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Bridal mysticism and community

It's October, which is a special month for Himself and me, and the artwork featured in this post is commission is a gift for Him for a personal festival. The artist is Tab Cole, and her deviantArt is here: if you'd like to see more of her work.

In other news (?) there seems to be yet another godspouse controversy, which has generated posts here and there. I'm not sorry to say that I've been engaged in other activities and don't know what started people ranting. As someone who gets asked a lot about godspousery, I'll say this:

Relationships can and will vary, even if you're married to the same Deity as someone else. Most spouses do some kind of Work for their Beloveds, but Work is still (usually) secondary to the relationship, and most of the important stuff happens off camera. People don't see most of what happens between Loki and me, and we're not unusual in that respect. Common sense moment: you don't see most of my other relationships, or much of them either. Y'all don't know my best friend's real name. Or what I gave my mother for her birthday. It's the Internet. I share what I think is important, and I keep to myself what I think is too personal to share.

One of the gripes that I keep seeing is that some people think that the younger generation shares too much, especially about sex. I have a fair amount of contact with young people in my non-cyber activities, both as a parent and as a Pagan minister. Yes, they relate differently than my generation. That is their prerogative, and I can remember my aunt lamenting that my generation was nihilistic and apathetic because we didn't protest the way her generation did, and yet we managed to mature into respectable, functional adults. My child is of the generation being lamented about, and zie is becoming a well-rounded adult, so perhaps I have more patience for this because of living with hir. For my own mileage, I don't really care if people talk about sexual desire for Someone; the issue is really only an issue if there's no exploration of any other topic. Even spiritworkers who do a lot of sex/kink w/Work usually have development in other areas.

The other area that people are chatting a lot about is Work and community. There are a couple of good posts on it by Sacred IcelandBeth, and Jo, and it's worth reading through the comments on the entries. One comment stands out to me, because it rings true with my own experience, and with Loki's lessons of downtime as a productive and necessary part of my life. This quote, from Silence, in particular stands out to me,

"Yes, serving the community is a way of shutting off the sockpuppets and learning discernment; at the very least you get to learn how to discern whether your efforts are needed or even desired (and boy is that one a tough lesson for some of us). The trouble is that this service work is not contexualized within a paradigm of learning discernment. Discernment is talked about, if it is talked about at all, only in the context of listing to the gods, paying attention to the spirits, getting clear divination, etc. but it’s much more than that. There isn’t much discernment being learned or practiced if one is continually taking on ALL the community work."

I found myself nodding at that, because I think some of us, myself included, have taken on too much, too soon, in the name of the heathen work ethic and the notion that if it's real, you're working hard, and if you're working hard, it's real. Coupling this with the undercurrent of people not wanting to be self-serving and you can create a culture where people are afraid to accept experiences that are beneficial to self and no one else, which I think is kind of the opposite of the point of mysticism. Bridal mysticism in particular is about the sharing of everyday life, and about the sacredness of everything, including the things we think of as mundane.

"Monotheists were pointing to a truth in speaking of the unity of love, but they did not yet have the number zero, the cipher, the void. By naming something one, they were trying to get at its unity. What they were not able to realize at the time, is that naming something one, instead of all, is a first separation out, it is a distancing that makes the All the Other. And therein lies trouble. Therein lies alienation. One, rather than remaining a unifying force, becomes a separate being. And that separation opens a deep wound." - T. Thorn Coyle, on God Hirself: a Theology

The separation of "sacred" and "mundane" is a separation, and one that many engaged in spousery are meant to bridge or repair.

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Lokean nun, writer, swamp witch. Heather is a Pagan monastic, writer, editor, and mother. She has written and edited for a variety of publications and social media, including science journals, romance novels, and technology blogs. She also holds degrees in education and speech-language pathology, and has a passion for historical linguistics.


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