Happy Women’s Day ~My own Story

Happy women’s day, lovelies. This is a day to celebrate the struggles and victories of women all over. Whether they are recognized as women, or in the closet with their identity hidden – they deserve a round of applause.

I write about plenty of women and female-identifying characters. It’s long been a passion of mine, ever since I was a child in fact, to see better women identifying characters. Even as an itty-bitty child, I noticed that women were treated differently, often poorly, and that many of their characters were secondary and poorly written.

To this, I would like to offer a story that comes to mind.

Once upon a time, there was a herd of geese in my childhood backyard. Now, if you know anything about geese, you’ll know they’re watchdogs and they can be downright vicious. And these were untrained, relatively wild, geese. They were ‘domestic’, but they bit to give an opinion of themselves.

Well, one day, as this flock grew up, a certain goose distinguished himself. He chased us children (and bit!), herded the flock, and heckled the other geese. We named him Cesar, being little history nerds.

Come one day, the other geese were losing their feathers to Cesar, who was pecking them. So, Cesar was removed from the flock and put in an isolated cage.

It was in this cage that Cesar laid his first egg. Cesar was a female!

To an impressionable little child, this was quite the lesson. Females, women, could be quite badass and territorial. It was a lesson that, truth be told, repeated itself quite often. Often it was the females in the flocks that would stand out, become prized pets, and try and bully all the others.

To me, nature showed me that women, females, could be very much everything males could be, simply because they both had souls and personalities. Women weren’t ‘less than’ or ‘half witted’ or somehow inferior. They were just as present, motivated, and clever as the males. It isn’t nature that makes women ‘inferior’ or ‘second class’, but society.

I could go on a huge rant about how gender norms affect women and how they really just need to go. But for today, I want to keep the focus on women. Let’s celebrate them, their achievements, and see how far as a society we need to go to achieve equity.

I’ve attached a picture here that I’ve recently done. It contains Rita, a martial artist, in a Farfadelian novel I’m working on, and a swan that follows her throughout the story. A swan is not exactly a goose, but they’re quite as badass and vicious, I’ve heard.

I chose this picture because, to me, it shows how women can be completely badass and lead their way, inspired by the power of the women in the natural world.

I hope you celebrate well, and have a great day ❤

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 ❤

“The Attack of the White Clouds”; Chapter Two, Part One

Once the sun was low we camped, folks sitting with new-found friends around tiny campfires. Already a rock had been chosen for a resting place. new guards had been chosen for the night’s watch.

I wandered amongst the fires. Those I used to eat with had been of a different camp. One that had been destroyed a few days ago. Now, I found myself gravitating towards the fire where fellow guards of my tribe sat. They were shuffling to make space for me as I approached. Yet before I could reach them, I saw H-‘s fire beyond. He was watching me. at his side sat a red one, but not the red one.

I gave in to the tug of the string within. Waving good night to my friends, I walked on to H-‘s fire. My fellow tribe warriors waved back, so obviously relieved that it stung.

I marched on, refusing to let it show. Be determined, be determined, Mara’s words repeated in me and I was quite determined when I reached H-‘s fire. So determined that he smiled in relief at the sight of me. It must have shown that I was ready to speak now.

A spot had been saved for me, so no one had to shuffle aside as I sat down.

“We are so glad you could make it,” H- said in his deep gravelly voice as I crossed my feet under me. I nodded, watching the fire. From the edge of my vision I saw those who were here. The red one was that tribe’s magician. Not seer. This one was jealous of our seer in unknown ways. Then there was one from H-‘s tribe. One who was neither woman or man, thin and willowy with its braids falling down with beads and stones over their shoulders. Their lips were tinged purple, the special tattoo accorded to them by their seer- who had long ago passed away.

It was this one who spoke first, introducing themselves while holding up a hand. “I am D-, glad to finally meet you.”

“Xira,” said the jealous magician, offering a hand that I did not even look at. It was far easier to watch the flames. The hand waited a moment, then withdrew sourly to rest on its owners knees.

“Can you tell us about the jug?” H- asked cautiously. I nodded, my own braids rattling softly on the back of my neck.

And I tried to speak. “Th-th, the jug, the jug,”

“It was a jug!” a sneering voice crowed from behind me. I startled, yelping as I spun my trident around. It whooshed through the air and sent me off balance as it struck nothing. Laughing, Ch- straightened from the duck she’d dodged my trident with. I regained my balance, scowling.

H- sighed loudly. “What are you doing here? I told you to stay away. We are trying to get her to talk.”

“Well I want to hear it too. They say she sounds like a crow and a frog all at once when she does make a sound, so how could I miss out on that?” Forcing her way between the special one and the magician, she sat into our circle. I flinched as the magician slid closer to me. Now I just wanted to be alone. I could go hungry – but the string inside pulled me along. What I knew needed to be said. I wrung my hands over the leather grip on the trident as the hated one tossed a nod my way. “So tell us. What about this fated jug?”

I wanted to tell them. So I stared into the fire. No words would come. I couldn’t even open my mouth.

“Here, perhaps we should all eat,” H- said gently, stirring the coals around the fire. Little nuggets of desert food were being baked there in all their dryness. The smell of it turned my stomach.

I would leave, I told myself as slow conversation began around me and the food was shared. What good was it to stay in the hated one’s presence?

Yet I stayed. The food was hot, burning my sensitive fingers as I tried to pry it apart. The conversation spiraled on around me, vapid and useless. Every few sentences hopeful hints were dropped in invitation for me to speak. After I had finished the last of the food I waited for the next pause. Having gathered my courage, I tried again.

“Jug,” I blurted as the special one had hardly finished contemplating the moon softly. Instant silence fell- enough to hear the hated one snigger. I gulped and wrung at my trident. “The jug- belonged to Mara-”

There was a snort of laughter- and a yelp as she was flung out from her shoulders by the special one. “Go on,” the purple lips said surely as the body shifted aside to keep that red one out of our circle.

This time I did not miss a beat. Like rhythm, the words were flowing now. They came as pictures to my mind, and I did my best to speak them.

The jug was a beautiful thing. Mara made it so. Mara made it so it held her wisdom, and she served it to her guests. Mara- and the words ran out.

I stared into the fire.

The urge to speak had gone. My mind whirled on, remembering scenes of Mara laughing, serving bountiful food and leading prayers. But the meaning of the jug was no longer lost on me. It was her last gift. To me.

Around the fire, everyone was expecting more. But how could words describe all that I knew? It was simply not enough.

“What does the jug mean? Why is it with us now?” the one that was neither man or woman asked, leaning forward on their knees.

I shook my head. It was a gift, but gifts had many meanings. Spite, rudeness, a beg for forgiveness, Mara had given many gifts.

“Do you know?” H- asked. I shook my head again.

The jealous magician heaved a sigh. “I don’t think she does.”

“But she knows it’s a j-j-jug!” a voice called out from behind me. I whirled, and this time my trident struck true. In the stomach. I laughed, a stuttering giggle as the red one doubled over, gasping for air. She stumbled back, then straightened with a wince.

“Serves you right,” the special one called towards her. “Leave her alone. She’s done her best. That much can’t be said of you.”

Ch- hissed at all of us. her fang-like horns rose around her ears, the pointed fangs showed clear amongst her teeth. “She is a disgrace! She ought to have died by now, the weakest ought not to outlive the brave and the strong.”

“She’s as brave a fighter as you! She’s turned away the white cloud several times!” H- called, but already the red one was no longer listening. Her back spun to us and she marched away.

“Don’t listen to her,” D- said. “You are very powerful. As worthy as anyone to live.”

Xira huffed and adjusted her scarf around herself. “You are just odd. That is all.” But that did not sound like a good thing. Had she expected me to be some seer? Some person bearing extraordinary gifts? I was just a cripple of the mind. That did not give gifts, surely.

Rising, I turned shape into the golden orb we all called home of the skin, and flew away to rest. The next day would be grueling, though I did not yet know how much.

“The Attack of the White Clouds” Chapter One, Part Two

When the seer awoke and everyone was roused and leaving the rock, little golden orbs floating out to form buzzing clouds that watched in wonder, I was still clutching the jug to my chest. Only when the Seer reached for it would I let it go.

“This jug,” she gasped as she recognized it, turning it over in her hands. “Where did you find it?”

I pointed, but she did not understand. The red one had to talk, her hand on her hip and speaking as if I could not be expected to. “It appeared by her feet after the white cloud attacked. It was not there before, but we felt no trap in it so we let her keep it. I think it ought to be destroyed.”

The seer was puzzled. Looking from me to the jug she turned it over in her palms. To the red one she spoke, again as if I could not understand. “This was the jug of their chieftain, Mara. She was amongst the first taken,”

“I know that,” the red one said sharply. “I had visited her home on a treaty. And so I heard of her demise and celebrated it. Now, destroy that thing.”

I growled, my fingers curling around my trident. She hissed at me in spite. The Seer stepped between us hastily. “No, no- do not fight! Look around you, how few of us are left. Can you not just get along? See- look- I shall keep this jug, this way it shall be safe.”

I opened my mouth to say that no, it was for me! I had been mulling it over all this time while the others slept and I knew it to be true. Some inner calling had been tugging at me since the very start of all this devastation. Since the first cloud’s arrival I had felt it like a string withing, drawing me along into greater and greater strength. More responsibility. More power to protect those around me. That jug was a sign for me, inextricably linked and-

“J-j-j-j,” was all I managed to say as I tried to express all that. “Ju-”

“Yes, it’s a jug,” the red one sneered.

“Ju–” I tried, then humiliation choked me again. Biting my lip, I turned away. The seer sighed miserably as she followed me.

“Do not worry, I will do all I can to keep it safe.”

I shrugged her off and wished again for Mara, who had always been patient and willing to let me talk. No matter how long, she would let me try and try to form the words clumsily. She would draw pictures in the sand, and taught me how to do them as well so others could understand me easily. When my words did come out she had valued them. Praised me for my opinions. Now I couldn’t seem to speak a single word. No one had patience for me, or time to let me try and speak.

“We are going to continue bearing east,” the leader of the desert tribe was announcing as i stood with my back to the assembly. “We thank those who watched over us in our sleep, and who turned away the eye of the white clouds. But it has seen us, and if we are to continue surviving we must persevere! We must reach the boats before the end of this week!”

i hugged myself. The boats would carry us far, far away. Out into the ocean, where dangerous tides could sweep us away.

It seemed I was thinking this just for a moment, but then Ara {name?], a fellow warrior from my tribe, was tugging at my arm. “It is time to go,” she said gently. “Come, you are sleeping on your feet.”

No, I would have said if I could. I was just thinking for a moment- yet they never understood. Turning, I followed her with growing misery. The day’s treck had begun.

It was a dangerous one. Today we left the covering canopy of the forest and began across rocky plains. If the white caught us here, we would have nowhere to hide. Our glistening fabric and scale-covered skins were easy to spot in every of the colors we came in. For many, this made them cluster together. Red, black, and blue, the crowd became stifling and closely pressed. I elbowed my way sharply out, feeling the skin closing in around me with growing fear. The guards on the outer edge urged me to go back inside.

“You are no longer on watch, you must rest,”

“Yes, be safe within,” they urged, obviously wanting to go back into the safety of the crowd again.

I shook my head and stubbornly stayed outside the edges.

The sun rose, beating hard upon us. The tribe of the desert passed around advice to all others. Many held up their scarves over the heads of those beside them so all could be shielded from the sun. The guards paired off in two’s, helping each other. H- came to stand by my side. His hulking mass along could have shielded me. The end of his scarf was almost enough to wrap as a shirt as he placed it around his head.

We walked on in silence, our steps mismatched as his were so long and mine short by comparison. As the sun began its descent of mid-afternoon, he spoke. “You do not speak much, do you?”

I shook my head swiftly. Why would I?

Adjusting the scarf, he stooped. But the scarf was a ploy so others would not hear. “Come sit with me tonight as we camp. You knew Mara, and you certainly know more about the jug than the seer does. Am I right?”

I eyed him suspiciously, pressing my lips tightly together. Perhaps. But would I tell him? We were all in this together- but I still did not feel like being ridiculed.

He saw the refusal on my face, and straightened with a sigh. “It would be greatly appreciated,” he murmured under his breath. And that was all. No more words passed between us for the rest of the day.