I confess to having set a few unspoken rules for what I would and wouldn’t write about in this blog, and I am breaking quite a few of them by writing this post. First, I had sworn to try to write about topics I did not think anyone else would be writing about. Godspouses are a topic written about frequently, usually in the form of a rant (whether for or against them), though for some reason this year saw only one post about them. Second, I wanted to avoid writing about any controversial topics if I felt I had nothing new to add to the conversation. Godspouses are about as controversial as you can get.
Even so, it turns out to be an unavoidable topic. Godspouses are an integral element of faith in my practice. I am not a godspouse, but godspouses are present in what little lore I have to practice from. I cannot in good conscience accept as true the experience of those who are written about while dismissing the otherwise identical experience of those who are not in lore.
I could potentially emphasize the known wife of my god, and her children, as if she were The Only One, but this also contradicts lore. Yes, lore is written by flawed human beings, limited by language and cultural bias—but even such limited lore acknowledges that she is not the only wife.
Lore also admits that my god’s male gender is a human invention. He is a “he” because of the associations of men from a patriarchal society. There is as much reason to regard him as female, or non-gendered, or any number of other possibilities. As such, there is no reason to assume he would only have wives, and have no husbands, or spouses of any other gender identity.
“Doesn’t it damage the uniqueness of the Holy Family if it does not stand alone?” Is polyamory that impossible for a god? Can’t the entirety of his family be important, not just those in lore?
I’m not even sure that a god with full awareness of the entirety of the multiverse and all its possibilities can practice strict monogamy. By nature, he would have such knowledge of the many different versions of his wife in branching timelines that they would no longer parse as the same exact woman to him. The monogamous marriage would become polyamory again, because many different versions of one woman are still many distinct women.
If we consider other gods of my pantheon, the argument for disbelieving godspouses further disintegrates. There is a goddess who is something of a sister, or perhaps even a counterpart, to my god. She is often regarded as a Mother Goddess because of her many children. Many assume that the majority of her children are born solely from her power, a divine parthenogenesis needing no annunciation. However, she is not a virgin goddess, and lore states that she takes on many mortal lovers and spouses.
How does this work, if we must regard every last one of her self-proclaimed spouses and lovers as Not Legitimate? Where are the spouses and lovers she is said to have so many of, if we must dismiss the ones right in front of us? Are we going to engage in some silly “well, the REAL ones DON’T TALK ABOUT IT” gymnastics, just to avoid this problem?
I cannot speak for other gods, other pantheons, other practices and other beliefs. I just find it impossible to practice a religion with godspouses as an important article of faith, and not believe in any of the godspouses around me at all.