Antinoë Magdalene

Contradictions in Prayers: Not Cause for a Smile

Last Sunday at church, the Call to Worship had the following in
it, paraphrased from Psalm 146:

The way of the wicked twists and turns.”

And the post-communion prayer
included this:

We give you thanks, O God, for the twists and turns
in our lives that have brought us here to this table.”

The bolded emphasis is mine. When I
emailed the pastor about it, his reply was:

Ha! Nice catch. I never noticed that before. Thanks for
giving me a smile.”

Um, a smile? There’s conflicting
theology in the prayers and that’s cause for a smile? It is indeed
a twisting and turning path that led me to this particular church.
There was nothing wicked about it. In fact, there is so much in the
current call to worship that I find to be problematic that I don’t
take part in a good portion of it.

But dichotomies
such as these make me feel as if I need to study what Christians call
the Old Testament more closely from the point of view of the religion
from which Psalms comes: Judaism. I used to attend Shabat at
Congregation Sha’ar Zahav in San Francisco. In fact, the first
public #TDoR memorial service I attended was held there. Though I
wasn’t in any way Jewish and certainly didn’t have any plans on
converting, they welcomed me into their space openly. And it seems to
me that in order for Christians to truly understand our faith, we
must learn more about the faith of Jesus, who himself was what we
today would call Jewish.

How does Judaism characterize twists
and turns on a spiritual path? How would a rabbi respond to what I
felt was conflicting theologies?

I don’t think it was my pastor’s
intention to dismiss my question as unimportant. But, that was the
end result, from my point of view. If he seems amenable, I will try
to talk more with him about it. Hopefully, we will be able to reason

A Prayer to Antinoüs for the Victims of Pulse in Orlando, FL

your majesty, what happened? Why don’t they leave us alone? Why is
that when we express our loves in the same ways they do, they react
with revulsion and contempt? Why do they say we should be executed.
Why do some actually carry out these acts?

I know, Antinoüs
the Liberator, there are not any acceptable answers to my questions.
That this should happen during Pride month, reinforces the need for
our Pride events even as those events show to our would-be destroyers
where we can be found.

the Healer, you and I both know that not all wounds heal. Grief can
be one such type of wound. And, I don’t want to heal. Not from
this, and not from the yearly repeating griefs of the Transgender Day
of Remembrance. If I heal from them, scar tissue will form over these
hurts and I could become desensitized to these horrors. Do lot let my
heart be hardened. Instead, let it soften. Let it be permeable to
these horrors. Give me the strength to absorb these acts of naked
terror so that I may be an agent of change and hope for those under
the Rainbow.

Ave, Antinoüs,
sovereign of the Beloved Dead!

Cursing and Social Justice

Cursing and Social Justice:


When we teach about cursing in our coven, we tell students that if they feel that doing the curse is right in their soul and that they are completely willing to take the consequences if they are wrong, then they should go ahead. We also teach that if there is any doubt at all or any trepidation about taking the consequences, then they should wait for awhile or not do it at all. The other recommendation we typically give is that the object of your curse, especially if you are utilizing a Spirit (be it deity, demon, ghost, or angel), should always have an “out”: a chance to change and stop doing what you ended up cursing them for. This is the greater compassion because no one needs to be punished for eternity when they realize that they have done something wrong and decide to work to change it.

What does this have to do with social justice?

There are many social justice activists that don’t allow for people to change. They don’t allow for people to make mistakes and learn from them. In their minds, there is no room for someone to have a change of heart if they’ve done something wrong in the past. They did or said something that was racist, sexist, homophobic, etc in the past and that’s it. They are branded for life as “bad people” and are not given the chance to atonement.

Now, are there people who just won’t learn and refuse to change? Of course! There are some people that no matter how hard you try to educate them or tell them that they are doing hateful and bigoted things, they won’t change at all. It would take a miracle to make them see the harm that they are doing.

But there are those who know they’ve done wrong and try and change. There’s a tendency in social justice circles to default to “eternal damnation” when someone makes a mistake. There is no “out” or chance for that person to atone for their transgression or to learn what they did wrong. And for some social justice people, even when you do have a change of heart and try to atone, nothing you do will ever be good enough. For some people it may take them years, or a lifetime, to undo the mistakes they’ve done. For others, it might be more of a matter of apology for an immediate mistake made. Yet, there are plenty of social justice activists out there who will decide that a person’s change of heart may not be genuine enough or that they won’t trust someone because of what they’ve done in the past, no matter how hard the subject of their ire has tried to atone for their bad behavior.

I can’t deny that I’ve done this myself. A lot of the time it comes down to the fact that I want to be right when I think that someone is wrong. But I’ve been learning in my work and thinking about radical inclusion that it is important to allow for others to grow because not everyone has the education or experiences that I do. I’ve learned that there are people, including myself, who will say or do stupid things out of ignorance (and boy, have I done some really stupid things in social justice circles). I have had things pointed out to me that have made me feel bad for having done said stupid things. However, I’ve been lucky that I’ve had patient people around me who not only helped me learn, but allowed me to atone for what I’ve done wrong. This has made me want to be a better ally.

Unfortunately, absolutism happens in all levels of social justice work, and transcends whatever marginalization someone is. Are there histories, atrocities, and systemic injustice that needs to be acknowledged by those who make the mistakes? Of course. But we can’t forget the humanity of the people involved: our own humanity, and those of the people who we are trying to reach. Those of us who work for social justice should let our passion and emotions around our issues be known and visible, but if we disregard the humanity of those who we are trying to teach and don’t allow for their growth, how much are we really going to change? And, more importantly, if we completely dismiss the work that someone has done to grow, learn, and change, why are we doing social justice work in the first place?

problemglyphs: [ASTERION WALKS THE LABYRINTH] Anonymous said:I…



Anonymous said:
I am generally happy and do not suffer from depression but occasionally I tumble into a rage spiral. Nothing can pull me out of it and even things that are happy, cute, or lovely only serve to intensify my anger. I need something to bring me out of it. Something to direct the anger, like a maze of some sort.

[The Problem Glyphs art book is now on Kickstarter. Learn more now:]

“Rage spiral” – I can relate to that.

Satanic SF: First Contact

Recently, Satanic San Francisco contacted the Pagan group I belong
to, ST4R.ORG, about a hex mailing that they wanted to do. The idea
was to mail The Hex of Obsolescence (a Problem Glyph created by Eliza Gauger) to every lawmaker in North Carolina, including the
governor, who voted for HB-2, commonly known as the anti-trans
bathroom bill. Being trans myself, and with somewhat Satanic
leanings, I decided that I would help this group stuff and address
the envelopes.

On the afternoon of Sunday, 29 May 2016,
I arrived at Wicked Grounds in SF a little early, but soon
connected with one of the persons who’d been organizing this event.
Eventually, there were about ten of us sitting around a group of
tables arranged in one long row, processing the mailing. There was a
lot of conversation and laughter. It was really a fun way to engage
in this particular form of protest. As far as I could tell, I was the
only trans person who was there. The rest were allies.

Now, I imagine some folks might be wondering what we as a group of
Satanists looked like. After all, we were gathered in a café
that one must be at least eighteen-years-old just to enter. Wicked
Grounds is a café and
kink boutique. In addition to coffee, tea, milkshakes (!), and
sandwiches, they sell rope, floggers, paddles, BDSM how-to books, and
porn. Yeah, one in the group was dressed in a manner that I guess
would be considered typical for this location. But the rest of us
were just in street clothes. We just just a group of like minded
folks working to protest discriminatory legislation.

This is a group I can see that
I’d like to know more about. One of the members asked me about my
family, especially my children. It was not all that different than
conversations I’ve had when visiting a new faith community, even
though this is an atheistic Satanic group. While the idea of
atheistic religion (a phrase that appears on their web site) is a bit
new to me, I can see the appeal. I’m looking forward to learning
more about them.

Purple Mountain Majesties

“How long ago was it that you said, ‘Life is
just a party and parties weren’t meant to last’?” The man who
spoke was of deific, youthful beauty.

“Thirty-four years,” the Purple One answered. He
seemed fascinated by the place he was in. Was it a palace? A theater?
Both? “Where am I?”

“That’s an interesting question,” the youth
replied, smiling. “In another song, you spoke of the ‘afterworld’.”

“Yeah, but I
wasn’t expecting to get there so soon.”

smiled again. “Few of us ever do. Forgive me, I’ve been a poor
host. I am Antinoüs,
and I welcome you.”

the Purple One echoed.

“We’ve been
waiting for you.”

Revelers began
to mill about the edges of the space, wallflowers waiting for the
proper moment.

called. “Bring me that lyre.” The ancient blind prophet brought
the instrument to the youthful god and his guest.

Prince,” the old androgyne said. “Welcome to our mountaintop
hall. Can you play the lyre?”

“Man, if it
makes music I can play it!” the Purple One declared.

“Then play for
us, friend!” Antinoüs
enthused. “Lead us in a party of apocalyptic proportions!”

taking the lyre from Tiresias, the Purple One struck a chord. The
music that issued forth was unlike any that had been previously known
in the Afterworld. The wallflowers surged toward the center of the
hall, now a dance floor.

The Purple One
smiled. “Let’s get this party started!”

Prince, Lord of the Dance!

Tiresias, Sovereign of the Gender Benders!

lord of the Queer Beloved Dead!