bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Tag: Month for Loki

MfL, Ten: Thank You for this day.

When I first moved south – nearing twenty years ago! – one of the first people I met was a wonderful woman named T. Her daughter was almost the same age as my son, and though that’s where our similarities ended, T was a great neighbor, who went out of her way to introduce me to others, and make me feel welcome in my new neighborhood.

But as I said, T and I didn’t have that much in common.

For one thing, T was a Christian; a devout Baptist to be exact…and well, as you may know, I most certainly am not — but it did not stop us from (mostly) getting along. And as you might imagine, in the interest of neighborliness, T did invite me to various church events.

And in the interest of friendliness in return, I went to many of those church events with her.

And, as a result, I was introduced to many aspects of this particular form of Christianity that I’d never experienced, and while I’d like to stress that T was well aware that I’d no intention of converting, I realized very quickly that T was like a lot of my neighbors: her social life/community did revolve around the church on a daily basis.

So that is what I’m thinking of today, how T introduced me to a particular daily prayer that she referred to as ‘a war room prayer’ – a form of prayer that she told me is rather familiar to many Baptists.

I find war room prayers fascinating.

So, would it surprise you that I would find myself reworking it?

And so:

“Loki, thank you for this day.

Thank you for the breath in my lungs, the flush in my skin, and the ground beneath my feet. 

I am grateful for Your gifts and Your challenges.

Thank you, sweetest friend, for Your love and wisdom that brings me comfort and strength in times of despair.

The Havamal says: ‘The unwise man lies awake at night and ponders everything over; when morning comes, he is weary in mind, and all is a burden for ever.’

In this, You remind me how I should not be anxious for tomorrow; for when morning comes, I would be as weary and anxious as ever.

 Beloved, come – quiet my heart and mind. Free me from the chains of doubt and anxiety.

Grant me a peaceful rest so that I may be refreshed in spirit for You tomorrow.

Thank You.”

~~~

Hail Loki! ❤

MfL, Nine: Falling, and failing.

Someone wrote a poem about how Loki will push you to the edge but He will never let you fall into the abyss.

Those are pretty words.

On some days, such words would give me much comfort, certainly.

But not today.

I find more comfort in these words:

‘There are many truths that I could tell you

But none of them would serve your growth today.

If you should fall into the abyss

There are times I would not save you.

Your falling is sacred.

Your failing is sacred.

Because you are learning, my love

To embrace the dark, to plumb the depths

Of shadow within you.’

~~~

Hail Loki!

MfL, Seven: Tenacious

This poem seems very Loki-esque to me — especially when one considers Loki’s association with dandelions:

“Let them try to stop you

in every way they know;

Even if they poison you,

Cut you down,

Uproot you,

Burn you to ashes,

Bury you deep,

And pave over the place

where you lie;

The weeds of your tenacity

will sprout through the cracks

And bloom.”

— Bree NicGarran, “Dandelion Roots” May 2022
field of dandelions

MfL Six: Burning inside

Describe your God as something that occurs in nature.

*** UPG alert ***

Hail Loki!

#30 days

MfL Five: Sent

Has there been a time when you feel They have sent something to appear to you on their behalf?

No.

When I saw this prompt this morning, my first thought was to…ignore it.

I even looked through the next few prompts in the list, fully intending to skip this particular one, telling myself that I didn’t have an answer for this question, certain that my answer to this prompt would definitely be No.

The Gods have never sent me anything to appear to me on their behalf.

Well, at least as far as I know, I said to myself. There. That’s settled.

But then, as the day went on, I will admit that my mind kept circling back to this prompt, almost annoyingly so.

I mean, if I’ve learned anything these past ten years (ten years?!) I’ve learned that as soon as I think I’ve resolved to avoid something or I start pushing away thoughts of something, reminders of whatever it is that I’m avoiding will inevitably pop up again and again in the weirdest ways.

Because, on the surface, the answer is No. I do not think that The Gods have sent me any tangible thing to appear to me on their behalf.

I’ve seen others answer this prompt with stories involving sightings of an animal oracle, the blessed re-appearance of some previously lost items, or according to a few Lokeans’ interesting tales, the mysterious and impossible appearance of physical items such as a sterling silver ring, an unopened CD of the finder’s favorite band, or, most bizarrely of all, an envelope with the finder’s full name on it containing a letter signed with the initials of their deity…

But that has never happened to me.

But what has happened to me has been a string of odd coincidences, happenstance, and pandoramancy, so many little moments where the flow of my mundane life has been interrupted by an occurrence or experience that only became a Meaningful Piece (in a spiderweb of Meaningful Things) sometime later…sometimes years after the fact.

And yet, for all the Meaningful Things that have occurred, I still find myself analyzing – and maybe even questioning – the legitimacy, the reality of them all, at times.

I was raised by skeptics, after all.

So, the short answer is Yes. Perhaps I have been sent signs – and maybe even wonders! – but in the end, while many of them were inexplicable, all of them were intangible.

I’ve only had experiences, and unfortunately, there isn’t any proof of them that I could show you, much less tell you.

#30 days

MfL, Four: Names

Loki, by three other names:

  • Farmr arma Sigynjar: Sigyn’s arm-burden [lover]

I will admit that, upon first seeing this kenning years ago, I did think that this kenning for Loki referred to Sigyn’s holding of the bowl over Loki’s face (as anyone who has ever held something – however small – with their arms outstretched for longer than a few minutes has experienced that incessant twinge of muscle fatigue in their arms.) So, using that logic, perhaps one might see how I could have thought of the act of holding the bowl could have referred to the holding of a physical burden in one’s arms.

And yet, I was delighted to find out sometime later, in reading an article regarding Norse terms of endearment, that “arm-burden” is a common kenning for lover, referring to the husband/lover laying in the woman’s arms.

Sweet ❤

Loki and Sigyn var2 by Hellanim

~~~

  • Gammleið: Vulture-path(2)

I have written of this kenning before, as early on in my practice with Loki, I was inexplicably led to explore Loki’s connection to vultures. I was having almost daily interactions with vultures where I live (Florida), coupled with several rather intense interactions with Loki thereafter, also involving vultures. (You can read of one particular connective experience here.) And through that exploration, Gammleið has become one of my favorite kennings for Loki.

  • Hveðrungr

I’ve seen this word translated loosely as ‘Roarer’ and like the above kenning, I had trouble fathoming the connection of Hveðrungr to Loki at first.

What is something that could be associated with Loki that ‘roars’?

I thought of lions – which certainly did not fit – but it was not until I was burning some extremely flammable offerings to Loki in a fire pit in my backyard one day that I heard how loud a bonfire can be:

A large bonfire ROARS

And I suppose is what led to a bit of my UPG that Loki as Roarer refers to Loki in an association with fire — whether as a hearthfire(1) at the center of a home, or as a bonfire full of sacrificial offerings(2) – as I’ve always gotten the impression that Loki is a roaring spirit who appreciates offerings consumed by flames.

Not to mention this entry in Rudolf Simek’s Dictionary of Northern Mythology, which defines Hveðrungr thusly:

In Vǫluspá 55, Vidarr takes revenge for the death of his father, Odin, by killing ‘Hveðrungr‘s son,’ who, according to Snorri (Gylfaginning 50), must be the Fenris wolf. As the father of the Fenris wolf is Loki, Hveðrungr would therefore be a name for Loki. The term Hveðrungr maer for Hel, who is also a daughter of Loki’s (Ynglingatal 32), would support this.

(S. Nordal, Vǫluspá, Darmstadt 1980)

Simek, Rudolf, (trans. Angela Hall), Dictionary of Northern Mythology, D.S Brewer, Cambridge, 1993; p. 166

#30 days

~~~~

1.) From Axel Olrik’s manuscript on Loki as a spirit of home and hearth in Norway: http://www.heimskringla.no/wiki/Loke_i_nyere_folkeoverlevering

2.) Loptson, Dagulf, Playing With Fire: An Exploration of Loki Laufeyjarson, Asphodel Press, Hubbardston, MA, 2014; p. 136

MfL Two: Introduction

  1. Introduce us to your God:

They are a Madman, a Magician, and a clever Trickster.

They are a Lover, a Shaman, and a wily Shapeshifter.

They are a Seiðmaðr, a Consort, and a Master of Boundaries.

They are my heart’s sweetest Friend…

And I’m so glad that They found me

#30 days

Loki, by jadelightinleaks

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 whom she loves and she works with closely/offers to regularly — and Gods whom she loves simply for Their existence.

She writes:

“There are some gods I love – have loved for decades, even – and have never had a single, personal, direct experience with. I don’t know if I’m on Their radar at all. I don’t need to be. It’s enough to know Them even a little bit, and to honor Them. I don’t 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’s all it needs to be.”


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 Hávamál 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… 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: Seven

A haunting song by Krauka