Polarity, gender, and sexuality
"I believe we should immediately decouple the concept of binary, opposing types of energy from the concepts of “masculine” and “feminine,” because keeping those concepts together is 1. inaccurate, 2. confusing, and 3. harmful. There’s no good reason to tie these types of energetic patterns to patriarchal ideals of gender."
How to use gender-inclusive language for Pagan outreach from Major Arqueerna (2020)
"You’re planning a ritual or event and want to ensure people of all genders feel welcome. But our understanding of gender is ever-evolving, as is the language surrounding it. How do write your invitation language to be inclusive of nonbinary people, agender people, and people of other gender identities?"
The landscape of gender by Yvonne Aburrow (2018)
"Perhaps we could reimagine gender as a landscape. The mountains of the Fierce Femmes. Little Cisgender on the Wold. The village of Enby. The river of Genderfluid. Much Genderqueer in the Marsh. The valley of the Otters, near Bear Forest."
Sex is assigned according to seven different biological characteristics, which can and do vary considerably. Intersex children are assigned a sex depending on how closely these seven characteristics match male or female. A lot of people have six out of seven matching a particular sex, or five out of seven. A lot of people never find out that they have less than seven matching characteristics. However, this massively calls into question that there is such a thing as two distinct biological sexes. Gender is how you feel on the inside. You can be non-binary, genderqueer, male, female, femme, butch, gender-fluid, etc.
The Ultimate Transgender FAQ by Rachel Williams (2018)
- As an ally, how can I be supportive of transgender people?
- Work on your own transphobia. Do you have a hard time seeing non-passing trans women as women? Ask yourself why. Critically interrogate your own assumptions about gender inherited from a cis-sexist society.
- Respect pronouns. Always.
- Call out transphobia. Raises trans voices. Support us. Invite us into spaces.
Beyond the gender binary in Pagan practice by Donyae Coles (2017)
If you are working with gods and goddesses or even spirits, learning more about them and their alignments can open you up for more thorough understanding of your belief system, and find ways to be more inclusive. Are only goddesses nurturing? Are only gods protective? Are there beings who do not identify as either, already present in the history?
Erotic Religion: The Body and Sex for Wiccans and Pagans by Christine Hoff Kraemer (2016)
"Pagan traditions challenge religious traditions that see the body as sinful or as a prison for the soul. Although celebration of sexuality is most central for Wiccans and other witches, sexual freedom and community harmony are important values for many Pagans. Accordingly, the Pagan movement continues to welcome LGBTQ people and other sexual minorities who find themselves unwelcome in their birth religions. For Pagans of many paths, the body is an important site of religious practice, a place in which we can meet divinity flesh to flesh and heart to heart."
Paganism and Asexuality by Celestine Nox
"Asexuals do not need to release the baggage of our upbringing. We do not need medication. We are not broken, we are not frigid, and we are not denying an essential part of ourselves. We’re perfectly happy the way we are–or could be, if the society around us didn’t keep trying to convince us there’s something wrong with us. What we do need is acceptance and inclusion, just like every other part of the LGBT+ community."
Understanding Polarity in the 21st century by Alder Lyncurium (2016)
"Polarity is, in essence, a constant interaction between more than one force or element. It is the movement, the striving of those forces, and the rhythm in it, that creates the dynamism. As occultists, witches or magicians we observe the underlying patterns of that rhythm, get insights and tap into it, or try to emulate it — either conscious or unconsciously."
The Witchery of Genderblending by Laura Tempest Zakroff (2016)
"I’ve danced as Kali Ma, as the Horned God, as Hekate, as an avenging angel, a siren, La Llorona, a Rusalka, Death, a peacock, a genderbending deity, a coyote, a stag, and a femme fatale to name a few. I wasn’t drawn to create those pieces strictly on a masculine or feminine context. They are pieces of me."
The Principle of Gender by Ratatoskr (2016)
"The name Feminine and Masculine in regards to polarity of energy has nothing to do with sex or even sexual identity. Would one object to the principles of electricity that is explained by a binary state in which a current flows form A to B? The whole point of working with polarities is not for the sake of the polarity: it is for creating a current, a flow; to create. We could call them Positive and Negative, but then some people would point out that Negative has too much negative association and make it sound inferior to the Positive force. This was actually said to me by a feminist, who felt that if we are going to replace the words feminine and masculine, feminine should never be called negative. Perhaps she has a point there... maybe there is a future for Anode and Cathode? Perhaps there is confusion about the notion of the principle of polarity, yes even the Kybalion makes a point of separating both principles."
Magick and gender by Ratatoskr (2015)
Polarity and Diversity by Yvonne Aburrow (2015)
"As Lynna Landstreet so brilliantly put it, for her the ultimate polarity is not male and female, but the lightning striking the primordial waters and creating life. For me personally, the ultimate polarity is spirit and matter, which is a similar idea. And the most inclusive way to express the concept of polarity is to talk about the lover and the beloved."
Thoughts About Polarity (Part 1) by Wyrdwolf (2015)
Wicca and other contemporary pagan traditions celebrate our existence in this world and attempt to gain spiritual insight from nature and the world around us. Wicca also honors the qualities of darkness and the powers of the moon. These are themes that have proven particularly prominent in queer spirituality and attractive to glbtq adherents of Wicca. There is also in Wicca a tradition of the Divine Androgyne (inherited from the Western mystery tradition), a being who includes both genders and perhaps even transcends gender.
Between Mirrors by Yvonne Aburrow (1999)
"I am left-handed, and I have always been interested in the two (seemingly unconnected) assertions that 10% of the population are left-handed and that 10% of the population are homosexual. It seems to me that the other 90% cannot be totally right-handed, or totally heterosexual. Rather, the left-handed 10% prefer to use their left hand for most things; there is probably another 10% at the other end of the spectrum who can only use their right hand, and the eighty percent in the middle are probably ambidextrous but culturally conditioned to use their right hand. It is the same with sexuality - 10% are homosexual, there is probably another 10% who are completely heterosexual, but the eighty percent in the middle is probably bisexual but culturally conditioned to be heterosexual. Again, there is a continuum between the two polarities, as bisexuals know."
A witch speaks - Doreen Valiente's speech to the Pagan Federation conference (1997)
"In every period of history, in every country in the world there have been gay people, both men and women. So why shouldn’t Mother nature have known what she was doing when she made people this way? I don’t agree with this prejudice against gay people, either inside the craft of the wise or outside it."
Alternate Currents: Revisioning Polarity - Or, what's a nice dyke like you doing in a polarity-based tradition like this? by Lynna Landstreet (1993)
"I had never had a problem with polarity in a metaphysical sense. My extremely eclectic religious upbringing (I did, after all, grow up in the 60s) had included a large measure of Taoism, and I had always found the yin-yang duality very evocative. I didn't really have a problem with seeing the blade and chalice as a Western equivalent to the image of the Tao. I liked having black and white pillar candles on my altar. There was something about that particular variety of polarity that appealed to me, in fact."
The Kybalion, by Three Initiates (1912)
makes an important distinction between polarity and gender.
» More articles at the Pagan Theologies wiki
Back to Articles