Raising Boys in Goddess Tradition
‘What does it mean to be male in Goddess-centered worship?’
This is a question that I am having to ask myself as I bring up my sons. As a female in male-dominated Christianity, I was never content or satisfied with the subservient role that women were supposed to occupy. It wasn’t that I wanted to take a leading role in worship; more that I wanted autonomy to connect with deity in the way that felt right to me – not in ways that were deemed ‘acceptable’ only when channeled through men.
I also felt like the distinct lack of female divinity was in error – just as men and women compliment each other in flesh, surely there is balance in the spirit world. How can a male deity fully comprehend what it is to be female – or vice-versa?
Practicing a Goddess-centered (or nature-centered) faith seems more balanced to me. In that same vein though, I do not want my sons to grow up with those same feelings of inadequacy or inequality that I felt as a young person.
One of the things I have been thinking about recently is the accuracy of the term ‘Goddess centered’. I have come to the conclusion that though it may sound more appealing for some, for me, it’s not entirely appropriate terminology for my faith. In almost all of the rituals I have attended of late, there is just as much reverence for the gods as there is the goddesses we call upon. Both sides of the equation – male and female – are represented and honored. They are distinct; different but equally powerful, presiding over different – and similar – areas.
In my personal practice, I honor both the Goddess and the God, in many forms. When I pray, I pray to both, and ask that their strengths be represented according to their nature. In talking about deity with my kids, I try to be aware that though I have a special connection to the Goddess, they (being male), likely do not have that same type of connection; rather, their connection to the Goddess may be similar to the connections that I have with the God. Whereas She is me and I am Her, my connection to the God is related to the differing male archetypes in my life – father, brother, friend, lover, companion, teacher, son, mentor, husband, steward, protector, etc. I have those same archetypal connections to the Goddess, but the deeper connection is that we are one.
This, I think, is the key to raising sons in Goddess-centered worship – equality with a keen appreciation for and understanding of the differences that compliment each other. How the two halves come together to make up the whole, and together they are complete – and how men and women feel the connection to deity; how they act upon it.
So how does that translate into bringing up Pagan Children in a predominately Christian area? Stay tuned…