Questionable Relationships: GodSpouse

A newer phenomenon within our various pagan cultures is the GodSpouse. This is very new terminology for me. And I have a limited amount of understanding and knowledge on the subject. However, I have tried to study and understand it as much as I can. I do find it a fascinating subject. Sadly though, it seems also to be a very divisive one as well. It is one of those subjects which people who are not called to be a GodSpouse seem to have difficulty that others do. And the variety of experiences which GodSpouses testify of their Spousal relationships has too few common threads to help the nonbeliever change their mind.

The GodSpouses I have read about are: newly arrived Pagans, life-long Pagans, Married, straight, same-sex, virgins, unwed, witches, non-witches, male, female. Some have multiple GodSpousal relationships and deem themselves to be “married” by more to more than one God/Goddess. Others could not fathom being married to more than one – it would be beyond unfaithful – blasphemy . Some have experienced a physical hand fasting with invitations, guests and their God or Goddess “horsed” for the ceremony and the consummation – yes consummation.  While others have had a private, wooded ceremony in the other world. Some love to gather with other GodSpouses of their Spouse “Sister-Wives”  and others can’t stand the thought of anyone else worshiping their mate in the same way. It seems to me that there is a commonality among GodSpouses and that commonality is that there is none. My very personal opinion here is that if as a group, GodSpouses wanted to appear more legitimate they would have a common description of rites of passage. And I think the lack of cohesiveness is the one argument that makes me a believer of the GodSpouse relationship.

In my heart of hearts, I think some sort of milestone (critical mass) has recently taken place with us mortals and our immortals. I mean with all of us flocking into this path, worshipping in the old ways how can change not happen?  Certainly, my relationship with my God, communication between us is at a very different level and far easier than it was even months ago.  Relationships are personal and individual and specific to each of us. A Divine relationship is built up over thousands of years, not over one life time; and so if my bio-father has a different set of emotions when dealing with my brother than with me; and if my grandmother had a very mischievous relationship with her older  sister but one of pure respect for her middle sister – wouldn’t that go on to say that my relationship with my Divine is and will always be unique? It’s certain to me that our relationships with deities is not limited to brother and sister or child and parent, teacher and student; that a relationships of lover, consort and spouse is just as appropriate. In mythology, mortal and immortal physical relationships took place in every culture. I really, whole heartily appreciate the Gods being able to influence our lives again in ways we thought was lost forever.

Author’s note: A wonderful blog about GodSpouse is the Wytch of the North.

6 thoughts on “Questionable Relationships: GodSpouse

  1. I think a lot of the disparity between the Godspouses comes not just from the personality of those gods-and their followers, but also the fact that this is something that is happening *across pantheons*. . . and obviously, each one is going to handle it differently.

    So there’s that, too.

    //from a LucifersWife

  2. Interesting post, I liked a lot of it… I do have a question/a point of disagreement, which is: why do you think that common rites of passage are necessary to make a spousal relationship with a Deity seem more legitimate? If someone relates to a Deity as their parent, would you call for common rites of passage for those people, too? For people who feel the Deity in question is more an older Sibling? I think about that and try to imagine it, and it seems very unlikely that anyone would ask for that.

    While the phenomenon has recently risen to… well, questionable fame, let’s call it that, it’s by no means a new thing, nor a thing that is exclusive in paganism. The “sister-wives” culture that you mention, however, is indeed new, and has given rise to a lot of problems during the past years… but that’s a different can of worms 🙂

    The way I see it, you either are in a spousal relationship with a Deity, or you’re not — and whether or not anyone else seems to think so as well is completely secondary (if even that). Another problem I see with the issue of “common rites of passage” is that these are mystic relationships. Mystics and clergy are not the same thing, and calling for such common rites (across different traditions no less) seems like an attempt at formalising mysticism, which I think is anathema to the thing itself; also, I don’t think it’s necessary. A mystic will very likely have initiatory experiences and rituals, but those are probably going to be as individual as the Deity (or Deities) and the human involved.

    The common denominator of a spousal relationship is that it’s a spousal relationship… marriages between humans tend to differ as well. And like with a mortal marriage, the best thing to do, I believe, is to stop caring what other people think or say about it. The way people talk about marriage between Gods/Goddesses and humans is highly disrespectful and no different or better than gossip. But that’s something you’re not going to be able to influence or change. And even if it did change: what purpose would that change serve? Is it even relevant?

    Just my .02€

    • Thank you for your thoughts. I find this topic quite exciting really. The lack of common rites does not influence my beliefs in the Diety Spouse relationship. However, as this relationship has become more open and public a lot of (initial) disbelief (I believe) towards those people which came forward was because the widely varying accounts of courtship and marriage arrangements. For many people, even those that wanted to believe such a relationship was possible, it was difficult to see a pattern. We are human, our brains try and try again to see patterns and connections. And to me, when I first began to hear and read of these relationships with Gods and Goddesses it was difficult to see a pattern. But the pattern was/is the uniqueness of each relationship. It is precious in its uniqueness and not in it’s commonalities. But if everyone that had originally came forward had stated that “Yes, A God formally calls your names three times and then appears visibly to you for seven nights, then asks you to marry him.” it may have indeed been easier for others to believes this Godspouse phenomena was legitimate. But as you point out none of that matters. It only matters what you yourself believe.

      • Sorry for the long delay… I think you may be right about what originally caused the disbelief when people started to speak about their marriages to Deities more openly.

        “But the pattern was/is the uniqueness of each relationship” — that’s an intersting angle to look from. I believe that you’re right about uniqueness, and necessarily so: as both P/partners in these arrangements are individuals, differences are to be expected.

        To a degree. Here’s the thing: I do believe that marriages between humans and Deities exist.I also believe that some Deity-human relationships are mistaken for marriages, but are not actually so. At no given time would I presume to say “this and that person isn’t really married to their Deity”; but I think that what we’re seeing right now is at least partly, a fire in a pan. Some people will move on, some will stay, is my best guess.

        I also think that emphasising how rare marriages between humans and Deities are at every turn — I’m not looking at you at all with this btw — will create an artificial state of demand, especially when people are conditioned to create artificial demand all the time, via commercials. Meaning, all the time. Every time an individual proclaims how exceedingly rare this kind of relationship is, it creates a knee-jerk reaction of “I want this”. Add to that other causes of enthusiasm coinciding with that reaction.

        And then, the run starts. I mean, this is especially high-profile with some Gods, and less so with others. Competitive Godspousery, it’s been called… It’s a home-made problem, to a significant degree: the people who tell others how rare marriages between Gods and humans are, tend to be those who are in such marriages. The reason is simple: these individuals know what a marriage like that entails, and they don’t recognise this in much of what’s going on.

        But the only thing I can think would actually improve the situation would be to just keep it quiet. To not create a demand. It’s like starting one’s pieces by the ever more infamous “This is probably going to piss some people off” — and thereby creating an artificially defensive atmosphere, ultimately abbetting what then usually gets called “butthurt”.

        Uh, I think I might have rambled a bit there…

        “It only matters what you yourself believe.” — yes and no. Yes insofar as it definitely doesn’t matter what others believe. No insofar as it’s not enough that you believe it. In fact, belief has nothing to do with it… in the end it comes down to identifying what is

        I hope this was a little helpful for you?

      • Myriad,

        I very much enjoy your comments and it is nice to have this conversation with you. This is my third year having this blog and I have only really one posting on this topic yet it is the most read and searched for posting that I have!

        I enjoy your views but I do disagree with the “keep it quiet. To not create a demand.” I think that talking through these events on the internet is really helping those that do have Gods and Goddess coming forward into their life and not understanding what is going on. Regardless if that relationship is believed to be a martial one, a parental one, guardian, friendship, or what have you. Talking about it is helpful, reading about it is helpful.

        And I do believe that a flood gate has been opened, allowing for many multitudes of Ancient Ones to come forward and make relationships again. And these Gods would natural go first to the souls they have the strongest ties to, or most availability to.

        I do not believe there is a turning back. The bell has been rung and it can not be unrung. I think that to not talk about it or quiet it only serves to make those going through a confusing and perhaps difficult time only more difficult and more confusing.

        I do not believe that any relationship with a Deity is “rare” only unique. That really feels very right to me.

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