Narvi and Vali are the sons of Loki and the Asynjur Sigyn. I’m going to write some musings on their relationship, not whether the events that occurred to them were right or wrong. If you aren’t aware of the story, Loki angered many of the Aesir. In revenge they captured Him. After this the Aesir turned Vali into a wolf who in turn killed his brother Narvi. It was Narvi’s intestines that were then used to bind Loki to three rocks to await Ragnarok. Sigyn stays by His side forever protecting Loki from a painful venom dripping from a snake.
Now that you have the basics of the story, let’s turn away from that issue and look at Narvi and Vali’s brotherhood. First, what is brotherhood? It’s the relationship between brothers. It is the relationship between men who consider themselves to be brothers such as in various organizations. Brotherhood is also termed to mean a feeling of closeness in a group that considers themselves to be family.
“It snowed last year too: I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea” ~Dylan Thomas
We’ve all grown up in families. Even if we didn’t have a brother or brothers we have had friends with brothers. They can be close or distant. In either instance, brothers know each other intimately. They know the minute details of each other’s emotions and reactions. Great joys and pains can be inflicted by one brother on another.
The Aesir turned Vali into a wolf. Wolf symbology is varied but there is a large portion of folklore that is directed towards wolves being greedy, ferocious, vengeful, and monstrous. Vali was turned against his brother; I see this as being driven insane. He ripped into Narvi and killed him. Though horrific, there is a poetic sense to this. Who best to rip into another’s very innards than a brother? Who best knows how to truly inflict pain and horror than our own family?
We also can’t forget the rest of them. The events between the brothers destroyed the family. The sire, Loki, bound in grief and pain by the murder of one son by the other. Sigyn, wife and mother, forever trying to keep what is left of the family together, trying to protect Loki from the pain. A whole family ripped apart by two brothers.
Diehard lorists won’t agree with this paragraph. But let’s think on this a moment anyway. When we look at collective UPG on Narvi and Vali, what is often experienced is two brothers who greatly love each other. Narvi is usually seen as more open and very protective of his brother Vali. Shyness, reluctance to come forward, and a sense of vague horror is seen of Vali. We can only imagine what goes through Vali’s mind reliving the horror of what he committed in his memory. Yet at the same time we can feel a serene joy at the forgiveness Narvi exhibits. He seems protective of his brother, he doesn’t place the blame for his pain on Vali. If anything, Narvi strives to protect Vali from the pain of his actions.
This side of the story is often overlooked by those who study the lore. It is a sidelight, the brothers are merely collateral damage. They aren’t. Their story has its own importance. We can see what happens to communities and families when personal, intimate details (the guts) are drug out into the open. We can see what happens when man turns against man, often for no reason other than external events that actually don’t have anything to do with the two.
We also forget the prophecy regarding Ragnarok. Before that horrible event, it is said siblings will turn against siblings. Here we have two siblings set against each other in order to gain the bonds which will hold Loki till the day of Ragnarok. The war is set in motion here, sib against sib.
We can tell our sons stories of Thor and the value of protecting the weak. We can share stories of Tyr and his tale of honor. But let’s not forget Narvi and Vali. Two children our own offspring can relate to. Two brothers who show the dangers of insensibly turning on each other. Two brothers who can teach of forgiveness.
Narvi and Vali can be used as models for our own sons. Heathen children need role models, they need stories to learn from. Here we have, combined between lore and gnosis, a story of two brothers. One becomes enraged, the reason isn’t important and could be applied to anything going on within our child’s life. The enraged Vali then uses the family tie and destroys his brother Narvi.
But there is hope. Brothers are brothers, through thick and thin. Narvi goes on to forgive Vali. They never forget what happened, but they can move on, they can be brothers again. This is what brotherhood is about. They knock each other down and then go have tea.
My sons know of Narvi and Vali. I hope they can remember them when they experience that crazed anger that only brothers can have for each other. I hope they can remember the damage that can be inflicted at those times and will temper themselves. If they don’t, I pray they remember the forgiveness which is within them.
"We are all brothers under the skin- and I, for one, would be willing to skin humanity to prove it." ~ Ayn Rand
There are a lot of blogs out there and more and more people are getting into the habit. We now see a plethora of spiritual blog authors. Everyone has something to say. The discerning reader can find amazing gems. The authors, in their sharing of part of their personal, mystical life, learns ever so much more than they would have had they not put the proverbial pen to paper. But, before one starts, or even after, one has to consider just what is actually being done. Most of us just want to share our experiences and what we learn. Sounds great, right? It is.
But it doesn't come without a price. As a blog author one has to consider not only what we want to write, but who our target audience is and what they need. Every blog post has to be critically assessed. We need to ask ourselves things such as, "'Does this blog say what I'm actually trying to say? and 'Does this blog promote the concepts and paradigm I'm looking to espouse?'" One thing to remember, it won't only be the target audience that will read the blog. Consider the effects the post will have on those not in the specific population for which it is intended. Will it tangentially detract from or actually hurt your cause? If some people are likely to offended most certainly not all is lost but you do have to consider if that audience has any importance. If they are, you may want to rethink that blog. Also consider those people who are almost within your target audience, the ones on the fence. If your blog post pushes them to the other side you've hurt what you are trying to do and lost a reader to boot.
One has to consider the time involvement. Quality blogs don't just happen. If you don't have anything to say it may be better to not blog that day rather than, over time, fill up your pages with random mental spewing. Take your time, be thoughtful. Write something that pings for you and chances are it will ping for someone else. Deep, insightful blogs will promote a thoughtful readership. Shallow, rapidly typed out posts will engender superficiality. Be discerning before you hit that publish button.
We also have to take the time to ensure our writing isn't vague. For the most part communication is a two way street but not as much with blogs. If the writing is unclear and able to be misconstrued it isn't always the reader's fault. Sure, sometimes readers just skim or they may not have the background to understand but I personally think it a good guide to take the self responsibility to ensure a reader can understand a post. If someone doesn't understand and you are sure you wrote clearly, ask a friend for critique. If the friend acknowledges the writing may not be clear than just eat that frog, apologize, and correct the mistake.
When blogging it is easy to get personal. We are likely sitting alone somewhere typing away. We don't see the readers, we don't know what they look like or who they all are. So we type away and share. We always need to consider though, how much is too much? Once blogged, a topic isn't just between you and your powers anymore. It is public. It is up for commentary, review, and analysis. Not comfortable with that? Blog something else then.
I now come to one of the hardest issues in regards to personal, spiritual blogging- that of dissent. Not everyone is going to agree with a message. When someone disagrees it hits personally and deeply. One of the first things of import I learned from Heimdallr was to never deny what I speak or write because in doing so I would be denying my God. There is a lot in that statement. Simply put, it means one has to be accountable for what one writes. One has to be willing to stand behind the message. Yes, there will be people who don't agree. However, respect for the readership doesn't mean just hitting the delete button and angrily assuming the person is a jackass or doesn't like you or is trying to tell you what to do. The fact that someone is willing to engage in dialogue is important. IMPORTANT.
There are two main kinds of dissenters. There are those that post their criticism within the comment section for the world to see. Then there are those that email you privately. Either way is fine. The question is, can you take it?
I've certainly had people not like what I've written. I'm not talking about the frantic inane mumbo some loon will throw at you, I'm talking about people who say, 'I have issue with this and here is why.' I'm fine with reasonable disagreements in my comment section. I hold with my creed of backing what I say or acknowledging my error. I blog in public; I'll rebut, agree to disagree, or apologize in public whichever is necessary.
Then there is the other type of criticism; the personal email. I have the greatest of respect for those who do such. To me, it means several things. One, the issue is truly important to the author which also means its important to many others. Two, the person took the time and had the respect to email me and initiate a conversation. Three, the person isn't trying to troll or flame by just posting a negative comment in the comment list. This person didn't take the easy way by hitting the 'comment' button- this person looked for my email, wanted to engage.
When it comes down to it, I've never had an email of dissent that didn't ultimately turn out to be a fairly positive conversation. But it takes courage to actually stop and consider what they've written. It takes self-awareness to think their issue through and respond thoughtfully. It isn't easy. It requires time and reflection. It is a challenge to self, a challenge that is often needed. The result sometimes means saying sorry, "'yes, I agree, I was unclear' or 'you're right, I was wrong.'"
More often it just means engaging in a dialogue over a couple of days with several emails so each can truly determine where the other is coming from. In this way I've made some good friends. Had I just deleted their comment or threw back a vague, 'I'm doing my God's work so back off' retort I would have not only disrespected them but myself. I would never have done the self reflection and learned some of the things I have. I've been thankful for every person who questions what I've written. Those questions, those challenges whether done gently or rudely, have made me really think through the paradigm in question. Really made me consider my own reasoning and rationale. Being forced to write back, to detail why I feel and how I feel, has been ultimately amazingly rewarding.
In order for this to truly work I've had to make some rules for myself. The primary rule is that I will never respond immediately to criticism. I will always wait at least overnight. It is amazing what can happen after some sleep and meditation regarding my thoughts over the author's comments. What initially may have roused me to ire suddenly may make some sense. I can see where the person is coming from, why they feel the way they do. I can respond appropriately. I may not agree with them but I have the window of breathing time to formulate an appropriate, thoughtful response that does me and the emailer respect and honor. Every single time I have learned something and have ultimately been grateful for what initially seemed such a hard email to read.
Our Gods may ask some of us to blog, but they don't dictate how we write the topics sentence by sentence. That is up to us and we can most certainly write in haste, poorly, or in error. I value those who make me stop and consider my message, consider what I write. All the "'yeah good post' or 'I agree'" comments in the world don't do that. It is the questioning ones that do, those are the ones we can learn from. I thank each and every one of you who have questioned me, I thank each and every one of you who will.
Thorrablót. A relatively unknown feast; one which I’ve been curious about. You see, in my general trovings on the internet and in other areas for information on this event it was clear to me that I wasn’t getting the whole picture. It seems most authors skim over what this feast means.
In general, one will find writings such as this, excerpted from the 2012 Troth Almanac, pg. 11 and written by Patricia Layfayllve¹:The Anglo-Saxons termed January Æfter Geola, “after Yule,” which certainly describes the month’s placement in the Northern European calendar. Both the Old Icelandic and the Old Norse named this month Mörsugur (“suet-sucker” or “fat sucker” month) and also divided in two. The first part of January was also called Jól (“Yule”), which might be a remnant of the Yule celebrations having been in January. The latter half of the month was called Þorri, most likely recognizing Þorrablót. In Old High German January was called Harti-mánód, roughly “month of severe frost.”
Thorrablót as a tradition has survived into the modern era. Some modern heathens use this festival as a blót to Thor himself. Thorrablót was typically held in Iceland after the thirteenth week of winter, and was a festival featuring a feast followed by songs and games. Given its timing, much of the food traditionally presented at Thorrablót--hakarl (putrified shark), blóðmör ( blood sausage or black pudding), hrútspungr (ram’s scrotum with testicles), and svið (jellied sheep’s head)—were what was left of winter’s stores. Most were pickled or fermented in some way, and were subsistence foods. A traditional heathen may also want to guard against the guests’ breath after such a meal.
From what I have found, this is in general true and very good information. It isn’t a past festival however, Thorrablót is still celebrated in Iceland and Norway. It is traditionally held the first Friday after January 19th , this year starting the 20th. The celebration lasts through the first two weeks of February in restaurants and common areas. Traditional fare is served along with special, fresher preparations for the more timid gastronomiques.
What caught my eye was the constant swerving around or authorial avoidance of what Thorrablót actually meant. This feast is mentioned in the lore and I’ll go ahead and tell it’s story here from the appendices of the Icelandic Saga, Vol. III by G. Dasent. ²
Thorrablót, contrary to popular opinion and usage, is not a blót to Thor. It is a blót to Thorri, otherwise known as King Snow or Thorri Snaerson (Snow-son). Thorri’s lineage is mentioned in this way. There was a man named Fornjot who had three sons. They were Hler, Logi, and Kari. Yes, we are talking the giants Hler of the seas (Aegir), Logi of fire, and Kari who rules over the winds. Kari was the father of Jökull whose name means frost or glacier. Jökull, in turn, sired Thorri. The Orkneyingers’ Saga of the same book adds in one more step- Jökull having sired Snær (Old King Snow) who then sired Thorri.
Thorri ruled over Gothland, Kvenland, and Finland. Gothland is the southern portion of Sweden from which the Goths originated. Finland is oft known as the land of trolls and magic. Of interest, Kvenland is thought to have been around the northern edge of the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea, directly between Finland and Sweden.
Thorri had a daughter Goi (thin-snow) and two sons named Norr and Gorr. Notation is made that Goi was kidnapped and married to a giant named Rolf the Hill. Norr found and invited his sister back home. Rolf followed and became one of Thorri’s men.
The appendix notes a holy day that I have to believe is the progenitor of our modern Thorrablót. The translation linked below reads, “To him (Thorri) the Kvens sacrificed that it might be snowy, and that there might be good going on snow-shoon. That was their harvest. That sacrifice was to be at midwinter; and the month Thorri was called after it.”
This sacrifice is also noted in the Orkneyingers’ Saga in the same book. ³ The difference here is that this text notes Thorri as making the offering.
Now, I’ll admit it is also possible Thorri was a man. I don’t recall seeing it common practice in lore for men to sacrifice to another man but who knows. These are ancient stories handed down and changes over time are natural.. The lineage of Thorri is telling though. With Kari, Logi, and Aeger in his line I’m pointed at the thought Thorri may very well have been a giant.
So with this information readily available one can wonder why modern man has either simply called it a feast day without any reference to Thorri or changed it to a blót to Thor. One thought is that the name of Thorri is similar to Thor and let’s face it, Thor is an awesome God. Why not have one more opportunity to honor Him?
Let’s look at this more closely though. Thor is important in that He helps keep elemental forces in harmony. However, modern man goes beyond this. We don’t really live in harmony with the elements. We want them under control. We want them vanquished. We want to live in our nice 70 degree all year round air conditioned home without any issues with the snow or sleet or winter, the heat of summer, the mud of spring, or the winds of fall. We have forgotten that without the snows, the storms, the heat, and the winds, we lose our natural cycle. It’s as vital to the life of the Earth as our own heartbeat. We NEED these elements. We can blót to Thor all we want but in His wisdom He just isn’t going to go and destroy every Jotnar around. We need to learn to live and work with the elements again and Thorrablót is a wonderful time to start.
Most heathens will admit that the giants (Jotnar) were likely the elemental Gods honored prior to the Aesir or the Vanir. Yet again and again we find it a modern tradition to overlook our forebears practice of honoring the Jotnar. True, there is little record of this practice but I find that plausible- the lore was initially formed through gnosis after the Aesir had already arrived.
It makes the highest sense though. Primitive cultures honored the elements they had to deal with. I feel no shame that my forebears honored giants before they honored Aesir or Vanir. Why should any of us? Why deny such a beautiful heritage- that of honoring the seasons, honoring the snow itself if one lives in a region by which it must be dealt with so intimately and personally? Without snow there would be no life; we’ve all heard of global warming.
So this season, if you choose to have a Thorrablót you most definitely have choices. You can continue the more modern tradition of honoring Thor- a worthy and wonderful God who will protect and guide us through the roughest of seasons. You can also raise a glass to Thorri Snow-son and ask for safe going on snow-shoon. I see no contradiction there. I’d lay money it’s been a while since anyone offered Thorri a beer- he may take notice and you may just find better winter traction in your driving this winter season. Whatever you do, enjoy your blóðmör and hakarl. Stay warm, safe, and be well.
1.The Troth. The Old Heathen’s Almanac 2012
2. Dasent, G. Appendices. Icelandic Sagas Vol. III. Retrieved from Sacred Texts, January 6, 2012. http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/ice/is3/is316.htm
3. Dasent, G. The Orkneyingers’ Saga. Icelandic Sagas Vol. III. Retrieved from Sacred Texts, January 6, 2012. http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/ice/is3/is302.htm
'Oooh,' I groaned. I rolled over, buried my head into the pillows a bit more. I didn't want to get up. It's Saturday. The weekend. I should be able to sleep in. 'You have slept in.' Sigh- He's right. Normally I get up at 4:30, or try to anyway. It was 6:30 now. I still didn't want to get up though so I ignored the nudging and rolled even further into my blankets.
'Weren't you going to honor the Alcis this morning?' Shit. Sigh. 'I'll do it tomorrow.' I had a moment's respite then, 'Tomorrow needs to be for her. You should do this today.' Errr- I'm truly grumbling now. I really just wanted to sleep. 'Why are you pushing me?' I ask. 'I thought they annoyed you?' A wry grin comes at me, 'They do. But they have been kind and helpful to you. You adore them. You should maintain and cultivate the relationship.'
Clearly I'm not going to sleep anymore anyway so I get up. It is still pitch black outside so I sit and meditate for a time. I have a sense for honoring the Alcis at dawn. There is no rule that says I have to and I haven't always. But I sure like to. It just feels right. So I wile the time away; I get my devotional poetry, set aside the wine and eggs. I collect the candle and the blot bowl and I wait.
I'm in the Pacific Northwest and as is typical of this time of year the early morning sky is charcoal grey. Without an electronic gizmo of some sort it can be difficult to determine the actual time of dawn and I don't want to fire up the computer so I just wait until I sense it is time.
I go out to the little mini grove of pear trees. I give respect and lean down within the space and clear some foliage clutter. It has been windy, I reposition the horse and untangle some of the ribbons from the tree limbs. I then quickly step back. Over time the Alcis have firmly but gently set limits on me. Initially I was allowed to clamber all over Them and their grove. But now I am to behave with more decorum, more respect. I am not their priest. I am the only one here and as such can clean their space but I am to no longer tarry within. It is similar to how one would allow a three year old some liberties but as the child ages they are taught manners.
So I stand outside the grove for a moment. I've placed the blot bowl, the eggs, candle, and wine. I light the candle and just stop a moment. This morning feels like kneeling. Sometimes I stand, sometimes I sit, sometimes I kneel. Kneeling is called for this morning.
I kneel and read my devotion. The sky is still grey, as I read the wind slowly picks up from the east which I am facing. I pour the wine, crack the eggs, and finish my devotion. As I complete the last hail I look up, the skyline has suddenly become belted with the pinks, blues, and purples of dawn.
The wind has risen more; it is now enough that the bamboo wind chimes are vigorously clinking musically. I quiet my mind and hear Their voices through the sound.
'We're glad you are here.'
'Thank you for cleaning the space.'
Teasing, laughing- one has to remember They are youthful Gods.
As usual, they rarely come without rendering some assistance. The past few days have been emotionally rougher than some others.
Another tease and joke about a personal matter. I blush, duck my head, and then one leans down more seriously, 'We watch you. You have it going on!' [huh?] and then a short pause with a more direct look, 'Never give up.'
I realize it is time. I thank them and rise. It is wet out- typical of my region. The frost giants have scattered their remnants of a glittery dew. It is safe to leave the candle for now in the dim dawn's belt. I do so, I can see it from my window flickering in the waning murk providing me a bit more of a connection to Them.
I adore the Alcis.
Alcis, we hail you!
Great are your blessings, graces from Twins side by side.
The dokana is your symbol, a doorway, an entrance and an exit, life and death, beginning and ending. Duality is yours in the hidden grove where priests dressed as women hold up the sacrificed hart and dance to your name.
You box and run, cherished are your athletes.
You ride and hunt, cherished are your horsemen.
You heal and nurture, cherished are your faithful.
Vanir Gods, youthful Gods. You gently lead with your ancient wisdom and for this we honor Thee!
Hail to your cycle, your Jera, your reminder of summer and winter.
The call of the bull elk sounds, we enter Frost-time, be our pillars of support. Let us feel your blessings of the season, let us huddle in your comfort, the knowing of your divine presence.
At Dellingr’s door I lie before you the mead, the egg, the blood of the bull, the harvest of the fields. Accept my offering, my devotion.
I stood before my first altar. I had lit the candle, had some charcoal going and had applied the incense. I was nervous. Coming from a xian background I didn’t know how to do this, how to honor this deity before me. I didn’t even know Him as Loki then but felt I should worship Him. I was nearly shaking.
As I was wondering if I should get down on my knees He said, ‘You don’t have to do this.’ I looked over at Him, He looked uncomfortable and was blushing. He was embarrassed.
That was several years ago. Worship could be a good word but for those of us raised in xian cultures it contains meanings Loki doesn’t value. Loki isn’t an authoritarian God who wants those who follow Him to necessarily kneel and grovel. Loki wants to be honored by our sharing of our lives with Him.
I'm not going to speak of group practice here. There are traditions for such- just look up blot or sumbel. You can blot or toast any God, there is variation to be had within those rituals. Here I'm writing about one's private and personal methods of devotion.
Many people seek out traditions of honoring Loki, they lament not having a formal script. If one looks to the lore there aren’t any to be found. There are a few in folklore such as the tradition of tossing a bit of porridge into the morning fire for Him. This is a sharing of the breakfast meal and points toward Loki being such a God of home and hearth that sharing our daily lives is an appropriate offering to Him. He had no Hofs because the home was His altar. It is at my home. I do have an altar for Him, but truly He isn’t limited to that space nor can I only offer to Him or go to Him there.
Often there is concern over making sure what is offered is something He will like. Common information out there on the interweb points to exotic and spicy foods, funky candies, pops, and high caffeine drinks. Yes, He will accept those. But I will always remember that the first meal He ever actually asked me to make was one of simple meat and potato fare. Pot roast and fingerlings- He drooled for days over this meal. Also, the only times He has ever asked to share in the tasting has been for meat. So don’t forget He appreciates these simple items also. If anything, He misses them as so often He is only given sweets and the more exotic foods.
Hearts are a theme many arrive at concerning Loki. One is certainly free to wear a heart pendant or make a heart symbolizing your connection with Loki. This theme, however, has some very personal and intimate connotations. If you are of a mind I suggest waiting, not forcing this one. Don’t just see some idea or run out and buy a necklace or do some heart themed craft. Just honor Loki, love Him, meditate routinely on opening your heart to Him and one day He will give you a heart. It will be internal and intimate and may come with a material heart or the inspiration to create a heart. That will be the true gift and will be well worth waiting for.
There are those out there online who proffer up ‘traditions’ or rituals for honoring Loki. If one strikes an internal chord than feel free. I balk at most of them however. I'm a bit animist in my practice and if I need complicated instructions than I feel stilted, I don't feel free to love and honor Him being too bound up in a procedure. So let your inspiration soar!
Loki truly cherishes the individual, the unique in all of us. If He wanted His followers to all be doing similar things there would be a formal tradition to be found out there. There will always be some similarities such as the heart theme- but remember, this arose from private gnosis. Don’t be afraid of following your own inspiration. If you read something that tells you one must do certain things in certain ways then look askance at the author. There is no one way of honoring Loki, no one way to show devotion. There is no Loki ‘guru’ out there. Part of being a follower of Loki, part of honoring Him, is shedding your insecurities and striking out your own path, your own ways, following your own inspiration in what and how to honor Him.
One idea was recently mentioned to me that I very much like. It is the making of a book, a private devotional instead of a more formal altar. What an amazing idea. One can buy a journal or even make your own book. The pages can be filled with poetry, prose, thoughts, gnosis, and items one finds that meant something at the time. This truly would be a living breathing altar that varies with the ebb and flow of one’s devotional practice. An amazing idea and one that can illuminate the individuality and creativity of the adherent.
There is another person making altar lockets. Such things can be intensely personal, a true gift between you and your God. There are no set instructions for these items. No complicated procedures. That isn't Loki. These two mentioned are just things you can allow your creativity to flower on and enjoy that connection with Lopt's creative aspects.
For me, honoring Loki is a moment by moment passion. My every breath is a song to Him. Every bath, every bit of personal hygiene honors my body and therefore Him. Every household chore is an offering of effort and respect to Him as my home is His. Every meal I share with Him, even if done quietly at work where I set a bit aside and whisper, ‘This is for you Loki,’ is a way of honoring Him.
This also applies to the public face one presents of Loki. Here the curmudgeon will come out a bit but you’ll have to understand, I have the greatest of respect and passion for my Gods. People today have a false sense of privacy with internet lists, message boards, forums, and groups. What one writes is there forever. Loki can bring out the fool in us and unfortunately that is often how people can appear. The titillating stories, His penis jokes, discussing sex with altar objects, the awkward tales, the flyting of others ‘in His name’- I’m not sure those posts always show respect for a God. People say they just need to let their hair down but remember, the internet isn’t a private forum. What is written reflects on Loki and His followers. Many Lokeans wonder why they aren’t accepted by other heathens or asatruar… well just look at what is often written!
Besides, many of those stories are best whispered drunkenly around a fire with a few select friends; that is how I see Loki preferring those tales be shared. Not in some shallow, anonymous internet forum. Basically, if it is something you wouldn’t say about a family member or about Thor then don’t say it. Not in public anyway. Show respect for the God you say you hold in such esteem. Others will respect you and He more for the doing.
Many people find offering Loki in a loud, vibrant, funky spirit works well. I applaud those who can do so. The Loki I know isn’t this way. He is funny at times but in general is more serious. He doesn’t dress in loud, wild, or flashy clothes. He’s more a jeans and leather jacket type. I don’t even see Him as a red head! I don’t know if He came to me this way because I had no preconceptions about Him that needed to be catered to or if He felt I wouldn’t respond to His wilder aspect. I don’t know but I’m happy with the Loki I have.
One day I did try to cater to His more funky side. I needed a bedside lamp and found something I thought would satisfy that zany sense of humor of His others mention. I showed it to some friends, all agreed that yes, Loki would like it!! So I ordered the lamp and waited. I didn’t tell Loki, I wanted it to be a surprise.
So the day came when the box arrived. I waited till the right moment and called out to Loki, ‘I have something for you!’ He eagerly came into the bedroom, always curious is Loki. I opened the box and proudly pulled out the lamp. It swung back and forth on its spring in a glorious riot of color.
Loki looked at it, looked at me, and flatly said, ‘It’s a lamp.’ I deflated but kept optimistically trying, ‘Yes. It’s fuzzy and it wiggles!’ He looked at me with a slightly knowing grin, tapped my arm and said, ‘You’ve already given me something that’s fuzzy and wiggles. ‘ I blushed but was doggedly determined, ‘But this lights up!’
‘So do you dear, so do you.’
I’ve never told anyone about my failure at catering to Loki’s more funky side. But when we sweep away the sexual innuendo of the story, when we look at the message He was actually telling me, we realize what the Sly One was saying is that the offerings, the toys, the games- they aren’t what is important. I have given Him myself, that is what holds value to Him. That is all He asks. Any trinket, drink, offering we provide to Him is only symbolic of our devotion, our giving of self whether that be for a few moments or for a lifetime.
So cherish NOT having a set tradition. You are free to follow your hearts inclination in your private practice of honoring Loki. This is one of His greatest lessons for us, the lesson of learning to follow our own path, to cherish our own uniqueness. He will share that with us, we just have to dare.
For those interested I recommend the following blogs. These blogs are about the day to day thoughts and challenges of devotion. They aren’t all about Loki but these blogs are all from long term devotees who have spent years honing their private and public practice. Much on devotion to a God can be found in these blogs without extraneous ‘do this’ and ‘do that’s’. They speak of what they do, it is up to the reader to use as wished.
Elizabeth Vongvisith's Twilight and Fire
Sannion's House of Vines
- look for his 99 Adorations post.
Galina Krasskova's Gangleri's Grove
Sarah Lawless' A Witch of Forest Grove
- a more animist, trad craft approachKenaz Filan
- caters to a bit of a wilder side
Anya Kless' Fruit of Pain
- she recently moved her blog and the new site doesn't have much as of this date but give it time.Breiðablik Temple
I also have my own post ‘The Pearl
.’ I mention it because it touches on the sheer difficulty of living within the halls of devotion. There are no frilly toys, gadgets, or crafts in that place.
Of course there will be those affronted by this post. Any who are upset fail to realize, haven't yet learned, that personal devotion to a God is always a product of that individual human/God relationship. It can never be emulated nor copied nor ever should be. Go ahead and share, use those fundamentals as springboards, but also strive to grow one's own practice. It will mean ever so much more.