Tag Archives: NBmysteries

Non-binary Mysteries: 2-Solar and Lunar Symbolism

Prompt 2 of the non-binary mysteries roundtable involves Solar and Lunar Symbolism. Which is an incredible coincidence because I was just thinking about my own (probably strange) understanding of the Sun and Moon the other day, and how to write about it in the series of god posts that I’m creating to elaborate on my pantheon (you can find the first one here, that style is what I’m planning to write about each god/wiht with).

Some of the original prompts are not shown here due to not applying in my particular case.

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 Who are the sun/moon deities that make most sense to you? Are they even from your tradition?

The concepts that make the most sense to me is the Female Sun/Male Moon concept, along with no gender associations at all. However, that’s for the actual celestial objects, the literal Sun and Moon. The sun’s part in photosynthesis and being essentially a source of life energy, along with being the center of the solar system and source of Earth (well, kinda, it’s a lot more complicated in actual astronomical theory but hopefully you get what I mean), gives the Sun more of a motherly feel in my mind. I sometimes consider her more specifically like a Grandmother, since she “gave birth” to the Earth and the Earth “gave birth” to everything else, including us. But, in general, the Sun feels female. Hence, I keep to the Germanic side of things and call her Sunna.

The moon feels male. The reason for this will probably not make sense to some, or even be offensive, but it is what it is for my particular situation. My family is mostly female, and has always been centered around the women, particularly the mothers. The women run the house, keep things in order, and are the primary authority on things (i.e. “go ask your mother” was what the fathers usually said). The men are more external (all the women are biological relatives, while only a few of the men are) and more transient. Likewise, the moon is also more external and aloof, drifting in and out of different phases and exerting an indirect effect on existing life rather than directly producing it (I’m aware that this isn’t the most scientific of generalizations, but I’m not intending it to be such in the first place). Therefore the moon is Mano.

While Sunna and Mano are Germanic gods and therefore are a part of my tradition, my imagination was heavily influenced by a friend’s stories of their gods, namely the solar goddess Karijiana and the lunar god D’miezak’r.  They’re both an excellent writer and artist, so for several years I would read and see beautiful stories and depictions of those two and it’s stuck in my mind to this day, even if some of the stories and attributes aren’t relatable to my tradition. But their stories were my first introduction to the concept of a female Sun and male Moon in a time when all I ever heard were people worshiping a female Moon and male Sun. Reading about Karijiana and D’miezak’r made something click for me and from then on I became more comfortable with the idea of understanding the Sun and Moon as deities.

Now to make matters a bit more confusing. I also have a male Solar deity and a female Lunar deity in my pantheon that are associated with the sun and moon, but it’s not certain if they’re literally the sun and moon. Napkirály and Hold Anya are (as far as I can tell) the Magyar versions of sun and moon deities. Yet, when trying to research how they were historically understood, I could only find snippets that were mostly focused on Napkirály and none of those snippets depicted him as being the literal sun. Hold Anya was worse, as I only had her name. Presumably she was not the literal moon as well, because other snippets suggested that the Sun and Moon were regarded as gender-neutral balls floating high in the sky in old Hungarian sources. I’m hoping to find more, but for now most of my understanding of the two deities are UPG. Basically, Napkirály and Hold Anya are cultural associations to what the sun and moon are observed doing, where Napkirály will fly over the Earth, keeping an eye on everything that’s happening and Hold Anya being associated with the tides and menstrual cycles.

To be quite honest though, cultural stories aside, for the most part these deity names are just names and the Sun and Moon are essentially celestial bodies/forces of nature to me, rather than humanistic gods with personalities and stories. They are impersonal beings that create cycles by which humans make calendars and the natural world changes. They influence all of life as we know it, and will be here practically forever (relative to human lifespans).

What bugs you most about the way solar/lunar symbology is constructed or described?

I really do not like patriarchal male sun gods and the associations with order and authority. Just rankles me for some reason (but then again that’s probably due to my irrational dislike for Greek and Roman mythology that was brought upon by my schools and by Neopaganism).

I can’t think of strong issues with any lunar symbology, though I do find the Maiden/Mother/Crone association with Waxing/Full/Waning to be a little tiresome and completely useless for me, due to the whole uterus=woman implications there. At least the earth being a mother makes sense since there’s literal growth and birth going on, but the moon? Nah. Being associated with menstruation is one thing, but having all stages of female life being centered solely on the uterus is another thing entirely. Bringing the moon into it just doesn’t make sense to me.

Do you have sun/moon UPG that integrates your identity?

Kind of, but not intentionally. Like I mentioned before, I usually hold the literal Sun and Moon as being female and male, respectively. However, while the Sun feels very firmly female and I’m highly uncomfortable with seeing her as male, the Moon I find feels both male and female, shifting back and forth like the phases. This was something that I felt before understanding my own gender identity, so it’s probably just a coincidence. However, I always had a fondness for the Moon and the common associations, such as silver and nighttime. So maybe it’s not a coincidence after all.

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Non-Binary Mysteries: 1-Beginnings

This is the start of a project made by Milo of rotwork whom I’ve been following in various blog forms for a while and have learned so much from them. Normally I don’t talk about myself and my own identities outside of religion because this is a heathen blog, but from time to time I do find that my own gender/sex identities gets in conflict or is completely unknown in the religious context, so I kinda have to tweak things a bit. So I’ll be following these prompts, and if I’m able, I’ll respond to some of them too on this blog. These will be part of the “Reflections” category.

First, a little about myself in this context. As far as public image goes I look like a cis-female, since I have a straight boyfriend and my body is, uh, well-equipped for child-bearing. Having a conservative Catholic family doesn’t allow for any deviation from one’s body either, so I just say I’m female on legal documents to make things easier on myself. But if there wasn’t all this social pressure, if I had a flatter, more androgynous body, or if I had the ability to shapeshift, you can bet your ass I wouldn’t be staying in this form. I’d be all sorts of shapes as it suits my mood or the situation I’m in, and I have no particular attachment to the sex that I was assigned (I’m still me in this body, but if I woke up tomorrow and found myself in a male one I’d still be me, there wouldn’t be a body dysphoria issue either way).

My sexual orientation is similar. I’ve been attracted to all sorts of people and gender hardly becomes a part of it. Rather, it’s how I feel around them, or their personality traits, after I’ve gotten to know them. The physical traits that I find “hot” tend to be found in all sorts of people too rather than being a single gender stereotype (i.e. tall person with long hair [when it’s clean and well-taken care of at least], strong arms and hands). Often the people I have crushes on look androgynous and I have no idea what their gender is.

 

So TL;DR, I’m an agendered pansexual (demisexual-pansexual?) who favors monogamy. But like I said, most people assume I’m a straight woman and I don’t really have the energy at the moment to educate everyone on gender/sex diversity let alone try and convince them on what I actually am. The internet is pretty much my sole refuge for exploring those topics.

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Now for the prompts!

How did you first realize you were nonbinary?

Reading anime fanfics in high school (yea. I was one of those kids). This was back when angelfire and geocities were hosting the best sites. I got introduced to a lot of “interesting” things in the stories and they became my sexual awakening so to speak. Later in early college years I started to realize that maybe what I liked about certain characters and ideas were because they were like me, so I started to explore the various lgbt+ facets online. However, I didn’t really grasp the concepts and figured out how they applied to me until the last couple of years, when I was living on my own for the first time and had room to breathe and explore.

There’s still a lot for me to learn though, as this is the first time in my life that I’ve interacted with others over this topic. Previously I was just reading about this on my own.

How did you come to be a practicing pagan, polytheist, or witch?

This was answered in a previous post.

Who was the first deity you ever approached, and why?

Inari. I have loved and strongly identified with foxes for as long as I can remember, and the most accessible tales about foxes for me (again, due to anime and due to my library’s resources at the time) were the stores of kitsune and their counterparts throughout East Asia. Naturally Inari pops up quite a bit in reference to kitsune and when I first started being a pagan (in a wiccanized sense) I thought Inari would be a perfect patron deity. I had done a lot of research on kitsune and Inari, I had some basic Shinto shrine materials from ebay and I was ready. But my petitioning received no response.

Now that I’m no longer 15 I’m grateful that I didn’t get a response, cause otherwise that could have lead to some seriously weeaboo-ish and disrespectful behavior on my part. But looking back on it, it seems like the attraction to Inari was partly due to their fluid nature (of gender, but also of their fluid relationship to human society and nature) on top of the equally-fluid fox spirits, as marginalized and boundary-crossing beings tend to be the ones I can most relate to. That period was an important step in learning about myself.

When was the first time you realized that the system of belief or non-belief you were raised with wasn’t working for you?

Middle school, around 13-14 years. There were a lot of things that I had issue with, but the outdated gender concepts of the Catholic Church just pissed me off so much and became the last straw. I left in a militant huff.

How, if at all, do the above experiences relate to your understanding of gender at the time?

My understanding of gender and gender equality was limited to the binary system at the time. You were either man or woman, and women deserved the same rights as men. Paganism and mythology was similar, where there was an emphasis on humanoid deities that were either man or woman, and were either for men or for women. With the exception of Baphomet the idea of being agendered, trans, or intersex just wasn’t visible, and homosexuality was barely visible.

Over the years I’ve come to find myself more comfortable with animalistic or “force of nature” deity depictions instead of humanoid ones, and their traditional gender, if there is one, is a minor attribute. A few of my gods are indeed humanoid and gendered (i.e. Nagy Boldogasszony is depicted as a humanoid female due to traditionally presiding over women birthing babies), but even then I don’t have a NEED for them to be only that way.

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To end off, given that this is my “coming out” post on this blog so to speak, I am open to questions about this identity of mine and how it works within my form of heathenry. I’m sure I’ll be going over those details in future prompts too.

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Filed under Reflections