The Wild Feminine

Gender Norms and Sexuality from a Pagan Perspective

What is it about female sexuality and independent women which our Christian Western society has always found so threatening?

In Paganism the feminine is given as much reverence and gratitude as the masculine, unlike Judeo-Christian-Muslim religions which generally suppress the feminine aspect. So much of Western culture is based around the idea that masculine energy is “correct” energy and that the feminine is inherently flawed in some way.

A prime example of this is the Apostle Paul’s blatant misogyny in his letters to various churches. These instructions about not letting women speak in church and what-not from him are based on the idea that Eve caused Adam to sin and therefore all women are fundamentally evil, which completely ignores the fact that Adam knew the rules, had free will in his decision making and has blamed Eve for his own actions ever since.

You might not put much stock in the bible, but you cannot deny the fact that it has shaped our culture since Constantine made it the mainstream Roman religion in the 4th century. 1700 years of feminine oppression doesn’t get undone overnight.

When I talk about feminine oppression, I’m not just referring to women. I’m including the LGBTQI+ community in this as well as any man who would like to be allowed to express his emotions and be recognised as a caring, feeling human being.

That being said, what is the “wild feminine” and why was it considered so threatening to structures of power?

I’ll use my own background to give you an example:

Typically, as a straight woman, the men I have been in relationships with have tried to control me and whatever is mine in some way. Perhaps it was my body, or my money, or my time, or my energy and space. Whatever it was, they were entitled to complete access, control and use of it (or at least they thought they were).

If I objected to this they would either ignore me completely or engage in abusive behaviour to exert dominance and force submission.

Now, there was no need for anything like that to happen. I was never the sort of person to cheat or be polyamorous so the paranoia was unwarranted and the behaviour completely unprovoked. That being said, there’s nothing inherently wrong with polyamory as long as the situation is understood and honesty is foremost.

The underlying issue was that these men believed at a fundamentally cultural level that I was incapable of self-control and good judgement if left to my own devices and given the space for autonomy. They believed me to be a faithless person based on no other evidence than my gender. At their very core, they thought they were doing me a favour because I would make horrible mistakes if I didn’t have a man telling me what to do and controlling the situation.

That’s one aspect of the belief that the feminine is flawed.

The other aspect is much more complex in nature. It has to do with the dark power of the wild feminine.

Divine feminine energy is the Yin to the Yang, the darkness to the light and the chaos to the order. It is the primordial void which birthed the light and is almost unfathomable and incomprehensible in its vastness. Where the masculine can be symbolised by the sun, the feminine is represented by the moon.

She sees everything which lurks in the shadows. She sees all of your flaws and mistakes. She knows what you do when no one else is looking.

The feminine is dangerous and powerful, partly because she can perceive the shadow aspect of a person, but also because the feminine is not direct.

The U2 song said it perfectly back in the early ’90’s; she moves in mysterious ways.

The feminine doesn’t usually spell it out for you because it uses intuition rather than logic, so it cannot be explained, it can only be felt and known.

The feminine only gives subtle hints that you’re treading close to the edge before destruction rains down on you from angering the goddess.

She is not going to tell you what to do or try to control you. You’re supposed to do that for yourself.

A wild creature does not move in straight lines or behave in predictable ways. They adapt and flow to the situation, keep their options open and refuse to be caged.

Masculine energy is tame, orderly, precise and predictable.

As you can imagine, we’re supposed to be a mixture of both energies in order to find that optimal “sweet spot” for our lives. However, systems of power and control won’t allow unpredictable and mutable energy to exist in a state of free-will. It seeks to control, manipulate, undermine and extinguish anything which might be capable of calling out its shadow side.

This is why goddess worship has been forbidden in the past. Both men and women have been denied their inner world and taught that the darkness is evil, corrupt and flawed. Emotions have been suppressed, intuition has been denied and free-will has been stolen away from it’s rightful owners.

We each own our intuition, emotions and the right to choose for ourselves.

Women need to reclaim this. Men need to reclaim this.

This is the true seat of power; not over other people, but over ourselves.

One Comment on “The Wild Feminine

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