Real men in Wicca - where are they?? (Pagans only please.)?
Traditional Wicca, as one form of Traditional Witchcraft, always emphasized a balance of the sexes -- we honor both the divine masculine and the divine feminine, the Horned God and the Moon Goddess as divine lovers; and both a priestess and a male priest lead the rites.
I've been a traditional Wiccan priestess for 20 years, always had plenty of men in our covens. But with eclectic Wicca today, it seems like mostly women, and mostly younger people. There are not many mature men getting involved, and the males who are drawn to Wicca are often not the most masculine men. (Sorry, but it's true.) Where are the big, strong, manly, warrior men, the kind that I see in Asatru or other pagan paths? What can we do to bring more mature and masculine men into Wicca?
It's not an "evangelical" issue of pushing Wicca at people who are not called to it. Pagans don't do that. But Wicca should have male-female gender balance. How to restore balance, and honor and encourage masculinity in Wicca?
I agree with what some are saying about this problem arising with feminism and an over-emphasis on the Goddess. But what I'm asking is: how do we go about *fixing* that problem now? I always emphasize the importance of the Horned God in Wicca, but it seems like most men are not even interested in hearing about it. So how do we break through their misconceptions, and get them to understand that Wicca is *not* a feminist religion, but a religion of balance? And that balance means honoring masculinity in men and in the God, just as much as honoring femininity in women and in the Goddess? They can't even hear that if they're not listening, because they've too often heard Wicca presented as "goddess religion" and with a feminist slant. How do we make enough noise -- or truth -- to drown out those other influences, and reclaim Wicca back, away from the feminist fringe?
To Leatha - Strong, manly men are very drawn to pagan religions, IF they honor men and masculinity. Your idea that we wear flower crowns in Wicca (?!) -- I'm 20 years in Wicca, that's news to me. I'd guess your ideas come from eclectic groups of mostly women - but that's just the problem as I see it. Not Wicca.
In traditional Wicca, the priest wears a crown with horns or antlers (very manly), the priestess wears a moon crown. Most coven members don't wear any headdress. The Maiden may wear a flower crown at times, but not usually. A crown of green leaves and acorns is traditional and masculine, to honor the Green Man. Men might want to wear that at Beltane, or not. As for dancing, most shamanic religions have male dancers: Native American, etc. When a man is doing ritual dance, it's a powerful masculine thing.
Wicca worships the Horned God, He is the most masculine deity there is. Wicca has much that men can enjoy and relate to -- IF a coven truly honors the sacred masculine.
Reply to those who said there are more aspects to the God:
Yes, of course, our God and our Goddess each have multiple aspects. In traditional Wicca the Lady has three main aspects and the Lord has two main aspects, bright and dark. And you could include various other aspects also, provided they fit with Wiccan theology. But the three aspects of the Lady are seen as phases of the Moon Goddess. Similarly for the Lord: the Sun God and the Green Man and various other aspects are seen as being part of the Horned God.
Sometimes this is shown visually, with the Sun's rays being drawn as horns, or the Green Man having horns or antlers coming out of his head, like tree branches. But even when it is not explicitly depicted that way, it is understood that the Sun God is one aspect of the Horned God, as is the Green Man.
So Traditional Wicca holds that the Horned God is the all-encompassing term, which also includes various other aspects of male divinity.
I would like to thank everyone who posted an answer here. There were some very good responses, but I'm not sure I could pick a best one.
My own feeling is that the only way we are going to restore the sacred masculine to balance the feminine within Wicca is by connecting more deeply with the Horned God, in all his many aspects: worshipping Him, writing about Him, making Him the focal point of our sabbat rituals. We need to get back to cultivating our deep, devout, loving worship of both our Horned God and his Lady, and serving Their will. That's the heart of our religion, and without that there would not be much meaning or purpose to Wicca.
To Tahuti, who suggested the Sun God would be a more "powerful" male deity than the Horned God:
I disagree. First, the Horned God already includes BOTH aspects: Bright and Dark. The flame between his horns or antlers is the fire of the Sun, so He already is, in his bright aspect, both the Sun God and the Lord of the Greenwood. But Wicca is primarily a nocturnal religion, an occult mystery religion; the sun does not play a major role. The Dark aspect of the Horned God is the more powerful aspect: Lord of Hunting, Lord of Death, Guardian and Guide to the underworld or Shadowland.
Darkness is not "bad" in Wicca, it's rich and fertile, and death is the gateway to spiritual evolution and rebirth. But many people are troubled by the dark aspects of a God with horns. There is much phobia in our culture, from the Christian "devil" imagery used to slander the Horned God and paganism. But we need to move through that fear, in order to truly know and love the Horned God.
The dark aspects of the Horned God came first in Wicca; the Sun God and the Green Man came later. But those archetypes do fit well with the cycle of sabbats as seasonal holidays. (Also the Year King or sacrificial Grain God.) But Wicca is a lunar, nocturnal and chthonic religion; so the Lord of Death and the Shadowland is still more powerful and central than the solar aspect. The sun relates mainly to the sacrificial Year King, who dies and is reborn.
Rituals are often on the full moon, around the "witching hour" which is midnight. Where is the sun then? Straight down, below the Earth. So the Sun God is the "Black Sun" of the underworld, the "Fire Down Below." The Wiccan ritual takes place in between the Moon and the Sun -- the Moon Goddess above us, shining her enchanting silver magic down, and the heat and fire of the Sun God below us, rising up from the earth. The center point where these two cones of power, or spiraling energy currents meet -- that is where the magic happens.
What I mean by "real men":
I mean men who are in touch with their natural, innate masculinity, in all aspects. Gender differences between men and women are not just an arbitrary "cultural construction" as the feminists want to believe. A cow is very different from a bull. The bull is masculine, virile, strong and aggressive, the cow is more feminine, peaceful, maternal and docile. Why? Because of their culture? No. Because male mammals have more testosterone and male hormones. This makes their bodies bigger and stronger. It also makes males more inclined to be physically aggressive and competitive, seeking to be the dominant or alpha male in the herd. Because dominant males have more success mating with females.
When you see two great stags in the woods, bashing antlers in a struggle for dominance -- that virility and vital masculine energy is the very essence of the Horned God. Horns are symbols of power, maleness and virility, they're weapons used by male animals to fight.
And: Male virility and aggression, like anything else, can be put to good uses or bad uses. The Horned God is of dual aspect, bright and dark. When I say we need to respect and honor masculinity again, I mean mainly the good aspects, of course; not the bad or destructive aspects. But that strong, powerful male energy that leads men to become warriors? That can be either good or bad. It all depends on what they're fighting for.
Most of us would not even be here if not for our distant male warrior ancestors, who protected and defended their women and their children and helped the family and tribe to survive. So I'd say it's high time for us to stop bashing maleness and masculinity. Most of that bashing is coming from radical man-hating feminists, who are totally out of touch with Nature, and the fact that mammals come in two very different sexes. One main reason why I love Wicca is that it honors both femininity and masculinity, in the Goddess and the Horned God.
Thanks again to everyone who responded, there are some good ideas here. I do think the main issue with Wicca and masculinity is all about the Horned God and how we conceive of Him.
I recently started up a new Yahoo group, The_Horned_God. Here's a link:
Anyone who wants to is invited to join me there. It's just barely started going, with just some links and photos and etc. And I'm not sure how much time I will have to work on it, but I do think it's important to have a place to focus mainly on the Horned God, and masculine energy within Wicca.
There was another group by that name, but it disappeared without a trace, which is why I started the new one. Well, I hope we'll have much more to discuss. Thanks again, everyone.
- Ard-DruiLv 51 decade agoFavorite Answer
Just do it!
The Ladies of Wicca, are still going through the backlash of Male dominated societies-they need, and deserve, a place where they can feel "in charge", and the Men in Wicca are usually kind enough, and secure enough to wait for the process to happen.
It will take a while for the young Men who are growing up in Wicca to form a soild core, but, they are having to learn about Women in a new Way-they are finding out that Women are People too, with all the highs and lows that entails, but, to Men they will always be a Mystery!
It is only fitting.
- 1 decade ago
I hear ya :)
I don't have a definitive answer, but I think there are a couple of things at work. First, even though Wicca honors both male and female (in all forms), there tends to be an emphasis on the Goddess. Much of this seems to be a recent emphasis. Many of the current crop of books (by current I mean anything published after the time of Cunningham) tend to stress the Goddess over the God. And honestly, if you look at even Gardner's work, while he talks of both God and Goddess, the Goddess is emphasized over the God. At least that is how I see it.
Then we have the issue of the Feminist influence that occurred during the 70's. Ever since then (and I wasn't Wiccan then, I was a child but I'm basing this on what I've read) The feminism influence brought about Wicca being equated with a religion for women.
I think that there are a lot of men that have negative associations with feminism and this is one part of the turn off. Of course, Wicca and feminism are not related but there is that stereotype.
There is also the ever popular distortion of the Wiccan Rede which has now become equated with "moral law" (which it isn't) and "law" that is interpreted to be so ridiculous that no one could follow it. What "big, strong, manly, warrior, man" would be interested in joining a religion where he was required to not even hurt a fly?
I think that there is a return to the equality of male and female. I have seen a refreshing number of new Wiccans who do know their history and do understand the Rede. They don't equate Wicca to a religion for people with wombs. But still at this time, men who have been called by the old gods often find themselves more at home in other pagan religions such as the reconstructionist ones. I don't think there is anything to be done. All we can do is continue to correct misinformation when we hear it and if men are interested in Wicca they will find it.
- Crystal clearLv 71 decade ago
In the groups I am familiar with, the male to female ratio is pretty balanced. In one group that I attend circle with when I am able, there are quite a few couples, and now that I think of it, I've been to some open celebrations with this group where it seems the men outnumber the women.
If I had a dollar for every time I've asked the question, "Where are all the straight and single Pagan men?" - Nothing against my homosexual friends, I love them - but being a single Wiccan woman, it's hard to find single men within Wicca or a somewhat compatible Pagan path with "dating potential" for me. Since previous boyfriends have had little desire to share in my spiritual path, and have mostly tried to draw me away from it and completely change who I am, I feel I would be better suited with at least a Pagan man if not Wiccan...because I would like to have a companion to share my life with, and my spirituality and the Pagan community are a big part of my lifestyle. I think you're right - though there are plenty of male Wiccans ("manly men" as someone else put it) in several of the groups I've known over the past 15 years, I haven't see much in the way of newcomers aside from the teens.
Hmmmm....I read an article addressing similar thoughts a few months ago on The Witches Voice, though it was more about "Pagan men" in general - not specifically Wiccan. But it may interest you - below is the link. :)
- Anonymous1 decade ago
I have been a practicing pagan for over 40 years and in that time aI have met many men in the Craft in the main they are straight men who are intrested in gaining a strength of mind that can be offered by Wiccan culture. Yes we do have a culture, but to that end we must go with the times and realize that many men do not want to wear a robe, (even if you explain the effective magical place it creates). As well as the fact that we still out number men, (sorry guys) it is the truth.. Women also tend to work together better thaqn men ( my opinion but I think I can find studies to prove the point).
Asatru and some of the others offer men a type of commradry that is familiar to them.
Another reason you will find many gay men and women involved in Wicca today is that having an affiliation for both personalities they can more easily understand the duality? I really don't have pat answers , it is just an opinion.
- How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
- StephenLv 61 decade ago
Well I for one like to think I fit that bill. I am a 39 year old and happily married (to a woman). As far as being a masculine man, well last time I check I was pretty red blooded. I drive a pickup truck, own a shotgun, take martial arts classes, enjoy working on tractors, and still chase my wife around the house when the kids go to bed. Actually I have been finding that in my Wicca, originally it was mostly feminine-centric (even with some referring to the Horned God being regulated to the Goddess's consort instead of equal) but the balance is slowly becoming more noticeable. Especially due to many couples now getting involved in Wicca. My best friend who I consider equally masculine is also Wiccan.
I think as with anything else it just needs time to grow and covens need to realize that it should be encouraged if a male wishes to join or even just learn more.
I am still a little bitter by some Wiccan authors being very feminist as this detracts from the balance but hopefully those notions are being recognized as out-dated. (an example would be the Farrar's "Witch's Bible Complete" stating that only a woman can run a coven)
Blessed Be )O(
Edit: In responce to Tahuti comment about more than one masculine version of diety, my coven uses four: the Golden Child of Light at Yule. The Horned God at Beltaine, The Solar God at Midsummer, And the Dark Lord of the Hunt at Samhain. and I agree that more than just one version should be used just as with the Triple Goddess.
- 1 decade ago
My personal opinion is that Wicca has over balanced to the goddess. Anyone versed in the basics of Wicca knows that it shouldn't be that way, but it doesn't change the fact that a lot of UNversed people are coming to Wicca and doing it.
Also there are alot more choices in paganism now besides Wicca. Most guys I have met (even before I went recon) were indeed recons. Celtic, Greek and Norse. There is a warrior worldview and mentality that may simply speak to men more then other paths, such as Kemetic or Sumerian (though I know plenty of men in both). The men that I know that *were* Wiccan have since left because they did not like what Wicca was turning into and other paths spoke more to them. This is not to say that I don't see plently of men in Wicca. I very much do, but not as many as I used to. I think it just depends on the man.
And I have to disagree with Frau (((((((((Frau love you girl))))) but I don't see Asatru as over masculine. My kindred actually has more women!(Only by 2 but still) LOL It's usually pretty even in anything I have seen or been involved with.
edited: I didn't read Frau's answer right. I need more coffee. Yeah Asatru is stereo typed as "masculine" but I think we ladies are doing a good job of chaning that ;)Source(s): Norse heathen
- 1 decade ago
I've been in 3 traditional BTW covens and have had enough. I am a hetero man and find that most of the people have addictions, and that really turns me off. I've seen so many priestesses and high priestesses that were extremely obese. Then I've been around the chain smokers and alcoholics. The worst are the one's totally into the politics and for barely any other reason than to 'reign' over someone.
That is why I walked away.
I got into Wicca to worship and honor the Lord and the Lady. All of this other garbage is just that, garbage.
How does you honor Deity when you are poisoned, obese, and on a power-trip? It is just not there.
- kriosalysiaLv 51 decade ago
I think that's a great question. I also think it depends on where you are and what groups you're involved with, because there *are* "manly men" in the local ecclectic Pagan community I'm involved with (which includes mostly people who identify with Wicca).
I think some of what's happened has to do with the prevalence of the "Women's Spirituality Movement" and feminist side of modern American Wicca. I read an interesting thread a while back on a mailing list where men commented that they felt like Starhawk's "The Spiral Dance" was gender-imbalanced in favor of women, for example. It put them off. I realize that this is quite different from Traditional Wicca, but it has made a strong impact on the perception of "what Wicca is" in the US.
Perhaps that perception is what leads some men to feel more comfortable with Asatru or Druidic paths. (Don't discount those Druids on this issue.)
As far as honoring and encouraging masculinity in Wicca.... if you want people to know that this is part of Traditional Wicca, then publicize it more. :)
- Anonymous1 decade ago
In my case: fiftysomething, happily married and (last time I looked) male, the answer is 'travelling three hours each way to be with a group where I feel comfortable'. There are a number of groups much closer, including one figuratively just round the corner. It's not the goddess-centred nature of the groups in question, and in all honesty I think I learned to see women as equal a few years ago. I have in the past felt comfortable as the only male member of a group, but the local ones now seem to be populated by fluffs of all genders who see Wicca as a fashion statement and think having a bumper sticker that says 'my other car is a broomstick' is cool.
Most of my male pagan friends do indeed espouse Druidry or other paths where they fit in. If you want to attract 'real men' (whatever that means) to Wicca, eschew fluffydom and join groups where mature masculine folk feel comfortable.
- Anonymous5 years ago
Oh, pumpkin! I do believe the film is called the Wicker Man. I've not seen the new one but wouldn't bother as the 1973 version is a classic and one of my favourite films. The occasion or Sabbat being celebrated is Beltane which happens on May 1st to celebrate fertility and healing, hence the maypole which represents the phallus. There is little evidence to support that the Pagan people practised human sacrifice. I find it sad that these rituals have died off because of Christian intervention, the Pagans had a much more healthy and respectful attitude to the earth and their own sexuality as they were regarded natural and not dirty. ps I was alone on Valentine's too, another festival with Pagan roots, I believe.