Welcoming The God ... In All His Frailty One of my favorite quotes is by Anais Nin :I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naive or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman.
One of the major sticking points about Christianity for me was that the only female representations were inevitably virgins, and led lives of complete self-denial. It made me wonder: if women were so weak and full of sin as the church would have us believe, why not give us stronger representations to inspire us? Then, as a teenager, it dawned on me - in order to strengthen the male dominance of Christianity, they had to keep women believing that the way to salvation was being subservient to men.
I started reading about Pagan Gods and Goddesses, and was shocked and inspired to find that Pagan Gods had something the Christian God lacked - frailty. They were not always depicted as all-powerful, all-knowing. Dagda, the Earth and father God, is portrayed in Celtic lore as able to slay nine men with a single blow, yet also unable to begin the new year without mating with the Morrigan. Odin empowered the Valkyries, those who choose who will die in battle and transport the souls of the fallen, and was accused of practicing witchcraft (seid) considered women's work. Njord, father of Freyr and Freyja, even took a giantess as his second wife - so much for female depictions being restricted to small, meek virgins. The word "Isis" in Egypt is also the word for throne - so when a pharaoh sits, he is literally "sitting in the lap of the Goddess"
The truth is, our Gods are strong enough to honor their female counterparts. They do not need to restrict Goddesses to prove their own worth. They mate with them, worship them, and love them. Paganism is most beautiful to me, because it never holds me down. The Gods are strong enough to respect a tough woman when they see one.