I’ve noticed over the past year or so that god-spousing is becoming a more prominent thing in our community. For those who have never heard of this concept, the idea behind it is that a human person gets married (or some other similar ceremony) to a deity. The marriage ceremony can vary person to person and deity to deity – some have a large ceremony, others don’t. What this relationship can entail is going to vary from person to person as it would with any mortal marriage – some of the marriages are more romantic, some involve sex and some don’t, some are all astral based, and others are not – it’s all very “your mileage may vary”. And of course when anything “new” comes into the community, there are people in the community who dislike that thing, and god-spousing is no exception. Many think that this is totally stupid and often blames the resurgence (because it is a resurgence, this is not new) on things like Hiddleson or Tumblr. Despite that, the god-spouse community is starting to make some headway and gain some traction in the community at large, and I am happy to see that it’s starting to become more accepted.
There is another aspect to the god-spousing community that almost never gets talked about: spirit-spousing.
Spirit-spousing is a whole lot like god-spousing: a mortal person gets married to a spirit or other non-physical entity that isn’t identified as a deity. Just like god-spousing and mortal spouses, the nature of the relationship can vary, and the method of marriage can also vary. There are certainly a lot of different methods that can be done with spirit-spousing, and each culture that engaged in such things had their own way of doing things. However, despite there being a history of spirit-spousing, spirit-spouses almost never get any mention in posts, group discussions or in the community at large.
Because there is so very little on spirit-spousing, I wanted to spend some time talking about some of the historical things I’ve found on spirit-spousing and god-spousing as well as some of my own experiences.
History Repeats Itself
Although a lot of people seem to believe that marrying a non-physical entity (deity or otherwise) is new, it’s really not. There are plenty of examples that prove that this has been going on for a hot minute (see the relevant posts at the bottom for more information). I saw the first mention of spirit-spousing while reading The Catalpa Bow. The Catalpa Bow talks about spirit worker practices in Japan, and it turns out that there is a rather rich history of spirits engaging humans in all sorts of things- from sexual encounters, to tormenting people, to marriage.
There are a few common scenarios that Blacker lists in her book:
The first two groups of tales […] are those known as shinkontan or divine marriage tales. These tell of a marriage between a human being and a god. In one group a human girl is visited by an unknown deity, who on investigation is discovered to be a snake. In the other group the goddess of the sea leaves her watery home to marry a human man, only to return to it in her true form of a snake when the man has violated a taboo.19
Both these types of tale are found associated with certain shrines, usually purporting to account for the semi-divine ancestry of the priestly family in whose hereditary charge they lie. The Miwa and Kamo shrines are the most celebrated examples, the Miwa shrine in particular having given its name to two sub-types of divine marriage legend, broadly known as hebi-no-mukoiri, or snake bridegroom. (pg. 93)
Blacker goes on to state that it’s possible that many of these marriages mirror rites of passage and rituals that spirit workers (which she refers to as shamans in this book) must go through in order to obtain their skills:
In both these types of divine marriage legend there can be discerned the vestige of an ancient shamanistic cult in which a woman is chosen to serve a water-serpent god. In the odamaki stories we see a girl seized and forced to act not only as the mouthpiece of a god, but also as his bride. She is thus ‘possessed’ in a double sense, both spiritually by an oracle and sexually by a lover.
We are at once reminded of the similarly sexual relationship which obtains in many Siberian tribes between the shaman and his tutelary deity. Here, however, the sexes are usually reversed and it is a male shaman who finds himself visited by a goddess. Among the Goldi on the Amur river, Sternberg quotes a shaman as saying that his tutelary goddess, a beautiful woman who taught him the secrets which enabled him to shamanise, was at the same time the wife with whom he slept. When he shamanised he was possessed by this goddess, as his body might be permeated by smoke or vapour, and it was she who spoke through his mouth and drank the offerings of pig’s blood. The Yakut shaman was also visited when asleep by a female spirit, and the Teleut shaman likewise had a celestial wife whom he visited in her abode in the seventh heaven.27
The odamaki stories suggest that a similar relationship, with the sexes reversed, was common between the early miko and her guardian snake. (pg. 96)
While Blacker uses god and deity to describe a lot of the marriages going on in these stories, the truth is that the Japanese word Kami is very difficult to translate into English. We often consider it to instantly mean “deity” or “god”, but Kami can come in all sorts of sizes- some of which are nothing more than regional spirits or entities. So when reading these excerpts, I would advise anyone to keep a relatively loose definition of what the word god or deity could entail.
And of course, at the end of the day, it shows that there is some historical context and history of marriages and unions occurring between the Seen and Unseen.
Communication: Like Talking to a Brick Wall
Communicating with the Unseen is a notorious pain. It can be challenging to render feelings and ideas and “woo” into something that is actually coherent. And while it can be challenging to figure out how to communicate with a god, I’ve found it to be even harder to communicate with spirits. With gods you’ve got at least some sort of resource material to pull from. There are books and websites dedicated to discussing various historical and modern information about gods and deities from across the globe, and if someone shows up looking like some particular culture from Earth, it becomes much easier to figure out who exactly is pestering you. However, there is likely no website with information on Jim the tree spirit that lives in your back yard or Sally the traveler from some non-physical plane we’ve never heard of. It’s this very same problem that makes identifying netjeri and other Duat critters difficult for Kemetics- there just isn’t any widely available information out there. You’re pretty much on your own for figuring out who or what this entity is, where it came from, and what to do with it.
I still suggest approaching non-deity communication the same way you might approach deity communication. Work on figuring out a system that works best for you. For some this may be a divination system, for others it might be better through feelings or sensations. It really just depends. If you’ve got a spirit showing up on your doorstep, I recommend feeding them regularly. You may be the only person who notices they’re alive, and so they may need more energy in order to communicate with you better. You can nourish a non-deity through a lot of the same methods that you would a deity- food offerings, energy offerings (dancing, music making, sex), having shrines or other things in your house that the entity can attach to and alight from, etc. I would urge anyone who is delving into spirit communication to let the spirit know that there could be hang ups, and to be patient. Remember that communication can be just as frustrating for the spirit/entity as it is for you.
Expectations Can Make an Ass Out of You and Me
This can be further complicated by the fact that sometimes the spirit you’re working with isn’t even from some sort of earthly plane. Most of my menz have not ever lived on earth, which means it’s even harder to figure out who they are or what they want.
On top of this, there are plenty of cultures who have taboos and rules for their spirit-spousing. Some spirits are against certain things, certain spirits might expect certain things from their spouse or have certain expectations for the nature of the relationship such as food and dietary restrictions or limitations on who you can associate with or even your daily schedule. Clashing of eras and cultures can make the relationship building process even more difficult and can cause all sorts of bumps and hiccups on your path.
This has occurred for me a few times. I had a past history with a few of my menz, and they had expectations that I had to promptly crush. One believed he could come in and convert me into being strictly monogamous with him – which I told him would not happen. I’ve also gotten to experience personality conflicts between a few of my menz that threw some relationships to a grinding halt for a while, as well as differing views on how the household should be run (which we still have some issues with).
The best advice I can give to anyone who might find themselves looking at a spirit who wants to be more than friends is to take it slow. And don’t be afraid to establish your boundaries and limitations with this entity. I have a strict rule for anyone (spirit, deity, or physical human) that is interested in dating me or being romantically involved with me- we do it my way, or not at all. That doesn’t mean that I won’t compromise on things, but there are certain caveats in the relationship that will never ever change. And anyone who is interested in being with me needs to respect those rules.
Once you’ve created ground rules for yourself, stick to them. However, be prepared for certain entities to push back and try to convince you to change your rules. And, of course, be prepared to potentially send this entity or spirit packing if they refuse to take your needs seriously.
But how did you know?
One of the biggest questions I’ve been asked throughout the years of talking about spirit-spousing is “how did you know that they wanted to be in that kind of relationship with you?” The short answer is- they had to spell it out for me, usually. I am incredibly dense and daft when it comes to emotions, and I default to “everyone is friends!” mindset (much to my detriment). For pretty much every single relationship I’m involved in (or have ever been involved in), it has usually taken the other person, entity, spirit or deity to tell me “hey, I want to be more than just friends”. The only exception to this rule has been with the menz I refer to as K-Pop, who more or less made it very very clear from day one that he and I were “gonna be a thing” no matter what.
And that can and does happen- sometimes an entity shows up and refuses to take no for an answer. And it can be really challenging to figure out how to handle that. While he and I tangoed around this complete mess of feelings and emotional baggage, we pretty much spent 3 months making each other’s lives miserable. He made sure to antagonize anyone I was close to. We spent hours exchanging verbal barbs with one another while we completed tasks on the astral. We pretty much hated one another for quite a while.
It only began to progress to something better once he decided I was more important than whatever expectations he had brought to the table. It was a perfect example of having to stick to your guns. But it was a very big challenge to get to that point.
Almost none of my relationships have super romantic or amazing beginnings, and that is largely why I don’t discuss them. However, if you find that an entity (or a deity) shows up and develops a relationship with you- and then out of the blue one day decides that they want to be more than that with you- don’t feel too shocked. I certainly missed a lot of really obvious call signs with a lot of the people, spirits and entities that I have laid with. Again, communication isn’t always clear, and sometimes what is obvious to one person isn’t obvious to another.
Obviously, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to being married (or similar) with non-physical entities. I’ve tried to cover some of the basics of being married to spirits as well as covering some historical information on the practice. If there are any other topics anyone would like to delve into in the future regarding spirit-spousing, hit me up in the comments section!
- Safe Astral Sex: an ask
- Nuances of Non-Physical Relations
- Spirit lovers tag on GLE
- Making Physical and Non-Physical Relations Work
- Spirit Marriages and Godspousery Links
- KRT: Gods and Communication
- Building Relations