IX and X. Spectrosexuality Survey: Challenges and Sensations

Just because a partner is “imagined” (as opposed to “imaginary”) doesn’t mean the relationship or encounter is ideal. It also doesn’t mean that sensations are imaginary either. The people who took this survey had a lot to say regarding both topics.

For the purposes of discussion, I am using the word “imagine” to describe a way of sensing something that transcends visual, auditory, and tactile sense, yet which “feels real” even so. Newer readers might like to refer to my blogs on preliminary thoughts and  mysticism and sexology before continuing.

This post discusses the final two questions in the spectrosexuality and god/spirit spouse survey.

Question Nine


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Secrecy: Some (perhaps many or most) people need to keep spectrosexual relationships and encounters hidden.

“I’m not actually sure how to broach the subject with my human partner. He knows I’m oathed to Loki, but he’s unaware of the nature of that oath. So far, Loki seems okay with that, as the god marriage is new still (since December).”

“I struggled with secrecy and possibly facing a negative reaction from others if they found out, which made trying to explain my lack of human dating awkward.”

“I don’t share this with anyone.”

 

Discernment: There were several responses on this topic.

One person felt that group experiences with witchery helped with discernment:

“I work alongside other witches so we often have a giggle about it. I’ve never had any problems defining this world from the unseen.”

But others said:

“Communication discernment. It’s often hard to tell if it’s him or me, or something else.”

“Discernment can be an issue, however, if something is working for me and meeting my needs, it isn’t anyone else’s problem. And if it ends up being in my head, well then I have a great imagination that isn’t hurting anyone.”

“Dreams can sometimes be misleading.”

One person was concerned that lack of discernment, especially as reported by some human godspouses, could lead to damaging or abusive human/spirit relationships. There is also a concern about how lack of discernment can reflect poorly on others:

“One concern I have had that I have mixed feelings about is that other people with similar experiences to my own often show behaviors or ideas about said experiences that I don’t find wise. I’ve heard many other godspouses report that they are concerned their deity may be acting in nonconsensual or abusive ways toward them (not the reporter’s own works, but clearly what they were describing), and I’ve also seen godspouses who clearly didn’t have a great grasp of consent and healthy relationships themselves and who may have actively been seeking out unhealthy dynamics. I tend to chalk those experiences up to projecting human behaviors onto gods, but these types of statements make it easy for me to understand why some people look with suspicion upon godspouses, since some godspouses do seem to have unhealthy or unbalanced ideas about their Divine partners.”

Managing multiple spirit/human relationships:

“I tend to feel bad I don’t spread my love or attention equitably. I gravitate from one to another, then realize I’ve been neglecting several.”

Noncorporeality:

“Being in a relationship with someone who does not have a physical form and who long term contact with requires focused mediation and otherworldly travel.”

Change:

“Our relationship morphed into an even deeper one where sex is not needed and/or would actually hinder our work together. It’s only very rarely that we become intimate.”

Finally, one person added this important reminder:

“I have the ultimate magickal power of choice.”

Question Ten

I am a hypnotist and hypnosis instructor, as well as a sexologist and sexuality counselor. Because I am so familiar with hypnosis, as well as offshoots like guided imagery and autogenic training, I know that very real physical effects can be created simply through imagination and suggestion. So I could be tempted to stop here and simply say, “well, this spirit sex stuff is all in the mind,” but I won’t.

Sure, there could be a bit of malarkey, mendacity, and/or mental dishevelment among some of the responses to this survey, but I am used to generally accepting people’s accounts of their lived experiences, especially with regard to sexuality, intimacy, and gender. Who am I to say what’s “real” and what’s not?


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Here are a selection of responses from the comments section.

Physical Sensations Not Caused by Self

“I’ve felt a physical sensation that I did not cause once, but it was not in a sexual context.”

“It was like this constant pressure/energy that almost became a part of me. I could feel a presence hugging me, like a blanket of energy. I’ve also felt him physically touch my back—but that was only once. Because of self doubt and trouble discerning what’s actually him or not, I tended to dismiss what I thought I felt a lot.”

“Most of my intimate encounters happen when I trance and journey to the Otherworld but I can still feel the sensations within my physical body. On very rare occasions, usually with the deity I am spoused to, I do not need to journey and can feel their presence in the room.”

“Warmth.”

“Chakral stimulation, seeing with physical eye, smells, taste, touch, etc.”

Unusual Energy

“One time in particular during intimacy I went out of body so far that I felt a connection with every thing in the universe. It was glorious, and I forgot to breathe for a short time. My spirit spouse let me stay that way for a moment, then gently called me back to my body, but I didn’t want to come back. The experience was rich with sensations, and it was very profound. I felt like I was in very deep space, yet I felt every planet, every organism, every human and nonhuman thing all at once. And it all felt very natural. Peaceful would be a word to describe it, but it doesn’t do the feeling justice. I will never forget that feeling.”

Sense of Presence and/Or Communication

“Sometimes I am more in tune with Loki than other times, especially depending on my stress level and if I’m distracted by something I have to do the next day. He doesn’t seem to mind if I’m not all there and am unable to enter a full meditative state. I’m very busy with university at the moment and my area of study leaves me with almost no time for social activities, so I feel like our time together is Loki’s way of taking care of my mental health.”

“he once demanded i say his name instead of the name of the mortal man i love then proceeded to tell me to call him by one of his older names (Loptr) & laughed in a pleased & pleasing way when i followed instruction.”

“Spiritual revelation/gnosis.”

Adding Physical Touch, Solo or Partnered

“Sometimes I add physical touch, but not always, and pretty sparingly.”

 

“Certain encounters took place solely within mental spaces, in which I might have been physically turned on but didn’t always feel a physical need to masturbate. I didn’t always worry about what my body was doing because I still felt emotionally satisfied. Other times, I’d be masturbating and feel Someone’s presence, which might turn into an impromptu offering, but sometimes, I’d check in divination wise to make sure I was clear on particulars of the mental story/vid to masturbate with and would feel Their presence once I started physically (intentional offering).”

“Sometimes I feel my spirit lovers join in while I’m with a physical partner or partners. Some people know and some don’t-depends on how I think they would react.”

Seeing or Hearing Things That Others Might Not See or Hear

“I have never had full-blown audio/visual hallucinations, but neuroscience research (that’s my area of study) suggests that “mental images” may actually be on the same spectrum as hallucinations and that the intensity of sensory experience may simply be determined by the strength of the neural connections involved. It’s been experimentally demonstrated, for example, that synesthesia – a condition in which people experience one sense, such as seeing a shape or color, when they encounter another sense, such as a certain sound – may actually be something that all humans have at a subconscious/subsensory level. Almost all people will say, for example, that certain sounds “feel” round vs. spiky, even if they don’t experience sensory hallucinations to that effect. I always feel the need to explain this related to my spiritual experiences, because I do “sense” things in the form of mental images, but these are not of sensory-hallucinatory quality like some people report. Most people seem to assume it’s one or the other, that sensations I experience are either “made up,” consciously fabricated by me, or are full-blown sensory hallucinations. Neither is the case. I’ve never had a full sensory hallucination, but neither do I control, decide, or “make up” the actions of the spiritual entities I encounter. I perceive them at a level below that of full sensory hallucination.”

Intense Emotions

“Most common is intense pleasure during meditation.”

“Idk about “spiritual emotions.” I can feel strong emotions i’d normally feel in sex, but shared with the spirit. Ya know? Also sex is one of those shamanic paths (ecstacy?) that works to change my state of conciousness, so I can see things in my head, like a eureka moment, but no hallucinations.”

Other Information

“It took years for the connection to get strong. The relationship had to evolve just as any human to human relationship, with trust, communication, and clear intentions in place. The encounters have grown stronger and more “real” and undeniable from the beginning 7 years ago. He has even manifested randomly during sleep and literally gotten into my bed 3 confirmed times.”

Final Thoughts

My motivation for doing this confidential, non-scientific survey was to (1) include spectrosexuality and god/spirit spousery in the broader and legitimate context of human sexual and erotic behavior and, (2) more personally, to discover where my own “unverified personal gnosis” (UPG) may match up with other people’s experiences. Does this survey indicate that we may actually have more peer corroboration (PCPG – Peer-Corroborated Personal Gnosis) than we know? I think it might.

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VII. Spectrosexuality Survey: Practices and Rituals

Not everyone has a “godphone” for spiritual booty calls. Instead, human beings who have engaged in intimate contact with gods and other spirits may use a variety of approaches to make and/or receive contact. Often they do nothing at all.

To fully understand the results of this question, I need to compare responses in the categories, since people were able to check several categories.


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Because this question accepted multiple responses, it’s helpful to make do some comparisons. Fortunately, Survey Monkey provides filters.

Q7 FILTERED CHART #1

38 people said that not doing anything worked well for them. But let’s see what else those 38 people did to facilitate spectrosex.

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Of the 38 people who answered “I don’t do anything” in the “works well” column,  20 also said rituals worked well. 21 said offerings worked well. 9 people said using solo sex as an invitation also worked well (and 10 said it worked “sometimes.”) 5 said horsing worked well and 4 said using psychoactive substances worked well. These same things also worked “sometimes.”

Q7 FILTERED CHART #2

People who said that not doing anything “works well sometimes” also do other things.

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You get the idea. People are doing many different things to either get the attention of gods and spirits, or to respond to them. And some methods work better than others.

Nineteen people included details in the “Other” section. People described many different ways of entering into intimacy and have many kinds of experiences. Some involve physical touch, objects, or partners. Some do not.

Here are some highlights.

“Usually meditate and go into trance and then do divination about how to proceed and take things from there. I use godphone, but it’s still being developed; there’s too much interference to rely on it alone. If I don’t check in with a physical divination tool, my thoughts take over and I lose the conversation.”

“I have only occasionally performed ritual sex with Dionysos using a dildo. Most of the time our relationship is more emotionally intimate, rather than physically.”

“I often pathwalk in order to initiate sexual and intimate experiences with my god spouse and other spirit partners.”

“Something special I kind of worked out with Thor is to invoke him within me if I’m having an encounter with someone physical. It gives me that opportunity to offer the sexual energy to him.”

“It’s all extremely consensual and takes place in this reality without aid of touch, objects, manual stimulation, or anything. They harness my nervous system and it feels like sex and orgasms. I suspect they are possessing certain functions of my nerves and chakras. Can happen while awake, meditating, offering offerings, asleep, ranges from petting my head to full blown raunchy sex. Various styles for all various deities.”

“I will say the reason I HAVEN’T typically planned or set out to create sexual encounters with deity is that on the very few occasions I’ve attempted to do so, it hasn’t worked as well as spontaneously arising ones.”

“My experience is multi faceted. At times, I have two intimate partners in the flesh, at times I will engage in ritual with these partners to invite higher beings to be present in us for the purpose of the Great Rite. Other times I am visited in the night by rather friendly and welcome spirit beings who will engage with me sexually. In the past I have had profound experiences in the psychedelic realms. For many years psychedelic trips were not sexy, then I was awakened by Faerie into such a wonderful place.”

Aside from the above mention of the “Great Rite,” a few other people added details about “horsing” (spirit or god possession of a partner or self).

“Would consider partner possesion if i had a partner & they were willing to try (or if Loki were to demand it. But he tends to believe consent is a big thing).”

“I’ve had several interactions that may or may not have been ‘horsing’: while having intercourse with my husband/other human partners, my partner has referenced concepts, phrases, or actions that I have heard/experienced during meditation/trancework interactions with my non-human/spirit partners.”

“Role reversal. I’m the one who Horses.”

Finally, horsing does not have to be a sexual experience:

“I’ve only ever “horsed” once that I’m aware of, and I’m not even sure if that’s what was going on. It was Odin and absolutely NOT sexual in nature. I was alone and he pulled me with him to show me Yggdrasil.”

There is room for more detailed analysis of this and the other questions. Look for that in future blogs. Question 8 coming up in the next blog post.

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VI. Spectrosexuality Survey: Spirit Beings

“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.”


 

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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.”

Spirit Categories

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.

Offerings

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.

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V. Spectrosexuality Survey: Intimate Partners, Physical Sex

Question Five begins to collect specific responses about spectrosexual experiences and god/spirit spouses. I begin asking about current intimate partners, both spirit and human. By using the words “intimate relationships” instead of “sexual relationhips,” the question was intentionally broadened to include emotional intimacy and partnerships that aren’t physically sexual (physical sensations for human beings can occur whether the partners are spirit or human). I did not want to exclude people who identify as asexual, demisexual, or any of the other subcategories of asexuality. (Please see AVEN – the Asexuality Visibility and Education Network for more info.)


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Before I get to the twenty-four “other” comments, I notice that there could be some unintentional overlap between the first three answer choices. That is, some people could have answered all of the first three. I should have written “only one or more human partners,” “only one or more god/spirit partners,” and “currently both human and god/spirit partners” to avoid unintentional overlap. That’s a flaw. I’ll be taking a look at the individual responses to see how much overlap there is.

I’ll also be checking to see how many people who say they are god/spirit spouses or consorts overlap with “both human and god/spirit partners.” But that’s a future blog.

Selections From the “Other” Responses

Notice how the respondents address such issues as monogamy, non-monogamy, dating, various sexual or asexual orientations, and disclosure to human partners.

Both Human and Spirit Relationships

“Cis-hetero with a marriage to a cis-hertero husband….but a strong presence of Loki within our sexual intimacy.”

“I used to have a partner with whom we used to channel each other’s gods. It sometimes included getting intimate too. Now, my husband isn’t into such things but I do suspect he has been taken over a few times…. it’s not a regular thing however and seems to be completely random.”

“My physical partner and I are physically intimate. I have had a few sexual interactions with deities.”

“God spouse, plus human partner. Human partner is unaware of God spouse.”

“I have a human partner-my husband. I don’t know how to class my experiences with god/spirit partners: apart from one real life experience where I felt an interaction with a deity, all the others have been in the realm of ‘fantasy.'”

“I have a wife and I am occasionally intimate with Loki.”

Spirit Relationships

“I’m asexual as far as physical people go but it doesn’t seem to apply as strongly with spirit partners.”

“I have had sexual encounters with spirits, but none currently and none that I would label as a true partnership.”

“I am not currently seeing anyone other than Loki. I don’t have much of a desire to date humans right now, but if someone who was right for me came along, I would not reject them because of my relationship with Loki.”

“Spirits usually get ‘daydreams’ of various focus/attention, or dedicated sex toys.”

“My relationship with Loki was not initially sexual, but became so over a period of time. I’m of the opinion that it is more natural for relationships with the Divine to have some sexual aspects than not, since sexuality is an essential part of how we perceive the universe, and of the creation of new life. Based on my own historical studies it appears to me that sexual relationships with gods were more normal than abnormal in the pre-Abrahamic world, but that the Abrahamic faiths scrubbed any and all sexual references from religious theology and ceremony.”

“I have ongoing intimate relationships with a number of spirits, currently these are sexually intimate…I know it is possible to be sexually intimate with spirits.”

“My tradition was initiated by the sex with the Devil-Witchfather as many Scottish Trads are.”

“All my life I have been in touch with spirits. At times I am overcome with their sexuality in my sleep.”

“In the past, I have had romantic non-sexual, non-romantic sexual, and romantic sexual relationships with spirit partners. At the time, I was ‘exclusive’ to my spirit partners and did not have simultaneous human partnerships, whether romantically, sexually, or both.”

Gods or Spirit Spousery

“I have an interesting experience with godspousery. Loki has told me we’ve been married for a very long time, and I could do with that information what I will. He expected nothing from me. At first I was uncomfortable with the idea of being a godspouse because I did not fully understand it. I warmed up to the idea as time went on.”

“Married to a deity; functionally monogamous for 14 yrs.”

“I am married. But I’m celibate physically. I no longer have sex with my husband.”

“I’m a Thor spouse. Thor is the only person I’m committed to right now and I don’t have any physical people I’m committed to, but I am dipping back in the dating scene.”

Discomfort with Spirit Intimacy

In a later question, a few people reported non-consensual experiences with a deity or spirit. This response to Question Five shows how one person is not happy to be sexually  pursued by a god:

“Herne/Cernunnos claimed me as one of his consorts. I’m not entirely sure what it means, but he tends to bring a very sexual energy with him when he appears to me. I’ve taken to using a protective barrier against it because I’m not comfortable with it and I’m not willing to commit to a relationship like that with a spiritual being. He seems to think I’ll come around eventually, but I’m just not seeing it anytime soon.”

Beyond Sleep Paralysis

Only one person mentioned being “overcome by [spirit] sexuality” in their sleep. This is the only comment that resembles the classic incubus and succubus narrative (now thought to be caused by sleep paralysis). (However in a later question some respondents do mention dreams.)

Most of the other responses to this question indicate a conscious state of mind, or at least conscious thought regarding intimate spirit relationships or encounters.

Stay tuned for Question Six.

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Loki’s Torch Seeking Submissions!

So hey! A few of us got together and decided to make a thing of beauty–a nice, thick, hunky volume of Loki Lore! We are seeking both general and scholastic writing, fiction, poems, artwork, recipes, rituals, and craft tips. Length from one to ten pages.

Just don’t send something with footnotes or we’ll send it back to you for revisionendnotes only.

Everything you need to know is on the flyer. Deadline for submissions below. We’re looking to have a 100-page publication, obtainable via print on demand. Looking forward to seeing your work!

Sub Flyer Loki's Torch Cover 2.

 

 

IV. Spectrosexuality Survey: Neopagan Practices

The Neopagan Spectrosexuality and God/Spirit Spouse survey (March 5-March 19) asked respondents to describe some or all of their spiritual orientation and practices. Of course the umbrella term, “neopagan,” is impossibly large and sometimes controversial. When thinking about how to phrase Question Four, I reviewed a Down at the Crossroads interview with John Beckett from about two years ago. His “big tent” take on paganism (aka neopaganism) asked listeners to imagine the kinds of people who attend PantheaCon. I decided to err on the side of the “big tent” rather than list dozens of specific religious and magical  traditions and risk upsetting people by leaving things out.

So the question contains a few general categories. Respondents could check as many as they liked. The “other” comment box invited respondents to be more specific or to include things which were left out of the general categories. The Question Four illustration below indicates twenty-two respondents left comments in the “other” box. But there are actually fifty-three. More on the qualitative responses in a minute.

Neopagan vs Pagan

I have adopted the use of “neopaganism” over “paganism” in a large part due to the distinctions described in Sara Anne Lawless’s blog post, “For Sale: Neopaganism: As Is.”  She writes:

“The words ‘paganism’ and ‘pagan’ are used by the rest of the English speaking world mainly in reference to ancient polytheistic pagan cultures, such as Greece and Rome…”

“Neopaganism is an umbrella descriptor term for the paths falling within it…It is not a path or religion in and of itself.”

This made sense to me so I have revised my language use accordingly, though I understand these categories can also be controversial. (I’ve done the same with “tantra” and “neotantra.”)


 

Data_Q4_190318


Spirit Sex is Not Just a Lokean “Thing”

Many of the survey respondents reported working in several different types of traditions and with more than one pantheon or type of spiritual being.

Though the invitation to participate in the survey went mainly to members of Lokean and Heathen Facebook groups, you can see from the photo above that there is a lot of variety in traditions. Keep in mind that this survey focused specifically on people who have experienced “sexual” or “energetic” intimacy with a spirit or a god. These experiences range from a single, spontaneous incident all the way to ongoing relationships (e.g. god/spirit spousery). Some people seek out such experiences and for others, “it” just happened.

This is also not a scientific sample. Aside from posting in my blog, I deliberately did not post survey announcements in some social media groups due to my perception that certain groups had a higher level of “trolls” or because they were groups I had recently joined. Posting an announcement would have felt intrusive to me, as I was not yet a known participant in that particular community. I have no doubt that I could have gotten many more respondents from other groups if I’d overcome feelings of reluctance.

I’ll be comparing overlapping practices in a future blog.

Selections From the Comments Section

Because some of the comments were very specific and contain information that could lead someone to identify a respondent, I am not posting the comments in their entirety.  I will quote snippets instead, to preserve privacy and confidentiality.


Here are quotes from a number of respondents:

“I’m Lokean, and I’m not restricted to a purely Heathen path.”

“I’m very eclectic, acting more based on personal experience and instinct than on established traditions.”

“Practice Demonolatry…”

“My practices involve mainly divination and meditation.”

“As far as a label goes, the closest would be ‘Rökkrtru.'”

“Buddhist Hawaiian.”

“HIndu.”

“Homebrewed and eclectic.”

“Anderson Feri.” 

“I’m a rather new Lokean who was visited one night by the God of Chaos and taken by storm.”

“Heathen/Pagan with Celtic influence.”

“Gardnerian.”

“Chaos Magick.”

“Devotional polytheism mainly according to the Northern Tradition.”

“Traditional Witch.”

“Animist.”

“Shamanic.”

“Hoodoo & folk magick.”

“…also work with the Kemetic pantheon and am working on learning Hermetic magic.”


 

As you can see by the above, many of the respondents to this survey work in a variety of

traditions and with many pantheons and spirits. The phenomenon of spirit intimacy is
not limited to “Loki fan-girls on Tumblr,” as so many people say.
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