Another year, another turning of the wheel in crazy times.
I’m becoming sad as Ostara approaches, as it’s a reminder of how things have changed. With the Delta variant, I’m not comfortable with us as the Riverina & Snowy Pagans catching up as we’re all apart of different LGA’s and we’re all in various stages of lockdown, but it’s another reminder that we cannot go to the Sugar Pine Walk for Ostara because it was claimed in the 2019/20 bushfires.
The Australian Wiccan Conference was meant to be held in Jindabyne this year (as was last year) and yet again, the pandemic ruins those plans. Thankfully our community has amazing people who have brought it back into the world of Zoom and we’re able to come together to celebrate our world and the changing of the wheel from the comfort of our homes… in various stages of lockdown.
This year I will be a part of the Queer Magic panel, and I’m both terrified and excited about the prospect. Despite knowing I was queer and non-binary in the late 90s (when there was no word for being an enby), I kept myself hidden in the closet underneath layers and layers of clutter out of fear for many years. I’m terrified because I’m one of those late comers – someone who came out of the various gender and sexuality closets in their early 30s, after having lived the “straight cis” lie.
The above got me thinking, am I even suitable to be a part of a Queer Magic panel? I’ve never thought of my magic or aspects of my path as Queer, but in that same breath I guess it has been as my magic was never a lie, just the life I was trying so hard to live. Can I be a part of it having only came out a few years ago? Que thought patterns of being a fraud, and incompetent, and inexperienced and not completely valid within the Queer community.
[Please note, these thoughts are all before the panel and before questions being asked of me. This is just where my brain has been going while I try to reassure myself of my own validity.]
My name is Rowan, I identify as non-binary/agenderflux and trixic (lover of women). Agenderflux meaning that for the most part, I don’t do gender. It’s not applicable to me. But I do on occasion fluctuate between the masculine and feminine. I’ve never understood what it’s like to truly know that I am female, other than being told that I was because of biology. I have tried – I walked the path of living as a “cis woman” for long enough, I’ve been a part of all female covens and clans in an attempt to understand why I can’t connect with the feminine divine, or my own femininity, as I have always been told I should.
My ex-husband can attest, I said that “I’m only female because I have tits and ovaries” long before I knew that “non-binary” was a thing… and that it was me.
I used to laugh that I never had to come out of the broom closet, because I didn’t care who knew. I was too proud of who I was, or that aspect of self, to ever worry about being in the broom closet. And yet, I was in a closet; hiding beneath years of self-doubt, internalised homophobia and absolute terror as when I have been ready to come out in the past, it was never the “right time”. I love the connection between the Queer Closet and the Broom Closet, as it correlates to hiding such an important aspect of self.
Then came the whirlpool of thoughts about magic in relation to being non-binary, the idea of polarity and does magic have gender. How do I, as someone who “doesn’t do gender” work within those confines? Of course magic doesn’t have gender as we perceive gender to be, but I acknowledge that there are gendered aspects to the energy we create. It can be gender focused within ritual and for your own purpose. Magic and energy can be directed to honour aspects of self, of your clan and community, and focused in on ritual celebrating changes in life. However, as an enby I’m not comfortable with the idea of partaking in either Men’s Business or Women’s Business because I don’t feel I have a right to be there. I have tried to “honour my yoni” within women’s circles because I have one, but it brought on such discomfort and dysphoria, not to mention those parts of me are a bit faulty!
I’ve begun to understand that the energy I raise does fall more into masculine than feminine. With my old Clan, I would unintentionally bring in the masculine to help ground and balance. Part of me believes this has more to do with working with Herne, and channelling Him and bringing Him into circle, but this could also be me not accepting my own power.
Polarity within magic for me is utilising masculine moving forward, and feminine in the past. I’ve found that when I work Ancestral magic, it’s primarily feminine. Growing up, I was always “Nanna’s Girl”. My paternal grandmother was like a second mum, and aspects of her continue in me today. Going to the grandmothers of my lineage for advice, for support and comfort is second nature. Another thought is that because the women of my maternal lines have all been quite intuitive and incredibly strong women. My Oma (mum’s dad’s mum) was a Medium, and she has been teaching me and guiding me since I was 16. Molly, (mum’s mum’s mum), has also been a major part of my Spiritual path in Ancestral work since our relationship took off one Samhain during a Dumb Supper. When I look to my Ancestors, I look to the women of my lineage for help and guidance.
Moving forward is where I’ve begun to understand the masculine energy that I unintentionally harness. It was working through Herne in meditation that I began to understand as I would look down at my body and see a male frame, anatomy and all. I would occasionally shift into a feminine form, but that is as rare in the astral as it is in the physical.
I don’t want to say what I perceive to be masculine and feminine energy because that is such a personal observation, and I fear it may lead down the paths of old stereotypes so many of us are fighting to have be but a memory. I will say, with a laugh, that the masculine does come in handy when my fiancé asks me to put together a flat pack.
Within ritual, I remove the idea of polarity by ensuring that group ritual (in particular) focuses more on the energies of the land, the needs of the group at that moment in time, and less focused on gender roles. Ostara is upon us, and pre-COVID and bush fires it’s a time where our local community would meet in the Snowy Mountains and honour the balance that the Sabbat brings – two rituals, one to honour the Light, the other to honour the Dark. Within personal ritual, I’m Herne’s Apprentice. It has always been Herne and myself. However, tides change and the more I begin to understand my own balance, so do the Gods. Moving house and setting up the study set wheels in motion, someone I began to follow when I first began this path twenty-something years ago began prodding me in the side and telling me to pay attention. Even as I sit and type, She prodded with satisfaction that I am finally writing again, aiming to heal myself.