So I’m talking with one my best girlfriends this morning, pacing around her kitchen as she cooks up some kale, and I’m telling her the story of me being told by a women that,
“Women, by nature, understand the Goddess better than men,”
“There’s just something about women that makes it easier for us to understand human emotions,”
or some other such gender-stereotypical malarky.
I told her how there was going to be this paradigm shift from God-centered spirituality to Goddess-centered spirituality, and that I didn’t know what that meant for men (who, in this new paradigm stood the chance of becoming othered from the Goddess, just as for centuries woman have been othered by a “male” God).
Then, my friend, in true lioness form, puts the spatula down and says,
You need both. You need the Goddess and the God. You need the balance. You can’t just have one, or say that we’re moving from one to the other.
You. need. both.
Picture it: clouds part in the kitchen, the eggs sizzling in the background, and Clarity in the form of my friend arrives with the Goddess on one arm and the God on the other. Together they surround the fiercest woman I know and say to me — “See… we’re both here.”
Holy crap… I think I may be a Wiccan, I thought to myself.
Gender’s big on my brain at the moment. The Goddess, or the Divine Feminine (not sure if the capitalization is necessary), made her way through my last blog post, and she isn’t going anywhere soon, it seems.
A common theme in the responses, which at this point number well over 50, is that the idea of the Goddess taking center stage and replacing the God is false. Or, rather, it’s incomplete because it’s imbalanced. The problem in the logic, in this attempt to conceive of or work within some Goddess-exclusive paradigm, is in thinking that either God or Goddess should – or could – take the place of the other.
Standing in the kitchen, this God/Goddess balance finally made sense to me. It seemed correct, logical. It may still be lacking (isn’t everything lacking just a little bit?), but it felt right.
But What Will The Druids Say?
I’m an ADF Druid for a little over a year now, and there’s much about the group’s theology that I’m still wrestling with. They are not Wiccan, they’ll have you know. Nowhere close. They edge nearer to Reconstructionism, the practice of approximating and seeking to recreate the religious and cultural practices of an ancient culture within a modern context, than does the other group to which I belong – OBOD.
The OBOD model has a great deal of flexibility built within it, as it isn’t really a religious system as much as it a philosophical one. There are OBOD members for whom the idea of God and Goddess working together makes perfect sense, and they hold that theological tenant while still perceiving their path to be druidic, in nature. Some OBOD’ers even practice what is called, DruidCraft, a blending of Revivalist Druidry and Wicca.
Maybe that’s where I’m headed?
Personally, I think that we live in a world of many Gods (intentionally capitalized, because I think they’re distinct, divine beings), and I also think that this idea of God and Goddess may speak to something very true.
What I’m not sure of is how to reconcile those differing theological viewpoints.
Forgive me for my machinations, but I feel this need to find and develop a firm religious identity; one that is exactly what it is, and that functions in a clear, delineated way. I want something that simply is one thing.
But then, I’m standing in the kitchen with my friend, who’s not a Wiccan, thinking that Wiccan theology makes a lot of sense, just as parts of ADF Druidism make a lot of sense, and OBOD philosophy makes a lot of sense, and I come face to face with the awareness that it all makes sense, a little.
My need for something firm and fixed is countered by an awareness that Divine Reality, if there is such a thing, is actually formless and fluid.
Despite my best efforts, I end up walking between these conflicting ideas, trying to hold the tension between the two. This seems like my spiritual and religious path, to be honest: some sort of Sacred In Between-ness.
Ok, Bishop In The Grove readers — here’s where you come in. Let’s keep the conversation going.
How do these insights resonate with you? Have you had a similar experience of being in between traditions, and if so, does that feel comfortable to you? How have you been able to reconcile conflicting ideas about the God, the Goddess, or The Gods?
Post your thoughts, musings or questions in the comment section, and then click “Share” to post to Facebook, Tweet it, or pass it along to a friend who you think might have something interesting to contribute.