Cassell's Encyclopedia of Queer Myth, Symbol, and Spirit: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Lore
Did you know that in medieval French folklore a person might change sex by passing under a rainbow? Or that same-sex unions have been celebrated by peoples of the ancient Mediterranean, Africa, China, and indigenous America? Or that Sappho, da Vinci, Emily Dickinson, Nijinsky, Benjamin Britten, Mishima, Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde, Keith Haring, Boy George, and Derek Jarman number among those who have explored the spiritual dimension of gender and sexuality in their works? While the terms many of us employ today to identify ourselves - 'queer', 'lesbian', 'gay', 'bisexual', 'transgendered' - differ markedly from those of peoples of other times and places, we are nevertheless the bearers of a rich spiritual history that has been ignored or suppressed, a history encoded in sacred texts as well as in works of art, music, dance and other media. Drawing upon religion, mythology, folklore, anthropology, history and the arts, the Encyclopedia is a cornucopia of queer spirituality, containing over 1,500 alphabetically arranged entries from Aakulujjuusi to Zeus.
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In her poem beginning “ Ourselves were wed one summer - dear , ” Emily
DICKINSON depicts a ceremony of female union in a garden ; in Christina
Rossetti ' s “ GOBLIN MARKET , ” Laura and Lizzie drift to sleep in an elfin wood .
In her most recent book , Dear Sappho : A Legacy of Lesbian Love Letters ( 1996
) , Turner examines the evolution of lesbianism through letters that privately
evoke the spiritual sgnificance of lesbian love . Her study of women ' s altars ...
... my Dear Friend . . . Mrs . E . D . , ” described how the women , “ When weary . . .
supinely laid / On Beds of Vi ' lets under some cool shade . " As the nineteenth
century drew to a close , the French lesbian poet and fiction writer Renée VIVIEN
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Conner (Blossom of Bone: Reclaiming the Connections Between Homoeroticism and the Sacred, HarperCollins, 1993), ethnomusicologist David Sparks, and their daughter, Mariya Sparks, have written an ... Read full review