Sacred They: The Clitorophallic God
Victor Henry Anderson, poet, pagan, and priest of the craft, referred to God as "Clitorophallic," suggesting a power without gender conformity. A natural, all-encompassing energy with endless form.
As a child, I didn't feel a specific association with gender. I didn't think I was female, I didn't think I was male. I thought I was a witch, and founded my own pre-teen club for vampires. Attending a catholic elementary school, this didn't go over terribly well; but better to be something seemingly fictional than sinful. Imagine if I had suggested God were without gender, or even queer.
In junior high, I become increasingly aware of sexuality. It sprouted up during school dances, sleepovers, talk in the hallways, Mtv, that one scene in Being John Malkovich, after-school water polo practice - the windows of opportunity were endless. Sexuality seemed to be everywhere; even science class. The more I learned about the reproductive and sexual nature of plants and animals, the more interested I became in our planet. As I grew, I realized that sexuality was a varied experience, not only in nature but for me as well. Flora and fauna alike do not simply focus on like finding like. There is often much effort and consideration gone into picking a partner. There are lifelong monogamous partnerships, passive encounters, polyamory, and a great deal of enjoyment and community that isn't covered in Biology 101. In high school, I adopted the term "bi-personable" for myself. I felt that agreeing to my identity in an exclusively sex-focused way was overly primal and clinical. I wasn't looking at one facet of attraction. From a more holistic standpoint, I wanted to discover how I felt with a person- regardless of gender or identity.
Thanks to my early monotheistic schooling and Atheist aunt and uncle, (who discouraged me to fall for religion and in so doing, created a Big Red Button out of Catholicism) , I became fascinated with the Bible, which states we were "made in Gods image." I happen to believe this is true. God is an abstract personal experience, containing all that has been, and all that is possible. Cultures around the world and throughout time have had many names for them. There have been the sacred animus in endless forms, gods of elements, of earthly and cosmic powers, masculine and feminine gods, some giving birth to themselves in different forms, some without gender - or with all gender, and all possibility. Divinity has no limits, and has been trying to tell us through out own potential for a long, long time.
The conversation of gender and the land is beginning to rise from the dead. God is waking up, and they exist through clusters of conversation, of love, anger, and creativity. Decolonization not only means removing the invasive plants, but also uprooting the biases, limitations, and aggression through the harsh scope of Religion and Government, both depicting power as Male. Nature is called Mother. Why? Is it perhaps because nature expresses methods that seem to oppose the ones currently fixed into place? While we exist in a world constructed by and for masculine energy gone awry, that which is different, or more sensible - seems female. We are slowly beginning to curb our long-time training of thinking in such extremes.
Very recently, some curious and wonderful news passed under the radar: the U.S. Episcopal Diocese passed a resolution to end the use of masculine or gendered pronouns for God, deciding that to do so limits the understanding and scope of what The Divine is in their wholeness. To refer to the Sacred as He or She as a whole is incomplete, though perhaps we are approached differently in any given moment. Nature has their pronouns and we receive them individually. They freely change and guide us. This is holy communion.
When walking through any greenhouse or garden, it becomes blindingly clear that nature is genderless. Or, perhaps better to say it contains all genders, and all possibilities. Flowers protrude from themselves - stamens and pistils working together to create life. When witnessing creation on a greater scale, we begin seeing this everywhere, from sexually-inventive and intelligent dolphins, to childbearing male seahorses, to self-pollinating plants and flowers, to 18th century men's daywear.
Whether or not we want to acknowledge it, non-conformity or familiarity with singular gender identity is nothing new. It's amazing to think that not that long ago, I would be criticized for my simple outfit of jeans, a sweater, and lace-up boots. Social norms have become more rigid, taking the place of practical self-referral and the largely original notion of fluidity. Much of what bolsters gender now is artfully crafted social constructs, while the part we feel regardless of style or adornment, exists within.