Cultural and religious references to erotic and otherwise emotionally intense human/spirit encounters and relationships are so pervasive that we in the West almost can’t see them. Even one of the most widespread religions in the world has spirit sex (and a divine child) at its core and yet people seldom stop to consider WHY this topic is so compelling and prevalent in legend, lore, myths, fairy tales, folk magic, spiritual practices, and religious traditions.
And when you add the numerous media productions that depict human love affairs with vampires and werewolves (among other things), human beings begin to look absolutely obsessed with preternatural and supernatural hook-ups.
It’s not just sleep paralysis, baby! Most of these experiences happen when people are wide awake, though trance states may precipitate spirit contacts. Sometimes such experiences are sought for and invoked, as in Western sex magic practices or in Buddhist tantric practices which involve visualizing sexual energy exchanges with a deity or a “skydancing” dakini, as a vehicle for transcendence. Some neopagan communities and solitary witches may acknowledge and accept such encounters, but “mainstream” society does not, except as fictional entertainment, cosplay, or as a way to ridicule a naive media-ensnared “victim” of ghostly overtures.
In earlier times, the “ecstasies” of Teresa de Avila made her a Christian saint. These days a similarly ecstatic Loki godspouse is likely to be dissed as Marvel Loki fangirl or a “lonely middle-aged woman” (three words which are also used dismissively). And yet, these holy ecstasies occur–either spontaneously or through cultivation–and what’s a person to do then? How are they supposed to think and feel about this? Do they embrace the experience(s) or run screaming in search of an exorcism?
Another question: how may we clinicians support them, even if their “beliefs” are not our own. Counseling and therapy ethics require that we deliver culturally competant care, no matter what our client’s beliefs may be. I wouldn’t attempt to pathologize the adherant of a faith based on spirit sex and a divine child any more than I would a Heathen, a Buddhist, a Satanist, or an atheist.
This website will gather information, acknowledge the work of all who have expanded our knowledge of this complicated topic, and make the case for (1) “spirit sex positive”, nonjudgmental mental health practices and (2) consideration of the queerness of spiritu-intimacy and spectrosexuality, as yet another sexual/asexual minority worthy of respect, pride, and justice.