On Being Trans and Pagan

First of all, what with recent events being what they are, I encourage you all to go and support those protesting in the states. Give to help bail out those who have been arrested, and please get into letter-writing mode if you can’t protest.

That being said, I wanted to talk about something that struck me while working on a children’s drawing. This one in particular.

Now, for those of you who are visually impaired or who haven’t been following me for a while, this is an image of my very trans birdie beating a drum and singing while wearing a cloak and antlers. He is surrounded by a salt circle within which are placed a goblet, tiny cauldron with smoke coming out of it, a crystal, and a candle. Essentially, the little trans birdie is doing a ritual with the four elements and singing while incarnating the Horned God or some other horned deity.

Now, while drawing this out, it struck me that it could be seen as ‘hard’ to have the trans birdie invoking a masculine deity, as in it would be hard for a trans man to incarnate such an epidemy of masculinity. But then I thought that isn’t it overly hard for anyone to do?

Here’s my first point: the epidemy of masculinity, the Horned God, is equally far from everyone, trans or not, because they’re a deity and we’re mere mortals. No matter your view on deity, they’re that, impossibly far away, and we’re us. So, trans or not, we’re all impossibly far from this ideal personified, just as we are all embodiments of it. It’s a paradox, if you will, one that is solved only when a devotee offers up their body for possession during an invocation. Then, only then, does one truly reach peak ‘masculinity’.

But can only a cis man do the invocation properly? I don’t think so. I really think that, cis or trans or enby, or probably even a woman, one can invoke the Horned one (or any other male deity) in order to experience what it feels like to possess that energy, because, in the grand scheme of things, it is still a deity descending into a mortal body. To argue that it must be only ‘this type’ or ‘that type’ of body, in my opinion, is to argue over a millimeters’ difference when the deity has to cross aeons to reach us. The deity is already transcending so much in order to get into the body, is it really a big deal whether it’s male or female, so long as its receptive? I don’t think so. So long story short, my trans birdie (and all other trans men and enbies or even women) can do the ‘male’ invocations.

Second, while thinking on this, a thought came to me on the validity of trans masculinity. It came to me that, in paganism, one can be a mortal person and suddenly invoke a god, and be recognized as this god. During this invocation, the deity is recognized as such and treated with reverence required. So why don’t we apply this to transgender identities? This notion of being a female body hosting male energy that was invoked into it by birth is absolutely not so different from our deity invocations. Yet it brings to mind my interactions with pagans who kept saying to me that I was ‘so feminine’ and that I had ‘female’ energy (which was very upsetting for me). Why is it that, for deities, we can see the spirit but not for trans people?

I think that, as pagans, we tend to view the energy as being created by the body, rather than being summoned into it. We view them as interdependent and co-creating. But if we begin viewing the spirit as not entirely dependent on the body (at least in a gendered way), but rather as hosted by it, then we can see the difference.

Furthermore, for trans and/or enby people, I want to suggest invocations as a way to test out your gender. Are you considering becoming a man? Invoke the Horned God, or any other male deity you are comfortable with, and see how the ‘energy’ feels to you.

Why? Not only will it give you a ‘feel’ of masculinity, but often with invocations, the human/invoker will feel as if they have the deities’ body and accoutrements. In the case of the Horned God, one might feel as if they are bearing horns and a large phallus.

So try it out, and see if you like those feelings. You could even consider summoning the opposite and comparing and contrasting your emotions and sensations.

If this generates interest (or even if it doesn’t), I will make a full post about how to do a private ritual summoning deities for gender consideration. Hey, maybe even a ritual divination on discerning your gender/insight into your gender could be fun too.

So anyways, I want to wish you all a safe and happy day. Take care y’all ā¤

6 Comments

  1. O.L.P. says:

    As a trans guy, I really enjoy the Horned God’s vibes and find a lot of joy in the image I see there. It’s true that I sometimes need to force myself to interpret him as trans, or like put on “trans glasses” to see that vibe there. Sometimes if Lord Frey feels too cisgender for me, I’ll go pray to Loki instead.
    I love your ritual suggestions by the way, and would be happy to see them.
    lastly, YAY FOR TRANS BIRDS.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michael says:

      Loki is definitely a queer figure, haha. So glad you like the picture! One thing that would be interesting would be to make a list of queer deities in paganism… and yeah, I’ll try and get around to the ritual ideas soon! Thanks so much for sharing šŸ’•šŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

      1. O.L.P. says:

        You’re welcome! Have you read Raven Kaldera’s Hermaphrodeities? I haven’t read it in awhile but it likely has the list you’re looking for

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Michael says:

        Oh that’s cool, no I dont own any of kalderas books. I have read a bit from him and wasnt sure how accurate he was on everything. What do you think?

        Like

      3. O.L.P. says:

        *snorts* you are correct. Definitely take his works with many grains of salt. He likes to use the word shaman even though it’s clearly an Indigenous/Saami word. (I’ve also heard other complains about him but cannot recall them with clarity. I get the impression he is controversal) BUT if you’re looking for a pagan anthology of queer deities, that’s the only one I’ve heard of geared to a pagan audience.
        Otoh, some scholar somewhere has surely written about queer deities?? Hmm…

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Michael says:

        Yeah, he’s quite academically wrong on some facts, such as inanna’s descent being a sexual thing… it so clearly wasn’t when you read the actual sex literature of the sumerians… anyways, maybe it’s a good springboard to do more research on.

        Like

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