One of the most frustrating arguments, as far as I’m concerned, is the assertion that the female/male split is “natural,” and since many forms of paganisms are nature-based, the deities ought therefore to reflect “true nature.” We make the gods in our own image. Our religions are anthropocentric. This isn’t surprising. Spirituality is a form of meaning-making, and we find meaning in that which we can relate to. So our deities are largely humanoid, and mostly sexually dimorphic (being either male or female).
But is this really what’s most natural? If we take a survey of individual living beings, from the tiniest protists to the great blue whale, thee sexually dimorphic beings are actually outnumbered by those that reproduce hermaphroditically (like the earthworm) or asexually (amoebas). Because almost all of these beings are either invertebrate animals which barely get a mention in totemism and animal magic, or plants which are often seen only as spell components, they’re not given nearly as much consideration. And they resemble us a lot less than cattle, wolves, eagles, or any of a number of charismatic megafauna that are often venerated by pagans of various sorts.
Read the rest here.
[Lupa’s note: First of all, I’m really happy that Rending the Veil is back! I always enjoyed writing for them. This article was submitted to them last year while they were in their semi-retirement and they just published it with their return! Second, I DID go to PantheaCon this year (2012), and I did participate in the protest against Z. Budapest’s “women born women only” ritual. You can read about my experience here.]