Can We Connect to Deities of the Opposite Gender?

Can We Connect to Deities of the Opposite Gender?

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About.com   Paganism/Wicca

Question: Can We Connect to Deities of the Opposite Gender?
A reader writes in asking, “I read that people can’t connect to a deity of the opposite gender as easily as they can connect to deity of the same gender. Does this mean that one gender can’t be as spiritual as another? Or does it mean that the god and goddess are not equal?
Answer: I’m not sure where you read this information, but my opinion is that it’s patently false, for a couple of reasons. Actually, let’s break your question down a bit, because it’s multifaceted.

Your first question is, “Can a person connect to a deity of the opposite gender as easily as they can one of the same gender?” Yes, absolutely. You’ll meet many women who honor a male deity, and plenty of men who follow a female one. I don’t think it’s a question so much of “which is easier,” but of “which deity reaches out to us.”

As to whether one gender is more spiritual than another, it goes without saying that anyone can be a spiritual person, in any degree, regardless of gender. That having been said, you’ll find that among the Pagan community there are far more women than men, but that’s not because women are more spiritual. It’s because Paganism embraces the feminine as equal to the masculine – something that’s lacking in a lot of monotheistic religions — and so more women tend to be drawn to Pagan paths.

As to whether the “god and goddess” are equal, that’s a bit more complex to answer. In some Pagan belief systems, there is simply a god and goddess, and they are nameless and equal. In other systems, the god may be a consort of the goddess, and she takes the higher seat, superior to her male counterpart. However, many Pagan traditions – those that identify as specifically polytheistic — don’t hold to the “all gods are one” notion, and in these paths the gods and goddesses have individual names and aspects. In such cases, it’s not a question of equality, but of who the practitioner has chosen to honor. Let’s say you follow a Celtic path, and you personally honor Brighid. Does that make her better than, or superior to Cernunnos or Lugh? No – it simply means that she is the deity you connect with best.

The bottom line is that if you feel a connection to a deity — whether a male or female one — be thankful that you’ve had the experience. Think about why that particular deity has selected you, and how you can honor him or her in a way that is appropriate. After all, we don’t choose the gods — they choose us.

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