Neopagans and Wiccans often focus on the Goddess, in part to bring balance to our patriarchal society. But it would be a mistake to ignore or diminish the very real power of the Masculine Divine. I am most certainly a daughter of Apollo, loving the brilliant sun just as much as the mysterious moon, and enjoy greeting him early each morning when I am out feeding my chickens with a big wave and “Good Morning”! It is not unlike the casual (but loving) relationship I shared with my own human father. On my altars I also have images of Chango and Shiva – very masculine, very sexy. I’m not sure if any Christians, Jews or Muslims view their masculine god as virile but it is definitely the way I view my own!
But, I was raised Catholic. And while I always felt a pull to Mary, and it was to her I directed my prayers, I do have an affinity and love for Jesus. I may view him differently – as an Ascended Master, rather than THE Messiah – but that doesn’t mean I do not have respect for his teaching. In fact, Jesus always felt like a spiritual brother – so very kind and accepting of everyone he met. There is reason to believe He spent seven years in India, studying Buddhism, and what is written of him appears to support this. Certainly, His teachings bear a marked resemblance to the Buddhist path.
Author Phyllis Curott wrote in her book Witch Crafting (Broadway Books, 2001) a better overview of the Masculine Divine than I could ever hope to research and pull together! Actually it’s a brilliant book, one you should have in your personal library if you are so inclined. I am going to quote the book directly, straight from the chapter entitled “The God”, rather than reinvent the literary wheel (so to speak).
Going outside and into Nature is a sure way to experience The God. But in our culture, we’ve almost completely forgotten about the God who dwells in Nature. The Green Man is a mystery to modern folk, but he’s one of the most ancient and magical Gods. The Green Man is the God of Vegetation, the life force embodied in the plant creatures of the natural world. He wears a leafy crown and his image is found all over the churches and cathedrals of England and Europe, a surviving reminder of the Old Ways. His energy is gentle, patient and joyful – and like the Mother Earth, He nourishes.
The pre-biblical cultures of the Middle East honored the Sun as the fertilizing partner of the Great Mother Earth. The Egyptians called Him Ra, the Greeks Helios, the Romans called Him Sol, the African Yoruban tribe called Him Shango, and the Scandinavians called Him Baldur. He is also an ancient embodiment of spiritual fire and wisdom. The early Pagan appreciation of the Sun’s energy as the force that draws forth the Earth’s capacity to bear life is a powerful model for men seeking to retrieve their own power and to create positive, dynamic relationships with women. If the Green Man is the God of Growth, the Sun is the power that makes the Green Man grow. His energy is powerful, invigorating, wise and illuminating. The Sun God teaches you the natural movement of energy – expansion followed by contraction followed by expansion. Learning to attune your psyche to the Sun’s great energies enables you to make magic that can fertilize and empower your spells … and your life.
The Horned God is almost as ancient as the Great Earth Mother. He is the God of Nature, the Lord of the Forests and the Animals. He dances upon the walls of the prehistoric caves of Lascaux, France - part man, part stag. Surrounded by the animals upon whom life depended as much as the plants of the Earth, He is the God of their life force. His figure, as God or shaman, is painted upon the walls of this deep cavern, for He is also a force of fertility. Horned Gods are Gods of animal power, of sexuality and strength, freedom and instincts, wildness and the body (embodying these qualities in ways that you won’t find in the Green Man and the Sun God). He is the stag or antlered God called Herne or Cernunnos amongst the Celts and the British; and He is depicted as a bull by the Greeks, Romans, and the Egyptians as Dionysus (and the Minotaur); Poseidon, Neptune, Apis, and Osiris. And He’s the randy Goat-Foot God, and Pan, known all over the pre-Christian world and bearing no resemblance whatsoever to the Biblical demon Satan (but His goat image was misappropriated by the Church to depict Satan, as a way of demonizing the Pagan God). The Horned God is the power of our instincts, our ability to “smell” danger, and to immediately know all we need to about a situation or person. The world is full of magic, but we need our animal selves to sense and enjoy it.
Perhaps one of His greatest blessings is the “fire in the belly,” for the Goddess may be the belly, but the God is the fire within it. The “fire in the belly” is the power to create, engage, analyze, and assert. It is the power that breaks down barriers and brings forth a new vision of life. It is also the power of unbridled lust and sexuality (interestingly, it’s the “male” hormone testosterone that gives women their sex drive). The God is the fuel to your fire, and the fire that burns within you. The God restores to women the power to do all the things we were told good girls don’t do, and all the things the culture wouldn’t let us do: The power to be smart, funny, loud, outrageous, badly or devastatingly dressed, fat, skinny, strong, athletic, independent, passionate, pissed off, visionary, difficult, easy … and yourself. And doesn’t it feel good?
A man, or woman, who has drawn in the God as Horned God, Sun God, Green Man, or any other form will be forever changed. You must be prepared to have Him shatter the confining constraints that society has placed upon you, whether you are a man or a woman. A living, present God grounds you in the magic of your life, your emotions, your desires, your impulses (both creative and destructive), your instincts, your body, and your sexuality. Invite Him into your life, and He will come playing pipes and dancing in wild and estatic welcome. Leave your home, walk out into Nature, and He is everywhere. Look into your life, and you are His magic. The God dwells dancing within your life. When you live it fully, joyfully, and courageously, you are expressing His power and His presence in yourself and in the world.
May The Gods Always Smile Upon You!