What's The Place of Gender In Wicca
Gender is found throughout Wicca ... but is it a critical ingredient? And why is it so pervasive?
According to Wicca Philosophy
(and others) the Universe is created and maintained by the balance of the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine principles...
- Yin and Yang,
- Sacred Dark and Divine Light,
- receptivity and activity,
- matter and energy,
- union and individuation . . . .
In other words, we perceive the Universe in terms of a balanced duality ... qualities that move into the world, and qualities that are outside of manifestation.
Now here's a vitally important (and sometimes overlooked) piece...
These qualities are often manifested as gender -- and not only in Wicca -- but are themselves entirely independent of physical form.
It is convenient to call one of these qualities "God/male" and one "Goddess/female."
Not that they are
male and female. It's just convenient to think of it that way, since we're designed -- and trained -- to think in terms of gender.
In Wicca, we use this convenience, without becoming bound by it.
Some Traditions Are Very Gender-Based
Of course, here I’m speaking of the more current aspects of Wicca. Gardnerian tradition and some off-shoots are very much gender-based and -ruled.
But as gender roles have evolved over the last century and the concept of gender itself is shifting, this becomes less and less aligned with reality, let alone spirituality.
The Goddess In The Man,
The God In The Woman
The difficulty comes in when we confuse our symbols for reality.
When we think in terms of duality, we are already falling away from truth. And we compound this error by ascribing one aspect of duality to one Terran gender.
Because there are both aspects in every person.
This may not be news to you. It's becoming almost trite to say so, but not many years ago this was a radical concept.
And on some levels, we still often forget...
Anyone can hold and invoke Goddess energy,
regardless of gender or sexual identification. And anyone can hold and invoke God energy.
If you're gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered, you likely already know this... from the inside. Wiccan religion gives you a place to experience this in sacred context.
If you're not GLBT, Wicca offers you a rare opportunity to know both aspects of Divinity within yourself.
Bi-Sexual Deities and Beyond
The deities themselves show this fluidity in gender, not only in Wicca but in many religions. There are many split-gender deities and bi-sexual "gods."
Artemis and Apollo were originally one deity. Shiva incorporates both genders, in some of his aspects. There are many others, from traditions around the world.
Some of this bi-sexuality is implied rather than stated. Images of Krishna, Buddha, and Kuan Yin are very ambiguous in gender, if not overtly feminine. Even Jesus is shown as quite feminine.
This is a way of indicating to our gender-framed mortal minds that the Divine is not limited to any perceived duality.
At the same time, it allows us to function within our comfortable framework.
Advanced Wicca -- and any advanced spiritual tradition -- recognises that some aspects of the Divine are beyond gender entirely
: Divine Light, All That Is, Creative Force, Great Mystery, Source, Star Goddess ... all names for the Divine that contains the duality in oneness.
In fact, when we look deep enough into Their eyes, we see that all the various gods and goddesses are actually One.
The Gender Revolution
This is one of the things I love about Wicca... it's right at the leading edge of cultural evolution.
In society today, the assumptions about gender are breaking down. The gender rules and roles are relaxing.
In this way we are aligning more closely with Truth. That is, there is no such thing as Duality, except to limited perception. And the idea of gender is a convenience that we use, with little if any inherent reality.
Wicca Spirituality leads the way in understanding the fluidity of gender on a personal as well as Divine level. It also inspires us to reach beyond the rules and beliefs we've been programmed with, and accept diversity with gratitude.
After all, who knows better than Witches that adhering to rules and beliefs is the quickest way to kill a religion? Not to mention other people.
With Bright Blessings,
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