For the most part I don’t participate in Pagan community controversies, but Z Budapest set off another firestorm by threatening to hex people who interject males into her Goddess chant, and I felt moved to weigh in. I’m not her friend on Facebook, so instead of joining the slugfest there I sent her a private message.
Greetings, respected elder,
I have read your request regarding the goddess chant you wrote, and all of the many, many comments it generated. I myself was introduced via Robert Gass and On Wings of Song, and until this day did not know that you were its author. Truly, it is a lovely chant, and I have never heard an attempt to “balance” it that really worked. The chant it about the Goddess, and I don’t believe there will ever be masculinized lyrics which will ring with the same truth.
Thank you for creating it.
As a genetic male, one whose understanding of female experience is limited by that fact, I will respect your wishes. It has nothing to do with copyright, and little to do with your hex; rather, I honor the pain you have endured from other males, and will make no effort which will compound it. I now understand that introducing masculine elements into this chant, which you undoubtedly crafted out of love, is to cause such pain. I wish healing for you, and all victims of oppression and violence.
I will discourage people who introduce such masculinity into this chant to stop. In my mind, that includes not only male imagery, but male participants in the chant. I did not understand your vision to keep this chant for women, but now that I do, I shall respect it.
I wholeheartedly support your right to walk a path from which I am excluded. Self-segregation is entirely appropriate; it’s only segregation and subjugation by force which must be opposed at all costs. The angry comments all seem to stem from people who either A) want the right to self-segregate or B) believe that all forms of segregation must be abolished. Both factions no doubt feel attacked and maligned. I pray for healing in the Pagan community.
May your personal path to healing face no further stumbling blocks. I am truly sorry that you need to walk a path which is distinctly separate from that of men, but I will respect it.
I feel terrible that there’s so much hate in the world, and that it compounds upon itself as cruelty turns to revenge and retaliation. Blacks hating whites, women hating men . . . all at least partially justified, but all feeding the fires of anger and violence.
It’s not my place to fight fire with fire, and I certainly don’t have the tools to quench this blaze. There really is value in going it alone, and I sincerely hope that Z and her followers find peace, not war, by taking that path.