I’m as Bad at Titles as I am at Labels

Three (four? I have no concept of time any more) months into veiling, and I’ve no intention to stop any time soon. I find it to be unusually freeing even, and I’ve had a lot of endearing reactions to it. My friends unanimously agree that it suits me, and my energy is more peaceful as it certainly does as Sigyn says: it’s a metaphorical shield that steadies me, indeed. I feel safer, somehow, as if I being shielded from the hypothetically dripping venom allows me to focus on what matters in my devotions and day-to-day duties. It’s also making me think (even more) about terminology. Yup, we’re delving into this nonsense again.

I’m not sure why I’m so hung up on labels regarding my specific devotional path. Probably because each label that’s out there carries connotations that don’t apply in the least. I’ve written many times about my reservations about using the term “godspouse,” even though that’s the most technically accurate designation. I swore an oath to Loki binding myself to him completely, and he is first in my thoughts and deeds. I wear rings to represent the oath. I love the twerp with an intensity that goes beyond what I feel for anyone else, human or divine. However, “spouse” tends to have sexual and romantic connotations that don’t necessarily apply. I’m not playing happy homemaker when I make my house a welcome refuge where the gods can just exist without having to be, well, godly. And while Loki is the one who suggested this arrangement, I definitely don’t see myself as “chosen” or special, I’m not Sigyn’s equal or even in her league (and honestly, my oath to Loki is to her as well). I’m not jealous of anyone else’s relationship, nor am I in competition in the mundane world or beyond (which seems to be A Thing in some circles where godspousery is discussed). My focus is simply on being there for Loki and Sigyn, for dedicating my energy and my experiences and my life to them.

“Lokian nun” is a more comfortable label, one that doesn’t require lengthy explanations or heavy side-eye, one that feels cozy with my veil, but it too inspires some not-quite-right assumptions. Catholic nuns give up agency over their own lives when they dedicate themselves to God. Their existence becomes one of submission and service to God and absolute obedience to the Church. The vows they take make a lot of basic human experiences taboo, which in my relationship with Loki defeats the purpose. Yes, I have given myself over to him, but I’m still in full control of my life. My decisions are my own, even if I look to him for guidance. He didn’t demand I take any oaths of poverty or celibacy (not that that matters in any case because I’m ace), nor does he insist I pray at certain times in a certain way and make certain offerings or sacrifices. My devotion to him isn’t structured in that way. My devotion is infused in everything I do, but I very rarely do formal ritual/prayer the way a nun would.

“Fulltrui” is something I’ll use on occasion in heathen circles, but that one just doesn’t begin to encompass how completely I’ve dedicated my life to Loki and Sigyn. Loki’s the first thought I have when I wake up (okay, first thought after cursing out my alarm, because waking up is often the worst part of the day), and my last thought when I fall asleep. I share coffee with him, share food with him, chatter at/with him if he’s around, yell at him, point out stupid shit that humans say and do and have a laugh about it (or file the story away to share later if he’s not around, because it should really go without saying he’s not a constant presence peering over my shoulder all day, every day).

Obviously, labels don’t matter. They don’t change what I’m doing, they don’t define the relationships I have with my God Squad, nor do I model my practices based on a label. I suppose it’s just at the forefront of my mind again because I’m putting together a book proposal for a publisher, and I’m waffling on the most concise way to explain way to describe my devotion to Loki and Sigyn for both the meat of the proposal and the author info bit of it. It’s relevant to the pitch on how and why I’m qualified to write this book. It would be lovely if I could figure out an appropriate descriptor for the kind of devotional relationship I’ve got without having to include disclaimers (“I’m a godspouse, but not in the sexyfuntimes sPeShUl consort way,” or “I’m vocationally a nun, but not the kind who took a vow of poverty, so please pay me.”). There’s a level of mysticism in my practice, but not enough to throw that into the label slurry.

I’m a mess. That’s pretty much it. A veiling, ring-wearing, chain-smoking, foul-mouthed, sarcastic mess who just wants to do something tangible and significant for Loki and Sigyn.

I ask Loki what to call myself, and he just says, “Mine. You’re mine. Simple as that. My crazy little fox.”

To which I reply, “What, so I’m a pet?”

Sigyn, chiming in oh-so-helpfully, “Well, you do make a lot of messes.”

Well, at least the “crazy” part fits, because that’s exactly what I’m driving myself trying to figure this out for the book proposal. Maybe I’ll just use my dear friend A’s descriptor when they introduced me to their friends as “three foxes in a trenchcoat.” Or Shadow Spouse’s intro to his kindred as “the Lokianist Lokian to Ever Loki.” Something like that.

Maybe it’s a good sign that THIS is the hardest part of the book proposal process? Everything else is flowing naturally. It’s easy to write about Himself and his Bride and devotional practices to them, but I just can’t seem to pin myself down for the author info.

Ah, well. I’ll figure it out. I always do, somehow. But I’m open to suggestions!

2 thoughts on “I’m as Bad at Titles as I am at Labels

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    1. “Lokian” is sufficient in most cases, and it’s what I use when I don’t need to explain my level of devotion/how I live. A book proposal is a sales pitch, though, and I need to go further in depth to explain why I’m qualified to write the book. Like, “Lokian” is a subset of “Heathen” the way “Lutheran” is a subset of “Christian,” and if I were a Christian writing a devotional, the proposal would have more weight if I could add “Deacon” to the specifics. Like, using that analogy, a more direct comparison would be instead of just saying I’m a Catholic who wants to get into the nitty gritty of devotionals to Christ and Mary, it’d be more accurate and carry more weight to say I’m a Catholic novitiate with the Order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

      It’s tricky, because I *did* take vows/made a binding oath of dedication to Loki, but heathenry lacks the kind of structure the Catholic church does, so there’s not really a comparable title/descriptor. I’m not a priestess/gytha, the devotion goes beyond fulltrui, and I’m not a casual Lokian. I guess I’m just overly worried about putting together a good sales pitch (because yo, the impostor syndrome kicks up something fierce when you have to prove you have the appropriate qualifications).

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