G is for Godspouse (YTPaganABC)

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odin_by_unripehamadryad-d62j18b on Deviant Art

Probably you always knew I was going to go here when I came to G. Possibly I did, too.

For more than a decade, I was very public about being a godspouse of Odin. I wrote hundreds of posts (most of them now lost, due to a combination of computer failure and my own impetuousness) on the subject, as well as two books. I came very near to becoming ordained clergy for Him via the Troth, before deciding that organization and I had irreconcilable differences.

So, what’s been going on with me for the past 2-3 years? What happened? What caused the massive spiritual crisis I went through?

A lot of things, I think. The relationship was always turbulent (I mean, it’s Odin, for crying out loud), godspousery was having A Moment, which made me prickly (and which thankfully seems to have died down a bit), I was working too hard on my business (and not taking enough time for my spiritual life), I lost my cat at the age of only ten, which caused me to back off from my practice due to grief. All of these things played a part. And then there was my constant need to prove myself good enough, worthy enough,  in the face of (what seemed to me) constant evidence to the contrary: my weight issues, my age, my chronic illnesses, and an unfortunate tendency to compare myself unfavorably to others who were also devoted to Him. Oh and yes, there was also that one actual instance of deliberately ill-willed interference from someone I had formerly considered a friend.

Taken all together, these conditions produced a perfect storm, and off the deep end I went. Suddenly, I couldn’t stay in the relationship; I had to get as far away from Odin as I possibly could, in order to preserve any shred of dignity or of my own sense of self. Of course, I didn’t REALLY need to. But I convinced myself that I did.

I want to add that I received a fair amount of support from my community during this crisis; you know who you are, and I’ve never expressed my gratitude properly, but now I am. Beyond the Patreon supporters who stuck with me (gods bless you all!), I also had a couple of people write to me expressing that they felt I could not be more completely Odin’s if I tried, that He was sorry if He had hurt me, that He wanted me to wear my valknut again. I will confess: at the time these messages actually made me angry, but now I find them incredibly comforting. Years ago, when we still lived in Philadelphia, a local heathen devoted to Loki gave me a gift from Him: a heart-shaped wooden puzzle box containing a snakeskin shed and an egg-shaped crystal. I’ve always thought of Loki as a brother, and the message here was clear: “Your heart is going to continually break into pieces, and you are going to have to continually shed your old self (including your ego) and birth new and higher versions of your Self. Sacrifice of self to Self: this is what My Brother’s path is all about.”

How I forgot that message, I’ll never understand.

But, here I am. And for all that I’ve written about no longer defining myself as a godspouse, I’ve also been realizing in these past weeks that this determination is not necessarily mine to make. I took the oaths I took. I promised what I promised, and I received sign after sign, proof after proof, that my oaths had been accepted. (I’m STILL receiving them.)  I don’t know about you, but I’ve never found Odin to be one to relinquish that shit gracefully. I realize now that the whole Doctor Who thing, and even the Lucifer thing, was His way of pacifying me while also keeping me entertained and engaged. How many masks and names does He have, again? I’m pretty sure His repertoire can cover both a Fallen Angel and a time-travelling alien who changes their face every few years. He isn’t above using Doctor Who to kick my ass, either. As in this paraphrased exchange from season 8, for example. The Doctor: “You betrayed everything I stand for, everything I am. You let me down!” Clara: “Why are you helping me, then?” The Doctor: “Do you think I care so little for you that something like betrayal would make a difference?”

Yeah.

Also, while it isn’t anyone’s business whether or not I’m currently fucking Odin (if you’ll excuse my language), the realization that I’m on the Ace spectrum means exactly that: I’m on the Ace spectrum. It’s a spectrum, which means it ebbs and flows from one extreme to the other, and  usually resides somewhere in between. The romantic feelings are still there, and sometimes the sexual ones are too (this is a spirit we’re talking about here, remember, so physical expression of the above is not really a requirement), and when they aren’t, there’s enough else (shared history, emotional connection, spiritual Work, etc.) to keep U/us occupied.

Possibly most crucially, as an apparent result of the “dark night of the soul” I went through, the desperation, the need to prove myself, and the habit of comparison with others are all gone. Which may have been the point? Although I hasten to add, I do NOT think this crisis was something He initiated or forced me to go through. I’m the one who pushed Him away, I’m the one who insisted on distance, while He…stepped away, like the gentleman He is, but remained constant. (“You remain…my power, my pleasure, my pain.” – Kiss from a Rose lyrics that have been haunting me.) It was all me.

So, yeah. As we enter the dark half of the year, the season of the Witch, there’s that. I’m definitely, finally, ready to go onward, with Him. There isn’t really a need to define the relationship in those terms, but I can’t say that I’m definitely NOT a godspouse; that’s for Him to determine, not me. (As a friend wrote a while back on her own blog: “I’m Odin’s…whatever.” Whatever He decides, that’s what I am.)

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9 Comments

  1. That self doubt thing is a bear. I always wonder why my husband stays with me – old, fat, ugly, etc. – when he could do better. I sometimes think I’m trying to build up defences in case it should ever happen. Dealing with a spirit has to be much harder, especially when you know he isn’t monogamous. Perhaps you really did need the space between you. Glad you’ve found your feet.

    1. ((((hugs))))) Yeah, it’s not easy in ANY relationship, that’s for sure. But when it comes to spirits, I find it best (for the sake of one’s own sanity) to assume non-monogamy, because how would you ever know for sure? Also (and sometimes paradoxically) to take Them at Their word–because, again, how could you prove otherwise?

      And yeah, maybe I did need it.

      Thanks! ❤

  2. Hi there sorry to bother you so suddenly, but is there any way to connect with or reach out to you privately? I’m really loving your blogging so far and just…really admire how open you are about all this. But for some odd reason I have this feeling I can hopefully talk a bit about my practice with you openly and honestly without judgement?

    sorry if thats weird…

    I hope you’re doing well.

    1. Hi Ulven!

      Although the dates don’t show it because I made a mistake when republishing them, most of the posts on my blog are really old, going back as much as ten years. When I first started down this path, I WAS really public and open about everything. Then, beginning three years or so ago and only ending this year, I went through a period of burnout and spiritual crisis that was partly triggered by a few people having taken advantage of my openness in not very nice ways to further their own practices. Most of the posts you see now on my blog had been set to private for the past couple of years for this reason, until I very recently decided to unlock them again. Since you seem to be a new reader, I felt the need to provide that backstory so you know what’s gone on with me behind the scenes, With that as a caveat, yes you are welcome to email me, but please bear in mind that I have limits on what I’m willing to discuss or disclose about my own practice these days, versus how open I was in the past. I am, however, willing to provide an ear if that’s what you need. Also, I run a business and we are heading into the holiday season so please don’t expect anything like a quick response! With that in mind, my email is lauriebethdawe@gmail.com. 🙂

  3. finally getting a chance to read this. I remember you talking about getting that box. Wow. I’ll also admit that I had a feeling as to what He was doing that whole time but knew not to push the idea on you then. *offers hugs*

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