All Acts of Love and Pleasure Are Rituals of the Goddess


I do love poetry, but there are poems and then there are POEMS.

And there are two Poems that I’ve written into my will to have read at my funeral.

One is Mary Oliver’s When Death Comes.

And the other is The Charge of the Goddess:

Listen to the words of the Great Mother, Who of old was called Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Aphrodite, Cerridwen, Diana, Arionrhod, Brigid, and by many other names:

Whenever you have need of anything, once a month, and better it be when the Moon is full, you shall assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me Who is Queen of All the Wise.

You shall be free from slavery, and, as a sign that you be free, you shall be naked in your rites.

Sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in My Presence, for Mine is the ecstasy of the spirit and Mine also is joy on earth.

For My law is love is unto all beings. Mine is the secret that opens the door of youth, and Mine is the cup of wine of life that is the cauldron of Cerridwen, that is the holy grail of immortality.

I give the knowledge of the spirit eternal, and beyond death I give peace and freedom and reunion with those that have gone before.

Nor do I demand aught of sacrifice, for behold, I am the Mother of all things and My love is poured out upon the earth.

Hear the words of the Star Goddess, the dust of Whose feet are the hosts of Heaven, whose body encircles the universe:

I Who am the beauty of the green Earth and the white Moon among the stars and the mysteries of the waters,

I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me.

For I am the soul of Nature that gives life to the universe.

From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return.

Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.

And you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.

For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am That which is attained at the end of desire.

~ Attributed to Doreen Valiente

As Jason Pitzl-Waters notes over at the Wild Hunt, many Pagan religions actually support gay marriage. Of course we do. “All acts of love and pleasure” obviously includes gay sex, and “Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you,” clearly encompasses gay marriages. (Some of the strongest, most powerful, most compassionate, most honorable, and most reverent unions that I know are between gay friends of mine.) Pagans are (again, generally) polytheists. We worship diversity, difference, multiplicity, “all acts of love and pleasure.”

As a result, as Jason and his commenters explain, a statue or constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage actually discriminates against Pagan religions and causes the government to favor the tenants of one religion (Christianity) over the tenants of other religions (Paganism) — which is PRECISELY what the First Amendment prohibits. The First Amendment bans any “law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . .” And a statue that establishes Christian hatred of gay sex and gay marriage, and that prohibits Pagans from exercising their religious support of gay sex and gay marriage, trespasses against the Constitution.

Our Pagan religion is about being free and naked in our rites. Our religion is about making music and love in the Presence of our Goddess.

And our Goddess is all about ecstasy of the spirit AND about joy on Earth, both of which many of us find in sex, of whatever kind. Her law is love unto ALL beings, with no limitations or restrictions. She is with us from the beginning and She is that which we attain at the end of ALL desire. All desire. (One morning, this past week, G/Son and I had breakfast out on the screen porch. He had blueberries, apple slices, and cheddar cheese, along with some apple cider in his favorite Thomas the Tank Engine cup. Nonna had a poached egg on toast and coffee in her favorite mug, which says, “You pray. I dance naked in the forest.” G/Son, who is now reading EVERYTHING, read my mug and said, “Nonna, that’s funny. Do you dance naked in the forest?” I said, “Yes, sometimes I do. For me, that is a way of praying.” G/Son stopped for a few minutes and thought about that before he said, “Nonna, I think it’s time for me to beat you at Uno. Again.” Kid is a card shark.)

I’d like to see as many “official” Pagan religions as possible specifically adopt support for gay marriage as a part of their catechisms. That would help the ultimate legal argument that North Carolina’s recent constitutional amendment, for example, violates the First Amendment.

As I’ve noted before, I occasionally find that the arc of the moral universe benefits from some of my dulcet urgings for it to “BEND, MOTHERFUCKER, JUST FUCKING BEND, ALREADY.” Today, I believe that it bent a bit. I’ll take whatever I can get.

I’m a big believer in the bend. If I’d been sitting at Mamma Doreen’s shoulder, I’d have added:

From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return.

Let the arc of the moral universe bend towards justice and may the bending sometimes not take too long.

Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.

I’m more than willing to beat up on President Obama when he (all too frequently, for my progressive heart) fucks up. Today, I’d like to thank him for (finally, in a politically-calculated way, but I don’t care) doing the right thing.

All acts of love and pleasure are rituals of the Goddess. The government of the United States shouldn’t ban any of them.

Picture found here.

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7 responses to “All Acts of Love and Pleasure Are Rituals of the Goddess

  1. “I occasionally find that the arc of the moral universe benefits from some of my dulcet urgings for it to “BEND, MOTHERFUCKER, JUST FUCKING BEND, ALREADY.”” <– LOVE IT.

    It doesn't take a genius to realize that, regardless if Obama felt the truth of his words or not, what he said will have repercussions across the country. He'll be doubted, praised, condemned, loved, spit on and heralded as the next great visionary of our country – and I'm sure he knew all of these things when he said such a thing so publicly. Regardless if he truly meant it, those words he spoke will mean a LOT to a LOT of people.

    For me, it meant that if he, as a person, can take the potential political pitfall of speaking so boldly on such a controversial topic (in an election year none the less…), than I myself, as a human being, can stop being so passive aggressive about the matter, and take a stand of my own.

  2. Of course NC’s Amendment 1, and other legislated prohibitions of same-sex marriage, are violations of the First Amendment. There is no credible non-religious reason for such laws. They are precisely and only an imposition of a particular religious belief (or set of beliefs) upon everyone within the respective jurisdictions, whether they are believers or not.

    I live in a country where same-sex marriages have been legal for close to seven years. At the time that the legislation was being debated, the usual suspects made the usual forecasts of dire consequences if the law were to pass. Pass it did–and, of the long laundry list of predicted catastrophes, precisely none has come to pass. The institution of “traditional marriage,” however that’s defined, appears to be no worse off now than it was before. To the best of my knowledge, nobody has been agitating for the right to marry their toasters or their pets. Not a single priest has been imprisoned for refusing to officiate at a same-sex wedding, and the sun continues to rise and set at the expected times. Who would have thought?

    The religious fundamentalists are entitled to their beliefs, of course, provided that those beliefs don’t result in breaches of the peace. What they must eventually come to realize, however, is that, in the formulation of law or public policy, arguments along the line of “the Church teaches,” or “the Bible says,” should be accorded no weight whatsoever.

  3. going to see if this will
    work

  4. well shoot. (seeks edit button in mortification). Anyway, great post Hecate. Andy G put this up out of the Mpls StarTrib. it’s on FB hither and yon.

  5. grrr…./thinks bad thoughts at wordpress.

  6. Brillant posting. Simply brillant!

    This is the 21st Century.

    OF COURSE by this time — this kind of issue should be well and truly put in the past. OF COURSE by this time — each and every GBLT person should have the full right of Law for their marriages. How many “good” christians have committed adultery, perjury, injury to “loved ones”? Let them examine their own marriages! Haven’t the so-called and self-described “good” christians have far more godly deeds to perform — like helping the sick, the poor and the elderly of their OWN communities? Let them gather funds for those causes!

  7. Pingback: Two women in North Carolina | Works of Literata

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