You Are Welcome In This Circle
Something has been weighing on my mind lately. On the one hand I don’t want to be seen as starting shit with other feminists or being divisive. On the other, I gotta pull this into the collective convo.
Here it is: I really admire some of the powerful, courageous women in the Red Tent movement. And, my skin gets uncomfortable when I read about blood rights as the way to claim our female power.
I am not saying that all Red Tent gatherings are womb-specific, as I don’t know if that is true, but I have heard many of them are. And that is wonderful. The work of reclaiming our blood and bleeding is important. I do not know even that they are exclusionary to those who do not bleed.
But, women’s blood and bleeding are central to the theme of the Red Tent.
Not all women bleed. And some not-women do. This is not news to many of us. Or, for some of us, it’s old news that we integrated long ago?
My feminism, and my feminist spirituality, include women who don’t bleed. Women who never did and never will. Women who were born without uteri. It includes women who have a challenging relationship with their blood and uteri. Women who had to have hysterectomies. Women who chosen to have hysterectomies.
My feminism, and my feminist spirituality, include women with all kinds of bodies, all kinds of genitals, all kinds of breasts (flat to full to excised to augmented), all kinds of bellies and clits and cunts and cocks – yes women with cocks too.
My feminist spiritual movement includes child-free and child-full, sex-enthused and asexual, sex worker and celibate.
My feminism recognizes that agency comes in many forms – for more forms than I can imagine.
My feminism recognizes, further, that it is your right to not share with me the status or plans for your anatomy, whether procreative capacity or genital journey your place of being – and your ways of going – are none of my business.
Here’s the thing: WE ARE NOT DEFINED BY OUR BIOLOGY! You are not defined by your genitals, sexual or procreative capacity, or utility. Sisters, siblings, kin: we are more than our biology.
In my personal arc you can see that I have grown around this topic. In Sexy Witch (Llewellyn, 2005) there is a whole chapter dedicated to “our” uteri, blood, wombs. In the years after Sexy Witch came out I had cis women, trans women, gay men, all come to me and explain the limitations of the work there. They explained to me where my magick and work of deconstruction were excluding them.
As concerns were brought to me I heard them. I got it. I integrated it. I moved forward. Jailbreaking the Goddess: A Radical Revisioning of Feminist Spirituality has a RADICALLY different angle than Sexy Witch did, and I have different values which have been informed by those who have been willing to call me in. And I’m grateful.
This shift in values has also been informed by having a kid who is trans. And by deeper, ongoing introspection into my relationship with gender and my own gender identity.
Moving even wider into the realm of feminism, and womanhood, and all the things I bring into Jailbreaking the Goddess, when any of us define our woman-ness, and moreover the feminal divine, by possession (and function) of uteri we are limiting our own experience of womanness and of feminal power.
I trust that our sisters in the Red Tents are not intending to be exclusionary. I offer this into our community as food for our collective contemplation.
And in the meantime, any of you women and nonbinary loves – and even men too, by invitation – who feel excluded by blood rites, yet drawn to the feminal divine? Know you are completely welcome over here.
You are welcome in your shaved and unshaved glory, your femme brilliance and butch delight, in your balanced and unbalanced moments.
You are welcome in your neurodiversity, your bodies able and disabled, in all your ages.
In this space you are welcome in all hues and lived experiences. You are welcome in all of the difference and all of the sameness we can fit into one space together.
In this space you are welcome to bring your old gods and new gods. Your old stories and new stories. Your old magicks and new magicks.
In this space we work to hold alignments and misalignments as sacred gates. In this space we seek to create braver agreements. In this space we recognize that our anger and our healing are sacred. Our anger and our healing are welcome. As are our joy, our passion, our desire, our boundaries, and the sum total of our whole selves.
In this space you are welcome, in all your gender-loving, gender-rejecting, and gender-fucking glory. You are welcome to bring all those whom you love. Together we will create a stronger circle.
In this collectivist, Jailbreaking, rewilding, collaborative circle, you are welcome. Let’s learn to sit together.
Lasara is a genderqueer Priest, Goddess Worshiper, Witch, and Mystic. Join her/them for Jailbreaking the Goddess – the initiation!