Further Musing on Experimentation and Other Things

The other post that got me thinking over the last week wasn’t actually about experimentation… or even about the things that actually caught my eye.[*]

The first thing I want to talk about is something I had never even heard of before: Godslavery.  Now, aside from what’s in the post, I was only able to find one link from a primary source—that is, someone who actually practices it.  I have to admit that my first thought was “Oh, look: someone hasn’t deconstructed their monotheism.”  … but even the cursory research I’ve been able to do has made clear that this isn’t the Biblical “marriage” to God, or the “slavery” to Allah I’ve heard some Muslims talk about.  And while I’m finding ever more evidence to support my theory that sex-with-gods is not a new idea in mysticism, this doesn’t seem to fit into any of the patterns I’ve seen so far.

Which leads us to the question: is this something that some gods have always demanded of certain people?  Are there records?  Or … is this something new?  Do the gods, themselves, experiment?  Do they demand different things from different people out of scientiffic inquiry or (slightly more frightening to contemplate) idle curiosity? 

If you stop for a moment to recognize the mechanisms of social control implicit in the religious idea that the divine is unchanging as well as immortal … suddenly the answer to that question seems very likely to be “of course!”  This line of reasoning puts a certain spin on the reality of people’s conflicting UPGs.

Lacking sufficient information, of course, I’m not actually drawing any conclusions about anything.  But it’s interesting to think about.

The other thing that got me thinking was this:

“I also remain ambivalent and unhappy about many discussions on sex – including “Sacred Sex,” which I’m honestly not sure what people mean when they discuss. Is it sacredly charged sex? Ritualistic sex? A way of living in tune with one’s sexuality that is also in tune with one’s spirituality? Depending on the author, it could go any which way. And where is the distinction between sacred sex, and sex magick?”

Which is actually a pretty fair complaint.  I’ve probably read some of the same books, articles, and blogs, because I’ve definitely come away with the same opinion more than once.  Hell, my own limited discussions on the issue are possibly part of the problem.

Solution?  Write more, write more clearly.  For the past week I have been working on a Personal Manifesto of Sacred Sexuality.  It, obviously, won’t actually speak for anyone but myself.  But hopefully it will inspire others to speak.  And I can always revise it as I go through life.

 

[*] It was actually one of those posts we all have to write sometimes, where we realize we’ve totally failed to comprehend where someone else was coming from and had to apologize publicly.  There’s also a couple good links, and if you’re not reading Jack Faust already, you should be.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Further Musing on Experimentation and Other Things

  1. Katje

    I’m of the opinion that the gods evolve along with us. Whether that’s good or bad, I can’t say — evolution can lead to dead ends as much as it can lead to a species better adapted and more adaptable. I don’t believe They are unchanging; I’m still figuring out if I think They’re immortal.

    In reference to my personal godslave relationship: I have no idea if Morrigan’s followers in the distant past had the same kind of relationship with Her or if She’s always demanded it or has just been interested in it recently, but my feeling is that if Her ancient followers did it was only similar in vague, tangential ways. This is not to say that I’m super-special, or anything — no. Simply that our culture is much different from the culture She was originally worshiped in, so their ideas of godspouse-or-slavery are going to be different from ours.

    There are some references to godslaves in antiquity (namely in Greece), but not enough to make a definitive statement on how the practice existed. There’s also the question of shoddy scholarship, so.

    • It only makes sense that the gods, and the modes of worship they desire/accept, would change as mortal customs changed. The inevitable and unanswerable question, of course, is the “which came first?”–that is, do the gods shape cultures or do cultures shape the gods? Given my nature, I’m generally inclined to suspect that it’s a little of both.

      Shoddy scholarship abounds, and there’s always the fun thing where so many Classicists feel the need to explicitly distance themselves from the material when doing research on ancient magic and religion (“Well, of course, /I/ don’t believe in any of this, but …”) What would you point to as godslaves of ancient Greece?

      Thank you for sharing.

      • Katje

        The main reference I’ve seen is Burkert’s “Greek Religion”. (Link.) I know there are others, somewhere, but I don’t have the links handy.

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