Spotlight on: Raven Kaldera

Together In Faith: Journey Into Inclusiveness

By Jason Michael

A female-to-male transgendered activist and shaman, Raven Kaldera is a pagan priest, intersex transgender activist, parent, astrologer, musician and homesteader. Kaldera, who hails from Hubbardston, Mass., is also the author of "Hermaphrodeities: The Transgender Spirituality Workbook" from XLibris Press. The founder and leader of the Pagan Kingdom of Asphodel and the Asphodel Pagan Choir, Kaldera has been a neo-pagan since the age of 14, when he was converted by a "fam-trad" teen on a date. Since then, he's been through half a dozen traditions, including Gardnerian, Dianic, granola paganism, Umbanda, Heithnir, and the Peasant Tradition. He is currently happily married to artist and eco-experimentalist Bella Kaldera, with whom he co-founded the Institute for Heritage Skills.

Between The Lines: What is faith?

Raven Kaldera: Trust in the Powers That Be, however you see Them; trust as strong and stalwart as you can make it. Trust that They do see wider and longer than you, and that you have a unique path to follow with Their aid.

BTL: What role does faith play in politics?

RK: Faith has always played a role in politics, if only because faith creates worldview and is the guardian of values. The best thing that can happen to our country at this time, when it comes to faith, is for people to understand that diversity is a good thing, and that includes diversity of faith. I'm strongly ecumenicalist; I have a great respect for faith of any kind, so long as they have respect for my own faith, and I think that building bridges between faiths is important.

BTL: What is the message that you hope to bring to the Together In Faith conference?

RK: I'm an FTM transgendered, intersexual shaman. My very presence is as an avatar of crossing boundaries. I am a walker between worlds, in many ways - the mundane and the spirit worlds, male and female, intersex and transgender, ancient paganism and modern life, and many others. My job is to show that the great chasm between these dualities can be bridged and crossed, and perhaps isn't even there at all.

Between The Lines is proud to be a sponsor of the American Friends Service Committee's Together In Faith conference. Scheduled for May 22, 2004, the conference is for people of all religions and spiritualities and aimed at creating LGBT-affirming communities. For more information, visit www.togetherinfaith.com

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