This post was originally written several years ago, while I was still in the Sunrise Temple. For some reason I can’t recall – possibly because it didn’t tie in neatly with the Ceremonial Experiment – I decided to post it exclusively to my Tumblr. I repost it here, now, because I was looking to link to it as I was drafting my response to the Ruth Barrett issue and was irate that I couldn’t find it. It was, probably, my most popular Tumblr post, and I think that the discussion is still relevant, and I am still struggling to think clearly in the wake of post-festival and post-tragedy collapse. The below post has been slightly edited for spelling and grammar.
This is a thing that has been on my mind for a while, and I’m going to float it here before I begin drafting a larger post for the main blog.
I know for a fact that I am not the only genderqueer witch who doesn’t fit comfortably under the trans umbrella. I strongly suspect that many like me share my struggle to find language to describe their experiences. The one word I know that comes close to describing the way in which my spirituality and gender identity intermix–Two-spirit–is not mine to use. Being a Classicist, though, I have access to two whole lexicons from which to less problematically adopt words: Attic Greek and Classical Latin.
Let me, therefore, propose a word for those of us whose spiritual genders embrace a combination of masculinity and femininity: digenes, from διγενής. Literally, it renders as “two kind”, but is more commonly taken to mean “of dual or ambiguous nature”. For those who wish to explicitly embrace a broader spectrum, the neologism polygenes (πολυγενής) can be coined: many-natured. If you don’t like genes, phusis can be used: diphues (διφυής) or polyphues (πολυφυής): literally two- or many- natured. Digenes is historically testified to describe Dionysus (citation pending), and diphues to describe Eros in the Orphic Hymn.
So: the proposal:
digenes, diphues, polygenes, and polyphues
Attic/Koine Greek borrow-words and neologisms to describe the experience of genderqueer spirituality for those of us whose traditions do not come equipped with such words.