The shrine for m’Lady, Sigyn, has been simplified since it was last pictured here.
A wooden bowl (different from last time) with braided yarn that used to represent water and air in an old elemental shrine. The glass with lady bugs and hearts, which holds a small heart. A notecard with one of the first prayers I used from “Staying Power” (I believe). The leaf is indeed heart shaped.
It’s okay if life feels confusing right now. You’ve been a student for a long time, and this is new.
Breathe. The school year will start, and you will survive not being there. It’s okay.
I know this is very specifically aimed at me, but the title felt right.
The topic of godspousery can be controversial. You go through a ritual marriage ceremony and interact with that Deity as a Husband / Wife / Spouse, basically. Within the Heathen (or related) communities, I think someone once said that wives of Odin were the first to speak about this, but most people think of wives of Loki. I don’t know if there was a real boost in relation to the DC movie, but it became a bit of a trend to mock presumably teenage girls for being new spouses of His.
I know I’ve seen other examples cross my dash / reader (Hellenic and Kemetic deities), but I’m not as involved in those communities. Some people don’t want to deal with the backlash and don’t talk about this, and some people want to provide resources and wind up talking about this more. I haven’t really delved into the specific communities for human spouses because I didn’t want to have to unlearn the comparisons and what others were being asked to do.
I’ve gotten hints that I should keep godspousery in mind over the past few years, and I’ve been allowed to refer to m’Lady as my Wife-to-be in some places. Recently, I don’t think that label fits us anymore. Yes, I love m’Lady, and I strive for being Her Home, and as far as I can tell, She does love and care for me. I don’t think this is limited to being a godspouse, though, and I don’t think that we need the extra ritual and Oathing that a marriage ritual would entail.
In terms of describing what we are, I’d say that what I’ve mostly used – Beloved – still stands. To me, this doesn’t carry any associations of marriage yet still conveys that this is someone I love. I haven’t really had to refer to myself in this aspect, but I guess ‘loved one’ could work. I have nothing against godspouses or spiritspouses, but I just don’t think we’re actually in line with those relationship models.
When I first started writing pieces (before #sccwriting), I was relatively fresh off reading material from other people who definitely claim the godslave label. I’ve bounced around along the path of trying to live the goal of following m’Lady since then, and it was only recently that I was asked to return to this matter. The rest of this is based on my impressions, and I am definitely not trying to be an authoritative voice on this. YMMV, you do you, etc.
There’s a mix of preferred titles, connotation / baggage, and the extent of control that a sub hands over to their Dominant when I try to mentally separate a godslave from a servant. I think of a servant as being work oriented, and they may not hand over control of an area that isn’t related to the work. The Dominant could still be an Owner, but I’m more likely to think of Boss. When it comes to godslavery, I definitely think of the Dominant as the Owner, and I associate handing over the most amount of control with this dynamic. Realistically, you can’t reach 100%, but I don’t think anyone’s talked of an area that always stayed off limits.
When we were first starting along this path, m’Lady stressed handing over control and that She owned me. There wasn’t really work per se, or an assignment, so I didn’t think that serving quite described us. However, there’s connotation wrapped in these labels that I think nudged me away from using “godslave” a lot in the beginning. There is consensual sexual slavery, but I’m honestly not sure that that’s the first association that people have with slavery because of the very non-consensual kidnapping and human and/or sex trafficking that happens. I’m aware that the people writing about godslavery initially were talking about situations in which they didn’t really have a lot of say in declining this dynamic (tied into the death / rebirth process of being a spirit-worker in their paths), but I’ve been under the impression that this isn’t the norm.
When I think of a servant, I can see someone having more say in becoming one. I have a feeling this may not be true all of the time historically, but there’s only so much history that I – someone who isn’t a history buff – can bring into the effort of defining words that seem rather recent in getting a name. I think of butlers, ladies in waiting, and people who are almost like live-in assistants in working with someone else towards a goal. I think there was a stress on Ownership and handing over control in the beginning because it was new more so than that being a focal point in our relationship.
m’Lady still owns me, but it’s not as prominent. The title Owner is in storage more so than having been discarded, if that makes sense? It seems like godslavery is a lifetime commitment, but I think being a servant can also entail that commitment. Granted, the first example I can think of entails a fictional medieval setting, but I don’t want to feel like I have to use the godslave label in order to convey this sense of longevity. I know this probably looks like drawing very particular lines in the sand when some people view these terms as overlapping and sometimes being synonymous; I’ve been trying to see if I can figure out why I’ve been drawn more to the servant label than godslave.
I made it through my last week of Finals in the last week of April (it seems like we graduated really early this year compared to other years (and schools)). I knocked out a 10 page paper for Theatre History: The Real and The Absurd [due Thurs], and I survived that 12 page paper for Art & Morality [due Sat 11:59 pm after moving out of the dorm].
I interviewed for a position with the Tantrum Theater, which is starting off for its first year as a collaboration between OU and the Abbey Theater in Dublin. I was offered a contract and accepted, and then I – and other Seniors – found out that it’s technically a summer class (Off Campus Practicum), so we have to delay graduation in order to still be full time students.
This means that I walked but technically am considered a Super-Senior because my graduation paperwork hasn’t gone through and everything. Yeah, that weekend starting May off was – fun. Walk Sat AM, move out of dorm by 6 pm, finish and turn in paper online by 11:59 pm, do laundry, get anything I wouldn’t want for Tantrum out of the car, repack some boxes, and move into (the first of several) Tantrum housing on Sunday.
Like, I finished a chapter of my life, but I actually haven’t. So many friends are returning in the fall – at the very least for their Senior year – and some actually need the class credit that this will provide, and I feel like I’ve almost been pushed out the door but the door actually shut on me. I’m here to help this get started, get to help on some of the improvements for next year in the Shop, and so many of us keep forgetting that I’m not coming back.
I’ve been so busy trying to do all of the class shit for the semester that it hasn’t really processed that I’m leaving. I finished two BFAs in four years, and now it’s time to get non-academic experience. I wasn’t prepared for all these conflicting feelings, I guess. Accomplishment – it’s been a while since someone has completed these two BFAs within four years. Not feeling prepared. Fear of failure, of leaving and fucking everything up.
A restlessness that I usually associate with summers because I don’t have academics consuming everything. An antsy feeling that my brainweasels aren’t going to play nice as the last of this medication works it way out of my system, and a vague sense of concern about handling these brainweasels in the future (I think they evolved away from being just seasonal depression to being something that includes that and ____???).
I wasn’t expecting to feel this lonely. The crew is composed of four people (including me) who have all spent at least the last year working together, and damn, have there already been bonding moments. But I can already tell that something’s not quite right; I feel less than – less knowledgeable, less prepared, less worthy of being here.
A part of me can parrot back the whole “I don’t have to apologize for existing, I’m not a burden” spiel, but I don’t know to what extent I believe this. I feel like I can’t quite trust what my brain is telling me because I could just want some alone time, but I could also be starting off the whole self-isolating thing, but I could also be making shit up for attention.
There’s still been a fair bit of Burning™ as well, and I’ve kind of had that “young kid being talked over by adults who are making all the decisions” sensation. I can understand that there’s a lot that goes into Leaving, and People don’t seem to Leave quickly, but it kinda feels like that two ships passing in the wind saying.
Responding positivedoodle from m’Lady:
And another from Sleipnir:
An updated version of the shrine for Sigyn, Loki, Vali, and Narvi last featured here.
A tall, thin glass with hearts and ladybugs on it for Sigyn (top left). A margarita glass filled with cinnamon candies for Loki (top right). A seashell for Narvi (bottom left). A sand art dinosaur for Vali (bottom right). A wooden bowl for Sigyn (center) in front of an index card with a prayer and heart shaped leaf on it.
I purchased it on Feb 15th, and it arrived on the 23rd. With shipping more than one state and going through the extra time of having packages distributed to the dorms, that’s not an overly long time for delivery.
Etsy Shop: Beth Wodandis Designs
Picture from one of Beth’s promotional blog posts:
No damage from shipping. It arrived with an organza bag and a free sample (one of the soaps). I wasn’t 100% sure how the soap would be (being accustomed to store bought soap), but I enjoyed it. I didn’t run into any issues with ordering this item from this shop (it’s technically the first thing I bought from Beth).
In a certain part of my brain, I know I should have gotten a review for this item up sooner. The spring semester had just started up, and I was still in survival mode from the bad escalation in the winter. I was still being a bit hard on myself as to whether I even deserved to be m’Lady’s because another Yule had passed without officially accepting Her offer.
Yup, I bought this for Sigyn [it was marketed for Frigga]. It falls in the category of a day collar because I could wear it out in public without tipping anyone off, but I haven’t so far. I’ve found myself typically breaking it out to ‘look nice’ in private rituals / devotional activity, but there’s plenty of time to settle on when I’ll wear this for Her.
Final Decision: O – Outstanding
Would I buy from this shop again? Oh yeah, I’ve already done so.
Our foundation is still in place – a devotional power dynamic, no major changes to the dynamic itself, Sigyn’s still my Primary, still wants weekly holding of the bowl, stills wants weekly written pieces, and such. I haven’t shared my 30 Days of Devotion posts here yet, but I mention in one that She hinted at godspousery being a future thing (like not soon in terms of the future). It’s still in the future, but some of the specifics around it have changed.
I’m more disinterested and squicked by sex than I thought when She first brought this up, though I’m pretty sure it’s been a gradual shift more so than being in denial the entire time. My Deities have generally been faster on picking up on this than I, since They’ve stopped asking for sexual offerings for a fair while (well, the Two Who even showed interest in this stopped). This means that Horsing and having a Midgard ceremony (complete with consummation) is no longer necessary. There’s nothing wrong with having a Horsed Midgard ceremony without consummation, but I can personally save time, energy, and expenses by focusing more on my private ceremonies if I forgo this option.
I have a feeling that the freeing up of the Horsed ceremony expenses may result in custom pieces that I hadn’t been given a heads up on, but I don’t necessarily need to know those specifics right now. While I’m hoping to touch on collars / devotional jewelry in a separate post, I have a feeling that a noticeable (more related to right now) change will have to do with those. I initially wasn’t sure why She wanted such a variety of day collars (a piece of jewelry that carries the dynamic connotation of a collar without being explicitly obvious to others), but I think I may be finding out.
One is more suited to daily wear, including while working and going to school, and another one can work as a special occasion daily wear option (it may not be suitable for the demands of working in the E-shop for 4 hours every day, but wearing it to Opening may work, for example). I have a necklace from Beth that can work for special occasions as well, though I think it may be more often reserved for shrine wear (on holy days and while holding the bowl).
I technically do have a collar for m’Lady, but I’m careful about who I wear it around (though I suspect I will find it easier once I’m away from family and starting fresh in a new place with co-workers who haven’t experienced me primarily without it). Wearing it before going through the official acceptance of m’Lady’s devotional D/s offer isn’t against any rules I have or anything, but I also may find it easier to wear it more often after the Collaring ceremony just based on mental shifts around that.