This is an open-ended forum which will continue to grow as I receive additions from readers.  It will probably spin off other articles as it goes, which should be fun for all of us.  Please send email submissions (copy or art) to Rhea or Cyfrin, who will select what ends up on the page. 

Rev. Paul V. Beyerl (USA) - The practitioners of fertility religions seem to deal poorly with sex. Surely, we talk about sex a lot in personal, private discussions, but where are the serious, educational workshops? Why are the few serious texts almost always a study of Tantric practices or derived from a hodgepodge of New Agism? Wicca is a religion which perceives the manifestation of the Divine through the symbols of nature. Nature is inherently sexual and reproductive. The deepest realities of the Universe are the merging of Yin and Yang, of Goddess and God, of Priest/ess and Priest/ess leading to the Divine spark of conception and, subsequently, birth. Wicca brings these symbols into its rituals and while the references made to the Great Rite are many, a study of our libraries and available published material would seem to indicate that the Great Rite may have been but another of the myths permeating the Modern Wiccan Revival (like those about its origins). Wicca is a fertility religion, celebrating the powers of regeneration, of birthgiving and the creative process, yet it would seem that we, as a whole, are uptight.

There is a lot of "talk" about sex, sprinkled with innuendo, with the tittering of discomfort, and only on rare occasion is there a serious and enlightening discussion which considers sexual interaction as a serious discipline of Magick and as a ritual expression of Wiccan theology. Certainly, at the many pagan gatherings I have attended, the sparks of sexual pursuit are in the air and the grapevines inevitably indicate that those sparks were set to the flames of passion. Why, then, are these Mysteries so difficult to find in open discussion? One possible answer is that the potent forces released during the Great Rite are Mysteries unto themselves, deserving of the veils of secrecy. Yet there are too many asking questions and too many seeking answers and far too many who are taking the roles of Gods and of Goddesses for this information to be so zealously guarded.

We can no longer allow our students to have their questions unanswered for these questions are valid, are serious, and require the sharing of knowledge by those who have taken the journey and the sharing of the wisdom of the questions being asked. Over and over I have been asked to provide suggestions and techniques for the solitaire, for the Wiccan whose significant other may (or may not) be a willing participant in the Great Rite. We need to share the titles of books, to share the knowledge harvested in our individual research.

Magick and sexuality are inseparable. The practise of mystical, ritualized religion induces sexuality. This is shown as far into antiquity as the Book of Genesis, in the archaeological research into ancient civilizations, and in nearly all religions, other than certain of our modern Western culture. Magick and religion are systems designed to take one to the Divine Spark of the Universe. The creative force of the Divine (even when called "God" in Western terminology) cannot exist without the two polarities coming together and merging in ecstatic joy. We are but microcosms of that Universe. When the practises of one's beliefs take you beyond your egocentric self to experience that creative force, it is sexual. I'd like to see an educational bumper sticker which would read "God is orgasmic". (It would probably be too misinterpreted to be of value.)

We have an entire generation of Wiccans developing ritual skills and dancing each Moon and Sabbat with the Divine regenerative power. As a Wiccan educator, I know that the Wiccan Path creates students more aware of personal sexuality, who find themselves increasingly desired by others. All of this is in direct correlation to their spiritual progress. We MUST initiate these dialogues. We must step out of our closets and learn to ask our questions. We must be willing to share and to learn. This column is to be the first of many. Questions and comments from readers are essential for this dialogue to continue. Please mail yours directly to Rev. Paul at P.O. Box 8814, Mpls., MN 55408 USA (syndicated i8 iv 1989ce) Editorial Note: When we received this column it decided us on the focus for this particular forum, and makes a good place to start. Many thanks, Paul .

 Cyfrin (NSW, Australia):



The opposite of "fear" is "love".
The opposite of "hand" is "glove".
The opposite of "have" is "miss".
The opposite of "frown" is "kiss".

The opposite of "one" is "two".
The opposite of "me" is "you".
The opposite of "burn" is "rust".
The opposite of "lust" is "lust".

The opposite of "hard" is "wet".
The opposite of "want" is "get".
The opposite of "good" is "better".
The opposite of "soft" is "wetter".

(The following is reproduced with permission from Julia from a back issue of Children of Sekhmet. It follows an earlier article in CoS on "Homosexuality and Paganism" and responds to some anti-gay sentiment expressed in the pagan press at the time. We thought it particularly relevant to this forum- Eds).

Julia (NSW, Australia) - This article represents my feelings about gay people in the Craft; I am not, nor ever have been gay, but neither do I feel that those whose sexuality differs from my own in any way are intrinsically perverts or evil (Strange how those who eschew churchianity so often follow its basic tenets!). I would like to ask you all to consider why you follow the Pagan faith: is it because you felt that the organised religions had failed you in some way? Is it because you feel that through Paganism, you can grow as a human being in harmony with your surroundings, rather than as their ruler? Is it because you simply feel the love of the God and Goddess made manifest on the Earth? Do any of these, or any other paths to Paganism, exclude our fellow brothers and sisters from sharing in the love of the God and Goddess for any reason?

I can hear some saying, "ah, but you're talking about Paganism in its broadest sense, but the Craft, with its strong emphasis upon polarity, is different." Why? The Wiccan revival was initiated by Gerald Gardner, whose most ardent admirers would accede was at least an eccentric, and impelled by Alex Sanders, a self-proclaimed bi-sexual with strong leanings towards homosexuality. As the revival movement seems to have coped with both men rather easily, maybe personal sexual preference is no indication of suitability for the Craft?

Most arguments which seek to use the concept of polarity to exclude gays from the Wicca seem to start with "you can't have life without man and woman - they have to perform the Great Rite." Very true, in a physical sense, but are we dealing simply with physical sex? Or is the great Rite a symbol of something much deeper, which we, in a limited earthly existence, choose to express in a sexual way?

"Wo-Man created God-dess in their own image." They created deities to worship, and to beg favours from; they gave anthropomorphic forms to every natural occurence and change in the weather; they created their gods male, female and androgynous; they created them in their own image.

To attempt to classify seven or eight thousand odd years of pre-Christian Paganism as a collective whole would be madness: No doubt there were societies which did not approve or practise homosexuality, but equally, there were many to whom its practise was not abhorrent, and anthropological research suggests that homosexual rites formed an integral part of the religious worship of many cultures.

If we are to consider magical polarity, then again we must ensure that the tail does not wag the dog. The philosophy of magic is based upon a very few fundamental principles, one of which is male-female polarity. Further, the magical male-female polarity does not have to be expressed in a physical man-woman partnership. In a magical training, one is taught to understand the male-female within, and whilst a physical representation of this polarity is undoubtedly useful, it is certainly not essential.

It is important to remember that in both magic and the Wicca we are dealing with SYMBOLS of things which we cannot express in any other way. Yes, a man and a woman is an obvious expression of the primal duality of the universe; so is light and dark, life and death, being and non-being. We suggest that our Athame is male and our Chalice female; these are intellectual labels which we use to express a much deeper concept; and when conjoined they bring forth blessedness: yes, but not only as a representation of the physical union between man and woman. There is the greater spiritual union which centres around the mystery of the Holy Grail and transcends mere physical being or denominational differences.


"Does the Eagle know what is in the pit

Or wilt though go ask the Mole?

Can wisdom be put in a silver rod

Or love in a golden bowl?" (Blake)

Leone (ACT, Australia) True polarity magic is the balancing of equals - two huge forces meeting to make one greater whole, which both play equal roles in creating polarised energy. You can define polarity magic using many terms - attractive/ repulsive, positive/ negative, electric/magnetic, male/ female, light/ dark etc.

Regardless of what you call it, one side of this energy cannot exist without the other. Magical sexuality is an integral part of this balancing of energies. It involves the dissolution of personality to a sense of a single self greater than any other. This self energy is then combined with the equal/complementary energy of the other polarity. Two parties channel their opposite/complementary forces to create something within themselves that is then reflected within the universe.

This sense of within and without, macro and micro, is an essential part of the energy transfer - the awareness of yourself as part of a greater containing both poles.

While working magic, regardless of one's usual sexual preferences, it is necessary to experience the balancing of these male/female energies. Without this experience, personal energies tend towards imbalance and magic becomes like a spinning top at the end of its time - very wonky!

The balance is, of course, difficult to achieve - as usual, takes years of work, hard work that can lead to some of the greatest experiences of your life.


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