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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Midsummer growth and gratitude


I have lots of room for growth.

This is a mantra I have been working with recently. It fits so well with being in an ally role, which is what I am as a Rainbow Sparkle, in my service through the mxgender circles CAYA offers (Rainbow Moon Circles and Divine Spiraling Rainbow Tribe sabbats). I am a cis woman, and am navigating my way in serving the non-binary pagan community in a respectful and supportive way.

One key for me is grooving out to the harmony part in the song the Priestxs co-create for each public ritual I help offer (metaphorically speaking). Not needing to be in the spotlight to know that I’m doing essential and valued work. Really relishing being a pillar of support. I think of my harmony part as similar to when I was Second Alto in a college choir: I never had the melody, but always had these rich tones to carry that added to the complexity and beauty of the music. Plus I got to listen to the melody without being engaged in creating it myself, which let me revel in hearing that part (metaphorically: receiving that wisdom). Many people are forced into the position of second (or fifth!) fiddle, so I know choosing it actively is a privilege. And I am SO grateful to have that choice, and to learn about the community I serve, and about myself, by singing harmony.

Because one thing I have learned so far: I have lots of room for growth.

I think of myself as socially liberal, as knowledgeable about and respectful of individuals’ chosen identities, as kind and curious. And I am those things. But that doesn’t mean I already know all the gender identities that exist (partly because there are an infinite number!), or that I didn’t learn a few new things about myself by reading The Gender Book (by Mel Reiff Hill and Jay Mays, and Co.) (and also, it’s gorgeously done, if you haven’t had a chance to read it yet!). And it didn’t mean I already understood the three-axis distinction between sex and gender and sexuality until after I’d completed a BA in Sociology. And it certainly doesn’t mean I know anything about a person’s gender identity until I ask, or have been informed!

So maybe particularly if you’re cis-gendered (or know an ally who is!), and not used to thinking about gender variance in all its rainbow glory, consider whether you know your 3D identity (or maybe it’s 5D?!?) as accurately, at least in the moment, as I’ve come to know my own:

Sex (based on anatomy/physical traits): female
Gender (based on personal perception/experience): woman
Sexuality (based on who I find attractive): pansexual

There are so many intersecting aspects of identity that you might easily be a hyperspatial, multidimensional being! But at least for me, it’s been enough of a learning curve just to get those three accurate. ;)

And still: I have lots [more] room for growth.

Blessed Midsummer!
And blessed be your journey of self-discovery!
- Shell



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

DSRT Rite of the Journey at TransMarch this Friday!

Come As You Are to...
The Divine Spiraling Rainbow Tribe's Rite of the Journey

Friday, June 23, 5:00-6:00PM (we’ll close in time to join the TransMarch!)
Outdoors at the San Francisco Trans March
(Look for the cackling ones in witch hats, near the corner of 18th/Dolores)




Rite of the Journey: How can we navigate crossing borders/boundaries with grace and authenticity? How can we recognize and respect our own and other’s personal boundaries as we move between spaces? How can we nurture our heart connections while we journey? People of any gender or none—and especially folks of mxgender/enby/non-binary genders— are welcome to join us in celebrating the shared experience of our individual journeys, honoring the Genderqueer deity, Pancrates (All-Power) of the Tetrad++ transgender pantheon.

For more information about this outdoor event and ceremony in San Francisco, please email cayacoven@gmail.com

Also! Visit us at our booth at the TransMarch Resource Fair from 2:00-5:00PM to receive blessings and get info on upcoming rituals and events. Sacred mxgender sing-along at 2:00PM. Look for the CAYA Coven banner. Blessed be!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Witches of Transgression 2017 Full Moon Work

AN INVITATION TO THE WITCHES OF THE WORLD - PLEASE SHARE WIDELY!

2017 Witches of Transgression Working:

 

BORN IN THE FIRE

The Divine Spiraling Rainbow Tribe is a Circle within the CAYA Pagan Congregation devoted to exploring and honoring sacred mxgender Mysteries. Our Priestxes embody the experience of identity beyond the gender binary, and celebrate the glittering prism of Divine existence that is Powerful, Delightful, Enthusiastic, Playful, Transformative, Magickal, Compassionate, and Reverent. We invite people of all genders or none, but especially mxgender and non-binary people, to join us in our first year of doing a public, world-wide working to bring a better world into being. By performing this ritual in our own spaces all over the world each Full Moon, we grid the Earth with the energy of the Divine, toward a shared vision of intentional change.

I want to participate. What should I do?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Sweetness of Hermaphroditus

This past weekend at the Rainbow Moon Circle Loving Moon, we got to enjoy some of the lovely energy of Hermaphroditus, the intersex child of Hermes and Aphrodite. I wanted to share some of the delightful highlights here, so that you can partake at your own altar at home.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mxing it up at… "Queers & Comics" 2017 Conference


Hann Lindahl ("Future Husband"), Jaina Bee (me), and Ryan Rose Aceae ("(Non)Binary Star") photo by Yoram

Zines and underground comics have been a lifelong passion for your quirky mxgender priestx reporter (that's me, Baba Bee). Bypassing the gatekeepers of mainstream media, self-published periodicals, cut-n-paste one-offs, and other xerographic tomes have taught me almost everything i know about the lives, loves, dreams, desires and needs of hundreds (possibly thousands!) of people who would otherwise be unheard or unseen in the world. I've been drawing, composing, and collecting comics and zines since i was a kid in the 1980's, and my appreciation for this medium only grows.

At one of the panels i attended at the 2017 Queers & Comics conference (April 14-16 at CCA SF) there was even a discussion about how the medium of comics itself is queer and binary-breaking, because it mixes words AND images in infinitely mutable ways. There was talk of comics as a vital form of queer self-care, as a way to explore alternative identies and expressions before transitioning or coming out, as a record of our ever-evolving LGBTQIA+ history, and as an especially fun way to network and meet new friends and fans.

This last bit cannot be overstated in its importance, especially when many panelists and attendees spoke of experiencing intense fears of leaving the house, of being (or speaking!) in public, and of interacting with strangers. It was a rare experience for most of us, to be in a crowded conference, where EVERYONE was queer—with a few friendly queer allies in the mix. The mention of pronouns did not bring a quizzical expression to anyone's face. (But seriously, where were all the straight comics geeks? Did they think they weren't welcome? Something to work on…)
I could go on and on about how much i enjoyed this conference— how it was the best of all that i have ever attended— however what i REALLY want to do is share with you some of my favorite creations—and creatrxes—of the weekend.

If you haven't yet encountered the graceful and elegant tales of Maia Kobabe, you're in for a treat. Though eir "Genderqueer" comics series was designed to be viewed on a phone (on eir Tumblr, Instagram or Patreon), e discovered that the three-panel sets fit perfectly into a mini 8-fold format! Effin' brilliant. (OK, full disclosure—i am not only a fan of Maia's, i feel a bit like an elder cousin to em as well. So, yes, i am fairly biased.) I dream of handing out to everyone these poignantly insightful glimpses into discovering and expressing one's genderqueerness. In the more Pagan realm, e is a contributor to the upcoming queer tarot-themed anthology, Tabula Idem, where e collaborated with our mutual friend, Alexandra Genetti (creatrix of the "Wheel of Change Tarot"), on a story about an annual Solstice-related ritual we have shared together many times. Genderqueer + paganism + art? Friends, this is my jam.

My most thrilling moment at the conference was when i was standing next to someone at a merchant table and they suddenly looked at my array of badges and bling and said, "Hey! Are you enby?! Here, have one of my comics!" And it was about mxgender witchcraft!!! "(Non)Binary Star" is about Ryan Rose Aceae's experience growing up in a Wiccan family, and the spiraling path they journeyed to find their own place in the binary-oriented worship of the God and the Goddess. Highly recommended for all folks exploring spirituality and religion beyond the binary.

Right as my jaw was hitting the floor, another excited person walked up to us and introduced herself (it really was quite the friendly conference). Hann Lindahl is a queer intersex activist and the creator of a beautiful two-color mini-comic, "Future Husband," about the effects of a doctor's casual presumption about why a teen-age Hann should start taking estrogen. She packs a heavy punch into that little 8-fold! She's one of the organizers for the 4th annual Queer Comix Expo in SF (July 8-9).

Anna Vo spoke in a couple of panels i attended.  I quickly noticed that i was trying to write down EVERYTHING they said, because they are able to articulate brilliant and radical social justice ideas in a righteous and hilarious manner. We traded zines, and i got "The Swan The Vulture" #6, which collects the prolific explosion of Anna's first year of making comics, which was, like, last year. Phenomenal.

Tittybar Tales is a gorgeous, full-color book by Alex L Combs, who is entering the CCA MFA in Comics program this summer. (Congratulations!) I first met him at the SF Zinefest last summer, and was enticed by the little preview of this comic which splays out the ups and downs and around-and-arounds of his experiences as a stripper, when he was still presenting as a woman. It's actually a lighthearted and funny collection, with no dreadful horror stories (other than razor burn and an aching body). Wow.

The most mesmerizing and beautiful comic i came home with was "Burning" by Bex (a surprise gift from a friend of mine who happened to be attending the con as a sign language interpreter for Bex). Dark, glowing, dreamy and visionary, she glides from her travels within the Arctic Circle on a sailboat full of artists and her travels into a richly detailed world within her mind.

Radical Faerie Church Funnies (2017 Special Edition for Q&C Con) is something i picked up in the merch area. I did not meet Vaughn Frick, the talented creator of this comic book satirizing the "Secret Gay Elite" that bunches up fundamentalist panties of all stripes. The disclaimer says it better than i ever could, "This Radical Faerie Comic Church is a fictional phantasm of dirty eunuch clowns, perverted fruit-bat capitalists, gender cyborgs, old gods, power-tripping ghouls, pagan fundamentalists, and whatever creature or thing I feel fit to draw. It's only about you if you so wish it."


And those are but a few of thedelights that came home with me. I hope to continue to compose reviews. And i am planning to have my own mxgender witch zine ready for the QCE this summer!
The rainbow sparkly tip of the queer comics iceburg!



Friday, April 28, 2017

Rainbow Moon Circle offers the Loving Moon honoring Hermaphroditus

Come As You Are To…The Rainbow Moon Circle’s Loving MoonA Full Moon Circle Honoring and Celebrating Gender Diversity
Saturday, May 6, 8:00PM
Doors open at 8:00PM, circle is cast at 8:15PM
Please arrive on time, no one is admitted after the circle is cast.

The Sacred Well, 536 Grand Avenue, Oakland (wheelchair accessible)

$10-$20 donation accepted, no one turned away for lack of funds

The mxgender Priestxes of Come As You Are Pagan Congregation invite people of any and all genders - or none - to join us in honoring and nurturing our loving nature. We recognize the places where we have been wounded or torn and seek healing and wholeness within ourselves. We call on Hermaphroditus, the intersex love deity of the Greek pantheon, to share Their message.

You are welcome to bring an item to charge on the altar, as well as cakes and ale to share after the circle is opened.

Our Mission: The Rainbow Moon Circle is a safe and sacred space for all to explore the spectra of gender and identity. We honor the holistic experience of self-determined identity and its infinite intersections. We celebrate the glittering prism of Divine existence that is powerful, delightful, enthusiastic, playful, transformative, magickal, compassionate, and reverent. Live the Spectra!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

DSRT and RMC Statement of Solidarity with Yeshe

The Divine Spiraling Rainbow Tribe is a Tradition within CAYA Pagan Congregation devoted to exploring and honoring sacred mxgender/non-binary Mysteries. The Rainbow Moon Circle is a safe and sacred space for all to explore the spectra of gender and identity. Together, we offer eight rituals a year focused on mxgender, trans, and intersex themes. We create and maintain several online groups open to the public about the intersections of gender identity and pagan spirituality. We write songs and poetry to trans, intersex, and mxgender deities and share them publicly, contributing to what we hope will be a long-lasting body of work. We train mxgender Priestexes, empowering them  to create community and a world that values and affirms gender diversity through personal and communal magick.

We, the centerholders of trans and mxgender spaces in CAYA Pagan Congregation, know the importance of speaking our truths in difficult situations. Recently, there has been a spate of online attacks directed at our friend, the Presiding High Priestess of CAYA, Yeshe Rabbit. Specifically, many of these attacks have accused her of transphobic remarks or behavior. We stand in solidarity with Yeshe, as she has stood in solidarity with us in this community.

All the trans and mxgender Priest/ess/xes, as well as some of our Dedicants, have received supportive personal counseling from Yeshe as she helped us explore important issues. This has included questions of where and when to come out, how to respond to challenges of our gender identities, and how to set firm boundaries.

Many of the trans and mxgender Priest/ess/xes of CAYA have also received mentoring for leadership from Yeshe. Mxgender leadership for both the Rainbow Moon Circle and the Divine Spiraling Rainbow Tribe emerged with Yeshe’s support. She provided physical spaces for these groups to meet, as well as a great deal of technical support and expertise in creating new circles and traditions.

We have witnessed Yeshe examining her own beliefs as a strong ally. We have heard her question others and herself. We have witnessed her taking in feedback from the trans and non-binary communities and responding to it. We have seen and heard her clearly and calmly standing up for our rights.

Yeshe has also worked to make spaces in CAYA trans- and mxgender-friendly. After Pantheacon 2011, she and the then-Amazons started a pan-Dianic lineage, recognizing that trans women are women. Yeshe made space for mxgender people to attend men’s and women’s moon circles as they felt appropriate, without regard to their biological sex. She led the charge for the inclusion on non-binary titles such as Priestx in our materials, and created a mxgender Court title to go alongside CAYA’s seasonal Queens & Kings.

We could not have done this work without Yeshe’s support, and we decry the unjust attempts to focus a campaign of hatred and lies against her. May the truth be clearly revealed, may justice prevail, and may compassion guide our words and actions.