First: what is dualism?
The dictionary definition is: “the division of something conceptually into two opposed or contrasted aspects, or the state of being so divided.” Essentially, if we are referring to a religious or spiritual principle, we’re talking about the definition in terms of good vs. evil. My own Craft does not accept an ultimate good or an ultimate evil, whether from a Divine perspective or a human one. In my Craft, I don’t see humans as inherently one or the other – instead, all humans are perceived as inherently neutral and choose actions that are perceived as good or bad.
Whether we like it or not, our ultimate goal as humans is to survive, and if that means that we have to fulfill and addiction in order to do it, we will. As humans, even an addiction to something such as nicotine is perceived as “good” by the body – it fulfills a need. But it is also perceived as “bad” because it causes harm to the body over time. This isn’t dualism – this is relativism.
Honestly, living in modern America, dualism is so engrained in us that it’s extremely difficult to escape it’s grasp. In many ways, if we try too hard to escape dualism, we’d go freaking nuts. One of the reasons I try to stay away from philosophical analysis of my practice is precisely this: it makes my fucking head hurt sometimes. LOL
My Deities and Dualism
As far as the Deities of Feycraft, They are not two in a familiar sense. I think a lot of the Craft in America sees it this way, but I could be thoroughly mistaken. For me and mine, there are God and Goddess, but They come in triplicate forms – both of Them. In one sense, They are Divine Twins, emerging from the central Mother. And They can be male/female, male/male or female/female. And while They fit on a spectrum of age, the two are simultaneously separate beings and yet one being. It’s best explained by the example of an apple. Whether you cut the apple into halves or quarters, you still only have one whole apple. That’s not to say that God and Goddess are separate halves of the same being, for like the apple, They are yet the same exact whole apple in an abstract sense. They are not facets of a diamond or different surfaces of an Amethyst – They are the same being.
The Triple Worlds and Dualism
Within Feycraft, we use the World Tree as a major symbol. It is the central pillar upon which all worlds exist. There is the Upper World or Sky Realm, the Middle World or Earth Realm, and the Underworld or Elfhame. The Sky Realm is where the Shining Ones dwell … the Tuatha de Danann … all the Gods. They are also our Ancestors. The Earth Realm is where humans and elementals dwell. Also living here are other nature spirits – such as the spirits that abide in plant life, animals, minerals, and so on. These are synonymous with the Fey, as are the Shining Ones. Elfhame is the abode of the Queen and King of Elfhame – the elderly forms of the Goddess and God, respectively – and the Ancestors. Elfhame and the Sky Realm, like the Goddess and God, are reflections, one of the other. And while they are reflections, they are also, at the same time, one and the same.
The Guardians of the Directions and Dualism
When some forms of the Craft perform ritual, they “call the quarters.” We don’t call quarters. We call Guardians. There are six in number, not four. They, too, are the same being, and are not viewed as opposites, necessarily, except for explanatory purposes. Earth is not the opposite of Fire, nor is Water the opposite of Air. If we were going with opposites, then Water would be North and Earth would be West. Instead we view them as East = Air, South = Fire, West = Water and North = Earth. When we call Above, we call, “The Powers of the Shining Ones,” and when we call Below, we call, “The Powers of the Ancestors.” Remember: the Shining Ones are the Ancestors and vice versa. The King and Queen of Elfhame are the also the Shining Ones and Ancestors. Essentially, we call the same Deities multiple times in Their various forms.
Humans are complicated creatures and so is the mind. Our consciousness is so intricate that it’s tough to get exceptionally deep on some of these topics. I’m not advocating that you stop exploring your beliefs and asking the hard questions. Keep asking them, but try writing down the answers you come up with so they don’t drive you insane. LOL