G is for Godspouse
So, I’m getting my ass kicked about doing some required reading. I have this bad habit of thinking oh, I should buy such and so for the gods, but then I end up spending my tiny amount of disposable income on Guild Wars 2 gems or something. I finally felt like They were perhaps getting a little cross, so I picked up the first book on my list just now.
That said, here is my late PBP entry for G, G is for Godspouse.
I think I will cut through all the controversy and bullshit with this: why is it every other kind of “special snowflake attention whoring” is simply met with a collective eye roll, yet Godspouses bring out a special brand of derision? Surely, people who wish to overstate their special connection with the spirit world and the deities therein exist in all stripes, claiming all types of relationships? Why then the special disdain?
I can only conclude that it comes down to sex, and I can’t help but think a number of us are still carrying around some Puritanical baggage in this regard. It’s fine to claim that the gods come to you in a parent role, as a guide, an awe inducing force to be worshiped but the second They come asking for sex and romantic intimacy, it’s a lie.
Of course, there will always be people that simply want to be special. Awhile back someone on a forum I participate in said they felt that paganism and polytheism attracted a larger than normal amount of narcissists. Having been raised by a narcissist I think that there’s some truth to that statement. People with these kinds of personality issues will always seek out whatever is shiniest, and they will always try to place themselves in the center of whatever will get them the most recognition and ego stroking.
It also reminds me a little bit of genderqueer phobia, the way binary trans people cry out my god! if we allow genderqueer people in, well, they’ll bring phonies with them who don’t understand the true plight of being transgender! No. Bullshit. While we need to practice discernment and we NEED TO HAVE STANDARDS (apparently this is a controversial thing to say, go figure) we don’t need to categorically deny an entire facet of legitimate worship because we find it icky. Or, perhaps, because we find an individual Godspouse personally objectionable.
Okay, so maybe I sound a little bitter. I have been known to rant from time to time. But the fact is if we police our borders too ardently, we end up hurting each other. In the Kemetic community I think people are actually afraid to discuss their relationships with the Names if those relationships deviate at all from the gods functioning as parents, or from perhaps the gods functioning as rigid task masters. I think this is a sad thing. Of course there are people who love to use the Names (or any gods) manifesting to them sexually as a way to hide relationship problems, or even to legitimize rape and assault. (omg it’s not my fault, Set manifested through me and He was so horny I couldn’t control it!) However, people with ulterior motives will use whatever works for them and I don’t find that reality to be sufficient justification to cast a blanket of silence over those who practice spiritual D/s, godspousery, or sex with the gods.
As a last thought on this matter, often times I notice attendant homophobia in responses to Godspousery. There’s an assumption that most deities are straight and would never enter in to a spouse, romance, or sex agreement with their same sex and/or gender worshipers. I want to emphasize that simply because much of history does not acknowledge the existence of queer people in their official, surviving texts, we very much existed, and have always existed. We have shaped society as much as straight people, even if our contributions have been denigrated and dismissed. Certainly the gods have spoken to us the same way they have spoken to straight people. Don’t let a focus on fertility fool you. Those were the standards at the time to ensure the culture and its people would continue on, given the harsh conditions many polytheistic religions grew out of.
So, go through your baggage before you put it on the airplane. It’s best to make sure there’s no bombs in there snuggled between your coats and shoes.