More On Duality

December 28, 2007

About duality and gender bias: As long as folks are thinking dualistically,
that is, in an either/or framework such as male vs. female, those "other"
people on the "other" end of the grid are going to be trashed. The original
model of this comes from the uprising of men against the Goddess and women, which started centuries ago. Some women call this the "first holocaust" or the "missing holocaust"…. a period of herstory/history that has been erased from our collective memory or records.

Man became Self and Woman became Other. Qualities were arranged in two lists only, with "male" at the top of one and "female" at the top of the other. You were either one up or one down in that system.

People in the gay liberation movement
and people in the pagan movement have also been conditioned by this
grid… it has infected every layer of society for at least 2,000
years…probably longer. This is also true of political activists,
ecology supporters, and any group that is trying to make things better
in this world…yes even feminists. And yes… even us. It takes a long
time to unravel thousands of years of conditioned response.

I’ve been shattered by some of my experiences in this regard. My heart was
so naturally open to folks of all these groups, and I couldn’t understand at
first why I was rejected by them… why I couldn’t have a voice among them.

Gradually I learned that they are not in the same place in the Goddess Wave that I’m in… even though we are all part of the Wave. It helped me so much to cope with the lack of connection I experienced with lesbians, with witches, with gays… with people who I instinctively seek to connect with…

About the criticisms one hears directed at bisexuals from homosexuals:
bisexuals have been perceived as "sitting on the fence" or not being there
completely for the cause, since they would naturally have loyalties to both hets and gays… an ex woman lover of mine once told me she got very hurt by a bi woman she was in love with, because this woman would always put her man first, and relegate her lesbian lover to a lower place in her priorities.

Criticisms towards male-to-female transexuals that I’ve heard from lesbians
are about their having had male conditioning in a society that favors males,
which gives them an unfair advantage in the women’s community…then there’s the "butch-femme" dichotomy among lesbians, in which "butch" is
favored over "femme."

The splits we are experiencing -and being wounded by- fractal out and out
through all these human constellations… and the pebble in the center of the pond is male vs. female.

The Four Directions: We can see this same principle at work in the concept
of the four directions. Fire and Air are "male" and Water and Earth are
"female." Lines drawn across a circle to connect them, make the form of a
cross. We now have the gender grid doubled.

But I try to be gentle and patient with it all, because with all the
inconsistencies, social movements for change are still signs of progress. And
sometimes, because it is so dangerous to step out of the mold, radical groups actually become more conservative in some ways. There will be agreed upon modes of dress, for instance… codes of behaviour… elitism… colloquialism…you’re either in or your out. I remember how shocked I was when lesbians in my community ostracised me.

Yet in more recent years, when I have set up my tarot tent at the gay pride fair, folks of all gender persuasions have lined up for readings! From this I learned that alternative groups, in the early stages of their efforts, are scared. They feel the threat of retaliation from the mainstream… and this is not an idle threat. So anyone in their own ranks who does not "conform" gets ostracised. Later, when the movement gains more mainstream acceptance, folks open up more and become more accepting or "tolerant…"

At least when pagans are doing those four direction circles, they are out of
the pews and in a circle… this is an improvement. And I honor their sincerity and courage, since for them this is perhaps a radical step out of
something even more repressive than we may know… groups I’ve attended where four direction circles were happening sometimes do show a lot of sisterly/fellowship type energy among themselves, too, so that’s always a good thing…

Sometimes I think the four directions are kinda like training wheels for a
lot of folks, and some day when they’re ready they’ll take them off the bike and soar…

Plus I want to be respectful since many indigenous people have been working with the four for a very long time and have reverence for their traditions.And I’m told that the original cross or swastika was never meant to represent suffering, but was meant to spin. Tribal traditions go way back into woman-centered beliefs, include ecstatic states, trance, travel to other
worlds… so Inaturally honor these things. And four is so nice and stable… it creates right angles, and nice flat surfaces… Goddess made fours for good purpose, I am sure.

Still I can get so frustrated in some four direction witch circles. I want
to fly…to spin..the way me and my sisters just naturally did from
the beginning, in the early 70s when all this goddess awakening began… we
didn’t know from directions or foursquare traditions or dualities or any of it
then… we just flew…we held hands…we connected hearts…we looked into each other’s eyes…we chanted Maaaaaaaaa higher and higher up the scale… we spoke our truth…we listened to each other… and it was wonderful oh so wonderful.

Recently I have had some of this experience again, in the circles I
facilitated for Gaia’s Womb in Chicago, and the Nomadic College dancers in
France. We did five-pointed circles; giant pentacles.

Duality is not necessarily a bad thing either. All the numbers, all the
constellations are a part of the Goddess’ brilliant creation. After all, we
have two eyes, two hands, two feet, two ears. When we fall in love it’s usually in a twofold dynamic…with tons of magnetism, so there has to be a polarity there. And that energy is truly ecstatic and sacred… one of the foundation stones of my religion.

It’s when we get stuck in those fours and twos that we get into trouble, I
think. We need a more expanded view that accepts and includes. I think when we see only a two, or only a four, we have a tendency to slide into them and get stuck there, and then heirarchies and either/ors are more likely to take over.

So that’s why I prefer to do a threefold instead of a two when I think of our
Source…Yin/Yang/Yung…Maiden/Mother/Crone… automatically circular and infinite and flowing. Or a pentacle circle… Air, Fire, Earth, Water,
Spirit… all points around the rim. (Yet all connecting and blending with each other too-yes!) Or I’ve done three sided circles too… Sister Spring, Mother Summer, Grandmother Winter. We can play with all these forms after all…try them on…see what kinds of energies they bring…

"Goddess in the sky! (reach to the sky)
Goddess in the ground! (touch the earth)
Goddess all around! (spin)"

Moonspells October 12 2004

From Moonspell Library                 


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