This is a month of Loki so I ask you, what are you going to do? For many, it seems, this is a month of writing and reading blogs. That’s great and fine and dandy and all, but that is a passive form of devotion akin to researching genealogy and calling it ancestor veneration. In celebration of this month, I'm writing this one post on Loki. It’s really a challenge.
See, I’m challenging you to actually *do* something in devotion to Loki. There are a multitude of things that can be done. At its simplest, take the time you would be reading blogs and instead of sitting on your tush in front of a computer, go spend that time in prayer to him or in meditation on his aspects.
There are plenty of other ideas. Anyone who works with Loki knows his fondness for children. Sign up and commit
to a Big Brother/Big Sister program. Check out the Shriners hospitals. They are the 9th most popular ranked non-profit/charity and focus only on kids. Work a few extra hours and donate the funds to them here: Shriners
A slightly different kiddo angle; Loki is acutely aware of the issues of childless children. If one thinks of his story, his surviving child was effectively left alone with his binding and Sigyn’s vigil. Find a good orphanage you admire and donate. If you don't know of one; I do. I adopted through this agency and have been to the orphanage in Ethiopia. Every darn dime goes to the kids, they have amazing service and they do a phenomenal job: AAI.
Every good deity is an environmentalist. Go out and spend this month of Loki cleaning up your surrounding neighborhood. Choose a street side, a trail, or a section of stream or shoreline and just pick up trash. It isn't hard. Some people prefer to donate to an environmental cause- that’s great also!!
Another option is to contact your local community college and find out about people in transition programs. Loki is a good of dramatic change which, though rough, ultimately ends up for the best. See what you can do, how you can help volunteer, and help local folk take a step up to a better life. Put yourself out there!
Just want to do some personal work this month? That’s great also but make it active, not passive like reading blogs. Make a creative journal and blog privately just for yourself. Let Loki not only raise you up spiritually, but let him inspire you. Use colors, embed found objects, and cloths, ribbons, make pop-up cutouts; you're getting the idea! Pick topics like life goals, what you *really* want in a mate, the ideal job, your weaknesses, your strengths, the beauty inside you and the shadows you need to bind. This along with prayer and meditation can become a life changing tool.
This month of Loki is YOUR month. Make it count, make it something. DO – don’t just read! It's one monthOtherwise you may as well be talking to rocks.
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.
first breath of dawn’s gold glow.
You are my prayer.
I read Elizabeth V's post on Fear and was going to just reply there. But then I realized I was going to start sounding pedantic, going off on my own tangent about fear. So I opted to post here instead.
See, fear is a hard item to deal with. Some fears are justified but many others, when we look at them, are irrational. Loki told me long ago to look at innocence. Not the 'I'm not guilty' innocence, but a childlike innocence. I'm supposed to write on the topic, I've put it off for fear of neglecting other duties, for fear of digging too deep within myself and gaining understanding of what blocks me from my own joys, I've put it off for fear of knowing and needing change.
Children, raised in good homes, tend to not have the deep fears us adults can grow and cultivate. 'It's an aquired taste' as quoted from the Silence of the Lambs- that's how I feel many of us deal with our fears. We continue to aquire these tastes because darn it, fear is comfortable! We grow into adulthood and begin collecting our 'grown-up' fears like hoarders. They fence us in, make us feel safe and warm in our own little box which we then call our ingard.
It's the not being afraid that is so very difficult. It's the setting it aside and getting used to living with an adult's version of childlike abandon that is so hard. The speaking out without malice as we once did; the acceptance of the new as only children can. We grow up, shed our childlike ways and in the doing so incorporate fear into our lives. We've forgotten how to look at the world through meaningful innocence- the sort that whispers to us, 'I can do this. Let's try something new. Let's be open and honest and kind and fun-loving. Let's dance in the sunlight in the park- twirl around and who cares what others think!'
E is right. Fear is a mind-killer. Maybe a dose of meaningful innocence is the salve. Her post is here:http://twilightandfire.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/pagan-blog-project-fear/
Many think spirit-work to be glamorous. It isn’t. It’s work. It’s grief, sweat, and tears. Joys do come but they come at a price. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night and write. This one I give to you- raw and unedited from my own failing seethe.
They are Ever.
I need you to know before you read this that I can love. Don’t think I’m writing that I can’t. I know how to love. My love is like the flutter of dove wings held to breast, like the thunderous roar of a lion, or the softest footsteps of a mouse. I was once told that I am too small for my love.
I can love.
But, haven’t you ever thought that we humans can only go so far? I mean no matter how much work we do, time we spend, sweat and tears we pour, that we can only go so far? Our human forms fail us, our meat brains just can’t transcribe that which is just beyond.
Haven’t you ever stood before Him in all glory and felt that boundary as though a glass wall? We can love and merge and join and open but there comes a point when we have to secede. Then, we are forced to just yearn knowing that there is more, there is always closer
; it is just right there, so close and ever so far.
See, there is a special kind of haunting. It’s the haunting of the almost is. That almost is, that almost
reaching the deity just beyond the glass, that glass we are eternally running to.
And running from.
The almost is haunts.
And that’s when our hearts cry out in the night, that’s when we ram our fists into our pillows, that’s when we grieve.
For it is then we face our own mortality. They are Ever, we are but the Now.Picture from Lenscratch.
As one can't have what the other doesn't:
I adore you breaker of worlds
I adore you brother of Oðin
I adore you son of Laufey
I adore you son of Cruel-Striker
I adore you who leads Hel’s troops
I adore you of the slippery tongue
I adore you eater of the burnt heart
I adore you conniver with Father of the Slain
I adore you friend of Thor
I adore you kidnapper of Idunn
I adore you Idunn’s hero
I adore you mother to the eight legged steed
I adore you who breeds troll wives
I adore you Skadhi’s laughter
I adore you who plays tug-o-war with she-goats
I adore you Skadhi’s vengeance
I adore you of the mischievous eyes
I adore you slayer of the Holy God
I adore you slayed by the Holy God
I adore you rider of the corpse ship
I adore you thief of thieves
I adore you who whispers gently in the night
I adore you of the mirror’s shadow
I adore you bound to three rocks
I adore you husband to gentle Sigyn
I adore you husband to ferocious Angrboda
I adore you sire of the black Fen-wolf
I adore you sire of the World’s Embracer
I adore you sire of Death
I adore you who reveals the truth
I adore you of impetuous temper
I adore you Thor’s bridal hand-maiden
I adore you Heimdallr’s companion
I adore you abandoner of Glut
I adore you God of the seething liminality
I adore you clever trickster
I adore you brother of Thekkr
I adore you who bears the burden’s of the Gods
I adore you stirrer of earthquakes
I adore you burnt by serpent’s venom
I adore you Sigyn’s challenge
I adore you who bites as the flea
I adore you conniver of Brisingamen
I adore you God of the life-giving hearth fire
I adore you of the heat shimmered air
I adore you who glows bright in the night
I adore you who wouldn’t weep
I adore you Geirröd’s tease
I adore you starved by Geirröd
I adore you Sif’s secret
I adore you wise minded
I adore you who taught men to fish
I adore you hero to peasants
I adore you embarasser of the As
I adore you staunch friend of Hoernir
I adore you borrower of Freya’s cloak
I adore you of the scarred lips
I adore you who stole your own head from Brokkr
I adore you who gifted Gangleri with Gugnir
I adore you who gifted Freyr with Skidbladnir and the boar
I adore you who gifted Sif with treasures of harvest gold
I adore you who brought Mjollner
I adore you who brought the golden troth
I adore you of the light-ship shoes
I adore you who detests Vartari
I adore you deceived by Thor
I adore you bringer of light
I adore you forcer of truth
I adore you who slay otters
I adore you who warns of greed
I adore you sire of the murdered
I adore you bound of your own blood borne
I adore you sire of the mad-driven babe
I adore you betrayed by oath-kin
I adore you whose children were torn from your embrace
I adore you of the tear strewn wife
I adore you Svadilfar’s frantic dream
I adore you Bekri’s bane
I adore you fair and beautiful one
I adore you God of the sleight
I adore you of the crafty council
I adore you first father of falsehood
I adore you loving Trickster
I adore you mischief-monger
I adore you He who laughs
I adore you who teaches forgiveness
I adore you who teaches revenge
I adore you who was first betrayed
I adore you boder of Ragnarök’s tide
I adore you Freya’s nibbler
I adore you glint-eyed flyter
I adore you sire of the impaled howler
I adore you who brings new ways
I adore you in the shadow’s light
I adore you matched of the Bifrost Guardian’s battle power
I adore you God who will cry
I adore you of the new cult
I adore you who won’t be ignored
I adore you gentle lover
Don't forget to check Heimdallr's Adorations also posted two days ago.
For more Adorations, check the House of Vines
People often ask 'why Loki?' I read this quote and had to share. This is truly the core of what Loki means to many who honor Him.
Although it is embarrassing and painful, it is very healing to stop hiding from yourself. It is healing to know all the ways that you’re sneaky, all the ways that you hide out, all the ways that you shut down, deny, close off, criticize people, all your weird little ways. You can know all of that with some sense of humor and kindness. By knowing yourself, you’re coming to know humanness altogether. We are all up against these things.
- Pema Chodron
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.
Do you want to be my wife?
The question confused me. ‘What?’ I was annoyed, irritated, a little frightened by this question. I was His wife, had been for quite a while. I looked at him, ‘What do you mean? I am your wife,’ as I’m shaking my head in confusion, brow furrowed.
He looks at me intently. ‘Yes, you are. But do you want to be?’
Oh. I didn’t like this question at all. I’d not been given this option before, I’d not been asked. Within two months of truly meeting Loki (I had known Him in childhood and young adulthood but hadn’t realized the Him of Him then) we had gone through the ritual that wound this lifetimes wyrd of mine with Him, that rewound the eternal wyrd. I hadn’t even known the name He typically goes by at that time, I had had no knowledge of lore or heathenry or the Northern Gods when He came to collect and had misheard His name. The name didn’t matter- I knew Him. I had known He was deity, had known I was His and I loved Him. That had been enough.
But I hadn’t been asked. I was just told it was going to happen. Oh I had drug my feet, ‘I’m not saying no, I just want to defer. Let’s just wait a while.’ No- it was important to Loki that it happen then, He was adamant. Over a year later He told me that I had already been His wife, had for quite a while, several lifetimes. I just had needed to remember that here on Midgard in this life. But at that time I hadn’t known, all I had known was that I was inexorably, continually drawn into His world, drawn towards this event which frightened me, which angered my pride which insists on choice, yet which admittedly excited me just a bit.
Then the time came and I was sequestered in the hut, prepared with the herbal drink which initially they had to force down my stubborn throat but ultimately I drank by the bottle. Lotions were applied, my hair braided, and I was led to the ceremony, the ritual. I was thrown upon the stone and consumed by He who would have me, witnessed by a crowd of Jotnar, Vanir, Aesir, and I know not who else.
When done He stood and snarled at me- I knew even then it was a ritualistic line just as in human weddings when the priest asks if anyone objects but no one ever expects an objection- He snarled something like, ‘Follow me, find me if you wish. Or walk the other way never to return.’ As He stalked away He snarled at the crowd, ‘No one touch her.’
There was no option here, no thought of trying to take my broken body the other way. I fell/slid off the altar, managed to pick myself up and staggered down the wide corridor lined with the Jotnar clans. It was a difficult journey on broken body and near damaged mind but then I heard to my right, ‘I can’t watch this anymore’ and a gentle hand lifted me and did something, I don’t know what, but something that enabled me to walk better. I looked, Heimdallr, He had always been kind and was not under the rule of Loki as the Jotnar were.
I made it to the place Loki was at, the hut built for His use during this Gathering. As I approached He held out His hand. I took it thankful for making it to Him with a depth of feeling I’ll never recreate. He guided me over the threshold and that was the first time He healed me, put me back together with velvet and light and softness and bells. Over that threshold and into His wyrd ne’er to leave again in this life, nor the last, nor the next.
No, not the typical wedding that we would expect. Entirely in vision- they even have a different word for it- named after the altar on which most of the ritual takes place. But the Gods will make what they wish happen no matter one’s circumstance.
But that day. ‘Do you want to be my wife?’
Crap. It had been a rough several months. He had seen it coming, He always does knowing me better than I know myself. I was going into a crisis. Not a crisis of faith, but a crisis of trust. Trust in Him, in my relationship with Him, in myself. In what the fuck was I doing with all of this? There was the night I almost quit. I had stripped myself of every damned token I wore, I had removed the cord, and had grabbed the braid. I almost took that out- the braid so very important to Loki that He has come snarling, demanding, insisting it be put back in even if out for only a few moments beyond the occasional unbraiding to wash my hair. At that I had hesitated. Reluctantly with a hollow in my gut I had left it in but refused to take back up the other items till later.
About six weeks before He had come to me at work, suddenly in my office as He does. He had been so serious lately and that day was no different. Stood and stared at me a time, then said, ‘We need some time.’ He didn’t need to say more, I knew He wanted three days, three days away from home, remote. I looked at the calendar at a particular date, He shrugged, ‘If you want to wait that long.’ I adjusted a few weeks earlier. He nodded and left while I filled out my vacation request.
A few days before He told me I was only to take a candle. Oh, I let that process a bit and the next day asked if I could take at least a pad of paper and tea. He looked at me briefly. ‘Ok. Three days isn’t long enough to clear the caffeine and get done what we need to anyway.’
So there I was. Even the journey was a trip out of mundane life. He convinced me to stop at a Celtic event on the way. I wandered around for a while. I used to do SCA events so it wasn’t that far out of my scope but it did provide a sense of separation from typical reality to the isolation I was going into. Then the symbolism of the ferry ride, crossing water to get to the sparsely populated, tiny island. The short drive through the woods to the cabin I had rented. A small cabin without TV or telephone bordering the edge of the wetlands that border the edge of the sea.
I had settled in, unpacked the candles, the two changes of clothes. Put the drinking water in the empty fridge and had wandered around checking out the surroundings. Loki had been around all day. Far more than He had over the last several months. Had I not been so depressed, so on the edge I would have been joyous. But I hadn’t been joyous. I was tired. Sick. Sick of it all. And then He asked me, ‘Do you want to be my wife?’
The question unbalanced me. I was His, no doubt in my mind. But did I want to be? At that moment I had no idea. I couldn’t even think about it. I turned from Him, walked away, walked outside and sat on the cool grass and watched the wetland birds. He followed me out, quiet for a while. Then He said something, I don’t even remember what, a nothing. But it was just sweet enough that I laughed. He looked at me, ‘That’s the first time you’ve laughed for a while.’ It was. He ultimately led me to the bed – I asked if we should talk, ‘No, net yet’ and then I spiraled into love and sleep in His arms.
The months/years before had been rough. First Heimdallr. ‘You need to do this for me,’ Loki had said. ‘But I only want to be yours.’ ‘You need to do this.’ Loki will often negotiate. But not on this.
Then I was handed over again, this time by both Loki and Heimdallr. Now, in a sense, it was like being in the military. You may have a spouse but Uncle Sam is the boss. You jump here, jump there. You get to see your spouse when Uncle Sam gives you leave and as we all know those times of leave can be rare. I had been essentially blinded to all but the Goddess working with me. I’d been told I was thriving, doing well, exceeding expectations but it had come at a price. Disbelief, waning trust, dwindling sense of self and place.
I didn’t believe I was doing well, I thought I was failing. Felt as though I was being punished. I hated Her and loved Her at the same time. She was and is amazing, but only through making Her happy did I see Loki or Heimdallr. They had both put me there but my anger couldn’t be with Them, only with Her. Not as attached to Heimdallr I primarily felt betrayed by Loki. And so into this confused, chaotic mess of emotions I had gone. Prior to leaving for the island it was She who had said to me very seriously, ‘You don’t trust Him. You and Loki need to talk.’
‘Do you want to be my wife?’
The second day of my solitude was hard. He didn’t ask again but how can one forget a question like that? There is a line between service from joy and service from duty. I had clearly stepped onto the last platform and had been there long enough I had forgotten the joy. I wasn’t finding it there, not yet. I spent hours in silence, staring at the wetlands watching the birds. Drank cup after cup of tea and water. Wandered the yard. Managed my way through devotions as they wanted them- I only offered to the ancestors, Loki, and Angrboda while there.
I’d been allowed to take my basic items but no offerings. Looking back that did provide some small joy- wandering through the grasslands along the edge of the marsh, wandering the old neglected orchard and gardens. Finding offerings- the odd fruit, the interesting leaf textures, the flowers. Making loose bouquets arranged by nature and only carried into the house by me.
That day Loki was in and out of my awareness. He was always around, sometimes sitting on the couch, sometimes just around the corner. ‘Should we talk?’ I had asked. ‘No, it isn’t time yet.’ We talked of other things, we laughed a bit, enjoyed just being. But not the issue, we didn’t broach that.
I arranged and rearranged the runes. The patterns, the correlations rode through my brain exerting subtle influences. I put them all into a beautiful wooden bowl I found there and drew out one asking which I should meditate on. Berkana. In many ways THE rune of healing for me. The rune that I associate with Sigyn. I did meditate and Sigyn came, soft and forceful in a way only this gracious wife of Loki’s seems to be able to pull off.
I followed Her beckon and found myself in Her garden. She put me to work collecting those blue flowers and I should have known. But I didn’t with my mind unused to continual silence and hunger and I stepped up to the viney bush and began picking. The petals clung to my arm, sinking in as they do. I gasped, ‘Sigyn!’ ‘You probably need more,’ She said, instructing me to keep picking. I complied, She always has meant well.
Those petals pulled me deeper into trance and there I found some of my confusion. I had often commented I felt broken, damaged. My sadness, I had felt as though I was failing and She looked at me with compassion and I saw myself through Her eyes. An image similar to a kid with cerebral palsy, grinning and hobbling along as fast as they can go with the leg and arm braces, too young to know how different, how truly crippled they are.
I burst out crying, ‘How? Why? If I’m that broken... I don’t understand?’ I couldn’t even think a full thought and She said to me with such kindness, ‘But you always overcome. You are beautiful. Loki is doing His best to put things right but He can’t do it alone. You have to be patient with Him.’ I cried, I realized we are all damaged before the Gods. That is part of their work, to help pick up the pieces, to help us pick up the pieces and make us whole again.
Later Angrboda checked in briefly, grinning Her grin and then She left. A Jotnar I know well came, ‘Why are you here?’ I had asked. ‘I told you I have your back. I do. Just checking on you.’ He stayed, chatted a while with me and then Loki and then he left. The house was rocked back into silence except for the buzz of hummingbirds. That night, again, I asked Loki if we should talk. ‘Not yet.’
Early in the morning, as the sun was barely tinting the horizon with that touch of grey in the dark, I looked over and Loki said, ‘We can talk now.’ He told me of things long past and things present. He told me of betrayal and forgiveness. He told me of trust, of an oath created between foes over a careless mistake. ‘Aw shit,’ Heimdallr had said when He saw. The clamping of the hands together, the sparkling glow that radiates out with their spoken bond.
You see Midgard, Earth, it is a place of healing. Many people get into debates over reincarnation, transcendence of the soul. They strive to go to what they feel is ‘up’- a higher level of existence. It isn’t higher, only different. Midgard is special though, and sometimes healing can occur here in that soft amnesiac wash that doesn’t occur anywhere else.
‘I don’t know what to do with that,’ I said. The story really meant nothing to me. The talk I had been told I needed was anti-climactic. I shook my head, rolled over, and went back to sleep. I was too hungry to really care about a story with which I couldn’t really relate.
The next day I got up and wandered the wetlands for a while. My stomach cramping, I noticed the birdsong, the sound of the rustling reeds, the shifting of the waters as nutria swam about eating the cattail stalks. The grasses, the light- it was vivid. I kept looking for the nøkks I had seen on one of my wanders the evening before but I didn’t seem them.
When the time came I entered the small house and began my devotions. When done I rested a time and then began the binding ritual Loki had asked of me the night before. I bound ankles, thighs, hips, chest, and finally wrists lying on the floor. I closed my eyes and cleared my mind. This time, instead of somehow using pain to shake up my peace and love as He has before, He used peace and love to shake up my pain. He took me to a beach, we climbed the driftwood and He spoke to me of love as vast as the ocean. He told me again and again, patiently letting the notion drift deeply into my soul. I don’t need to write of the rest of this vision. It was full of light and love, driftwood and sand, the sea, the sky and His beautiful blue eyes. Then, suddenly as is His way, it was done. ‘Enough. Get up.’
That evening I arranged the bones and caught the runes- Gebo, Othila, Wunjo. It was time. Adorned in only wyrdic cord and braid I sprinkled the water blessed and bathed in mugwort’s airs. I counted my beads with prayers, cleansed body, mind, and soul and then I gave of Him that pearl.
“Yes. I do.”
The next morning I found this rock, reminiscent of a pearl. It was laying on the front stoop. It had not been there the days before and now sits on Loki's altar.
No matter what our relationship with our God(s), no matter how we came to be with them, there will always be times we just have to revisit Yes. It is a time of healing and grace.
Smell of piss, shit, and fear.
The stinging drip of hate into a wood grained bowl.
Wipe the brow, smooth the hair
Muscles quiver in pain of eternal immobility.
Cold stone, iron entrails.
The binding that will be/is/was.
But soft whispers
The quiet laugh and tones of fondness.
He is bound but stronger here,
Stronger than elsewhere.
The good of Him lashed to the stone of despair,
Hatred of the world to pour.
This is where the humanity is hidden,
This is where His love is tied.
This is where all the goodness He can be is bound by a contemptuous world.
Smell of piss, shit, and fear.
The stinging drip of hate into a wood grained bowl.