Antinoe

In the Name of the Father

Saturday, 19 January 2019

I’ve often heard criticisms from those who prefer a masculine God that needing a gender-neutral or genderless or gender-inclusive God is unnecessary because of the human traits being projected. Yet, God the Father is fine. Usually, this seems to be due to tradition.

For a great many years, I recoiled at the idea of God the Father. As I thought about the negative responses to a more gender-expansive God, or possibly a God with what would amount to a sexual orientation, I came to understand why a masculine God had bothered me.

For years–decades–I’ve heard my own father explain to me why people like me should be “taken out and shot.” Or hanged, or drowned, or otherwise tortured and killed. True, he worded things ambiguously and might not even have realized he was describing me. But being raised as a son in his house, it was clear that sissies and feminists were bad. His words told me, even if unintentionally, that I was worth less as a person than he and others like him were. Furthermore, I would be educated in schools run by a church where the Fathers would preach about how TBQALG persons were sinful. Why, then, would I think a Divine Father was a good idea?

Then, at age 41, I started my gender transition. My own kids were 20 and 18 at the time. They still call me dad to this day eight years later, and I’m 100% okay with this. I am a woman who is their father.

And so, it’s my experience with being a woman who is a father that I’ve been able to become more comfortable with the idea of God the Father. I cannot separate my experiences as a gendered and sexual being from my religion. If I cannot relate to God on a personal level, how can I have a relationship with God?

Amen, and Blessed be.

In the Name of the Father

Saturday, 19 January 2019

I’ve often heard criticisms from those who prefer a masculine God that needing a gender-neutral or genderless or gender-inclusive God is unnecessary because of the human traits being projected. Yet, God the Father is fine. Usually, this seems to be due to tradition.

For a great many years, I recoiled at the idea of God the Father. As I thought about the negative responses to a more gender-expansive God, or possibly a God with what would amount to a sexual orientation, I came to understand why a masculine God had bothered me.

For years–decades–I’ve heard my own father explain to me why people like me should be “taken out and shot.” Or hanged, or drowned, or otherwise tortured and killed. True, he worded things ambiguously and might not even have realized he was describing me. But being raised as a son in his house, it was clear that sissies and feminists were bad. His words told me, even if unintentionally, that I was worth less as a person than he and others like him were. Furthermore, I would be educated in schools run by a church where the Fathers would preach about how TBQALG persons were sinful. Why, then, would I think a Divine Father was a good idea?

Then, at age 41, I started my gender transition. My own kids were 20 and 18 at the time. They still call me dad to this day eight years later, and I’m 100% okay with this. I am a woman who is their father.

And so, it’s my experience with being a woman who is a father that I’ve been able to become more comfortable with the idea of God the Father. I cannot separate my experiences as a gendered and sexual being from my religion. If I cannot relate to God on a personal level, how can I have a relationship with God?

Amen, and Blessed be.

Broken at Christmas

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Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Christmas. For the religious celebration, it’s the capstone of Advent, when we celebrate the rebirth of Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace. For the cultural celebration, it’s about being with loved ones, sharing meals, and giving gifts.

And it can be hell on earth for a great many people.

For those of us marginalized for our genders and bodies, it can be anything from hoping the bigoted relatives behave themselves to enduring them saying how great our oppressors are to not having relatives to visit because they’re turned their backs on us completely. These things can aggravate mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.

It finally happened to me.

What do I, the polytheist Christo-Pagan, do? One relative is an oppressor and is married to another who isn’t. Well, she isn’t an oppressor in that she’s never said anything oppressive to me since I came out. She doesn’t silence or challenge her spouse, though. As I went to bed on the 24th, my depression, anxiety, and psychosis were riding high. The Gifts of Advent–

Hope, Joy, Love, and Peace–seemed far way and untouchable.

I can’t recall the last time I wept on Christmas. I don’t think I ever have in my memory, though my memory is slowing failing.

I’ve long known that Christmas is a time of trauma for many, and I try to be sensitive to that. If I don’t, then I’m failing to bring the Gifts of Advent to those traumatized persons. But now, I have a better appreciation for just how isolating and soul-crushing it can me.

Glory be to Joseph, and to Mary, and to their beloved son Jesus: as they were then, are now, and ever shall be the Holy Family without end. Amen.

Adversarial Advent: Rejoice!

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Today is Christmas: the culmination of our Advent preparations.

My Advent posts have been, again, rather political. This makes perfect sense, as Christianity is a very political religion. It started that way, and it needs to be. But just because Christianity was intended to be a political religion, it was never intended to be the religion of the Empire. That was Constantine’s doing, not Christ’s, when he made Christianity the official religion of the Empire. This political approach to religion is part of what adversarial theology means for me. I don’t look for easy or mystical answers. There is much strife in the world today, just as there was at the time of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the one whom we call the Christ.

How does an adversarial theologian welcome the rebirth of the embodiment Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love? This might be one of the few times when at least part of the answer, to me, seems easy.

We, the Church, are the Body of Christ. Christ is the embodiment Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. So, we are the reborn embodiments of Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love. That’s the end of the easy part of the answer.

The hard part is actually bringing the Gifts of Advent into the world every of the rest of the year. There will be times when we forget. There will be times when we’re too exhausted—physically, mentally, spiritually. There will be times when we encounter people whom we don’t want to offer these Gifts to. These are all valid responses, as we are human and humans are imperfect. Sometimes, “I will try again tomorrow,” is the best prayer we have to offer.

And ya know what? G!D is okay with that.

Amen, Blessed Be, and Merry Christmas!

image © James C. Lewis (http://www.noire3000studios.com/)

Adversarial Advent: Love

Sunday, 23 December 2018

This is the fourth Sunday in Advent. We’re back to a purple candle and the theme is Love.

I’ve heard a lot of challenge this year from those who are opposed to trans people, BQALG people, women, and people of color about how we aren’t showing the proper Love to our oppressors. That if we really were the so-called “tolerant left” we’d understand that those who hate us and are literally calling for our destruction are human, too. They say to us that they Love us sinners but hate our sins.

Yeah, right.

But, we on the so-called “tolerant left” are full of Love. We are learning to Love ourselves and reject the vitriol that is levied against us. And so, we can love the sinners who are our oppressors while hating their sins of our oppression.

Yeah. I went there.

Amen, and Blessed Be.

Adversarial Advent: Joy

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Sunday, 16 December 2018

This is the third Sunday in Advent. The candle is pink—for Mary—and the theme is Joy.

I was asked to read the story in Luke 1:26-38, wherein Gabriel visit Mary to tell her she will be the mother of Christ. While I certainly felt Joy at being asked to read, I couldn’t help but wonder what Mary’s initial reaction would have been. I’m guessing it wasn’t Joy. In fact, I’m guessing that whole first year for her after the Annunciation was one where Joy might have seemed far away.

Growing up Roman Catholic, I remember learning one of Mary’s titles was the Mother of Sorrows. In keeping the Catholic tradition of Divine Mysteries, this title was explained as a good thing because adversity brings us closer to G!D. I might be an adversarial theologian, but I don’t believe in the concept that suffering is the path to Joy. Among other things, adversarial theology means find the unpopular opinions in theology and showing to society. Often, I find it difficult and even inappropriate to take these ancient scriptures written by and for a very different culture and try to make them apply to ours. But, there’s something in the lesson from Luke that applies today quite easily.

Mary was facing being shunned by her culture for being pregnant before she was married. This shaming—often called “slut shaming” today—is alive and well in our current society, especially is the mother is a teen as Mary would have been. Teen mothers find themselves in impossible situations. If they abort, they’re called killers. If they give their babies up for adoption, they’re accused of abdicating their parental responsibility. But if they keep their children and try to raise them, they’re still treated horribly by society because they never should have allowed themselves to be in the position to have to choose life in the first place.

This stealing of Joy from these young women is part of the War on Christmas. You can’t worship the child of an unwed mother while condemning those same types of families in the world around you.

I was a teen parent, and the years I spend raising my kids were among the most Joyful of my life. A society that speaks about wanting to protect children needs to actually do that work. Young and unwed mothers must be supported.

That’s how you defeat the War on Christmas: by bringing Joy to people in need.

Amen, and Blessed Be.

Adversarial Advent: Peace

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

I’m a little behind this week, but 9 Sunday 2018 was the second Sunday of Advent, and the theme is Peace.

Peace. What does that word even mean in a word where it seems borders are growing stronger, are closing more tightly? Where is the Peace when the military of one nation fires tear gas canisters over the border into another nation to stop the flow of refugees? Oh, and the nation being fired into isn’t officially an enemy nation?

Refugees. The Gospel of Matthew includes a story or Mary and Joseph fleeing their homeland and seeking refuge in Egypt. Why did they do this? Because of violence carried out by the minions of King Herod, the puppet dictator put in place by the Empire. Why are refugees seeking asylum in the US? Because of violence caused by puppet dictators put in place by the US government. The parallels can’t be denied, to me.

If anyone was looking for the so-called “War on Christmas,” this is it. A so-called Christian nation firing upon refugees seeking asylum and respite from violence. The US is Rome, and this Empire must fall if there is to be Peace.

Amen, and blessed be.

Adversarial Advent: Hope

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Today is the first Sunday in Advent, and the theme is Hope.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance was a mere 12 days ago, and it seemed there was (again) a record number of deaths reported. Yesterday was World AIDS Day. George H. W. Bush died the day before that, and people were telling us to not remind the world of Bush’s legacy regarding HIV/AIDS. Refugees are being attacked on foreign soil by US troops. Climate change seems irreversible.

And the theme for this first week of Advent is Hope.

I am an adversarial theologian. Not because I think it’s cool and edgy to poke holes in tradition, but because mystical traditions don’t necessarily provided what’s needed for the here and now. Adversarial theology, for me, is practical theology. But, this is where I struggle as a priest.

I’m nearly out of Hope, you see.

What Hope can I offer? I won’t offer the Hope of mysticism. Instead, the Hope I will try to offer is the Hope that I be as compassionate as I can to those who need it the most. There are times when that seems so small in the face of all the very real threats that exist in the world. Add to that the threats that might not be real but my anxiety and psychosis warns me of anyway, and that Hope seems even smaller.

I will continue to try. To paraphrase the words of my teachers, “I offer compassion, because nothing else truly helps.”

Amen, and Blessed Be.

Cursing the Transphobic, TERF Edition

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We draw the Circle…

To the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the East and Air, the South and Fire, the West and Water, the North and Earth, the Center and Spirit; to my Gods and Dæmons and Guiding Spirits: BE HERE NOW.

  • To the Outdwellers and Hungry Ghosts: you are given license to remain within the Circle, but dare not interfere with my work lest you be separated from the Flame Imperishable and be forever entombed within the Grinding Ice. Be still, and await instruction.
  • I call Great Earl Halphas and his six and twenty legions: to your siege Towers go! Furnish us with the weapons we need, and send us forth to the places appointed.
  • I call Botis, Great President and Earl, with his sixty legions: bring us your reconciling counsel.
  • I call the Crimson King—who is known as Lucifer, the Light-bringer; who is known as The Adversary; who is Satan—arise and aid us as we bring adversity to those who would destroy us.
  • I call Pancrates All-Power and Paneris All-Strife, the fourth and fifth beings of the mighty Tetrad++—may all rejoice!—give us the determination to wield armaments of Great Earl Halphas and the adversity of the Crimson King.
  • I call Great Cæsar WALWARWAT—who is the Pangender Serpent, the wingéd snake with “golden skin and eyes of flame”—cover us with your protective wings, encircle us with your mighty coils, let us take refuge in your strength, O Beloved Progenitor.
  • I call Thánatos—who is the Angel of Death, the Giver of the Gift of Eternity.
  • I call Mary Magdalene—greatest of the disciples—give us the courage to let our intentions be known.
  • I call Yeshua—the Lamb who is the Destroyer—cast down the mighty and lift up the lowly. Make the first to be last, and the last to be first.

In the names of the Beloved Gender-expansive Ones, I come to the altar of Hell.

There are those claiming to be daughters of the goddess who would deny the reality of the many gendered forms of the Children of the Divine. They wail and gnash their teeth at the thoughts of gender being anything other than penis or vagina.

These lesser beings pretending to titles such as Witch and Foremother want us to live in fear, if we are to live at all. They applaud our death, and pervert the TDoR, gleeful about our murders. In answer to that, we have a reading from the Fourth Book of the Incarnations of Immortality:

  • “Let there be war!”

Outdwellers and Hungry Ghosts: I give you a task! Bring to the cissexist supremacists and their enablers their worst fears and ideas of hell. Break their glamours and make them suffer.

In the names of the Beloved Gender-expansive Ones, I come to the shores of Purgatory.

These lesser beings pretending to
titles such as Witch and Foremother

want us to live in fear. In answer to that, we have a reading from the prophet Frank Herbert:

  • “I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Great President and Earl Botis, if the cissexist supremacists and their enablers repent their ways, joining our side in this battle, bring reconciliation between us and guide the Outdwellers and Hungry Ghosts away from all who make peace.

In the names of the Beloved Gender-expansive Ones, I come to the gates of Heaven.

These lesser beings pretending to

titles such as Witch and Foremother

call openly for our torment and death.

  • Thánatos, I beseech you to withhold the Gift of Eternity for the Beloved Gender-expansive Ones for as long as possible. And if the deaths of our Beloveds cannot be forestalled, then into your arms we commend their spirits. Exalt and elevate them so that they be numbered among Themselves.
  • Mother Mary of Magdala, Consort of God, I ask that you grant us your courage to be ourselves in the face of such reckless hate.
  • Yeshua, you are the Lamb who is the Destroyer, but yours is also the hand that heals. Deliver us from our mortal destroyers, and care for us when our hearts become heavy with grief.

I ask all these things. I ask all these things and more. We have not chosen this conflict. Our choice is to resist in what ways we can, or be destroyed. And for those who cannot fight, I ask that they be protected and concealed from the villains that seek to destroy them.

By the Powers that are mine to command and the Powers that are mine to request aid from, so mote it be!

  • I thank my Gods and Dæmons and Guiding Spirits. Stay if you will, go if you must, in perfect love and in perfect trust.
  • To the Outdwellers and Hungry Ghosts, I give you license to depart. Fulfill your charge! May there be peace between us, now and forever.


To the Guardians of the Watchtowers of the Center and Spirit, the North
and the Earth, the West and Water, the South and Fire, the East and Air,
I thank you for your presences. Hail, and farewell.


The Circle is open but unbroken, for we merry meet and merry part and merry meet again!

NaNoWriMo as Self Care

Monday, 29 October 2018

NaNoWriMo–National Novel
Writing Month–happens in November. You know what else happens in
November? Well, in the US we have elections. There’s also the
International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) on the 20th.

That can be a lot of heavy stuph.

This
year, I’ve been tasked with compiling the List of Names for my church’s
TDoR memorial service. Preparing a sermon would be less emotionally
taxing. But, it is a ministry I will perform.

So, I’m hoping
this year to use my NaNoWriMo project as a form of self-care this month.
I’ll have more than enough things to fear and mourn. I’ll need some
light in my month, even if I have to bring that light myself.