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What We Can Learn About Sex-Positivity From Witchcraft

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Witchcraft, is still a big taboo all around the globe. People are scared to know about the realities of witchcraft for they cannot accept to free their minds from the social moralities. True knowledge has the power to banish all the myths and misconceptions. Here I share some knowledge from my Wiccan wisdom.

As a Wiccan, I have seen how people have misunderstood the concepts of our belief system, and considered it a sin. Apart from homosexuality, black “magick”, nudity and the rituals in graveyard, most people associate witchcraft with the Devil because of its ideas about “sex”.

Wiccans have considered the sex a purest form of meditation and a sacred ritual in order to honor the element of lust and fertility deities. We believe that when a person surrenders to the lust that exists within, it takes their consciousness to a higher dimensions.

Love, and its close sibling lust, have manifested themselves in various forms, and at various levels. In Hindi, the love of mother is called “vatsalya”, sometimes love is “karuna”, or compassion. The love for talents within is “passion”. The love for God is “devotion”. Similarly, lust may not be only about the sexual attraction, but also about romantic gestures. In Hindu Mythology, the God of Lust, Kaam Deva is married to Rati the Goddess of love, carnal desire, and romance.

We all are in a hurry. We have no time to do rituals of love with patience. And we are all, in our subconscious minds, afraid to accept lust as a positive element,the reason being that we are never taught the realities of love. It is considered shameful even to talk about.

Was it because of our religions? Definitely not! It was the human mind that could not accept it, and considered it a sin. They say once you get rid of lust, you become divine; you reach higher realms. I could never accept this belief. I do not say that having sex daily will make you feel divine, but I would rather say, when you feel the lust within, let it be your emotion, let it be your thought, let it be your feeling.

Kahlil Gibran. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

The Lebanese-American poet Kahlil Gibran once wrote:

“When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
And when he speaks to you believe in him.”

To people who experience the element of lust is not under your control and will never be. Those who say that they have overcome lust? False. They are denying their own reality. Lust has its own will. It is a natural element and only the nature will rule over it. It manifests itself in different beings differently. If lust was under the control of our will, homosexuality would have turned into heterosexuality by now! If you experience lust, but you repress it, it eats you from within. During my time in a convent school, the nuns I met and observed were mostly cruel and seemed very frustrated. They would beat children with a thin stick. Could they have been uncomfortable about denying sexuality? Accepting your elements make you feel relaxed, you become humble, you enjoy the whole existence.

In witchcraft, many magicians have developed Rituals in which they have practiced sex magick. It’s no different in the old tantra tradition, where the energy of lust is directed into spells and rituals, which makes the intent and will of the magician strong enough to bring out positive changes in themselves, calm the mind, and reach higher realms.
Wicca believes in accepting and allowing the elements to play over the mind. One has to witness the games of inner elements and this is true meditation.

Here is a small part from the “Raam Charit Manas”. Goswami Tulsidas says:

Pashu pachhi nabh jal thal Chaari | Bhaye kaam bas samaya bisari ||
Dev danuj nar kinnar byala | prêt pisaach bhoot betala ||
Sidh birakth mahamuni yogi | tepi kaambas bhaye biyogi ||

He explains that when the God of lust increased his intensity in every being, they forgot about the world, about the time. Every living and dead being was under the control of lust. The deities, the demons, people of all genders with various sexualities, saints, God men, the hermits and the sages—everyone was under the effect of lust.

Goswami Tulsidas accepts this reality that the lust within us activates itself, it expresses itself, one feels it within.
What happens when you repress yourself and this beautiful element? One may end up doing something ugly.Today, we see cases of sexual violence all over the globe. We blame politics, systems, society, men and women. But where is the positive side of sex? The more you repress it, the more it tortures you.

Goya’s “Witches’ Sabbath”. Source: Wikimedia Commons

We have polluted love by the feelings of insecurity, guilt, and fear. They say “We were in love”, but then later it turns into something destructive. I believe that the only reason is that we tried to control the other person out of fear. Wicca does not believe in the concept of marriage; we believe in the state in which the lovers tune themselves into each other, naturally, rather than a commitment that binds them under law.

Lust is just like anger, the more you control it and repress it, the more dangerous it becomes. When you feel lust or love for someone, let it be a beautiful experience, consensually, without breaching a boundary. Witness your inner feelings and emotions, do not push yourself or be in a hurry. Give it some time. Let it grow, and nourish yourself with patience. It will give you freedom. Till the time it is there within you, allow it to penetrate into the depth of our consciousness without any fear. Respect your partner’s freedom, do not make commitments, let the love be a beautiful ritual.

Friedrich Nietzsche, a great philosopher, said: “That which is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil.

I have said enough about Love, now let it speak for you. Free yourself from moralities and allow your awareness to feel what is natural within you. I can never teach you to love, only love will teach you about itself. Love will light the way, all you have to do is follow it.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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