I was thinking about the ancient cults of fertility goddesses and resurrected gods that much of modern pagan Witchcraft is inspired by, such as those of Inanna and Dumuzi, Cybele and Attis, Isis and Osiris/Serapis, and Aphrodite and Adonis. It seems to me that the female deity is usually dominant, with the male consort playing a secondary role (except in the case of Osiris, who was a very important god in his own right in Egypt, although Isis was superior to Serapis in their Roman cult). Dumuzi, Attis, and Adonis aren't even fully divine, or divine at all. The focus of worship in these cults is the goddess, and her male companion isn't terribly important in his own right. He is subject to her, and provides an example of her power over life and death. What I've read about Shaktism in India sounds very similar, in that the Goddess is the supreme divinity and the source of all divine power, and her male consort (Shiva) is auxiliary.
It makes me wonder if the tendency for modern pagan Witchcraft (mostly Wiccan) traditions to emphasize total balance between God and Goddess is more about political correctness and current gender politics rather than theology. Don't get me wrong, as a male myself, I don't think men should be subservient to women (or any gender/race/whatever to another), but this is about deities, not human politics. The God is not really equal to the Goddess, as his existence is completely dependent on her, and she has power over his life, death, and rebirth. They are not so much co-creators so much as she is creator and he is creation. Feri tradition doesn't really try to make the male deity an equal, as the Goddess is the infinite source of all, and the male is considered unnecessary for creation, though there isn't rigid emphasis about "maleness" and femaleness". The Goddess brought forth the Divine Twins because she desired them, not because she needed them.
I'm just wondering what people's thoughts are, as the cults from which many Witchcraft traditions have inherited their theologies do kind of make it seem like the goddess is superior to her male consort. Once again, I'm not trying to be a feminist, or suggest a Dianic model where male gods are not acknowledged at all. I'm just pointing out that in ancient cults of goddesses and their dying consorts, the male deity isn't really an equal. Adonis was a mortal boy who Aphrodite fell in love with, whose death was mourned as a part of Aphrodite's cult, and whose return from the underworld filled Aphrodite with such love that fruitfulness and beauty returned to the world once more. The cycles of the resurrected gods represent seasonal change, but such cycles themselves are controlled by the female deity, who is the generative, procreative power in the universe to which the dying and resurrected god is subject. This isn't to say that there weren't supreme male gods, since there certainly were. Greece had Zeus, king and father of both gods and mortals, and his wife Hera (at least in recorded historical periods) was submissive to him. However, his cult has less in common with modern pagan Witchcraft, which is very much focused on nature and the life force of the universe rather than kingship and paternal authority.
I just think that making the God of Witchcraft out to be of equal importance to the Goddess, when he is far more dependent on her than she is on him, is more the product of human issues of social equality rather than theology, although I could be wrong. I'd like to see other people's thoughts on the subject.
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