardnarians claimed their way was the only way, the Alexandrians that theirs was the only way. Other traditions began cropping up, each claiming they were the true recipients of Gardner’s Book of Shadows. In recent years, though, there has been a bridging of the gap between the many of the various Wiccan traditions. a sense of cooperation is developing.

And that sense of cooperation is not limited to just the Wiccans. As I said above, in my area I have seen Wiccans work with Heathens, I have seen groups formerly at odds with each other reaching out to work together. I’m hearing about that elsewhere in the United States (and I can only speak for what I see here, not being familiar enough with Pagans elsewhere around the globe). I’ve seen it first hand in Denver, I’ve heard of it in Seattle and Chicago. It is happening.

The importance of cooperation. We are approaching a point in the history of the modern Pagan movement where it is important that we present a unified front to the rest of the world. Not something where we are all the same, one leader, that sort of thing. No. We need to show the public that we have the ability to police our own, handle issues within our communities, grow and share with others who do not follow Pagan paths.

In late March we saw the arrest of a prominent Pagan elder. In April we saw a man claiming to be Heathen attack another religion’s practitioners with gun fire and violence. Within a few weeks certain segments of the community reached out to each other and formed the Council of the Phoenix to address issues of abuse (all forms) within the Pagan community. Other areas of the Pagan world saw the banding together of diverse traditions and paths to form an Elders’ Council to address other issues within the community – particularly in the Denver area with the idea to grow and expand the concept. These are but to example of how inter-traditional cooperation can happen.

It is unfortunate that it took such drastic events to begin to unify the Pagan world. The outreach and cooperation have been needed for quite sometime. The internet is a key player in how this cooperation is beginning to take place. Through social media networks, through the blogosphere, and through the shrinking perceived distances between individuals and groups across the United States and around the globe.

Now it is your turn. It is your turn to talk about inter-traditional cooperation. What have you seen, heard of, that demonstrate such work? What are you doing to make it happen?

Homophobia in Paganism

gay triple goddess pentacle

~by RevKess

Homophobia. Biphobia. Transphobia. Each term implies an irrational fear of someone or something that is different. That’s just it. Irrational fear. Unfortunately the Pagan community is not immune to such fears. They are present in the Pagan world just as they are in every other aspect of human civilization. Unlike arachnophobia, which can be founded in something real – a person bitten by a brown recluse may be very afraid of all spiders afterwards – these phobias are more a result of cultural influence than anything real.

Personal experiences: I feel lucky that in my early years as a Pagan and an openly gay person that I did not face these phobias from within my new community. I came out of both the broom closet and the gay closet at the tender age of 14 while attending a small rural high school. I was harassed in school for both my beliefs and my sexual orientation, but did not have to deal with the Pagans in my life being mean or vile towards me because of who I was attracted to. Other than the first two Pagans I met, thanks to a local dial-up BBS, the Pagans I met in my first months on the path were met through a locally owned new age shop, which also happened to be the only GLBT owned bookstore in Lincoln, NE.

Aradia’s Arcane/Arbor Moon was my introduction to a lot of things. I am so grateful to the owners that they created a safe atmosphere for not only the Pagan community but the gay community in my area. The woman who was to become my initiated high priestess introduced me to the store and to many wonderful people, many of whom would become my new family. It wasn’t until five years after my first stepping out of the closet that I encountered these phobias within the local Pagan community.

My coven had all but transplanted itself to Colorado, I and a few others associated with the group chose to remain in Nebraska. I was searching for a new group to work with and find community in my life again. A bisexual couple introduced me to a meditation and study group that was open to new people. The high priestess of that group was very open and loving of most everyone who came through her door. Her husband and the group’s high priest (we’ll call him P) on the other hand was not so open and loving (at the time). A recent transplant from southern California (ironically), he expressed some views that were rather conservative and sometimes hateful. He took umbrage to my being gay. He didn’t out right say anything that would be clearly homophobic, but he did make things uncomfortable. At first I wrote it off as him being “superior” to my 19-year-old self, not appreciating that I was as informed and honest as I was at that young age. I was wrong. In later years he made a woman, also a transplant from southern California and a lesbian, feel so uncomfortable in his home that she has refused to even be in the same room with him.

Many years later P found himself in a situation in which he had no choice but to come to me for help. He’d divorced his wife and was battling depression, lost his job and his house was being foreclosed. His ex-wife asked me if I would be willing to take in his cats while he was seeking treatment for his depression. I wound up offering him crash space in my home. Yes, the same man who despite being educated and a high priest was homophobic. I took him in and gave him a place to sleep, a safe place for his cats, and introduced him to my mother coven from Colorado. I do not know if it was my actions and willingness to provide him a place to live or if it was his own personal evolution, but his attitudes changed over the course of the few months he resided in my home. He now lives two doors down from me and is much more open and accepting than he was when we first met 17 years ago.

My own personal experiences with homophobia in the Pagan world are limited, thankfully. I’ve never felt fear for my life from anyone in the Pagan community because of their fear and hatred of my sexuality. I’ve been blessed that no one has refused me admittance to a ritual or gathering because I am gay. But that is not always the case for others.

PantheaCon is just a few weeks away. Many of us may remember what happened at that event in 2011. But for those that don’t know….

The Dianic Wiccan tradition started out as a safe haven for lesbian Pagans, for women who had been harmed in some way by men, but primarily as a means for lesbian Pagans to gather and celebrate the Goddess in their own way. According to my friend LesBiCris (name changed for anonymity, and I paraphrase her comments), Z’s tradition hosted lesbian Pagans to the exclusion of all other women, looking down their noses at bisexual women and straight women alike – as anyone who would allow a man to touch them was not worthy of the love of the Goddess. The inclusion of transwomen was never even a consideration. Over the years and decades since bi women and straight women have been embraced into the tradition. Perhaps because of a waning in interest or because of pressure from within to allow all ciswomen to worship in the Dianic tradition. LesBiCris has her own opinion and many anecdotes that could argue either way. But transwomen were still not welcome.

Cover-web.jpg

An example of transphobia: At PantheaCon in 2011 the issue came to a head. Members of the Circle of Cerridwen and other groups and individuals had been experiencing ill feeling from Z’s form of Dianic Wicca at the event. Transwomen were not, even in other groups and circles, fully welcome in certain activities. An unfortunate truth even in the gay community (for both transwomen and transmen).

Gender and Transgender in Modern Paganism, an anthology of articles that resulted from the debacle at PantheaCon 2011 in which transgender women were refused entry to a women only ritual hosted by Zsusanna Budapest. Transwomen were turned away at the door to the women only ritual. Why? Because they were born with a penis and were not “real women”. From what I remember, not being at PantheaCon myself, the ritual was a skyclad ritual, one in which the women were encouraged to let go of the “pain caused by men”. Many transwomen are in transition and may still have the male genitalia they were born with.

I can understand the issue when it comes to skyclad ritual. Many women who participate in a ritual as described above may suffer flash backs or other such psychological trauma when seeing a penis, whether it is engorged or not, and this would have adverse effects in such a ritual setting. But it is not the fault of the transwoman that she has a penis.

You can hear my thoughts, and the thoughts of my cohosts on PMPChannel and directly from some of the people involved, either at PantheaCon or as transgender Pagans, in episodes of Pagan-Musings Podcast and the Pagan Weekly News.

What happened at PantheaCon in 2011, and the resulting attempts in 2012 and 2013 to rectify the situation, are just one small example of how Pagans can be homo and transphobic. Biphobia is another story all together. In 2013 the organizers of PantheaCon changed their guidelines to preclude such exclusionary rituals and events. They may still take place, but they are not part of the official PantheaCon schedule. In 2012 a similar ritual took place, again hosted by Z Budapest and her tradition. A silent ritual protest was staged in the hall outside the event room. A panel on diversity was also held in 2012. Z Budapest and many Dianic Wiccans decided not to attend in 2013. What happens this year is yet to be seen. I hope that the Pagans who are transgender who attend this year find a much more open and welcoming atmosphere than they did in 2011. At least one “new” tradition has branched off from the Dianic since these events occurred.

What can we do to combat homophobia, transphobia and biphobia?: Whether it is within the Pagan community or not, the easiest way to combat these phobias is through education and openness. Easier said than done. A bigoted person, no matter their religious/spiritual persuasion, is naturally resistant to education. Telling a homophobe that their hatred towards people who are gay is unhealthy (for both the gay person and the bigot) is about as useful as trying to squeeze water from a rock – difficult even under the best of circumstances. Repeated, calm, rational, and caring education/openness is essential when combating these phobias. Will they work on every ‘phobe? No. They will work on those who are willing to listen to a contrary opinion.

I’ll draw on personal experience again: Years ago, when I was around 18 or 19, I was hanging out with a diverse group of people at a Saturday night modemers’ coffee club. Some of my age peers had never met an openly gay person before, or at least didn’t know that they had. One of these young men was rather fascinated by the world of Paganism and liked to talk to me about spirituality. He knew I was gay, and that part made him uncomfortable. Over the course of several discussions he learned that I wasn’t all that much different from him. Not only did he later become Pagan, but he willingly admitted that he was wrong about gay people. He even asked me and my (at the time) boyfriend to be involved in his wedding.

P, whom I spoke of earlier, is another example of how time, patience, and compassion for another can help lead a phobic person to be more open minded, even to change their view of homosexuality. I’ve encountered many such situations with people who later became good friends of mine. I’ve also had experiences where no matter what I did or said the person remained phobic, even some of the Pagans I have encountered.

I wear a pentacle every day, it is a ring on my left hand. I wear two rainbow wrist bands every day, one on each wrist. When people meet me, if they see the bling, they might know that I am Pagan and that I am gay. These are two very simple ways that I go about my daily routine as an open Pagan and an open gay man. Not everyone can do this. Those who can in some small way show their Paganness and non-heteroness are champions for both communities. When I am asked about either the ring or the wrist bands I always answer openly and honestly. Sometimes that leads to an uncomfortable silence. More often it leads to a smile and a nod or a “good for you!” comment from those who ask. Rarely, but it does happen, does my response lead to an adverse reaction. When it does, I move along (when at work) or I try to counter their reaction with rational and compassionate thought.

More to the point of this discussion, how do we deal with homophobia, biphobia, transphobia within the Pagan community? Some traditions are going to be more conservative. Some paths are apparently opposed to non-heterosexuality. We cannot change the minds and hearts of those who strongly believe that being gay or bi or trans is against their religious or spiritual beliefs. We can show them, however, that gays, bis, trans people are not all that different from them. We are all children of the Gods (or the Goddess, or the One, or whatever Divine title). Many Pagans profess to worship or work with Gods of ancient cultures, from different pantheons. Almost without exception these ancient cultures acknowledged, even embraced, their non-straight members. As LesBiCris reminded me the other night, most aboriginal cultures paid special honor to their “two-spirit” members. Sometimes elevating them to a higher or spiritual status above those who were “normal”.

What do you do to combat these phobias, whether within the Pagan community or elsewhere? Please share your thoughts and experiences with me and those who read this blog.