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Can Men Be Pagans or Wiccans?

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Can Men Be Pagans or Wiccans?

Most Pagan faiths have room for both the masculine and the feminine.

Image © Matt Cardy/Getty Images
Question: Can Men Be Pagans or Wiccans?

A reader writes in, "I'm a male practitioner, and it seems like there's always mention of a High Priestess, but rarely of a High Priest. In many rituals, it looks like things are geared towards women. Why is this? Does it mean men can't be Wiccans or Pagans?"

Answer:

Not at all. However, although the exact percentages aren't clear, you'll find that statistically, many more women are drawn to Pagan religions than men. Why is this? It's often because Pagan religions, including Wicca, embrace the sacred feminine alongside the power of the masculine. There's a duality, a polarity in Pagan religions that's not often found in mainstream faiths. For women, particularly those who were raised in a monotheistic, patriarchal religion, this can be a welcome and empowering change.

Also, remember that many Pagan religions were originally fertility religions. Wicca itself certainly is, and some sub-branches of reconstructionist faiths are as well. By its very nature, a fertility cult confers high status upon the feminine.

So what does this mean in terms of the men folk? Does it mean they aren't welcome in modern Paganism? Hardly. Most traditions of Paganism have room for both the male and the female. Although there are some groups that honor only a goddess and not a god, far more are dedicated to both a god and goddess, or in some cases, multiple deities of both genders.

If a ritual looks as though it was written with a female practitioner in mind, consider a couple of possibilities. Is it one that needs to have feminine language in it, such as a rite honoring mothers? Or is it simply that the person who wrote it was female, and so it's got feminine language in it, but is still something that could be adapted to a masculine perspective? For instance, in the Self Dedication Ritual on this site, one section reads as follows:

Anoint your genital area, and say: May my womb be blessed, so that I may honor the creation of life.

Now, clearly, if you're a male practitioner, you're not going to blessing your womb. However, there are certainly other areas you could bless that would honor the creation of life. Likewise, if a ritual tells you to say, "I am a woman of the goddess," or something similar, it's perfectly okay to substitute an appropriate male variation.

One thing that's important to remember in magic and ritual is that it's crucial that you learn to think outside the box sometimes. If a ritual is written a certain way, and that way doesn't work for you in your situation, then find ways to adapt it so that it does work for you. The gods will understand.

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