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.
‘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.
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 approach
Kenaz Filan- caters to a bit of a wilder side
Anya Kless' Fruit of Pain
Maris Pai- she recently moved her blog and the new site doesn't have much as of this date but give it time.
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.