Sure, I have a womb, but it hasn’t ever been that useful to me. Not as useful as my feet, my eyes or my ears. Certainly not as useful as my heart and lungs and liver. Definitely not as precious to me as my brain.
I have never had children and am now at an age where it isn’t likely. I don’t regret that – I never had a burning desire to be a mother. Now that I am past the menopause I certainly don’t miss having periods. So why on Earth should I value my womb any more than, say, my appendix? If I had to choose one organ to lose, it would probably be a toss-up between those two. I’d certainly more keenly mourn the loss of limbs, sensory organs or those parts of my body that keep me alive.
Honouring my body as an entirety is fine by me. There is a standard Wiccan blessing that goes:
Blessed be thy feet, that have brought thee in these waysI have no problem with that - although one can be a perfectly wonderful witch while missing any of those body parts. I also have no problem with celebrating fertility as part of the cycle of life. I am happy to honour my erogenous zones - although I don’t actually include my womb as one of them - and I am happy to perform sex magic with a partner I love and trust (or alone).
Blessed be thy knees, that shall kneel at the sacred altar
Blessed be thy [womb/phallus], without which we would not be
Blessed be thy breasts, formed in [beauty/strength]
Blessed be thy lips, that shall utter the Sacred Names.
Of course, I recognise I am probably not typical in my outlook. I know that many women – maybe most women - do want to have children. Some pagans feel it is their prime role in life and that being a mother is as close to the Goddess as they can get. I never felt that way. I always felt the desire to create works of art and writing, not babies.
I’m not going to name names or mention specific books that extol wombcraft as the highest form of witchcraft – I’m not looking to piss off individuals who no doubt have opinions as strong as mine, if fundamentally different. Each to their own. What pisses me off though, is that some preachers of wombcraft don’t feel each to their own is good enough and that I should conform to their idea of what a woman, witch and a feminist is.
Please stop doing it.
Please stop telling me that women’s magic is most powerful when it comes from the womb - or even that I need to have a womb in order to be a real witch. That might be how you feel about yourself and your own magic – fine. For me, however, that isn’t true. I’m a powerful witch, yet I’ve only occasionally employed my womb as part of my magic. Magic can be done in many and various ways. Do what you will, but harm none.
As a woman to my fellow sisters in the craft, to quote Granny Weatherwax in the BBC radio play of Wyrd Sisters: “We are women, the rest is optional.”
The picture at the top shows a t-shirt that you can view on Amazon.