Happy Mani’s Day
Disclaimer: The topics covered in Freya’s Chambers include serious discussions of sex, sexuality and related issues. If it isn’t your thing; you can move along, otherwise enjoy and feel free to discuss.
In today’s modern world, sexuality is a difficult topic, to say the least. The issue of gender and identity ignites more heat than light and I am not sure that today I am going to help with that. That’s not the point for me in this post anyway, but more to get a grasp on my own thoughts on the subject by introducing a running discussion. I also want to introduce to you a new topic area which, in keeping with the Norse theme of the blog, I have titled simply “Freya’s Chambers”. Freya is the Norse goddess of war, love, sex, and fertility. It will have its own page and will appear periodically whenever the yen strikes me to write on subjects relating to sexuality in pagan thought.
I need also to point out at the beginning that these are my thoughts on the subject and don’t necessarily represent all pagans, deists or humanists. In fact, that is part of my motivation for writing on these topics is to sort pagan sexuality out a little because viewpoints on these topics are varied. The main issue though is that for most pagans, sexuality and spirituality are linked because sexuality is a part of life and living and thus part of the universe that is sacred. Sexuality is as much a spiritual reality as a physical and cultural one. Sacred Sex is a part of the spiritual viewpoint of pagans.
I also have to note that my deism and humanism kick in here as well as the fact I don’t dismiss the findings of biology, psychology or science in general when it comes to talking about gender, sex or sexuality. I try very much to realize that we do have some scientific findings on the subject that presents both facts and truth in these areas. I also realize that there is much that is not understood, and this dwells in the realm of spirituality and theory and these also factor in for discussion.
One final note, I was very well known as a Chrisitan blogger who wrote extensively on what the Bible says about sex, nudity, sexuality, and gender. I have to warn you that my departure from Christianity has changed a lot of my viewpoints. I have no appeal to authority anymore when it regards these topics. Mostly I rely on my reason and experience on the deist/humanist side and my intuition and wisdom for the pagan side. Some might comment at this time that it looks like I am trying to archive male-female balance in my viewpoint. I am not sure about that but one thing is for sure, that you will see a massive viewpoint shift in these topics compared to what I used to write as a Christian.
So what will be some of the topics in Freya’s Chambers? Well, sex and sexuality are broad topics to be sure, but below is a shortlist and a little discussion of where I am currently on some topics as examples. This is not an exhaustive list of course, but I think it will give you a good idea of what you might encounter when you see the suffix heading “Freya’s Chambers”.
I am going to say that if I take science into account, this whole discussion of gender identity for me kind of crystalizes into a few indisputable facts: 1) If you have a penis you are male, 2) If you have a vagina you are a female and 3) males and females are different. Even pagans have ingrained in there viewpoint the idea of feminine and masculine spiritual forces. It is part of the mythologies, part of the spiritual viewpoint.
For me, it is also a question of acceptance of self. You don’t find spiritual peace by trying to be something you are not. Part of achieving spiritual peace is embracing who are and part of that is accepting that you are a man or a woman. There are exceptions to this dichotomy, even genetics tells us that, but such exceptions are rare and not the statistical norm. The vast majority of us are male or female and that is not just physical but also sociological and psychological
Note this is about identity for me, not orientation. Personally whether or nor someone’s sexual orientation is a choice or ingrained in who they are is irrelevant to me. It matters little to me as a deistic humanist pagan, and as a libertarian, who someone has sex with as long as it is mutually consensual. Their business, not mine. I trust that each person can make those choices for themselves, and I am not qualified in any way to judge them right or wrong in their choice.
Nudity and Nudism:
Leaving Christianity has allowed me to basically discard the whole tightrope walk of trying to look at nudity and where you fall into sin. Sin is gone in my thinking, so nudity is now looked at as purely as rational and pagan issues. Things are actually quite free and open now for me on this topic. Most pagans don’t have a view of nudity as wrong, just sometimes culturally unacceptable by others and in certain contexts. The human body is a beautiful thing and the naked human form should not automatically be seen as sexualized.
Don’t get me wrong there is a sexual side to nudity. To say that seeing a naked human being does not arouse sexual attraction at times is simply to deny reality. But just because a man or woman is naked; it does not follow that they are asking for sex. Some people learn to distinguish between sexual intent and nudity and some people don’t. For me the two can be together, but not necessarily. It really comes down to context. Just because a person is naked, it does not mean that I can look past respecting them as a human being. I should see their humanity first, then other things and only if it is clear those other things are presented to me.
For me, being an at-home nudist, I have discovered freedom I accepting myself to be very powerful. I have to also admit, that I sometimes feel far more comfortable in my skin than in clothes. There is also the dual call in my heart, my inner wolves of need and want howling if you will, to shed my clothes both outside and with others. If my self-discovery has grown this much simply at home, I wonder what else could be discovered in other contexts. It is something I wrestle with because of past religious indoctrination and current relationships.
There is a reason I am not Wiccan and it was my perception very early on, even as a Christian, that Wiccans are imbalanced as far as gender. There is much emphasis on The Goddess and little else that is masculine. Hell, their male practitioners argue whether they should be called witches or warlocks. I just find Wicca to be very feminine and strongly so. It is why Asatru is my choice because it is much more balanced.
Achieving balance for myself mostly involves making sure I embrace the strength of being a man within my self and the strength of the feminine around me. I get most of the later from the women in my life whose influence can not be understated. I am very masculine with all that goes with it. To have feminine perspectives in my life to balance that out is appreciated at all times.
The whole ‘God the head of man, man the head of woman’ Christian viewpoint I have discarded like the patriarchal trash it is. Talk about men writing a book to justify their male dominance over women, and you will not get a better example than the Bible. I am egalitarian in my orientation and that means I will point out equality in both directions. However, you also better be able to demonstrate the inequality is real with things like research. That said, the genders have different strengths in and of themselves, but I don’t feel that one gender should have cultural, legal or social advantages over the other because of them.
For instance, on the one hand, women can rightly say that their roles in society are often forced on them. There have definitely been some issues as far as to pay, opportunity and the like. On the flip side, the fact that men get longer sentences for the same crime and dower laws still exist requiring a man to take care of his ex after they split, but no such condition exists the other way, is also not equality. In the United States where I live it has only been recently been challenged that men can be drafted for war but not women.
Going back to nudity above, I side with the ladies in saying if a man can take off his shirt and go bare-chested in certain public places, so should a woman. On the flip side, the laws are less harsh when it comes to sexual misconduct when a woman exposes her genitals than a man in some states. My point is that the whole social, cultural and legal world has these inequalities and I fight for their removal but it goes both ways. It might be summed up in the simple example we need to move from saying: “it is not right to hit or rape a woman” to “it is not right to hit or rape another person”.
Inequalities aside, genetics, science and such tell me that males and females not only are different right from birth, but they also tend to gravitate to different roles in society naturally. Some of these tests have been interesting as girls would dress up the trucks in dresses and boys would turn the dolls they were given to play with into action figures. I don’t think we can escape the fact that in society women and men embrace certain roles naturally and some roles are just not possible by one gender or the other. We need to be equals as far as legal and societal rights; but in the end, some things just come naturally to one gender or the other.
I take on the feminists on this issue a lot where, for instance, they complain that there are not a lot of women CEOs. I point out to them there doesn’t seem to be a lot of women coal miners or sewer workers either. It gets comically interesting when it is revealed that what a feminist considers equality doesn’t involve jobs that are dangerous or dirty most of the time. It is pretty clear that men gravitate toward the dangerous and dirty while women like secure and clean. It is also clear that on dates, the man is still expected to pay for things, etc. I think feminists reveal a lot of hypocrisy on this one and even women can see it, which is why many women refuse to identify themselves as feminists.
If you ask me the one thing that keeps me believing in the spiritual side of life above all others – it’s sex. Sorry, there is more to sex, at least to me, than just fucking. Perhaps my perspective has been limited by the fact I have only made love physically to only one woman in my life, or perhaps it is why I feel that way. One thing I do know that more is exchanged between us when we make love than bodily fluids.
I will talk about sex from time to time in a spiritual context. In this, you might also see the idea of sexual attraction as well. Under this topic, you might find other things like the effect technology has had on sex, etc. I have had a few experiences of a sexual nature outside sexual intercourse with more than one woman along these lines, so there are notes that could be made.
Conclusion and Final Word:
Throughout you will see me make note of changes from what I thought before as a Christian and now what I think that I am using more of a deistic humanist pagan mindset. I probably will never speak this broadly again and will take one topic at a time from now on. Mostly today I was pretty much shooting from the hip. New posts in this topic suffix will probably be deeper in thought. Mostly though there is a lot of changing things in my mindset that I am trying to crystallize and the best way for me to do that is to put them on digital paper.
Welcome to Freya’s Chambers.
The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher. The Grey Wayfarer.