For Love of the God
Author: Diane Awenydd-Evans
I am a witch. That is to say, I am Wiccan. I worship and love the Goddess in all her forms. The Light, the Dark, the Young, the Old, the Mother, the Earth, the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, the Rivers and Lakes and Oceans, the Indefinable, all forms of the Goddess are holy and sacred to me. I am grateful that I have found her in this lifetime, in this incarnation. My Community embraces her fully and fiercely. And that is as it should be. But what of the God?
I was raised in a liberal Christian church, where I was taught that God was Love. I have never stopped believing that. Even when I was sent to an extremist, militant, fundamentalist college in my early twenties, it was the God of my childhood faith that sat beside me, walked beside me, stood beside me. It was He that helped me to survive that place. I bare no ill will towards Him.
Despite the pain and oppression that some people with power in that culture exercise over their followers, the people themselves are human, like I am, with hearts like mine and like me, they desire to live in communion with deity. That they live in such fear is incredibly sad but that does not make them worthy of my hatred. Nor does it make the God they follow complicit for the sins committed in His name, anymore than the Goddess is complicit for the hateful pain inflicted upon others in Her name. I say that so that there will be no question that what I am about to say about the God includes Him as well as the Gods I now worship, serve and love.
The men in my life are the god to me. They wear his face and each one gives me a glimpse of his beauty and a chance to interact with him in a physical and real way in this world. My Grandfathers, now crossed over, were beautiful men. My paternal grandfather taught me how to tie my shoes when I was five years old. My maternal grandmother’s husband was grandfather to all fourteen of her grandchildren and always smelled of beer and pipe-smoke and to this day those smells invoke in me the warm feeling of being loved that is beyond words.
My father and my uncles are each wonderful and loving men. My brothers are equally irreplaceable to me as are my sons (my nephew is the son of my heart and I could no more part with him than I could the son of my womb) .
My coven brothers are as beloved to me as are my coven sisters, and while my High-Priestess lacks in nothing in leading and caring for our beloved Coven, the Priests and Elders of my Tradition are men of warmth, strength, honor, and grace.
All of these men are human and as such they are not transcended beings without shadow or weakness but, they are beautiful and their ethics, honor and service are beyond reproach. They serve out of love and while they may sometimes be wrong, it is never for lack of striving to live lives of service to their community or their families.
As it may be clear to you by now, I have been blessed with the privilege of knowing many beautiful men and so, while I am aware that men can commit dreadful acts of violence, I believe that is the result of their human failings and not their maleness (women too are capable of horrific violence) . The entire gender may not be painted with the same brush. Men are individual beings and as such deserve to be honored and loved and appreciated and even hated for “the content of their character” to paraphrase Dr. King, and not for their anatomy.
I have been happily and blissfully isolated in most of my time on this path. I have only recently truly become aware of the controversies that plague our greater community. I am a simple witch who practices quietly and until recently I have not made myself aware of much of the larger pagan discourse. So take what I have to say and ignore it or discount it as you please but I feel the need to say it.
I want the men in my life to know that they are valued, trusted and loved. I want the men in my community to know that they are welcomed, embraced and equally beautiful and needed. Gay, straight, bi-sexual, asexual, androgynous, transgendered, transvestite or nudist, I don’t care what labels someone else puts on you, or if you choose to identify yourself by any label at all. You are irreplaceable in my world. I need all of my gods.
The God, the Gods who are not of this world, are necessary to me as well. They are a part of me and they teach me and guide me and they help me to understand myself as a woman, as much as the Goddess does. Not one of the Gods has ever harmed me. Not even the God of those poor frightened souls in Indiana. What some human does in the name of God is not His responsibility. Many people over the history of our human race have committed great evil in the name of religion, and many still do. But I would not turn my back on that which to me is my most human need. Religion is a human expression of a human need to unite with deity and the diversity of that expression is a testament to the beauty of the diversity of our humanity.
I want to say to my sisters who have had to fight and struggle in order to claim their womanhood, you are Priestess and Sister. You are beautiful and needed and valued and embraced. You are Goddess and I need you too.
God or Goddess, Male or Female, Pagan or Other. Whether you are man or woman, whether you love men or women or men and women, whether you were born into a body that agrees with your true self, or not. We are Human and Divine and we should be treating each other that way. Blessings of the Gods be upon us all.