collapse

Author Topic: Creation myths and gender polarity  (Read 3310 times)

Waldhexe

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: Essen
  • Posts: 684
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: de
  • Total likes: 46
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Druidry
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/her
Creation myths and gender polarity
« on: August 26, 2012, 01:00:14 pm »
I've recently thought a lot about various circles / wheels / cosmological compasses and the stories they tell about the cosmos and creation.

As most of you know some pagan traditions work with a circle of four elements & directions, which are often put into boxes of male (air & fire) and female (water & earth) attributes.

Some people work with a (neo)wiccan wheel of the year telling the reproductive story of a god and a goddess.

I've recently encountered a newly constructed 'medicine wheel' for European 'shamanic practices' which starts off at the point of 'primordial essence' and then divides the universe into 'primordial god' and 'primordial goddess' as 'primordial polarity' and then tells a creation story of how the elements, the ancestors, the plants, the animals, the humans etc. came into being from the interaction of these two primordial deities...

There are also a couple of ancient creation myths starting off with a god and a goddess...

At this point I wonder if there are any creation myths where the gender polarity isn't the first thing coming out of the primordial soup. Are there any ancient or recent creation stories not starting off with some kind of primordial male and female?

When I look at how science theorizes about the beginning of the universe and the beginning of life the development of sexes seem to be a pretty late step of evolution. Not that I'm an expert, but as much as I know primordial lifeforms where sexless protozoa...and even today there are some lifeforms which don't reproduce sexually.

Maybe the strong notion of primordial male & female is due to the fact that every human child is produced in a sexual way (unless we start to clone people).

But attributing female and male polarities to everything (sun/moon, elements, etc.) seems some kind of overgeneralisation in a human-centric worldview to me.

Does anybody know any non-gender-polaristic creation stories (ancient or recent ones)?

Do you still find gender-polaristic creation stories valid because of most people's 'mun & dad-experience' or would you rather use a creation story for your pagan tradition which isn't gender-polaric?

I was also thinking it would be interesting to write a creation story which adresses different kinds of polarities than sexes/gender and tells the story about men and women in a less binary way, including GLBT+ aspects and also doesn't put gender as the primary boxes everything is sorted into...but at the moment I'm at a loss and looking for ideas and suggestions.

Any thoughts on this?

wadjet

  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jul 2012
  • Posts: 327
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 1
    • View Profile
    • http://eirikra.blogspot.com/
Re: Creation myths and gender polarity
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 01:39:39 pm »
Quote from: Waldhexe;70757
Any thoughts on this?

I agree with you that gender polarization is a vast oversimplification of the universe.

The Norse creation story is un-gendered, and I believe the PIE stories it takes its basis from were as well. They involve the killing/sacrifice of a body whose parts become the world.

For binaries in general I always am reminded of my favorite Crowley quote: "The Universe is a Unity Disguised as a Duality". So sure, a person can try to categorize everything neatly into this and that, but it's only half of the true story. (Amusingly, Crowley was one of the biggest culprits of over-categorization ever. Typical.)

I've also found that Norse doesn't neatly categorize into colors or elements or anything else, either. I mean I have UPG colors associated with Gods, for instance, but it's not structured in any way.

EDIT: Without going into anything historical, I personally don't find a lot of forced-gender in the Eddas, either. But that's a whole long Heathen topic to get into.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 01:41:07 pm by wadjet »

Juniperberry

  • Grand Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Banned!
  • Posts: 1891
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Creation myths and gender polarity
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2012, 01:47:04 pm »
Quote from: Waldhexe;70757
this point I wonder if there are any creation myths where the gender polarity isn't the first thing coming out of the primordial soup. Are there any ancient or recent creation stories not starting off with some kind of primordial male and female?

Does anybody know any non-gender-polaristic creation stories (ancient or recent ones)?
 

Any thoughts on this?

The Norse mythology creation polarity is hot/cold, fire/ice with the mist/swamp between being the primordial soup rather than male/female.

The first being (Ymir, later earth) came from this, was hermaphroditic, and spawned children through the sweat between his toes and under his arms. The second being (Buri) was licked free from the ice and was presumably also hermaphroditic.

The Germanic ethnogeny has Tuisto born from the earth, hermaphroditically spawning Mannus, who then spawned three tribes.


So it goes: Buri; Borr; Odin, Vili, Ve (Norse) and Tuisto; Mannus; Ingvones, Herminiones, Istavones (Germanic).

There's a 1/1/3 structure to creation that's obviously important, seen also in the importance of the number three and then the number nine in the mythology.

There's actually some thought that the three relates  to the three main veins of the umbilical cord (world tree) and that nine represents the human gestation period. Which would bring it back to gender/sex. But that's all just random theory thrown out there. Fun to speculate though.

Edit: wadjet beat me to it.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 01:48:07 pm by Juniperberry »
The pace of progress in artificial intelligence (I’m not referring to narrow AI) is incredibly fast. [...] The risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five year timeframe. 10 years at most.--Elon Musk

I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence," [Bill] Gates wrote. "First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don\'t understand why some people are not concerned."

Darkhawk

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 4771
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 634
    • View Profile
    • Suns in her Branches
  • Religion: An American Werewolf in the Akhet; Kemetic; Feri; Imaginary Baltic Heathen; Discordian; CoX; Etc.
  • Preferred Pronouns: any of he, she, they
Re: Creation myths and gender polarity
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2012, 01:58:22 pm »
Quote from: Waldhexe;70757
Does anybody know any non-gender-polaristic creation stories (ancient or recent ones)?


Modern:  Feri creation myth is autoerotic.  (And arguably creates gender polarity by passing through transsexuality, which queers some stuff up rather nicely.)

Ancient:  Heliopolitan creation myth begins with autoeroticism and then moves into gender differentiation.

Hermopolitan creation myth in which the Ogdoad creates the cosmic egg strikes me as magical artificing, and while the Ogdoad is paired-up genderwise that appears to be mostly the Egyptian obsession with polarity and a way of conveying balanced factors?  The Ogdoad themselves are effectively summons.

Memphite creation myth is the power of imagination and naming, which then iterates into the Heliopolitan cascade in a bit of political brilliance.

Hesiod's Theogony strikes me as having both sexual and 'and this power came forth from that power just because' in the early bits.

Then there's this, from Ovid ("translated into English verse under the direction of Sir Samuel Garth"):
But God, or Nature, while they thus contend,
To these intestine discords put an end:
Then earth from air, and seas from earth were driv'n,
And grosser air sunk from aetherial Heav'n.
Thus disembroil'd, they take their proper place;
The next of kin, contiguously embrace;
And foes are sunder'd, by a larger space.
The force of fire ascended first on high,
And took its dwelling in the vaulted sky:
Then air succeeds, in lightness next to fire;
Whose atoms from unactive earth retire.
Earth sinks beneath, and draws a num'rous throng
Of pondrous, thick, unwieldy seeds along.
About her coasts, unruly waters roar;
And rising, on a ridge, insult the shore.
Thus when the God, whatever God was he,
Had form'd the whole, and made the parts agree,
That no unequal portions might be found,
He moulded Earth into a spacious round:
Then with a breath, he gave the winds to blow;
And bad the congregated waters flow.
He adds the running springs, and standing lakes;
And bounding banks for winding rivers makes.
Some part, in Earth are swallow'd up, the most
In ample oceans, disembogu'd, are lost.
He shades the woods, the vallies he restrains
With rocky mountains, and extends the plains.


And, of course, there's Genesis in the Bible.

Quote
Do you still find gender-polaristic creation stories valid because of most people's 'mun & dad-experience' or would you rather use a creation story for your pagan tradition which isn't gender-polaric?


I think "valid" is a bad question, because there is no what it's valid as specified.  Is it valid as mythology?  Well, someone uses it as a sacred story so that's just tautological.

I don't find gender-polaristic creation stories appealing.  I don't have a problem with stories that include sexual reproduction as among the means of creation, but I do object to it as the sine qua non of coming into being.  (Among other things, as someone who has been through pregnancy, I have a serious hot button about romanticisation of the process.  And I'm not the one of my family members who would likely have died in a previous medical era.)

Koi actually articulated this well in a conversation we had in chat a while back, so I will try to convey her perspective, which I more or less share.  Basically: if one looks at the ontology of creation, what's in there is a measure, in part, of who is able to most closely resemble the divine model.  Creation through, e.g., acts of naming, is accessible more universally than creation through sexual reproduction, and thus is more inclusive of the whole of humanity.  (The levels of disability that cut people off completely from the possibility for use of communication are much less common than the summed sets of exclusive homosexuality, sterility, medical contraindications for reproduction, asexuality, and childfree preference.)

The standard response to that is that every human came into being through a process of sexual reproduction.  But: that still creates classes.  "Everyone is made by the gods but only some people can create like gods."
as the water grinds the stone
we rise and fall
as our ashes turn to dust
we shine like stars    - Covenant, "Bullet"

Waldhexe

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: Essen
  • Posts: 684
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: de
  • Total likes: 46
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Druidry
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/her
Re: Creation myths and gender polarity
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2012, 03:30:33 pm »
Quote from: wadjet;70770
The Norse creation story is un-gendered

Thanks!!! I really didn't think about it, maybe because I still haven't done my homework on getting more familiar with norse stuff...but it's a good idea to look there!

Waldhexe

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: Essen
  • Posts: 684
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: de
  • Total likes: 46
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Druidry
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/her
Re: Creation myths and gender polarity
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2012, 03:43:44 pm »
Quote from: Juniperberry;70773
The first being (Ymir, later earth) came from this, was hermaphroditic, and spawned children through the sweat between his toes and under his arms. The second being (Buri) was licked free from the ice and was presumably also hermaphroditic.

When I first encountered this myth (admittedly through a shortened retelling as audiobook version...) I seemed to have missed the fact that Ymir was hermaphroditic (maybe the author cut that one out).

Quote
There's a 1/1/3 structure to creation that's obviously important, seen also in the importance of the number three and then the number nine in the mythology.

There's actually some thought that the three relates to the three main veins of the umbilical cord (world tree) and that nine represents the human gestation period. Which would bring it back to gender/sex. But that's all just random theory thrown out there. Fun to speculate though.

I really don't know a thing about Norse mythology, but if there's no source basis for any specific meaning of the number three could also be the simple fact that three things are good to memorize or maybe some tribal/political system where the number three occured...or because it's the highest prime number which produces a still finger countable number (9) when multiplied with itsself so it seems to be a 'magical number'...dunno, I'm just guessing.

Waldhexe

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: Essen
  • Posts: 684
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: de
  • Total likes: 46
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Druidry
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/her
Re: Creation myths and gender polarity
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2012, 03:56:09 pm »
Quote from: Darkhawk;70776
Modern:  Feri creation myth is autoerotic.  (And arguably creates gender polarity by passing through transsexuality, which queers some stuff up rather nicely.)

Ancient:  Heliopolitan creation myth begins with autoeroticism and then moves into gender differentiation.

Which might mirror the fact that many people have autoerotic experiences before they have sexual ones. :p

Interesting point though!

Quote
Hermopolitan creation myth in which the Ogdoad creates the cosmic egg strikes me as magical artificing, and while the Ogdoad is paired-up genderwise that appears to be mostly the Egyptian obsession with polarity and a way of conveying balanced factors?  The Ogdoad themselves are effectively summons.

Would you say that all other polarities are about the gender polarity or that the gender polarity might just be a very catchy metaphor for all kinds of polarities (pars pro toto)?

Quote
Koi actually articulated this well in a conversation we had in chat a while back, so I will try to convey her perspective, which I more or less share.  Basically: if one looks at the ontology of creation, what's in there is a measure, in part, of who is able to most closely resemble the divine model.  Creation through, e.g., acts of naming, is accessible more universally than creation through sexual reproduction, and thus is more inclusive of the whole of humanity.  (The levels of disability that cut people off completely from the possibility for use of communication are much less common than the summed sets of exclusive homosexuality, sterility, medical contraindications for reproduction, asexuality, and childfree preference.)

The standard response to that is that every human came into being through a process of sexual reproduction.  But: that still creates classes.  "Everyone is made by the gods but only some people can create like gods."

That's a really interesting point. I'm also reminded of the argument many people make about many other forms of creation and reproduction. It's not that the process of creating the next generation of humans only requires sex. Children also need to be raised and a society reproduces in other ways than just biological reproduction by teaching various cultural aspects to the next generation, (re)producing food and materials and services etc...

Aster Breo

  • Senior Staff
  • *
  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Posts: 2810
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 32
    • View Profile
Creation myths and gender polarity
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2012, 04:07:10 pm »
Quote from: Waldhexe;70757
Does anybody know any non-gender-polaristic creation stories (ancient or recent ones)?


Sorry -- I'm not reading well today, so I haven't made it through the detailed posts in this thread yet.  I hope to when I'm in better shape.  This is an interesting topic.

But I wanted to mention "The Earthshapers" from _Celtic Wonder Tales_, by Ella Young (1910), http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cwt/cwt01.htm.  It's not ancient, but could be based on ancient myth.

~ Aster
"The status is not quo."  ~ Dr. Horrible

Abgeneth

  • Sr. Newbie
  • **
  • Join Date: Aug 2012
  • Posts: 19
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Creation myths and gender polarity
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2012, 03:42:42 am »
Quote from: Waldhexe;70757

Does anybody know any non-gender-polaristic creation stories (ancient or recent ones)?

 
The only non-sexual creation myth I can think of that hasn't been mentioned yet is the Babylonian one about Tiamat being slain by Marduk, who forms the world from her body. I don't recall it exactly, so corrections welcome where needed :)

It seems to me that strongly gendered sexuality-based creation myths are just what appeals most to a certain type of post-feministic eclectic pagans, because replacing male superiority with female supersiority didn't work so well and was never mainstreamable in any way. So now they just are regarded as equal and equally necessary for life. Probably just yet another mirror of sociocultural evolution. (And yes, this is speculative, but funny, and might contain some inkling of truth ;))

My own spiritual worldview doesn't require a creation myth of any sort, as I see the universe as cyclical and the everchanging expression of the Divine. But creation myths make great stories to tell over a cup of tea by the warm flicker of candles, and as long as they aren't regarded as THE TRUTH (TM) but as metaphors I don't see any problems bringing my children up believing in them :)

BB
Abgeneth

Waldhexe

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Location: Essen
  • Posts: 684
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: de
  • Total likes: 46
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Druidry
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her/her
Re: Creation myths and gender polarity
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2012, 03:56:00 am »
Quote from: Abgeneth;70868
It seems to me that strongly gendered sexuality-based creation myths are just what appeals most to a certain type of post-feministic eclectic pagans, because replacing male superiority with female supersiority didn't work so well and was never mainstreamable in any way. So now they just are regarded as equal and equally necessary for life. Probably just yet another mirror of sociocultural evolution. (And yes, this is speculative, but funny, and might contain some inkling of truth ;))

Yeah, I see this definitly in the case of the aforementioned "European medicine wheel", the authors (Vicky Gabriel & William Anderson) argue that they mean to construct a system in which both sexes are equal. My squabble with them is that they draw from Jung's animus & anima concept and fill the male & female places with traditional attributes. -> back to square one

Quote
But creation myths make great stories to tell over a cup of tea by the warm flicker of candles, and as long as they aren't regarded as THE TRUTH (TM)

Haha, then we would be pagan creationists! :p

Abgeneth

  • Sr. Newbie
  • **
  • Join Date: Aug 2012
  • Posts: 19
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Creation myths and gender polarity
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2012, 04:10:15 am »
Quote from: Waldhexe;70869

Haha, then we would be pagan creationists! :p

 
There are pagans who consider themselves the only true pagans (tm) and think they are the only ones having the right to worship the gods, so if we already have an annoying orthodoxy the step to creationism isn't so far, is it? :P

PetitAlbert

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jul 2011
  • Posts: 101
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Total likes: 0
    • View Profile
Re: Creation myths and gender polarity
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2012, 08:20:44 am »
Quote from: Darkhawk;70776
Koi actually articulated this well in a conversation we had in chat a while back, so I will try to convey her perspective, which I more or less share.  Basically: if one looks at the ontology of creation, what's in there is a measure, in part, of who is able to most closely resemble the divine model.  Creation through, e.g., acts of naming, is accessible more universally than creation through sexual reproduction, and thus is more inclusive of the whole of humanity.  (The levels of disability that cut people off completely from the possibility for use of communication are much less common than the summed sets of exclusive homosexuality, sterility, medical contraindications for reproduction, asexuality, and childfree preference.)

The standard response to that is that every human came into being through a process of sexual reproduction.  But: that still creates classes.  "Everyone is made by the gods but only some people can create like gods."


I agree absolutely.

I also think it's inherently flawed to think of "the creation of life" as = "two genders and sex". Traditional biology has been guided by what humans do, and then us universalising our behavior onto the rest of the world. But the belief that all things reproduce with one man, one woman is dodgy biology. Some tree species for example have male and female trees (i.e. Boxelder), however others like the Mulberry have male trees, female trees and trees that are both male and female. Some trees have male flowers at one time of the year, and female at another. What about the lizards that reproduce asexually? What about cell division - there's no gender or sex there.

This is particularly important to me as an LGBT person, because the appeal to nature so often comes hand in hand with homophobic laws ("Well, it's *natural* because all the birds, and the bees, and the little flowers do it. So you can't have rights.")

But as pagan folk, many of whom include the natural world as a key facet of their spirituality, the gender polarity isn't necessary - and if we big it too far, we risk excluding snails, insects and sharks from our conception of creation. And it's never wise to upset sharks.

(I'm not a biologist, and my source is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_sexuality and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenogenesis)
"We all have something to learn, and something to teach."
30 Days of Magic: take the challenge now!

Petit Albert: This witch\'s blog
Book of Protective Magic by Albert - free 20 page bookzine download

Goddess_Ashtara

  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jan 2017
  • Location: E-EDINLIL
  • Posts: 113
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: 00
  • Total likes: 25
  • DINGIR NIN EDINLIL AK IMEN
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Nexion 3127
Re: Creation myths and gender polarity
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2017, 12:13:39 am »

 
The only non-sexual creation myth I can think of that hasn't been mentioned yet is the Babylonian one about Tiamat being slain by Marduk, who forms the world from her body. I don't recall it exactly, so corrections welcome where needed :)


The Babylonian creation myth- the Enuma Eliš- begins with the story about the primordial gods Abzu and Tiamat... Abzu being the male, freshwater primordial aspect and Tiamat being the female, saltwater primordial aspect.  It specifically states how- upon mixing their waters, gods come into existence within them.  So yes, there was indeed a male/ female union that resulted in offspring, from which the first generations of gods arose.

While a world already existed within the primordial waters of Abzu and Tiamat, Marduk- upon defeating Tiamat in battle later in the story- reshapes the world using her body, establishing a new universe from primordial ingredients and bringing about a new Order over the primordial chaos that came before.



𒊩𒆪  𒂔𒇸𒀝  𒄿𒈨
NIN EDINLIL AK IMEN
𒊩𒆪  𒂔𒇸𒀝  𒄿𒈨

Jainarayan

  • Sr. Master Member
  • *******
  • Join Date: Oct 2014
  • Location: New Jersey
  • Posts: 552
  • Attack: 100
    Defense: 100
    Attack Member
  • Country: us
  • Total likes: 126
    • View Profile
  • Religion: Hinduism
  • Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his
Re: Creation myths and gender polarity
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2017, 01:24:29 pm »
... At this point I wonder if there are any creation myths where the gender polarity isn't the first thing coming out of the primordial soup. Are there any ancient or recent creation stories not starting off with some kind of primordial male and female?

...

Does anybody know any non-gender-polaristic creation stories (ancient or recent ones)?

Hinduism is pretty close. There are actually a couple of creation stories, several of them quite contradictory. But they are "theories" put forth by the many rishis who meditated and perceived/received the Vedas. Not unlike the theories theoretical physicists put forth today. But they don't meditate on it, they do academic study. ;)

It was in the second step (or third, depending on pov) in which a gender difference is seen in the devas (gods and goddesses). Then a human... a male came first, then from a sacrifice he offered (Hindu sacrifices are almost always fire sacrifices - a sacred fire is lit, and offerings of ghee and mantras are made), a female was created. And the rest, as they say, is history.
śivāya vishnu rūpaya śivaḥ rūpaya vishnave
śivasya hridayam viṣṇur viṣṇoscha hridayam śivaḥ
Vishnu's appearance is Shiva; Shiva's appearance is Vishnu
Vishnu is the heart of Shiva; Shiva is the heart of Vishnu - Skandopanishad
 

Ponder

Re: Creation myths and gender polarity
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2017, 11:44:35 pm »
Do you still find gender-polaristic creation stories valid because of most people's 'mun & dad-experience' or would you rather use a creation story for your pagan tradition which isn't gender-polaric?

I was amused to find this thread, because this is exactly what I logged in to post about. I'll share with you my own personal cosmology (its so abstract I dont know if I want to call it a creation myth). It's more based on neoplatonism and gnosticism than anything.

Quote
In the beginning was undifferentiated and formless existence. And this formlessness gave rise, through some ineffable process, to differentiation and duality. It emanated a paired male and female goddess, who then together emanated (or 'gave birth to') the spirits underlying all things. and these, seeking union, joined together to create the world, left and right, sun and moon, earth and water, the world is formed from paired spirits seeking unity. and from this mixing of opposites, living beings came, containing in themselves a spark from their progenitors, the spirits of the earth. And the spirits were in the animals, and the male-and-female were in the spirits, and the Formless was in the form of all the manifold creation which it had brought forth. But the male-and-female wished to participate in life in a boundaried, finite way, to look out from the inside of creation, so to speak. So they made for themselves bodies and passed into them, but the boundaried world could not contain them, and they shattered, the eternal male-and-female remaining as they were, while their mortal bodies came alive, like puppets who continue to move after the strings are cut. And these were the first two humans.

But the humans still had their being from the male-and-female, they still felt a connection to the higher order of being, and this is why, paradoxically, humans are above the beasts and the spirits and the whole earth is their dominion, and yet they are less than all of these, because their true nature is hidden from them. Only when humans reunite with the male-and-female will they understand their true selves.

Okay. So let me bring out some of the implications of this.

First of all, it doesn't say anything, positive or negative, about LGBTQ issues. Like in the Tao, male and female are interpenetrating. Or, to borrow a phrase from Kabbalah, the part contains the whole. The male and female each contain each other, they each contain the totality of the One, the offspring of the god and goddess contain the totality of their parents, and so on. In other words, I'm in agreement with that Crowley quote someone posted upthread: at some level, duality is illusory. But that doesn't make duality unimportant. It's a big feature of my cosmology because I think the reconciliation of opposites, and seeking harmony, is super important. Maleness and femaleness are good symbols for that kind of complementarity and unity.

A few other remarks. There is a pattern embedded within this account, it goes one--->two---->many--->manyx2. 'Many, x2' because the last stage of creation is both multitudinous and divided into genders. So, in a way, thats kind of like manyness doubled. So you have a movement from unity to diversity. And in this story, the sad plight of humanity, both exalted and debased, is a result of disharmonious action, the pattern being violated (and each of the gods trying to act independently, not creating/emanating as a unity).

But from another perspective, since the part contains the whole, the whole will constantly reassert itself, so you can see another pattern at work, a cyclical one: unity===>plurality---->unity--->plurality.  The spirits which make up the world, join together in order to make it, so while theirs is a fractured unity, its still a shadow or sign of the primordial unity from which all things came. Then we get plurality again, and then the narrative breaks the pattern and introduces disharmony with the creation of humans. Which makes humans the last link in the chain, and, further, one which originates from 'higher up' in the order of being than the reality immediately preceding it. The implication I see is that humanity, though isolated from the rest of the world due to ego, has the potential to express in itself the unity of all creation. Despite our existence being to all appearances rudderless, empty, mistaken, the part still contains the whole: we are still connected. We just have to realize it. So...from discord, harmony; the pattern will reassert itself.

Lastly, about animals. The idea of a hierarchy of being will rub some people wrong, but I included that partly because I really do think humanity is special and I really do value human life more than I value animal life. Our capacity for rationality, love, art, etc. is precious to me, and if I had to choose between, say, preserving that light and preserving the earth's ecosystem, I would choose humans. But I don't think animals have literally no value or that they are just here for our convenience.

Tags:
 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
21 Replies
5963 Views
Last post March 30, 2012, 02:02:34 am
by Micheál
5 Replies
806 Views
Last post December 19, 2012, 12:58:41 am
by Sage
3 Replies
616 Views
Last post September 18, 2013, 09:51:48 am
by Kezmerus
41 Replies
9441 Views
Last post December 20, 2015, 12:19:22 pm
by Merin
7 Replies
828 Views
Last post September 15, 2017, 01:50:16 am
by EnderDragonFire

* Who's Online

  • Dot Guests: 29
  • Dot Hidden: 0
  • Dot Users: 1
  • Dot Users Online:

* Please Donate!

The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.

* In Memoriam

Chavi (2006)
Elspeth (2010)
Marilyn (2013)

* Cauldron Staff

Co-Hosts:
LyricFox & Randall

Senior Staff:
Darkhawk

Message Board Staff
Board Coordinator:
Sunflower

Assistant Board Coordinator:
Aster Breo

Board Staff:
Allaya, Chatelaine, HarpingHawke, Jenett, Morag, rocquelaire, Sefiru

Discord Chat Staff
Chat Coordinator:
Morag

Reserve Staff:
Aisling

Cauldron Council:
Bob, Catja, Emma-Eldritch, Fausta, Jubes, Kelly, Phouka, Sperran, Star, Steve, Tana

Cauldron Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]

Site Assistants
[Non-Staff Positions]
Webmaster:
Randall