Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Duality Sucks

I've been a student at for several months now. Despite a heavy writing load this year, I've dutifully continued my studies and have even found time to read a number of supplemental books on Wicca and Witchcraft. (The nice thing, of course, is that my writing and my religious reading intersect in so many ways!)

As part of lesson seven, I think, in the first degree program, we're encouraged to do some research into Gods and Goddess -- their history, myths, lore, etc... and I think I'm all about reclaiming the Goddess as the All.

I "blame" those feminist Dianic Wiccans for this epiphany. I'm not sure Patricia Monaghan would consider herself a Dianic (though she seems to clearly be a feminist), but that book of hers that I raved about here before (RED-HAIRED GIRL FROM THE BOG) kind of blew open my head in terms of thinking about Earth as the Mother's body.

Her book made me crave more stories about the first Goddesses, which lead me to THE GREAT COSMIC MOTHER by Monica Sjoor and Barbara Mor, which is quite unapologetically feminist and Marxist. Truth is, we just happened to have THE GREAT COSMIC MOTHER laying around. Shawn and I have a compulsion to pick up any Goddess book we stumble across at used bookstores, so we actually have a number of books like that we haven't ever read, though we've had them in the house for years. (I'm sure none of you book-a-holics out there can understand that!)

Anyway, I gave up on the GREAT COSMIC MOTHER a hundred pages into it because it's very much one of those books from the 1970s that seems intent on reminding us every paragraph that the PATRIARCHY IS BAD!!! (As my friend Naomi would say, "Patriarchy bad! Wham! Wham!" as in the sound of being smacked by a two-by-four.)

Yet... in between the pages, and after I put the book away, my brain started percolating. And the basic thought I kept returning to is: duality sucks.

What's with all this division by twos anyway? Yes, yes, there's a sun and a moon, a day and a night, boys and girls, two eyes, ears, arms, and legs.... but when did one thing become the purview of gender? What I mean is: WHY is it that traditions, like the one I'm studying at WitchSchool, always give their gods the cool powers (IE, the Goddess is involution, darkness, the moon, quiet contemplation, while the God is evolution, manifestation, light, the sun, action!) I'm sick of it. It's all ONE.

And I've decided it all comes from the feminine. You don't get more manifest that birth, damn it.


Margaret Yang said...

Wow, very interesting. I wonder if you'd expand on that in a later post.

I agree that an either/or duality leaves no one happy. However, a both/and duality sounds kind of cool.

tate hallaway said...

Thanks for commenting, Margaret! I'll certainly expand on this idea... when I figure more of it out. Like I may have said, this is very much a fledgling idea for me, one I'm really just trying out for the first time.

My brain is still considering, pondering, and... researching. I've moved on to a new Goddess book: THE MYTH OF THE GODDESS: EVOLUTION OF AN IMAGE by Anne Baring and Jules Cashford, and they've touched on duality already and hopefully will come back to it more in-depth.

So, stay posted, as it were!