Duality of the Divine and Gender Identity

Awww gosh, you word things wonderfully, Katerina - you always do! :heart:

This is a really good point! Harmony can happen without everyone feeling forced to take the same “cookie cutter” opinion, but it takes mutual respect and maturity. When people can agree to disagree and remain proud of their own paths, that’s the sign of a very strong group of people :muscle: :sparkling_heart:

This!!! :raised_hands: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

11 Likes

I found the sections I wanted to quote! :clap: These are from Witchcraft Unchained by Craig Spencer.

Although the Goddess and God have their strong feminine and masculine energies respectively, they are in no way bound to these specific roles. The Goddess is generally accepted as the passive power due to her catalytic nature, while the God is accepted as active due to his embodiment in the unfolding or changing nature of an event. Despite these seemingly static qualities, they are more complex than they first appear.

Within the ancient world, there are numerous examples in which the Gods do not sit so neatly into these binary identities, thereby implying a divine fluidity within their nature. One of the classic examples is found within common expressions used in Roman prayers.

It was commonplace for a priest, an actively initiated dedicant of a specific deity, to be unsure of their God’s name or gender. To compensate for this, they would add safety clauses to their prayers such as: “whether you are a god or a goddess," or they would ask them to accept their prayers “by whatever name” they wished. It can be argued that the Roman gods had many ritual titles or epithets which could contribute to the use of these clauses, however, it would be short-sighted to dismiss this evidence of divine fluidity as there is strong evidence that their gods were not static in their forms.

Aphrodite with a beard? Dionysus with breasts? Yes, these are classic depictions of the assumed entirely female and male divinities. Historian Professor Bettany Hughes, OBE, explored both of these examples in her BBC documentaries Venus Uncovered: Ancient Goddess of Love and Bacchus Uncovered: Ancient God of Ecstasy. Although the language for transgender and gender fluid had not entered the vocabulary of the ancient world, it is still a powerful reoccurring theme within the divine to transcend gender or shapeshift their gendered form.

In part, this can be interpreted as the divine expressing to humanity that it is not confined to the anthropomorphic expression in which we assign them to. On the other hand, it could be inferred that some divinities express their mystery via the vehicle of bodily transformation or non-static expression.

Witchcraft Unchained - Chapter Three pg. 74


The book does a great job of exploring binary structures and the divine feminine/masculine in witchcraft. There are several sections where the author explains how to adjust and accommodate non-binary witches and divinity in certain rituals. One example he uses is that in the ritual of the athame meeting the chaline, the masculine is the athame, the feminine is the chalice, and the non-binary is the contents of the chalice coming together to meet both and neither at the same time.

11 Likes

This right here! I, personally, don’t have a problem with a binary system. My teenager is NB and they don’t seem to have a problem with a binary system - they explained that they just didn’t feel male or female. I’m learning a lot about fluidity these days and I love the idea of divine fluidity. Balance and harmony… sometimes you have to lean one way more than the other to make something work. Thank you for sharing!

13 Likes

Thank you so much! It was very helpful!

11 Likes