The Godden

In Wicca, we generally recognize two deities: the Goddess and the God. According to legend, they have been with us since pre-history, changing names and faces slightly to stay with us through the years. The truth of the matter is far more complicated, but let us work with the legend for now.

Here is my legend: That the duo is really a trinity. That there has been a third deity erased from history, the Godden. That xe has been Loki, Agdistis, Aphroditus, Amun, Dionysus, Baphomet, and others. If the Goddess is the moon and the God is the sun; xe is the stars. If the Goddess is the source of all creation and the God is the face of death; xe is decay. The body is always aging, dying, preparing to become something different. Xe is the compost, the rotting log growing mushrooms, and the mold that makes penicillin. Xe is the chaos that balances the order, that which always escapes categorization, a loophole in every contract, an exception to every rule, and that which cracks the foundation.

Symbols of the Godden

  • that which defies classification (platypi)
  • that which changes shape (butterflies/moths)
  • that which thrives on or aids decay (scavengers, fungi, some insects, mold, ivy in some cases)
  • glitter

Sample Evocation of the Godden

Godden, you who cannot be contained, you of the forever shifting names and forms, guardian of transformations, you who craft beauty from decay and waste, we invite you to this gathering.  Hail and be welcome!

The Wheel of the Year and the Godden: Notable Days

Midspring (aka Beltane or School End)

Midspring is the time of the year where Godden, Goddess, and God all come together. Plants, animals, and other forms of life are all blossoming. People celebrate a sort of carnal togetherness in their own way. Most people have sex. Many choose instead to feast or dance together, both ways that help people feel an important, body-centered togetherness.

Plants need three things to grow: soil, sunlight, and rain. The Goddess is the soil, the fertile creativity that is the origin of all things. The God is the Sun, the eternal warmth that asks for nothing in return. The Godden is the rain: fluid, coming when the wind changes, and a harbinger of mushrooms.

In “ye olden dayes”, legend has it that folks liked to dress up a giant Maypole as a phallic symbol. While it isn’t for everyone, decorative genitals can be great fun. “Feminine” phalluses can be sacred to the Goddess or Godden. Similarly, “Masculine” vulvas can be sacred to the God or Godden. Dildos and doorways provide a great way to decorate indoors or on a tight budget. Make sure to hang a clit-symbol at the top of a yonic anything; that’s where most of the fun is.

For people who have reasons to avoid genitals, flowers do just fine. Another thing that can be done is to focus on symbols for dirt, sunlight, and rain.

Summerfirst (aka Litha, Midsummer)

June is pride month in the US. We honor the Stonewall riots from the summer of 1969 by holding parades and political demonstrations. We honor the ancestors and elders who worked so hard for our liberation: Marsha P Johnson, Sylvia Riveira, Jackie Hormona, Zazu Nova Queen of Sex, Miss Major, Storme DeLarverie, and countless others. It is a time to donate to LGBTQ charities, to remember to loosen our expectations of gender. It really is okay for men to wear nailpolish and makeup. I promise the world will not end. In fact, we all might have a little more fun and laughter.

As such, Summerfirst is for the Godden, for all those whose gender cannot be contained in the words man or woman, for the words that have shifted over the last 50 years because no word will ever hold us for long. It is not a time for comical cross-dressing, but for earnest gender exploration. Even if you are cisgendered and heterosexual, ask yourself: is there any gender stereotype I wish I could break loose from? Well, try it out!

Midfall (aka Samhain, Hunter’s Harvest, Red Harvest, Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, or Witches’ New Year.)

This is a time when the God and Godden are in sync. Everyone knows this as the day where the veil is thinnest, especially between the living and the dead. Since it is a harvest holiday and very tied to the dead, it is sacred to the God. It is sacred to the Godden, because boundaries are thinning, a year is changing over, and costumes abound.

There are as many ways to celebrate Midfall as there are witches, but my personal favorite is to get a bottle of liquor and sit around telling stories about the ancestors.

Conclusion

Wicca is a young religion, and our legends are exactly that: legends. What our history shows, however, is that it is possible to consciously create new ways of connecting to the divine. I don’t know if deities are created or if they change names or they are eternal and simply waiting for us to call to them. I suspect all are true. What I do know, however, is that divinity shifts its face as human culture shifts, and I see no reason why I should be exempt from the flow of human history. I see no reason why, as my agender body writes itself into existence, there would be no divine force reaching out to me.

Please do not imagine me as a mathematician following formulas, but as a poet in twilight feeling my way along the walls of an alleyway. The Godden has been whispering to me in the form of UPG for some time now, and here I have collected what I heard.

About the Author

Hello there! My name is Critter, my pronouns are they/them/theirs, and I am: bisexual, agender, AFAB, perisex, white Brazilian-American, able-bodied, neurotypical, allistic, and alterhuman. Pittsburgh is my hometown, but I currently live in New England. My practice is a mix between Neowicca and Reclaiming Witchcraft. I write to bring queer and interfaith friendly options to Paganism and Magic. I also help run a group called Open Ritual Rhode Island, and lead workshops on making paganism more inclusive.

Author Archive Page

7 Comments

  1. Hi Critter! I really like your UPG of the Godden. I’m nonbinary and was unable to reconcile my existence with many binarist forms of Wicca I attempted to participate in. There just wasn’t room for me, spiritually or physically or psychologically. So I’m especially glad to see something like the Godden brought in to smooth down some of those issues. I especially love seeing Pride month as an explicit celebration, along with our shared queer Ancestors. Looking forward to your next post!

    Blessings,
    Sage

  2. Howdy Critter! Thanks for your fascinating glimpse into the world of non-binary deity. Would you be interested in writing a long-form article for our upcoming Witches&Pagans magazine issue #36 “Gods, Goddesses, and the Beautiful Divine”? I’d be looking for something that describes a) the limitations/issues with binary deity paradigms; b) discusses various non-binary deities in Pagan practice of the past and present; and c) includes some of your own experience in this realm. I’d hope for around 2500 words, but “long enough to do the job and not a word more” is my editorial (and snarky) way of saying the same thing. Please contact me if you are interested in pursuing this idea.

  3. As someone who isn’t a Wiccan, I almost didn’t read this post. However, I’m very glad I did! It’s given me a lot to think over – I’m also agender, and have been feeling a pull towards divine decay that I haven’t been able to put into words (or assign to any entities I was familiar with). Thank you very much for writing this.

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