Defining Gender Roles in Witchcraft: A How NOT To Guide
The Witching Hour: 1:59 PM
Listening to: Non-Binary Tumblr Witch? WTF?! On YouTube
Inspired by D.B., UnDoomed, and Luna – ‘That Basic Witch’
I was linked the video above (linked to ‘Listening To’) by a friend of mine the other day. Usually I am a little weary about certain terms, especially regarding gender, because conversations of that nature usually turn into an all-out ideological brawl. In this case, however, I like the approach of spirituality and how Luna presented their perspective to help resolve spiritual hang-ups for others. There was no talk about right or wrong – simply an honest sharing of perspective and re-telling or their journey with this question. I was truthfully proud and happy to see a burgeoning Guru in Luna.
Now, I will say that UnDoomed Science has an audience and a following and has to exploit other videos that may be sensational. I absolutely do not condone bullying – so I hope that anyone who watches the video knows that:
1.) The argument he presents is a surface reaction for popular views and attention. It is satirical in nature – but is there intent to harm or hurt Luna? I don’t believe so – just sarcastic expression of misunderstanding.
2.) Luna’s video is on a smaller channel to a very minute audience; yet – accessible in the future to anyone who may need it. Very noble to put your ideas out there publicly and open to criticism.
So, understanding the intention behind their videos – I hope you may forgive either of them for anything you disagree on and journey with me – clean slate in hand – to talk about how you should understand gender in your spiritual practice.
I am here to bridge the gap on both sides with a neutral perspective. I think they are both seeking spirits, and after all, the language of extremes desires a middle ground to reach understanding.
“The language of extremes desires a middle ground to reach understanding.”
– Curtis Keisler
Here is how I view gender roles in regards to Deities – as expressions of Universal Love.
Gender associations in Witchcraft and Occultism come down to the expression of two forces of universal Love from the divine:
- Duty – being the archetypal masculine means of expressing Divine Love; willpower to be dutiful, logical, and process focused; ends being provision
- Passion – being the archetypal feminine means of expressing Divine Love; willpower to honor and appreciate others, commanding respect for sacrifice and energy exerted in the process of nurturing; ends being growth and development of new processes
Sex associations within humanity that indicate gender:
- Penis – Male reproductive organ
- Vagina – Female reproductive organ
When we take these masculine and feminine definitions of energy and try to use them to define ourselves on a human level it creates confusion. Some people feel lead to express different amounts and aspects of Duty and Passion; the divine expressions of gendered love in religion. We must always remember that masculine and feminine forces represent a journey and lesson in one of these two aspects which are essential to discover divine love. Translated down into a purely human definition, we may lose the understanding of the allegory presented by spiritual texts and stories.
The archetype is:
Male Gods govern and defend creation while female deities call for evolution out of love for some aspect of mankind. This is most often in polytheistic religions, but some gender energy references are present in the Bible. An example would be Eve’s seeking the ‘Knowledge of Good and Evil’ in the Garden of Eden, burdening Man with the duty to take care of his offspring while she is tasked with the burden of engineering the return to heaven with her passion to resolve this initial sin.
Spiritual gifts and qualities in human expression that represent divine masculine and feminine blessings:
- Duty – masculine divine love
- Logically driven providers
- Put outcome over means
- Silent, Listeners and Observers
- Tend to anger when Duty is forsaken; distaste for laziness; resistant to change because of fear to forsake their obligations – show love by fulfilling promises; may appear obstinate or distant
- Passion – female divine love
- Nurturing Others
- Advocating for the rights of Others
- Emotionally Driven
- Intuitive and Empathic People
- Expressive, Whistle Blowers
- Feel Change is Necessary for Growth; Fear needs not being met with current process – show love by exposing intricate details that need adjustment and amplifying their subtle impact; may appear dramatic
In a balanced spiritual path, you should understand that finding the Divine and Universal Truth, or sense of Oneness and Enlightenment you are seeking, requires the complete understanding of the aspects of Duty and Passion. As a Pantheistic Pagan, Ecclectic Pagan, and Practitioner of Correllian Witchcraft, Buddhism, and Ayurveda Enthusiast, I understand the need for synthesis. My utmost passion is to show that the universality in spiritual writing and religious philosophy is finding God’s love – the reason for creation.
In my opinion, human understandings of gender roles interrupt the spiritual allegory and lesson being presented. To help my friend in the video – I would like to say that a simple interpretation of these energies in your craft SHOULD be problematic. It says a lot to me about this person’s practice that they are following the energies they are lead to. The best lesson you can take from this video is to find your own truth. The real enemy here is not that these qualities are present in witchcraft, but that there is not enough conversation to help illuminate the significance of their spiritual meaning. Thankfully – I will put my passion and duty forward for you with this comment – You are not in a cardboard box, or any sort of hidden realm in your practice, there are MANY people with similar questions; simply – afraid to speak. The only box you could be in would be fear. You my friend – not in a box and excited to explore. I applaud you!!! Truthfully – you are illuminating the basics of witchcraft; not such a basic witch though!!!
My advice here is that you should take spiritual text in spiritual context. Take every word to as universal a place as you can – and then take it further. The reason that Pagan traditions are more helpful in recent years – is because they encourage exploration and growth more than other old guard religions do. In fact, this is the case for most polytheistic religions as these models tend to help us work into deeper energies to discover ourselves and the universal truths that religious practice and spiritual practice means to help us illuminate.
It is no surprise to me that people struggling to find religious significance from the ‘Gender Non-Binary’ lens meet the question of God in their practice with some concern. However, there is a masculine and feminine manifestation and prayer for every deity in Hinduism. So in fact – this is not at all a Tumblr-Witch or Neo-Pagan thought at all. This issue has been addressed thousands of years ago in many religious texts and ancient practices. If you are facing this questions – remember the ancients. Ask – why does gender matter so much anyway? Well – it matters because in ages of survival, Duty may overpower Passion. In an age of plenty – Passion rises forward, and Duty performs passions work. It is a simple historical cycle –
I hope that this insight into the true duality being presented by the introduction of masculine and feminine associations in religious practice is helpful. If you are non-binary attempting to resolve this issue in your practice – have no fear. Here are a few suggestions to help you explore these energies in a gender-non-biased way:
- Replace Female deities in prayer with – Powers OR Forces of Universal Passion
- Replace Male deities in prayer with – Powers OR Forces of Universal Duty
- Look at magickal associations without their ‘gender’
- I feel this is not necessary, as all medicine has its own purpose
- Gendering a plant is a result of human definition; observing a plant’s spiritual energies and effect in spiritual work is Universal – what is masculine or feminine about the example our neutral friend used – tell me:
- Lavender – Inspire care; nurturing, calming, soothing, grace
- Iron – Physical power, aggression, courage, confidence, strength, stamina
- If you need the above to get their effect, use these things to get it now! DO NOT HESITATE! Gender conflict does not truly apply to the spirit realm – it is simply an illustrative encouragement and reflection of the end result.
I do encourage everyone to use their voice!!! Both sides of the conversation in this video are completely necessary. Without judgement – we see a person seeking to explain their view to help others and someone who wants to understand why this issue is important to the other. Well, if you are not a spiritual practitioner, this may not be an important issue. However, whether you choose to be spiritual or not – you are a spiritual being. It is inevitable that you will be drawn into the conversation.
Never stop your path for someone who is at a different place on their’s and do not be discouraged by opposition – it is simply a sign that you have not arrived at the complete truth. That is a collective journey, and everyone has a hand in it. Focus on the truth you have to share – it is your duty to share it, and your passion to nurture yourself and others that helps to uncover more of it!!! I am grateful to have some insight into the world of ‘gender-non-binary witches’. Hopefully my interpretations will help those who seek to resolve a similar hang-up in their practice.
What should you take from Luna and their video?
“You have a Divine mandate to be – who you are…and that is So Liberating. That is why [non-binary, LGBT youth] have such an amazing home and such powerful emotions attached to Witchcraft…No matter what variety [of witchcraft] we practice.
Stay true to that fundamental mandate – the reason God created you – to feel your Love in return as you discover the gifts you were given.
What do I think about the people who are the topic of this post?
We are all on a part of our spiritual journey. I see two people serving two important functions. I can not say who is balanced or unbalanced here because what I see is only a snapshot of them as a fully realized people. Below is my assessment of their position and role that is manifesting with their posts:
Luna – Observing lessons in Duty, confident in Passion; this means Luna is sharing their journey because they are passionate about helping others to grow, learning to speak with confidence, which will come as they continue to discover more about their Passion.
Qabalah Path Represented: The Art (Temperance)
Undoomed Science – Observing lessons in Passion while defending Duty, this means they are Passionate about exposing and calling out what they do not understand as it serves no important function in their observed reality, resistance shows that the presented argument is not bridging the gap to show it is a necessary exploration into truth, should take into account that Luna is speaking to a specific audience where this gap does not exist, to take their message more universally Undoomed Science would need to feel the importance of exploring this aspect of humanity more thoroughly before responding.
Qabalah Path Represented: The Devil