Yesterday I read a post from a young lady whose medical condition prevented her from becoming Wicca on the Dianic path, now I do not know enough about her medical condition but I have seen TV programs and documentaries on the subject and have heard the struggles that people with this condition go through.
There is a lot of pain, surgery, psychological evaluations, rejection from family and friends during the healing process and after as the person adapts to their new life. I was totally shocked when I found out that when this person was lead to Dianic Wicca and found that she was not welcome.
Now Amy is Transgender so was diagnosed with gender dysphoria (discontent with the biological sex they were born with) and according to the principles of Dianic Wicca only cissexual women, (aka “women born women“) can join. Although there are groups within Dianic Wicca, which are eclectic, which have an appreciation of cultural diversity, ecological concern, and familiarity with sophisticated concepts of psyche and transformation are characteristic in which she would be welcome.
But as a perceived pagan elder I have to be fair to both sides when I first read the original post my reactions where based some where between the 2nd and 3rd degree of a pagan path (see the pagan degrees) I used my Feeling Man (Water) and Sensation Man (Earth) to base my argument both of which where screaming it wrong, it wrong.
My views where coloured one by the fact that I myself had found discrimination with Wicca due to my sexuality many, many, many years ago and the work that I have done as a race relations officer.
As I woke this morning I still had bile in my mouth from the idea of Wicca discriminating and as I took my daily walk with the dog across the fields my mind kept focusing on “Do what you will but harm none”.
Now I know that discrimination in all form causes harm, I have experience my fair share and even still face some today. Now for a belief system that most basic rule is to cause no harm how can they openly discriminate?
Now originally (most basic idea) Wicca was based on balance between the genders male female, masculine energy and feminine energy which was a mirror for the god and goddess which did exclude gays and lesbians as it was deemed that “their energy” was off balanced a gay mans energy was not truly masculine and a lesbians was not truly feminine. But in time groups who where a little wiser chose to split away from main stay Wicca and create off shoots gay Wicca and Dianic Wicca to name but two.
Now modern Wicca is much more open to Gays, lesbians and transgender but there are still a few of the old school about. So as I sat down to write this I chose to be objective, each religion has it rules and regulations and people that choose to follow that path must adhere to rule set out even if others think they are wrong you can not choose what parts of a belief structure to follow. If you find a part of any belief structure ethical or morally wrong you have the right to challenge them or leave and find one that is more suitable for you.
You do not have the right to force yourself into a belief structure that one finds you unacceptable or one you wish to change to suit your own desires or agenda you can not claim that you are being discriminated against because you are deemed unsuitable. It would be like a black man complaining that he cannot join the KKK and claiming that he is being discriminated against because of his colour.
Now in the case of Dianic Wicca with regards to transsexuals there are groups with the Dianic path which do allow and welcome transgender and have mixed groups of male and female which follow the beliefs and ideas of Dianic Wicca. But the pure Dianic Wicca was created for cissexual women to worship the goddess in some ways you can think of them as “Nuns” a women only order. It would be wrong to say that Dianic Wicca is against transgender it is much more correct to say that Dianic Wiccan for women who are and where born women who wish to follow the goddess in a particular direction.
But ultimately with in any path it is down to the elders of that group to see if you are suitable, if you are found suitable you are asked to join if not a good elder will be able to point you in the direction of a path that you will find suitable and fulfilling.
Now in the case for claiming that Dianic Wicca actively discriminates against transgender is a difficult one as there are groups within the Dianic structure that provide access for men and transgender to join. In this world of equal opportunity for all genders Dianic Wicca does provide equal opportunity to non- cissexual women including men to join it path.
Ultimately we have to accept that there are rules to pagan paths and not all pagan paths are suitable for everyone, a straight woman will be refused access to a gay male only coven not out of discrimination but out on unsuitability to that group.
For each of us we need to find the path that suits us Wicca being the most public seems to be the first port of call for many pagans although for many it just a pit stop on the road of personal and spiritual discovery.
I wish Amy much success on finding a group within the Dianic structure that she will feel at home within although I feel that she may find a more rewarding path in the future.
Link to the original post
- Sweeping Away the Lies of WICCA (savoringscripture.wordpress.com)
- Spirituality for Women (witchesofthecraft.wordpress.com)
- Tools Used for Traditional Rituals in Wicca (cybercauldron.co.uk)
- Basic Practices and Beliefs in Wicca (cybercauldron.co.uk)
- You Don’t Become a Wicca, You Either Are Or Are Not (cybercauldron.co.uk)