There are a few particular things that have cropped up again and again in my devotional practice with Loki over the years, and I thought I’d write about one of these today, involving mirrors.
Almost from the beginning, whether it be in meditations, dreams or visuals, Loki has always directed me to consider mirrors, and the concept of mirrors.
At first, I was confused, wracking my brain for what it could mean – these visuals of mirrors, references to mirrors and all these literal and metaphorical meanings associated with mirrors.
And it got me to thinking about posts I’ve made in the past regarding the various angles I’ve considered when faced with a visual or a reference to mirrors…and it amazes me now to think of all of the layered paths that this one thing has led me to.
In the beginning, I thought Loki was making some sort of commentary about appearances, and perhaps, self-love…maybe even conceit.
But then as time went on, I began to wonder if the reference to mirrors was Loki indicating the importance of self-work.
And then, there’s the term, mirroring – which can be understood as a form of body language – born of the human desire to ‘cognitively sync’ with others – on an unconscious level. (But there’s another layer to mirroring which is done on a conscious level by those seek to engage/teach/engender desired behavior while generating empathy and connection, by therapists, teachers, and salespeople.)
And then, I came across this concept – of what you expect is what you will receive – by way of the Bhagavad Gita. A helpful tidbit of information to be sure, but even more so on another level, as this particular bit can be found in the fourth chapter, eleventh verse – an amusing coincidence that I came across the 411 (information!) quite by chance in a religious text that was unfamiliar to me at that time, and suddenly I was making the connection to how the Gods can act as mirrors.
With that reference, and what followed was to discover myself being re-directed to a mystic path, complete with nudges toward Rumi
and Pema Chödrön:
which re-iterated the message that we are reflections of the Gods, as well as the Gods can be reflections of us, and sometimes how we are caught gazing into each others’ eyes, or perhaps dancing, but more often than not, caught up in the illusion of separation from Them, if not downright rejection of Their messages to us.
But what do I know? Loki has a thing with mirrors, I suppose.
But I’m not the only one who sees this connection, as a fellow member of a Lokean group shared this observation:
“I wanted to understand why so many saw hatred, rage, evil in Loki. I didn’t understand how His reputation could be so different from what I personally experienced. The message I received back is that Loki is a mirror. Many of the gods are, but Him especially. The reason some get back hatred and fear is because they give Him hatred and fear.
But when you give Him love and laughter, He sends it back and magnifies it. So the love that you feel coming from Him, the kind that brings tears to the eyes, is a reflection of the beauty of your own heart.”
And finally, the surprise (which should not surprise me now) that I came across the other day…while searching for something else entirely.
I was looking for the references to the Spegilmynd – as it is the basis for a powerful runic sigil that mirrors negative energy sent against oneself and reflects it back to the sender:
And I stumbled upon this definition on Glosbe, an online Icelandic dictionary service:
Spegilmynd (Icelandic) noun – “mirror, reflection, echo”
and the provided contextual example was a portion of an Icelandic prayer:
(Icelandic) “Það er bæn mín og blessun að þegar þið virðið fyrir ykkur eigin spegilmynd, munuð þið sjá handan ófullkomleikans og sjálfsefans og greina hver þið sannlega eruð: Dýrðlegir synir og dætur almáttugs Guðs.“
(Trans. English) “It is my prayer and blessing that when you look at your reflection, you will be able to see beyond imperfections and self-doubts and recognize who you truly are: glorious sons and daughters of the Almighty Gods.”
It’s funny how these concepts circle around again and again.
” In referring to Norse God Loki, Rutherford employs the term shaman-trickster….”
“The shaman is a magician in both senses of the term: one who can operate through tricks and deceit and one who can change consciousness at will. The shaman is a sorcerer but one who relates magical ability to the communal welfare as the primary objective. The shaman stocks-in-trade are the ability to fly and to become invisible. Sometimes the specialist is proficient in bi-location, the ability to appear in more than one place simultaneously. Other shamanic ‘virtues’ include a developed aptitude for heightened vigilance as well as the cultivation of multiple perspectives. But whereas sometimes these attributes are intended to be literal accomplishments, the line between the metaphorical and the actual is rarely clearly drawn.”
— Michael York
Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion, New York University Press, New York, p. 41.
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.
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