Antinoë Magdalene

Saying Bi-Bi to a Pair of My Idols

When I was part of a panel about
gender-expansive parenting at Gender Spectrum Family Conference in Summer 2015, I
mentioned how when growing up I never thought of myself as anything
other than a straight guy. That I could be trans or queer just didn’t
occur to me, even though there were a great many signs that should’ve
been painfully obvious to me. I remember saying that to my mind back
in the 1980s, there wasn’t any way on GOD’s green Earth I could
be bisexual. That wasn’t normal. That was Mick Jagger and David
Bowie and Prince, not people like me.

Today, as I reflect on the death of
Prince, I’m reminded that I mentioned him and Bowie. Really, it was
the two of them that introduced to me that being bi, and even
androgynous, could be a good thing. I was deeply in the closet back
then, and I truly didn’t understand myself. Looking back, I can see
that Bowie and Prince were more than just people I was fond of for
their music. I respected them more than as musicians. They were

I don’t know if the Ekklesía
Antínoou will add (or has added) David Bowie to their sanctae,
but I will revere him and Prince as such.

Ave, Prince!
Ave, David Bowie!
Ave, Antinoüs, lord of the Queer
Beloved Dead!

The Second Degree, and the Western Gate

While privacy is respected in Open Source Alexandrian Wicca, ours is a tradition that doesn’t have secrets. The texts of our initiation rituals, for instance, can be found on our web site. But just because they’re set in code, doesn’t mean they’re set in stone. A recent initiation demonstrated that we need a script for when we initiate abuse survivors, as there are elements of the initiation rite that are meant to be a symbolic ordeal and were triggering to this survivor.

Around midday on Samhain 2015, I found my wife Anne cold, clammy, and unresponsive. Soon, I had the paramedics here and they rushed her to the hospital. At about the time when she and I were supposed to be getting ready for a Samhain ritual, her heart stopped, and she began hovering at the Western Gate. The ER physician was asking me about advanced directive and if I knew what Anne’s end-of-life wishes were. We’d only been married for about seven months, and already we were at the Western Gate with that “till death do us part” becoming all to real.

Anne recovered. Her kidneys began working again, and the after effects of her stroke weren’t too severe. As ordeals, albeit symbolic ones, are part of our initiations, it became apparent that it was time for Anne’s second degree. We did this at PantheaCon this year, and I had written a modified script for this ritual:

  • Priest 1 holds the sheath for Antinoë’s athame, Priest 2 holds the blindfold, and Priest 3 holds the flogger. Anne is led to the center of the circle, and Antinoë stands near her, athame in hand.
  • Antinoë, speaking to the assembly: “As a part of our initiations, we offer ritual challenge, an ordeal to symbolically test what an initiate is willing to endure for the sake of learning.” Priest 1 hands the sheath to Antinoë, who turns to Anne: “Who am I to block your path with my blade, you who has placed one foot past the Western Gate?” Antinoë sheaths her athame and lays it at Anne’s feet. Priest 2 hands over the blindfold, and Antinoë addresses Anne again. “Who am I to blindfold you who has stared into the Abyss?” Antinoë tucks the blindfold into her priesting cords, receives the flogger from Priest 3, and addresses Anne once more. “Who am I to scourge you who has denied death’s call.” Antinoë hands the flogger to Anne. “I have no ordeal to offer you.”
  • Anne is not bound, blindfolded, or made to kneel at this point, and Antinoë begins the Naming part of the ritual. “What is your name?” Anne responds with her magickal name. “Tya Morgan.” Antinoë takes Anne by the shoulders. “What is your name?” Again Anne responds, “Tya Morgan.” Antinoë kneels before Anne. “Tell me, your coven, and all the gods and spirits: What is your name?” Anne replies, “Tya Morgan.”
  • Antinoë declares, “To all assembled here, seen and unseen, behold Tya Morgan!”

This a considerable departure from the normal script. But, this is Open Source Wicca. We are free to edit, redact, and adapt our scripts and rituals as necessary. And this ritual had been adapted to acknowledge a real-life ordeal that has prepared Anne for ministry in a way I cannot fully appreciate. However, I’m her life partner. I watched as she recovered slowly form kidney failure, which led to her heart stopping, which triggered a deep cerebellar stroke. Having observed this real-life ordeal, I knew she didn’t need to face a symbolic one for her second degree initiation.

She is now Tya Morgan, high priest and magus!

Earning vs. Deserving Respect

Shortly before the Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), I shared an article by my friend and mentor, Rev. Gina Pond, on Facebook about who should be considered elders in the Pagan community, which I prefaced with the following comment: Age is not entirely relevant here.” AMEN! Elders do not deserve respect simply because they are […]