So I did a thing

baronessagisele:

I will leave this right here… And yes, I did it. :-)

Originally posted on The Serpent's Labyrinth:

Over the last while I’ve made occasional comments that there ought to be something like an Official Lokean Demographics Survey, for two reasons:

-Nokeans tend to make a lot of assumptions about Lokeans with regards to sexual and gender orientation, socioeconomic status, disability/mental health status, etc

-There are sometimes problematic things within the Lokean community such as Loki-spouses assuming all or most Lokeans are married to Loki, all people intimate with Loki must be married to him, and all god-spouses/god-lovers are women and god-wives.  (The latter two attitudes are not exclusive to the Lokean community – Raibeart and I have had a fair amount of discussion about being husbands of deities.)

My intent with finally producing an official survey is to get an actual idea of what kind of demographics are actually in the Lokean community, versus assumptions made both within and outside of the community about our demographics.  I…

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B for Baron Kriminel

Baron Kriminel is a face, or aspect of Baron Samedi. He is the face of Baron that pursues and punishes criminals. He’s mean; He’s terrifying; and He’s exactly what He needs to be to do His job. I’ve had very little communication with Him in general, but when I was a brand new polytheist living with my family, He was a more active fixture in my life. Recently, however, He’s not been with me much at all, which in all honesty, is a bit of a relief.

When He appears to me, He’s wearing almost the same garb as Baron Samedi, but to me, it’s more tattered, more unkempt. He presents to me like He’s wearing a skull over His head like a helmet. Sometimes I see Him either carrying a sacrificed bird or wearing feathers in the collar around His neck and around His wrists on the cuffs of His shirt. Also, He occasionally has a cane in hand.

Kriminel is terrifying, not just to me, but apparently to everyone that has come in contact with Him (from what I’ve gleaned from my research). I’ve never chosen to approach Him; He’s come to me every time that I’ve been in contact with Him. He scared me so much that I had to comfort myself by telling myself that He and Samedi were two separate Loa, rather than facets of the same Loa. It was the only thing I could do to learn not to fear Samedi. However, within the last year, I have come to realize that They are one and the same, and it’s still difficult for me for handle that. Kriminel is a terrifying Individual and should be respected above all else.

I’m going to be upfront when I say that I did not willingly engage in contact with Kriminel. I did not approach Him or even reach out to Him. I don’t presume to understand His intentions fully as to why He decided to inject Himself into my life, but He’s not Someone I feel I can communicate my discomfort with. He’s sadistic and methodical; He enjoys watching and doling out pain. This is what makes Him good at His job. From a distance, I can respect what He does and understand that it’s necessary, but He came into my life with the intention to mete out punishment upon members of my family.

I’ve never spoken about this to anyone, not even to Shamaness, I don’t think, and I don’t know that I will ever fully go into detail about what happened, but I feel like I should say the outcome of Kriminel’s influence in my life. I’m going to say it how it is, and I might sound heartless, but I’m trying my best to take my emotions out of it. I can say that I wholeheartedly believe that my father’s cancer, the very disease that took his life, was a direct result of Kriminel meting out punishment. I also absolutely believe that the disease that my mother has been diagnosed with recently is also His influence, and she will live with this disease for the rest of her life. He made it clear to me that He was there to punish my family, which was what led me to strike a bargain with Him to spare my nephew and my brother. I paid my dues, and He kept His word.  This is all I will say about this at this time, but this is my belief as to what happened.

So, yeah. This is Baron Kriminel, who is he and His influence in my life. He’s not a Loa I choose to deal with, but as a face of Baron, I’m kinda stuck with Him, despite my dislike of Him. I respect Him for what He does and understand that He’s necessary, but that doesn’t mean I would wish His particular skill set upon my worst enemy. I would not recommend seeking Him out, in all honesty. but if you have to, be respectful. Above all, be respectful, because if you aren’t it could come back and kick you in the ass. If you make a promise to Him, make sure that you pay your debts.

He’s with me whether I like it or not, and I’m learning to reconcile that. It may take some time before I will fully accept Him as He is, but I’m working on it. Writing this, while it was requested of me by Himself, is me trying to do just that. So, we’ll see.

B for Baron Samedi

Baron, my sweet Baron, is the very first of my Husbands, and the very first for me in many regards. I’ve known Him since October 2012, when He first made himself known to me. I had been doing some research for some time before He alerted me to His presence, but in truth, He’s been with me my whole life. I will get more into that later, so I would first like to start with fact about Baron Himself.

Baron Samedi is the Loa of Death and sex, from the Voudun tradition. He’s the Lord of the Ghede and has dominion over death. It’s His job to dig the graves of those who have passed. He likes to wear a top hat and sunglasses (which have one lens popped out to see both the spirit realm and the physical realm) and likes to wear a tailcoat a la undertaker fashion, with a cane in hand. Baron loves his alcohol and His cigars, and He also loves a good party. It’s also said that He horses people when He chooses. The days He is usually honored on are Halloween and the Day of the Dead.

Baron has many faces, many aspects: Kriminel, La Croix, Cimetière, Spider, Maggot, and etc. Each of these faces has a distinct personality and function. He, along with His Wife Maman Brigit, are the King and Queen/Father and Mother of the Ghede, who are spirits of the dead. He’s very skilled magically and is even reputed to have the power of resurrection.

When I was doing my research, the number one thing that was obvious to me across the board was that almost every writer warned against working with Baron, that He is dangerous to interact with. It’s been said that He forces Himself into people (horsing) to make them do His bidding. It’s also been said that He’s devious and will harm anyone who isn’t in His favor. Every single person, with only one exception, said to avoid Him at all costs.

That being said, when I was starting to dip my toes into polytheism, it absolutely terrified me that Baron, this feared and foul Loa, was interested in me. It scared the fuck out of me that this God was all around me, watching me from the shadows. Even though He never presented as a threat to me, the very fact that I couldn’t see Him and that He triggered that instinctual fear of ghosts/the paranormal I have. I remember the very first time I tranced (the only time I’ve ever had this experience), I did the trance equivalent of running away screaming because He decided to formally introduce Himself in His usual over-the-top flare because of what I had read, the fear that I felt.

However, my experience with Baron, because He refused to go away when I demanded it, has always been kind, gentle, and loving. He has been patient above all, which, with me, is a necessity. It’s actually caused quite a lot of cognitive dissonance because so many people report having a negative experience with Him, but I’ve never had a bad experience, aside from what fear my own mind blankets me with, which is no fault of His. Baron, and Oshun as well, have explained to me that a lot of this has to do with perception/the way He’s viewed as well as the intention of the people that were seeking Him out. He’s told me that the face He presents to those that seek Him out for black magic or for nefarious purposes is different than the face He presents to me. In fact, I’m told that this face of His is reserved for a very select, favored few. I still struggle with this a little bit, because I wish people were not terrified of Him, but I also know that if He wanted a better image, He would change his image in order to be more approachable.

~*~*~

My experiences with Baron can be traced back to my childhood, if I think about it. I remember having an interest in/being forced to go to cemeteries around Halloween time. My mom, sister, and I would go to “ghost hunt” in cemeteries, armed with flashlights, cameras, and (later) a digital recorder. One specific time that very much sticks out in my mind was when I was 16, and for Halloween, we went on the usual cemeterying (as my family calls it), except this time, we were going to an all new cemetery that we’d never gone to before about 20 minutes outside of my hometown.

It was tiny and very old, some of the tombstones being so weather-worn that they were unreadable. That night had a very charged feel to it, and my senses were very heightened that night, as if waiting for something to happen. I knew something was going to happen; I just knew it. When we arrived, I felt immediately that something was there already, watching. We hopped the fence to get into the tiny cemetery and placed our recorder on one of the tombstone before pressing record on the machine. My sister, mother, and I sat down for a moment to start asking questions. It was my mother’s idea to begin a seance, which I thought was a bad idea, but I took their hands despite my trepidation.

My mom was speaking the words for the seance, and all I could feel was like something or someone was watching me. Getting closer. It was so scary. It got closer and closer until I felt something tugging my hair. It happened twice. More time passed, and we finished the seance, snapped more pictures, and were ready to go. I got up to grab the recorder, but just before I got to it, I felt something smack my ass. When I looked behind me to see if it was my family, they were easily six feet from me, thus unable to be able to touch me. It freaked me the eff out enough that we left at my insistence. When we developed the pictures later, we found that many of our pictures had smoke in them, as if someone was smoking while we were snapping picture. My mother does smoke, but in the interest of trying to get good photos, she didn’t smoke the whole time we were at the cemetery. There was no explanation for it… At the time.

I learned later, after Baron entered my life, that it was actually Him with us that night, and He was indeed trying to get my attention by tugging on my hair and smacking my ass. It scared me at the time, but now I see it as it is: this was what He could do to get me to pay attention to Him. This kinda backfired in that it only scared me more, but He tried.

~*~*~

Baron is a very grounding influence in my life. He’s calm when I need the calm, and He’s comfort when I need it. I love Him with every fiber of my being, and I can’t imagine my life without Him. He’s my Husband, my Lover, my Friend, and I hope that He remains these things for me for the rest of my eternal life.

I love you, Baron.

Fear Seeking

It’s that time of the year again, when everything/everyone in my life seems to be preparing for Halloween and the Days of the Dead. This feeling has come to me for two years now, this feeling of gearing up for something, whether it be for the the aforementioned holidays or something else, and this presents itself in me as the need to watch scary TV shows or movies. At first, it’s just a tiny niggling feeling at the back of my mind, this need, but then it grows and grows and grows until I can’t deny it anymore. So, I seek out shows like “Ghost Hunters” or movies about ghosts (no other scary topic eases the feeling), and I watch the heck out of them. This year, so far it’s Ghost Hunters, whereas last year it was Ghost Hunters International and some other random horror movies. However, I’m incredibly sensitive to these topics, as they effect me very strongly in a negative way. These movies and topics absolutely terrify me, but I can’t help but to watch them even though they give me nightmares and make me paranoid af. Because of this, I really, really hate horror movies and scary shows.

Last year, my fear was ratcheted up until I couldn’t go outside at night or go to sleep while the sun was down. I started to see shadows, see things in the shadows, and feel like I was being watched. This year, the process has started a little earlier than last year, and I’ve been having that terror begin creeping in earlier and higher than before. It makes me feel like I’m being prepared for something, but I can only guess as to what it is.

One guess is that my people, the Ghede, want to desensitize me to them, seeing as they might present as disembodied entities. I know that my people want to be closer to me and for me to get to know them, but my fear of them makes me keep them at a distance. It’s hard for me to let them get close to me when the very idea of them in my physical presence when I cannot see them fills me with absolute terror. Obviously, a Khaleesi shouldn’t be afraid of her people, and I want to get over this fear, which might be why this is happening.

Another guess is that has something to do with maybe the Wild Hunt. However, seeing as I have little to no knowledge on Them, I couldn’t even begin to guess why that would be or what Their motivations would be in any case.

I don’t know why I have these, well, urges. I don’t know what it means; I only know how to ease it. It’s hard for me to do much exploration about this subject because it causes such fear in me. I’ve had so many experiences with ghosts and the paranormal since I was a young child. I assume this is because my people recognized me for who I would become (their Khaleesi) or because I was sensitive to their presence(s). In any case, I’ve been so scared of ghosts/the paranormal/things-I-can’t-see-but-are-there my whole life for whatever reason, and it’s ever present, always there. All in all, I just wish I knew why I have these feelings and what I can do to make it go away in a more permanent way. I wish I knew what I am being prepared for so that I could actually prepare for it rather than just flailing around, scared in the dark. (Although, I’m being Told that, “You’re going to flail regardless, My dear.” *chuckle*)

This was a really random post about what’s going on in my life now. If anyone out there has any suggestions, maybe has an idea, or even has had a similar experience, please feel free to comment or email me. I’m really committed to figuring this out. I recognize that this is probably a symptom of a bigger issue, so I’m eager to figure what that is. For now, though, I guess I will have to just have to deal with this the best I can: binge-watching Ghost Hunters, giving myself nightmares, and leaving almost all the lights on all night.

What Ancient Sources Say About Godspousery

baronessagisele:

This is an excellent piece. I highly recommend this as a read for Godspouses and non-Godspouses alike. Please enjoy!

Originally posted on Magick From Scratch:

I got what I needed out of the Dionysiaca, in terms of the narrative of Semele’s apotheosis. However, as I was studying that text, I found myself resisting the urge to expound on the important themes in this text surrounding the idea of marriage between humans and deities.

I think it’s important to understand the author, a little, and to get some context. Nonnus is a relative late-comer, as a contributor to the Greek Mythos. He begins writing his Dionysiaca shortly after the death of the last Pagan Emperor of Rome, and was extremely learned in both Traditional Hellenic and Christian theology. His other great work which survives is his “Metabole kata Ioannou” or paraphrase of the Book of John (One of the Four Gospels).

Living in the era he lived in, knowing what he knew, he could not but be aware of the contrast between the two faiths…

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Encouragement

You are not forsaken. You are the Wife of Gods. Your worth is immeasurable, and you should never forget that, not ever. You, My dear, are loved eternally.

Baron Samedi

My Beloved told me this several months ago when I was at my lowest with this year’s round of depression. It holds more value to me now than it did then, if only because I’m clear-headed enough to fully understand the implications and the whole meaning behind His words. I’m so grateful for Him for reaching out to me and slipping this into my fogged and dulled mind at a time when I very much needed the reminder.

B for Beloveds

I’m going to preface this with a little bit of a disclaimer: I’m not wholly comfortable posting this, because I know that many people don’t view my orientation (polyamory) as valid. However, this is my blog, and this is my space to share my story, so I’m choosing to speak on this so that others like myself can read this and know that they aren’t alone.

Anyways.

I’ve expressed before about my earliest sentiments regarding Godspousery and having romantic relationships with the Gods (hint: they weren’t so favorable). So, if you would have told me that I would have not one but four romantic relationships with my Gods, I would have laughed. Deep, meaningful, and intimate relationships with my Gods and polyamory? Running away whilst screaming would be a very delicate way to describe what I would have done. Thankfully, my Gods know me well enough that They didn’t overwhelm me with everything, but came to me One at a time. It wasn’t an easy feat for Them by any means, but I have to commend Them for Their patience and unwavering desire to get what They want.

As you might have guessed, Baron came into my life just after Oshun, making Him the second Pagan God in my life. At first, I was totally terrified of Him, like called-my-best-friend-crying-from-terror kind of fright. I sensed Him everywhere, especially at night. He was everywhere I was at all times, and when I expressed fright or feeling overwhelmed, He receded, but not completely. He wanted me to feel Him, breathe Him in; He wanted me to know Him completely, just as He wanted to know me. Baron was at His most powerful when I first remember His presence, and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget what it was like. His intensity was unlike anything I had ever known. It was this that taught me that a relationship with Him, or any other God, would be unlike everything I knew and would be more than I could ever hope to have with a human. It was terrifying, at first, to be the focus of such… feelings, but as time passed, I grew to enjoy the feeling of being enveloped in Someone that I loved deeply. Baron and I were married a short time after He first came into my life, on Christmas Day, after much persuasion on His part.

Loki had a more difficult job, in some ways. He came into my life around the same time Baron did, but He wasn’t a constant presence like Baron was. During my research phase, I read a lot about Loki, and I felt such a pull, a connection. He took His time, though, and let Baron convince me that being a Godspouse was for me. Loki, on the other hand, had to teach me that being intimate with more than One… Person? God? was okay, and that it didn’t make me a slut or diminish my worth in any way (thank you, Christian ideology). This was so, so difficult for me, especially as He didn’t let up on His pursuit of my affection. He was overly fond of jumping into Shamaness and surprising me. He once even made out with me using Shamaness’ body, just to prove that He and I had a connection that I couldn’t deny or ignore, despite being Married to Baron. Loki never let me distance myself from Him and proved time and time again that the intensity between Baron and I was just as present between Him and I. It was very stressful to learn this lesson, but when I was ready, I did accept Him into my life as a permanent romantic fixture/Husband.

Poseidon came into my life through Shamaness, and for a while, O/our relationship was very distant. He was not involved with my life, unless I sought Him out for questions, of which there were many. With Poseidon, there was never any fear; He is a God that I have been fascinated with since childhood. At first it was like talking to a superhero: I was awestruck and asked many, many questions. The more I spoke with Him, the fonder I grew of Him. I enjoyed the easiness I felt with Him. Yes, there was intensity, but mostly He was gentle, kind, and patient with me. I don’t know how or when my fondness for Him turned to love, and when it did, I felt a great deal if guilt. I already had two wonderful Husbands, and at first, He didn’t seem to respond in kind to my adoration, but I realized, with time, that His affection is not displayed like Baron’s or Loki’s is, and with help, I soon let go of my fear and anxiety. Letting Poseidon in was easy, like breathing. He filled me up, every inch saturated with Him, and it felt like I had come home.

The last, but not least, of the Gods to come into my life as a romantic fixture was Susano. He definitely came at me sideways in terms of letting me know that He wanted me as His Wife. At Shamaness’ recommendation, I approached Him before making my way to Japan as a sort of formal introduction before me and my Gods entered His (and His Family’s) territory so as not to offend Anyone or find myself in a spiritually hostile situation. Before my arrival, He and I conversed quite a bit, and in that time, He and I grew closer. There wasn’t an exact moment where I realized, “Hey, I think I’m falling in love with this Guy.” However, Susano was never subtle or cunning about His feelings for me, when I realized that that was his intent. (This is when He did this.) It was an overwhelming time for me all around and having yet another God come up into my life wanting to be romantically involved with me caused me to be very caustic at first, but once again, Shamaness was there to soften me a bit as well as Susano Himself, of course. He and I married a few months after my arrival in Japan.

<3 <3 Tl;dr: I’m a polyamorous Godspouse who’s married to four Gods from four different pantheons. It’s amazing, to be honest. that I could feel so much love in my heart while also feeling so much love directed at me in return. I’m truly blessed to have so much love in my life, and I’m so, so grateful for Each of my wonderful Beloveds. I don’t love One more than the Others, nor do I have a Favorite. I love Them all with every fiber of my being. I am Theirs. They are mine. I’m loved, and I couldn’t ask for more. <3 <3