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23 February 2007 @ 08:03 pm
Convocation 2007 II: Taking Part in the Creation  
Day 2 of Convocation down. It did not start out so great. I woke up, took my bath, and just as I was drying off I realized that I had forgotten to shave my legs while I was in the tub. Doh! So, I filled the tub back up and make my legs all nice and smooth (they look so much better in my black gothy skirt that way).

With that finally done, comes dryage and shaving the other body parts that need it, dressing, and finally doing my makeup. I was just finishing when I managed to stab myself in the eye with my liquid eye pen. It did not really hurt, but it made quite a mess. So more time spent dealing with that crisis.

By now time was really running short, so I was in the car and off to the festival. I still had a half hour before the first class, so I was not really in a huge hurry. I stopped at a car wash to clean all the salt off my Saturn. I had not expected that that take fifteen minutes. So now I had fifteen minutes to make it to the Con and my first class. Grr...

Of course every light I came to was red, and every person in front of me determined to be an anchor. But still, I barely made it, thanks to not stopping in the bathroom or to hang up my coat. I ran through the parking lot and straight to the room.

That first class was about the nature of Divinity, by Deborah Lipp, who gave the Demeter/Persephone/Hades class Thursday night. It was interesting, mainly a discussion about things like hard and soft polytheism (which are prevalent in Neo-Paganism), with a touch on Jungian Psychology (hey, that's me!) and Monotheism. Although according to Deborah's terms, I am a Jungian who has 'gone native', because I do not draw the line at strictly psychology and refuse to cross over it into the territory of religion.

The real pearl I took away from the class however, was something Deborah said (she is a Gardnarian High Priestess btw.). She was talking about the Duotheism in Wicca, and how it basically starts when the God separates himself from the Goddess (or how she gives birth to him, however you like the creation myth), making him a singular entity. The reason being so that he could love her as an individual. So he could unite with her. Deborah pointed out that all interaction between polar energies take part in this creation.

Well, it was not hard for me to realize the significance of this as a transgendered person. I am an interaction of polar opposites. No matter how much I might like to escape it, everything in my life is affected by that interaction of polarity within me. That also means that my entire existence is a part in the creation myth of Wicca. I am a walking metaphor for it. Though I doubt that would ever occur to a Wiccan, since they seem to rigidly set in the idea that boys are boys and girls are girls, and that is it. It is no accident that I am Witch, rather than a Wiccan after all...

It is not exactly a revelation to me. It is just that I never looked at it from quite that view before. That is one of the things I like about Convocation, and why I make an effort to keep my spiritual horizons broad. Looking at other viewpoints, especially ones not from my own path, reveal new understands that help me see my *own* way more clearly. It is like Raven Grimassi. He is one of my favorite writers, whom I respect very highly. However, I find that almost nothing he says works for me. He is too ceremonial and Wiccan in his background. Yet by reading his books, I learned where my path was not, which is sometimes as important as learning where it truly lies. He also provided me with the first real information about Hekate that I learned, but that is beside my current point.

Anyway, we talked about other stuff too. Among them about maintaining a relationship with Divinity, rather than just groveling and asking for stuff. About it being a give and take relationship, which is what a real relationship is after all, rather than just one person taking advantage of another.

That also led to us discussing how in Neo-Paganism we do not spend all our time groveling and praising Deity. We complain too. We argue. Like Deborah said. It is a two way street. I piped up to mention how I often call Freja a bitch, because she is, and she knows it. She always gives me what I need, rather than what I want (which is a nice, quiet, peaceful life). Instead Freja throws boys at me and says "Here, take this for a test drive." or "about time you did something about that BDSM stuff." or "Hey, why don't you play with a girl now." Total bitch. But I am rambling. Deborah just said "You go girl!", and I think everyone laughed.

The next class was Chris Penczak's Ascension Magic. I am not really very interested in Ascension Magic, but I decided to go to that one instead of the one on Dionysos because of what I said earlier. It is good to look at different things, because you never know what you might stumble across. It was interesting. Some of it I already knew, like it origins with the channels, Madame Blavatsky and the Theosophists, etc...

The real meat of it I did not know however. The funny thing is, I found that some of it was remarkably similar to things that Raven Grimassi had said in some of his books, which I found intriguing. I brought that up with Chris later and he knew exactly what I was talking about. We talked a bit about Raven, and he said that he was a really cool guy to hang out with, in spite of how stuffy and scholarly he can seem on paper. He is someone I would like to meet, like Chris and Gus diZerega, because he has had such a strong influence on my practice.

Something else Chris mentioned when we were talking about Queer Religion is that he sees more transgendered people here at Convocation than in festivals at places like San Francisco. Almost as if Michigan is the trans-capital of Paganism. Which seems strange, since Michigan is hardly known for its tolerant attitudes, and more known for its rednecks.

I was thinking about that later that day, and I think I might know why. In cities like San Fran, where being trans is not quite so stigmatized (though where you you can still be murdered like Gwen Araujo), trans-folk have more social outlets. More groups of non-trans people they can be a part of. Here in Michigan we have basically three options. BDSM, Fur, or Paganism. So if you do not like whips and chains, or are not a fan of fuzzy things, you better learn how to sing "We Are The Circle." At least that's my story, and I am sticking to it...

The next class was the aforementioned Gus diZerega. I had been looking forward to him because he wrote one of the first Pagan books I ever read: Pagans and Christians: The Personal Spiritual Experience. In fact, I believe it was the second Pagan book, the first being The Idiots Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft. Where the Idiots Guide was your basic Witchcraft 101 book, Gus' was not. His was all about the spirituality in Paganism, and nothing about how to perform a ritual, how to cast a spell, etc... His book made me think "there is something here for me" in Witchcraft. It touched me, because he talked about feeling the same things I was feeling when I was with the Goddess. In a very real way, his book became the bar that I measured other Pagan books by. Because that is what I am looking for, not something on what colors my candles should be.

The class was not what I was expecting. To be honest, I was not really sure what to expect. Which is not bad. He talked about the religious differences between hunter/gatherer societies and agricultural ones, and how they in turn are different from our own, modern technological one. It was interesting. I even asked him a question. I am so the vocal Witch.

Phew, I have really rambled. I better sign off now, in case anyone is still actually reading.
Current Music: Rob Tyner - Renegade
only love .:. only skynotalwaysweak on February 24th, 2007 07:56 am (UTC)
That was one of the things that bothered me at the Wiccan workshop I got taken to; the polarity of the masculine and feminine. I know too many people who don't identify as either to completely agree with it.
Jaelynansatecross on February 24th, 2007 06:07 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I read it all the way to the end, just like all your other Convocation posts. :) And you know me, so that says a lot. I really like these posts, actually. I enjoy the view into your world, esp as I'm one of those transfolk who aren't into B&D and, while I do know the words to "We Are A Circle," don't sing for anybody. :p
Danielle: confidentsubrosa_florens on February 25th, 2007 08:13 pm (UTC)
You should come out to Convo sometime. I think you might actually have fun. It is like going to Hogwarts for the weekend.
Danielle: confidentsubrosa_florens on February 25th, 2007 10:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, I thought of the 3rd outlet that trans-folk have here in Michigan, aside from Paganism and BDSM. Fur.