Genderqueer Ritual I:
by Ing Venning
GOAL: To explore the different gender modes inside oneself
UNDERLYING PRINCIPLE: That we all possess the energy of both genders and the ability to transcend gender, whatever our outward sexual characteristics
SUGGESTED TIME OF YEAR: This ritual is especially effective at either of the equinoxes or Beltane.
AUDIENCE: Any number of adults with, ideally, one speaker and four quarter callers - or one speaker who also calls the quarters
PREPARATION: Find a place that will comfortably hold all participants, making sure each person has a good deal of space if this is desired for privacy.
SPEAKER: Begin by breathing, deeply and slowly. Each breath fills you with air, causes both your lungs and your stomach to fill. Listen to the ambient sounds around you, even if you can hear nothing but the sound of the air as it passes across your ears. As you continue to slowly inhale and exhale, you will find that your gentle breathing comes to match the pace of these small noises around you.
There is only here, only now. This moment. Then this one. And another. Each its own fleeting universe. Live only in this moment, and this, and this. Abandon each as you move on. Only here, only now. Your ego is nothing; it is threshed away by the scythe of the present. Let it go. With each deep exhalation, let go of identity, of desire, of past regrets and future anticipations. With each deep inhalation, breathe in the knowledge that you don't need these things because your worth comes from the worlds of nature and spirit that surround you. Your worth is taken from the cores of stars themselves. Your relaxed confidence, your true sense of equality, is stirred with every deep breath in and demonstrated with every deep breath out. Only here, only now.
And now you are a flower. Think of the color you are, the fragrance you exude. Think how a flower feels, standing under a sunny, open sky. Your roots reach deep down into the body of Mother Earth and pass through dirt and rock, through mud and vast, flowing rivers underground. The power of the earth and water, the power of the female, flows into you. Your petals reach upward toward the open space of Father Sky and stretch through breeze and gust, squall and gentle, energizing rays of sunshine. The power of the fire and air, the power of the male, flows into you.
You are a flower, both male and female. These energies mix and transcend their individual meanings in your leaves and your stem, helping to make you the flower you are. Their energies also mix and transcend their individual meanings in your pistil and your stamen. You feel the fertile potential of the flower, the combination of male and female that bring new life to our planet and sparks the beautiful sexuality of our bodies, our minds, and our souls. The air flows by and strokes your earlobes, your nipples. The rays of the sun make your thighs and genitals tingle gently. You feel cooling water flow over your feet and tenderly across your cheek. And, as these pleasures continue to arouse your senses, the loving earth holds you tight and safe, ready to protect and comfort. This energy cleanses you and leaves you feeling pure and refreshed. You are kind, good, desirable, beautiful, generous, loving, wondrous. Embrace it.
EAST CALLER: You who guard the realm of the air, you are welcome to our rite. May your energy tease us toward new ideas and new experiences while keeping us free of harm.
SOUTH CALLER: You who guard the realm of fire, you are welcome to our rite. May your energy stir our passions while keeping us free of harm.
WEST CALLER: You who guard the realm of water, you are welcome to our rite. May your energy flow over us like the tender hands of a lover while keeping us free of harm.
NORTH CALLER: You who guard the realm of earth, you are welcome to our rite. May your energy stabilize our shared love and goodwill and assure that we are free from harm.*
SPEAKER: You find yourself at the top of a hill, looking down into a small valley below. The wind blows lightly, and the sun shines gently down. You approach the pool, which is small and clear and set among a ring of mossy stones. When you look into the lazily rippling water, you see yourself standing naked.
You focus on the signs of your physical gender. Males, lovingly note how you look. Note the signs of your maleness and, in particular, your penis. Females, lovingly note how you look. Note the signs of your femaleness and, in particular, your vagina. Your bodies are beautiful and amazing. Depending on your sexual preference at this time, imagine a very attractive god or goddess - perhaps Aphrodite or Mars, Baldr or Idunn, Brigid or Lugh, Isis or Bes in human form. Any loving god or goddess will work. Imagine how this deity looks, smells, tastes. Imagine them touching you gently and whispering affirming words.
Now recall that, besides the characteristics of our primary sex, we also have the energy of the opposite sex inside of us. Males, feel the part of yourselves that is female. Don't just look for it to be passive and receptive and slow. Realize that, as yin holds the essence of yang, your male-femaleness has a part that is male - a part that can help you make contact. Females, feel the part of yourself that is male. Don't just look for it to be active and penetrative and fast. Realize that, as yang holds the essence of yin, your female-maleness also has a part that very female - a part that can help you make contact. Watch yourself in the pool as you transform to the opposite sex. Look how beautiful and wonderfully made your new body is. This is also your incarnation. Depending upon your sexual preference at this time, allow another deity - of the same or of a different sex than before, as you wish - to touch this new body. You watch yourself and this deity in the pool as the deity touches you with an amazing sense of love and acceptance.
Now recall that you aren't just able to be either male or female - or even both. You can also transcend gender. As you watch yourself in the pool, you see your body fading. Don't worry; you are still here. You are moving out of your body, transcending it. You are now neither male nor female. You may wish to imagine another guide, but probably not an anthropomorphized deity. Instead, imagine some unembodied entity - an animal spirit or an elemental or a titan. Their energy touches yours lovingly, but in a way that is transcendentally erotic. The touch makes you burn with desire and melt with comfort, amazed that you can feel such things without a body.
When you are ready, look into the pool again. You will note that the body you have in the physical world is once again solidifying in the pool's reflection. When it has fully returned, turn and walk up the grassy hillside, still feeling the breeze on your naked form. Slowly return to your physical body. Feel your spirit rejoin the body. When you are ready, do something to affirm that you have returned to real space-time and the world of the manifest. Tap the floor, shout, eat something, or just hug yourself.
NORTH CALLER: You who guard the realm of the earth, thank you for your presence at our rite. May your energy continue to stabilize our shared love and goodwill and assure that we are free from harm.
WEST CALLER: You who guard the realm of the water, thank you for your presence at our rite. May your energy continue to flow over us like the tender hands of a lover while keeping us free of harm.
SOUTH CALLER: You who guard the realm of the fire, thank you for your presence at our rite.. May your energy continue to stir our passions while keeping us free of harm.
EAST CALLER: You who guard the realm of the air, thank you for your presence at our rite. May your energy continue to tease us toward new ideas and new experiences while keeping us free of harm.
SPEAKER: The circle closes, but it never breaks. May you all go in peace and love. Blessed be!
* You may, optionally, wish to begin at the south quarter, especially for a Beltane ritual.