Bulls.Big, strong, temperamental creatures that have had loomed large in man’s past.Bull jumping, bull baiting, bull fights and running of the bulls are events where they were, and in some cases still are, featured.They were used in the form of oxen to pull plows and carts.Their virility kept up herds, generating wealth for their owners. In some areas, placing a bull head above a door gives protection and luck much like the horse shoe. As sacrifices, few animals were more costly.From them we get the terms ‘seeing red’ and ‘bull-headed’.A lot of myths feature bulls, even modern myths like Paul Bunyan and his blue ox.In some cultures, earthquakes are blamed on a rowdy celestial bull believed to have the world upon its horns.A lot of masculine divinities, particularly those of the sun and the sky, are associated with bulls.
One of Zeus’ epithets is Georgos, meaning “farmer” or literally “earth worker”. This epithet obviously describes his agricultural connections. Now some may find this surprising. “But he’s a sky god!” He is now, but remember, Zeus was raised on Gaia. He only became a sky god when the Titans were defeated in the Titanomachy. Zeus Georgos was honored on 30 Maimakterion (November/December) which was the time plowing and planting of grain. (I like to imagine it as right around the time of the US holiday of thanksgiving.) He received bloodless sacrifices like ambrosia (water, oil and a sweetened mixture of edible seeds) or cakes. The dios kodion, the fleece of Zeus, was probably carried around the fields in his name for purification and protection from bad weather.
When I was a child, I would wave to the man in the moon who I imagined peering down at me through the window.
It wasn't until I became a Pagan that the moon came to be associated with the feminine.The phases of the moon just seem like the perfect symbol for the stages of a female and for the menses.So when I first heard about moon gods, I was sure there was some mistake.How could that be?It not only can be, but isn't as unusual as I thought it was.
“Let’s hear it for the God Let’s give the God a hand Let’s hear it for the male You know you gotta understand Maybe he’s no Romeo But he’s my loving deity Whooa, whooa, whooa-oh Let’s hear it for the God!”
You know what? I get it. Really I do. Goddesses are wonderful beings. Yes, they have been neglected and abused in the past and in some cases, still are. But. Let’s learn from that and not do the same thing to the Gods. One hears a lot about feminine deities…pictures, stories, poems, prayers, divination decks, etc. You can find Pagan/Polytheistic items with a goddess theme quite easily any more. Not so much for the masculine divinities. Often they are relegated to the sidelines, treated as a minor player, if mentioned at all. I get it. I did it too. But then Zeus came along…