It would now be pertinent to address how a conceptual duality and a gendered duality could function simultaneously without one enveloping or overpowering the other. Regardless of how high an individual holds an intellectual concept, the individual is still bound to gender. How then can a conceptual duality that stresses balance of all things remain exclusively masculine in it’s metaphors? The short answer would be that the conceptual duality goes “beyond” gender, that the metaphors can potentially be applied to gendered concepts, but ultimately refer to concepts understood as antecedent to gendered concepts. While this answer is ambitious, as a reply to a question posed by a society that holds gender to be reverent and relevant, it falls flat and lacks the humanizing element so often craved in religious discourse. To maintain a conceptual duality that preserves gendered integrity, much like gender, a few different options are available.
Firstly, an individuals personal identification of gender and the appeals of other genders shape our perspective on deity. Though some might scoff at the idea of prescribing not only a gender but also a sexuality to deity, if one understands the world around them through the medium of a body and interprets their experiences with one's identity, elements of hetero and homonormativity will ultimately play a role in how one understands and connects with deity. Further, one might argue that a sexual duality is superfluous when considering deity, but for the audience of Neo Paganism (and more specifically the Wiccan demographic), the roles of pleasure and reproduction are interwoven into the broader metaphor of nature and the world.
This entry is a little long so I'v split it into two segments. So don't worry if you feel theres something missing in the proposed philosophy. That gets covered in the second part. Here's part 1
Perhaps the central theme of Neo Paganism in terms of worship is the duality of God and Goddess. These forces, separately, represent all manifestations of human experience and cultivate realms of significance in terms of correspondence. Solar energy is typically understood as masculine and a part of the metaphors belonging to the God. Conversely, the Goddess offers lunar metaphors. The masculine concepts of deity are understood to be penetrative, the feminine, receptive. The list of correspondences extends toward literally everything in existence as all properties are believed to come from one of these opposing sources. Additionally, the Neo Pagan duality of worship stresses harmony and balance between the two gendered ideas. The one cannot survive without the other, the other invigorates the one. As the most intimate medium of understanding the world is indeed gender (within the context of western contemporary society), the metaphoric understanding of deity through gender provides an avenue of connection for worshipers and adherents of Neo Paganism. This essay is not to lambaste the gendered binary understanding of deity or the world, but to provide an alternative perspective on the duality of deity. Offered will be a short exploration of the Apollonian and Dionysian world views in context with previous examinations of said topic and a contemporary application of the worldviews within the context of Neo Paganism.
Ah the fermented grape. How many ways may I sing your praises? You age to sometimes sweet or paper dry perfection. So many different varietals, so little time. Since the days of ancient Greece, wine has been a heartily enjoyed fruit beverage of choice. Here's a little suggestion for the autumnal equinox: hold an old-fashioned Greek symposium. Invite a round table of your nearest and dearest and pick a good juicy topic of discussion. If you really want to get authentic, take a nod from Plato and get a spirited debate going about the different kinds of love.
Have everyone bring a different bottle of wine. Stick with the Greek theme. An excellent choice is always a fresh and sassy Roditis. Serve feta, Kalamata olives, grapes, pita bread, hummus and a couscous salad with fresh sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. Shake up a dipping dressing of yogurt and honey on the side. When the discussion has waned and perhaps people are slurring their words a bit too much to continue to debate intelligently, make a toast to Dionysus, lusty god of wine and the dance.