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All Acts of Love & Pleasure: Inclusive Wicca, by Yvonne Aburrow

Reviewed by Nornoriel Lokason

[Snip] I spent some of my down time in December reading this book, and I can truly say the book gets points for more than just effort. This is a book I wish I could send back in time to myself, and it is in fact making me consider giving a more Wiccan-influenced practice another try (as there are elements of Wiccan ritual I have missed).

First and foremost, I appreciate that the book talks about the sacredness of non-heterosexuality and transgressing the gender binary, in a way where I felt welcomed and affirmed in my gender and sexual orientations. The book not only talks about adapting elements of ritual to include LGBT elements, but also talks about queer deities and queer mythology, and brief mentions of historical practices such as seidhr which were known to be gender-transgressive. The book explores going beyond the archetypes of Maiden/Mother/Crone and the Wheel of the Year and moon tides as the dance of the Goddess and the God, but having room for different archetypes as well as exploring different myth cycles reflecting each turn of the Wheel (and going beyond seeing personality traits, societal roles, and other qualities as “masculine” and “feminine”, even going beyond the gender binary itself – this made me very, very happy). With regards to the discussion of gender and sexuality in the book, the one nit I have (and this is not a terribly large nit) is that the asexual spectrum is hardly mentioned at all (I identify as grey-ace), however, I also think that there was enough coverage in the book of going beyond the sexual symbolism in Wicca, to more primordial symbolism (for example, when the athame enters the chalice, seeing it as the lightning striking the sea to create the first living organism, as opposed to penis-in-vagina), and the sacred sensual (not merely sacred sexuality, but the sacredness and power in the various acts of embodiment such as enjoying taste, texture, etc), so I wouldn’t say it was a total erasure. I also appreciate that the book is inclusive of those who are polyamorous or into BDSM, with a discussion of sacred BDSM.

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