Neopagan views of homosexualityThroughout most of Wicca and Neopaganism, homosexuality is not considered an issue. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are almost always welcomed in individual communities, covens, study groups, and circles. Many Queer Neo-Pagans take to Neo-Pagan religions specifically in order to get away from what they see as homophobic pressure in their original religion to one in which their relationships are seen on an equal footing.
One qualified exception is Gardnerian Wicca and other relatively traditional groups. Gardnerians do not make any moral judgements about homosexual people, but they usually form their covens from male-female pairs.
Most traditional Wiccans worship the God and Goddess. Many traditional Wiccan covens are made up of equal numbers of men and women emphasizing the importance of balance between the male and female. This balance extends sexually as well, and there are probably around the same or greater percentage of homosexuals practicing traditional Wicca, as the percentage of homosexuals in the population at large. But this can sometimes be a practical obstacle to gay people wishing to join those circles, but it is an obstacle often shared by single people. The actual sexual orientation of the individual is not an issue.
Another exception is Dianic Wicca (also known as Women's Spirituality), a branch of Wicca practiced almost exclusively by women, many of them lesbian. Dianic Wiccans worship a Goddess but no God, and form female-only covens. Many Dianic Wiccans are lesbians; Many lesbians become Dianic Wiccans as it is a religion that not only welcomes them, but treats them as the norm. Much of the literature written for Dianic Wiccans address the reader with the assumption that she is lesbian. Although Dianic Wicca consists largely of a lesbian population, heterosexual women are not in any way stigmatized or discriminated against. Dianic Wiccans perform many lesbian handfastings every year.
In the 1970s when the Dianic Wicca movement began, traditional Wiccans were often very upset by it. Dianic Wiccans were excluded from large Neo-pagan gatherings, were threatened, had their circles broken up, and in some cases attacked by non-Dianic Wiccans. It is unclear at this time whether the contention was over the exclusion of men from their beliefs, their sexual orientation, or both. The anger between the two groups died down after the 1970s and now traditional Wiccans and Dianic Wiccans frequently work side-by-side at large neo-pagan festivals.
Another branch of Wicca has provided a home for many Neo-Pagan homosexual men. The Faery Wicca tradition is very open to all sexual orientations and some sources encourage bisexuality during rituals to reach states of ecstasy. Faery Wiccan covens of gay men only have been formed and are readily accepted among the larger group of Faery Wiccans. Both heterosexual and homosexual couples are married and handfasted in Faery Wiccan ceremonies every year.
Many Neopagan gods and goddesses are seen as bisexual or gay. The Neopagan pantheon includes many gay themes. A few of them are:
- Apollo is known for having sexual relationships with men. Hyacinth was one of his lovers. When Hyacinth, died, Apollo created the flower from his blood. Hyacinth became the patron of gay love.
- Astarte, the Great Mother, is sometimes a hermaphrodite. Her temple staff included a caste of gay male priests called the kelabim.
- Pan, the patron god of shepherds and god of nature, is famous for his sexual prowess with both maidens and shepherds.
- Zeus had many homosexual liaisons, notably Ganymede, his cupbearer.