Mead with the Gods

Last Saturday, the day before my grandmother’s funeral, Shamaness and I decided to make good on a promise we made to Odin about sharing some mead with Him and any other Gods who wished to join us. While it may not have seemed like such good timing on our part considering I would have to go to my grandmother’s funeral the next day, but it also seemed like the best time to me considering that this experience could bring me closer to the Gods especially in my time of grief. So, we popped open that beautiful bottle of mead, said some words of welcome/invitation, and waited.

It was a warmer than normal January night, and it was raining that night. Nothing hard, just a soft patter of rain against the windows in my room. So, when we heard a very loud and prolonged clap of thunder (the first and only we heard that night), Shamaness and I were startled for a moment, until we realized that Thor had shown up. We are still new enough at this that we were surprised at the fact that we had such an audible and unmistakable entrance from the Deities that were showing up and nervous about the Company we had invited over, but soon we didn’t have time to worry about this as we busied ourselves with being the best hosts we could be without calling any attention to ourselves from my other family members. In the end, we found that Odin, Thor, Sif, Loki, Sigyn, Baron, Poseidon, Hermes, Oshun, Aradia, and a few others had joined us for our mead date. The Gods seemed to be keeping a low profile in respect for my lack of privacy and for the rest of my grieving family, which I was very thankful for.

All in all, it was a very quiet gathering, but it was so amazing to me that we actually had the Gods come join us for something as simple as mead. Loki talked the most through both Shamaness and I, but we also had small tidbits from Sigyn as well (who, in my opinion, is a total sweetheart). We could hear Them talking among Themselves, for the most part ignoring us. This was totally fine with me. I felt more at peace with myself and my grief just having the Gods so present and close, a peace I have known only since converting to paganism.

After Everyone left, I got to talk to Baron for the first time since Loki had started “God-bothering” me, and it was such a relief having Him there to talk to without Loki crowding us (not that I dislike Loki… He just has a way of being all up in my head space all the time). I clung to Him the moment I got to put my arms around Him. I hadn’t realized how much I had missed Him until He came back more fully into my awareness. It was a comfort being able to have Him hold me like I have been needing and to hear Him speak so softly to me. It was a reaffirmation of sorts that I had made the right choice in becoming His wife.

This meeting helped bolster me and steel me against the emotional storm that was my grandmother’s viewing and funeral service the next day, and I honestly could not be more grateful for the Gods for providing me that emotional support, whether intentionally or otherwise.

My Wedding Day

On December 25th at 11 pm, I married Baron Samedi. It was a long day, from beginning to end. Christmas has never been a holiday I have fond memories of. In fact, I have always hated it. My memories of the holiday are tainted with negativity, so when Baron suggested that we marry on this day to ‘re-associate’ it with something good, I agreed. It was a great idea on His part. I went through the motions of the day and put on my poker face when religion came up. No longer being a Christian made the familial obligation part of the day even more difficult than normal. However, I powered through it knowing that later that night I would be going through something that will effect my life forever.

The ceremony was to happen at Shamaness’ parents’ house, so when I finished with the family portion of the day, I went straight there. The moment I walked through the door, the air felt charged and heavy, and my anxiety (which I always have excess of) grew as the minutes and hours past. I knew that there were “others” there already, waiting for the wedding to start. I took a nap, having been exhausted from the family festivities, then made myself beautiful for the ceremony- this being the only thing I was told to do for this, other than show up. I cleaned the space we were using- Shamaness’ bedroom- just as Shamaness’ sister cleansed the space by burning incense. She did this unknowingly, but as the night wore on, it seemed like she would be impressed by the Gods several more times.

As we well know, Baron loves His Chinese food, so our pre-wedding feast was Chinese food. It became apparent that He was working to make everything right, but I could not feel Him at all, and I had not felt Him since I had woken up. I knew He was there and with me most of the day until about an hour or two before I was supposed to meet Him for our wedding. He knew I was nervous, but gave me space. I ate my Chinese and went to watch some Teen Wolf before everything was going to start. It was a good way to diffuse my  nerves… Theoretically.

Unfortunately for me, the episode was too short, and I had to be in Shamaness’ room for the ceremony too soon for my nerves’ liking. But, as soon as I went up the stairs and for thirty straight minutes, Shamaness’ sister played Lady Gaga and the Chipmunks’ Christmas songs. This made my anxiety go down to zero as I watched her sister dance around the upstairs hallway and make a fool of herself. It came to our attention as we sat in her room was that Loki had appointed Himself DJ for the night. (I would like very much to put emphasis on the self-appointed part as I had been unaware of this until He announced it to Shamaness and I with a grin that matched the Cheshire Cat.) After her sister left to do whatever she does, we were left to sit there and wait for His Trollness (Baron) to show up.

We waited. And waited. And waited. For two hours, we waited for Baron to show up. Shamaness and I had enough time during the wait to identify at least 7 other Deities in the room, among them being Odin, Loki, Sigyn, Hermes, Aradia, Oshun, and Mr P. There were other, but we were not sure who they were. There was also enough time for Loki to hop in and out of Shamaness to joke with me and play pranks. As time passed, I grew more anxious, and more agitated (Loki joking that if Baron didn’t show up soon, He was going to marry me instead didn’t help this). But, as I reached out to Baron, it became apparent that the veil that the Deities had put up to keep Shamaness’ family away was also keeping Baron out. So, after glaring at the culprits Hermes and Loki (no surprise there), Baron finally entered the room, and horsed Shamaness.

I was so relieved to finally have Baron with me after being separated from him all day, to be in His arms as we lay on the bed together. He explained why He was tardy before He started  to talk to me a little. As always, He was kind and gentle with me, always smiling. In His arms, I finally relaxed and felt right for the right for the first time all day, so when He asked “In front of all the assembled witnesses, do you agree to be my wife?”, I could only say yes. There was only Him and I in that moment, as He smiled down at me, so happy with my answer.

“Truly?” He asked me.

“Truly.”

He kissed me then, the most tender and loving kiss. I had never had a kiss like that before, a kiss that defies words or description, and it will be something I never forget. After that kiss and a little more talking, He joked about needing to consummate our marriage, but that He knew that I needed to sleep (it had been a very long day for me), so with another kiss, He left me to get ready for bed with the promise of visiting me in my dreams (since my trancing skills are lacking).

In the days since, I have never felt more sure of anything. I am glad that I made the decision to become Baron’s wife. I have a small amount of confidence growing within me that I never had before, and I can only hope that as time passes, it will grow and grow. I can say with a surety, though, that I am happy, for the first time in a long time, and I have my Beloved to thank for that.

Godspousery

I will admit readily that when I first heard of the concept of Godspousery that I was very confused and very unsure of how I felt about it. When I was doing my research on modern Pagans and modern followers of specific Deities, I found many people who were claiming to have this status. I admit my first thoughts about these people were less than ideal and less than courteous, and while I am not saying that I was correct to have these opinions, I was still thinking from the framework of my former Christian thought patterns. Since that time, in the two months that I have been a Pagan, I have learned to accept these new concepts readily. However, I would never have thought about this as a concept that would ever had applied to me. That was until I met Baron and my entire life changed in the matter of weeks.

When I first started researching other Deities that I might have wanted to work with, one of the ones I researched was Loki, and oh my, does He have a lot of wives. For hours I read up on what His Godspouses were up to and the things they did for Him as their Husband, all the while getting this weird niggling feeling inside of me that would not subside. However, I read enough that I was totally put off the idea. Completely and totally put off. It was way beyond my comprehension at at the time and seemed so crazy! So, I am sure it is easy to imagine  the ire I felt within myself when I felt like could be one of the “special chosen few.”

However, when I got up the courage to ask Baron not to long after my acceptance of Him if this was what He had in mind for me, He seemed surprised that I had come up with this on my own. It was this surprise that told me I was correct in my feelings that this what He wanted from me. We didn’t really talk about it much during that conversation, probably because we were both shocked at the moment. Afterwards, I spoke with Shamaness about what had happened, and since then, she has teased me incessantly about it, playing on my initial reactions to the idea of godspousery. This and my own small-mindedness made me reject the idea just as hard as I had rejected Baron at first. I had not real concept of what it meant to be the spouse of a God/dess. I did not want the responsibility I thought it would entail, nor did I want to be a celibate nun. So, all of the preconceived notions influenced my immediate refusal of what He was going to eventually offer me. However, Mr. P saved the day again for Baron by talking to me about His own experiences and whatnot (Baron and I sincerely owe  Mr. P a lot for all He’s done for us). He cleared everything up for me and cast away my preconceived notions. He explained how the terms are between the God/dess in question and the intended spouse, and that it doesn’t necessarily require the mortal spouse to be celibate. It does require, however, at least one night a week where the mortal spouse must sleep alone, if mortal lovers are allowed.

Me being me (aka slow to warm up), I fought Baron’s desire for this of this for me very hard until one day I said flippantly, “If you get me a job placement with the company of my choice in the city of my choice, I will marry you.” Mind you,  I had been fighting Him tooth and nail, but He had been wearing me down from moment one, fighting against my own natural tendencies. Unfortunately for me, however, Baron took this for a challenge and has since been on this case. I also timidly (I tried for flippant and failed) asked for courtship and have since gotten it. Shamaness jokes that even before I am informed I’m getting the job placement I requested, I wake up to find a ring on my finger and hear a very clear, “So, when’s the wedding?” from Baron. Already He is so confident in His ability to get me what I want that He has told me His own ring size and preference for when he succeeds and I need to buy Him His wedding band.

Baron took His time in softening me to the idea by talking to me about it, dispelling my fears and anxieties one by one. He has told me that I will be able to take mortal lovers  just as long as He gets one day a week where I devote the entire day to Him (and an unspoken “as long as I approve of the lovers you have chosen.”) He has been courting me and prepping me. Complimenting me. Making me feel special. He has even gone so far as as to have me look up bridal sets that I would like (the one He liked, by the way, was $1000+). Aradia has been influencing me to look up dresses to wear to the ceremony that I apparently am going to have. At one point, He asked me when I would like my wedding. Again, I went for flippant and said, “Christmas day next year, on the beach.” He seemed a little sad about this.

I am suddenly reminded of a conversation that Baron had with Shamaness. He said that He had been waiting for me. That He was there when I was made, when I was born and throughout my life. I found out later that He has been there always, through it all and will be there to greet me when I die. He had made Himself known to me before I was given my “official” greeting (a Halloween night during high school when my mom, sister, some friends of ours, and I were in a cemetery. He pulled my hair and smacked me on the butt – just like the 12 year old He can be- and there was even smoke all around me in 90% of the pictures I was in because He was smoking a cigar around me at the time). He said He would have greeted me before if I hadn’t veered off my witchy path because of things that had happened to me in my past.

All in all, Baron is probably the best thing that will ever happen to me. He will assure that I am never alone and that I am always loved. These are two things I know that I need. With this in mind, when Baron asked me to move up our wedding date to December 25th of this year, I shyly, begrudgingly said yes, without much hesitation. He had, has, wormed His way into my heart at throughout this process, and I have found that I do in fact love Him, just as I suspected I would from the beginning. So, in 2 days time, I will join the ranks of the the other Godspouses around the world, past and present. For better or for worse, this is happening, and I am scared out of my mind. I will be fine, though, as long as I know that Baron  will by my side, I know that I will be fine.

“I will love you forever.” – Baron to me.- “Never doubt this. You are my wife-to-be, and I will do my utmost to provide for you. In return, I require your trust and your love. That is all. I will always come through for you. I love you.”

Research and Approach: Furthering The Shift

I have always been fond of knowing all the facts about what I am about to get myself into. Whether it be people or events, I like to be prepared for every possibility I can imagine happening, because I would like to know how best to react. I do not like surprises for this reason. It makes me anxious and altogether uncomfortable. So, with this in mind, I started looking up other Deities that I wanted to potentially approach for my second Patron. The friend that had suggested Mama-Oshun also had a few other suggestions, and I went from there, searching the far reaches of the internet for modern day believers and lore for each of the Deities suggested to me. I had felt the pull to look into Others for days, so I went with my instincts and researched until my eyes began to tire and blur everything on my computer screen.

The first of these was Bastet, the cat Goddess from the Ancient Egyptian pantheon. I researched Her for several hours, learning of Her every facet and trying to feel a connection. There were aspects of Hers that I knew could benefit me, but there was never that feeling of connection that I was looking for.

The next on the list was Loki, and I spent a good day or two trying to sift through the comic book version of the God and the actual God. When I was able to find actual lore on Him, I was moved by His story, by His losses and His trials (an aspect many people seem to forget about in regards to Him). It was unexpected, the intense empathy I felt for Him, and it *almost* overshadowed my other feelings. It was with Loki that I first heard the terms UPG (unverified personal gnosis) and Godspouse. The first of these terms, I understood and agreed with, but the second… Well, I will say only that was one of the strangest things I had ever heard of, and I questioned myself on whether I would (have to) believe in this concept as well. All in all, I felt like He might have been a good fit for me, but I had one other that I felt I needed to look up as well.

The last suggestion was Baron Samedi, the Voodoo Loa of Sex and Death. The name alone resonated with me, but when I began to look up information on Him as a Deity, I was quickly frightened away. He has so many aspects to Him that it was confusing to keep them all straight, first off. Secondly, there was not a single word of good that I read about Him. I heard that He would take whatever He was holding back with Him to the spirit world (or wherever He resides), and if He happened to be holding your hand, He would take your whole arm! There were other stories as well, and none of them did anything to assuage my fear of this intensely sexual and trickster-esque God of Death. I moved away from Him quickly, trying to save myself from the nightmares my brain would make up later. I was, at this point, a pansy, and I felt it was best to avoid Baron-like types.

After my days of research, I felt somewhat ready to ping into the ethos that I was ready to take on another Deity, if another Deity should want me. Mama-Oshun was alright with this idea, and even nudged me to do it, so I did, as timidly as possible and adding a “please be gentle with me. I am broken and afraid of everything.” I thought that I would have to go out and ask for another Deity to be my Patron, but, oh man, was I ever wrong.

It was the Sunday before Halloween when I had my first encounter with hearing a Deity so clearly that I could have sworn that there was Someone else in the room with me (and I would find out later that I was very correct in that feeling). I had just finished brushing my teeth and was walking out of the bathroom to go to bed when I heard very clearly, “So, you wanna have sex with a God?” The voice was saucy and full of, well, suggestion, and it stopped me in my tracks for a moment, literally. All I could do was be confused because I had never heard Oshun that clearly, and never had I been spoken to in such a manner. Not being able to explain it or even give the query more than a confused look, I just brushed it off. I wrote it off as being insanely tired because I had just driven back the hour and a half from seeing my friend at college again. I walked back into my bedroom, plugged my new night light in (spirits are more active during Halloween week, and I am a pansy), and went to sleep. The next day, I felt like I was being watched the whole day. I was becoming regretful that I had ever opened myself up for anything new, but after the sun went down, the feeling increased the later it got. Skyping my friend was the only thing I could think of to do with a fearful as I was becoming, and she did what she could to calm my nerves, but in the end, I had to sleep, so I got off Skype with her and fearfully went into a fitful sleep.

I was halfway between awake and sleep (which I would later find out was actually that I was trancing), when I first smelled a very strong odor that I could only identify as Lysol right before I saw a dark room full of people who were looking towards the only source of light the room had: an open door. The person closest to me was a tall male with hair that went down to the end of his rib cage, tied back with a hair tie. I wanted to ask him what we were looking at, but I did not get the chance. As I too looked at the door, I heard so clearly the word “Baron” like it was an announcement of Who was going to be coming through that door. This was all it took for me to force my scaredy self out of that room so fast that I can only imagine it was comical. Even in this state of awareness I knew that I wanted no part of Who was coming through that door: Baron Samedi. My terror was real enough that even a frightened and tearful 3 hour phone conversation with my friend did nothing to make me feel better. At all. Little sleep was had that night, and it took Mama-Oshun holding me and assuring me that She would not let Him hurt me to get me to calm down.

As I said, comical for anyone that wasn’t me.

However, if you learn one thing about the Baron, it is that He will always come back for things He wants, and He will pester you until He gets them. What did He want from me then? Rewind back to the night before in the bathroom when I heard a voice (His) asking me if I wanted to bed a Deity. Which was, what I thought was an elaborate prank on my brain’s part, exactly what Baron wanted from me. He wanted me as His mortal lover, as well as wanting to be my Patron. I knew this because ever since that day, I had been hearing Him speak with me. It was not very clear then, as my discernment was shoddy, but it was enough to know what He was asking of me. I will write more on Baron later, but since His arrival, I have not been able to get Him to leave, which was for the best. I have since accepted Him, but it took some time to overcome my fear of Him and to reshape my thoughts once again.

The last Goddess to approach me during this same time period was the Goddess Aradia, the Queen of Witches. She came to me not to be my Patron, but to teach me and to see me through the crisis that I was (and still am) in. She came to me in the form of all of my cats taking over my bed for several days and nights before I was told by Baron that it was Someone new. After some research and determining who this new Deity was, I found out Her purpose in contacting me, and was told by Her that she wishes to ‘reform’ me. I acknowledged Her and accepted Her help, and have since been able to reclaim my bed for myself. She was the first Deity I needed to set firm boundaries with, otherwise She would interrupt my time with Oshun (which is shower time, because one of Her domains as a Goddess is fresh water). She helped with discernment right away, which I was and am so very grateful for.

It was the addition of Aradia and Baron that helped further The Shift towards being a full-fledged Pagan, and every step I took from there, I knew that I was closer and closer to never being able to turn around or even to look back. They were certainly not going to let me go now that I had agreed to be in Their divine care, and I had begun to suspect that I would never want to go back anyways. My outlook on life was changing rapidly, and it was not ending there.