The Perfect Androgyny|
Posted: July 27th. 2003
Times Viewed: 6,963
Wicca has something that none of the Abrahamic faiths celebrate. Wicca has the Divine Androgyne. The Goddess dwells in the God and vice versa. In the symbolic Great Rite, the athame is placed in the chalice, while often reciting, "as the male is to the female." As a gay man, I simply cannot view this as the exaltation of the heterosexual model. If this view is promoted then Wicca will turn into another religion that denies full personhood to gltb people. Instead I will translate the act of the Great Rite as a radical exploration into my own personhood. The athame and the blade are joined at the saying of the sacred words. What does this mean to me? That I am free. I am free to be sensitive, compassionate, and nurturing. I am also free to be strong, aggressive, a warrior, and sexual. I am the yin and the yang. They blend into one another.
What a wonderful opportunity! Wicca offers something to the world that no other religion seems to offer. Our religion offers the individual to free themselves from the shackles of society's conditioning. People who are gay have already been through much freeing through the coming out process, which includes the realization that we may not ever fully fit within mainstream society. The Great Rite is the balance, the freeing balance from the excesses of the cultural polarities of gender etiquette. I am free to be me. I no longer have to think in terms of "straight-acting" or "acting gay" as if one were good and the other bad. Wiccans do not think in such terms. Wicca calls us to be truly free, "naked in our rites" as the Goddess impels us in The Charge. This nakedness calls us to shed off all the ways we have been taught to act, to feel and display our emotions, and to think. The Goddess is freedom, in Her presence we can be simply ourselves - nothing more, nothing less.
This is liberation not just for gltb people, but people who are straight, also. They too have been conditioned as we have. The hurtful myths of "boys don't cry," and "that's not ladylike" can hold us in bondage no more. We must do the magick of releasing the spell that has been placed on us by society, making us believe that if we act truly like ourselves, we are less than beautiful, less than good. For Pan's sake, we are the Goddess, we are the God! We are more than good; we are Divine. Peel off the layers of ego and conditioning. Free yourself.
In India, the Goddess' and God's names are placed together as if one name or given a third name to display their oneness. In Hindu mythology, God is never without the Goddess. They are one. One of the most familiar is Shiva and Shakti. They are often portrayed in sexual positions. This says nothing about heterosexuality and everything about bringing our "masculine" and "feminine" sides together as one self. To deny one as less good, is to do deny part of who you are.
Hinduism also offers another aspect of Deity. The Divine Androgyne. Ardhanareshwara is portrayed with half of his/her body male and the other half female. This Divine aspect of being androgynous is what I believe the Great Rite is symbolizing. Wicca calls us to balance all the different aspects of our lives. We have Beltane where we dance around the penis (Maypole) and enjoy life, light, and sexuality. We also have Samhain, which is more subdued and introspective, focusing on darkness, death, and nothingness. All of our holidays call us to give up stupid ideas of what is masculine (and therefore appropriate for males) and feminine (appropriate for females). We have to realize that as gay folk, we are the Goddess' prophets to humanity. We are the wrench in the machine that stops everything up. Much (though not all) of the straight world would just as soon not have to deal with us and cling to their illusions of what they deem masculine and feminine, punishing those who color outside the lines. This is the spell that some have put on the world. Everything is in its place. Along come the gay and lesbian people, and when we won't shut up, they panic. We are the mirrors that show them the truth, not the illusion. They have reaped what they have sown. Their men are emotionally constipated and scared to touch or feel affection for another man. Their women are materialistic in their hatred of their bodies and looks and thus feel the need to change all of it. We are here to help set things right - to hold up that mirror and show that there is another way.
I believe that the rise of Wicca, Feminism, Environmentalism, and Gay Rights have all risen around the same time. The God is shifting the balance. He is seeking to wake men and women up from their slumber. He is awakening sexuality, and displaying how people are to be treated. He is leading by example by feeling, by caring, by loving. The Goddess is empowering women, and teaching them to love their bodies.
The entire Cosmos has a part to play in this balancing act. Every group in its diversity has a part to play. The wheel in its turning reveals a mystical balance. Gay people have great hopes set upon them. We can embody the Divine Androgyne, or we can become a pale comparison to what is socially acceptable. There is nothing sadder than a person being something they are not, because they hate what they are. Will we hear the roar of the God and the Goddess? Will you allow them to be alive in you? Will you allow them to tear down the shack you have been living in and reveal the mansion that is you?
Bio: Bird is a Georgian Wiccan as well as a Kaula Tantric (Hindu) monk. He serves as a spiritual director for All Souls Community in Oklahoma. All Souls sponsors a monthly ritual, as well as three cell groups. Bird can be contacted through the email link above.
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