Per tradition, today’s post features some of my favorite artwork/images of Loki.
Loki lineart by JarfieArt, as featured on zir tumblr
I love the stitches on His mouth, and those boots, especially ❤
‘Loki’ by Loren DeSore
Dat Jotunn by lebzpel
That smirk and those yellow eyes!
What I like most about Lebzpel’s style of depicting Loki is how zie consistently combines the opposing and liminal aspects of Him – in zir sketches, Loki somehow appears youthful and yet ancient, muscular and yet somehow fragile, infinitely amused and yet also world-weary.
I believe Lebzpel skillfully captures His essence perfectly in many ways.
And speaking of capturing aspects, here’s one of my newest favorites:
Though this artwork features Odin (as I imagine that is Loki, underneath the grinning mask), it is titled
‘You, they said, did sorcery on Samsey…’ by lisiakita on DeviantArt.
The artist captions the artwork with this text, translated from the Lokasenna, verse 24-5:
But you, they said, did sorcery
and tapped on a tub-lid like the
In wizard’s guise
you went over the world of men –
and that I thought an unmanly nature.
“The fates you two met with
you never must
speak about to men –
what you two Aesir acted out in the old days –
one should keep always away from
Inspired by a detail in Northern Tamarisk’s blog associating fool’s gold and Loki the other day, my brain went off on a tangent, thinking about items that some folks associated with Loki.
I was intrigued by the casual reference to her association of Loki with fool’s gold.
As you may have read my experience of that first Dragons Treasure meditation in 1997, I was reminded of how I had participated in another guided group meditation ritual several months later that same year
Except instead of a vision of Hostess Donettes, I received the ‘gift’ of a piece of fools gold.
It strikes me as strange to think now about how that was twice in as many months that I had sought out answers in guided meditations during a public ritual that initially appeared – on the surface – to be in the form of some sort of joke or trick.
And trust me, no one likes to be made fun of or to be the butt of a joke…least of all, me.
Nonetheless, after that first guided meditation, it became a goodnatured joke in the community I was trying to join: If they couldn’t remember my name, I was that ‘newbie’ that received the doughnut.
And a few months later, I became known as that woman that got the fool’s gold.
And yet, I am amazed to realize how both times these odd ‘journey-gifts’ were read by others – the Pagan elders and the other assembled group members – as a sign that I must be pulling their leg or proof that I wasn’t taking whatever spiritual exercise I was attempting to engage in seriously enough.
The gifts don’t lie, they’d said.
So as we sat in the circle and shared our experiences:
What is that again? some folks snickered in response to my share, that makes no sense.
While others muttered, I don’t understand how you could have gotten that.
Are you sure that that is what you saw? sighed the leader of the meditation.
I was dismayed by this…and at the time, I recall that I was ridiculed for not taking the meditation seriously and the woman who’d led the meditation eventually opined that the presence of fools gold always represents/symbolizes ‘what is not for you’
At the time, I felt that it meant that the Gods were rejecting me in some way, and I feared that that meant that perhaps the Pagan path was not for me.
And I took that to heart.
And it would seem that a lot of those ‘experienced’ Pagans (‘experienced’ at least by virtue of the fact that they’d been practicing at this Paganism thing a lot longer than I had) had some rather specific opinions about what is and isn’t an appropriate level of piety during guided mediation.
Honestly, I was just trying to fit in…or at least, find others like myself in the Pagan community…and yet, in this small way, I was looked upon as this person who wasn’t taking things seriously enough, whether I was sharing my experiences or I was asking questions.
In short, I began to feel as a bit of an outsider at their rituals, as no one seemed to take me or my experiences seriously.
Because, in their eyes, if I was taking things seriously, I’d be getting meaningful gifts like roses or silver chalices or the feather of a spring robin, or…whatever.
I became discouraged.
I began to question myself.*
And several years after that, in 2000, I was sitting at a Catholic funeral.
I could have sworn that I had silenced my phone. I distinctly recall turning off the ringer before putting it in my handbag.
And yet, my cell phone rang loudly right in the middle of the priest’s sermon.
Just as he was just getting to the part about how even during times our darkest times of spiritual struggle, we can all find shelter within the arms of the Lord.
It was embarrassing certainly, except for the fact that it was even more so in that my cell’s ringtone at that time was a clip of the chorus from Rage Against the Machine’ No Shelter:
(There will be no shelter here/the thin line is everywhere…)
So that doughnut must mean I’m not taking this seriously enough.
And yes, that fool’s gold must be a sign that that path was not for me.
And certainly, despite how respectful I was trying to be during a beloved relative’s Catholic funeral…
I took that as a sign that I, for one, am not meant to find shelter in the arms of (that) God.
And so, what did I do?
I decided none of it was for me.
Even though it broke my heart to think that any form of spirituality as I understood it was not for me.
But there were more answers in store.
One of the specific drinks that I have offered Loki is a Whiskey Ginger
Also called the Irish Buck (Or Mule)
The variation that I often partake of myself is 1 part Whiskey, 1 part Ginger Ale and 1 part fresh squeezed lemonade.
Recently, I was having a conversation with another Lokean, and we were talking about the importance of making offerings.
Though it was not my intent to put undue pressure on anyone to make elaborate offerings -as time, finances, and other factors can make that difficult – I wanted to stress the importance of making an offering.
It can be of utmost importance to make an offering…as the following passage from author Jenny Blain’s book, Nine Worlds of Seid-Magic illustrates this point quite well:
“The process of initiation, by spirits or deities, not people, can be quite terrifying. The experience of the seeress Rauðhildr is a case in point. This is how it appears in my field notes, written after she had told me the story in a coffee shop in Berkeley, California.
She made the journey to visit the Maurnir, who (according to her and Diana [Paxson]) are female giants. The Maurnir dwell in a cave, and she went there, naively she says because she thought it would be interesting. She was attempting to journey to all the denizens of the Nine Worlds.
They were there, and they saw her and asked why she was there. The Maurnir have much wisdom, and she asked (again naively, she says) if they would teach her if she could learn from them, share in their wisdom. They said no, they couldn’t teach her, but if she wished she could become part of their wisdom. She agreed that this would be a good thing.
So they ate her.
They threw aside the bones, as they ate. Her bones were lying on the cavern floor when Loki appeared and started dancing and singing, calling to the goddesses and gods to put her back together, which they eventually did. So Loki was dancing a shaman dance. When she came together again, she thanked him and asked him why he’d done this. He said ‘once, you gave me a drink.’ (as an offering in ritual).”
You might notice the key in that passage is “He said ‘once, you gave me a drink.”
As you may have realized, one meaningful offering to Loki can make all the difference.
Back in April 2017, I read the above beautifully written post – titled ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Devotion’ shared on my WordPress feed – written by Alex of Wildwood and Wild Hunt.
It is quite possibly the most profoundly succinct description of the devotional relationship with Deity that I have ever read, so I often find myself going back to it, and re-reading it…especially nowadays.
I am simply re-blogging – so please give Alex all of the praise.
“i. step, stumble. fall. your falling is sacred, but your rising again is glorious.
ii. step, stumble. fall. rinse, repeat. rinse, repeat. this is the secret they are all telling you, the mystery they are all hiding. one and the same thing, and all it amounts to is your beloved whispering in your ear don’t give up.
iii. tomorrow you will forget to love him. it does not matter. how old is he, how huge? days pass like drawing breath – he will still love you afterwards.
iv. scream, rage, collapse. the shrine dismantled and reassembled and dismantled again, but you are still his, and this is still sacred.
v. he is huge, dazzling, awe-inspiring. you think you saw his face, truly his face, peering from between branches yesterday. what have you got yourself into, what have you done? you think maybe you are crazy, you think maybe you should run.
vi. you are crazy. you do run. he finds you anyway. he burns through your veins like fire, and his finding is the sweetest moment since the last. it will not happen again.
vii. it does happen again. still he finds you, still the moment of finding is glorious. later you break down, you cannot keep doing this, he deserves more than this, the same faith he has shown you.
viii. he does not love you because he wants you to be a version of himself. he loves you for the self you are, and the self you will be.
ix. the next time you run, you find your own way back. he is waiting for you, joy spilling from him because this time he did not need to chase you.
x. love. love until your heart is raw, your voice is hoarse, and your lungs are fighting for breath. you can never love him enough, but you will go to your end trying.”
Hail Loki ❤
Isa is a rune associated with ice and winter itself, representing the icicle that will turn to water. Isa represents a forced stillness, a period of rest before activity, as in winter, there is nothing to do but wait for the ice to transform into water again. Therefore, Isa is the essence of Stillness, signifying a delay that may lead to a new start, or a call for inward focus (introspection) in contemplation and preparation. Another aspect of Isa which is also evoked by its nature as ice is that Isa can represent containment, as ice still holds the kinetic energy/movement of water within itself – as Isa only appears to be still. Related to this, Isa can be the layer of shimmering ice on the surface of a frozen lake that gives the illusion of stability and safety that only becomes treacherous if one should tread upon it without forethought and wisdom.
As the final rune in Loki’s name, I believe that Isa represents the ice at the advent of creation, as Isa evokes His primordial nature as a Jotun, as Beings of transformative energy and the unity of opposites in nature.
As well, Loki is a master of illusion, much like that frozen layer of ice on the surface of the lake; approaching Loki without wisdom and forethought can be treacherous.
In conclusion, one may see in the runes of Loki’s name, there are the forces that oppose (fire and ice) that are the essence of creation.
As an agent of change and transformation, perhaps these are the forces that Loki represents at Ragnarok: the chaos that brings balance, and the overwhelming change that damages then heals.
As well, during the Lokasenna, perhaps Loki serves as the illumination of sudden insight (Kenaz) and the warning (Kaunen) – the mark of the wound that exists to highlight the sickness and disorder – that needs to be dealt with in order to heal and progress
Three runes -Laguz, Kenaz, and Isa – represent the duality of the shapeshifting transformative forces of His energy and His nature – and perhaps these energies combine to strengthen, expose, and temper the concurrent forces of overwhelm, incineration, and damage that echo through Othala as the rune of ancestral knowledge and memory.
Hail Loki indeed ❤