Articles/Essays From Pagans
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
The Celtic Tree Calendar
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
September 8th. 2013 ...
Introduction to the Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage
The Druidic Concept of Nwyfre
The Holocaust Survivor (Part 1)
Giving and Helping
September 1st. 2013 ...
Use a Flyswatter for a Fly: More on the Dark Arts
How Spells Work
Is It Really 'Energy'?
August 25th. 2013 ...
Mother Nature’s Way: Forging a Distinctly American Path
Healing Moon Ritual
Unconditional Love: The Paradox of Perfect Love
Earth to Soul/Sole
August 18th. 2013 ...
How Not to Fall in the Bunny Trap
Why Are You Like That? Thoughts on Hoodoo and Appropriation
Finding the Right Coven
The Knowledge Found in Silence
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances, Hazelnuts and Magick Wands
August 11th. 2013 ...
“I Survived a Weekend with Galina Krasskova”
The Charges of the Goddess and God with Commentary
August 4th. 2013 ...
Fair Weather Witches
Pagan Studies II: Modern Paganism in the Americas
Pagan Abbeys - A Practical Heritage for Spiritual Lay and Professional Cloistered Communities
July 28th. 2013 ...
Crystals 101: A Helpful Guide For Beginners
The More the Merrier? It’s not Only an Inaccuracy; it’s an All Out Farce!
My Pagan Manifesto
July 21st. 2013 ...
I'm a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations
Rethinking Community for Solitaries
13 Keys: The Beauty of Tiphareth
July 14th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés We Use (Part II)
Pagan Humanism: A Tradition of Rational Religion
Moon/Planetary Musings: The Holly King and John Barleycorn
July 7th. 2013 ...
Coping With Depression: Learning to Dance with the Sacred Twins
Shamanic Healing of Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Humility and Community Service
H is for Hubris
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
When Did it Become Unfashionable To Be Monogamous?
Article ID: 14065
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,243
Times Read: 7,003
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Author: Bronwen Forbes [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: July 25th. 2010
Times Viewed: 7,003
I recently returned from a major Midwest Pagan gathering where, much to my surprise, in just four short days I was propositioned, invited to an orgy, and given the opportunity to play Naked Twister. I say “much to my surprise” because as someone who is bespectacled, approaching 50, greying, and who could stand to lose about one-third of my body weight, I honestly don’t consider myself to be that much of a big deal, sexually speaking. Maybe I’m wrong.
I also say “much to my surprise” because, despite two rather obvious bands on my left ring finger and my continued protestations of “I’m monogamous; there is a line I cannot cross” to my propositioner (who, in all honestly, was a really fun person to hang out with; we had a lot of outside interests in common) did not, as I expected, spend his evenings at the bonfire (s) seeking out more willing and less restricted bed partners once I said no. Quite the opposite, in fact – he patiently introduced me to everyone he knew (and he knew just about everybody) and seemed to enjoy watching me delight in the fire spinning performances.
Old friends whom I’ve known most of my married life didn’t even blink when they saw us sitting together at one of the nightly concerts. One even mentioned that my escort was “cute.” It was almost as if it was expected of me to come to a Pagan gathering without my husband and daughter and hook up with someone else for the weekend. Which is weird, because the same old friends and I had a long discussion that Friday night about how we felt in the minority within the Pagan community at large because (among other reasons) we chose to be in a closed relationship with one other person.
Did I miss a memo? Did monogamy fall out of fashion and everyone forgot to tell me? Am I that horribly out of tune with the times?
It’s not that I’m a prude, really. Back when I was younger and single (eleven plus years ago) I would likely have – no, I WOULD have – said yes to the proposition, the orgy and even the Naked Twister. Funny thing is, my friends at the time (mostly married – some happily so, some not) would have censured me for doing so. In fact, when I was serially monogamous and casually dating within the local community, they DID censure me. One went so far as to call me a “slut” for staying out all night on a date the night before a coven holiday ritual. The ritual was in no way impacted; I was home in plenty of time to clean the house and make everything ready, but I’d be lying if I said I thought her comment wasn’t hurtful and unfair.
But eventually I got married. And part of getting married, for me and my husband, included vows to “forsake all others” – in other words, a monogamous marriage. We weren’t forced to say those vows, we wrote our own ritual. It’s what we both wanted then and still want today.
And even though I have no regrets about telling my festival friend “no, ” I still wonder if I’m horribly out of touch with the Pagan community. And I wonder why I feel that way. I’m not knocking polyamory as a life choice; I’ve given it a good try on more than one occasion and decided it’s not for me. Frankly, I’m an only child and way to selfish a person to share my life partner with anyone else. But if it works for some people, that’s fine. I’m not all that fond of beer, either, despite major efforts in college to make myself like it.
But sometimes it seems as if monogamy in the Pagan community is passé, and that all the “cool kids” are polyfidelious or “tribal” or whatever the catchphrase is at the moment to describe oneself as “attached but still open to other intimate relationships.”
Which, like I said, is fine – until it gets to the point where a monogamous person feels pressured to break sacred vows in order to follow a community standard. No, that didn’t happen to me at the festival but, when thinking about it afterwards, it occurred to me that had I not spelled out to my propositioner what that “line I cannot cross” was, I could easily have let myself be pushed into doing something that (by the definition of my own long-term relationship) was wrong.
It did seem, in retrospect, that had I chosen to cross a taboo line and accept the proposition, it would have been “no big deal.” Well, it would have been a very big deal to me – and also to my husband. Frankly, it would also have been a very big deal to the Gods who witnessed our vows at the wedding. Old-fashioned? Probably. Stuffy? No. Would the Gods have lost respect for me? Most likely.
My old friend even said during our late-night conversation that some people in the local Pagan community had actually shunned her and her partner because they chose to be in a mutually exclusive relationship. If we as Pagans allow our fellow community members and ourselves the freedom to worship the God (s) we choose in the manner of our own choosing, then we must extend that freedom to choose the fill our lives with the kinds of relationships we want.
You never know if someone is choosing to be polyamorous because, say, an ex-partner told them they were a horrible lover and they want to eradicate that emotional scar by proving the ex wrong by acquiring as many differing opinions as possible. You never know if someone has decided to be monogamous because, say, they were gang-raped and having more than one lover in their life at a time is just too uncomfortable. You don’t know; besides, it’s none of your business.
Either way, don’t judge. The community really is big enough for all of us, Naked Twister champions or no.
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
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