|Modern Queer Mythology
The Divine Twins
Originally published in Witch Eye Volume 10
Modern Wicca focuses its worship on the Goddess. She was the first deity in our mythology. She created all things. Life begins, ends and begins again within Her womb. It is said, out of Love, she gave birth to her son and lover the Horned God. Through the mytho-poetic tradition of modern Witchcraft we follow the life cycles of the Goddess and her Consort. Each season and sabbat reflects a different facet of their interaction.
The tradition of the Goddess and God form a divine union of opposites. Male and Female energies give rise to a dualistic perspective of the universe. The energies become polarized into masculine and feminine or active and passive. This tension is what keeps the world turning and moving through its cycles. This polarity founds the basic principles of the Great Rite. Solar and lunar energies find their ultimate expression in the chalice and the blade.
Now as a pagan, I find this story moving. As a gay man, I find it disconcerting. I realize this outward expression (Goddess and God) is found within me. We all have male and female energies within us. Learning how to work with them and express them is important. A balance of these energies leads to an integrated life. As above, so below. The macrocosm is found within the microcosm.
With all of this in mind, I am told that I should be satisfied. Yes, I do realize that the fertility nature of our Nature religion speaks of spiritual fertility as well. I am aware that in sex magick that male and female can be read as active (penetrating) and passive (penetrated). Now, there is growing cannon of information out there for same sex couples to explore. Yet, I still find that this is not enough.
What is a gay man to do next on his spiritual journey? In my own questing, it was advised that I seek out the Queer Ones. I read through the mythologies and ideas of many cultures to learn more about queer identified deities and heroes. I learned much about other concepts of gender and same sex love. It turned out that many of these ideas are radically different than those of modern day America. I began to let the stories plant their seeds inside of me.
In all of my seeking I could not escape the otherness about myself and the Queer Ones. They seemed removed from the central idea of the Goddess and God. I felt separate from the cultures I read about. Even when I discovered information useful to my own practices, I realized that I was still not completely a “part of” those myths. I am still a white boy of mixed European decent in modern day America. My own identification as gay or homosexual is a much different creature than the concepts put forth in other times and places. I can identify with the idea of same sex lovers being a part of my tribe. These tribal brothers are my ancestors. What I was seeking and hoping for were peers or contemporaries.
What am I saying here? I am not saying that I need other gay male pagans to practice with necessarily. I have worked magick and ritual with many gay pagans. I have spoken to and shared ideas with quite a few gay men about spirituality. At the heart of my desires was a need to see the Divine with a new face. In search of the Queer Mysteries I wanted to find a story at the heart of creation. Instead of being outside the concepts of Goddess and God, I was hoping to find Queer Ones at the beginning of things. The concepts of the Goddess and her Consort did not reflect my experience as a gay man seeking love from another male.
All of the stories and concepts of other eras and peoples began to come together for me. I followed the shoots of these seeds to the center of my own garden. In my heart of hearts, I let the sun; rain and earth nurture this growth. I meditated and prayed. I whispered to them and listened to what was being said. Most importantly, I waited. A new story came together for me. At the beginning of everything, I found the Charge of the Goddess to be true. I discovered what I had been searching for outwardly, within myself.
Now I want to make clear that this concept is not original with me. It is merely my perspective. This is my own telling of a story that was here long ago and will remain long after me.
In the Beginning was the Great Mother. The Goddess WAS. Out of the void and chaos She created form and order. It was She who set light from dark. She breathed nothingness into substance. She divided substance into the four elements: earth, air, fire and water.
As She was the creator of all things, She was a part of all things. Spirit, the fifth element, was the Goddess.
Out of LOVE She desired companionship. Her womb became full. She gave birth to LOVE in the form of twins. Two males were the product of her Desire and Will. One was the Red Man and the other the Green Man. They were and are the Divine Twins. The Red Man and Green Man were a part of the Goddess and She was a part of them.
The Twins were constant companions to on another. They moved over the water, upon the earth and through the air. Upon embracing one another they discovered the joy to be found in each others bodies. From embrace to kiss, they set their Will and Desire upon one another. Love had found Love with its own kind for the first time.
From their caresses and lovemaking the Divine Twins semen was spilled out across the Waters. Where the Red Man’s semen fell all manner of fish and every creature that moved through the water came into being. Where the Green Man’s semen fell, all algae and seaweed, every aquatic plant began to grow.
From their caresses and lovemaking the Divine Twins semen was spilled out upon the Earth. Where the Red Man’s semen fell all manner of animal life sprang up. Where the Green Man’s semen fell, all type of plant, tree and shrub burst forth from the earth.
From their caresses and lovemaking the Divine Twins semen was spilled out through the air. Where the Red Man’s semen fell every winged thing began to fly; bird and insect and bat. Where the Green Man’s semen fell, all spores and pollen came into being. They transmitted life to the other green things of the world.
In the Histories of humankind, the Red Man became the Lord of the Animals and Lord of the Hunt. The Green Man retained his name and gained many more. The Divine Twins always remain together in their own cycle even to this day. Animal feeds upon the living world of Plants. The Animal dies and the Plants feed upon the Animal. As it was. As it is. As it will be.
How you take this story and apply it is up to you. In my own practices the Red Man’s tool is a bone or blade. I personally like antlers. The Green Man is always represented for me in a wand of wood. The Great Rite is the striking of the Wand and Antler together three times. Once for the Waters. Once for the Earth. Once for the Air. Creation comes forth at the touch of the Divine Twins.
At other times for me, the Red Man is Lord of the Hunt and the Green Man is the Lord of Agriculture. These two things have sustained humankind thought history. The Lord of the Hunt can be seen as the Lord of Herding or Animal Husbandry as well. In these workings I have noticed how easily the wood of the wand can become an arrow or spear. Just as easily the antler or blade can become a shovel, hoe or plow. Red Man and Green Man lend their powers to one another. The Divine Twins are always mixing it up and getting it on in new ways. Explore it and see what you can come up with.
This is my telling of Their story. It is my own perspective on the Myth of the Divine Twins. It is my hope that this parable helps other gay men identify within Wicca. We do have a place at the beginning after all. May our Gardens continue to grow!
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Grahn, Judy. Another_Mother_Tongue:_Gay_Words,_Gay_Worlds. Beacon Press, November 1990
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The Ecclesia Antinoi. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Ecclesia_Antinoi/