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The Druid Way

HeForShe & Visions of the Goddess

February 13th, 2015
Déesse de la compassion Quan Thé Am à douze bras - Hanoï (Vietnam), bois peint laqué et doré. Don du général Léon de Beylié en 1890 au musée de Grenoble

Déesse de la compassion Quan Thé Am – Hanoï, Vietnam

A few posts back I wrote about the festival of Imbolc, devoted in Druidry to the Goddess, and gave a couple of links to relevant sites: to Joanna van der Hoeven’s essay on Women in Druidry and the Seaside Druid’s essay on what he means when he says he incorporates “Goddess Spirituality” into his practice.

It is wonderful to be living in an era where we can question received wisdom and the beliefs and behaviour we see around us.  In the social and political sphere a fantastic movement has had a big impact these last few months in terms of the support it has received worldwide: the HeForShe campaign. In the first few moments of Emma Watson’s speech you’ll hear about this:


In the face of the injustices and inequalities women are often subjected to, it is heartening to see this campaign gaining momentum. More about it here.

In the spiritual, magical, Wiccan, Druid and Pagan world, received wisdom is being questioned too. Gerald Gardner’s theology has exerted a strong influence in these approaches, but now people are starting to question this way of understanding Deity. They are asking direct questions about the ways we envision the god and goddess, and how we understand the concepts of polarity and deity. Have a look at Druid author Nimue Brown’s recent Patheos blog post. A few lines to give you an idea…”Turning away from God the Father towards a spirituality that also embraces Goddesses, should be empowering to women. But is ‘The Goddess’ as we encounter her in depictions really a feminist or even feminine representation?” Read more

And have a look at Maria Ede-Weaving’s reflections on Deity, archetypes and gender here.

3 Responses to “HeForShe & Visions of the Goddess”

  1. When I started Druidry I struggled with the deity bit. It’s all Goddessy, swapping the masculine for the feminine is still as one-sided as Christianity. Surely the true nature of deity would encompass both energies equally. I have come to a duality conclusion (for now.) In that I see the Goddess in growing things and the God as the (but equally complimentary) , driving force, or energy if you like. One cannot exist without the other. Also, thee s masculine and feminine energies have what we’d call darker aspects that are natural and common in nature. Usually portrayed, I believe, as the Morrigan, Cailleach, Ceridwen at her most fierce and Cernunnos the hunter who in his most ferocious aspect would rip sinew and flesh from bone. All natural attributes of nature. Just something for you to chew on lol!

  2. Male and female – yet another manifestation of anthropocentrism!

    The majority of living organisms (let alone the “non-living” world) are not divided into separate genders. Even some vertebrates naturally can change from one gender to another and I’d guess the majority of plants are dioecious. Male and female characteristics as exemplified by humans are not universal male and female characteristics. I can understand if people want to say that they project human attributes on their gods to make it easier to relate to them but it is arrogant to suggest that the world (or universe) really conforms to the current gender stereotypes of one species that’s only been around for a couple of million years. (Rant over!!)

  3. Dear Philip,

    Many heartfelt thanks for posting Emma’s most recent HeForShe speech!

    You are in great company amongst men in rocking the boat! To share just a few videos:

    Here is the wonderful Jackson Katz in his TED talk:
    “Violence against women—it’s a men’s issue”:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTvSfeCRxe8#

    and the inspiring men of the HeForShe Campaign Video:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZptgM-jhZo

    Rock on brother!!!

    Love,

    Gabriella

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