Feb 10, 2012

Does the gender binary still have a place in modern Wicca?

My coven has been performing a full moon ritual for the last few months that involves drawing down the god as "high priest" and then calling upon him to help draw down the goddess/moon into you.
Some of us have voiced discomfort with the idea of being required to use the gender binary/polarity in this ritual.  From my perspective, I don't need a man to help me draw down- I'm a powerful witch in my own right.  And if I do need help, why must it be only a man?  This feels like the patriarchy asserting itself in my spiritual work, which I am not okay with.

Using the gender binary is also exclusive of non-cisgendered people (and non-cis gods!).  I view the gods, as with people, with flexible gender (as above, so below) - nobody is exclusively masculine or feminine.  I'm with Dr. Kinsey, and many other sociological theorists.  I believe that things like sex, sexuality, gender expression, gender identity, good and evil, are all on a continuum.

Some flavors of paganism/witchcraft have begun to shy away from using gods that are exclusively male or female.  I just finished reading Evolutionary Witchcraft by T. Thorn Coyle.  She discusses how the gods of Feri (God Herself, the Peacock God, etc.) tend to break the boundaries of the gender polarity. 

So my personal views aside, does the gender binary still have a place in modern Wicca?  Is it time to evolve our views on the gods?  What other traditions or god/desses are you aware of that break the boundaries of gender/sex/sexuality?  Please discuss!


  1. Thank you. I was contemplating posting on this very issue. Since I wrote and long and exhausting post on why duality is mostly shit in my eyes because the astral is an infinitely changing mass of energy, I also think Deity and Spirits are infinitely changing masses of energy. It astounds me people seem to think the astral subscribes to physical sex. What use would they have for it, really?

    1. The only use for having a "physical" sex (so to speak) that I can think is to help people perceive them better. I suspect that most people wouldn't be able to relate to them as easily if they appeared as non-gendered beings.

      As someone with a strong background in science, changing my beliefs to fit new information seems like second-nature. Most people do not think like that, though. Folks get so rooted in tradition for tradition's sake, and are so afraid of change, that the idea of allowing their beliefs to adapt to new information is terrifying to them.


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