I’ve never been too keen on the summer sabbaths- but there’s something special about Beltane. To most pagans, Beltane is the celebration of fertility and propagation. As a mother who used a fertility ritual to get pregnant, I understand how profoundly beautiful it is to conceive a child. I’m continuously amazed that our bodies created such an incredible little human being.
But I also understand that procreation was such a blessing for me and my life. Becoming pregnant and giving birth isn’t so joyous for many, many people across the world. In fact, the very choice itself has been stolen from those people. This infuriating reality we live in where someone can be forced to give birth, has led me to view Beltane under a different lens. How can we celebrate Beltane beyond fertility?
Let’s talk about sexual sovereignty and decolonizing sexuality.
When we talk about decolonization, most people think about white oppression. But colonization itself is just a dominance over another’s sovereignty- this includes one’s sexual sovereignty.
Unfortunately, sexuality in America has been catered to the likings of the cis-gendered hetero male. The porn industry has profited billions off this standard of sexuality. So in the age of spiritual exploration and denouncing of societal norms- I say it’s time for us to reclaim our sexuality.
This Beltane season, I ask you:
- What turns you on? It’s such a simple question- but to someone who hasn’t explored this aspect of their
psyche- it can feel quite invasive and dumbfounding.
- What makes you feel sexual? What makes you feel sensual? These are two entirely different things.
Sensuality is a bodily sensation. I can have a full-on sensual experience with my food or my yoga poses or
ASMR triggers. It’s a body-specific sensation. Sexuality- to me- is a mental state. Any thought that
alchemizes arousal is an aspect of your sexuality.
- Do you feel any shame around your sexuality? Who made you feel that way?
- Have you experienced any sexual trauma? Have you faced it in order to begin the healing process?
- What social conditioning have you adhered to in terms of sexuality?
Decolonizing your sexuality is a process. There can be a lot of heavy shadow work to go through. And for those of us who have experienced sexual trauma- it can feel quite painful. I have been working on my own sexual trauma for decades. I don’t believe there will come a day when I can say “yeah, that shadow is completely healed.” The scar will always be there. But the more I work on empowering myself and denouncing sexual shame, the closer I get to my own sexual sovereignty.
Let’s play a visualization game to explore your sexual mind. Close your eyes and go within. In the darkness you can see a light in the distance. As you walk closer to it you can tell that the light is coming from a lantern outside a house. How big is this house? Is it a tiny shack or a sprawling mansion, or something in between? This house represents your sexuality and the rooms within it represent your different desires. What do your rooms look like? Are there many rooms or just a few? What’s in your house’s basement? Is that where you keep your “embarrassing” kink? Why is it embarrassing? Have you experienced any type of kink-shaming? What would happen if you rescued this kink from the dark, musty basement and displayed it proudly in your house’s living room.
Liberate yourself. Have fun exploring. Your sexuality is your divine right.
The Sexual Self
Sometimes we can stunt our sexual growth because we, ourselves, don’t feel sexy. This is another shadow I’m all too familiar with. After having a baby, I feel like a stranger in my own body. I don’t recognize my own reflection anymore. It’s hard for me to feel sexual when I don’t see myself as desirable. So I told myself, I’ll feel sexy again once I lose the weight. I didn’t let my husband touch me, especially my stomach. I avoided mirrors and tightroped the fine line between dieting and disordered eating. I became obsessed with the way I used to look
and desperately wanted to get her back.
Then I realized, I was the only one who saw myself as “unsexy”. It’s like I didn’t give myself permission to be sexy because I didn’t think I was worthy of it. And that’s just... bullshit.
In order to get past this hangup, I needed to express myself sexually. As a writer, obviously I chose to do so with words. But I urge anyone going through this same shadow to work through it with some sort of creative outlet. If you’re an artist, draw your sexual self. If you’re a dancer, create a dance which expresses your sexuality. If you love fashion, create outfits that make you feel sexy.
As witches we can express ourselves through our magick. Create a ritual which activates your sacral chakra and clears away any energetic blockages. Call upon a deity like Aphrodite, Bast, Lilith or Dionysus to help release inhibitions. Or you could work with sexual archetypes like characters in a movie or certain celebrities which ooze sexual confidence.
I hope this sparks a fun little exploration of your sexuality and I wish you all a blessed Beltane season.