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I’m thoroughly disgusted by the notion of personal doxa as popularity contest, as a game where your friends come up with an idea and you salute it, but anyone else’s experience can be discounted out of hand.
I have so much love for this post that I barely even know what to say. As I commented on Heather's blog (it's a fairly long comment, so go read it, as well as the rest of her comment thread), I'm not sure where the trope of godspouses as public servants came from, but it's bullshit, and it's high time someone finally said so. *high-fives Heather for writing this, and also applauds her brave revelation*
As for the UPG chicken (go read her post for details about that--omgs I love that phrase and there should be a cute .gif for it) I have been drawn into that game many times myself over the years. I've also been the target of it since my books about Odin and Gunnlod came out, and also since I began writing about Frigga in my blog. When the books came out, there were whispers throughout the wider "woo" community that I thought I was the reincarnation of Gunnlod. These were said in such a snide way, as if the worst thing in the world would be for a godspouse to be carrying a piece (and how could it possibly be more than a piece, since the gods are so immense?) of one of Her Husband's divine Beloveds, as if that would be so strange and utterly unthinkable. And as if it should even matter to them one way or another, as long as I'm doing my Work for Him (the Work He gives me to do, not whatever their idea of what a godpouse “should” do might be). It isn't as though I or anyone else with this kind of doxa expects worship or applause for this kind of thing; in fact, what we expect is what we mostly get—derision.
When I first asked Odin for a name after our Marriage, the one He gave me was Wodandis. :) I may need to get a tattoo of that, finally. He pointed out to me one day that the tattoos I already have (my valknut, my snake for Bolverk, my Gebo made of crossed bones with a crown for the Wild Hunt, my Gar) tell the story of who I am, if read aright. I now understand how that name fits into that picture in a way I didn’t, when He first gave it to me.
I have come to accept certain things about myself that I fought against for a long, long time, parts of who and what I am that have proven crucial to unlocking doors in my psyche. And from these doors, magic and inspiration and creativity have poured forth. And now I am done fighting, because when you get right down to it, Heather is right: I am not Heathen, there have always been enough people insisting that I don't speak for Heathenry, that my doxa is wrong, that *I'm* wrong. You get to a point where what people might think can't matter anymore. A point where only the Work and the relationship matters, and the repeated mantra of “that's private” or “I can't talk about this because of Reasons” begins to sound like a cheesy cop-out. (Not that I am going to bare all—but really, you get so, so tired of trying to please people who aren't your tribe anyway.) It isn't like any of us fit neatly into “normal,” anyway, so why are we so afraid?