Hello! I am still fairly new to witchcraft, and have only ever practiced on my own before. Some friends invited me to a Beltane celebration, and I am excited to participate! However, from what I've seen of the traditional practices, it seems to be a very heterosexual- central holiday with many of the traditions celebrating fertility or phallic symbols... do you have any advice for ways a wlw like me can celebrate to the fullest while still feeling like I belong there? Sorry if this makes nosense
It makes total sense and I totally hear where you are coming from. The Sabbats–from what I understand–are kind of a Wiccan thing (Wicca = a religion, not the whole of witchcraft, which is itself a secular practice). Wicca tends to be quite heteronormative–that being said there are Wiccans who aren’t so focused on that. (If any followers want to recommend any resources, please feel free)
From what I understand, Beltane is more than just the heteronormative phallic & fertility thing. I think of fertility in a general sense–a fertile and creative mind for instance. Beltane is a great time to focus on reaffirming and nurturing any goals you have for yourself. I also see a lot about home-making, settling, feasting and comfort. Of course it is very much about activities of pleasure, love, handfasting etc. etc. but it doesn’t inherently have to be associated with heterosexuality. It is also a time where The Veil is thin (like Samhain, but with the faefolk instead of ghosts).
Here’s a few relevant posts that I dug up:
http://queerkitchenwitch.tumblr.com/post/101293020305/hi-my-roommate-recommended-a-beginners-wicca (I haven’t gone through the links here yet but it seems relevant)
http://queerkitchenwitch.tumblr.com/tagged/community-stuff (This is my tag for anything witch-community related, including discussions about heteronormativity).
http://queerkitchenwitch.tumblr.com/post/102438623834/phillypagan-turnedtostardust-im-sorry-is (Ideas on how to make neo-wicca more accepting)
I’ve probably reblogged more about this in the past, I just can’t find it right now. I hope that was helpful? There’s a lot of people here that actively work against the heavy heterosexual tones in Wicca. The main reason I decided to not go down the Wiccan path was due to the heteronormativity (and how gendered everything is). So I can’t really advise you too well on how to belong when I jumped ship lol. Definitely check the notes on this post later though, because I’m sure some of my followers will recommend some helpful things because they’re awesome.
Thanks for the great question!