Lokean Godspouses: Disbelief and Explanation

Those coming from Tumblr: If you can provide proof of godspouses of Loki (or other Norse deities) in the Eddas or any of the old Norse writings, I invite them; this is not all “personal opinion.”

I have recently read a number of people claiming to be one of Loki’s godspouses, and heard a few even claim that if you wish to worship Loki, you must be His godspouse.

Let me start by saying I am glad to be a Priestess with my Patron being Loki. You do NOT have to be Loki’s godspouse to be a Lokean. I would far sooner consider myself one of His children than one of His wives. And I wouldn’t want it any different. I pray no one is frightened away from being a Lokean because they think they have to wed Loki to be a Lokean.

A godspouse, as defined by anyakless, is “someone who has a longterm/lifetime intimate relationship with a deity that seems to somehow mirror human marriage (although there can be striking and important differences). This is usually a role officially acknowledged by the deity and confirmed by other members of your community in various ways.”

I have many issues in believing anyone to be a godspouse of Loki.

The Norse culture of the past did not condone a man having multiple wives. A man could sleep with many women, but as it was pointed out by Viking Answer Lady, “The only restriction that seems to have existed on a man’s sexual activity was to penalize a man for fornication, making him pay a small fine for sleeping with a woman not his wife. Sturlunga saga indicates that “almost universally, men indulged in extramarital affairs with numbers of women before, during, and after marriage” (Jenny M. Jochens, “The Church and Sexuality in Medieval Iceland,” Journal of Medieval History. 6 [1980]: pp.383-384).” Extramarital, as in they had one wife and numerous concubines.

Even the culture of the Norse Gods, Loki is married to Sigyn. He has slept with many beings, jotunn, man, horse. However, the only one He is wed to is Sigyn. Loki has, around myself, never used the term “godspouse” to refer to any of His other worshipers. If you discount my own personal experience – which you’re free to do – it’s nearly impossible to ignore the fact that Loki has taken on different forms and fathered and mothered numerous children without ever claiming to be wed to another.

The term godspouse may work with other deities, in my opinion, but Loki isn’t one of them.

It is possible to have an intimate, close connection with Loki without being His “godspouse.” I wouldn’t be one to throw the term around much anyway in referring to any form of worship, as the connotations for a godspouse sounds as if it is something sacred that takes many, many, many years to attain, and may not be applicable to all deities in the first place.

I myself feel a very deep, special connection between myself and Loki. Would I be so brash as to claim it is as if we are married? No. It is a connection like I am one of His children, where He takes me under His wing and protects me, and teaches me, and cares for me. I would never call our connection a marriage, and I believe we are both content with it being that way. Loki has been my patron for 9 years now, 10 come April.

I have consulted Him on this, and while I am not the “Voice of Loki” and would NEVER claim to be, it’s important to recognize that godspousery is a very serious thing to claim and does not make sense when claiming it with certain deities, Loki being one of them.

If you wish to portray a closeness and solidarity to Loki, similar to a Catholic nun or monk, that’s fine. But a godspouse does not sound like the correct word for it, if that’s the case. Spiritual concubine, perhaps? But not a godspouse.

Additionally, to achieve this sort of rank with any deity, removing the sexual aspect of the idea completely, where it would be as if you both are that intimate and close with one another… it does not happen instantly. Just because you can marry in 10 minutes in Las Vegas doesn’t mean it happens that quickly between yourself and a deity. Years of dedication, years of worship, years of learning and meditation should be present before even dancing with the term godspouse.

I am sure there will be those among you reading this who will say, “This woman is not a true Lokean, for I am wed to Loki!” You know what? That’s. Fine. Just don’t go telling people that you have to wed Loki to be a Lokean, and don’t tell me that after a month of reading about Loki and the occasional prayer you’re suddenly His godspouse. It just doesn’t fly.

That being said, anyone who has been called by Loki, welcome. And don’t be afraid of having to wed Loki in order to be a Lokean or to be close to Him – you don’t.

Edit as of October 25th, 2011: Elizabeth Vongvisith provides thoughtful insight on the matter. A must read for either side of the argument.

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28 Responses to Lokean Godspouses: Disbelief and Explanation

  1. anyakless says:

    Greetings,

    I was brought here by a pingback on my blog, which you cite above. I wanted to respond to a few comments you make here. I know a lot of Lokeans, including those who consider themselves to be His spouse or consort. It’s worth noting that not everyone uses the term “spouse,” and I’m hoping some of them will comment here on their own reasons for using or not using.

    I have never heard any of them profess the belief that “if you wish to worship Loki, you must be his godspouse.” I’d be curious to know where you heard that, as it is so utterly contrary to my own conversations and interactions with people in this category.

    In my own experience with Loki spouses and consorts, as well as my own path as a spouse of Odin, I know this to be a deeply developed relationship marked by an ongoing process of learning and unfolding. It is rarely (if ever) something the human just decides and announces. It’s something the god proposes, and it is usually the challenge of the human to grapple with what it means to say “Yes.”

    Finally, one lesson that I’ve had to learn myself is that all relationships between human and deity are unique. Ruling something out because it’s not something in your own experience can be rather limiting.

    Blessings on your path with the flame-haired one,

    Anya

    • myrkr says:

      While I am all for UPG (Unverified Personal Gnosis), I somehow severely doubt that a deity such as Odin or Loki would approach one and request them to be Their godspouse. While I’m sure to you – and to others – it has happened and occurred, that it is true for you lot, it seems to go against my own experience (which you are free to ignore) AND the Eddas. If you are to ignore the Eddas, that is another story completely.

      Once more, I am all for UPG, and I know a number of people who would happily point out every single last issue with my own beliefs because they don’t follow a specific path. But while they don’t, I do keep to the various writings provided. I would not suggest any reader to rely solely on UPG. I don’t rule out the concept of godspouses, but the concept of a godspouse who is “wed” to a Norse deity.

      Even if you wished to call this a SPG (Shared Personal Gnosis), I would hesitate to say that this is the norm, and would still come to question its existence pertaining to the Norse pantheon given what is known about the Norse pantheon and the old Norse culture.

      Thank you for responding.

  2. paosirdjhutmosu says:

    We who honor the gods of old should tread carefully.

    Technically the sources we draw from, like the Eddas, the Reu Nu Peret Em Hru, Enûma Eliš , etc. are the codified gnosis experiences (or remnants thereof) of those who went before us, but they have stood the test of time and (typically) went through trustworthy sources, whether it’s the traditions of a people or the library of a priesthood. An uninterrupted tradition helps in codifying what one does and what one does not do. Uninterrupted polytheistic traditions have millennia of unbroken tradition and precedent to rely on, whereas we don’t.

    The cultures of the peoples who originally worshipped the gods are also a good source to use, and I commend you for that, Myrkr, since religion and culture were intertwined in just about all polytheistic societies, most of which had no word or concept of “religion” as something distinct from culture, from “What Our People Do”, whether that people be Germanian, Canaanite, or Egyptian.

    Senebty

  3. Sariel says:

    Hello.

    While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I’ll be honest. I completely disagree with most of what you’ve said. The only thing I do agree with (and would love to know where you’ve heard this kind of information) is that someone must be wed to Loki to be a Lokean. I would like to think that anyone with a lick of sense would see the fallacy in that for what it is.

    However, I find it pretty haughty for you to say what a God would and would not do, especially when it comes to Loki. I mean seriously, when has He ever followed conventional rules unless it suited His own purpose? And just why exactly would it “not make sense” to have this sacred bond with Loki? I’m rather curious seeing as I am one of His mortal wives. No, it’s not something that develops overnight but neither does it require years to come to fruition. Every relationship is different whether you’re discussing mortals or Gods. Either way, it’s an intensely personal relationship and to discredit Loki as being unable/unwilling to enter into this kind of commitment seems a grave injustice.

    UPG, SPG, or strict by the Eddas, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, just don’t discredit others when it contradicts what you think to be right/proper.

    • myrkr says:

      As you have said, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I merely provided mine with reasons behind it.

      While I’m willing to indulge you in the idea that Loki is known to “not make sense” and that Loki has been known to break “conventional rules,” to ignore the facts behind the matter seem downright silly. While some bonds can be developed quickly, it is my firm belief that a deity is likely not to speed through such a process unless they are known for doing so, when it comes to judging other’s claims.

      Loki did hop into bed with a number of people, but it doesn’t mean He considered them a spouse at any point in time. While you, and a number of others, may claim that Loki takes you in as a spouse, that He proposed to you that you be His spouse, there is no evidence for this. Not in the Eddas, not in existing texts related to the Norse. Only the word of those making the claim. And forgive me for not believing that Loki would take a spouse as it goes against not only Himself, but His culture, though I can’t help but question why one would fault me for not believing them or it.

      A close bond to Loki I could believe. For Him to take one in as a spouse, and for Him to collect a number spouses… this is not the Loki I know, and quite frankly, not the Loki portrayed in the Eddas.

      By the way, as it comes to expressing opinion, thank you for calling me a “****ing idiot” on your Twitter. This Twitter post can also be viewed here.

      • Sariel says:

        As we established, everyone is entitled to their own opinion whether it be in a public blog or a personal social page.

        As for your facts, there is also no evidence in any of the Eddas or historical documentation that Loki was ever worshipped and yet many of us believe that He was and have even had confirmation of the fact by Loki Himself. Just because something was never chronicled doesn’t mean it never happened.

        *shrugs* I’ve said my piece and you have said yours. What is, is and what will be, will be. Nothing I’ve said will change your mind and nothing you’ve expressed will change mine.

      • Sariel says:

        You can link to a screenshot if you wish as I have obviously deleted the post. It was said in haste and I will humbly admit that I should not have said what I said in the heat of the moment. I offer my apologies. What Elizabeth said is right. Lokeans receive enough criticism from others that it is counter-productive to negate others who love Loki as much as we do regardless of whether we agree with their views or not.

        Though we do not see eye to eye on all of this, I offer peace.

        My apologies and blessings to you.

      • myrkr says:

        Peace offered and accepted.

        We Lokeans do better giving others chaos anyway!

  4. So where does Angrboda fit into this?

  5. Elizabeth says:

    Hi Myrkr,

    I was led here by a Twitter link from a friend.

    I’m a consort of Loki. Wife, spouse, whatever you want to call it. I have been for eight years, and I’ve been fairly public about it for a while now.

    I do not think this is the only kind of relationship that a mortal can have with Loki (or any other god). To me, it is a deeply personal one, not something I feel really comfortable discussing with people I don’t know well. I have had to write about it in public, on my blog and in a couple of other places, because I have been asked to do so. I don’t discuss most of my experiences, but I feel that the things I’ve chosen to share might be useful to others, whether or not they’re engaged in this kind of devotion toward Loki or another deity..

    It may not be exemplified in the Eddas, or based on archaeological evidence, but it isn’t as if I decided to do this, or gave myself the title. Loki asked me, and what He asked of me was more of a proof of faith and devotion than bestowing some kind of title. I see my relationship with Loki as similar to the one that the Hindu poet Meera shared with her “Dark Lord,” Krishna — a sort of passionate devotion that isn’t much like human concept of marriage, at its most intense. I don’t think this makes me Loki’s equal in any way (I’m no goddess, after all, nor am I anybody of particular worldly significance), nor does it obligate other people to treat me any differently than anybody else. But it is true that the nature of my relationship with Him is one of Lover/Beloved, in a way which is different from the devotion I have for Freyr, or for Hela, or for Sunna, or any of the other gods I love and cherish.. It has made me a better person all around. I only wish I could do more credit to Him with my work and writing.

    There are, unfortunately, some misguided people around who want to be seen as special, and who try to do that by negating other people’s experiences, so that’s where the “you have to be a spouse of Loki to be a REAL Lokean” thing comes from, I guess. I’ve not encountered this attitude before,, but if I did, I would be the first to tell them to stop talking crap.

    I say all this because I’d like to point out that for some of us, at least, this is not a passing fancy nor a competition to “prove” who Loki allegedly is more fond of. As I’m sure you know, there are a number of Lokeans who just don’t seem to “get it” when it comes to what being one of Flame-hair’s people means, and unfortunately, the god-spouse label seems to be becoming just one more way for people to justify their rotten behavior. It makes me sad; it’s not as if we who love and honor Loki already don’t face enough prejudice and hostility.,

    I’m all for the preservation of tradition as it serves people in the modern world. I do respect those who have come before me, and their insights about the gods, and the ways they found to know and honor Them. Ultimately, however, we have to remember that we ARE talking about gods, here — beings with Their own will, consciousness, personalities, and agendas. They can do whatever They please. That includes breaking with tradition and relating to Their devotees in new days. I can just imagine what would’ve happened if I had told Loki sorry, I can’t engage in this sort of relationship with you, since it’s not covered in the primary sources.. I don’t regret my choice, but living it hasn’t always been easy, and the lessons and experience I’ve gained have been hard-won.

    I suppose what I’m really trying to say is that not all of us who speak of having this sort of tie to Loki are following some kind of crazy fad, or are interested in deciding who is and isn’t a real and valid worshiper. I do take my relationship with Himself seriously, but at the same time, I don’t expect other people to. It’s enough that I believe in it, and that it has made me a better and wiser person.

    Best regards,
    Elizabeth Vongvisith

    • myrkr says:

      Thank you for being articulate in your response as well as understanding of my position, even if you don’t agree with it. And thank you for taking the time to respond to my post in a well-thought out way that offers both consideration and something to truly think on.

      I enjoy your parallel to Meera. My main issue was with the term being used, as being a “wife” or “spouse” means something different than being “beloved” or a “lover,” and the connotations were quite different.

      Again, thank you for your post. It was a good read and well thought-out. I’ll see if I can find a way to link to it specifically, since so much feeling and energy clearly went into it.

      • myrkr says:

        Found it.

      • Elizabeth says:

        I think part of the difficulty in talking about the various relationships people are beginning to have with the gods is that we as twenty-first century English speakers lack terms that may be more appropriate than what we have available. I use the terminology of human marriage because that’s the closest thing I have to the dynamic Loki and I share, although as we’ve seen, it doesn’t always work. It may be up to us modern Pagans to come up with new terms for ourselves in the coming era. Thank you in turn for considering my point of view, as well.

  6. Apollodorosh says:

    “I have many issues in believing anyone to be a godspouse of Loki.”

    I have many issues with the concept of “godspouses” itself…

  7. San says:

    I agree absolutely. I’ve always had a lot of trouble taking this sort of thing seriously; it doesn’t mesh in my mind with Norse culture, with my own UPG, or how the gods were historically worshipped. If nothing else it doesn’t work in my head because of my perception of the relationship between Loki and Sigyn as being intensely close. For a person to say “I am equal to Sigyn in Loki’s estimation” is, to me, hubristic and honestly unthinkable.

    I adore Loki. I do, absolutely. I might call myself a Lokakona or a Lokadottir, but I don’t think of myself as a daughter really. Truly I don’t think there is a human-human role that accurately represents what the god-devotee relationship can be. So why bother making one?

    And what, when it comes down to it, is wrong with the term “fulltrui”?

    • Darkamber says:

      “For a person to say “I am equal to Sigyn in Loki’s estimation” is, to me, hubristic and honestly unthinkable.”

      Absolutely. However, have your ever heard a Lokean god-spouse actually say this?
      I haven’t, and, being one of them myself, it would be absolutely ridiculous and unthinkable to even begin to dare to think a mere mortal could in any way be compared with a goddess.

  8. Darkamber says:

    There is so much in this post that is not logical….
    Are you trolling Lokeans?

    • myrkr says:

      What is not logical to it?

      I’m stating my opinion on the matter and giving both LOGICAL and EMOTIONAL reasons to my opinion. If that’s trolling, I suppose so.

      But if it’s caused chaos in anyone’s life – clearly it seems to’ve – then my work for the day is done.

  9. I am one of Loki’s mortal wives. I had never heard the term godspouse when He asked me and was in fact, a bit incredulous at the term. At the time, we were also going rounds about the reality of His existence. Once He convinced me of that (and oh, did He ever convince me!), I said yes to His proposal. I think perhaps He (and maybe some other Gods with mortal consorts too) used the term bride/marriage/wife because He does not desire to be worshipped from afar. He wanted to be part of my daily life, not once a week or month or year. That is not to say that He does not command the respect that He deserves as a Holy Power, because He does. Nor does it mean His mortal consorts liken themselves to Sigyn, because that is ridiculous. However, like many other Lokeans, many of us honor Her, and some honor Angrboda as well – depends on the consort. I personally don’t care whether spousery is in the Eddas or not, but I come from a more Pagan background, as opposed to Heathen. Mankind has changed and evolved much since the lore was created and written, and so have the Gods. Blessings,

    Bridget

  10. Hmm, I see what we have here. It’s an argument of semantics. Because I bet if we all just talked about our experiences with Him over a bottle of good wine, we’d find that we’ve had more similar experiences than dissimilar ones. 🙂 I think the word “godspouse” to you (Myrkr) implies certain things that most of the people who refer to themselves as “godspouses” do not mean to imply. I have nothing but love, respect and support for the godspouse ladies I know.

    A lot has been said already that I was going to say, so you shall be spared my longer, even more rambling comment. I will resist the urge to shove my opinions down your throat much in the same manner one force feeds a goose meant for foi gras. 🙂

    But I would like to mention that we are pagans/heathens/magickal folk and the way any of us practice is vastly different from the ancient forms of paganism/heathenism. After all, there is little to no evidence of Loki worship! Considering a human being’s experiences invalid unless backed up by sacred texts? I’ve seen that somewhere before…oh yeah. That’s Christianity. *wink*

    So rather than tell you more of my opinion, I’d like to ask questions. I love questions 🙂 They promote better understanding of one another and satisfy my intense curiosity.

    – When and how did you meet Loki for the first time?
    – What does your work with Him entail?
    – Have you discussed godspouse with Him? What all did He have to say?
    – What has He helped you with in your life, if it’s not too personal?

    Allow me to extend the branch of friendship here 🙂 After all, if I can be friends with a Pentecostal woman and trade recipes and long skirts, I certainly can befriend a fellow Lokian who sees things differently. I have no interest in changing anyone’s path or perception, only in making sure the perception isn’t clouded by misunderstandings and terminology.

    • myrkr says:

      “Considering a human being’s experiences invalid unless backed up by sacred texts? I’ve seen that somewhere before…oh yeah. That’s Christianity. *wink*” I understand everyone has their own beliefs, so on and so forth, but something so far from the Norse religion’s and culture’s frame of reference is… unusual, to say the least. Reconstructionism, as a whole, tends to value what information they do have on their various religious path that had been eaten away by the monotheistic groups that have come to pass. I can’t be a reconstructionist because I follow multiple belief systems, however, all of my beliefs have a basis in pre-existing religions and religious beliefs.

      Onto your questions…

      When and how did I meet Loki for the first time? – almost ten years ago, through a meditative journey.
      What does your work with Him entail? – Praying, dreamwork, meditation, divination (including introspective divining), various rituals.
      Have you discussed godspouse with Him? What all did He have to say? – Yes; Something along the lines of, “People believe what they want to believe. Feel free to get pissed, get happy, or not care. Doesn’t mean I’m going to tell any two of you the same thing, or treat any two of you the same way. And I may tell you guys conflicting things just for a show, regardless of how I feel about anything.” I couldn’t get much more out of Him aside from, “Figure out the rest on your own.” (… “figure it out” seems to be His mantra, in my experience, when you ask Him a question after He gives you information…) I interpreted this as, “Both groups are right and wrong at the same time and I don’t care what you do in response to it because it doesn’t affect Me any.”
      What has He helped you with in your life, if it’s not too personal? – He’s helped me with… a lot. More than I feel comfortable posting on my blog, though in-email would be fine if you are comfortable/okay with it.

      Feel free to extend the branch, but as I tend to warn all those who do, I have a tendency to spontaneously combust.

  11. Pingback: Discernment for Godspouses « A Forest Door

  12. Angela says:

    What are your opinions on evolving practice? You quote the Eddas and historical evidence, which I completely respect, but I believe the Gods had different uses for us back then, just as we had different uses for Them. Everything evolves; its evident in the world around us. Why shouldn’t relationships with deity evolve as well?

    To note: I’m not a Godspouse, or a devotee of Loki. I’m just curious about the whole thing, and while I’m not sure what I think about godspouses, I like to learn.

    • myrkr says:

      Evolving practice can and does exist, and times do change, even if unexpectedly. I recognize and wholeheartedly accept that, especially as a Lokean.

      The issue is, for myself, that this deity – Loki – is not known for taking multiple spouses nor for taking godspouses. He was known in the texts for taking mistresses, yes, and even romping around the bush, but a godspouse is such a specific thing. It is still something He will not talk to me directly about, and just answers me with “Well, what do you think?”.

      In fact, the most recent and specific answer He’s given me is, “If they were to be lying, why should you care? If they were to be lying, do you think I would care?”

  13. I was recently snagged by Loki not “claimed” he feels flirty and loving but I am in no way His Godspouse. I do believe that while we all have our own opinions I feel the undercurrent of the original post. Educate and do NOT do it because everyone else is! So I do see the wisdom in Myrkr’s Post. Would I say yes if he asked? You bet your sweet butter I would. But I will not go forth and carry a title not given. It does make me shake my head when others as a whole try to gild being a Godspouse into mainstream not to mention I do not think His anger would be worth me claiming something I am not.

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  15. kassandrazoe says:

    Hat dies auf Frau Koriander rebloggt und kommentierte:
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