Lately, I seem to have been running into a lot of Godspouses.
Truth be told, if there is a deity out there, it seems there’s at least one person claiming to be their Godspouse. A less generous person would look at it and think this was merely a new trend, replacing the older trend of being a priest or priestess. Back a few years ago everyone wanted to be a priest/priestess, now they’re wanting to be Godspouses.
I however, am not going to be like that. Mostly because I’ve run into that dismissive attitude about being Hel’s Gothi, and how “everyone has that phase, poo poo, you just to mature a bit more.” That is a terrible attitude to take that devalues someone’s faith and experience. Most of the people who are dismissive like that, however, expect you to treat their beliefs with utmost respect because they’re “more mature” about such things.
Tangent aside, I do seem to be running into a lot of Godspouses. Loki, of course, tends to get a lot, but I’ve found them for everyone from Poseidon to Lucifer. I don’t think I’ve run into any for Jehova (not a surprise), Hades or Hel, but the last two don’t seem as interested in early affairs.
So why is this? Well, a while back I wrote an article about faith and how it acts as a gateway for the power of the Gods to flow through into the world. If we take this as a working theory, the more faith a person has, the more the power of the Gods can flow through them to have a greater effect on the world.
It used to be that the different Gods and Goddesses had millions of followers all over the world and each religion was generally the sole religion in that area, so there was a lot of “doorways” and nothing to interfere. Godspouses were pretty rare back then, and even priesthood was a rare calling, compared to the rest of the population.
Now though, most Pagan faiths can be counted in the thousands in terms of numbers. I think we recently had a census and Heathenism has maybe about 300,000 members worldwide at best. Most of the other Pagan faiths are doing much better, and we generally live in countries that predominantly Christian, who act as gateways to their God’s power.
So let’s figure your average lay person has a little bit of faith, but they don’t focus on it that much. Priests (religious leaders) typically have more faith and do tend to focus on it a bit more (even if it does seem like a lot of Christian ‘priests’ tend to be fonts of corruption), though most tend to focus on an entire pantheon rather than a single deity. Patronized folks tend to have I’d say about as much faith as a good priest, and they are focused on a single or minimal number of Gods.
A Godspouse, however, focuses on only one deity and to an even greater degree than a Priest or Patronized person would.
The best way to think of it is Lay = Acquaintance, Priest = Friend, Patronized = Best Friend, and Godspouse = Husband/Wife. Think about how much easier your life is when your friend believes in you, or your best friend believes in you…then how much it affects you when your lover/spouse believes in you. You can take on the world, do so much both for yourself and for them.
I think it’s the same with Godspouses. For a while people started out as Pagans, then there was a push of people wanting to be a priest, or saying they were a priest…and they were. The Gods were coming back and they wanted friends, not just acquaintances. Lay people opened the door, but then Priests came about and opened the door wider. The next push was Patrons, where people dedicated themselves to specific Gods of Goddesses, because the foundations had been lade for more power to flow into the world, so now more power did flow in and Patronizing became that gateway. Now we’re seeing the next stage, Godspouses. Or at least, a lot more Godspouses.
As the faith grows, the Gods get more power on earth to affect changes they need to. But they need even more access, thus they need more faith, and were better to get that faith than from a spouse? Now this doesn’t mean they don’t love and care for their spouses, they do. It doesn’t work if they don’t. But think about how much power Loki has now, especially in terms of fandoms and tumblr. While most of my fellow Heathens will froth at the mouth about how Marvel Loki isn’t the real Loki and how the story is different, etc…Loki has some serious power through all his Loki Brides. And they are everywhere, and they spread the message and power of Loki, to the point where in terms of raw psychological and social power…I’d argue that Loki is probably one of the top the most powerful Norse Gods, up there with Odin and Thor.
Enough Godspouses, enough Patroned, and enough Priests opens the gateways for the full power of the Gods to flow through, but even so the Lay people are the foundationed. Those who have a closer connection have a duty to spread the words and faith, so that others might come to believe, and the power of the Gods be restored.