Power of Polarity, Rose of Mystery
Welcome to one of my SEX ARTICLES! Congratulations — you will now be inundated with science porn! Seriously, though… sex is central to Wicca and we’ll be discussing it regularly but hold off on lighting up that cigarette for just a moment. Sex, as I’m referring to it, does not equal kink or titillating nuance. While we might be one of the species on this earth that has sex for pleasure, never forget that the act of sex is geared for one function and one function alone — reproduction. In the animal kingdom, this takes two (with few exceptions). However, I’m getting a little ahead of myself…
Let me begin by stating that this article is not a statement against gay or lesbian or bisexual persons in any way. Regardless of how you choose to express your sexuality, there is still an active/passive, masculine/feminine polarity that occurs naturally. Whether you’re “top” or “bottom”, you are definitively male or female by birth and have a vibration specific to you, even if it doesn’t necessarily correspond with your birth gender (sometimes the paint color on the walls just doesn’t match the plumbing… and you know what?? It doesn’t matter!). As humankind evolves and the practice of changing one’s natal gender or expressing an alternate sexual energy becomes more commonplace, we do begin to move beyond the physical manifestation of sexuality and we start to understand polarity on other levels: energy, expression, emotion. Therefore, read what follows from your core vibration, whichever sex that might be, and enfold your own experiences of sexual discovery into the words I’ve written. This will bring forth the meaning for each person, regardless of the perceived barriers that society would like us to create based on sexual orientation or natal gender. With that said, allow me to continue.
While some might say that it is the presence of a Feminine Deity that singles out Wicca and Paganism and makes them “special” among religions in the Western world, I actually believe that what is unique about this path is the tandem worship of both the Masculine and the Feminine simultaneously. Not all Wiccan and Pagan groups work with both the God and the Goddess — please do not be shocked if you find a coven who works only with the Goddess as there are plenty of them out there. However, regardless of whether or not groups revere the God and Goddess equally, it does not change the reality of the interplay between Masculine and Feminine energy in the Universe. And now, we’re back to sex — for preparation for the act of sex accounts for the necessary differences in genders and why men are formed a certain way (with the ultimate “outtie”) and why women are formed a certain way (with the ultimate “innie”).
There are relatively few examples of asexual reproduction (not requiring both sexes or some type of insemination) among animals. Some species of frogs and lizards, less complex animals such as hydra and corals that reproduce by “budding” and then the new growth breaking off from the mother. The Komodo Dragon reproduces all on her own, carrying both the genetic material for males and females in her DNA — eggs are laid and unfertilized by the males of the species (this is called parthenogenesis, or ‘virgin birth’). Wasps and honeybees undergo a special kind of parthenogenesis as well with eggs being laid and those that are fertiled by males in the apiary hive hatch as males and those left unfertilized hatch as females.
So, basically what I’m saying is — “Sex… everybody’s doing it.”
Polarity, by definition, means ‘a relationship between two opposite forces or tendencies‘. The obvious polarity that we are discussing here is that between Female and Male. Slow your mind down for a minute and let’s regress backwards to early human history. As our cognitive abilities developed, we began to notice things beyond “this is good to eat”, and “search for shelter when the black clouds come”. One of the first and most obvious realizations of early man had to have been the anatomical differences between male and female. Even if you have a child, who is just a small human, that child still is either male or female. In the instant of that awareness, the world becomes divided into halves. These halves carry with them certain experiences, instincts, physical differences. All of these unique identifiers color the perspectives of those who identify themselves as either male or female.
Children themselves repeat this early human discovery again and again as they explore their bodies and view the bodies of other children and realize that boys are different from girls. Indeed, it is the first and most personal mystery that we encounter cognitively in life. We might encounter the mysteries of nurturance and the Mother Goddess from being breastfed by our own mothers, but that’s not so much a cognitive development as an instinctual one (ie, we KNOW that Momma has the good stuff and when our tummy rumbles, we cry and the boob pops out… yay!!). But if you’ve ever seen that moment on a young toddler’s face when they see the genitalia of the opposite sex, you are actually witnessing a sacred moment. You are witnessing the first realization of polarity, of opposites, of “me and the Other”.
With this realization comes an amazing passing of power. For one, the establishment of polarity births the potential for realizing most of the universal truths regarding life as we know it. From it, we learn that there is more than just our view and, perhaps more importantly, that for OUR view to grow and become fertile, we require the opposing view to “arouse” us into CREATION. Sometimes that creation is an action, and at other times we are creating an object, a path, a new way of living or doing things. From polarity, we also learn that we are interdependent upon each other for new growth. From polarity, we learn the Mystery of correspondences and begin to understand the overlying enigmas of our supremely ordered universe. We begin to make the connections: male/female, day/night, hot/cold, moving/still, above/below. The world begins to unfold with the fractal-like discovery of sexuality.
While the polarity itself is an amazing thing all on its own — just knowing that there is a male and a female polarity is a huge jump — that is still not the whole of the Mystery. Beyond that separation lies a question: why the difference? Well, look at the male body and the female body. They are alike in nearly every way except one HUGE obvious difference, so obvious that even a toddler who cannot name something can see it and is moved by it so much that the child demands an answer. It is obvious that the difference is related to a function, that function related to an act, that act is sex, and sex leads to the creation of life and the passing on of genetic information that leads again to the polarity as a child is born either male or female and it all begins again.
Thus, the recognition of the differences in our bodies leads us to cognitively understand the sexual act as being something of extremely great importance. After all, it is where two opposites come together and unite and from this act, life — LIFE! — is created anew. While there are some Mysteries that are only Masculine in nature or only Feminine in nature, these Mysteries, too, revolve around sex and our own personal gender’s experience of our natal polarity assigned at birth.
In other words, it really does all come down to sex. The Mystery of Sex and Polarity ushers in a certain progression of realizations about the intrinsic wisdom of the natural world. And so, it is only natural that earth-based spiritualities would revere and meditate upon it. Wiccans and Pagans are not the only ones doing this — we don’t hold the copyright. Most of the primitive cultures observed and saw this polarity and interaction that brings forth life. We see this in their pantheons, their myths, and their ritual observances. The Egyptians bore their sacred idols from one temple to another temple that the “gods might be together”. Tantra is a path of study that is wholly centered around the sexual conversation between Shiva and Devi; Devi asks her questions as the receptive half of Shiva and Shiva answers her. Tantra is not the sexual parlor game and bedside table fodder that Western culture has tried to subvert it into. It is actually ancient wisdom that vibrates on a core resonance with the Craft and is greatly worth study as you advance along your path. Even the Christians know this wisdom to be true: I invite you to look up passages talking about Christ’s relationship with the Church as that between a man and woman, a groom and his bride.
Sex as a central formulary principle for spirituality works, provided that your definition of sex is about the Mysteries of the act, the differences required in the participants that the act may be performed, and the understanding that the act of sex on physical level is merely the activity taken on Earth that mirrors the workings of the Universe both above and below. Sex, as an activity, is fun and pleasurable and makes being alive incredibly enjoyable. However, to say that pleasure is all that Sex is for — in other words, to worship sex for the sake of sex — is not the purpose of Wicca, the Craft, or any other viable spiritual path. Even the Charge of the Goddess warns us that what we do must be for more than pleasure: All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals. We are granted the blessing of enjoying sex, but we are given the responsibility of ensuring that it deepens our connections, enriches our commitments, and widens our understandings. That puts sex, for Wiccans and Pagans, far beyond “just fucking around”.
Wicca recognizes and honors the Mysteries that we learn through Sex. Sex is one of the Two Great Doors. Death is the other. You will see the balance of polarity again between Sex and Death on the Wheel of the Year. Beltaine is our holy day where the Mysteries of Sex (the fertile conjoining of Male and Female) is celebrated as the highest order of the day. At Beltaine, we honor Life and that which creates it and the manifestation of the Mysteries of Life. Conversely, at Samhaine — exactly one-half the way through the year from Beltaine — we celebrate and honor the Mystery of Death, that which puts an end to our bodily experience of Life in a physical form.
Sex and Death, Beginning and End, are really not so different, just as man and woman are really not so different. Just as Sex conjoins male to female to open a doorway for life to begin again, Death also conjoins male to female to open a doorway. In case of Death, the Feminine human soul, receptive to the power of the All, the separated and Fallen Daughter Malkuth (Google Malkuth, Tree of Life) is conjoined to the prime generative force of the Universe again, and life — this time on the non-physical side of the Veil — begins again in wholeness.
The reason the act of Sex makes us feel so heavenly, so enlightened, is because it shows us Universal Truth. Asexual reproduction is possible, however, we were not made for it. I, for one, am glad. Our instincts, our hormones, our understanding of our physical differences and the desire to mate — all of these things lead us to the experience of Sex. By understanding the Mysteries in Sex, we can learn that there is something more than being Male or being Female, being projective or receptive. We understand that there is a THIRD reality where the two become one, and that this third reality has the potential to create all life. If the differences in our sexuality and gender lead us to understand that an Illusion exists and that there is something more beyond merely our perspective, then it is death that banishes that illusion and restores us to Unity with All Things. When we die, we pass out of our limited perspective, we journey “to the Light”, and there we stay until, like all things, we long to return to the Illusion of separation and the Darkness of rebirth. And at that moment, a man and woman come together and open a door, and we proceed from the Darkness of the Womb into the light of the World so that, by living, we may learn how much we don’t know and seek again the Light that we are assured to find from the moment of our first breath. For to be born is to be given the glorious promise that we shall one day die and again remember All.
As you walk this path, the Rose of this Mystery will continue to open for you. Its scent will grow more intoxicating as the Sun’s light coaxes it to full bloom. You will be amazed by the intricacy of the petaled labyrinth. You may also experience the thorns that keep the Mysteries from those who think to pluck the Sacred Rose for themselves. What I can promise you is this:
The Rose of Truth never fades. The Rose never dies. Share it, then, with someone you love. Know the pleasure — become the Mystery.
Sitara Haye is an author and songwriter, public speaker and word-witch, creative muse and mother. Founder and HPS of the OldeForest Craft Tradition, Sitara offers the perspective of over 20 years of Wicca/Craft experience and training through her articles, essays, and poetry. She is a regularly featured author on Witchvox, and her writings have been published by and translated for other pagan periodicals in the US and abroad. She is also a gifted musician and public speaker, conducting workshops at gatherings and other pagan friendly events. She is founder of PAEAN (Pagan Authors, Entertainers, and Artisans Now!), an activist group dedicated to raising awareness of the circle of responsibility that exists between artists, merchants, and the consumer who purchases these works of art, music and written word. Sitara Haye maintains a blog called A Witch's Word in which she writes about the Craft and modern magickal topics (including information for new Witches/Pagans, those merely curious, as well as those in leadership positions who are looking for comraderie, insight, and new skills for their own groups). Sitara Haye conducts polls and research through this website and maintains an online Question and Answer series where anyone can post a question of a magickal or Craft-living nature for response. She lives with her daughter and two cats in the beautiful "Scenic City" of Chattanooga, TN.