“Invisible friends” with unexpected benefits? Judging by the results of this very limited group of respondents, it looks like spectrosexual experiences and relationships heal and enrich human lives far more often than they disturb. Fifty-four people added details to the “Other” comments section of Question 7. Most of the comments were positive.
As a sexologist well acquainted with the impact of trauma and abuse, I was particularly intrigued by this comment:
“A couple of years ago I invited a god to my bed mostly to make an offering but was unexpectedly horsed to help heal some toxic patterns related to profound trauma. Sexual relationship continued. It’s mostly felt like a kind of trauma therapy, but lately is becoming more about love, connection, and sharing.”
Desirable And Consensual
More good news: most of the reported encounters were consensual and responses to intimate spirit contact were overwhelmingly in the “happy/thrilled” and “okay/comfortable” categories. But because this was a group of respondents engaged in magical practices I expected a high degree of consensuality and comfort level. (A survey of the general public would most likely yield different results.)
“I’ve had an on and off sexual relationship with Odin for about 11 years.”
“My primary relationship is with a being I would consider my fetch and my secondary relationship is with a deity.”
“My divine spouse is Brigid. Has been for eleven years now. I have also had sexual encounters and/or intimate brief relationships with Aine, Frigga, Freyja, Thor, Hel, and two fairy cat/s Cat Sidhe/Sith.”
Often a human being may begin to cultivate a non-intimate relationship with a spirit or deity and then the relationship becomes emotionally and/or sexually intimate:
“Loki – to start with there was disbelief then I was pretty ecstatic about it.”
“Spirits I had become close to before sexual relations developed. This only happened with a very select few.”
“I am a spouse of Thor. At first, I couldn’t…properly understand the concept of god consort or god spousing so I was a little afraid of it to begin with. His persistence and his affection kept on for years until I finally “tied the knot” in Yule 2018.”
Spirits and deities can act as spectrosex initiators:
I went through a slut phase after Hela taught me how to do this.
Undesirable And Nonconsensual
But some magic practitioners find themselves in situations that are uncomfortable:
“I once messed up during ritual and left a spiritual “door” unprotected, and had a terrible encounter being nonconsensually fed on by a demon-type entity in a loop of sexual nightmares that night, but a goddess intervened and I was able to banish the entity the next day. This was my only nonconsensual spirit experience to my knowledge. Otherwise I have engaged in loving, friendly, consensual encounters with several spirits: a few (kind, consensual) incubus/succubus demons, some thoughtforms, and some specific gods. I am married to Loki.”
“There was one instance when a spirit I couldn’t really identify wanted to ‘join in’, that freaked me out.”
“I had a sexual relationship with a Goddess, Sigyn, that started out consensual, but She entered a gray area that combined with other factors to result in other Deities stepping in to stop our dynamic.”
You’ll notice that in two of the above quotes, the human being was rescued through intervention from a third spirit or deity. This might be a good reason to cultivate relationships (not necessarily sexual) with a number of spirits or to cultivate a relationship with a spirit who will serve as a patron and protector.
Ambiguity and “Ups and Downs”
Some respondents reported mixed feelings and also mixed experiences. Just because your partner is a god/dess doesn’t mean it’s 24/7 bliss.
“Many interactions with Loki – at first, I had many mixed feelings about interactions, even tho surface aspects of interaction seemed consensual. Over time, began to feel joy/pleasure rather than worry. Possibly Odin – several interactions – esp. during two intense sexual ones – felt mixed feelings because there were aspects of non-consensuality to to interaction.”
“Feelings are like a normal relationship, go up and down.”
Categories of dieities, demons, angels, etc. are subjective, depending on one’s traditions and practices. One respondent reminded me that one religion’s god may be another religion’s demon:
“One thing that strikes me as I look over the checkbox above is that spirits who are Gods and Goddesses may also be considered demons or nature spirits, etc., depending on who’s asking.”
Even so, some people favor some kinds of spirits over others:
“I disagree with spirit relationships that are not of God deity level as I have seen them do a lot of unintended physical damage.”
Astral damage might also be a risk. One person reported two instances of “parts of their soul” being “bitten off” or eaten by animal spirits, yet did not seem particularly disturbed by this.
People in many traditions use sexual energy and fluids as offerings to spirits, but not all offerings are invitations for spectrosexual relations. Those that are may or may not be reciprocated:
“…sexual energy or contact is a tactic I use to communicate in some instances. I use sexual responses as an offerering both to God/desses and Spirits & the Fae, but have only had reciprocal responses from Spirits & the Fae.”
In The Elements of Spellcrafting: 21 Keys to Successful Sorcery, Jason Miller reminds us that offerings “not only honor and in some cases feed the spirit, but act as a foothold into the physical world and are yet another way of. bridging that divide between the spiritual and the material” (p. 82). However, in his book, Sex, Sorcery, and Spirit: The Secrets of Erotic Magic, Miller reminds us that “in many cultures and religions, sperm, menses and any sexual fluids are considered unclean” (p. 153). According to Miller, deities of the Greek Pantheon and of “Vodou, Santeria, and other African Traditional Religions” would consider such offerings offensive, however Buddhist tantric beings would enjoy them (pp. 153-154).
In other words, non-response to a sexual offering (energetic or fluid-based) could indicate “they’re just not that into you” or it might be that the offering was offensive or otherwise problematic. Miller recommends researching traditions to discover what is acceptable.
Miller also reminds us that offerings of sexual fluids are extremely personal, “a wide gateway to your deepest parts” (Sex, Sorcery and Spirit, p. 154). He says that predatory or vampiric entities can easily take advantage of a person who has naively made this kind of offering (p. 154). He recommends sexual acts in honor of a spirit, rather than actual fluids (p. 154).
One or Many?
There was variation in the number of partners, though most people had more than one spectrosexual encounter and/or spirit partner.
“Loki is my first and only spirit partner/lover.”
“Almost always Odin, but I’ve had a few others. He’s not monogamous; there’s not a reason in the worlds I should be!”
Others mentioned between two and sixteen names.
People who identified as god spouses mentioned Loki, Thor, Fenrir, and Brigid as their partners.
Who Are the Spirit Partners?
Even though most of the respondents came from Lokean social media groups, it was clear that not everyone stayed with a single pantheon of deities and spirits.
A few people did not want to name their spirit encounters and partners:
“I do not feel comfortable giving names.”
“He is a reclusive god and has asked that I never share his name except with those he specifies.”
Others were willing to name their spirit encounters and partners:
“Hermes Cernunnos Odin Poseidon Manannan Mac Lir Apollo Thor Loki Papa Legba.”
“Dionysus, Apollo, Hermes, Shiva, Satyrs, and two others who like Their privacy.”
“Samael, Michael, Odin, Loki, Beelzebub, Asmodeus, Eisheth Zenumin, Lilith, Freya, Freyr, Hela, Lucifer, Jesus, Zadkiel, Ariel, fairy lover named Lawrence son of Manannan, various hookups with Greek Pantheon on occasion.”
“Lilith, Babalon, Hades.”
“Isis, Astarte, Diana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Inanna. Plus my connection to the Elven world is immense, and far too much to just start naming names.”
Should We Be Skeptical?
Certainly skepticism should have played a role in judging the cases of mass demonic possession in the 17th century, such as Aix-en-Provence (1611), Loudon (1634), and the Louviers Convent (1647). These cases included many sensational accounts of sexual relations between nuns and “the Devil” and other infernal spirits. The modern historical view of Loudon, for example, is that most of these accounts were of “pretended possession” and were part of a public spectacle, one that unfortunately included extreme torture and brutal executions.
These days, skeptics both within and without neopaganism enjoy dissing Lokean god spouses as a “fan-girl” phenomena (though not all god spouses are cis female). Such skepticism ignores the widespread, multi-cultural history of magical and religious practices that include some kind of sexual encounter with a god, demon, or other kind of spirit. From the Virgin Mary’s divine conception of Jesus to the tradition of the witch’s sabbat, from ancient tantric practices to Zeus’s golden shower, and to modern “sex magic” and beyond, spectrosexuality has been a part of human sexual (and spiritual) behavior for thousands of years.
From the sexological perspective, it is also worth considering these survey results as mostly legitimate reports of lived experience. That these encounters and relationships take place largely in what magic folk call “non-ordinary reality” (Wachter, Six Ways: Approaches and Entries for Practical Magic, pp. 27-28) or during non-ordinary states of mind (trance, meditation, ritual, and dreams) does not negate their validity. Just as researchers have demonstrated the physical effects of “hands free” orgasms (aka “mind gasms” or “thinking off”), we could probably find similar physical evidence in someone having a spectrosexual experience.
Wachter says that “non-ordinary reality is still reality” (p. 27). It is worth remembering this when discussing spectrosexual experiences and god spousery.
Stay tuned for Question 7.