Hello, my fellow eclipse survivors! The energy has been dialed up to eleven the past several weeks, what with the assorted retrogrades, eclipses, and Beltane all swirling around to make a hell of an astrological cocktail, but we are in the homestretch. There are a few days left of Mercury retrograde proper, and he will be in his shadow for a couple more weeks after that, but all in all, I do believe that we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. And for that I am so grateful. I feel like my soul has just run a marathon. So I do look forward to a little spiritual rest and relaxation.
I want to say a continued thanks to everyone who has booked a tarot reading or a spellwork consultation, it’s been so amazing. I also haven’t mentioned in a while that anyone can get transcripts of each and every episode of the Middle-Aged Witch podcast on the website, middleagedwitch.com, so please check it out if there’s a spell or ritual that we’ve talked about here that you’d like to check out, it’s all available. And finally before we begin, if there’s a question or a comment on your mind or in your heart, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And now, let’s get to it.
The topic of the day is Godspousing. Of all the more obscure subjects we’ve ever discussed, this one is certainly high on the list. And this is not a topic I would probably have brought to the podcast, but a witch called Jen suggested it and I try not to shy away from talking about these more esoteric themes. So we are going to go for it but please bear in mind that as with almost everything we discuss here, there are so many variations and degrees and ways of practicing that I cannot possibly hope to cover them all. It would take a dissertation and even then I would have to omit some things, and I am not personally in a godspousing relationship. Everything I know is second hand from folks I do know and from my own reading.
Godspousing as a practice is completely individual to the person who is practicing it, and so we are simply going to try and explain a bit about what it is and how it may come to be so that if someone feels a connection to this practice, they can have a rough idea where to begin exploring it. So here we go.
Godspousing, to be super blunt, is simply the practice of marrying a deity. There are precedents for this practice found in Greek history, Hindu, Norse, Gaelic, Christianity, among nearly all religions and spiritual sects, there is a history of adherents transcending from mere followers, or devotees, to truly dedicating themselves and exchanging an oath, making a marriage vow, with a particular deity.
But we’ve skipped ahead a little bit. Let us first make the distinction between being a follower of a deity, or even a worshiper of a deity, to being straight-up married to a deity. We have talked here on the podcast at length about how we might come to know a deity more intimately, and what it means to be approached by a deity who has taken an interest in us for whatever reason. This is a serious undertaking and it shouldn’t be taken lightly, but it’s not the same as becoming a godspouse.
If a person has felt an affinity for a specific god, if synchronicities keep occurring or symbols keep appearing to a person and they begin to feel drawn to a god, they may do some meditation and research to learn more about this god and their history and the issues and intentions they may correspond to. They may put out offerings for this god, or make a space on their altar to honor them. They may make regular tributes and perform rituals on this deity’s holy days.
They may come to know this deity intimately, and feel a powerful sense of connection, protection, devotion, and even love for this god. And all of that will not even come close to entering into a marriage with this god.
This is the more common relationship that many of us who do feel called to work with certain deities will experience. There are certain deities that I have worked with in the past and there are some who I continue to work with now and for the foreseeable future. Sometimes a god will come into our lives when we are on the threshold of a new lifepath. In these instances, it may be that this god recognizes the trials and experiences you are about to undergo, and will make themselves known so that they can help to guide you through it.
And of course we may wonder why it might be that a deity would give a single, solitary lukewarm shit about us and our problems. And I’ve considered that many times and all I can tell you is what I think and what I believe and what has been impressed on my heart while I’ve been in meditation with my own deities. And what I’ve been given to believe is this: unlike the relationships that some people have with God, like a monotheistic god with a capital G, the relationships that we can have with gods from a polytheistic pantheon are of a much more give-and-take variety.
For the most part, not to be overly simplistic, but for the most part, the monotheistic gods do not want to share their glory with any other gods. Their rules are finite and inflexible. And to approach these gods with any sort of expectations of reward is sinful. These monotheistic gods require that we worship them, make offerings to them, sing praises to them, and bear their trials and wrath with gratitude and unfailing faith. If they choose to bless us in any kind of way, we had better be goddamned good and grateful.
But with polytheistic deities, there’s much less rigidity in general. A person may choose to work with two or more deities simultaneously without any negative consequences. A person can make agreements with a deity, an exchange of tributes and offerings for certain blessings. And all of this is perfectly valid and acceptable and falls well short of entering into a marriage contract with a deity.
Priests and priestesses, monks and nuns throughout history and across socio-religious lines have entered into this kind of arrangement. Neopagans have brought this practice back to the mainstream in a kind of a big way. I mean, as big as it can be among a small percentage of Neopagans which is itself only practiced by an already small percentage of the population. But they’re bringing it back and they’re talking about their experiences on social media, in their blogs, and it can be kind of a divisive subject.
Unfortunately for some of these folks, there has been in the past 10 or so years, a significant surge in Loki worship, thanks partially to Marvel but mostly thanks to Tom Hiddleston. And although I don’t personally give a shit how someone comes to begin exploring and learning about a deity, it can sort of undermine the seriousness, the gravity of their relationship. People want to sneer at it, they don’t want to take these adherents of Loki seriously, and then by extension, they’re not going to be inclined to take anyone seriously who says they worship a god that doesn’t belong to one of the Big Three Abrahamic religions. And they’re going to flat-out laugh at anyone who claims to be married to them.
These same people who wouldn’t think twice about a Catholic nun being literally called a Bride of Christ can’t or won’t extend that same respect to a person who considers themselves married to Diana or Adonis or Lugh. But for these godspouses, it isn’t a joke. It is not for everyone, and among those who do enter into a godspouse relationship, one marriage may look completely different to another. These marriages are intensely spiritual, sometimes sexual, and they’re not meant to be entered into lightly.
So we are going to talk a bit about some of the ways we might come to know that a deity is interested in us in that way, but we also need to understand that we have a lot of historical and mythological examples of deities taking a special interest in certain humans, Zeus springs immediately to mind. If there was ever a god who thought with his dick, it would be Zeus. But there are plenty of others, and it’s not always about sex, but it absolutely can be.
Now, I thought for sure that we had spoken about writer and pioneer of female sexuality Ida Craddock before on the podcast, but I have gone back through the archives and I am ashamed to say that I don’t believe that I ever have. Born in 1857, Ms. Craddock was a Theosophist, and we did talk a bit about Theosophists as a group in the Akashic Records episode, but I didn’t have time to expound on Ms. Craddock or her amazing life. So just to give the most brief and pitiful introduction of such an absolute fearless powerhouse of a woman, Ida Craddock wrote and distributed several instructional tracts about marital sexual relations.
It was her position that sex was meant to be mutually pleasurable and mutually respectful. She was repeatedly arrested and imprisoned for distributing so-called obscene materials, and her detractors tried over and over again to have her institutionalized and I hope that everyone will read about her and read her writings because she was so brave and so determined. But the reason we include her in this discussion today is because she was also married in a very literal sense to an angel called Soph. She and Soph had such a robust sex life that her neighbors frequently complained about how loudly she and Soph copulated. Ms. Craddock actually wrote at length about her relationship with him and she had this to say about it:
“It has been my high privilege to have some practical experience as the earthly wife of an angel from the unseen world. In the interests of psychical research, I have tried to explore this pathway of communication with the spiritual universe, and, so far as lay in my power, to make a sort of rough guidebook of the route. For not all wives of heavenly bridegrooms travel the same path at first. There are roads running into this one from every religion and folklore under the sun, since the pathway of marital relations on the Borderland was once, and still is, as I hope to show, one of the main thoroughfares connecting our world with the world beyond the grave.”
The tract that she wrote on this particular subject is called Heavenly Bridegrooms, and I’ll link to it in the episode description. But it’s such a wealth of knowledge and it was endorsed by none other than Aleister Crowley, who had this to say about it:
“…one of the most remarkable human documents ever produced, and it should certainly find a regular publisher in book form. The authoress of the MS. claims that she was the wife of an angel. She expounds at the greatest length the philosophy connected with this thesis. Her learning is enormous. …This book is of incalculable value to every student of occult matters. No Magick library is complete without it.”
Some godspouses engage in sexual relations solo as a tribute to their deity, and others will actually use another person as a proxy. In plain English, they will invite someone to act as a vessel for their deity and they will engage in sex with this person who is essentially standing in for their god, or in some cases a ritual will be performed wherein the deity is invited to literally possess the proxy.
But I do have to stress that sex oftentimes has literally nothing to do with the practice of godspousing. There are lesbian godspouses and straight male who godspouses who are married to male deities, and there are straight female godspouses and gay male godspouses who are married to female deities, the entire practice is founded primarily on the spiritual devotion of the godspouse to the deity and vice versa. A Catholic priest is as married to Christ as it’s possible for a human being to be, and yet I doubt you’d find too many priests who would call it a sexual relationship. The bond exists between human and deity and it is so deeply personal, so deeply individualistic, that it really defies any attempt by the likes of me to put it in a box or define it.
Some godspouses have human, mortal, regular old spouses in addition to their deities. I don’t know how things work amongst these couples and I couldn’t even venture to guess, but I can tell you that even that will vary from couple to couple. This practice means something different to each person, I know I keep repeating it, but it’s the facts.
So if in the course of your practice, if in the course of your meditation with a deity, your worship of a deity, or your work with a deity, you begin to feel as though you’re being called to be something more, do consider that becoming the spouse of a god is not only not uncommon, but also not anything new. Our human lives are so short in comparison, and it may seem as though we are so insignificant by immortal standards, but I would argue that this is part of what might make a lowly little human so intriguing to a deity. Our lives are incredibly short, and we are so young in experience, so unspoiled and so unjaded that just being close to our enthusiasm and our unique insights might be such a refreshing change of pace for an entity like a deity. Or an angel, or a demon, or any of the entities that can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to humans.
Our lives, our energies are so interesting to some of these entities and so I am not really surprised that some people feel such a pull toward a certain deity. If this kind of attraction ever does spring up between you and a deity or any other entity, I would encourage you to explore it, but be as diligent as you would be if this were anyone who was flirting with you. Get to know them, make sure they are who they claim to be, make sure that you understand the parameters of what this relationship will mean, and spend a lot of time in courtship with this entity before making any long-term commitments.
There are some not-so-positive aspects and stereotypes of this practice and I would be remiss if I did not include this in the conversation because it is important to understand as much as we can. Apparently there are some godspouses who carry a whole lot of ego and a sense of superiority about it. There are some who believe that they, as the spouse of a deity, are somehow the mouthpiece for this deity.
So just kind of keep in mind if this is something you feel called to, that when you start reading more and learning about this practice and especially when and if you reach out to others who are already practicing this, that you don’t allow yourself to be pushed around or bullied or made to feel as though you’re somehow not worthy. Find someone else to talk to about it who doesn’t have their head quite so far up their ass and who is interested in having an open conversation. I said earlier, it isn’t for everyone and it is an enormous commitment but for some, it’s meant to be.
And that’s my time. Thank you so much for spending time with me today, I hope that you will have a lovely rest of your day and a wonderful weekend and we will meet again next Thursday. My name is Eli Ro, and this has been the Middle-Aged Witch podcast.