Melissa ra Karit,
Priestx of the Body-Temple
2013 Priestx in the Wildflower Tradition
Isis, the GreenMan, Hermes
Melissa ra Karit is the Priestx of the Body-temple because ze1 believes in immanent divinity. Ze believes that by caring for our bodies, we learn to care for ourselves, and by caring for ourselves, we learn to care for the world. If the natural world is sacred, as we as pagans believe, then our bodies, as the most human of natural expressions, must also be sacred. When we disconnect from the divine nature of our day-to-day lives, we risk livings inauthentic lives, out of alignment with our true values. Placing the body at the center of zir1 practice has been a relief and a blessing. When ze eats good food, gets good sleep, goes outdoors in the sunshine and moves, then ze is zir most centered, present self. Zir great wish is that we as a culture, and especially as pagans, tune out of the body hatred that permeates so many places today and, recognizing the insidious ways it effects us, set ourselves firmly to promoting a body-loving culture.
Melissa ra Karit is a genderqueer Priestx. Ze delights in Aspecting deities of all genders. Ze sees zirself as a gender adventurer, boldly swash-buckling through gender territories of all sorts. Ze hopes through zir presence and work to be a healer of gender wounds, an invitation to people of all genders and gender expressions to be welcome, and a connection between trans* and pagan communities.
Melissa ra Karit serves the Divine as a wordsmith. Ze writes poetry, fiction, erotica, fantasy adventure, and essays on such diverse topics as gender, food, and spirituality. Ze believes that words have the power to shape reality. Writing is one of the great gifts ze has received from the Divine. Words bubble up and ze pours them out, in service to zir community, zirself, and the Divine from which all things spring. Some of zir work can be found on zir blog http://wordpress.com/livingeverydaysacred.
1 'Ze', 'zir', and 'zirself' are third-gender pronouns. 'Ze' is used like 'he/she' and is pronounced 'zee'. 'Zir' is used like 'her/him' and rhymes with 'her'. 'Zirself' is used like 'himself/herself' and rhymes with 'herself'.
Personal Code of Ethics
I bring positivity and compassion to difficult situations.
I make decisions based on my own life experience and best judgement.
I tell the truth in regards to my own words, actions, behavior, and beliefs.
I honor my body as sacred by giving myself the correct amounts and kinds of food, sleep, sex, movement, and sunshine as often as I can.
I seek to spend much of my life (energy, time, money, resources, and gifts) engaged in activities that bring a positive change to myself, others, and the world.
I regularly reflect on my own values, life, and shadow, seeking to improve my understanding of myself so I live in deep accord with my true purpose.
I honor the Earth as sacred. I seek to minimize the harm I do by creating minimal waste, using nonrenewable resources intelligently, and prioritizing acquisitions and use that don't require the production of new materials over those that do. I seek to connect to the Earth by my awareness of the rhythms of the natural world, and by stopping to absorb its majesty.
I foster creativity in myself and others, believing that we each have unique gifts to offer and that it is our responsibility to offer them without judging them.
I treat others with courtesy, respect, and kindness.
I speak (and if necessary, act) up when I see harm being done in the world.
I am sex positive. I believe that sex is a healthy, pleasurable, natural act. I respect the rights of all people to have as much or as little sex as they want, to engage in whatever consensual sex acts they want, and to discuss or not discuss sex as they want. I do not tolerate anyone knowingly making someone else sexually uncomfortable and I expect one warning that their behavior is problematic to be enough.
I give others the support they need when I am willing and able. I demonstrate my respect for others by trusting them to ask for the help they need and believing them when they say they do not need help or describe the kind of help they do need. I strive not to impose my judgement on the help or support others need, and if I cannot refrain from doing so, I gracefully exit the situation.
I solve conflicts directly and openly, aiming for resolution and understanding.
I hold hospitality as a sacred tenant, ensuring that those who enter my home have enough to drink and eat, a place to rest comfortably, and that they feel attended to and honored.
I believe in an abundance-based reality. I know there to be enough (time, money, love, and so on) to meet everyone's needs. I do not believe I need to sacrifice my own needs to meet another's needs, nor that they need to sacrifice their needs being met in order to meet mine.
Favorite Pagan Books:
Isis Magic, by Isadora Duncan
A thorough look into the Great Goddess Isis, in Her many aspects, as well as a multitude of prayers and practices for the modern Isis worshiper to draw from.
When I See the Wild God, by Ly de Angeles
A Celtic flavored introduction to the Craft, including such basics as elements, deities, tools, and rituals. What captivated me where the trances included in several rituals that were richly developed stories linking archetypes, the sense of displacement and community so many of us experience, and the rhythms of the natural world.
Serving Fire, by Anne Scott
An exploration of hearth magic and creating sacred rituals for the everyday, especially around meals.
Walking to Mercury and The Fifth Sacred Thing, by Starhawk
A fictionalized account of a young woman coming of age as a pagan, an activist, and a lover in the 1960s. The sequel features that women's grandchild navigating the clash of utopian and dystopian futures through a stunning rebellion.
High Wizardy, by Diane Duane
The third book in the series, but the story that most powerfully explored archetypes, ethics, and choice.
Five Books That Shaped My Ethics:
Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
Ecotopia Emerging, by Ernest Callenbach
The Fifth Sacred Thing, by Starhawk
Speaker for the Dead, by Orson Scott Card