This was the first entry I wrote as an explanation of sorts, as to why I was even doing this. Note, in Pagan circles the spelling of the word m-a-g-i-c-k refers to a more spiritual experience rather than the illusions of a magician. This article was originally called Gay, Pagan And Proud: Spiritual Beginnings of a Gay Pagan however I feel it should be re-titled.
A Gay Opinion 5/99
By R.A. Melos
In April of 1993, a month before my 30th birthday, I was seriously depressed.
Not as seriously depressed as I would eventually become, but depressed enough
to feel the burden of total hopelessness weighing down upon me like the world
on Atlas' shoulders. I was searching for some meaning in my life, and some luck,
and some sense of belonging, and pride. I had a lot of friends, and no one to
turn to whom I trusted. It was at that point, after resisting total acceptance
of the Methodist faith in which I was raised, I was about to give in and accept
Jesus Christ as my savior.
Actually, I decided to do it on my 30th birthday. I was going to just give up on the hope that there was anything or anyone out there who could help me, and give myself over to blind faith in something I deep down in my heart didn't connect as real. Now I'm not saying Christ wasn't real. In fact, after reaching the point I'm at today, I do believe Christ existed, as did Buddha, and a plethora of those we associate with the gods. I'm just saying here, I didn't believe as I do now, and I figured Jesus was the only God I knew of at the time, so I might as well worship him.
Just at that point in my life, one of my few real friends told me of a book by Scott Cunningham called "Wicca for the Solitary Practitioner". She told me she practiced witchcraft, and clued me in to the religious aspect of paganism.
I went right out and bought the book, and then about 30 more books over the next few years. On my 30th birthday I decided to follow an eclectic pagan path. Mind you, I was still closeted about my homosexuality, and would remain so until 1997.
The best thing about discovering paganism for me, at that moment, was the pagan religion made sense to me. Even a closeted gay male has to recognize the impossibility of conception and birth without one of the main components; a woman. After all, as I understood Christianity, Mary was Jesus' mother, and of course God, this invisible being of beauty, peace and light, was his father. Talk about trying to find a father's day gift for the truly perfect father.
Anyway, as I understood, from my years of Sunday School, Jesus was born of immaculate conception. Meaning, and even as a kid I got this one, no sex. Well, as a child who realized from an early age he was gay, the idea of no sex with a woman and still getting her pregnant was awesome. To me, as a closeted gay male, it meant I could still fit into society, not be mocked, and maybe someday have the life and love I knew in my heart were meant to be mine.
You see, I was raised in a small town, with very closed minded people. I heard how awful it was to be gay, and how much the people in my small minded little burb hated homosexuality, and "gay" men and "butch" girls. I didn't even know what the words were, but I was already getting the feeling that my feeling toward guys were wrong. After all, society said so, and society was what you were supposed to gage yourself by. It gaged how successful you became, and what you did for a living, and everything else about your life. And I wanted a wonderful life, not quite like the movie, since I was more attracted to Jimmy Stewart than Donna Reed, but I figured that was the way it was supposed to be, and I had to let it be that way.
Well, after almost 30 years of hiding, and only a few experiments with guys, I was ready to explode on every level of my life. I had become aware of what my feelings were, and put a name to them; gay. Okay, now I knew what I was, and had to hide it. So, from the time I was 12 until I was 33, I resided in my own world of doom and gloom. Doom and gloom, with a hint of neon shades of blue. Hey, it was my doom and gloom and I didn't see a reason for it to be gray and dull.
So I trudged on in my life until my wise friend introduced me to paganism. Being an avid reader, I devoured every book I could find on the subject. This was where I discovered most of the books left me feeling a bit left out. Okay, I was still closeted and had yet to really get out and met any other pagans, but I was feeling everything was geared toward women.
Now, I'm not a chauvinist. I did believe in equal rights and equal pay for women, but from growing up with the societal background of Smallmindedville, I was still not aware of women as anything more than mother, coworker, someone I was supposed to love and want to have in a sexual way. Since I couldn't muster the sexual feelings for any but a few unobtainable women (television stars who were not only out of my reach on every level, but were also older than I), I could only really picture them as competition for whatever job I would eventually want, and of course, in a motherly way. Not as in having babies, but as in taking care of me kind of way. (Hey I grew up in the 1970s, with a 1950s upbringing, sue me).
So now, at 30, I was stepping out into another part of my life. I was still convinced that I could hide my homosexuality from my parents until they died. Then I could just move away from my small town and live my life as I pleased. Hell, I was young. Thirty wasn't too old to have hot sex and a wonderful life without a bumbling angel, and maybe meet Mr. Right.
Amazingly enough, as I was getting more and more into my pagan beliefs, I met Mr. Right. It was the fall of 1993, and he walked into the office where I was working as a real estate agent. The instant I saw him I felt a wave wash over me. Before he spoke I knew he and I were meant to be together, and had been together in previous lives. I knew he was my soul mate.
The feeling which came over me was nothing more than magickal. To me, at this point in my pagan beginnings, magick was something very spiritual. I guess, from the first time I read about paganism, I picked up more on the spiritual side of it than on the "craft" elements. I was never any good with technical stuff, and magick was no exception. So I went with feelings, and mine told me, from the point he stepped inside the door until the point he stood before my desk, some nine feet away, this was someone with whom I had and would share the most important moments of my life.
I was now officially in love, but again I was afraid to admit it to myself. I couldn't be in love with another man, because it was wrong. The love that dare not speak it's name, as Oscar Wilde called it. Although, I didn't even want to call it love because that word didn't do justice to my feelings. They were so much more than love, because I knew this was deeper than a wam-bam-thank-you-Pan kind of feeling. This was the most real feeling I ever experienced. More real than any other feeling I experienced since I was in the second grade and knew I had to be a writer.
There was no "want to" in my life, only "had to", and I just had to be a writer.
I can only explain that one by giving credit to the movie "Please Don't Eat
The Daisies," as my inspiration. And no, I didn't want to be Doris Day. Okay,
maybe if I had her attitude in my life I might not have been such a depressed
person, but the point I'm making is that film, and Jean Kerr, the author, had,
with words and visual imagery, inspired me to reach deep within myself for a
seed of inspiration which would grow into my tree of life.
Call me corny if you will, but remember, I grew up in a sheltered community where I didn't even see a black person until I was 12. Okay, I knew they existed because I saw them on television, but I didn't know anything more about them. There weren't any living in my town, not until somewhere in the mid 1980's.
Anyway, I felt feelings of love for the first time. Love for someone other than myself, which amazed me. I was a self-centered Gemini, with all the negative traits associated zodiacally with the twins. I was two-face, didn't care about anyone other than myself, lied and weaved webs of half-truths around myself to cover my homosexuality and protect me from feeling. In one instance all those webs were gone, tugged away by one word. "Hello".
When he spoke it, I was lost in his eyes. He was perfect. We fast became friends, and, even thought he was married and the father of a child, I knew we would be more. Things weren't moving fast enough between he and I, but they were moving very fast in my pagan interests. I was reading everything available to me on the topic, exploring all aspects of paganism, all the paths I could discover. I was setting up a small alter in my bedroom, on my dresser, and slowly beginning to learn the feelings associated with calling the elements or guardians, or watchtowers.
One of the first lessons I learned was these were separate aspects of the same energy. It was about that time I learned and begin to believe in the Universal Spirit, or universal energy. The power of the universe is an amazing thing, once you accept it. This is something that can not be bestowed upon you, and probably can not be handed down from generation to generation, it is something you must discover for yourself. I was lucky enough to discover its beauty.
The universal energy is, as I believe, what we are all made up of, and what everything in the universe is made of. It is our DNA, and more. For lack of a better description, it is our soul, the energy of life and breath within us, that causes us to live, act, exist and create. For me, I believe the Universal Spirit created human beings in order to regenerate itself, and thus continue the cycle of birth, death, rebirth. By using, and molding, and calling upon the Universal Energy we are breathing new life into it and helping to perpetuate the cycle of life on a metaphysical level. Most of us have no idea we are doing it, nor do many of us care, but we are contributing to the continuation of the universal energy.
With that belief firmly in mind I planned a spell. A wish spell, something I came upon in a book on "Witchcraft". Okay, by now I had accepted the term, but it still had evil connotations thanks to Hollywood, countless authors throughout history, and some very bigoted religious leaders with television programs. Also thanks to organized religions, without television studios, which still wanted money from the "souls" they saved. As the saying goes, "they weren't called the dark ages for nothing".
So, on May 11, 1994, during a total eclipse of the sun, I cast my wish spell to bring the one I loved to me, only if he wished to be with me. We had already established he was bisexual, and had been having an ongoing affair with a high school buddy whom he saw infrequently due to logistics. My new friend had already breached the realm of homosexuality with me during a series of early morning phone calls, and I wanted some of those things we talked of doing to become real.
Being a child of the "me generation", I thought of what I wanted and how much I wanted it. I envisioned it, and prayed for it, and finally, became able to put it into words thanks to a pagan belief I discovered within myself. I knew there must be more to the world and universe than Sunday School had taught me, and I was determined to find it. Self-discovery was where it was going to be, I just knew it. I had already discovered I was gay, closeted, but gay. Now I was discovering the joys of caring about someone other than myself.
So, I stood on my driveway, looking at the eclipse, and whispering the words which would bring my true love to be, if he really wanted to be with me, for as long as the universe would allow it to be, so mote it be!
Lo' and behold, two days later, Mr. Right walked into my office again, and twenty minutes later we were engaged in our first sexual experience of many together. Friday the 13th, 1994, was the beginning of my full awakening to the world. I was no longer on the outside looking in at the happiness shared by so many. I was in love, albeit secretly, with someone who I considered the perfect man. I still, to this very day, consider him to be perfect for he was what the universe deemed I needed at that moment in my life.
I had accepted a pagan way of life, learning to acknowledge the beauty of the universe, the male and female energies which coursed through my system and through the very planet I was living on. And, for a brief moment, everything in my life was perfect. My lover pursued me, and, although we were technically cheating on his wife, him cheating, me assisting by being the other person in this relationship, I felt we were meant to be together. I still feel that, on some level.
He told me his wife was pregnant again, and that it wouldn't affect how he felt about me, and amazingly it didn't. We continued our affair, and even became closer. It was his feelings that eventually pulled us apart.
You see, he became uneasy with thinking of himself as a gay man. He told me many times he wasn't gay. Actually, he said he "couldn't be gay," because society wouldn't approve of gay men, and he needed societies approval. Being accepted by strangers, even if it meant living a lie, was more important to him than his own happiness. At this point he asked me to introduce him to a woman who worked in my office. He told me she would make the perfect trophy wife, and that was what he needed. Of course he told me how much he cared for me, and we continued our sexual relationship, while he began another relationship with this woman, all under the nose of his unsuspecting wife. Throughout 1996, until the last day of September of that year, he and I continued our relationship. I'd confessed my love for him, to him, and he confessed strong feelings which society wouldn't understand, for me.
Okay, so I still saw potential in this man, and I still do. (I'm a romantic
at heart, sue me.) He could live the truth if he chose to do so, and he could
be an honest man; honest to himself and to his first wife, and to his second
wife, and to the world, if he only had the courage to face himself for what
and who he is on the inside.
On the inside he is a kind loving man who does not want to hurt anyone, including himself. He is someone who needs the approval of strangers more than he needs true love. If I could've seen this, or acknowledged this earlier, I would've told the woman who became his second wife the truth, but as I found out after he decided it was too dangerous to have me anywhere in his life, she didn't care if he slept with goats as long as he provided her with financial security and a child. (He provided her with three children of her own before leaving her.)
It saddened me when he threw me out of his life, but what hurt more was the way he did it, by outing me to my mother. By forcing me to confront my worst fears, and helping me to discover that fears are just that, fears, and nothing more.
Fear is a tiny gnome named Nar. He travels the world casting shadows of doubt
on unsuspecting people, and it isn't until those people can step into the light
and face Nar they see their fears are only as big as they allow them to be,
and will only hold them back as long as they allow them to block their progress.
Mr. Right was terrified of Nar, and probably still is, but no one knows it because he hides his fears as he hid everything else, with lies, deceptions, half-truths. He taught me the phrase deny, deny, deny. He helped me to see the truth about myself, and accept the truth about myself. I wish with all my heart I could repay his kindness, (I know he didn't do it out of kindness, but it turned out that way).
My mother has accepted me and loves me as much as she ever did. I did lose some sycophants, er, so-called friends from my life, but they are not missed. The only one I miss is Mr. Right, because I saw within him the beauty of the universe wanting to get out, wanting to be free, and I saw the shadow of Nar casting over him, and him cowering before the gnome of self-doubt. This man was and still can be a fine man.
Perhaps it was through the adversity he created in my life the Universal Energy guided me to the discoveries of spirituality I have made on my pagan path. It was in March of 1997 I came out of the broom closet. I was now completely out in all aspects of my life. I had no more secrets in my life, and I didn't want any more secrets. The knowledge of the beauty of the universal energy is something to be shared with everyone. The knowledge of my own inner torment is something others can learn from, and maybe avoid.
It is time for society to wake up to acceptance of all things, physical and metaphysical, in the universe. Homosexuals not only exist, but are gradually becoming a financial force in the universe. It is unfortunate money seems to be the force making the world go round, but only if you look at it that way. I choose to see the drive for love causing the homosexuals to earn the money to give them the power to affect a change in the way they are perceived. Acceptance of the homosexual may be based on monetary values of the heterosexual, but it is the desire for love in their hearts which drives them to strive for those changes. It is my own desire for open and accepted love which drives me to push for those changes. So I cast a spell. I had no idea that my true love would be to make a difference in the world.
I had been a self-centered Gemini, with no other thought than to my own well being. I never cared for the world, or its charms, and suddenly, because of an adversity which left me wishing I were dead, and rejection of love, in the name of society, a cowering in the shadow of Nar, did I wake up to the real meaning of life.
I wish Mr. Right could accept and acknowledge himself to himself. I wish he could stop living lies, half-truths, and somewhere in my heart I know one day he will stop this destructive behavior. However, it won't be enough for him to stop, for it must be a universal stop to the negative energies we as human beings are putting out. For what we put out is what we are giving back to the universal energy, and by feeding back negative energy to the universe we are polluting our own energies. As the saying goes, "don't shit where you eat".
If I could have one wish it would be for Mr. Right to accept himself and acknowledge himself. Because, in my heart, I know one person changing will change the course of the universe. And, if he changes, then his life will touch someone else in a positive way, making up for some of the negative vibrations he put out. Karma, the great balancing of the universe, will be in sync again.
Perhaps it is why I believe in my heart that he will change and open his life
to acceptance, because I know that Karma will have it's way with or without
our approval. What could take hundreds of years could also take one, with the
simple acceptance of the divine beauty of the universe.
To love what one is, and who one is, is as important as loving others, because by loving yourself you are loving the universe. It was this thought which helped me to realize how important the acceptance of faith is in the lives of all people. I realized man, no matter what his religion, had to have faith in himself. That was something I had lost because of Mr. Right, and something I rediscovered in spite of Mr. Right.
I know the Universal Spirit exists. I know that all gods are part of this great energy, and they are aspects of this energy in different forms. I Know Jesus, and Mary, and Morrigan, and Mercury, and Brigid, and Dianna, and Zeus, and Thor and countless others exist as aspects of the energy of the universe. Strength, wisdom, willpower, love, are all the same things, universal energy. We, man, woman, dog, cat, flower and tree are all part of that energy, and we must strive to be the best we can be in order for the universal energy to continue to flow in a positive way.