Just a bit of history, since I’m pretty much re-building the site from the ground up. While I now have a child, having another will mean more fertility treatments, and a complicated pregnancy, and all options are on the table again.
–Janet Callahan, April, 2010
Originally written Thursday, April 17, 2003, when this project first got started.
I got tired of looking for Pagan resources for those trying to conceive, those facing infertility, and those interested in adoption. Tired of hearing how someone tried for months to get pregnant, did a spell, and conceived within a week. Tired of hearing over and over that I should just take fertility drugs, and tired of listening to those who insisted they were evil, and I’d do just as well taking herbs.
Additionally, I’m tired of dealing with people who can’t get past the “triple Goddess” bit – and who focus on the pregnancy aspects of “mother” rather than other ways of filling that role. I keep hearing Wiccans who tell me they left Christianity because it denigrates women – and then they turn around and pidgeon-hole themselves, and other women around them, into this role of woman-as-goddess through giving birth.
Maybe I should start by explaining that I’m not Wiccan. I’m not anti-magick, anti-child, anti-male, anti-woman, or anything like that. I’m just a normal person, with a job, a husband, a house…I’m a polytheist, an engineer, a business owner…active in my community, busy with everything….I’m a sister, a friend, a daughter. I’d like to be a mother…but my own body is working against the idea of having children. I’m exploring options in the middle of a crisis of self – I’ve known for almost 10 years now that conceiving would be difficult for me, but I rarely struggled with the idea until recently.
And now, when I look around, I find lots of Christian support groups, some generic info. But not much that’s Pagan oriented. I’ve found Pagan parenting, and Pagan pregnancy, but not much for those who face the issues I do. The e-mail lists I’ve found are mostly inactive, the websites have gone un-updated for ages. Surely I am not the only person facing these things….
Originally written Friday, April 18, 2003
I made the following post to WiccaVent (a yahoo group I’m a member of) a while back, which started me on this webpage quest. Several members recommended I start working on a website to fill this perceived void in the on-line world. It’s a harsh rant…but then, not everything in my world is sweetness and light these days.
Date: Wed Apr 9, 2003 9:11 am
Subject: Fluffy Wicca: more misogynistic than Christianity
It seems to me that modern Wicca is, by and large, nothing more than a fertility cult – and the fluffies are the worst of the bunch. Just about every Wiccan symbol other than the pentacle is a fertility symbol – triple moons, moons with horns, the Great Rite and so on. I can’t speak for the BTW crowd on this – maybe they are much the same way, maybe they aren’t. But most of modern Wicca, pseudo-Wicca, and Wiccanesque belief revolves around fertility. Many of those following these beliefs claim they left Christianity because it is misogynistic, but I submit that not only is Wicca more misogynistic in many ways, but it is also misandristic as well.
Look at the main rituals and holidays. There are 13 full moons (generally working rituals that celebrate “The Goddess”), but there are only 8 Sabbats (generally, celebrations of “The God”). So “The Goddess” gets more holidays, but has to work on all of them. I bet “The God” feels left out.
Additionally, “The God, ” in his 8 rituals, is born, grows up, has sex, and dies. Men, do you feel that’s a fair characterization of your lives?
And between the “triple Goddesses are everywhere” syndrome, and the idea that every Goddess fits into the maiden, mother, or crone paradigm, and the fact that all “The Goddess” does in the Sabbats is get laid, get pregnant, and give birth, it seems that the only way for women within Wicca and Wicca-like religions to identify with “The Goddess” is by having kids. What if, by chance or by choice, you don’t have kids? What sort of a place does a childless woman have in a religion where the main way to identify with the deity is through childbirth? What about those who adopt? All the “mother” goddess images I’ve seen lately involve pregnant women.
That’s worse than only having one gender of deity. Now, not only do I have to be the right gender, but I have to give birth. By their own logic, that’s the only way women can identify with this mythology.
The Wicca-like crowd doesn’t know what to do with people who don’t have kids. If you don’t have kids, there must be something wrong with you – maybe you’re not really Wiccan. When it comes to trying to have kids and infertility, the single thread in any message board or email list usually consists of statements like “I did this spell, and I got pregnant within a month” and “burn candles like this, and then quit trying to get pregnant, and you will” (huh? So now the fluffies are preaching about virgin births? Doesn’t having sex without the appropriate counter measures count as “trying to get pregnant”?). When the topic of medical reasons for not being able to get pregnant comes up, the response is almost always that you don’t really need medical help â€“ you just need to do more spells. Occasionally someone mentions herbs â€“ but they all quote from the same book, and in the last few weeks, I’ve seen more copyright violations than I care to count.
Maybe this whole rant comes out of frustration on my part. My apparent choices for having children any time in the foreseeable future consist of (1) take fertility drugs, or (2) adopt. This is not a light decision â€“ twins run in my family, on both sides of the familyâ€¦and the Gods seem to have this rather twisted sense of humor at times (Let’s face it – the family with septuplets took the standard fertility drug that is given as a first attempt at increasing fertility). Additionally, fertility drugs are considerably more dangerous than the average person realizes â€“ and I spent most of last year getting down to the bare minimum of medications in my life, so adding more isn’t high on my list of fun things to do.
There aren’t many so-called Pagan events, e-mail lists, or websites that aren’t Wiccanesque – so looking for anything on the subject that might be related to religion and spirituality involves dealing with fluffies. And there aren’t many Pagan sites of any level of fluffiness related to infertility or adoption. Most of the “Pagan” boards about fertility are about being pregnant, or about people with kids. In one group I found for those without kids, most people were talking about all the crap they take from those who do have kids, and the fact that they often didn’t go to events because of it. I don’t want the rest of my life to be like that, but at the rate things are going, it may be the only sane thing to do.Posted in | 6 Comments »