Gender essentialism has no place in Wicca

Since Wicca tends to view the divine through the lens of dual deities, one masculine, one feminine, one of the unfortunate tendencies in some oversimplified approaches to Wicca exaggerates that dualism and applies it to everything in the world. Whole lists get made of dualisms, with each pair having a “God-associated” and a “Goddess-associated” member. You know: rationality is masculine, emotion is feminine; deduction is masculine, intuition is feminine; aggression is masculine, passivity is feminine; and so on, until the whole world has little pink-or-blue tags attached to it. This isn’t an understanding of the world consonant with the relationship of God and Goddess; it’s denying the complex realities of sex, and gender, and sexuality, and divinity, and the world itself. The God has his passivity, and the Goddess can be ruthless; the God has deep emotions, and the Goddess can be as aggressive as you can imagine – and then some.

Worst of all, for a religion that tells the myth of creation through the act of divine love and sexuality between God and Goddess, to say that each gender has only one kind of sexuality which is the same for everyone is to deny the beauty and wonder of what brought creation into being and breathes life into it at every moment. The relationship of God and Goddess is complex, ever-changing yet always present, and is worked out in myriad roles and situations. Claiming to have the whole truth of that mystery, and expecting others to adhere to your narrowness, is a kind of denial that verges on deliberate spiritual blindness, within Wicca.


About Literata

Literata is a Wiccan priestess and writer. She edited Crossing the River: An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys, and her poetry, rituals, and nonfiction have appeared in works such as Mandragora, Unto Herself, and Anointed as well as multiple periodicals. Literata has presented rituals and workshops at Sacred Space conference, Fertile Ground Gathering, and other mid-Atlantic venues. Literata offers healing and divination services as well as customized life-cycle rituals. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation in history with the support of her husband and four cats.
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