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 more recent years, Robert Aitken, a renowned Zen master and author based in
Hawaii, has been particularly outspoken in his acceptance of queer- identified
persons in Buddhist practice. For Aitken, "Buddha-nature" is neither homosexual
While the term "sadomasochism" is young, S/M-like practices may be traced to
ancient and primal cultures, where rites include(d) such practices as whipping or
flagellating, bondage, and piercing, cutting, or otherwise wounding the flesh, ...
Gauntlet's founder, JIM wARD, a self-identified neopagan who has participated in
rites inspired by the Sun Dance, is well acquainted with both S/M and magical
practices, as is his companion, DREW WARD. In the late 1970s, the lesbian- ...
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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