The majority of pagans believe in male and female energies of God and Goddess that are very different in their nature but completely equal in their importance. Those divine energies are sometimes represented in the vast number of different Gods and Goddesses, depending on what pantheon is dear to your heart. Throughout human history, monotheistic religions have sort of pushed the Goddess out, but I’ve also seen pagans today who are trying to push the God out and focus solely on the Devine Feminine. A lot of women develop their relationship with the Goddess with little focus on God, and there are also men who work only with male deities while ignoring the female. The result? Lack of balance.
Male or female energy? One cannot exist and thrive without the other. They are supporting each other and allowing growth.
Before going deeper into this topic, I do want to emphasize that male and female energies have nothing to do with the actual sex of humans, even though women do express female energies more than they do male and vice versa. You are more than what is between your legs. You are a divine spark, and defining yourself only by your gender is oversimplifying stuff. This text is not about defining what a man is or what a woman is when it comes to physiology. It is about explaining the difference between male and female energies in nature, deities, and spiritual growth. Since this is a sensitive topic and I’ve had my fair share of feminist wrath laid upon me, let’s get something out of the way first. Male and female are “categories” or “labels” that will be used throughout this text just as warm or cold, black or white, up or down. They are words representing certain energies and are not here to replace the words man and woman, so read carefully and put your issues aside for a moment.
Male and female in balance
As pagans, we do not see male or female as better or more supreme. A woman needs the male energies just as a man needs female energies. If you are a woman, you need to have strength, power, and passion as male energies. If you are a man, you need to have gentleness, nurture, and kindness as female energies. Women who can’t stand up for themselves and are completely reliant on men have little or none male energies inside them, so they look outside to compensate. Similarly, there are overaggressive men who are not in touch with their emotions. Every pagan pantheon of gods has Gods and Goddesses, and there isn’t a culture on our planet that doesn’t have both male and female energies in its mythology.
A lot can be said about the correlation between the lack of Goddess in religion and the behavior of people following it. Male energy on its own thrives on expansion, but it does so through conflict alone. Even Christianity as a so-called religion of peace and love has priests blessing tanks, and I won’t even go into Islam. This is because while the central message of love is, in fact, there in those religions, it often falls on deaf ears because people are not able to listen to it for listening and standing still are female traits that are not represented in their scriptures because they only bring strong male energies. The female energies are not nurtured enough in people following certain modern monotheistic religions.
But I am not here to talk about monotheism. The history between Christianity and paganism is written in blood, and while it is important to talk about it because those who do not know their history are destined to repeat it, this is neither the time nor place for it, so I will try to control my attention span and not digress from the main topic going forward. The point is, you need to have balance, but the balance of what? What exactly are male energies, and what are female?
God represents male energy and is often described as either a green-leaf man or a man with deer horns on his head or as a powerful warrior. He represents wild nature, hunt, and protection. Depending on which pantheon you’re in, God’s physical appearance will be somewhat differently described, but the male energy that it embodies will remain the same.
When it comes to Elements, there are two which are male, Fire and Air. Fire represents change, light, and rebirth while the Air represents intellect, thought, and imagination. Gods always have energies of Fire and Air present in them. They are intelligent and wise, but they are also brave, strong, and active. Embracing the masculine side of God is something that I found a lot of women have trouble with, especially those raised in monotheistic religions dominated by men. When you have been without the female energy on your spiritual path for so long, it is easy to be drawn to the Goddess much more than God because you yearn for Her.
If you are only working with the loving and soothing Mother Goddess, don’t you feel something missing? Something strong and wild, feral and masculine?
The energy of God is one of a strong, masculine protector. We need our hunters, warriors, lovers, and sons. We need the wilderness. Complementary energies exist within each being. You need the Yang to your Yin or the Yin to your Yang to be whole.
Yin and Yang create a balance between receptive and productive, looking in and looking out, feminine and masculine, God and Goddess. To be protected should be in balance with the need to protect others.
Goddess represents female energies, and She comes in many forms. Sometimes She is present in her three forms as maiden, mother, and crone, while other times she has a dual nature of wild and free lover versus loving and caring mother, but She is so much more in between. Monotheism has pushed the Goddess energy into two extremes. A woman is either a saint or a whore. Female religious figures in monotheistic religions are depicted very simplistically, with a crucial side of them always missing. The Mother of Christ, for example, while being the embodiment of motherly love, caring, sacrificing, and serving, has zero sexuality. Her sexuality is so non-existing that she even became a mother without sex. Paganism paints a different picture and realizes the freedom of female expression.
Divine Feminine takes on many forms, from historical and anthropological, to spiritual and cultural. Feminine energies are receiving or hidden while the masculine are producing or visible.
Climate change, racial justice, and healthcare are just some of the many feminine conversations that focus on nurture and creating a balanced society. The energy of the Goddess is growing strong with each day, and Her love shines brightly. Female energy wants to help and take care of everyone. It wants to nurture and listen, hug and provide comfort. It wants to give shelter. The first shelter you had was in the womb.
Developing a personal relationship with the Goddess is very important. She may be many things to many people, but what She is to you is what matters. Both God and Goddess energies move in cyclical shifts, so it is normal that your relationship changes too. Female energy can be wild and free, young and full of life, sexual and playful. It grows then and transforms to the energy of Mother who is eager to protect, nurture, and take care of you before she transforms once again but this time to the embodiment of wisdom.
Female energies are nurturing and supportive, still and meditative, peaceful and loving. They are powerful and yet incomplete without the male ones.
Gods and Goddesses in paganism are never only male and never only female energies. In which ever pantheon you look in, Gods will have predominantly male energy and Goddesses will have predominantly female, but they will cherish and nurture the opposite energies too. This is why you have Goddesses of war, death, and hunt and Gods of beauty, sex, and pleasure. Humans follow closely in Their footsteps.
According to Carl Jung and the analytical psychology as part of the collective unconscious, males have unconscious feminine qualities, anima, and females have unconscious masculine qualities, animus. The animus when it is integrated in a healthy way in women will result in good rational and logical ability, good external strength in the persona, and excellence in problem-solving. The anima when it is integrated in a healthy way in men will result in self nurturing and self loving, creative inspiration, and capability of empathy. Each pagan God has a strong anima, and each pagan Goddess has a strong animus.
When the male and female energies are balanced, we experience a greater sense of harmony and fulfillment. We move away from the extremes and start existing in a healthy and happy state with realizing our true potential.
In groups of pagans working together, especially in covens, there is a certain danger of women pushing the female energies to be dominant. I’ve seen this in various Wicca orders, but not even Asatru and Druidism are safe from it. When women have been oppressed in their spiritual growth for years and finally start to liberate themselves from the male-dominated world, they tend to “over do it” for the lack of better words. They tend to dismiss what their male pagan friends need and want, and they fail to realize that female energies cannot grow without the male ones. It can be hard achieving balance but not impossible.
Table of male/female energy correspondences
|Elements||Fire, Air||Earth, Water|
|Traits||Logic, action, science, linear, straight||Intuitive, round, still, creative, nurturing|
|Thrives on||Conflict and war||Peace and harmony|
|Altar tools||Sword, incense, bell, dagger, candles||Chalice, cauldron, salt, water|
I cannot stress enough how the table above is about male and female energies and not about men and women. Depending on how well men take care of their anima, they will have more or less female energies. And depending on how well women take care of their animus, they will have more or less male energies. Gender roles are only that much important in anything as we give them power to be. The truth is, the God and Goddess couldn’t care less if you have a penis or a vagina.
For more on male and female energies, check out The Elements and read about the energetic building blocks of everything, including humans. They are the physical, spiritual, and emotional attributes with male and female nature.
Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again my dear pagan soul. Rejoice in life, and life will rejoice in you. May God and Goddess bless you in everything you do and spirit guides follow you wherever you go.
In love and light,