bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

I promise.

Month for Loki: Eleven

Month for Loki: Ten

Dver wrote a great post about a way to look at relationships with the Gods which gave me lots of food for thought.


You see, I’ve been going through a bit of a weird emotional patch.

I’ve been feeling disconnected from everything.

When I read of how Dver writes of her relationships with Gods in regards to her devotional practice, what I found interesting is that she generally splits them into two groups: Gods she loves and she works with them closely/offers to regularly — and Gods whom she loves simply for Their existence.

She writes:

‚ÄúThere are some gods I love ‚Äď have loved for decades, even ‚Äď and have never had a single, personal, direct experience with. I don‚Äôt know if I‚Äôm on Their radar at all. I don‚Äôt need to be. It‚Äôs enough to know Them even a little bit, and to honor Them. I don‚Äôt ask Them for anything, typically. Maybe I just keep an image of Them somewhere, make an offering now and then, read Their stories, and appreciate Their existence. That‚Äôs all it needs to be.‚ÄĚ


Interestingly, this concept intertwines with a discussion of ego – and how removing oneself from the equation of love was liberating, as love given with the desire for reciprocation was simply ego…and how to love simply for the basis of loving because of the other’s existence was the most profound sort of love, and therefore the sort of love to be sought when speaking of the Gods, i.e the Gods should be loved without the (ego’s) expectation of reciprocation or interaction.


But by the same token, Dver admits to believing that the Gods that she serves daily in her practice do love her in Their way (as love is at its core and is understood to be an energetic act directed towards another/what is outside of the self) but that to serve in exchange for being loved is neither her goal nor her intent.

And I found that profoundly helpful as I navigate my feelings about Loki and Odin today: up until that moment of understanding, I would have said that what is going on with me is that They both feel like old friends that I haven’t seen or interacted with in a while.

Or as the H√°vam√°l would say, I have allowed weeds and high grass to grow over the path to my friends’ home:

 

…if you have a friend,

and you trust him,

go and visit him often.

Weeds and high grass

will grow on a path

that nobody travels.

Stanza 119, trans. by Jackson Crawford

So, in that regard, I’ve been feeling guilty and sad.

An overgrown path


So I asked myself, what would it feel like to love them without any expectation of Their presence or interaction?


Which leads me to this other personal bit: a new Lokean in one of my groups is asking how one can become so close to Loki that He would ‘show up’ without being called on/summoned?
Several folks responded that Loki shows up for them only when He isn’t being sought out, and that it was a well-known secret that Gods do show up if you think of Them enough, and Loki especially; Loki will eventually show up‚Ķ the keyword being eventually.


As for me, I am going to work on loving Them simply for being/existing and see how that goes.


I’m not adverse to simply being the devotee for a while. And I think about


Love.
Just love.
Let it flow out of you unimpeded.
And I will be there.
And you will know.

~~

Month for Loki: Nine

Nine in Norse Mythology, from Wikipedia:

  • Nine worlds that are supported by Yggdrasil.
  • At the end of¬†Sk√°ldskaparm√°l¬†is a list of nine heavenly realms provided by¬†Snorri, including, from the nethermost to the highest, Vindblain (also Heidthornir or Hregg-Mimir),¬†Andlang,¬†Vidblain, Vidfedmir, Hrjod, Hlyrnir, Gimir, Vet-Mimir and Skatyrnir which “stands higher than the clouds, beyond all worlds.”
  • Every ninth year, people from all over¬†Sweden¬†assembled at the Temple at Uppsala. There was feasting for nine days and sacrifices of both men and male animals according to¬†Adam of Bremen.
  • In¬†Sk√≠rnism√°l, Freyr is obliged to wait nine nights to consummate his union with Gerd.
  • In¬†Svipdagsm√°l, the witch¬†Gr√≥a¬†grants nine charms to her son¬†Svipdag. In the same poem there are nine maidens who sit at the knees of¬†Menglod.
  • In¬†Fj√∂lsvinnsm√°l, Laegjarn’s chest is fastened with nine locks.
  • During Ragnar√∂k, Thor kills J√∂rmungandr but staggers back nine steps before falling dead himself, poisoned by the venom that the¬†Serpent¬†spewed over him and after that, he resurrected himself.
  • According to the very late¬†Trollkyrka poem, the fire for the¬†bl√≥t¬†was lit with nine kinds of wood.
  • Odin’s ring Draupnir releases eight golden drops every ninth night, forming rings of equal worth for a total of nine rings.
  • In the guise of¬†Gr√≠mnir¬†in the poem¬†Gr√≠mnism√°l, Odin allows himself to be held by King¬†Geirr√∂d¬†for eight days and nights and kills him on the ninth after revealing his true identity.
  • There are nine¬†daughters of √Ügir.
  • There are nine¬†mothers of Heimdall.
  • There are nine great¬†lindworms:¬†J√∂rmungandr,¬†N√≠√įh√∂ggr, Gr√°bakr, Grafv√∂llu√įr, Ofnir, Svafnir, Grafvitni and his sons G√≥inn and M√≥inn.
  • The god¬†Hermod¬†rode Sleipnir for nine nights on his quest to free¬†Baldr¬†from the¬†underworld.
  • The giant¬†Baugi¬†had nine thralls who killed each other in their desire to possess Odin’s magical¬†sharpening stone.
  • The god¬†Njord¬†and his wife¬†Skadi¬†decided to settle their argument over where to live by agreeing to spend nine nights in¬†Thrymheim¬†and nine nights at¬†N√≥at√ļn.
  • The giant¬†Thrivaldi¬†has nine heads.
  • The clay giant¬†Mokkurkalfi¬†measured nine leagues high and three broad beneath the arms.
  • When Odin sacrificed himself to himself, he hung upon the¬†gallows¬†of Yggdrasill for nine days and nights. In return, he secured r√ļnar ‘runes, secret knowledge’.
  • The¬†valknut¬†symbol is three interlocking triangles forming nine points.
  • There are nine surviving deities of Ragnar√∂k, including Baldr and¬†H√∂dr,¬†Magni and Modi,¬†Vidar¬†and¬†V√°li, Hoenir, the daughter of¬†S√≥l¬†and a ninth “powerful, mighty one, he who rules over everything”.

Month for Loki: Eight

Loki is big on the concept of “negative capability,” which John Keats defines as, “when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” Namely, that a poet must remain open to all ideas, to all identities–even to the point of obliterating one stable identity–if that poet is to remain truly creative. Basically: embrace uncertainty, because it leads to change, and change is generative and inherently creative.

Month for Loki: Seven

A haunting song by Krauka

Month for Loki: Five.

“Lokkr is the art of calling something towards oneself.

Lokkr is the art of compelling, the art of affecting change from the inside.

Lokkr is the art of singing the sweetest songs, using the most alluring words.

The most irresistible commands come from the breath, yet they seem as fragile as leaves in the wind

Lokkr is how we draw energy, how we pull magic towards us.‚ÄĚ

                                                                                                 -Valas, Haegen

Artwork by Muirin007

Month for Loki: Four

Baby, You’re a firework…

Month for Loki: Three

So.

Here we are.

Another July for some Lokeans to celebrate Loki, to honor Loki.

Oddly enough, there’s a new show out on cable TV’s Disney+ this month featuring Loki as its central character.

Coincidence?

If it were so, it would be the strangest kind, for it is not as if the rest of the world could have known that Lokeans might celebrate Loki in July.

And granted, this new show is based upon the Loki of Marvel (comic book) Universe rather than the Loki of Norse mythology, and yet, I cannot shake this sense of deja-vu.

You see, this new show has caused yet another influx of folks on the Internet, curious to find out more about Loki as a God in the Norse pantheon.

So why the deja-vu? You might be surprised to know that there was a similar influx of folks seeking to join – or otherwise create – online Heathen groups because Marvel Studios’ film, Thor had hit theaters during the summer of 2011.

And that’s how it all began for a lot of folks – myself included! – back in the summer of 2011. Perhaps it was that influx of the Loki-curious that led to the inadvertent creation of ‘July for Loki’ in 2012 in the first place*

What I do recall about that summer in 2012 was how annoyed a lot of Heathen folks were, looking down upon the ‘newbies’ – who were inspired to look into the Norse pantheon by watching Thor– and how arguments arose over the the lack of legitimacy of Marvel vs. academic sources. (And, in regards to Loki, lest we forget, the renewed interest in Loki became a point of contention in existing groups such as the Troth and Asatru Fellowship.)

Do I wish to re-visit those arguments? Personally, that’s not what I’m doing here.

I don’t begrudge folks who watch MCU’s Loki/Avengers for wanting to know more about the Norse deities by reading the Norse myths on their own time. What concerns me is when people fail to differentiate between the Marvel comic book characters and the Norse deities, or worse, consider themselves on par with academic scholars because they’ve read the MCU comic books.

(Besides, if you wanted my opinion, I’d be more apt to suggest reading D’Aulaire’s Norse Mythology than Journey into Mystery #85 for a basic introduction to Loki. But what do I know?)

*I just find it delightful to see ‘July for Loki’ come full circle; another influx of new Lokeans re-invigorating the Pagan/Heathen communities ten years after the last one.

But what’s different in 2021 is that there are so many more books out there about Loki.

Here are some of my favorites:

Loki For You: Getting to Know the God of Mischief, T. Sheil and A. Sheil, Milihistriot Quarterly, Freehold, New Jersey, 2008

Playing with Fire: An Exploration of Loki Laufeyjarson, Dagulf Loptson, Asphodel Press, Hubbardston, MA, 2014

Pagan Portals: Loki Trickster and Transformer, Dagulf Loptson, Moon Books/John Hunt Publishing, Washington, USA. 2020

Worshipping Loki: A Short Introduction, Silence Maestas, 2015.

God in Flames, God in Fetters: Loki’s Role in the Northern Religions, Stephan Grundy, Troth, Incorporated, 2015.

~~~~