Loki, bring me to change
Loki, teach me innovation
Loki, be the cleansing fire
The source of my liberation.
Loki, bring me to change
Loki, teach me innovation
Loki, be the cleansing fire
The source of my liberation.
They’ll take you places you didn’t want to go,
and see things you never wanted to see,
but be not afraid,
for they are there with you,
Years ago – quite possibly more than 10 years ago – I found the above (unattributed) quote on a blog.
So I wrote that quote down in the daily paper journal I kept, as I did not have my own blog at that time.
And though I could not put my finger on why this quote resonated with me so long ago
it occurred to me this morning that it pretty much sums up
(A Prayer to Be Free of Masks, [WIP])
All of my life I have been wounded
By the judgments of others, the shame of others,
And I’ve been holding myself prisoner
With my own judgments, my own shame.
So I put on many masks
To hide my wounds, to hide my shame.
Masks of strength and certainty
To hide my fear and my vulnerability
Masks of indifference and anger
To hide my grief and my pain.
Help me, Loki
To set myself free.
Reveal my lies to me.
Take my masks from me.
Show me my truest self
Teach me to be fearless
With no need to hide
Behind these masks.
(a work in progress)
Hail to You, Silvertongue, Relentless One
Sovereign-Maker and World-Breaker.
Giver of Gifts, Sneaky Ton of Bricks.
(Problem Solver & Player of Tricks)
Hail the Son of the Lightning-Struck,
Agent of Change, and Bringer of Luck.
Wolf-Sire, Sacred Funeral Pyre.
Raven’s Friend, Crow’s-Father.
Sif’s Barber and Skadi’s Laughter.
Vultures Path, and Gefjon’s Wrath
Mover of Stories, and Wearer of Masks.
Hail to the captain of Naglfar, the brightness of the Sirius star
The one who made the Völva’s heart a feast, the father and mother of monstrous beasts
You’re forever in-between, my Liminial One
My Beloved Loki Laufeyjarson.
Last month, I began reading Elizabeth Vongvisith’s Be Thou My Hearth and Shield: Prayers in the Northern Tradition, an excellent collection of prayers and poetry she edited for Asphodel Press in 2009.
I’d read some of the reviews on Lulu, and as one reviewer put it, ‘This book is excellent! It sits at my bedside as I read the prayers daily…..‘
As I have found myself doing that very same thing, I could not agree with zir more.
This is an excellent book, one which I would highly recommend to anyone who seeks to connect to the Norse Gods, let alone Loki.
And today, for my sixth post, I’d like to share this heartfelt prayer-poem by April Ragan, which resonated with me deeply:
Ritual (for Loki)
What need have I for chants
When every rise of my lungs
Breathes for You
A hallowed hymn.
What need have I for music
When every beat of my heart
Drums for You
A sacred tattoo.
What need have I for dance
When every gesture of my being
Moves for You
In a rhythm of devotion
What need have I for magic circles
When every piece of my soul
Burns for You
In a consecrated ring of flame
What need have for these accompaniments
When the essence of my being
Is a life-long ritual to You.*
*Elizabeth Vongvisith, editor, Be Thou My Hearth and Shield: Prayers in the Northern Tradition, (Hubbardston, Massachusetts; Asphodel Press, 2009) p. 125
This lovely poem was shared by a friend on my social media feed this morning, and though I was skeptical that its words ‘could change one’s life,’ I will grant that its overall message is rather profound one…and personally relevant.
THE GUEST HOUSE
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
– Jelaluddin Rumi,
Translation from The Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks
Here’s a Thursday Throwback – from 21 February 2013 – that I am sharing at the request of a dear friend.
“Sometimes, He is not pretty.
Disheveled, stinking of piss and filth.
A frightening homeless man
Shouting at me from the other side of the train station:
The face that you often see is nothing but a glamour crafted to be pleasing to you.
But, sometimes, I am tired of that
face, and you will see Me as I am
An ancient being, whose face bears the ravages of time, and what appalling marks
Grief, pain and madness have inevitably made upon Me.
While it may be easy to approach Me in a finer guise,
Silk cravats and topcoats, leather and flash, I am
Also this, at My core. This is also Me.
I am bloated with rage, and careless
grime settled in the creases, compulsively licking
The blood and the spittle that collects at the corners of My ragged lips.
My yellowed, broken teeth have gnawed and ground down upon the offal and
bones of My very long memory.
I call to you
but you must approach Me.
Would you kiss My mouth?
And I see Him across the room, and His voice is interwoven with the cacophony of noise that is noon at South Station, Boston.
I cannot will my feet to go forward, but I see His eyes, the intense clear blue of Icelandic water, His disheveled hair an awkward penumbra of red and gold, His face unshaven and streaked with the filth born of having slept in the elements upon concrete. He raises a hand, and makes a beckoning gesture. Oh I see you, little one, He drawls. I notice that His fingernails are dark with grime, and He smiles, a grin of wolfen teeth, and He licks His cracked lips, waiting.
For all that He looks, His voice is not unpleasant.
But I am afraid.
I am cold, I realize, and I hug myself tighter, as if my own arms could possibly warm me enough, and yet I know that I am holding myself in. This is me putting up all my walls and fronts.
You have so much shame, He shouts, You have learned nothing….
The rumble of the trains pulling into South Station obscures His voice, His tirade, for several minutes.
There are too many trains, I shout, I cannot hear!
He begins to laugh, shaking His head. He tilts His head, almost menacingly, working out a crick in His neck, as He continues, Oh no, my dear. It is as it is always, with you. You are too cold. You cannot hear. You have a headache. You are afraid….
He glares at me.
He pulls a cigarette from the pocket of His shabby, unseasonably thin coat. Oh, spare Me the details of all of your excuses, He snarks at me, loudly, angrily.
He reminds me of Heath Ledger’s Joker, as He wipes His sore and tattered mouth with the back of His grubby hand, before placing the cigarette deftly on the edge of His lower lip, and lights it.
A lone ribbon of smoke curls and spirals ever upward over His head, strangely unbroken and unbuffeted by the crowd and activity that surges about Him, between us.
Come. Kiss Me. I might believe you.
But I cannot will my feet to go forward. I will have to push myself through this crowd, I am thinking.
The air feels thick and heavy, my head rings with high-pitched buzzing anxiety, and my skin prickles with heat.
Poor little girl, is His singsong sigh, half a sarcasm, half a reprimand, to me, as He shuffles His feet, waiting.
Come to me, He whispers, more within my head than without, and His words seem to reverberate like a humming inward chant, in my head.
Come to Me.
Come to Me.
Come to Me.”
So. I am still sick with the flu that I’d caught from V the week before last.
And I was talking to a friend – who is spirit-touched and a Reiki practitioner – about my symptoms the other day.
You see, I have been suffering a great deal of sinus congestion, a headache, and most concerning of all, I have had a near-constant nosebleed for the past week.
My friend was pointing out that the combination of sinus congestion followed by nosebleeds could indicate the opening of my third eye.
And I was surprised to hear that, as I have always felt that I am almost completely headblind, but since my return from Arizona (following the ritual that occurred there), I have felt more ‘open,’ and as a result, I have had several rather vivid experiences.
Though I hadn’t thought to connect the increase in my experiences with the frequency of my nosebleeds.
I have been stressing about what I should be writing again.
I woke up about 30 minutes ago.
I hadn’t intended on getting out of bed. I was still in that hypnogagic state, when I rolled toward the edge of the bed, and ‘sensed’ Loki there. He was standing there by the bed, and I distinctly remember muttering, ‘Let’s go.’
I had just awakened from a vivid dream concerning a small body of water, because I could recall seeing Him standing in the water, naked to the waist, waiting for me to join Him. And how, upon wading in, I received a clear visual of a short poem.
It looked like an Internet meme tile.
It was a poem about an experience – a magical experience – written by someone named Walter.
Unlike other times when I have dreamt of written words, the visual image of these words appeared surprisingly clear and easy to read, in black ink on a yellow lined paper.**
I think that I had been reading this paper.
But something had distracted me.
(Oddly enough, I could still hear the TV in the bedroom in the background — and it was distracting me. I could distinctly hear some news channel commentary concerning Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton, and all of that.)
I recall that I had been reading this poem to myself, as if I had been trying to memorize it, as I may have been intending to make a post of it today.
But then, I’d begun to wake up.
I am trying to think of what this poem had made me think and feel – as I’d felt that I’d almost had it memorized – but then I’d let the TV distract me.
All I can remember was the first line:
Let us go to the well, and you will chart your first experience here…
I recall that the poem had a lilting sort of subtle rhythm as I whispered the words to myself – possibly an ABBA or even an ABCD-ABCD rhyme scheme. I was amazed that I’d been able to see the words so clearly as I’d spoken them aloud, and I remember thinking that I wasn’t that deeply asleep and yet, so deep and so clear were the words that I was speaking. I repeated them to myself several times – but somehow – how? why? – had I allowed the TV to intrude, rather than to ignore it and focus on what I had been saying?
Maybe this is not about my memory of the poem at all.
Perhaps this is the lesson:
The words, the experiences would all be clear to me if I allowed them to be.
And yet I jump away from away from these experiences and cast about for a distraction to take my focus away from them, from the possibility of recalling them.
(Perhaps this is what He means when He insists that I am still running; I am still afraid.)
We are standing at the Well of Memory and I am fussing over poetry?
Relax. Let yourself be like water. The words were flowing over you, were they not?
You asked for a session. This was your session.
You heard [the television], yes, but you still had access to your vision of Me, and what We were doing…
These things can and do co-exist.
These ‘realities’ are nothing more than undercurrents of each other and you can tap into these multiple streams at any time that you wish.
(Am I so skilled as all that…or is it simply that easy?)
Yes…and no. It is that simple, but, as you might guess, it is not EASY.
Do you see the way you struggle with relaxing, with remembering? Let go of your need to describe every detail and just allow the flow.
That is the lesson. Stop putting these rules and all these parameters on it. Stop trying to document the experience as you are experiencing it and just let yourself see, let yourself feel, and you will remember it.
Stop thinking of these experiences as something unusual that is only given to you in pieces with all those attendant fears that suddenly you will forget.
Let yourself remember. Let yourself relax.
The fear drives it away from you, pushes it away from your understanding.
You will forget if you are always afraid to forget.
When I realized that I’d fully awakened, I blew my nose. There was blood coming out of my left nostril again.
(Clear out this logic…trust this process rang in my head.)
Perhaps this is what was meant when another Lokean friend and I were discussing this project at the beginning of the month.
I’d asked Him for a clue, a means to begin the project, and He’d said (through her, through some automatic writing):
Be fluid. Be more fluid.
And related to these hypnagogic conversations, here’s bit of pandoramancy: