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The Deity Binary

Author: Rosalie Trevino
Posted: July 31st. 2017
Times Viewed: 2,392

Not all Wiccans believe the same things about the God and the Goddess that I do. Luckily, most of us can be divided into four categories: monotheists (not all Dianics only believe in the Goddess, but I have met a few who don’t believe in the God at all) , soft pantheists (who believe that all gods are aspects of the God and Goddess) , hard polytheists (who usually believe in a specific pantheon and choose to only worship one god and one goddess from it) , and hard duotheists (who only believe in the God and the Goddess and don’t use other pantheons at all) . Now, obviously this doesn’t cover all of us – I would be surprised if anyone could categorize any Wiccan beliefs with a system that included every Wiccan out there. But me? I’m a hard duotheist.

It’s a bit more than that, though. I believe that the Lord and Lady are everything. I don’t believe that they are a part of us – we are a part of them! Everything in existence on this plane or the next is Them. Creation, destruction, order and chaos – these are the contradictions that make up the universe. Look at the complexity each person has; could you expect the gods to be any less complex?

When I say the gods are Everything, I am not just referring to physical things. If they gods are Everything, why should they be one race? Even if they only every appeared to me as one race, this does not make them so. They do not have one age; they encompass every age on the human spectrum. Why should race be different? In fact, why should gender be different? I hold that it isn’t.

Some of you might be confused right now. Probably because you’re working under the assumption that there are two human genders: Man and Woman. And if that’s the case, you’re probably thinking, “Well, the do encompass them. That’s why there’s two.” But there aren’t two. There are so many more. There have always been more than that.

Gender is a social construct, just like time, money, race… That doesn’t mean those things aren’t real, just that what they constitute are different in different cultures. There have always been cultures that have more than two genders. There’s the bakla of the Philippines, hijra in India, fa’afafine of Samoa, khawaja sara in Pakistan, muxe of the Zapotec in Mexico, winkte of the Lakota. These are not merely transgender men and women; they and other people in their culture consider them to be separate gender categories than men and women. This is in no way a comprehensive list; there are many more than I could possibly list here, but these concepts are old. Ancient cultures also had their fair share of third genders: Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt, Vedic culture, Incas, even ancient Israel.

Now in modern times, as we see nonbinary identities and individual become more and more visible in our cultures, we need to embrace these people and respect them as valid. And to me, their genders and their bodies are part of the Everything that is the Lord and Lady. If I truly believe that they are Everything, then of course they will be multigender. Of course they will have more than one genital configuration. Why shouldn’t they? They have more than one age, more than one race. They are Everything.

A lot of Wiccans believe in the polarity of masculine and feminine energy. They believe that these two things are opposites. I do not. To me, they are no more opposite than the sun and moon are. They are different, to be sure, but that does not mean they are opposite. Day and night are opposites because they cannot exist at the same time or in the same space. This is not the case with the sun and moon – I have seen the moon rise during the day many a time. I have seen them work together to make the most beautiful eclipses.

Furthermore, I do not believe in the idea of a single masculine or a single feminine energy. My energy is different depending on which part of my menstrual cycle I’m going through, and I have no doubt that it would be different if I were pregnant or going though menopause as well. Of course, this raises the question: if these energies are biological in nature, are they really masculine or feminine? I think not. Trying to lump the variety of life and biology into these two categories is not only counterproductive, but it’s impossible. The fact of the matter is biology is far more complex than that.

Biological sex is not a matter of outer genitals alone. (And even if it were, not everyone would fit into two categories.) Biological sex involves a combination of six different things: sex chromosomes, gonads (ovaries or testes) , sex hormones (estrogen or testosterone) , internal genitalia, external genitalia, and secondary sex characteristics. Intersex people are people for whom one or more of these categories doesn't match wholly female or wholly male definitions. According to the Intersex Society of North America, at least 1 in every 100 people is intersex, but researchers like Anne Fausto-Sterling have suggested that the number is as many as 1.7 in every 100. It’s not surprising that there would be so many. Just think: Have you ever had your hormones tested? What about your chromosomes? I haven’t had either tested. I could be intersex and not know it.

The fact of the matter is that when most people say “biologically female” or “biologically male”, the phrases mean nothing. The average person makes up his or her own arbitrary definition that has no bearing on science and has no uniformity or correlation to anyone else’s definition. It is far more useful to be specific, “pregnant people”, “people with penises”, “people who menstruate”, “people with beards”, etc. And I am always in favor of celebrating existing differences than pretending they don’t exist, or worse, do not matter.

Some people claim that Wicca is a fertility religion, and I have seen people use this belief to justify excluding homosexuals and asexuals from their personal definitions of what a Wiccan really is. (I will not comment on this sort of logic except to say that there are plenty of LGBT+ people who are Wiccan.) If we Wiccans have a special interest in fertility, it is because we do not look down upon sex and because we celebrate life. I do not think I could celebrate life if I did not celebrate its variety. Not everyone believes in the idea of universal inclusion. Not everyone believes it is beneficial to change their language, change the phrasing they have always used. Still others are afraid of the challenge it presents them. I am not advocating that everyone takes up my path of belief. My hope is that, by making my own views and the reasoning behind it public, that everyone can think more deeply about the nature of their own path, and change or reaffirm it as needed. The greatest service I can do is to help lead others, not to my own path, but to theirs.

One last thing: Some of you might question why I would still refer to the Goddess as a goddess, as she, as the Lady; to the God as a god, as he, as the Lord if they are multigender (and indeed, agender) . My explanation is simple: I know agender people who use she/her and he/him pronouns. This does not make them any less agender.

Footnotes: (Intersex Society of North America)

Fausto-Sterling, Anne (2000) . Sexing the Body: Gender Politics and the Construction of Sexuality. New York: Basic Books. ISBN 0-465-07713-7.

Copyright: Not previously published


Rosalie Trevino

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