Green Frog Cafe

"Living in nature, listening to the rain, Green Frog Cafe, that's where I want to be. The hemlocks are green, the creek is tricklin, there's geese on the pond, the forest sighs. Green Frog Cafe that's where I want to be, home of my soul, spirit of the mountains." Ruminations of Rhona McMahan

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Reflection on Spiritual Meaning of Gender Conforming SurgeryTransition

I wrote a response to a discussion on the yahoogroup at . I have copied and pasted it here as I sent it out on the list

Brooklyn, 12/15/2006

Dear Helen,

Welcome to this group. I am also a relatively new member, and participate rarely in the discussion although I read all posts. I am very interested in the discussion on handling "transition" from the standpoint of spirituality and rituals. The discussion seems to focus on the time of SRS, which to me does not encompass the commonly accepted definition of transition, which focuses more on the transition of social perceptions. Nevertheless, a key time in my transition was having what was then called SRS in Brussels in July 1995. I was 54 at the time. I was only vaguely aware of the historical Cybele at the time, although I had a sense of trans spirituality and spiritual calling related more to participation in Wiccan ceremonies, and reading about Two-spirit people among the indigenous people of North American.

I went through the SRS experience jointly with my partner, Chelsea Goodwin who at that time already had a long formation in pagan thought and practice. I cannot recall that we did anything that was conscious ritual during the period immediately before or after our SRS, although Chelsea may have a better memory about this than I. There were, however, many aspects of the days immediately before and after our operations which had a powerful spiritual content.

The first thing to mention is that Chelsea practices tantric sex magic (raises magical energy through lovemaking). We made love many times in the days before our surgery, lying together in our little hotel in Brussels, and during our quick trip to Paris before surgery. In Paris we naturally went to the Louvre, and there stumbled upon the famous hermaphrodite sculpture. We stayed near the sculpture for about an hour, thinking about what we were and what we were about to go through, and listening to the comments of the crowd filing past the work. We both felt a tremendous visceral affinity to "our" hermaphrodite.

Later we went to the Pere Lachaise cemetery and communed at the graves of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, whom we have always felt to be our role models and spiritual sisters. We also spent many quiet moments at the grave of Oscar Wilde. The height of our sense of connection with the spirits was at the grave of Jim Morrison, where Chelsea went into a kind of otherworldly trance at the graveside: the crowds fell back, the wind suddenly gusted fiercely, wild thunder clapped. The crowds, the guards, and I looked on in awe as the wind whipped Chelsea's diaphanous dress around her slender body, and her hair whipped behind her head. For a moment she seemed to be a towering bird of prey speaking directly to Morrison's spirit. Torrential rains suddenly inundated the cemetery, and we all dispersed among the grave markers, where Chelsea and I huddled together in a powerful embrace as the rain washed over us.

In the hours before surgery back in Brussels I wrote letters to each of my three children, telling them that I loved them dearly. Chelsea and I kissed, and we prepared for my death (or possible new life) by holding hands in quiet conversation.

On the day after my surgery, Chelsea, alone in the hotel, prepared for hers by writing to me plighting her love, and giving me instructions for her funeral.

When I awoke from surgery Chelsea was there waiting to give me a kiss. When she awoke I was bedridden, but we lay together in our hospital beds, side by side, and laughed with each other.

As I awoke I had the distinct sense of being born again.

I feel that my "day of blood" as we call it was not a sacrifice in any sense, but rather a movement toward the goddess by aligning myself more in keeping with my nature as I was born into this world. Spirituality to me is involved with centering and finding the sweet spot of alignment with the natural flows of the universe.

Rhona McMahan

--- In, "Helen Metzger" wrote:

QUOTE>> So I was curious. I am aware than many of you are not transgendered, pagan or priestesses, but I am also sure that many of you are (probably all three). I have had a burning question on my mind for a few years now, but I am not sure how I will ask it. Here's a go at it: How do many of you ritually handle the issue of transition? In the past people have done this many ways; either though days of celebration ending in the inevitable deed, or though prayer and devotion to the goddess leading to the swift blade of the midwife and spiritual union with the Mother. I am sure the methods used in days past are vast and cannot easily be accounted for, but I think the Truth shines clearly. In modern times the process is entirely regulated by our system of allopathic medicine. I feel that this system severs us from our spiritual roots and makes us another "diseased" patient and in need of their "cure". I could probably go so far as to say that our current medical system goes out of its way to remove all traces of anything that could be construed as Spiritual.

How do you integrate this? We follow a divine calling, I do not need to research anymore to know this much. How is this manifested in our ultimate change? How do we integrate the profound change of our world, with the physical change of sex and our spiritual calling?

A teacher of mine once told me that the things around us and in the world are merely reflections of all that is in the heavens and that all that is in heaven is a reflection of worldly things. I feel that our challenges have a very clear reflection in the Mother, but I am curious if anybody has found a way to reflect the process of change itself?



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