Spirituality is a tough one for lesbians. A male godhead is meaningless and the Goddesses we encounter, and many of us do go looking, are fertility deities or associated with heterosexuality. The Virgin Goddesses we perhaps can identify with, particularly Athena (above) – the Goddess of both wisdom who is also a warrior; Artemis – the Huntress worshipped by the Amazons; or Hekate – Goddess of the underworld, the crossroads, and of witches. But, those Goddesses are not us, and we are not them. They are the products of the imaginings of straight people and straight culture. Or perhaps they are ancient aliens, take your pick.
Some of us have personalities that are more spiritual than others, we seek a connection through something, whether it be wandering in the bush (forest), swimming in a stream, listening to Gregorian chants, or visiting a church. I have found a great sense of peace and wonderment in all these things, even though I feel alienated from the Catholic church I was semi-raised in (culturally more than religiously). I went through the process of confirmation, I was searching for meaning and at the time I was also reading everything I could get my hands on about Wicca & neo-paganism. I felt more connection and meaning in the story of the triple goddess, the maiden, the mother, and the crone; than I did in the Christian bible. Yet, it still wasn’t right. I couldn’t picture myself living the life of my mother & aunts, marrying a man and having babies. It felt wrong. As for spirituality in nature, well, nature can be confusing too. If I really was part of this world, this cycle of birth, reproduction, and dead, why does it feel wrong for me? I thought that maybe I am not of nature but separate from it, an oddity of sorts? What has changed my thinking, if not altogether my feelings, is accepting my own lesbian biology. Accepting that I am neither “woman” gone wrong, nor I am I a man with a woman’s body. I am a lesbian, I am just as much a part of the workings of nature as those with heterosexual biology. Yet, while I have been able to reach a point of self acceptance and pride in myself and what I am. I still wonder why. What is the purpose, what is the mechanism in nature that not only allows for, but seems to require homosexuals to be born? What is our place in this world? How do we fit into the cycle of life?
I have spoken previously in this blog about how alienating heterocentric culture is, and that also goes for religion and spirituality. Many lesbians try to fit ourselves into a set of religion beliefs and try to find meaning in heterocentric religion. Some find it healthy and helpful, but I don’t. I get what I can from myths and legends, I identify with some goddesses more than others and seek meaning through that identification. I keep searching for both historical truth and spiritual meaning.
Perhaps lesbians who feel a strong pull towards the spiritual need to form our own myths, our own origin tales, our own understanding of ourselves, rather than trying to find meaning in heterocentric gospels. Just as straight women search for religious meaning outside patriarchal deities and religious doctrine; so too lesbians need to form our own ways of spiritual connection/religion that hold true meaning for us. This way we can stop trying to fit ourselves into a heterosexual mould, and truly discover and appreciate who we really are.