Inclusiveness Starts with Your Ideas

One of the ways Atheopaganism differs from many other Pagan paths is that we don’t have to go through endless parsings of “what gods are” or “what gods want”, nor seeking to overcome biases baked into traditions that arise from times and cultures where bigotries of various kinds were the norm (be they ancient Greece or Britain of the 1950s).

I’m seeing much soul-searching in the Pagan community about this sort of thing recently: concern about the heteronormativity and gender essentialism of mainstream flavors of Wicca, for example. When you assert the existence of a (fully able-bodied, typically white, slender, young, heterosexual, cisgender and conventionally attractive) Goddess and a (similar) God as the gendered “poles” of your sacred story, it’s hard to avoid that kind of critique.

I’ve seen some ugly things in the Pagan world around these issues. Once, a prominent Pagan leader overruled the decision of his community to select a lesbian couple as the May Royalty for their Beltane festival, giving the honor instead to a heterosexual couple. And then there was the “biological women only” ritual at Pantheacon that stirred such protest by transwomen and their allies. Such actions are deeply hurtful to those they discriminate against.

They are wrong.

Atheopagans affirm that all humans are equal, and they are all welcome in our rites. We do not hold up any particular image of a person as a sacred ideal. Anyone can be and is an embodiment of the Sacred Universe.

I have made careful effort to ensure that Atheopagan materials relating to gender or sexuality or rites of passage are described in a gender- and orientation-neutral way (here is an example) that makes them pertinent to all*, and both here on the blog and in the Facebook group, we have carefully worked to ensure that our rituals and practices are as inclusive as possible. We say: sexuality is sacred, and we mean ALL of it so long as it’s consenting. Not just the procreative bits—nor are those bits “extra special” because they lead to new life. We celebrate all of it.

The Universe is Sacred, and takes all forms, including human forms. We shouldn’t need to torque our ideas of the Sacred in order for them to “fit” every single person.

We’re all Sacred, emergent manifestations of the Universe itself as thinking, feeling beings. When we look in the mirror, we see the very Cosmos looking back at us.

Whoever we are.

*Including identifying that some of these posts may not be pertinent at all for asexual people.

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