Q is for Queer Paganism

Still working on that second P post; I keep changing my mind on what to write about. But nevertheless, I have been away this weekend, and managed to get this Q entry done, so that’s something.

I hesitated in even doing this topic at all, for fear that all I’d have to say is something like, ‘YAY QUEER GODS’ and ‘I DON’T KNOW’. Because this isn’t really a Thing, at least not a Thing that can be defined with a single definition. At the same time, I feel I ought to write about it anyway, because it’s something that needs to be discussed more within Pagan circles.

At the same time, though, whatever I talk about here isn’t some definitive thing either. It’s probably just going to end up as my musings on what queer paganism means to me, and if anyone gets anything out of it, awesome. Which is my approach for all these sort of things. These are just my thoughts, nothing more. I don’t have all the answers, nor do I want to, and I feel that a thing like queer paganism is something that needs to be defined for yourself.

I might focus more on genderqueerness/non-binary/third-gender/other genders more than sexual orientation, if only because that’s where my interest lies. I’m genderqueer myself, so that’s why I would emphasis that. Plus, I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I don’t think there are any current Pagan traditions that emphasis genderqueerness/gender diversity in this way, whereas there are a few gay pagan groups. I feel like there’s nothing out there for us non-binary folks. I am happy to be mistaken, though.

I pencilled in this topic for one of my Q entries way back when I first started these Pagan Blog Project posts, and I think I’ve drafted it about seven times since then. I never quite know what to say about it, apart from I’d like my Paganism to have Gods that defy human bodies and biologies, and at the same time, reflect more widely the actual gender and sexual diversity of humanity.

It’s funny to think on that, now. I kind of had a spark of inspiration. Once I decoupled Gods having offspring from heteronormative reproduction, it all felt… easier?

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before, but it was in relation to the Wheel and thinking about Aset/Isis and Wesir, and harvest festivals, I think. Aset, to me, is a shapeshifter. She has a gender, but it’s not necessarily related to how She chooses to appear. She can be anything.

I remember musing about the Horned Goddess, and how I was wondering if there was a consort with a transman’s body, and somehow that went to, ‘Wesir is trans*’. Now, I know this is UPG, and I’m not necessarily suggesting His mythos is meant to be read this way. But it was the whole Aset creating a new penis for Him that got me thinking about it. The false penis and the false beard, and how He could be queered in this way. Aset conceived Heru with Him using Her magic. Once I got over the ‘biological repoduction = how Gods make other Gods’, the idea of Aset’s magic alone bringing this child Heru to life, along with Wesir’s creative power was actually kind of awesome to think about.

I have occasionally thought my Horned Goddess as Hethert, or maybe Aset. I think, perhaps, that They share a similar sort of energy, because the Horned Goddess feels very new compared to Hethert and Aset, and She has Her own different sort of energy and attributions. In some ways, She’s also a bit Bast and Artemis, and I’m sure there’s some Aphrodite in there too. The Horned Goddess is all of these things, and something else entirely.

I always kept wondering if She had a transman consort, and perhaps Her reluctance to introduce me was because I hadn’t quite realised the whole ‘Gods don’t need genitals to make baby Gods’ thing. It seems like such an obvious thing to realise, that of course Gods don’t need to reproduce the way we do. They have MAGIC and other awesome powers. They can ‘give birth’ to Gods in ways we can’t even imagine because They aren’t confined to a physical biological reality like we are. They are the gender to our sex, if that makes sense.

Maybe this transman consort, this transgendered Wesir, isn’t Wesir, but might lead to who He might be. All I have is the image of the false beard and the strap-on penis, all rolled into a harvest God. I haven’t even figured out if He’s a Dying God or not, or what I might call Him. I’m thinking of this also in relation to my (queer) Wheel, and Lammas, which I’ve always associated with Wesir. So I’ve got down Wesir God of the Grains, and Aset of the Green Earth as the Gods I plan to honour at Lammas. I know that Wesir epithet is historical, but I can’t remember if that Aset one is. It just sort of came out that way, and it’s stuck. Then again, it’s very hard to have Aset without Wesir, or Wesir without Aset. The two kind of come together like that.

But I still love the idea of Wesir, or a God like Him, as a transman, with a flat, scarred, chest, the false beard, and the strap-on, being quietly masculine and awesome in His own way. I can sort of see Him smiling at me as I imagine this. He’s still strong and masculine, He’s still Wesir the Dead God, but the body doesn’t matter. It’s imperfect, but that doesn’t matter. He’s still Wesir, with His scarred imperfect body, and Aset will still love Him.

I can’t remember if the ‘Wesir gets cut into pieces’ thing was a Kemetic thing, or a Greek thing, or both, and I’m not in any position to check right now as I’m writing this in a motel room in Bridgetown. But I have this image of Him not as a mummy all in bandages, but with scars all over His body. And I suppose I can take that and queer it. But I’m still thinking my way through those thoughts, and how I can use those in a queer paganism sort of way.

Djehuty’s a bit like that too, being gender-bendy, except He’s more androgynously male. Like, I wouldn’t refer to Him as anything other than male, but He just has no … He just doesn’t feel male at all. And I know others have experienced this with Djehuty, too, if I remember correctly.

Then again, Sobek’s like this, with His bendy gender and His maternal instincts. I’m not sure if other pantheons are as bendy as the Kemetic Gods seem to be, though. This could also just be my weird UPG, and that Gods tend to appear somewhat queerly gendered to me as that’s the face I’ll most likely recognise. The Mousai Titanides admitted that was what They did to get my attention. So maybe it’s just a me thing, that I get a lot of queer readings of Gods because that’s what I’ll most recognise. That’s what I’ll relate to the most.

I still find it … quite touching that Gods would think about that. That They would have the sensitivity? to figure out how we might best recognise Them. I mean, obviously Gods want us to realise They’re trying to get our attention, so perhaps it’s not that surprising, but IDK. I still find it quite touching that They even think about that at all.

Have I meandered enough? *does word count* I think 1200+ words is enough. I might leave this here, and then it’s done.

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2 comments on “Q is for Queer Paganism

  1. Bellatrix says:

    I also see Wsir in a genderqueer light. It is one of the only reasons i have been able to continue working with him. The false beard connection, and the new penis, have always struck me as queer in the modern context.
    I love how youve worded that it is the magik, Heka these gods possess, is what creates their progeny rather than their genetics or gentalia.

    • Sashataakheru says:

      Yeah, I always thought it odd that Wesir isn’t talked about as a queer God, at least not from what I’ve seen. Particularly for a God who could be seen as a transman, which is what I think makes Him quite special in that regard. You don’t get much mythology going that way, from female to male. I think this is what irritated me about Raven Kaldera’s ‘Hermaphrodeities’; where the fuck was Wesir? I might attempt rewriting Wesir’s myth in a queer way when I get around to doing one of my W entries on Him. I think that needs to be done.

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