Non-binary reality

One of the reasons I ended up on the druid path and not exploring witchcraft, was the issue of polarity. I read about the power of polarity, of opposites, and I knew I’d never be able to make that work. With hindsight (and more reading) I think this may be more of a wiccan issue, but I don’t regret the choice. The opposition of male and female makes no direct sense to me.

I don’t tend to view the world in binary terms. Either/or doesn’t work for me. I see spectrums. I see multiple options. Give me two things that are supposed to be binary opposites, and I can do both, or neither, or something in between. That’s part of why I have a thinking about feeling column here. I’ve always found it weird that logic and emotion are so often set up as opposites. Then logic is understood as a male characteristic and female people get given emotion, and never the two shall meet. In practice, this cuts people off from half of themselves, and it works well for no one.

I’ve always found the introvert/extrovert notion confusing, too. For me, this is also a spectrum, and one I may turn up on at any point. I can be both extremely introverted, and distinctly extroverted, depending on energy levels and context. Ask me to sing, if you want me to go into a more extroverted mode.

When we label people, we tend to assume they are one thing or another. A person who is identified as kind can get a great deal of unpleasant feedback if they say no to someone else’s professed needs, or get cross about something. In practice, a person can be both fragile and tough, educated and foolish, confident and easily shaken – humans are full of contradictions at the best of times, and we are more complex than we seem to notice.

One of the memes I see going round regularly on twitter is that Persephone is both spring flower maiden and goddess of the underworld. Both. It’s a good thing to remember if you aren’t tidily one thing or another.


About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

4 responses to “Non-binary reality

  • rpatrick

    I appreciate this, and tend to immediately see other possibilities as soon a someone poses two opposites as the only possibilities. In fact, I even go there when someone poses binary vs. non-binary! LOL!

    Categories can be helpful, if I’m honest. They allow me to focus on some aspect of myself or the world within myself and reflect more deeply on it. But, to see myself limited by a single category is, as you say, a cutting off of an important part of who I am or can be.

    Thanks for the reflection. Helpful.

  • Siobhan Johnson

    You might like Carolyn Elliot. She talks a lot of non-duality in her work, and her ‘system’, if you will, of practical magic, hinges on the premise of non-duality. It’s absolutely fascinating, and makes a lot of sense.

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