Tales of a Southern Pagan Mom

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…

Brightest Blessings,

One response

  1. I agree with your take on keeping things balanced and equal. I think that although I identify with a more Goddess-centered path, I see the need to honor and revere the God as well. I have been trying to find ways to do that. Like you, I always felt like the absence of a feminine divinity was not right, but focusing only on a feminine divinity doesn’t seem right to me either.

    Practicing my craft with you and seeing you teach your boys in daily life, I am certain that your approach in exposing them to your beliefs, but not imposing them is the best course of action for them. They are both inquisitive and smart boys, as they get older and their identities take shape more they will probably be more curious and likely to linger in teaching circle instead of the play room. And if not, that’s okay too. I think getting to know other Pagans and being exposed to the positive examples of Pagans will help to ensure they appreciate diversity instead of fear it. You’re doing good momma. Your boys are awesome!

    March 8, 2012 at 9:03 AM

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