Can Men Be Part of Wicca?
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Is there a place for men in Wicca?
I'm always surprised when people ask that, but it seems a fairly common misconception.
Wicca is certainly not just for women! There are plenty of men in Wicca, and plenty of philosophical room for men as well.
Wicca balances the polarities... the Goddess and the God.
Who better to bring in the God energy then men?
As long as there is summer and winter... as long as we need Air and Fire as well as Earth and Water... men will belong in Wicca.
WITCH TIP: Why does Wicca Spirituality.com speak mainly of the Goddess, and of Witches as women? See this note.
Why The Misconception?
I think there are five main reasons why some people assume that Wicca is a women's spirituality, rather than a religion that's open to everyone.
- Because there are so many women compared to men in Wicca.
- Because the Divine Feminine is venerated.
- Because women are priestesses in Wicca.
- Because Wicca (at least, New Wicca) is based on "feminist" principles.
- Because some covens do exist that are female only.
Women Outnumber Men
Women do outnumber men in Wicca, but that's not because men aren't welcome. That happens for two reasons...
- Because few men are called to spirituality in general.
- Because even fewer men are interested in worshipping a Goddess as well as a God.
Women seem to be more innately spiritually-inclined... despite Christianity's assertion otherwise. Even in Christian churches, it's more women than men, and most of the men and children are there at the behest of their wives and mothers.
So obviously the ratio of women to men in Wicca doesn't mean that Wicca is for women and not men, any more than Christianity is.
Any man who is called to Wicca can practice it.
Celebration of the Goddess
It could be said that most men get their "spiritual needs" met by worshipping a God, because they can see themselves in Divinity. And because of the kind of "masculine values" that God-worship provides.
So most of the mainstream, God-centric religions fit men fairly well.
Alternatively, that's why so many women are attracted to Wicca... it is one of the few religions that even acknowledge the Feminine Divinity, let alone worship Her as equal and perhaps slightly primary to the God.
But in Wicca both forms of Divinity are not only honoured, but required. It is the dance of the Goddess and God together that creates life.
And in doing so, both women and men in Wicca are brought to wholeness and balance.
That's why there will always be a place for men in Wicca.
A Religion of Priestesses (as well as Priests)
I think people sometimes wonder if there's a place for men in a religion that has priestesses.
After all, in patriarchal religions, priests have all the power, and women aren't even allowed to be "priests" -- except for a few progressive denominations.
In other words, as a society we're used to one gender wielding power, with the other gender being kept powerless.
So if women can be priestesses, does that mean that men are powerless?
That's not the case at all.
Wicca, especially Wicca Spirituality, is based on the fundamental equality of female and male, yin and yang, Goddess and God.
Consequently, it is vital to Wicca Spirituality that power is shared, rather than hoarded. We must all be empowered for spirit to thrive, and for the Earth to survive. Wicca Spirituality practices something that Reclaiming calls "power with," in contrast to a cultural norm of "power over."
So women being powerful priestesses does not mean that men are kept powerless.
Quite the contrary!
With the empowerment of both genders, we each become fulfilled and powerful in ways that were impossible as long as one aspect was repressed and denied.
A Religion Based on "Feminine" Values
Wicca, especially Wicca Spirituality, is based on so-called feminist values, such as...
- Shared Power
- Emotional awareness
Women, the Earth, the Moon, the physical body, cycles, and other "feminine" aspects are all revered in Wicca.
This can seem intimidating to men who are raised with values that prize intellect, aggressiveness, and independence above all. Men may wonder if there's a place for men in a religion that honours "feminine" values.
Real life, though, doesn't divide up these qualities. We must all practice these qualities, if humanity is to survive.
While Wicca might appear a little different to men than the usual cultural values, Wicca is an excellent place for men to learn and practice these life-affirming skills.
So if men are welcome in Wicca, why are there some women-only covens?
I wish there were an easy answer for this, and one that didn't set men's hackles up. But the fact is that this culture is formed on abuse of women, both subtle and overt. Consequently, it's not surprising that many women don't feel comfortable in intimate, vulnerable sacred spaces with men.
Add to that the trouble many men have, with their own power. It's common for men to "take up the space," squeezing others out to the edges, with no idea whatsoever that they're doing it.
Or conversely, some men abdicate their power out of a desire to not dominate the group, but end up acting out with passive aggressiveness or other balancing mechanisms. After all, being powerless is not an improvement over dominating.
As men learn to deal with power-sharing, intimacy, and deep honesty with themselves -- not just in Circle but in the world -- most of the women-only covens will probably fade away.
(See Wiccan Etiquette for more on how to participate in Circle with equality.)
The Power Game
In essence, men may feel unwelcome in Wicca because of the empowerment that Wicca gives to women.
The basic problem, I think, is that we've been brainwashed into believing that power is a win-lose proposition. One person takes power at the expense of another... one person must be weak for another to be strong.
In nature, this is an absurd idea. The whole community is stronger when each member is strong, whether you're speaking of humans or wolves or cuttlefish.
What happens in Wicca is that we are re-thinking and redistributing power in a more equitable way.
This doesn't mean that men in Wicca are lower in status or power than women.
But for men raised in a patriarchy, "stepping down" to a level of equality may feel like demotion, demoralization, or even humiliation.
Most men aren't used to working in cooperation and equality. It really seems to be coded in the Y chromosome to work in hierarchy! Men are taught to take up the space in any situation, and it's tricky to find a new balance... not dominating, while still honouring your truth.
There's also the uncertainty -- even insecurity -- that arises when things change. The old gender roles no longer work... but what are you supposed to do now?
(Is this why Gardnerian-style Wicca is so popular with men? -- because it clearly defines the roles and rules.)
So it takes practice.
It takes humility.
It takes an open mind, and even more ... an open heart.
Wicca offers men -- as well as women -- a perfect opportunity and a safe space to find an authority path to empowerment. Not simply exchanging one set of rules for another, but going outside the stale rules and roles. Looking within for guidance and following the "right path" that the Divine shows you in your heart.
It also offers the opportunity to find, develop, and celebrate the Divine Feminine within you, whether you are male or female... a journey that brings you back to wholeness, fulfillment, and peace.
These is some of the great appeals of Wicca Spirituality, and why it's becoming so popular among spiritual seekers.
Wicca has as much to offer men as it does women. And men have a lot to offer Wicca.
The Goddess Awaits You
Any mother loves her sons as much as her daughters, and the Great Goddess is more generous with Her love than any human can be. She loves Her sons and welcomes them in Her home, Her rituals.
Personally, I believe the Goddess rejoices when men rejoin Her in ritual.
Imagine a human mother whose sons had rejected and disdained her for many years. Imagine how she would soar with joy when they return to Her with devotion and adoration in their hearts!
I believe that men in Wicca is a gift to the Goddess, and to the world.
With Bright Blessings,
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