For those who know me realtime, I just attended Pantheacon, this is a big, HUGE yearly Pagan conference always in mid February at the Double Tree hotel in San Jose. Just about every famous Pagan author, lecturer, teacher or performer come to this conference, but as told to me by one of the organizers and volunteers, they always open slots for others as well, not as well known, or in other words 'regular pagans'.
I have always REFUSED to go to Pantheacon because I don't mix with male Pagans, and especially because in the last two years Dianic Wicca, the Goddess only, originally Lesbian led, bio female/Womon Born Womon only Path started by controversial Lesbian Witch Zsusanna Budapest, has been severely under attack for it's Womon Born Womon policy of allowing only bio-female women into it's workshops and Rites, because THAT IS WHO DIANIC WICCA IS FOR!~
These days, Dianic Wicca is largely led by nonLesbians, but almost all the original Dianic teachers like Ruth Barrett and her partner Falcon(who has an Amazonian spinoff called The Guardian Path), even Shekinah Mountainwater who had her own Dianic spinoff separate from Z. Budapest, and also Ffiona Morgan who is a Lesbian Witch as well, and many other strong Goddess/matriarchally oriented Lesbian teachers and participants were drawn to Dianic Wicca BECAUSE IT WAS A PLACE FOR LESBIANS AND WELCOMING OF LESBIANISM AS BOTH A SEXUAL AND SPIRITUAL PATH OF POWER. There were handfastings between Lesbians(a form of Pagan marriage or bonding between partners) performed by Dianic Priestesses and Rites specifically written FOR Lesbians. This was being done in almost no other religion, except a more ancient version done by Native Americans called the "Rope Baby Ceremony", that I know of.
As Z herself has said, it's not for Lesbians only, and in fact to make money, she went out into the heterosexual and bisexual female community and organized them and brought them into leadership emphasizing more the Round of Maiden/Mother/Crone and the Goddess' more pro-creative abilities, than keeping with more explicitly Lesbian Rites. Back in the time of the origins of Dianic Wicca, Lesbian Separatism, Feminism and Lesbian communities and politics were strong. They also were none too approving of S/M/LeatherDykes either or those who felt differently, and Z and I had it out about the Leather/kink issue many years ago, so I drifted away from her specifically. HOWEVER there was NO OTHER PATH for me, because the Goddess made VERY CLEAR TO ME that my Path and Mysteries were meant to be BY AND FOR Goddess only and Womyn only.....so I did the best I could, often practicing solitary, and joining women's circles, often pick up Lesbian oriented circles and other women's Goddess circles for the larger holidays.
I also wanted to travel to Michigan Womyn's Music Festival where many womyn honor the Goddess as well as being in the company of thousands of Lesbians! But that was not in the cards for me then, so I traveled to a much closer Festival which is much smaller but strictly womyn only and for womyn and girls.
I live at the intersection or rather border of two almost exclusive communities: the LeatherDyke community which is part of me, and the Womyn's Spirituality Community, along with having basically Radical Feminist and Lesbian Separatist politics. I maintain my Separatism completely when it comes to both my Dyke Sexuality and my Goddess spirituality and working exclusively with bio female/WBW ONLY. Both of these absolutely FEED my soul.
I am no happier than when I'm in the throes of powerful Lesbian sex, OR in the throes of ecstatic womyn's ritual! I can feel connected to Goddess in BOTH realms, and high for days, naturally. Nothing like worshipping a sex positive religion(which I mean, feeling joy and happiness within my sexuality and ecstasy and NOT shame around it) and in the company of beautiful and powerful womyn of all sizes, shapes, ages, races, and temperaments, ESPECIALLY my DykeAmazon Sisters. Both are intimate and powerful, and BOTH share energy, the most intimate sharing as a Female I can experience...going right to my soul.
I have made many friends and allies within the womyn's spirituality community. Way less so for the LeatherDyke community, and especially when many started going down a more male identified Path. But still Leather will always be a part of me, and those who feel similarly and are Female and Dyke identified Beings understand the intersection of both within our Selves and our Soul. For me LeatherSex is more about the Dark Goddess mysteries and even powerful underworld Crone Wisdom. We all have our Shadow sides we often refuse to acknowledge. Leather demands one do so, and understand clearly power relations and the full nature of meaningful consent. Also about limits and boundaries, but EVERYONE needs to understand their limits and boundaries on ALL levels, not just the sexual one, but emotionally, psychically, spiritually, otherwise, as womyn are wont to do, they will be eternal caretakers exhausting themselves like the good co-dependents they've been TRAINED to be through patriarchy and never having the ability to say 'No' or 'No more!'
Well, I'm seriously digressing in this article, but this is where this article has taken me, so let's call this the introduction of who I am and what I believe in some of these realms and my place in two almost mutually exclusive communities, though they need not be. And if they are part of myself, then Goddess meant for me to integrate ALL my Selves together, as She charged me with years ago to 'be true to my deepest desires', and that 'all acts of Love and Pleasure are My Rituals', and as someone in recovery to bring to wholeness ALL my fragmented Selves. THAT brings wholeness no matter who believes what.