bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Category: Month for Loki

Month for Loki: Seventh.

A repeated meditation experience and some UPG about the rune Isa:

I’ve added the Elder Futhark rune Isa to my list of runes for trancework — with Isa as the grounding/anchoring rune.

During several meditation sessions, L suggested that I trace the rune Isa onto my hands (and sometimes, onto the top of each foot).  At first, I thought the reason for it had something to do with slowing down or halting the wave of anxiety that I felt during trancework, as I often felt anxious over feeling too ‘light’ (weightless) or disconnected from my body (or from the Earth itself) during meditation.

Tracing Isa on the backs of both hands or on the top of each foot served to lessen those sensations, and helped me to anchor myself. (Meanwhile, marking a single hand or foot gave me the sensation of being similar to a balloon tethered by a string, i.e the singularly marked hand or foot felt as if it was the only means that rooted me to the ground – which in my experience was yet another [albeit slighter] anxiety-inducing sensation indeed!)

Nonetheless, I can see how others may prefer marking a single hand or foot, as it may better suit their needs.

In short, your mileage may vary.

~~~

As well, I learned that magically, Isa can be invoked as a powerful rune for shielding and protection, as Isa can be called upon to take the heat out of a confrontation, as well as to shield oneself/as protection from magical attack.

Month for Loki: Sixth

Is Loki a God of Fire?

Can fire be associated with Him?

Some folks – including scholars! – insist that Loki has nothing to do with fire at all, and that many Lokeans are misled into believing He is because there’s been some sort of mistaken conflation with Logi – the God of the Wildfire. *

I disagree.

I ask how could Loki not be associated with fire in some way – goodness, it’s evoked by one of the runes of His name!

And that rune is Kenaz – the rune of the torch- the physical light and heat of the hearth-fire, as well as the flame that illuminates the darkness, making shadows flee.

Kenaz is also the sacred fire that hallows the hearth and its surrounding spaces, and is the spark of consciousness that guides one through the inner darkness. In that sense, Kenaz is rune of journey-work, as it can be the torch that illuminates the path through the shadows, making Kenaz a great rune to call on during shamanic journeys that involve shadow-work.

Another aspect of Kenaz that I have come to realize is that as a rune of fire that can be controlled for a purpose – mundanely as the family hearth, and spiritually as a hallowing force – there is perhaps another spiritual purpose Kenaz may serve that is not mentioned very often…. And that is found both within Loki’s name and within the nature of fire: it burns away what is no longer necessary, and leaves the essence of a thing behind.

In the tale of Utgarda-Loki,  of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning (chapter 44), Loki, Thor and two of Thor’s servants set out for Jotunheim, and come to the castle of the giant king, Utgarda-Loki. While there, Utgarda-Loki insists that no one may stay in his castle unless they can perform amazing feats of strength and skill.

Loki is the first to volunteer to perform a feat, by claiming that  no one can eat as much food as He can, and

“… [Utgard Loki] called over to the very end of the bench that the man called Logi should take the floor in front of the company and pit himself against Loki. Then a trencher was fetched… and filled with chopped up meat. Loki sat down at one end and Logi at the other, and each of them ate as fast as he could. They met in the middle of the trencher and by then Loki had left only the bones from the meat, but Logi had eaten all of the meat, bones, and trencher, so everyone thought that Loki had lost the contest.” (1)

But did He?

***UPG ALERT***

(and a trigger warning about reference to taboo subject: death)

Now here is where the reader meets Logi – the very God that some Internet scholars have claimed is being mistakenly conflated with Loki Laufeyjarson – and I think there is a detail that is quite telling about the metaphor of the speed of consumption being compared between Logi the God of Wildfire and Loki Laufeyjarson…

Now, if one thinks of the way fire consumes matter, of course a wildfire consumes most, if not everything in its path.

But if Loki has the essence of fire within Himself as well, what kind of fire ‘consumes’ the meat but leaves the bones behind?

And that’s when it hit me: A cremation fire.

A cremation leaves the bones behind, and sometimes even some of the organs of denser tissue, like the heart.

Perhaps Kenaz is a rune that burns to the heart of the matter…

Indeed.

So perhaps, I believe there’s another aspect of Kenaz as a rune of both mundane and sacred fire that can be found in the runes of Loki’s name – and that hearkens to His role as a God Who is the Father to Death. So perhaps it is not surprising that Loki may have more of a connection to specific fire rituals than is usually mentioned, as well as connection to a specific sort of sacred fire – the cremation fire.

~~~

Thanks for reading!

~~~

(1) Young, Jean I. (trans.); The Prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson: Tales from Norse Mythology, University of California Press, Los Angeles, 1954; pp.72-78.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Month for Loki: Fifth

On Othala:

Loki is a shaman just as Odin is, and Othala in His name represents His purview as a Master of Boundaries (as one must master all that defines a boundary in order to know how to push, much less break through a boundary.)

Luckily, one of the aspects of Othala is as a rune that represents a created boundary around the home, the community, and perhaps, the boundaries that define the individual  body.

Othala represents both what protects the tangible and intangible ‘wealth’/property of a space, as well as the intangible wealth of one’s heritage/knowledge, the boundaries of body and mind.

Loki as a crosser of boundaries is well versed in magicks that dissolve boundaries, as He is a liminal God, One Who stands between worlds, in pushing boundaries, and crossing boundaries.

As a protective rune, Othala may signify the holy enclosure that echoes back to a holy role as featured in the Migration Age gold stamped bracteates, (1) such as this one:

RZ bracteate

Therefore, the rune Othala can be invoked to create a sacred space/boundary for any individual or community work in much the same way one calls the quarters or casts a circle. The Norse specifically have rituals of ‘landtaking’ and frithstead making (see Thor’s Weoende Song).

Othala can be invoked to create sacred space for other specific forms of spiritual work, as follows:

-Othala is an appropriate rune to call upon for ancestral work as Othala is a rune that signifies spiritual heritage; thus Othala can be incorporated into any ritual that honors one’s ancestors (such as that which is done at Samhain or Yule).

– Othala can be an appropropriate rune for any ritual-work that requires calling upon one’s ancestors or the Norns themselves during divination or pathwalking (such as utiseta or seidr) as Othala is a rune that represents ancestral knowledge

.

Othala is a powerful rune that is said to hold the power of all other runes, along with representing both the physical and spiritual boundaries. Othala is a rune of powerful protective magic that can be invoked to mark space, hallow ground and hold energy within specific boundaries for divination and pathwalking.

 

~~~

(1) Stephan Grundy, PhD in Norse Studies, discusses in his book that “…there are three main surviving accounts of Baldur’s death. This concept… of Baldr as ‘sacred offering’ is the earliest account (c. 500 C.E) and is based upon the imagery that is stamped upon several Migration Age gold pendants called the “Three God Bracteates” which were worn for good luck… The three Gods are generally thought to be Loki, Odin, and Baldr. This interpretation, [according to Grundy] was first advanced by scholar Karl Hauck, as the bracteates depict three figures standing within an enclosure; one with a spear, one with a ring, and the other is winged and appears of mixed gender.” (Grundy, Stephan; God in Flames, God in Fetters: Loki’s Role in Northern Religion, pp. 9-15)

Month for Loki: Fourth

Lately, I’ve had runes on my mind, especially in terms of expanding upon the layered meanings held by the runes in Loki’s name, and this post concerns the newest thoughts I’ve had concerning Laguz.

As I’ve written before, the changing flow of water invoked by the rune Laguz is very representative of Loki’s shape-shifting abilities

More literally, one may recall how Loki takes the form of the salmon that swims to the source of waterfall, but more often, metaphorically, working with Loki can feel like being brought down into the water of the subconscious to do emotional/shadow work.

underwater (1)(Photo: Medical Daily)

This is yet another aspect of His purview that I believe can be symbolized by the Laguz in His name.

At least, this has been my path with Him, and one that I find especially evocative in the following poem, written by Jacob Ibrag

Deeper

It feels like sinking.

Like you’re trying to break the waters

surface with every kick your body delivers.

You remember that panic causes

more panic so you try to remain placid.

Deeper.

You think about love and if you really

had it.

If it was really love then why hasn’t it lasted?

Maybe if it was real love, you would’ve

already been found.

And if it was real love, how could it ever die out?

Deeper.

You try forming

a symbiotic relationship with the water, letting it take you so you can become a part of it.

You’ve always belonged here.

Deeper.

You let go, giving up the fight.

Remembering

that it was all in your head as you wake up in the middle of the night.

~~~

Month for Loki: Third

Laguz I surrender to the depth and the flow
Othala I surrender to that which encompasses all [the Norns know]
Kenaz I surrender to the flame that roars and sings
Isa I surrender to the stillness at the beginning and the end of all things

 

Lokirunes

Month for Loki: Second

You might be wondering: Why offer Loki coffee as opposed to something else?

The answer is simple – I believe that the Gods appreciate anything offered to Them in the spirit of joy.

And since I enjoy a good cup of coffee every morning, Loki enjoys a cup of coffee right along with me.

Though I will admit that Loki’s cup of coffee is a little bit different than mine, for various reasons, of which I will explain below.

~~~

There is much magic to be found in everyday activities as well as there are magickal properties associated with many common foods, drinks and spices that you may already have in your kitchen, such as

COFFEE: Many folks drink (and appreciate!) coffee for its caffeine kick, but did you know that coffee is a substance that can also be used in summoning and attraction magick? An offering of coffee can be given to spirits and Deities to summon/attract Their attention and encourage spiritual interaction.

As well, MILK (and its associate, CREAM) is one of the best ingredients for spells used to summon nurturing energy into a working, and its addition to an offering attracts prosperity, healing and protection. In some cultures, such as in India and the Middle East, milk is offered to Deity if one seeks to invite Divine consciousness into one’s life.

As one might suspect, adding SUGAR to an offering can be used to ‘sweeten up’ any magickal effects, and adds to the attraction factor. (CINNAMON can be added to bring quick luck and sharpen communication between the giver and the receiver, especially if requests are being made.)

VANILLA can be added to further ‘sweeten’ and inspire/signify love and romantic feelings. As well, vanilla can be used to engender feelings of security and foster honesty between two parties (which again, is super helpful if I have a question or a request to make!)

And finally, WHISKEY has magickal properties as well, and I add a bit of it to most of my daily coffee offerings to Loki as whiskey is an offering that the Anglo-Saxons believed drew people together in friendship and eased communication between beloved friends.

After adding some (and sometimes all) of the above ingredients to the cup, I stir it all up clockwise, while saying His name over the cup: Loki, this is for You…

 (Next, if necessary, I’ll ask a question, or make a request.)

And then, as with any ritual, I end this offering ritual with my thanks and gratitude as I place it on His altar

So there you have it, my daily offering to Loki is a cup of coffee full of magickal intent!

Month for Loki: First

Happy July!

Photo for interest only.

(His name isn’t Loki; it’s Butterscotch.)

In a nutshell.

FB_IMG_1563837575556^^ So.

The above pretty much describes the month of July 2019 for me – in a nutshell.

How convenient, eh?

To be clear, yeah – my mental illness was the main force behind my lack of participation – and general executive dysfunction – during this year’s ‘Month for Loki’

And I’ll be honest, I’ve felt foolish each time I’ve logged in over the past 25 days… to see my first post of the month.. 2nd, 3rd, 4th…

And then…nothing.

I recall being so full of excitement on July 1st – promoting this thing that I’d done for the past 7 years! – but then feeling entirely unable to bring myself to writing much of anything.

Oh well.

Such as it is.

Goodbye July.

 

Month for Loki, 6: Trickster (poetry)

A lovely poem about Loki by Sophie Oberlander:

 

Trickster

by Sophie Oberlander

“I never sought You.
Those places deep within my heart were far too burned and scarred
To let You in, hard like misshapen stone.
Or so I thought. But I gave much
The first time I hung on that Tree.
Not enough, by far, but just enough to shatter that wall of stone
The barest fragment breaking free.
I heard Your whisper, but turned aside my face
You could not be speaking to me.
I felt Your gentle touch cradling my wounded spirit
As You cradled Odin,
His body bloodied, His spirit on fire beneath that Tree
Long before I climbed its branches.
Was it through Your laughter that You taught me to love You?
Or through the tenderness of Your caress?
I have seen a face of You that few bother to see.
I have felt Your burning passion, gentle and tender beneath the Tree.
Brother, Lover, Friend,
No image of God quite prepared me for You.
You eased away my terror with Your wicked cavorting,
Making a broken child laugh by playing the fool.
I have seen Sigyn’s quiet contentment,
And the love behind Your games.
I no longer understand the trepidation in which others call Your name.
I have seen Your other face too,
When You took me to Your daughter’s realm.
I have seen You, locked in ecstasy,
Summoning up Her wards and wights for me.
My heart’s stone did not so much break
As melt beneath Your flame.
I have tasted Your rage, Your fury at my hurt,
Reveled in the darkest glee
With which You opened the gates of Niflheim to defend me.
No one told me how much You cherish Your children.
I have seen You, Trickster, weeping in anguish
Every one of Your children’s’ wounds piercing Your heart.
And I have seen You in battle, Odin’s equal,
Though Yours a far darker art.
I have heard Your song,
Far sweeter than I ever knew it could be,
As You took my hand, and led me from that Tree.
If it Your stories I cherish most, as we walk Bifrost bridge,
Dancing patterns amongst the stars.
You placed my hands upon the web, and taught me songs to weave.
As I hung for Asgard, through You, for Hella’s realm I reached.
I know how You are feared, or mocked, or thought long bound.
But I know too, it was Your hand guiding me
Through my darkest despair and pain.
And how can I fear Your deepest love,
When it is the freedom of my heart I’ve gained?
Loki, now it is Your burning that I seek.
Let us mingle songs beneath the Tree,
For I adore the flame you have ignited in me.”

Month for Loki, 5: Knife-Thrower

This is such a beautiful description of – and quite possibly the most apt metaphor for – working with Loki that I have ever read.

From an excellent Tumblr blog – see, they do exist! — here is coldalbion’s reply to an anonymous question, “Do you have any advice on working with Loki?”

(from coldalbion.tumblr.com)

===

“Advice, anon…? Not per se. I do have something for you, which may help:

Ah. Loki.

Oh, Loki.

What to say here? Loki’s like a whirling dervish; an expert knife-thrower all shining steel and flame-flicker.

And you’re his assistant.

You may or may not be blindfolded at first, and sometimes that’s better, despite the fact that you can hear those knives whistling towards your head with deadly precision.

With the blindfold on, you can at least recall his charming smile, the wicked quirk of his scarred lips, sly and arch and smooth. How he led you there with honeyed words and soft touches; how the tales of wonder and excitement thrilled you, all bright colours and exotic new adventures. How he picked you up and, somehow, for some reason decided to give you the benefit of all of him – how he blazed with a kind of Light that had nothing to do with vision, and everything to do with existing without reference to anything else.

And the more time you felt his presence, the more you began to know that his darkness was like his Light, a thing in and of itself. The full sense of his presence illuminated you, made you feel like you were the only thing in the worlds. He took your pain and scars and ran himself along them with a kind of knowing, a sense of recognition that generates a seemingly ever-present resonance.

So it’s the most natural, thrilling thing in the world when he asks you to do something for him, to put on a special costume, take his hand and step into the ring for this little act he does, purely for fun.

Charmed, beguiled, feeling the pull of nerves, you do it. You listen to his patter, his introduction as you stand there in the spotlight, surrounded by a audience shrouded in darkness. You’re his glamourous assistant, the absolute necessity to his act.

He smiles at you as he blindfolds you, as he raises you up to the board. Your heart begins to race as he binds you, secures you tight so you can’t move. You’re helpless, waiting, praying.

When the first knife whistles through the air, you stiffen. The wind of its passing plays across your skin – the impact into the board is shockingly loud. You can’t help but gasp, the board vibrating with the force of that blow. You imagine the audience’s intake of breath, but you can’t hear it over the noise of the knives that suddenly seem to come in from all directions.

Again and again and again. When one buries itself scant millimeteres from your face, you realise that you can feel the cold of the metal against your cheek. You flinch, and realise that the buried blades surround you. Your body is ringed by steel. There is nowhere else to go.

The act must be over now, mustn’t it? Surely it must!

So why is it that you can hear more knives coming? What kind of insane game is this – is this madman actually trying to kill you?

You think back to what he told the audience – that you are an absolute necessity to his act. Is it possible he lured you under false pretences, that you are some kind of sacrificial animal, and that one of those knives will be your doom?

No wonder you might be afraid!

And when the blows come, you can feel the edges bite, sharp against your flesh. This is it. You’re going to die. What a fool you were to do this, to let this motherfucker lead you on.

But..wait a minute. You’re still here. Everything is suddenly silent, way too quiet. Heart hammering, you gingerly attempt to move, and, to your surprise, you realise that your bonds, after a moment of snagging, seem to have fallen away.

With trembling hands, you pull down the blindfold, and are momentarily blinded – the house lights have come up and you stumble away from the board a liittle. When your vision returns, you’re in for a shock.

Because there’s no-one there. The vast ranks of seats are empty. The audience have gone, even though you didn’t hear them leave. Maybe they were never even there to begin with…

Maybe you’re still bewildered when a voice tells you to Think fast! and you jump back as a knife suddenly comes out of nowhere and buries itself in the sawdust at your feet.

The unseen voice tells you to pick up the blade. Go on, just pick it up. So you do, and suddenly he steps out from behind the board with a little, courtly, mocking bow.

Turnabout is fair play, he drawls.

It’s your turn. Without thinking, the knife leaves your hand, aiming at his head. But he’s not there.

He’s behind you, lips against your ear, hand on your arm, guiding you through the arc of the throw. The knife hits the board, straight and true, in a way you’d never have known how to do before.

And then? Then he’s dancing and you have an endlesss supply of blades. He weaves and curves, eels and dives in ten thousand intricate movements; a shining, glittering impossibility. Without thinking, you fall into a rhythm, and later you realise the strangeness of this – for you and he are acting together in the space between heartbeats. You’re part of the same dance, the same ebb and flow and weave.

There’s no telling how long it goes on for, or why it stops. Maybe he becomes bored, or maybe you send steel singing so close that it leaves a line of blood along his cheekbone.

Who can tell? Because suddenly, the knives you throw are suddenly plucked from the air by nimble hands, and turned back on you. Lost in the rhythm, you struggle to evade the most lethal, but manage it. But you do not remain unscathed – your shining costume is cut from you swifter than lightning, until you stand naked and nicked in the sawdust.

Your nerves sing – the cuts are not deep, after all, but the endorphins are called into your blood, as surely as someone summoned an army. A single droplet of blood falls in slow motion, splashing on the shaved wood, blossoming and swelling and staining the ground of the ring.

When you look up again, he’s smiling, eyes sparkling with ancient wisdom and dark mirth. Not bad, he says. Let’s go again.

Steel sings and you feel the air move against your skin.

And you smile in return, and you move.

It’s time to dance.”

(Artwork: ‘Jester’ by MuYoung Kim)

jester