Embracing Flesh and Spirit… as a Whole

Some of my friends make me cry in front of strangers. Others manage to embarrass me without meaning to…

Two mornings ago, I got the following text from one of my dearest friends: “Was told the Goddess might not recognize ‘my kind.’ Gotta love the sisterhood…”

Filled with a mixture of fury and horrification, I replied, “Come again?”

My friend didn’t text back; she called, and explained that her coven—after reading Zsuzsanna Budapest’s call for activation—decided that, perhaps, my friend’s “energy was holding the coven back”.

I cried and cursed at the bus stop. Then again while riding the subway to school—cried, not cursed; there were a child and someone’s great-grandmother within ear range. But I wept into my fist and got a nasty nosebleed. Yes, I was enraged, sickened and disappointed.

I guess I should probably say that my friend started life as a male. By age eleven, my friend already knew the appearance of his flesh didn’t show the shape of her soul. She happens to be the child of two of the most amazing individuals I’ve ever met. They only asked that she waited until she was twenty-one—they wanted her to be sure.

On my friend’s eighteenth birthday, her parents were convinced they had been blessed with a daughter who happened to look like a son. She had surgery eight years after that; the parents gave financial, and more important, emotional support.

Today, my friend is the forty-one-year-old mother of tween daughters and a wee son. She is also the wife of a husband who “knows he can’t dance, but doesn’t care what people think about his moves.” A few days ago, this mother and wife was told that she wasn’t woman enough for her Goddess. The words broke my friend’s heart. Not because she believed the nonsense, but because the hurt came from a group of Witches who meant something to her.

My friend cried for a long time while on the phone with me. I did, too. She, because of sadness; I, because I wished my friend was ruthless enough to tell the so called sisters to shove it. I’m disappointed because I’m always bragging about how Witches are all about equality, love, acceptance… about embracing flesh and spirit as a whole. I know this is just one group of Witches, but their behavior infuriates me anyway.

I’m not sure what’s going to happen between my friend and the coven; neither is she. But I would like to ask you to turn in the general direction of Manila, and send her some healing hugs. She is 5’10”, has black hair, wears a necklace that is falling apart (I made it for her) and her heart is the size of the sun. I would post her picture, but there is always a chance that certain people’s stupidity could turn physical. I’ve seen it happen before, and I would hate to hurt my friend while trying to help.

I almost forgot… you are probably wondering who has “manage to embarrass me without meaning to...” It was either Debra, from She Who Seeks, or Her Royal Highness, I can’t be sure...

Here is how: I had to get myself together after the conversation with my friend, so I was a few minutes late for class. My classmates were quiet and my professor looked busy. Instead of talking, I handed this note to the guy who sits next to me:
A blank page with a huge question mark in the middle
The guy leaned closer to me, and whispered, “I’m allergic to cats. And I haven’t tested the theory, but I’m almost certain women would give me hives, too.”

I gave him a puzzled look. He returned the note, which I had written on a page torn from a journal I got from Debra and HRH. I burst into laughter when I read the words printed at the bottom of the page: I wanna be your cat.

In the (very likely) words of my Sweet Zombie Goddess:
“You can’t make this shit up.”

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  1. I was waffling for a very brief moment on the whole issue that has been buzzing about. I always feel very strongly in my convictions, but there was something about some things that have been said that briefly caused me to waver. Anyway, you moved me with your words... Moved me right back into my strong convictions. Thank you for returning my sanity. 
    I will take some time for your friend at my night altar & in my dreamwork tonight.You are a wonderful friend. How blessed she is, even though she hurts right now. This story reminds me of the one you shared not long ago about being called "not a very nice person (Witch)." Where is this selfishness & petty behaviour coming from? So much snark & yet zero willingness to enter into thoughtful dialogue. Disagreement is okay, as long as there is respect. Who stashed the respect? I want to see it returned to our community. 

  2. Oh yes & the cat thing. Awesome. I wish I had done that. (Only knowing me, I would have done it intentionally.)

  3. Cameron3/01/2012

    Humans are flawed....this is the easiest thing to overlook...and the most difficult thing to change.  We are jealous and violent, quick to point out differences and slow to stand up for ourselves.
    Unfortunately, for every 20 wonderful souls that have elevated themselves from our base nature, who care about and treat others with respect and kindness....there are still those that prefer the easy way, the way that doesn't require work or thought, the discriminating way.....and I feel sorry for them.....and the poor children they may be passing this "way" to.

    You are strong, sensitive and true to yourself and your friends.....helping us with your conviction and words to right these ways.....and guide us toward the mountain tops of insight....where the big picture can be seen, appreciated and learned from...

    I don't comment here much, but wanted to let you know how great I think you are, and how special you must be to those who love you :)

  4. salemwitchchild3/01/2012

    This is why I will never join a coven. Its not just that coven. Everyone has their issues and hang ups. When you put a group together ego gets in the way and end up hurting some people. I find socializing with a coven or spiritual group is best taken in small doses!
    But then again, I'm naturally anti-social. I love my dog more than people. lol

  5. Well that's one coven no loving Goddess is going to recognise!! They read a book designed to pigeon hole, and then turned it into their bible??? When did they decide their own coven rules were unacceptable? If they have no faith in their own decision to accept this sister, how can they have faith in their chosen/named Goddess. We each choose to follow the Goddess as we picture her to be.....they made their Goddess ugly...she will not be pleased!
    Your Goddess however is beautiful beyond imagination....she made you laugh :D XXX

  6. Kristy Wren3/01/2012

    that's messed up.  Brought stinging tears to my eyes.  Yet, just proves that that coven isn't whole; and probably will never be, especially if they're so quick to turn on one of their own.  

  7. Slommler3/01/2012

     I am sorry that yet again, people have showed their ugly side.  Hugging you and your friend.  Bless her sweet spirit.
    I love cats!!

  8. Tell your friend, she is the most beautiful woman there can be.

    A lot of hugs from me.

    And a note to the 'sisters' of hers.

    Dear witches, think a second.

    You think your sister's 'energy' is holding you back?

    What is more likely to hold you back: a sister, you've known and worked
    with, or the words of separation and hate a formerly great teacher is
    now spreading, because she can't get over her own shadows?

    Healing and realization to all. 

  9. Diandra Linnemann3/01/2012

    Some people suck, simple as that. I am so sorry for your friend.

  10. sweet zombie goddess3/01/2012

    I went from crying to giggling in a single breath.  Mean people suck, no matter if they wear a suit and tie to church or dance skyclad around the an oak tree.  Your friend has a pure soul...you can feel it through your words about her.  Mayhaps this was the Goddess subtly telling her it is time to move on to sunnier shores.  Blessings to her and her amazing family.

    And you definitely know me and my verbage, because, as I read it, the first words through my head were, "You can't make this shit up!"  When I read the last line, I burst out laughing, prompting strange looks from the kids and cat ;).  Gotta love it!

    Love you Mags,


  11. Michelle Ward3/01/2012

    What a crappy thing to happen. 
    I have been watching this "debate" for a while now, and it is something that I have been considering for some time now. That someone has taken Z Budapest's words and used them as a cruel excuse for get rid of someone is horrid, but doesn't surprise me at all unfortunately. She is in the position of Elder, and therefore people take her words as What Should Be.  Even when some of it is blatant Hate speech. (And I wonder if some people will use it as a very passive/aggressive way of getting rid of someone that they have issue with.)I am uncomfortable with the idea that gender is based purely on your biological attributes, yes I am female biologically because I have ovaries and a womb, but I am a woman for much more reasons. And the main reason is because I am a woman in my head, and have always known that. 

    The question of  "womanborn only rituals" is one I have had trouble with, because while I can see that the physical experience of menstruation and childbirth (blah blah blah) isn't really something that you can share, unless you have had experience of it, are we little more than just our physical bodies? But a Cis-woman, and a Trans-women will have very different experiences on life, sex and spirituality. Difference doesn't mean any lesser though, it is just different. Embracing these differences rather than separation because of that difference.  Not The Same does not equal Wrong.

  12. HRH says "Yeah, that page came from the Emily the Strange journal that was part of my birthday giveaway which you won. But BE A CAT, girl! Cats are never, ever embarrassed by anything. We just lick our paws and pretend we meant to do what we did."

    Please give Manila a big hug from HRH and me. Tell her that Kwan Yin, the Goddess of Compassion, started as a male deity but transmuted into a female deity because an outwardly female form better matched her inner beauty and inner truth. This is why Kwan Yin is always portrayed as flat-chested -- very unique among Goddesses who usually have very prominent breasts. It is a nod to her former gender and her journey to embodying the Divine Feminine.

    I believe that transgendered people are especially blessed by the Divine. They are shapeshifters who truly walk between the worlds. Their journey of transformation is profoundly spiritual.

  13. I'm just curious.  Was the Coven of Dianic Witches?  I've heard they are of the man hating crew to the uber extent.  Assholes come in all forms of "Spirituality", Witches included.  However, if I may say, those who are quick to judge.....really have lost touch with their true heart and that is where our Spirituality resides.

  14. that is so terrible.  I'm so sorry and will be sending positive energy and light to your friend.

  15. As mentioned above, this may be a sign that she is meant to move on to bigger and better things...that she was bogged down with this coven without realizing that they were holding her back...Hope she finds what she needs soon...

    Be a Cat..it's okay...

  16. I've always been a "free spirit" and whorshipped the Goddess in my unique way.
    Your friend, either male or female, is a creature of the Goddess and should be treated like one. That's incredible how racism can develop even in groups where there should be none...
    About my 13 Goddesses in 13 Weeks challenge, the answer is : YES! I wrote that you can use any medium and words ae a medium. I'm looking forward to viewing what you make!! Thank you for your visit. I always read your posts when I can. :)

  17. Loving thoughts and energy to your friend and her family.  May she find a place or group that is willing to embrace and uplift her soul on it's spiritual journey.  She will do better without such base level baggage.  It brings the soul down.

    It's because of such bigotry that I refuse to read and/or support people who spew such tripe (such as the author mentioned in your post above).  That kind of negativity has no place polluting my souls journey.  Just because some one is an alleged "Elder" and may have even made wonderful contributions in the past, doesn't give them a right to infect others with their vitriolic bile.  I've read some works of the aforementioned author in the past and was unable to finish a single book.  It left me feeling tainted and ill.  Is that really the kind of energy this coven wants to embrace?  Who in their right mind thinks the Goddess would want to swim in such polluted waters?  Embracing such things, to me, is like embracing rape of the soul.  It's beyond sad and disturbing.

    Love the "?" page.  Be a fierce cat, Magaly!  RAWR with all your might.  That's why we adore you. :D

  18. I'm having multiple comments ::: yikes! ::::  Your story inspired me to write about it.  I've linked to you and will be posting tomorrow as part of the Pagan Blog Project.  Since it is a bunch of Pagans reading my angry rant, I'm drooling to see what kind of feedback I will be getting. : )

  19. And that is why covens get bad raps... How can she even be considered a respected "Elder" when all she does is spew ignorant bullshit? I don't consider her to be important. An asshole is an asshole regardless of how they're gussied up.. I can't stand her and all her crap.. And what bothers me the most is that there are people in the Pagan community who just eat her shit up and treat her as if she were the Goddess reincarnated... She is disgraceful...

    And as for your friend's group of "sisters", they need a good slap in the face (Karma works too slow for me some days)... How can they preach Womanhood and Solidarity and all that BS but they can't even practice it themselves? So, if they become loving, accepting, Goddess worshiping women then the Big Bad Z. Budapest won't recognize them as true Dianics? I didn't realize she had a direct line to all things Goddess and her opinion was the law of Woman's land...

    I feel so bad for your friend and that she had to go through this crap.. From your heartfelt reaction, it's easy to tell that she's a beautiful person.. But like a few others said, maybe this is the best thing for her.. The chance to get away before they tried to poison her beautiful soul as well... I hope she finds some light through this dark time.. She definitely has a lot of love being sent her way (and yours too darling)...

  20. lilacwolf3/02/2012

    Give your friend a hug from me.  I'm glad she doesn't believe that nonsense, but I can fully understand why it still hurt.  These people were friends...ugg, who needs enemies, right?

    I'm still snickering from that response...he made you laugh!  lol

  21. I don't think any Gods or Goddesses care about appearances; what matters to them is what's inside. So it's those cruel people who were heartless enough to treat your friend this way who would be rejected by the Goddess, not your friend. If your friend lives as a woman, and if she considers herself to be a woman, then she is woman enough.And, for the record, this is one of the reasons why I prefer to remain a solitary practitioner; if I practice alone, nobody can tell me I'm doing it wrong. After all, there's no right or wrong way to practice, only what feels right or wrong to the individual.On a less serious note...Kero barking doesn't wake Kelly from a nap. When we used to babysit little Emma, her crying never woke him if he had a nap while she was here. But that last part of your post had me laughing so hard I woke him up. LOL! Thanks for that; I needed it!

  22. Magaly, I am so sorry for your friend!! I am sending healing and comforting thoughts to her and her family! What a horrible experience for her to go through! I would have told them all to *uckoff!!!!! I don't understand people!! 
    I will be your cat, as long as you feed me well ;o) And, scratch my tummy! LOL!

  23. ljrich3/02/2012

    I just have ranted until I can't rant anymore (in person, not blog) about that Z Budapest mess. I shake my head in shame at actually having to live that down, because sadly we all do een though we're not affliliated with her in any way, we just share the "pagan" label. Tell you friend I said, they're better off without that coven, what a horrible thing to go through. :(

     I'll be sending my very best to both of you!

  24. I'm right with you, disagreement is the foundation of interesting arguments; that's a great thing, but when someone comes to the conclusion that s/he has all the answers, then tragedies are born. 

  25. "the children" are the ones who worry me most, what are our behaviors teaching those who come after us? You think an "elder" would think about that. I know we are free to do what we want, but when our way exclude an entire group, then something is wrong.

    You are too sweet, thanks for your lovely words ;-)

  26. I was in coven once (funny, my friend was in it, too). It was an amazing group formed by people of different beliefs. It was wonderful, and then it grew into something unrecognizable. Strange...

  27. "they make their Goddess ugly indeed." I bet she's fuming. 

  28. People are strange. And terrible...

  29. I'm sorry and thankful at the same time, no one needs that in their life. 
    Hugging you right back ;-)

  30. I don't  know what's worse, a person who does something mean because they don't know better or one who does it because they want some kind of self-justification. "Healing and realization to [us] all" indeed.

  31. Yes, they suck dirty butt.

  32. I like to think that the Goddess wanted those ugly people out of her life. She can do much better.

    Yep, I know you sista lol

  33. I don't even know what to say about all this, not really. I just don't get it. This type of separation tastes so much of racism that it makes me sick to think of it. 

    I hope the next thing isn't to exclude women who have never had children, or some who want/or don't want to cut their hair, or have small boobs, or... yes, is it gets a bit ridiculous after a while.

  34. I think that for my birthday, I'll give myself a picture or statue of 
     Kwan Yin. I haven't thought of her in a while, I'm glad you reminded me. 

    And HRH, when this happens again, I'll lick my paw and grin.

  35. They started as a non denominational group. Then some people moved and the majority were Catholics. Then some Catholics "found the Goddess" and the group became a coven. The self-proclaim priestess (I'm saying that because she woke up one day and decided she would lead the group) began to study "Dianic Wicca" three years ago. Must of the group left, something about not being able to bring their children (I'm not sure), and the rest is just ugly arguments... 

  36. Thanks, Lora. You are a darling.

  37. I think it will take some time--she really cares about these people. But she will heal.

    And yes, I'll be a cat ;-)

  38. Free spirits are the ones that shine the brightest and pretties. Sameness can be a little dull; not bad, but a bit boring.

    Yay! I'm excited about 13 Goddess in 13 Weeks. I'm thinking web serial ;-)

  39. I don't think the Goddess would be very happy with anyone acting like a complete ass. I hope the group can see that, too. Not so my friend can go back (I doubt she ever will) but because to live in such a nasty state of mind is not something I wish upon anyone.

    And I will be a fierce laughing cat ;-)

  40. I shall go and take a look-see.

  41. What gets me more upset is to see people acting like brainless sheep. The world is full of people with charisma, some even have brains and decide that it is good idea to kill off an entire race... I get mad at the ones who eat up the crap. *sigh* 

  42. At least we already know to be watchful of our enemies, huh?

    And yes, it was strange; laughing with eyes full of non-laughing tears. lol

  43. I think the way a person sees/chooses his or her gods is a reflection of his/her inner self. Is the only why I can explain so many people talking about Satan or about a Goddess who doesn't want someone who doesn't look like her. 

    Ha! You waking Kelly with laughter made me laugh ;-D

  44. I will cook all your favorites and scratch your tummy all the time!

  45. A few people in school read my blog, and yesterday we had a long conversation. Some non-Witches, members of the Straight Gay Alliance had some really good points, and the meeting made me feel better. The fact that straights, gays, lesbians... get together to talk about how to bring people a bit closer to others makes me forget about the rest of the idiocy... for a little while.

  46. salemwitchchild3/03/2012

    Yeah most small groups are amazing. Its when they grow and become a popular hangout that you start to get troublemakers.

  47. Geckostone3/03/2012

    This post saddens me and shows what a long way some of our species still has to go to evolve, ugh! Its all fear based, fear of anything different. Makes me feel sorry for the coven they are soooooooo far off the track Jack! I hope your friend finds a new coven because just like people there are plenty of good ones out there to replace the bad ones! Love and hugs, Deb

  48. I cried. I can't believe they would say that to her.

    Happy for the laughter though. 

  49. She is a wonderful soul and mind, so I'm sure she'll find what she needs. I wish she was more internet-inclined, but in her words "the web entangles" her into a bit of madness.

    People are weird... I say that a lot, but it's true.

  50. As I just said above, people are weird and some love to throw their issues on the faces of others.

  51. I guess the latter is the worse, since the former can learn to change their ways more easily? But you never know. 

  52. That is so  true, I just thought of a Terry Pratchett about how scary people who think they found all the answers tend to be. Hm, I should find the exact quote...

  53.  I know just don't like it =[

  54. Oh Magaly, my heart just breaks for your lovely friend. I cannot believe a coven of witches first, said such hurtful things, and second, could actually believe such judgmental bullshit. This is a horrible thing and I stand beside the both of you filled with indignation and pure embarrassment on behalf of all witches. Your friend will certainly be sent my healing energy and like you, I wish she'd told them to stick it. How lucky she is to have your beautiful support. May we all learn to see within the true spirit of the universe. Love to you, sweetie.   

  55. I guess you know how I feel. Some people can't understand why I feel ashamed that I have to see people who call themselves Witches acting completely against what it means to be a Witch. We are of Natural and our energy should be shared with everything around us. To reject someone just because we don't care for their shape is despicable.

    But for every coven of poisonous people there are a few sweet Witches out there who make it all well again. 

  56. I know I'm late, but I'm catching up to my friends list as usual and I saw this post and had to reply. Oh man. I am sad that this happened, and also angry. What is with people excluding other people for being different?!?

    You go Manila! Many hugs, love, me.

    1. It's never too late here ;-)
      I appreciate you stopping by and being outraged, too. People are just terrible.