There is a fair amount of chatter lately among some members of the mainstream heathen community over whether or not Loki should be hailed in group settings. Those who feel He shouldn’t claim it either invokes strife or has deleterious effects to their wyrd. Those who feel he should state He is part of the pantheon, they claim it is their right to honor one of the Ase’s, and their personal toast should have no effect on others.
It is a persistent impasse. Two camps that can’t see eye to eye. Naturally, I have to side with toasting Loki. I don’t worry about who anyone toasts, toast Beezelbub for all I care. I have enough faith in my own Gods to know someone else’s toast won’t affect me. I also believe in tolerance, most people I know in any kind of marginalized minority believe in this; people have the right to honor and toast who they wish.
Naturally this conversation doesn’t include private gatherings and I don't claim any rights in a person's private home, the conversation centers around an organization’s public gathering. The organization in question welcome’s devotees of Loki’s but won’t allow them to toast him at their own public gathering. Almost by definition this creates a division, a class separation of ingard and utgard. It is a shunning of one of the Gods and a muzzling of those who honor Him. They call it maintaining frith but it is only frithful for those who don't care or don't want Loki toasted.
What many don’t realize is the pain this causes those who love Loki. Just once, I would like a detractor to be honest. I would love to hear them not complain of their own issues or fears surrounding Loki but to say out loud, ‘Yes, your God is utgard to me.’ It would be honest and something I would be better able to respect.
I would hope though that they would understand the sorrow this brings, the sadness. It isn’t at anyone in general- not even at the most staunch and outspoken of the anti-Loki camp. It is a soft pervasive sorrow that doesn’t recede even when He Himself so gently whispers, “It’s ok. I don’t care.” Reality is, in my gnosis, He doesn’t care. It is the people who care.
It doesn’t matter that I can toast any of my other Gods at said public event. I ask, how can I be expected to turn my back on a God who has been so kind to me, a God I so dearly love? How can I be asked this?
I was thinking about this one morning during my commute to work and came upon the flower pictured. It was growing right out of the concrete, a thing of beauty persisting and blooming despite having a bed of grit and pain. I realized this flower is me, it is the community of those who love or respect Loki. It is a joy to behold.
You see, someone recently wrote on a list that it is the shunning of Loki that gives Him power. No. It doesn’t. What it does do is bring together those who love Him, those who won’t shun Him. It is that bond of shared sorrow, that pain in being named utgard that brings devotees of Loki together. It is that which forces His to make their own ingard, to form their own community and it is community that gives power and strength.
To those who are upset, to those who feel pained and hurt, look to the joy that is springing forth. Devotees of Loki are slowly but surely connecting and banding together. Friendships are being formed, alliances and groups made. This would never had happened without the intolerance of those who hold fear, hate, or just uncaring apathy, in their hearts.
We also have to look to the bright moments. In the midst of this debate I received an email from a woman falling in love with the Gods. It is Loki who contacted her, she has now an active devotion to Sigyn and Her sons. The beauty of her words and love lend hope, they make me realize that no matter what some may say, Loki is actively working to put love and faith on the table. He brings people into a spiritual practice, a love for the Gods. Doesn’t matter if they call it heathenry, paganism, or whatever else they choose to call it. These people, like this woman, are hearing the call. They are returning love for love, they are learning about the Gods and slowly expanding their practice.
This, this is what is important. Not, as Loki calls it, a “petty argument.” Let other’s hold their fear, it isn’t for a devotee of Loki’s to hold. Those who love Loki will honor Him. We will be persistent in our sorrow and with Loki’s help, transmute that pain into joy.
The hunter whistled as he walked through the forest. He was in a land far from home and in the morning would be heading back to his own hunting grounds where he had grown up. For now though, he was enjoying this different land with exotic animals, plants, and trees. He had found one wood that was remarkable and had made a new bow and several arrows and was eager to test them for the first time. He was an expert hunter and had an arrow half strung, his fingers itching to let fly at game for the first time.
As he walked he was unaware of a man in the shadows. The Trickster watched the hunter as he leaned back against a tree, the ever-present piece of grass in his mouth. He tested the winds, and adjusted his hat. He thought for a moment and knew that the time had come, it was time for a little thing. At that moment, the hunter spotted a rotten but upright tree. He was feeling well and young and strong and strung an arrow, pulling it taut to gauge the feel and aim. The Trickster grinned and with a twinkle in his eyes he blew the smallest puff of air at the hunter. The puff dislodged a drop of sweat into the hunter’s eye and the arrow slipped from his grasp.
The hunter stood there in shock a moment. He was an expert. He had never let an arrow loose without meaning. He looked at where it had gone, it was buried into the rotten tree. He sighed a breath of relief that at least it wasn’t lost and went to retrieve the arrow.
When he went to pull it loose he saw that it had entered a burrow that had the entrance on the other side. The arrow had killed a strange little animal, a mother squirrel, her nine little kits huddled next to her dead body in fear. The hunter felt shame. He only killed for food and never killed a mother animal with young. He had never loosed an arrow accidentally and this with the death gave him the greatest of sorrow.
So he did what he felt he had to do. He had taken a mother’s life without the proper care and in return he would raise her kits. He reached in gently and pulled out the kits and their bedding, putting everything into his bag. He sighed, he’d have to truly test his new bow later. As he turned and left the forest with his bundle of squirrel young the Trickster grinned and let out a soft sigh and a chuckle. Things were now on the path of as they should be.
He cared for those squirrels carefully all the long journey home. When he came to his land, the land given him by his father and given from his father’s father’s before them, he stopped at a tree just outside the house. It had a crevice between two branches that fit the nest perfectly.
Time went by. He raised up the squirrel kits in this land foreign to them. No squirrels had been there before. They grew to adolescence and became rambunctious. They still weren’t ready to be on their own though and often he would have to chase them down to bring them back to safety for the night. One lovely evening one of the kits ran further than usual. The kit ran to the river down the gully and cheekily hid in a basket. The hunter, while pulling the kit out, was surprised to find a woman coming up the trail. She had been picking berries by the river and was shocked to see a strange man with a strange animal in her basket. However, he was handsome and had a kind smile and she was lovely with sparkling eyes and that little meeting ended up in a wedding full of love and light.
Later that year the squirrels had grown and moved on into the greater forest. What the hunter hadn’t noticed were several seeds buried in the nest. After the squirrels left the hunter took the nest and tossed it aside in a field.
Years passed and the squirrels multiplied and became ready food for the locals. The seeds grew into trees, trees new to this area of the world. The hunter, now old but with several strong, healthy sons found the trees to have a wonderful wood that were perfect for making boats and other things. He decided to cultivate the trees and when he died his sons continued the tree farm.
The sons became wealthy. They had inherited the kindness and compassion of their father and were always kind to their servants and neighbors. They and their own son’s and their son’s son’s spread out through wealth and travel becoming wise leaders everywhere they went. The family became a legacy of wisdom and peace and all the while the Trickster grinned.
When you follow the path of ‘should be’ you will find that often it is the little things that are of the greatest import.
first breath of dawn’s gold glow.
You are my prayer.