Updated: Oct 18, 2020
Well, this is a post I never envisioned myself making.
If you've followed my online witchy 'career' as it were, you've probably heard me say something along the lines of "I support godspouses 100%, but it's not a relationship for me, and I've made that clear to my deities from day one". With that in mind, I don't think it surprised anyone more than it surprised me when I took my husband aside and went "so, I know you're alright with me being poly but how do you feel about me shaking things up with Thor?"
What is a Godspouse?
Let's rewind a little. "What", I may hear you asking, "is a godspouse?" And what's more, if this post is about being a godspouse, why is the title godpartners? Is this something new? "What kind of spiritwork-y bullshit are you making up this time, Lee?" Well.. no. No, it's very much not something I'm making up, as the (likely hundreds of) other godspouses you can find around the world will be quick to tell you. In it's simplest terms, a godspouse/partner/consort is someone who is in a relationship with a deity that is marital, sexual or platonically romantic. Sort of. Exact definitions are as varied as the types of godspousery that exist in the world. For example, to quote my friend Thorn...
"....my godspouse marriage to Gwyn ap Nudd covers a lot of categories: passionate romance, religious devotion, affectionate banter, worldly and otherworldly schooling... Most of all, Gwyn shines as the center of my universe."
Godspousery, contrary to popular belief, is not a modern invention. The Saora people of India have a concept of spirit-marriage wherein a shamanin (female shamin) marries a protector or guardian from the dream world, in addition to a mortal husband. Their spirit husband will teach them the divitionary arts, as well as other magical fields. We also know that there were priests of the norse god, Freyr, who had a sexual relationship with him, as detailed in the 14th century Icelandic saga Ögmundar þáttr dytts. In one story, Freyr impregnates his priestess in his role as a fertility deity. In celtic folklore, there are plenty of tales about faery-lovers, and lots of other cultures and religions also have examples of mortals married to deities. These days, the term has been largely popularized by the Lokean community.
What makes a Godspouse?
I started my spiritwork experience as a Lokean back in late 2010, and at the time, the word "godspouse" raised my hackles something fierce. It wasn't that I ever had anything against people who called themselves one or who resonated with the term, but back in my early days there was a little bit of discourse around the concept of Lokeans which tended to rear its ugly head in the form of accusations like "you weirdos all think you're having sex with Loki, you're not important". There are a whole bundle of things wrong with that sentence - not least of all the fact that godspouse relationships aren't always sexual, and everyone is important, thank you very much - but I was recently coming to grips with the fact that my asexuality was not a flaw. I was, I'll admit, scared that one day Loki was going to stop being content with teaching me divination and rick-rolling me with jellybeans and want me to start talking about marriage. I was eighteen. I was not ready for marriage.
Earlier on, I talked about how not everyone uses the suffix -spouse. Some people like -consort, or -partner. Since I started considering myself a god-something with Thor, I found that the term -partner worked best because being polyamorous, it's what I tend to call anyone I'm in a relationship with. And being asexual, almost all of the relationships that I've had have been queer-platonic, and Thor is no different. At this stage, you might be wondering what sex with a deity is like. As you may have figured out, I haven't the foggiest clue, but I'm told it varies from person to person. For my friend Ada,
"...god sex is mostly physical these days. Initially, it was in the astral because that's all I thought was possible, but I quickly learned that there are more things in Asgard and Olympus than are contained in your treatise on sex magic, Horatio."
For other people, I'm told it requires toys or spirits riding their partners. I know people who have sexual relationships with deities that are serious and long-term who have no desire to put any sort of name on it, as well as people who feel like terms such as a priestess/priest suit the end goals of their relationship better. There's others like me for whom sex is never a part of the relationship, and people who just have casual sex with deities for the fun of it. There is - at the risk of repeating myself - no right way to go about this.
Spooning with the Gods
So, how did I end up a godpartner? Or... whatever is going on with Thor. (Confusingly, things changed between beginning to write this post, and finishing it,) You know, I couldn't tell you. Like most of my spiritwork, it just sort of... happened. If I had to choose a particular moment in this life (because I've been doing a lot of past life work lately, and it looks as though this isn't the first time I've known the norse gods) it would have to be the last time my husband - who works offshore - went away. I was having a really bad bout of insomnia and some major anxiety due to a medicinal hiccup, and I jokingly asked Thor if he would stay with me so I could get some rest. I'm a very touchy-feeling spiritworker, and I often get the sensation of my deities touching the top of my head, or my shoulder, or the back of my neck. Not every godpartner is the same, though. For example, Káura experiences their godphone more in the form of emotions:
[Freyr] knows I’m better with channeling feelings than words, so throughout the day I’ll get phantom feelings to know that he’s there or thinking of me, or that he’s received my thoughts and feelings towards him. It’s like getting a text from your loved one, but with emotion instead!
So I expected a pat on the head, a little "FRIEND LEE, I WILL PROTECT YOU!" and what I got was... spooning. The sensation of my entire back being enveloped and defended by warm arms, and the idea that if I were to push back I would be resting against another person. I slept the best I had done so in over a week, and for the next three days Thor stuck around. He has been protective of me for a while - I "met" him when he stepped in to help me with an entity masquerading as Odin who was giving me grief - and so asking him to watch over me as I slept seemed entirely logical. Sleeping with someone, just sleeping, is to me one of the biggest gestures of trust you can show someone. It's something I'm content to do with friends, but I started to realise that the sensation of safety I got from Thor was one I only really feel when sleeping with my husband and some really close friends, and... well. Maybe I panicked. Until I realised that you can be very close platonic...
Siblings. At this point, the idea of being tied to Thor but not romantically or sexually made such an astounding amount of sense that I wound up drinking three shots of vodka and drilling him, Odin and Loki about it and a hundred and one other things.
Thankfully, I have friends who are particularly good at picking apart my stressed-about-spiritwork ramblings and shaping it into some playdough-esque little ball of "that feels right". Right now, however, I'm in the honeymoon phase. I've begun wearing my Mjölnir daily again. Wearing my Turisas gig shirt has felt a bit like borrowing my big brother's sweater, and being cozy in it. Thor has been lingering more often than not, and Odin is very approving of the relationship. (Loki rolls his eyes, but I think that's less disapproval and more that I've heard him refer to Thor fondly as 'hammer for brains' more than once. With a side order of past life drama.) And yet as right as this feels, I was still reluctant to call myself... anything.
Yes, yes I know. It's "am I witch?" all over again.
What Comes Next...
But what does that mean? Well, does it need to mean anything? If a god-connected relationship is the most important part of your spiritwork, and you feel as though there's an end goal to that, then great for you! Fucking go for it. Do what makes you happy, and what helps you to grow in your practice. But for me, it's not the beginning of the final act so much as it is a stepping stone on the way to knowing who I am. Or... who I was? Answers are vague. Much like gods.
2020 has been the year of answering questions. I've asked myself a lot of questions about my self identity, and settled on who I want to be going forth. (It's also the start of my Saturn Return, of course it is.) Making peace with being connected to Thor was the beginning of removing the veil on some parts of my past life(s) that have been unclear to me for so long. Thor showed me pictures of how I used to look, and Odin and Loki finally admitted that they are entities I've known in this life since I was eleven or twelve, and it all ties together. The closeness I'm developing to Thor is opening my mind to considering things about myself that I might have been too far in denial to consider before, and that's... well, it's awesome. And terrifying.
At the end of the day, Thor is friend-shaped. And I'm happy to be a part of his life.