Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Why Wicca?

Like a lot of witches and other pagans in the U.S., I was raised in a Christian tradition. I grew up active in a mainstream Protestant church, with a fair helping of fundamentalist Christianity on the side in the form of relatives, schoolmates, and summer camp. My path toward witchcraft has been a long one, but if I had to give one reason why I practice Wicca, it would be that I have long needed a spiritual practice that honors women, the body, and the erotic. I don't want mere tolerance of these things, or tortured attempts at reconciliation. (In the church of my youth, the current positions are: Ordained women, okay. Masturbation, okay, but only since the early 1990s. Sex, okay within specific limits. Homosexuality, maybe okay. Same-sex marriage, not yet okay. Queer clergy in committed relationships, not okay. Ad nauseum.)

Life is too short.

I'm a queer woman who loves sex. All kinds of sex. And my body. I love my body. The Charge of the Goddess says that "all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals." Sign me up.

I don't want a religion that suggests there might be something wrong with me. Christianity makes me struggle - with my humanity, with my femaleness, with sex and other pleasures of the flesh. No more. I need a tradition that honors women, that places women at the center. Where men are called priestesses and God is a She. A tradition that takes the erotic as a fundamental act of worship. That doesn't teach us to strive for transcendence of the human, but rather recognizes the human and the "mundane" as divine and magical.