(This one is probably not a shocker to the remainder of my long-term readers.)
I was actually tickled that one of last week's Pagan Blog Project posts was a takedown on some of the concepts of 'the divine feminine', because I already had this sucker in my mental queue.
In and around the edges of my reality, I know a couple of people who describe themselves as neutrois, which is a concept that I poke at occasionally. I think I've come to the conclusion that neutrois is so exactly what I'm not that it's actually kind of similar in practice, which is an interesting thing. Mostly incidental, but I'll mention it because it's actually relevant background.
As is this post from P. Sufenas Virius Lupus of the Aedicula Antonoi, from which I will quote:
The final being in this new tetrad of deities is complex, and was the result of the efforts of all three of the others working together–each can be said to have “fathered” this final being, and each can be said to have “given birth” to em, and yet none of them fathered nor gave birth to this being either in any way that would be recognizable by humans and most deities currently operating. This final being was called Panaletheia, “All-Truth,” by Panhyle; Panpsyche called em Paneirene, “All-Peace”; Paneros called em Pankalos, “All-Beauty”; but this being named emself Pancrates, All-Power. Pancrates (not to be confused with Pancrates/Pachrates of Heliopolis, mind you!) can be described as androgynous or as pan-gendered, and exhibits characteristics that could be found in every and any gender, both mentally, behaviorally, spiritually, and physically. One of Pancrates’ symbols is the lion.
Last autumn I was wrestling with an assignment for my training. For those who are familiar with the Thelemic rituals of the Stations of the Sun, it was similar work - an address to the transformational nature of the times of day, rooted in relationship with the encompassing divine. I had written several such litanies over the course of my training, all of them perfectly good poetry, none of them an improvement over the verse around which my practice had been originally built.
The original verse addressed the All-Mother in the form of a rose. I tried to address the All-Mother in the form of the lotus - my preferred Egyptian symbol. I tried to address the All-Mother as a cow, as a raptor, in all Her various forms. Nothing seemed to work right.
I commented, unrelatedly, to my teacher, that I was not yet old enough to be able to be a child.
And I dabbled, in free corners of my brain, with associating the kabbalistic Tree of Life to the Heliopolitan cosmogony, because I found it funny.
I wrote another daily litany. Addressing the Solar Child borne by the All-Mother, who is of necessity not exclusively of one gender, because as governor of Malkuth the Child must encompass all of the possibilities that emerge from Kether and reflect the entire Tree.
That one fucking worked.
And perhaps I have been enough of the Mother and need to learn to be the Child. Heru-sa-Aset in His name of Heru-pa-Khered, the hawk, perhaps having more than a passing acquaintance with Pancrates the lion. However one wants to look at it. Here S/He is, the emerging manifestation, the Solar Child laid bloody on the Mother's lap at dawn, ascendent to rule at noon, returning to nourishment at sunset, forged and cradled anew through the night.
I had had Issues with some of the relentless maleness of power in Egyptian religion, not just in Heru's status as male but in how kingship itself was a male role to the point that Hatshepsut put on the same false beard as any other ruler. (And I think, as I put my daughter to sleep, of how I named her for a famous king of Poland.) But this Child, this Divine Androgyne, this one who Becomes as Khepri becomes, this is a Heru I know. All potentials, not just the ones that come of some form of maleness; all rulership, all governance, not just the bearded kind.
And perhaps I am old enough to be a Child now. Not a girl-child nor indeed a boy-child, but the Divine Androgyne, the Solar Child who ascends with all the other gods and bathes in the Field of Rushes before the gates of heaven.