On the Other Side (& Project Pagan Priest)

It’s rare for me to be swept up uncontrollably in my emotions.  Or, at least I like to think so.

More accurately, I used to think so.  Now, my emotions are more alive than they have been in years.  It disturbs me.  It takes me out of a place of conscious control and makes me uncomfortable.  Because I’ve always been conscious and conscientious of how I appear to people, how what I say can be taken.  I’ve had moments of this in the past, I will have moments in the future.  I’ve just had one of those moments.  And now, sinking and slipping into the other side of it is a place that fascinates me.

As I become quieter, I look at my emotional excess and I want to run from it.  I don’t want to own it, I don’t want to have been naked in my emotions.  Especially before others.  But I let it sit.  I let it stand.  And I touch it, hold it and see what I have to learn from it.

First, I want to thank two people, my dear sister Pixie and Devin Hunter.  These beautiful people gave me space for my emotions, for my reaction, for everything I was experiencing in their own ways and I am grateful for it.  

I should say that my viewpoint hasn’t changed, I’m just able to speak of it in a more balanced and nuanced way.  I do think there is a need for those who do not live as women to take a deep breath, step back and let the women who need it the opportunity to speak without needing to assuage the concerns of the men around.

This is important to me because of my own need to find my voice (in certain areas because we all know I have it in others!).

This is important to me because I see in the reaction myself.  I have often, and have really noticed it recently, my own tendency to want to defend my own actions as separate from those who are behaving poorly in a given situation.  “Yes, that is wrong, but see, I don’t do it, I do this other thing.”  I don’t like it when I do it.  Not surprising when I think about it, that this combination led to a most unhappy me yesterday.  (I’ve also since been reminded that while there is still, in my opinion, room for realization and growth around this topic for those who don’t live it, that the people I know are so very far ahead of the regular game for the most part that while I still would ask for the space, I want to say again how much I love the good men, because there are way too many idiots out there and maybe with your help we can change that percentage.  Sigh, a run on sentence, but hopefully you get the gist.)

In the pagan community, women’s voices is a particularly interesting topic.  I’ve been around for a decently long time (with usually the grey hair to prove it, but since I just had my hair done, my age is today my not-so-secret-secret lol) and have seen a strong tendency for women who have been abused, whether within a context of a male-focussed religion or just within their personal experiences, to come into paganism, particularly Wicca, and it’s goddess-centric devotions.  It’s been a place where women are revered, honoured, respected, worshipped.

That is a most beautiful gift.

I think this has gifted us with a greater amount of healing, it also means some of us still need more healing, and it means that we’ve always had an interesting time balancing this need for feminine healing with a love of the masculine divine.  It also means that it’s rarer for me to come up against the male-centric frustrations in those around me and didn’t help when I had some of that experience and how hard it hit me.  

Some traditions have taken a road that has concentrated solely on the divine feminine.  Leaving aside any other discussions on this, I will say that I understand completely why this would happen and the power that it offers to the people who practice this way.  I applaud it and support it.  

For myself I’ve always been a balance nut.  An embracer of all sides, masculine/feminine, dark/light, yin/yang in all its expressions.  Twenty years ago when I saw my first Goddess tarot, I started plotting out a God tarot, because dammit, why wouldn’t there be one?  (yeah, I can’t draw, that didn’t get far.)  He has always been as important to me as She.  It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that this is part of why the discussions to move us towards a world of healthy masculinity in support of themselves and the feminine around them is so frakking important to me.  

And thus it thrills me to no end to see that the aforementioned Devin Hunter has begun a Facebook group that I suspect will grow into much more, Project Pagan Priest.  It is a closed group, for identified males, to explore their spirituality and sexuality and I couldn’t be happier about it.  I suspect the origins of it may have been in the angst of the past days that pushed at the male/female divide.  If so, one could argue that as a sad origin.  I, quite frankly, don’t care what inspired it.  I am just so happy to see it.

Just as women in society at large are devalued and many other unpleasant words, I have seen the same happen to men in our community.  It isn’t good, it isn’t healthy and while I understand where it comes from, it is something that we as a greater community need to overcome.  Mind you, I think (I hope?) that in many ways this is better than it was a decade ago.  Gods, I seriously hope so.  Regardless, so so so happy to see this be born.  

May it grow, may it serve, may it prosper and bring a beautiful and healthy balance to our gloriously divine feminine.

Blessings upon us all, wild, deep, dark and bright.


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