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Thread: The Wiccan God as "Father"?

  1. #1
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    The Wiccan God as "Father"?

    I wasn't sure whether to put this in the Wicca or Witchcraft sub-forums or here, but I think this is as good a place as any.

    When it comes to the view of Deity in Witchcraft and Wiccan traditions, I've read that the Goddess and God are of equal importance, but I wonder if this is really true. The God is rarely called "Father," especially because the role of fatherhood has very little importance in Wiccan theology. At the beginning of time, the Goddess gives birth to the God parthenogenetically (by virgin birth), so technically he has no father, and as the cycle of life continues, he becomes his own father.

    There is nothing wrong with this, and actually I think it makes a great deal of sense in comparison to traditions where the primary deity is the Father. I just think it's strange that some Wiccans would claim that they are equal forces, when the Goddess clearly has a much more significant role. She creates and destroys, and he is all that is created and destroyed. She is the creatrix and he is the spirit of creation, really. He isn't a "Father" of equal importance to the Goddess as "Mother", as she has the primary creative role, and he is more the son/consort.

    Many "primitive" societies have a similar worldview, really. Biological fatherhood isn't often acknowledged, and it is something that is socially defined based on who the mother's husband is. Like I mentioned in another thread, women were believed to conceive by the child's spirit entering them, not by male semen. It sounds quite similar to Wiccan theology, and I think parthenogenesis makes a lot of sense as a metaphor for creation. Fatherhood comes into being once creation has happened, but it really plays no primordial role.

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    I don't necessarily consider what people are currently doing the highest and best expression of their spiritual path.

    I understand the Goddess to be spiritual life and the God to be physical life. Inasmuch as we are both physical and spiritual beings, it takes both to explain what it means to be human. To speak of one being more important than the other is kind of silly, when you look at it from that angle.

    The God is Father inasmuch as he represents the whole of the physical side of life. Our physical and rational natures are expressions of his nature.

    You could also say that the Goddess is Being and the God is Becoming, and understand their respective Motherhood and Fatherhood in the same way: our "becoming nature" is an expression of the God's nature, etc.

    Is there a tendency to de-sacralize the physical? I think so; and, if so, that may partly explain the de-emphasis on the God.

    I've run across a number of people who think that, in order to have balance, they have to find a place for the Goddess as well as the God at each Sabbat, each point on the Wheel. I think this is because they don't see that the real balance is between the Sabbats and Esbats, Solar and Lunar, God and Goddess. If the Sabbats were presented as the God's story, with him as their focus, and the Esbats as celebrations of the Goddess, I think people would quickly learn to more greatly appreciate the importance of each in their purview, their theater of influence.

    Referring to the transcendent One as Goddess (e.g. Star Goddess) may confuse things a bit, too.
    Last edited by Tom Terrific; February 26th, 2010 at 01:17 AM.

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    I can't speak for others, but I sometime refer to the Mother Goddess, and Father God. Mainly because I was a Girl Guide (Girl Scout) and we would have to pray and say grace. I found this a lot easier to cope with if in my mind I saw Father God to be the masculine side to the Goddess. I will acknowldge that the Goddess features far more heavily in my spiritual path than the God, and what Tom Terrific said makes perfect sense to me

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    It depends on the person I a great deal I think. I often joke that I am a "Daddy's girl" I have a stronger connection to my God than any Goddess.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Terrific View Post
    I don't necessarily consider what people are currently doing the highest and best expression of their spiritual path.

    I understand the Goddess to be spiritual life and the God to be physical life. Inasmuch as we are both physical and spiritual beings, it takes both to explain what it means to be human. To speak of one being more important than the other is kind of silly, when you look at it from that angle.

    The God is Father inasmuch as he represents the whole of the physical side of life. Our physical and rational natures are expressions of his nature.

    You could also say that the Goddess is Being and the God is Becoming, and understand their respective Motherhood and Fatherhood in the same way: our "becoming nature" is an expression of the God's nature, etc.

    Is there a tendency to de-sacralize the physical? I think so; and, if so, that may partly explain the de-emphasis on the God.

    I've run across a number of people who think that, in order to have balance, they have to find a place for the Goddess as well as the God at each Sabbat, each point on the Wheel. I think this is because they don't see that the real balance is between the Sabbats and Esbats, Solar and Lunar, God and Goddess. If the Sabbats were presented as the God's story, with him as their focus, and the Esbats as celebrations of the Goddess, I think people would quickly learn to more greatly appreciate the importance of each in their purview, their theater of influence.

    Referring to the transcendent One as Goddess (e.g. Star Goddess) may confuse things a bit, too.
    I think this is the first time I've been in agreement with you, but I think you've explained this dichotomy of the divine rather well. Especially the importance of both the Sabbats and the Esbats in honoring the Father God and the Mother Goddess. Rather like Father's Day and Mother's Day several times each year.
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    I'm not so sure that the God as Father isn't a big emphasis in Wicca.

    After all, Wicca is described frequently as being a fertility religion (at least it was by Gardner), and the Great Rite is considered by many to be the holiest of holy Wiccan rituals.

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    I think the importance placed on the Father figure varies greatly from person to person...

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    Quote Originally Posted by new_hope View Post
    I think the importance placed on the Father figure varies greatly from person to person...
    I agree. As a Wiccan, I strive for polarity and equality in my worship and rites. I have noticed extra emphasis on the Goddess often. Personally, while I find it crucial to build a relationship with Her, I don't like to go in to- what I feel is- bordering monotheism with a female God instead of an equal God and Goddess.

    I am and have always been more comfortable with the concept of a great, maternal loving Mother Goddess and an equally great, loving, paternal Father God.

    JMO.
    Last edited by AthenaCrowns; March 3rd, 2010 at 07:34 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erebos View Post
    I wasn't sure whether to put this in the Wicca or Witchcraft sub-forums or here, but I think this is as good a place as any.

    When it comes to the view of Deity in Witchcraft and Wiccan traditions, I've read that the Goddess and God are of equal importance, but I wonder if this is really true. The God is rarely called "Father," especially because the role of fatherhood has very little importance in Wiccan theology. At the beginning of time, the Goddess gives birth to the God parthenogenetically (by virgin birth), so technically he has no father, and as the cycle of life continues, he becomes his own father.

    There is nothing wrong with this, and actually I think it makes a great deal of sense in comparison to traditions where the primary deity is the Father. I just think it's strange that some Wiccans would claim that they are equal forces, when the Goddess clearly has a much more significant role. She creates and destroys, and he is all that is created and destroyed. She is the creatrix and he is the spirit of creation, really. He isn't a "Father" of equal importance to the Goddess as "Mother", as she has the primary creative role, and he is more the son/consort.

    Many "primitive" societies have a similar worldview, really. Biological fatherhood isn't often acknowledged, and it is something that is socially defined based on who the mother's husband is. Like I mentioned in another thread, women were believed to conceive by the child's spirit entering them, not by male semen. It sounds quite similar to Wiccan theology, and I think parthenogenesis makes a lot of sense as a metaphor for creation. Fatherhood comes into being once creation has happened, but it really plays no primordial role.
    He is supposed to be, however i would have to agree that he isn't often treated that way these days. This largely the influence of Starhawk and "Dianic Wicca" though to be fair, they are manifestations of a larger influence which is the recoil from strict patriarchy. it is only naturally that one ends up going from one extreme to the other before coming to a more balanced place.
    It is the pendulum at work.

    That said, and many here may disagree with me but i do not consider what they do to be Wicca. i'm not saying what they do isn't a valid praxis, i just do not consider it Wicca, as it is molded around this mythos of engagement between a god and goddess. It is core, the liturgy, rites and mysteries are all rooted and expressed through this. When you take one of them away or diminish one as to weaken the coupling force and tension between them which holds the whole thing together it unravels.

    Fatherhood is huge in Wiccan theology, it is one of the aspects of the God figure, of men's mysteries.
    Sadly it doesn't get covered as much as the Goddess and mens mysteries.
    Wicca, is often sold to women, and there's a lot to like about it because the divine feminine is a big thing in Wicca.
    .. but it takes two,

    Yes the goddess fives birth to the god just as every telling of a solar deity throughout the ages.
    And yes he becomes his own father but he was always his own father because that conception of time isn't linear it is cyclic.
    He has been giving birth to himself for as long as there has been existence.

    The goddess does seem to have a grander role doesn't she? She is the experience, that which is chased and adored, the womb of all reality...
    the god, he is the experience, the fool, the individual point in her circle, who has to contend with trials and tribulations.
    the goddess is girt with his sword but he is the one cut down by the double-edged blade...
    his sacrifice, allows there to be a character to the story...
    They are divided for the sake of joy, and the bittersweet dance.

    The goddess has her own sacrifices to though though, not of the mortal coil.
    Though she is renewed she holds lifetimes of pains and joys, remembering them while the god is often left to contend with this life, and comes to remember who he is through her.

    Here's the thing, more lip-service is paid to the goddess while the god is left with high blood-pressure, but it is a partnership on all levels and if a high priest and high-priestess does not understand that the whole coven suffers. it falls apart, if things aren't right between them and they are acting representatives of the divine masculine and feminine, it will affect the whole atmosphere of that space and if they can't figure it out, that can destroy an otherwise good working group. If your working partner doesn't respect you and your role in what the two of you create, you won't be able to weave that way together, it will crash and burn. The groups that do have that healthy relationship between HP and HPs, tend to be more equal in their presentation of the god and goddess, and that becomes reflected in who they work with, they attract good working partners/couples and the group is well-rounded all-round.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Gruagach View Post
    I'm not so sure that the God as Father isn't a big emphasis in Wicca.

    After all, Wicca is described frequently as being a fertility religion (at least it was by Gardner), and the Great Rite is considered by many to be the holiest of holy Wiccan rituals.
    I cringe, I really do.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Terrific View Post
    .

    I understand the Goddess to be spiritual life and the God to be physical life. Inasmuch as we are both physical and spiritual beings, it takes both to explain what it means to be human. To speak of one being more important than the other is kind of silly, when you look at it from that angle.

    The God is Father inasmuch as he represents the whole of the physical side of life. Our physical and rational natures are expressions of his nature.

    You could also say that the Goddess is Being and the God is Becoming, and understand their respective Motherhood and Fatherhood in the same way: our "becoming nature" is an expression of the God's nature, etc.

    Is there a tendency to de-sacralize the physical? I think so; and, if so, that may partly explain the de-emphasis on the God.

    I've run across a number of people who think that, in order to have balance, they have to find a place for the Goddess as well as the God at each Sabbat, each point on the Wheel. I think this is because they don't see that the real balance is between the Sabbats and Esbats, Solar and Lunar, God and Goddess. If the Sabbats were presented as the God's story, with him as their focus, and the Esbats as celebrations of the Goddess, I think people would quickly learn to more greatly appreciate the importance of each in their purview, their theater of influence.

    Referring to the transcendent One as Goddess (e.g. Star Goddess) may confuse things a bit, too.
    Interesting! This is food for thought, especially the physical/nonphysical aspects of them.
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