On the night of the New Moon and the eve of National Coming Out Day, I had the honor of priestessing a ritual for a friend of mine who is transitioning male to female. She has been passing as female since starting graduate school this summer, and now is starting hormonal treatments. She wanted to honor her transitional journey and set her intention to reshape her body with the help of the hormones with the New Moon.
The intent of the ritual was to:
- release the male identity and honor the death of the male body
- accept the female identity and celebrate the journey toward the
- experience the Mystery of the liminal space of transition and her personal identity
Prior to the ritual, she wrote on slips of flash paper those aspects of identifying as male and being in a male body—both good and bad— that she was releasing, on slips of colorful origami paper those aspects of identifying as female and transitioning to a female body—both joyful and challenging—that she anticipated. The strips of flash paper were strung on a cord tied around her neck.
Three of us (myself, a Radical Faerie priest, and a transgenedered priest/ess from the West Coast) gathered with our friend near the arbor of her backyard under the night sky. We purified the space and ourselves with sage and lavender. We cast the circle and called in the elements. We invoked deity as Divine Male, Divine Female, and the Divine Two-Souled. Our friend invoked her higher self into the circle and called upon her spirit guides to help her with her intent.
To release the male identity and honor the death of the male body, my friend pulled off the slips of flash paper from her necklace and read them aloud one-by-one, before burning each in the candle flame. We then washed her body with salt water to honor the body she was born into and the lessons she learned in it.
To accept the female identity and celebrate journey toward a female body, she read each slip of origami paper aloud one-by-one and strung them onto her necklace. We then anointed her body with oil and welcomed her as a strong, beautiful woman.
To experience the Mystery of the liminal space of transition and her personal identity, she stepped into her place of power to commune directly with herself and her spirit guides and to offer prayers for how her body is to be kept healthy while being transformed into a new feminine shape.
As we welcomed her back into the circle, a gentle rain began to fall. Tears of love from the Goddess, indeed! As the drops grew fatter and fell more quickly, we thanked the Divine and the elements, and opened the circle.
Fare well on your journey, my magnificent and glowing sister! You’ll do just fine.
[tags]ritual, gender issues, transgender, rites of passage[/tags]