God-Slavery and me

I am a god-slave.

Specifically, I belong to Neb.y Set, the Storm in the Wilderness, Lord of the Red Land, the Dread Initiator.  He chose me to be His eyes and hands in the world, to be His tool with which to shape the Universe.  Through me He carves a path on existence.

Many people are put off by the term god-slave.  I’ve been told at least a dozen times over that I shouldn’t use the word “slave”, that “servant” or “nun” is just as applicable.  To that, I respond with a polite smile and a reminder that language is a specific thing and that words have meaning.  If another word worked as well to describe my relationship with Neb.y, I would use it.

Like many, I chose to become a god-slave after reaching what I’ll call the nexus of my personal path.  There came a time at which I reached a fork, and I had a choice between continuing as I was or traveling down the road to transformation.  The latter is what I chose, despite knowing that hardships would result.  I was warned that I would need to “…turn inside-out and be sculpted into what I was supposed to be.”  I was informed that turning back was not without consequences and that I would be expected to make decisions based on knowledge gained.  I was told that I would be forever changed.

(Neb.y grasps the concept of informed consent very neatly.)

It is difficult to describe all that god-slavery entails.  On some things, I am not permitted to speak. (In the words of EDI, “I have a block that prevents me from answering that question.”)  On others, I’d be thrilled to discuss things but cannot find the words to initiate the conversation.  So, in an attempt to open a dialogue, I am going to do the following: (1) Solicit your questions and try to answer them and (2) Add a page to this blog as an FAQ of sorts.

To start things off, I’ll answer the first question (of what I hope will be many) here:

What is a god-slave?

In my opinion, a god-slave is a person that has a relationship with Deity that is both deep and all-encompassing.  In most, if not all, instances, the relationship is entered into  freely and with full consent given.  The relationship is (usually) cemented by a contract of some sort between the deity and the slave.

The tasks required of a god-slave vary depending on the deity and slave in question but tend to center around being said deity’s tool in the world and result in some form of transformation for the slave.

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9 responses to “God-Slavery and me

  1. I’m glad you’re doing this 🙂 This topic has been of great interest to me, and I’d like to have a place where questions can be asked without someone having to worry about it turning into a mudslinging contest, much like it did on TC.

    Here are a few that come to mind so far…

    – Do you think there is a difference btwn a godslave and someone who is just uber dedicated to a god.
    – Is it possible to be a godslave without entering into a contract first, or to be a godslave and no know it.
    – After the initial phase of turning you into whatever it is you need to be- what then? Is it a continuous series of tests that changes you, or is there some larger picture or goal? Or do you not know?
    -Why did you choose to go down this path?

    I’ll probably think of more later.

    • Great questions!

      1. Yes, I do think there’s a difference between a god-slave and someone who is very dedicated to a god. I am dedicated to Sekhmet; I try to do ritual for Her regularly, I give offerings to Her, and the work I do on a daily basis is dedicated to Her. However, I wouldn’t say I am Sekhmet’s god-slave. I’ve no contract with Her and I’ve not reached a “jump off the cliff point” with Her yet.

      2. I don’t *think* one could be a god-slave and not know it…but, then again, I really only have my own experience to fall back on when answering the question. I don’t know if every god-slave has a contract of some sorts with Deity; I do, but that doesn’t mean everyone does. I may have to ask someone else to weigh in on that one.

      3. Wow – this one’s tough! I have no idea what Neb.y ultimately has in store for me, if anything, BUT I do know it will involve some form of priesthood. (insert wail about wanting to hoe the fucking onions here). So far, it’s been a series of tests and my response to each one makes me grow and improve a bit more.

      4. I chose this path because I couldn’t *not* choose it, if that makes sense. I got to a point with Neb.y where I had to decide whether or not to jump, and I *knew* if I jumped that our relationship would be forever changed. As I couldn’t imagine not jumping and not finding out what lay beyond, I jumped. And, as I’ve mentioned before, I love Neb.y and loved Him even before I chose to pitch myself headfirst into whatever waited for me.

      Keep ’em coming!

      • I don’t have a contract. I do have a standing-wave argument that occasionally goes “You can’t have that!” “No? Prove it.”

        I think the people who are also doing shamanic work are also further away from the consensuality thing, but shamanic work isn’t terribly consensual all around….

      • Re: #2 — for a while I didn’t know I was a godslave. I did find out, of course, but Morrigan is the sort who likes to dangle bits of information in weird places and place bets on when I’ll *get* it. There was no contract for me — it was literally an epiphany of “Oh my gods, I’m Morrigan’s and always have been — this is what She meant when we first met and She said ‘You’re MINE.'” And then there was the option to leave, but the knowledge that I’d probably regret it forever. A choice, only because I couldn’t not choose it.

  2. Thanks for opening up this conversation! This is an aspect of some folks’ Pagansim that I still have trouble understanding, so I’m really glad of the chance to learn more.

    My very first question (other than the ones Von already asked above!), is:

    – How do you reconcile the term “slavery” with the idea of free and informed consent?

    To me, this has just been the most deeply confusing aspect of all about modern Pagan god-slavery, since historically slavery has been built upon exploitative relationships that were pretty much by definition not consensual or freely chosen…. You said that you don’t use another word because words have meaning and slavery is the most appropriate and accurate word to describe what you mean. I wonder if you could elaborate just a little more on specifically what the word “slavery” means to you and how you fit it into an historical understanding of slavery.

    Thanks so much! Really looking forward to hearing more.

    • I wondered when this question would pop up. 🙂

      I don’t need to reconcile slavery with free and informed consent because, in my worldview, they go hand-in hand. Now, having said that, I’ll try and explain.

      The word “slave” means different things to different people and is dependent on worldview. I think it is important to remember this, and to remember that the worldview of one person isn’t necessarily that of another.

      Some people hear “slave” and think of people being forcibly removed from their homes and brought to other countries as free labor against their will. Kink-minded folk might think of “slave” in terms of BDSM where one person may enter into a submissive relationship with another person. Photographers may be reminded of subsidiary flash lamps; IT professionals might think of subsidiary hardware/devices; First Nations scholars might think of the Etchareottine. Each group’s default thoughts about the word will be based on how it is used in their own context.

      In my worldview, “slave” defaults to either the kink definition or the relationship I have with Neb.y Set. This doesn’t mean I don’t recognize the other meanings of the word, but it does mean that my use of “slave” when discussing my relationship with my God inherently contains the need for free and informed consent. Neb.y is my Master and I am His willing (semi-obedient) slave.

    • I would like to point out here that there is the consentual and freely chosen slavery in human history as well. There are examples of this in the Bible and Romans had some form of chosen slavery too. In fact, there are instances in the USonian history about freely chosen slavery. Quite a many slave chose to stay in the relationship because they were not African, they were American, and they saw the benefits of the relationship… and there are benefits. We often focus on the unfair and cruel side of slavery and not only forget but deny the other side… So much so that it is considered highly non-PC to even talk about it.

      But, it’s a bit like being a SAHM… especially if one is Christian and Republican… >:-> Your “master” bought you with a golden ring and you and your children belong to him, and he doesn’t pay you, but he feeds you, provides you a shelter and clothes, fulfills all your physical needs, and even gives you gifts, and in return you obey him, take care of his children and household, cook and wash and all the other things houseslaves did. What’s the difference, really? Sure, you have the status of a wife, and the name used of you is different, but the position is not much different, really.

      Being a slave is being someone’s unpaid servant and property, and to me seeing one’s relationship with God like that is not in any way odd or unusual.

      • I would add to the statement above that there is a history of chosen slavery in AE, as well. Many people would sell themselves, or their family, or both, into slavery to help pay off debts and for protection. It’s not an entirely new concept.

    • It is also worth remembering that North American forms of race-based slavery are not actually the historical norm, and practices of slavery in history include things as wide-ranging as indentured servitude (I sell my service to you for N years in exchange for …), war captives as laborers, some of the classical hetaerae (the only educated women in Athens!), debtor’s prisons, and so on.

      Slavery denotes ownership, and particularly ownership of some form of labor. And ownership is another one of those really complicated things if you really look at it. (Copyright? Land use rights? Moveable property? Real estate? And that’s not even getting into any of the ways people have ownership over other people. Or even ownership over pets.)

      I don’t have easy answers. My experience in this area involves a lot of paradox, such as the freedom inherent in the discipline of compelled labor…. Religion is often full of paradox when it works, though.

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