A subject I have thought about for a long time, since I last saw a few articles/essays on the subject from a few websites.
I also base this writing on some unflattering personal experiences I had with several different groups I was formerly a member. I also reach out to those who continue what should be “scrap-heaped” a “dogma” that really has no basis in actual, ancient history. Of course, I expect the usual flow of condemnation and condescension by those who are fearful and/or unwilling to take a different view of the matter. This has much to do with why I also decided, years ago, to leave behind most of the “New Age” groups and their idealistic but, questionable philosophies. So . . . “Let ‘er rip”, if you feel you must, but I stand by my words, and fully by my own experiences.
In order to more fully appreciate Nature, and the Powers vested within,
One simply must concede that all things in Nature, and beyond the limited understanding of mankind, that there must be two opposite sides to the entire spectrum of Creation. These polar opposites are what represent the extreme boundaries in which all things Created and/or imagined must exist. “To Everything that casts its Light, Shall also cast a Shadow in its wake.” – Dragon’s Eye
Even here on Earth, Night is just as important as Day, as they BOTH represent the necessary cycles-in-action (Dragonic: “Zhukaya”) that are required for Life to develop and grow. No one is more important than the other, as a lack of either means that Nature (again, here on Earth, anyway) is incomplete and Life would not be possible (to our understanding).
Life can not have meaning, or even know of itself, without the equal presence of Death. Nature recognizes that every Beginning, must have its End. Just as Creation will always, at some time uncertain, be followed inevitably by Destruction. They are BOTH important, and both serve the purpose of the Cycles-in-Action that Nature demands. “Life and Death, Walk Hand-in-Hand, as Brother and Sister. The one can not know itself, without the other.” – Dragon’s Eye
Our ancient Pagan (and Astro-Shamanic . . .) ancestors knew these truths intuitively, and probably instinctively.
They were aware of the forces of Nature, and of the balance between Life and Death as necessary outcomes in the whole of Creation. They also recognized the importance of respecting both as equals in the Natural Law. Many of the Pantheistic cultures even had various deities (of the Male God(s) and Female Goddess(es) type) vividly pictured in their ancient legends and lore. BOTH, in their representative sexes, were regarded as very powerful in their own particular ways, and both were to be respected and/or feared. They were often the depictions of the various powerful forces of Nature.
Some of the deities of old may have even been seen as capable of changing their “polarities” based on some hidden or unknown cause or event, or as the need arises. Most interesting of this case, would come from some of those particular deities who were thought to be equally powerful in either extreme. Some of these dual-natured deities were often thought of as “standing for balance” in Nature. Abraxis (or Abrasax) comes to mind in this example. Though we may refer to Abraxis as a “He”. Abraxis was actually known as a hermaphroditic deity (having some of characteristics of both the sexes), who could called upon for raising either energies. Abraxis depictions often show “him” holding a rod in one hand, and a circle (or hoop?) in the other. The rod may likely represent the Male Powers, and the Circle, the Female Powers. There again, leave it up to your own research, if you wish.
” The Sun belongs to the God, but the Moon belongs to the Goddess. “
This is what I saw stated, emphatically, on a website as if this were “law”, and no discussion about it needed, nor warranted. Now, everyone has the right to an opinion and a differing view of things, but when such opinionated, impassioned statements are geared towards shaming others into either “complying” with this one-sided view, or just “tuning out” altogether; We have a problem. At least I do, especially when such as stated could have been represented as the author’s own opinion, rather than to demean the differing views. Unfortunately, that website was not a blog, and no commentary would have been possible for bringing up discussion. (Some would rather have it that way anyway.)
To “debunk” this one-sided view, for the sake of scholarly discussion, all one has to research are the past cultures who developed into Pantheistic (worshiping plural deities) like the Egyptian Kemetics, some of the Northern Celtic and Celto-Germanic belief systems, the ancient Greeks (obviously), and the ancient Roman Pantheon. The answers should be rather obvious as to these cultures’ views on the importance of BOTH Gods and Goddesses, and their roles in their cultures. Just implying the basis that the Moon, for instance, relates only to the Goddess(es) and femininity in general (all because of the Moon’s “monthly cycles”), leaves out any discussion on how the Lunar Cycles may also affect men and other males of their kind. The Sun’s cyclic (seasonal) effects are also felt by BOTH males and females in the same vein.
This thinking of the “New Age” movement, that places the feminine aspect as superior to the masculine aspect, makes about as much rational and reasonable sense, as the faults of the early Sun Cults’ and later, their Abrahamic derivatives’ thinking of the “all-powerful father” minus any aspect of the feminine deities! BOTH systems refused to acknowledge the equality in Nature of the feminine and the masculine energies; BOTH which are affected by the Lunar and Solar Cycles. Very interesting that the Egyptian Pantheon, for example, incorporated the various deities from the earlier city-states as Egypt became a nation. Some of the deities played dual roles, others shared in roles with their opposite-sex counterparts (much as Isis and Thoth could both be placed as Lunar deities). Sekhmet, though being referred to as a Goddess of war and as “brilliant as the Sun”, could also be thought of as a Dark Goddess in her own right. Isis is sometimes referred to in one or both of her different forms (the “Black Isis” being the Darkness-oriented form).
Even the Earth(Nature)-deities can be male or female.
I hear much talk about “Mother Earth” in many of these circles. This is valid, in my opinion, but not exclusive of the masculine elements and energies that are also to found. Many of the femino-centric circles pay homage to any and all Earth Goddesses they know of, and even liberally use feminine terminology and “isms” to describe the various aspects of Nature, but they often leave out (rather conveniently) the various male Gods, and even the hermaphroditic Gods(?) in their discussions. So I guess Green Man, Cernunnos, Sylvan, the Oak and Holly Kings, and others must escape their attention? Or is it maybe they contrast too much with the “official new age” narratives of Nature Spirituality and Worship? This is a common sticking point with the doctrines expressed within many of these circles. This is fine as a belief standpoint, but that does not necessarily translate into “the WAY it IS” for all Nature Spirituality belief systems.
Again, I must stress that Nature always seeks a balance of energies;
Even of those of “Order”, and of those of “Chaos”. It matters not the sex (or incorrectly: “gender”) of the deities associated with certain Natural forces. It matters more that we recognize there is a necessary balance point in Nature; A balance between the extreme opposite polarities. Anything that exists, simply must exist within the balance of these opposites. Anything that exists, “feels” the exertion placed upon it by these opposite polarities, to whatever proportion.
I was also interested in a specific writing that was describing a specific practice to the that author’s “tradition”: IE – The teacher and the student were always to be of the opposite sexes. It seemed that in this particular tradition, it was important to stress the importance of both sexes and gender-roles through their teachings. It was felt that a student could learn more effectively and show more interest in the Craft he/she was learning, if the teacher was of the opposite sex. (How this was conducted remains a mystery to me, but imaginations can and do wander.)
I would like to take the opportunity to state where I stand on this subject. I view all roles as equally important, each fitted for their specific purposes. The Laws of Nature work with BOTH ends of the “spectrum” of the Cosmos. Where one starts, the other has ended, and vice-versa. If one is to work on only a God OR Goddess -oriented practice, that be his/her personal choice, but that does not mean it is the only correct way for someone else too! Men can share in the benefits of working with the Lunar and Solar Cycles and Energies as well as women can. It can be very surprising what men can accomplish in the act of self-transformation when they do.
On R-E-S-P-E-C-T: (“Eat your heart out Mr. Prez., I CAN spell! “)
This is the magical word that so many new-agers seems to only use part of the time, and only then – with certain conditions (like: If it is politically correct to do so). “Respect” should be considered always, as it is earned; NOT to be demanded. It is also a “two-way street”, just as Nature is a duality. If we could all take the time to respect that which is in front of us, because it is the Natural Thing to do, we could collectively accomplish so much more (like, Peace in the World, for instance???) These heavily-opinionated, one-sided ideas make it very difficult to maintain some level of respect for those who choose to not respect others’ differing beliefs. This is so sad! If one claims to be a “high-priest” or “high-priestess” of whichever coven, circle, hearth, grotto, etc. – then my expectations of you, as being a superior example, are going to be very high. So, please lead by example, and show us your brilliant wisdom.
– Rev. Athauliz “Dragon’s Eye” Firestorm,
Founder and Chief-Elder Dragon,
Temple of The Ancient Dragons