Day 15: Divine Polarity

One of the things I implicitly disagreed with in Roderick’s last day was a boxed aside that read “In Wicca, the divine is not a person, nor is the divine something that is “greater than” each of us.” The aside continued to say that “Wiccans view the divine as an energy that manifests through us at all times.”

Now I will explicitly state that I agree with only one half of this. I think that Wicca does view the divine as a constant, manifesting energy. This is the immanent god, the god within. But I think many serious Wiccans look to complete the equation by recognizing a transcendent god, the god without, who is–in fact–greater than us all. And I think it is healthy and wise to include the transcendent god in various personifications. This is what I view as the crucial divine polarity, and one that Roderick entirely neglects.

The polarity that he does address–the yin and yang of male and female–I find can apply to both the immanent and transcendent aspects of divinity equally well. So in my book, this is a secondary polarity. But let’s set that aside for a minute and look at Roderick’s table of gendered polarities and get on with the exercise.

God Goddess
Male Female
Sun Moon
Expanding Contracting
Light Dark
Yang Yin
Active Passive
External Internal
Conscious Mind Unconscious Mind
Thinking Dreaming
Hard Soft
Warm Cool
Linear Nonlinear
Direct Indirect
Life Death
Day Night
Positive Negative
Square/angled Round
Speaking Listening
Doing Being

Exercise: Exploring Polarity

As with all Wiccan symbols, the energies and the polarity of god and goddess represent aspects that reside within all of us. It does not matter if you have male or female physical characteristics; every human being has qualities and energies that express both the god and the goddess. Let’s find out how you express them.

  • Look at the brief guide to polarity above. As you consider the very short list of god and goddess energy attributes, what other words might you add to both sides of the list? Take time now to develop a more comprehensive list for yourself.
  • Make a list of qualities that represent your “god” energy. Then make a list of qualities that represent your “goddess” energy.
  • Review both lists to determine if you seem to express one side of the divinity polarity more than the other. Which aspect do you most express in your daily life? Which energy gets least expressed in your daily life?

I don’t particularly think more lists are going to help the matter. This is a fine one. To add more inches to it would stretch the bounds of tolerable redundancy. As far as my own god and goddess qualities go, I am a hard person. I do not give easily. I am not generous. I am strict in my world view. I prefer linear actions, and I prefer thinking about them very carefully. I deal with situations fluidly and immediately. Life is life is life. When it gets hard, it’s hard, and when it’s easy, it’s easy. Yet, I have a dark side. I adore decadence and passion. I am a nonlinear thinker who’s forced herself to become more linear. I dream, and I am more passive in that I deal with situations when they arise rather than seeking them out. And lord knows I am ROUND.

As far as being aligned with one side of the polarity or the other…I’d say I straddle the divide pretty well. There are a lot of things on both sides of the list that I really have to work very hard at, but there are others on both sides that come very easily. In my daily life right now, I’d have to say I lean more toward the goddess energy. However, I know that very shortly, I’ll start improving my god side.

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4 thoughts on “Day 15: Divine Polarity

  1. I have to agree with you whole-heartedly about this day; I can’t stand busy work and that’s all this activity seems to be. Honestly, his list is pretty comprehensive, I had a difficult time thinking up new polarities to add.

    That aside really got my panties in a twist, but I’ve already ranted about Roderick’s use of language…

  2. The aside twisted mine, too. I can understand the simple “Wiccans believe this” as an editor, and Roderick wasn’t *entirely* wrong in what he said…but any blanket statement like that is just too risky.

  3. My list came out pretty balanced, as well. I have a few traits that pushed me over into Goddess energy and I know I need to take measures to balance out my God energy. It’s a challenge for me to see the divine in such a separated way. For me, it is one energy with different facets so that we may understand and relate more easily.

    • I totally get that, and–to be honest–I don’t really view the Goddess and the God as two separate elements. Rather, I think they’re the two faces of one coin and that all the different specific cultural gods and goddesses of the eras are all different aspects of this same whole.

      That being said, I’ve really come around to how crucial contrast is to our mental understandings. How would we know how awesome it is to be deliriously happy if we haven’t also been soul-achingly sad? Being able to view the great divine as one unit with constantly shifting opposites seems to give me a greater appreciation for how much energy the gods really have.

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