Well, maybe that's a bit strongly worded. There has been some very good material coming from that tradition over the years. But I read something this week that made me very angry, and the faulty reasoning that made me so angry is pretty prevalent in neo-pagan circles, especially Wicca. Hence the bombastic title.

Christopher Penczak, the prominent author, was hawking his new book on BeliefNet, and discussing his views on homosexuality in relation to Wicca.

"The divine is spirit, and as such, is beyond male and female, yet incorporates both. Witches believe the divine in immanent in all things, all nature, the stars and all people."

Which is lovely.

"Neo-paganism initially focused on heterosexual union because the roots of our reconstruction are based in fertility cults - fertility of the tribe and fertility of the crops. No gay witch is going to dispute the role of fertility. We all got here through reproduction."

Which is accurate; het sex makes mammal babies. It's a wonderful thing and it's of large importance. Unfortunately, he starts to talk bollocks almost instantly after that.

"But a gay witch will recognize that everyone has male and female, god and goddess energy in themselves. All men have feminine energy. All women have masculine energy. GLBT folk have a different blend of these energies when compared to the traditional heterosexual roles. It makes them perfect for magical world, because they can access whatever current of energy that is needed"

What the fuck? This gay witch certainly doesn't think that. I have no female energy. I have a male body and a male identity. What other meanings of "female" are being used here? For all his positive, pro-queer decoration, isn't Penczak just calling me an "invert"?

Penczak's descriptions read to me like an apology. It looks like someone is trying to excuse the Queer prescence in Wicca. These aborted attempts at "integration" would be offensive enough coming from a straight lay-person, but from Penczak they are horrific.

Penczak, for those who don't know, is that author of several gay oriented primers on Wicca. Despite presenting himself as the face of queer witchcraft, his views on gender (here at least) are still firmly rooted in the heterosexual hegemony. Males fuck females, females are receptive vaginas, and anything else must be ignored or else assimilated by force.
And Penczak, despite how much his individual ignorance is annoying me right now, is not the whole of it. There are whole communities of pagans out there who legitimise queer spirituality by pretending that lesbians have secret "male" energies that straight women don't have access too. This pisses me off.

Rather than admitting that a legitimate male experience can include being fucked, they play this weird game where our asses become magical pseudo-vaginas. How is two cismales fucking in any sense female? Not the biological sense. Not the linguistic sense. Only, it seems, in some vaguely defined "energetic" sense.

I call Bullshit. Phil Hine, in his article "Sodomy and Sorcery", says "I feel that being fucked is a celebration of my maleness".I agree. As lovely as that vast expanse known as "female" is, I don't belong to it.

And, whilst we're at it, what is this sexed energy that they claim makes up the universe? When the seahorse births his children, is that Goddess energy? And when a female sea-monkey impregnates herself, is it because she is actually a secret "energetic" male? Or, is it just that the stories neo-pagans weave are just that? Just stories?

For people who venerate nature, they seem to do a good job of ignoring it. The vast majority of organisms on this earth do not reproduce through the union of male and female body parts. To claim that het-sex is some kind of cosmic standard is, effectively, a lie.

While the framework of God+Goddess can be a useful and beautiful metaphor, it isn't real. And the effort of Pagan authors to cram our square pegs into that round hole is well intentioned but ugly.

Straight authors need to realise that Wicca's heterosexual agenda isn't actually a divine truth. And to force Queer people to fit into that story is a crime against the very natural diversity that they claim to venerate.

And queer authors? Queer authors need to pull their shit together and not just republish the heteronormative wankery that they've inherited off of their trads.

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