Deity of the Day for Thursday, September 17th is Ogma, Celtic God

Deity of the Day

Ogma

Celtic God

 

In Irish-Celtic myth, Ogma is the god of eloquence and learning. He is the son of the goddess Danu and the god Dagda, and one of the foremost members of the Tuatha Dé Danann. He is the reputed inventor of the ancient Ogham alphabet which is used in the earliest Irish writings.

In the final battle at Mag Tuireadh he managed to take away the sword of the king of the Fomorians, but had to pay with his life for this feat. His Celtic equivalent is Ogmios.

Ogma or Oghma is a character from Irish mythology. A member of the Tuatha Dé Danann, he is often considered a deity and may be related to the Gaulish god Ogmios.

He fights in the first battle of Mag Tuired, when the Tuatha Dé take Ireland from the Fir Bolg. Under the reign of Bres, when the Tuatha Dé are reduced to servitude, Ogma is forced to carry firewood, but nonetheless is the only one of the Tuatha Dé who proves his athletic and martial prowess in contests before the king. When Bres is overthrown and Nuadu restored, Ogma is his champion. His position is threatened by the arrival of Lugh at the court, so Ogma challenges him by lifting and hurling a great flagstone, which normally required eighty oxen to move it, out of Tara, but Lugh answers the challenge by hurling it back. When Nuadu hands command of the Battle of Mag Tuired to Lugh, Ogma becomes Lugh’s champion, and promises to repel the Fomorian king, Indech, and his bodyguard, and to defeat a third of the enemy. During the battle he finds Orna, the sword of the Fomorian king Tethra, which recounts the deeds done with it when unsheathed. During the battle Ogma and Indech fall in single combat, although there is some confusion in the texts as in Cath Maige Tuired Ogma, Lugh and the Dagda pursue the Fomorians after the battle to recover the harp of Uaitne, the Dagda’s harper.

He often appears as a triad with Lugh and the Dagda, who are sometimes collectively known as the trí dée dána or three gods of skill, although that designation is elsewhere applied to other groups of characters. His father is Elatha and his mother is usually given as Ethliu, sometimes as Étaín. His sons include Delbaeth and Tuireann. He is said to have invented the Ogham alphabet, which is named after him.

Scholars of Celtic mythology have proposed that Ogma represents the vestiges of an ancient Celtic god. By virtue of his battle prowess and invention of Ogham, he is compared with Ogmios, a Gaulish deity associated with eloquence and equated with Herakles. J. A. MacCulloch compares Ogma’s epithet grianainech (sun-face) with Lucian’s description of the “smiling face” of Ogmios, and suggests Ogma’s position as champion of the Tuatha Dé Danann may derive “from the primitive custom of rousing the warriors’ emotions by eloquent speeches before a battle”, although this is hardly supported by the texts. Scholars such Rudolf Thurneysen and Anton van Hamel dispute any link between Ogma and Ogmios.

*
A Proto-Indo-European root *og-mo– ‘furrow, track, incised line’ may be the origin of the stem of the name. In addition, Proto-Celtic had a causative verbal suffix *-ej– ~ *-īj-. A hypothetical Proto-Celtic *Ogm-īj-o-sogm-. This agent noun would therefore mean ‘furrow-maker, incisor’ and may have had a metaphorical sense of ‘impresser.’ therefore looks very much like an agent noun derived from a verb formed by the addition of this causative suffix to the stem *

The Irish god of writing, eloquence and poetry. Ogma was credited of being inventor of the Celtic writing systems that the Druids used for their magic. These scripts were known as Ogham.

Ogma was the son of Dagda and the goddess Danu. Some other writers say that Ogma and Dagda were brothers; in this version they were the sons of Eithne. Ogma had also being called the son of Elatha, the king of the Fomorians.

Ogma was one the seven champions in the First Battle of Moytura (Mag Tuired), but when Bres became the king of Tuatha dé Danann, Ogma was degraded into working on humiliating manual job of gathering firewood.
When Lugh went to Nuada, asking for a place to serve the king, Ogma seemed to be Nuada’s foremost fighter. During the second battle of Moytura, Ogma had killed one of the Fomorian leaders, named Indech, the son of Domnu.

Ogma had married Etain, the daughter of Dian Cécht. Ogma had a son named Caipre. Some say that he was the father of MacCuill, MacCecht and MacGrené (MacGrene), the three Danann kings who ruled Ireland, during the Milesian invasion, though other say that Neit was their father.
To the Celtic Gauls he was called Ogmios. According to both Gallic and Irish myths Ogma was a warrior god, depicted as a wrinkled old man, wearing lion’s skin cloak, carrying a bow and club. The Romans considered Ogmios as the Celtic equivalent of Hercules (Greek Heracles). They also depicting Ogimos as holding people chained to his tongue by their ears, to indicate he was the god of eloquence and poetry.

Author: Agaliha
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Nine Elements of the Druids

Nine Elements of the Druids

 

 

The importance/significance of the number three in Celtic mythology and spirituality has been documented in many sources. It makes some sense then, that three times three would be a particularly auspicious number. There isn’t much in the way of documentation to support this, however the speculation has a great deal of support in the Celtic Pagan Spiritual Community. There are probably as many different ways of looking at these nine elements as there are groups who consider them important.

The Nine Elements, and correspondences

Macrocosm

Microcosm

Directions

Sun

Face

South

Moon

Mind

Inwards

Sea

Blood

West

Wind

Breath

East

Sky or Heavens

Head

Above

Green-growing things

Hair

Outwards

Land

Flesh

Below

Stone

Bones

North

Clouds

Spirit

Through

As you can derive from this table, the Celts do appear to have grasped the concept of microcosm vs macrocosm quite well, albeit without the fance nomenclature.

The elements composing the tree principal realms of Land, Sea and Sky; also compose three of the most primary element of human life: Flesh (Land), Blood (Sea), and Breath (Sky or actually “wind”). Actually all nine elements would be considered needful for life, however these three would be the most obvious to our ancestors (with one obvious exception – the head – but we will get into that discussion in a moment. No _Highlander_ correlations yet!)

If a body lacked flesh, or that flesh became diseased or too old, the body died. If the body lacked blood, the body died. And if the body did not breathe – lacked wind – the body died. Simple, and I’m certain quite obvious to the ancient Celts.

The next most obvious fatal deficiency is the lack of a head. Physically, losing one’s head will in fact make you quite irretrievably dead. However, it is rather doubtful that the ancient Celts understood the finer points of neurology (although there is evidence that the ancients did practice some fairly advanced neurosurgical techniques). The ancients believed that the immortal spirit resided in the head: if the head were separated from the body (or in some cases, cut open sufficiently) the spirit of the person would leave – and the person would therefore die. Their ‘fire in the head’ would be lost (Insert _Highlander_ theme music here).

For those of you familiar with the _Highlander_ shows, perhaps their special effects aren’t that far from off. Upon the death of the physical body, the Celts believed that the spirit – the immortal being – was released, to be ‘reborn’ in another form. Contrary to the series, it isn’t re-absorbed by another immortal, but may be reborn as a new person, or into a spirit of an animal, plant or even an inanimate object: all depending upon the lesson needed by that particular spirit. The technical term here is transmutation. We’ll discuss this more thoroughly at another time.

The elements of “sun” and “moon” may seem a bit odd to our modern sensibilities, used to a more “scientific” analysis of the elements. Even for those more familiar with the Pagan (really Wiccan) wheel of elements will find the whole of the Celtic nine elements a bit unusual. In the Celtic elements, the Sun element takes on some of those properties familiar with the Wiccans’ fire element. The Sun correlates with the human face: preservations of this can be seen in common speech. A person’s face may be “shining”, or the Sun may be “smiling”. The moon, on the other hand, has long been associated with aspects of the mind. Specifically, the moon (in folklore) directly affects madness/sanity. Even today, common folklore reflects this: lunacy or lunatic (luna = moon). Superstision holds that the full moon drives a person insane. This may actually be related to superstitions regarding werewolves.

The correlations between the element of “Green Growing Things” and human hair may not be too obvious at first. It may have been as simple as the human hair being likened to the slow-growing English Ivy – they actually grow in length at about the same speed. This outward growth is a clear expression of the direction most associate with this element: that of “outwards”.

Stones were seen as the bones of the Earth: hard, shapable into toods, and maintaining the structure of the “body” (that of the person or the world). Even through the great stone circles pre-date the Druids (and perhaps the Celts), one has to wonder if there’s some relation between these stone monuments and the Celts own belief in the significance of the stones.

 

Source:

Empathy’s Mystical Occult Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Talk Witch – A Celebration of MAY DAY by Mike Nichols

A Celebration Of
MAY DAY
by Mike Nichols

 


 

“Perhaps it’s just as well that you won’t be here …
to be offended by the sight of our May Day celebrations.”
—Lord Summerisle to Sgt. Howie from
The Wicker Man

 

There are four great festivals of the Pagan Celtic year and the modern Witches’ calendar, as well. The two greatest of these are Halloween (the beginning of winter) and May Day (the beginning of summer). Being opposite each other on the wheel of the year, they separate the year into halves. Halloween (also called Samhain) is the Celtic New Year and is generally considered the more important of the two, though May Day runs a close second. Indeed, in some areas—notably Wales—it is considered “the great holiday”.

May Day ushers in the fifth month of the modern calendar year, the month of May. This month is named in honor of the Goddess Maia, originally a Greek mountain nymph, later identified as the most beautiful of the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades. By Zeus, she is also the mother of Hermes, God of magic. Maia’s parents were Atlas and Pleione, a sea nymph.

The old Celtic name for May Day is Beltane (in its most popular Anglicized form), which is derived from the Irish Gaelic Bealtaine or the Scottish Gaelic Bealtuinn, meaning “Bel-fire”, the fire of the Celtic God of Light (Bel, Beli, or Belinus). He, in turn, may be traced to the Middle Eastern God Baal.

Other names for May Day include: Cetsamhain (opposite Samhain), Walpurgisnacht (in Germany), and Roodmas (the medieval church’s name). This last came from church fathers who were hoping to shift the common people’s allegiance from the Maypole (Pagan lingam—symbol of life) to the Holy Rood (the cross—Roman instrument of death).

Incidentally, there is no historical justification for calling May 1 ‘Lady Day’. For hundreds of years, that title has been proper to the vernal equinox (approximately March 21), another holiday sacred to the Great Goddess. The nontraditional use of ‘Lady Day’ for May 1 is quite recent (since the early 1970s), and seems to be confined to America, where it has gained widespread acceptance among certain segments of the Craft population. This rather startling departure from tradition would seem to indicate an unfamiliarity with European calendar customs, as well as a lax attitude toward scholarship among too many Pagans. A simple glance at a dictionary (Webster’s 3rd or O.E.D.), encyclopedia (Benet’s), or standard mythology reference (Jobe’s Dictionary of Mythology, Folklore & Symbols) would confirm the correct date for Lady Day as the vernal equinox.

By Celtic reckoning, the actual Beltane celebration begins on sundown of the preceding day, April 30, because the Celts always figured their days from sundown to sundown. And sundown was the proper time for Druids to kindle the great Belfires on the tops of the nearest beacon hill (such as Tara Hill, Co. Meath, in Ireland). These “need-fires” had healing properties, and skyclad Witches would jump through the flames to ensure protection.

Sgt. Howie (shocked): “But they are naked!”
Lord Summerisle: “Naturally. It’s much too dangerous to jump through the fire with your clothes on!”

—from The Wicker Man

 

Frequently, cattle would be driven between two such bonfires (oak wood was the favorite fuel for them) and, on the morrow, they would be taken to their summer pastures.

Other May Day customs include: walking the circuit of one’s property (“beating the bounds”), repairing fences and boundary markers, processions of chimney sweeps and milkmaids, archery tournaments, morris dances, sword dances, feasting, music, drinking, and maidens bathing their faces in the dew of May morning to retain their youthful beauty.

In the words of Witchcraft writers Janet and Stewart Farrar, the Beltane celebration was principally a time of “unashamed human sexuality and fertility”. Such associations include the obvious phallic symbolism of the Maypole and riding the hobbyhorse. Even a seemingly innocent children’s nursery rhyme “Ride a cock horse to Banburry Cross …” retains such memories. And the next line, “to see a fine Lady on a white horse”, is a reference to the annual ride of Lady Godiva through Coventry. Every year for nearly three centuries, a skyclad village maiden (elected “Queen of the May”) enacted this Pagan rite, until the Puritans put an end to the custom.

The Puritans, in fact, reacted with pious horror to most of the May Day rites, even making Maypoles illegal in 1644. They especially attempted to suppress the “greenwood marriages” of young men and women who spent the entire night in the forest, staying out to greet the May sunrise, and bringing back boughs of flowers and garlands to decorate the village the next morning. One angry Puritan wrote that men “doe use commonly to runne into woodes in the night time, amongst maidens, to set bowes, in so muche, as I have hearde of tenne maidens whiche went to set May, and nine of them came home with childe.” And another Puritan complained that, “Of forty, threescore or a hundred maids going to the wood over night, there have scarcely the third part of them returned home again undefiled.”

Long after the Christian form of marriage (with its insistence on sexual monogamy) had replaced the older Pagan handfasting, the rules of strict fidelity were always relaxed for the May Eve rites. Names such as Robin Hood, Maid Marion, and Little John played an important part in May Day folklore, often used as titles for the dramatis personae of the celebrations. And modern surnames such as Robinson, Hodson, Johnson, and Godkin may attest to some distant May Eve spent in the woods.

These wildwood antics have inspired writers such as Kipling:

Oh, do not tell the Priest our plight,
Or he would call it a sin;
But we have been out in the woods all night,
A-conjuring Summer in!

 

And Lerner and Lowe:

It’s May! It’s May!
The lusty month of May!…
Those dreary vows that ev’ryone takes,
Ev’ryone breaks.
Ev’ryone makes divine mistakes!
The lusty month of May!

 

It is certainly no accident that Queen Guinevere’s ‘abduction’ by Meliagrance occurs on May 1 when she and the court have gone a-Maying, or that the usually efficient Queen’s guard, on this occasion, rode unarmed.

Some of these customs seem virtually identical to the old Roman feast of flowers, the Floralia, three days of unrestrained sexuality that began at sundown April 28 and reached a crescendo on May 1.

There are other, even older, associations with May 1 in Celtic mythology. According to the ancient Irish Book of Invasions, the first settler of Ireland, Partholan, arrived on May 1, and it was on May 1 that the plague came that destroyed his people. Years later, the Milesians conquered the Tuatha De Danann on May Day. In Welsh myth, the perennial battle between Gwythur and Gwyn for the love of Creiddyled took place each May Day, and it was on May Eve that Teirnyon lost his colts and found Pryderi. May Eve was also the occasion of a fearful scream that was heard each year throughout Wales, one of the three curses of the Coranians lifted by the skill of Lludd and Llevelys.

By the way, due to various calendrical changes down through the centuries, the traditional date of Beltane is not the same as its astrological date. This date, like all astronomically determined dates, may vary by a day or two depending on the year. However, it may be calculated easily enough by determining the date on which the sun is at fifteen degrees Taurus (usually around May 5). British Witches often refer to this date as Old Beltane, and folklorists call it Beltane O.S. (Old Style). Some covens prefer to celebrate on the old date and, at the very least, it gives one options. If a coven is operating on ‘Pagan Standard Time’ and misses May 1 altogether, it can still throw a viable Beltane bash as long as it’s before May 5. This may also be a consideration for covens that need to organize activities around the weekend.

This date has long been considered a “power point” of the zodiac, and is symbolized by the Bull, one of the tetramorph figures featured on the tarot cards, the World and the Wheel of Fortune. (The other three symbols are the Lion, the Eagle, and the Spirit.) Astrologers know these four figures as the symbols of the four “fixed” signs of the zodiac (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius), and these naturally align with the four Great Sabbats of Witchcraft. Christians have adopted the same iconography to represent the four Gospel writers.

But for most, it is May 1 that is the great holiday of flowers, Maypoles, and greenwood frivolity. It is no wonder that, as recently as 1977, Ian Anderson could pen the following lyrics for the band Jethro Tull:

For the May Day is the great day,
Sung along the old straight track.
And those who ancient lines did ley
Will heed this song that calls them back.

 


 

Document Copyright © 1983 – 2009 by Mike Nichols.
Text editing courtesy of Acorn Guild Press.
Website redesign by Bengalhome Internet Services, © 2009

Permission is given to re-publish this document only as long as no information is lost or changed, credit is given to the author, and it is provided or used without cost to others.
This notice represents an exception to the copyright notice found in the Acorn Guild Press edition of The Witches’ Sabbats and applies only to the text as given above.
Other uses of this document must be approved in writing by Mike Nichols This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Deity of the Day – The Morrighan

Deity of the Day – the morrighan

 

The Morrighan – Celtic Goddess of War and Sovereignity

By Patti Wigington, About.com 

In Celtic mythology, the Morrighan is known as a goddess of battle and war. However, there’s a bit more to her than this. Also referred to as Morrígu, Morríghan, or Mor-Ríoghain, she is called the “washer at the ford,” because if a warrior saw her washing his armor in the stream, it meant he was to die that day. She is the goddess who determines whether or not you walk off the field of battle, or are carried off upon your shield. In later Irish folklore, this role would be delegated to the bain sidhe, who foresaw the death of members of a specific family or clan.

The Morrighan often appears in the form of a crow or raven, or is seen accompanied by a group of them. In the stories of the Ulster cycle, she is shown as a cow and a wolf as well. The connection with these two animals suggest that in some areas, she may have been connected to fertility and land.

In some legends, the Morrighan is considered a triune, or triple goddess, but there are a lot of inconsistencies to this. She often appears as a sister to the Badb and Macha. In some Neopagan traditions, she is portrayed in her role as destroyer, representing the Crone Aspect of the Maiden/Mother/Crone cycle, but this seems to be incorrect when one looks at her original Irish history. Some scholars point out that war specifically is not a primary aspect of the Morrighan, and that her connection to cattle presents her as a goddess of sovereignty. The theory is that she can be seen as a deity who guides or protects a king.

In modern literature, there has been some linking of the Morrighan to the character of Morgan Le Fay in the Arthurian legend. It appears, though, that this is more fanciful thinking than anything else. Although Morgan le Fay appears in the Vita Merlini in the twelfth century, a narrative of the life of Merlin by Geoffrey of Monmouth, it’s unlikely that there’s a connection to the Morrighan. Scholars point out that the name “Morgan” is Welsh, and derived from root words connected to the sea. “Morrighan” is Irish, and is rooted in words that are associated with “terror” or “greatness.” In other words, the names sound similar, but the relationship ends there.

There’s an excellent page with plenty of scholarly information on the Morrighan from Reverend Gwynarion Elessacar at http://www.elessacar.com/the_morrighan.php.

The Morrighan – Celtic Goddess of War and Sovereignity

The Morrighan – Celtic Goddess of War and Sovereignity

By , About.com

In Celtic mythology, the Morrighan is known as a goddess of battle and war. However, there’s a bit more to her than this. Also referred to as Morrígu, Morríghan, or Mor-Ríoghain, she is called the “washer at the ford,” because if a warrior saw her washing his armor in the stream, it meant he was to die that day. She is the goddess who determines whether or not you walk off the field of battle, or are carried off upon your shield. In later Irish folklore, this role would be delegated to the bain sidhe, who foresaw the death of members of a specific family or clan.

The Morrighan often appears in the form of a crow or raven, or is seen accompanied by a group of them. In the stories of the Ulster cycle, she is shown as a cow and a wolf as well. The connection with these two animals suggest that in some areas, she may have been connected to fertility and land.

In some legends, the Morrighan is considered a triune, or triple goddess, but there are a lot of inconsistencies to this. She often appears as a sister to the Badb and Macha. In some Neopagan traditions, she is portrayed in her role as destroyer, representing the Crone aspect of the Maiden/Mother/Crone cycle, but this seems to be incorrect when one looks at her original Irish history. Some scholars point out that war specifically is not a primary aspect of the Morrighan, and that her connection to cattle presents her as a goddess of sovereignty. The theory is that she can be seen as a deity who guides or protects a king.

In modern literature, there has been some linking of the Morrighan to the character of Morgan Le Fay in the Arthurian legend. It appears, though, that this is more fanciful thinking than anything else. Although Morgan le Fay appears in the Vita Merlini in the twelfth century, a narrative of the life of Merlin by Geoffrey of Monmouth, it’s unlikely that there’s a connection to the Morrighan. Scholars point out that the name “Morgan” is Welsh, and derived from root words connected to the sea. “Morrighan” is Irish, and is rooted in words that are associated with “terror” or “greatness.” In other words, the names sound similar, but the relationship ends ther

The Need for Masculinity: The Equal Importance of Men

The Need for Masculinity: The Equal Importance of Men
image
Author: Vetch Hoshizora

As observed by a recent essay by another Druid, Draoi, there are a lot fewer men following Pagan religions than women, who compose an overwhelming majority. Some traditions are more male-oriented than others-for example, my path of Druidry. Everyone in society sees Druids as being male, and while it’s true that women also could be Druids, women were an actual minority.

Likewise Asatru, based on Norse traditional beliefs, and which probably attracts more men than women. Wicca, however, is very female-dominated. Feminism is a strong force in Paganism at the moment, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But has anyone noticed there isn’t a word with the same “standing up for rights” connotations when it comes to the defense of men?

It also seems that men are viewed as having less power than women and that a High Priestess has more authority than a High Priest. I don’t understand this view, personally. We have a male and female pairing in leadership of Wiccan covens to reflect the fact that Wiccans believe in a God and a Goddess. I can see that this idea of putting the woman first is an attempt to right the wrongs of patriarchy, which oppressed women for around 2, 000 years or so. But I don’t see why the Goddess cannot be equal to the God; why has she got to be more powerful than He?

Now, I know what you’re thinking: the Goddess gives birth to the God; therefore, she’s better. But without the God, she would never have become pregnant in the first place. The entire cycle of the year, in which the God dies and is reborn from the Goddess to marry her again in the summer, depends on their becoming lovers and the God impregnating her with new life to be born again. A woman may carry a child, but it takes a man to create one. His role is just as important as hers. They are both the creators of life, not just the single Goddess.

And this is true of the ancient pantheons on which Wiccans base their practice. Look at the Greek Gods: admittedly, Zeus was in charge and he did a lot of womanizing, but his wife, Hera, was an incredibly powerful figure. She got her own way and punished him for all of his infidelities. She was Queen of the Gods, not just “Zeus’s wife.” Look at all the priestesses of the past, from the Oracle of Delphi to the seers and Druidesses in Celtic mythology. Look at Cuhulain’s wife, angry at his adultery but strong enough to do something about iit-so much of an equal that he would do anything to please her.

Now, I’ve always had feminist leanings. I’ve never accepted the bullying of boys in my class because I knew they were wrong for not valuing what I could do. I have always thought that women’s rights are not yet completely won (equal pay, for a start) and there is a lot of time to go before things are satisfactory between the sexes. But what we are doing now, my sisters, is destroying ourselves before we start.

I don’t advocate a return to the days of the meek housewife polishing her husband’s shoes. But I do think that the feminism that has led to today’s female binge-drinking culture has a lot to answer for. In the street, it is possible to see two generations of women: the wise, older ones, dressed sensibly and leading a sticky curly-mop toddler by the hand, and the teenage mothers with bare midriff, cigarette hanging from their lips, and brown hair with bleached stripes through it. They drink more in pubs than the men and put off having babies until it is far too late. We don’t have the time men do to have the next generation.

It may be a dim view, but before long we’ll be a society of idiots because the teenage mothers with no idea how to use contraception and get stoned every weekend will have produced the entire generation, while the intelligent career women, in the name of feminism, reject what their bodies are for and forget children.

As much as rabid feminists would like to forget it, whether you believe in the Christian God or not, women are the ones who have children, and men are the ones who give them to us. We’re not seahorses-you can’t really reverse the role. Having a child requires a lot of sacrifice on a woman’s part. But if we are to survive, as Pagans and as intelligent people, we have to procreate. We can’t claim the tolerance other faiths lack if we oppress our own men and turn them away.

I foresee a situation in which women have defected to Paganism and men have defected to monotheism purely because both paths value more their different genders; if it gets to this, of course, how will there be any more Pagans? We’ll have destroyed ourselves with our silliness.

There is the sacred feminine. There is also the divine masculine, and we need to recognize the important, eternity-long role men play in the cycle of life. As Pagans, worshipping the Earth and as part of an ancient fertility religion, we need to see that the corn didn’t grow and the livestock didn’t breed for meat and milk and wool long ago without fertilization.

Men are as important as women. The God-or the Gods-are just as important as the Goddess and the Goddesses because life would not exist without the Gods. The roles of men should not be spat bitterly out of Pagan life. They were the hunters, the farmers, the warriors, the priests, and they were Fathers. What can a daughter do without a father to be a rock to lean back on? Who teaches a girl to stand on her own two feet and gain financial independence? Who offers a daughter lessons that her mother cannot teach her purely because she is a woman?

The only substitute for a father figure is close male friends. Either way, you learn to understand the male sex from your Dad or boy mates; a boyfriend, unless he becomes a husband, is not going to tell you why he thinks the way he does.

People spend so much time ranting about the fact that we say “God and Goddess” instead of Goddess and God and “husband and wife” not “wife and husband.” But why should we change our language to reflect an equally bigoted climate of feminism? Why should we discriminate against men by making them the second-class citizens we used to be? It makes no sense to oppress a man just because his forefathers were slightly dim in their views of women’s rights.

I want a career. I want the freedom, as a Pagan woman, to worship how I will without bending to any authority but the Gods and my teachers. But I am happy to accept a man’s authority in a grove or a woman’s, just as my patron God is male, and though I’m looking at an ambitious career choice, if I met a man who I fell in love with, giving up that job to have a family would be an easy choice to make. I don’t intend to squander my chance to create a legacy for the world of children with brains and Pagan leanings. After all, what else is a woman’s womb for but to fill with the baby of a man she loves?

Author’s Note: I realize many women may not agree with me, but the fact is that feminism discriminates as much as misogyny and that is all that can be said.

Alayne Grey, Druid