Welcome to the month of July!
Let’s get the party started, shall we?
Welcome to the month of July!
Let’s get the party started, shall we?
The practice of dedicating the month of July to honoring Loki likely began during the summer of 2012 with this particular blogging project started by Galina Krasskova. It was during that summer of 2012 that many Pagan communities on the Internet saw an influx of new members (quite possibly due to the popularity of movies like Thor).
As well, it may have been in response to this steady influx of Lokeans that Heathen groups such as the Troth heatedly debated (though eventually decided to uphold) their ban on Loki during sumbel that summer.
Interestingly enough, perhaps the month of July–quite possibly the first community-wide attempt to celebrate Loki for 30 days – had been chosen for the specific reason that the heliacal rising of Sirius occurs in late July/early August.
But what does the heliacal rising of Sirius have to do with Loki?
In some Scandinavian countries, Sirius is sometimes referred to as Lokabrenna (Loki’s Brand or Loki’s Torch.)
Sirius is so bright that it can even be observed with the naked eye, provided that the sky is clear, the observer is at a high altitude, or the Sun is at the horizon in the eastern sky, especially as Sirius appears during the late summer months in the Northern Hemisphere.
The appearance of Sirius in the sky was seen as of immense importance in ancient times; several other cultures worshiped and offered sacrifices as the rise of Sirius signaled good fortune. (Coins retrieved from 3rd century BCE were embossed with pictures of dogs or stars emitting rays, which may signify the importance of Sirius.)
Another common name for Sirius is the ‘Dog Star’ – which coincides with arrival of the oppressive heat – hence the reason why late summer (July 3rd-August 11th) is commonly referred to as the ‘dog days.’
Being the brightest star in the sky, Lokabrenna may have also been used as a navigational tool by sailors, such as the Vikings. Interestingly enough, Arab traveler Ibn Fadlan -who wrote the Risala around 921 A.D., regarding his impressions of the Varangians (Vikings) on the Volga trade route – dedicated the largest portion of his account to describing (and opining upon) the daily practices and beliefs of these traders. Thus, Fadlan may have been the first to include reference to Sirius’ importance to the Vikings as a navigational guide in the eastern skies, among other things.
So, that being said, while there may not be any historical basis to celebrating July for Loki (as well as the fact that blogging for Loki is a relatively recent phenomenon) I see nothing wrong with dedicating myself to writing about Him for the next 30 days…do you?
(from 15 July 2015:)
What to do? I should speak up.
I’ve got so much in my head right now. It’s almost obscene.
A Pathological Liar : A Story and a Situation
-As a member of the kink community, I see certain situations happening a lot. These situations lead to discussion that often concerns consent and manipulation, and whether or not members of the community have a responsibility to the community to broadcast the details of those situations wherein people have been manipulated or victimized by others in the community. If a person has been manipulated by another member of the community, does that victim have a duty towards the community for reasons of safety, to warn others? This is an endless debate and I have witnessed over and over these explosively emotional situations that ensue when someone was mistreated, shamed, manipulated or used by another and it all becomes a witch hunt. Case in point, I recently watched a rather popular member of the kink community leave the community of his own volition in an effort to protect himself from being outed by others for being a pathological liar. He was about to be found out, so he decided to come clean pre-emptively before others could expose his lies. So he admitted that he was a pathological liar, and he expected to be shunned and shamed. Instead, the community response of most members was to refrain from responding to him at all. Certainly, many who knew him were shocked and it became a drama unto itself – but otherwise, he left in relatively embarrassed silence. Most in the community expect that he will never be heard from again, and so it was assumed that the community will carry on, and anyone whose life he touched might now breathe a sigh of relief. Most people hoped that with his leaving that the worst part was over. Because he left quietly, it was assumed that no more lives could be damaged, no one else could be manipulated anymore. As I said, as a member of several communities –both online and offline – that resolution is a common hope.
But I cannot help pondering that question:
Does the victim of a manipulative person have a responsibility to their community to speak up? Some would say yes. Some would say no. Generally speaking, it is often assumed that no one would want a manipulator in their midst, and yet it would be difficult to find a community that has never had one.
There are those who would hide behind their self-imposed positions in the community. There are those who would twist the structure or the mission statement or even the rules of their group to advance their own needs. And in the case of religious community, there are still others who would hide behind the voice of the Gods to advance their personal agendas. So whether or not someone recognizes manipulation in the community, or whether or not an individual is being manipulated by another in the community, where does the responsibility rest?
I want to talk about this – I want to tell you about a particularly well-known [ETA: now former] Lokean godspouse – who manipulated me -but I don’t know how.
(Update, 15 July 2016 – edited to add: Y’know, it’s not that I didn’t know how: it was that I was afraid to stand up for myself, back then. I was afraid of what people would think of me. And even worse, since this person and I both live in the same state, and we actually share the same first name, I was afraid that others who didn’t know me would conflate me with her.)
I am horrified to realize something about myself in regards to one of my blog-followers on WP.
This is an acquaintance who has recently been ‘claimed’ by Loki. Not surprisingly, her blog concerns her latest adventures which are rife with sickeningly sweet discussions of an overabundance of NRE.
I have discovered that she is friends with (this Local Other Lokean who shares my name [LOL].)
Any day now, I wonder if and when she will suddenly receive a nudge that she *should* leave her mortal partner in deference to ‘Loki’s wishes.’
I have known so many others – who had been told this (by LOL) at one time or another – that Loki is nudging things in that direction.
It would seem to be a rather common experience, and it would seem many are familiar with that particular story.
I mean, LOL was by no means the only one who subscribed to the belief that if Loki doesn’t like your boyfriend/lover/husband, He will let you know.
But I remember when I had first been told by LOL that Loki wanted to nudge a certain mortal relationship of mine out the door in late 2012.
(And then again, concerning my marriage of 20 years…in mid-2013.)
So, as you might imagine, just when I thought that I was finished with a relationship overhaul, there’s another problematic relationship that needs tweaking, and if I refuse to overhaul, it … it goes.
Or does it?
Who do you believe?
Who will you listen to
Who will it be?
It’s high time that you decide
In your own mind…
-Natalie Merchant, Life is Sweet
It’s all a matter of personal discernment, isn’t it?
And suddenly I am forced to look at the source.
Whom did I believe?
Whom did I listen to?
I listened to LOL, actually…thinking that I was listening to Loki.
I also listened to another of LOL’s close, trusted friends, P – who also claimed to know Loki and who also claimed to routinely channel Loki.
Though LOL’s and P’s readings would often corroborate each other, this fact strengthened my belief, rather than raising the red flags that this situation normally would have for me.
I wanted so much to believe, you know.
I wanted to believe that the Gods could talk to us directly.
And I considered myself headblind.
So I trusted LOL and I trusted P, since P identified herself as a natural medium with strong psychic gifts, whose psychic readings were ‘eerily accurate,’ as I’d been told by several other members of the online community group of which we were all members.
We were all part of the same kindred.
Both LOL and P claimed to have my best interests at heart.
Even aside of the ‘channelings,’ P and I had spent months chatting and interacting online, on Skype and Google hangouts, and in private messaging.
I’d even met P in person when P came to see LOL in April of 2013.
In short, it’s a rather clichéd story: I thought that LOL and P were my friends. **
So you may imagine that there were several conflicting directives for me – do I listen to what I wanted to believe was LOL’s discernment of Loki – or do I listen to my own discernment?
Well, it took me a long time to figure it out for myself.
And, as a result, in the meantime, I made many poor choices based upon my avoidance and refusal to take up the reins of my own life. I fell into the trap of allowing myself to make decisions and choices based upon the validity of others’ truth rather than trusting my own truth.
I trusted that LOL and P wouldn’t mislead me. I should have trusted myself.
So…what was the message?
Trust your own discernment.
A Lesson on Community Dynamics
I think about what another BNP and Lokean [D] had said to me a little over 2 years ago concerning the ‘Loki-wives’ community dynamic.’
And surprisingly, D warned me specifically about LOL by name.
And that should have been another red flag…that I should have listened to. But I did not.
But I wish that I could talk to D and I would tell him,
‘Hey, you were right. I only wish that I’d listened to you then – but then again – perhaps I wouldn’t know now what I didn’t know then.’
But if I had listened – if I had grasped what he was telling me – I wouldn’t have learned the lesson that I needed to learn.
But I mean, I am a Lokean after all, and if there’s any way I learn, it’s the hard way.
I know that I don’t owe D anything except a thank you, but I am grateful to him beyond belief.
But sometimes one learns best by making mistakes.
See the Pattern?
I tried to write my angry whiskey bravery entry concerning patterns of manipulation but I didn’t post it widely.
My husband, V was supportive and encouraging, however.
The same person whom Loki supposedly didn’t like. The same husband that I was informed that I should leave by Loki Himself.
But it was not until almost a year later that I realized. I made choices that were based upon my trust in someone elses’s discernment rather than trusting my own discernment.
And then, last night I had a dream – two dreams actually – and He definitely appeared in both of them.
The first one took place at the beach. It began in the midst of a horrible event:
There I was, face up looking up blearily at the pale sky, feeling exhausted and disoriented.
Someone off to my left was informing me that I had almost drowned.
Evidently, I was being informed, I had been attempting to swim in the ocean but my skills were weak, so the strength of the ocean had become too much for me. (What an apt metaphor.)
My chest ached, likely from having coughed up so much water.
I looked over to my left, to see who had rescued me.
Loki was crouched down in the sand beside me as I lay there gasping and exhausted, and He was reprimanding me for allowing myself to drown.
He told me that He had sat by me for over two years, listening to me whining about a particularly static personal situation and that He was now there to inform me that the time of my whining was officially over.
He demanded that I stop trying to drown and actually learn to swim.
He was supportive, but in a sly, harsh way. He reminded me that I still haven’t done what I intended to do.
I know what that is.
And then the second dream, I was over LOL’s house, attending a gathering of the local Lokean ‘kindred.’
Of course I had been invited – and I should have felt welcome -but I was there and I was feeling rather awkward. I had just arrived at LOL’s house, with my arms full of groceries and alcohol. Feeling socially anxious, I remember inwardly cringing over the possibility that I felt the need to bring all the food and booze as compensation for my awkwardness. The possibility that I could engage the process of cooking and drinking –rather than socializing with others – suddenly seemed like nothing more than one of my typical avoidance maneuvers. As well, it suddenly became obvious to me that there was a part of me that hoped that nothing else would be required of me. Of course that was true; I would hide in LOL’s kitchen as I always did, grateful to have the distractions of cooking food and serving food. Didn’t I always hide in the kitchen?
I was both surprised and horrified to realize this, and I suddenly wanted nothing more than to go home.
I didn’t want to be there anymore.
But I don’t drive, so I began stressing over how I could get a ride home.
I tried calling my husband, V.
I tried calling on my older kid, N.
Then the doorbell rang. When I opened the door, there was a delivery-person on LOL’s front step, holding a massive bouquet of flowers. The bouquet was so large that I couldn’t see delivery-person’s face, until the delivery person peered around it.
I shouldn’t have surprised that it was Loki (and it was obvious, as He was using one of the more common mundane faces that He uses in my dreams) and He said:
Hey. I see that you are still not doing what you promised Me.
Stand up. Stand the fuck up, and stop being afraid.
What have I told you?
Do what you promised Me. Do something.
** In retrospect, I have come to realize that LOL and P were something else.
LOL and P were two people who were simply those who – whether they are aware of it or not – allowed their filter to color their channeling of Loki.
In short, LOL and P were a harsh lesson in discernment for me.
But I am here to tell you today – 1 August 2016 – that I allowed LOL to manipulate me.
As well, concerning their close association, I’d even allowed P to manipulate me in LOL’s stead, as well.
So, as a result, I don’t think that I could support anyone else going through what I feel was a pattern of grooming and manipulation that began in late 2012 and ended in November 2015.
But perhaps, that’s a story for another day.
Since I am still struggling with several overlapping illnesses at this time – ear infection, sinus infection, and general malaise – you may that I haven’t had much of the wherewithal to write these past few days.
Hence the reason that I’ve gotten so behind in keeping up with my daily posts this July in the Month for Loki.
But I have been reading a lot – and this powerful post came across my WordPress feed today, concerning Loki as a God Who is rather popular with folks who have struggled with various forms of abuse, difficulty, and dysfunction in their lives. I agree with her especially in this:
One of the biggest groups of people who tend to find themselves interacting with Loki are those who have been abused in some way. The ones who have lost themselves and need to be guided back – who need to learn who they are again. Loki teaches us that it’s okay to not be okay. He teaches us that it’s okay to be wounded and feel the wound so that it can heal properly.
While my experiences were not exactly the same as those of Ms. Kyaza, I can relate to a lot of her experiences, especially in regards to dysfunctional family relationships.
I can definitely identify with the ambivalent feelings that arise out of having suffered physical and emotional abuse at the hands of those whom I trusted most to love and respect me.
In fact, there were several occasions wherein I found myself dangerously close to tears while reading her post, as her description of her thoughts and feelings about her mother and their relationship so closely resonated with my own experiences so powerfully.
Reading her post made me feel a strange mixture of feelings.
I felt both a sense of exposure and a sense of triumphant relief in reading this post.
I felt an incredible sense of exposure and shame – as in reading her words, I was so acutely reminded of the immensity of my own desire to please my mother (and in turn, my siblings) who often rejected my efforts by responding with anger, ridicule or outright dismissal. And yet, I remember that guilt, that shame. I had grown up feeling that somehow, if I could just do better, work harder, love more – then finally, I would receive love; I would deserve love.
And yet, while reading, I also felt an undercurrent of strange relief – here was someone who writes so eloquently of navigating emotional landmines that I understand.
I felt understood. I felt heard.
I am not alone in this pain.
I am not the only one.
You see, I have both loved and hated my mother and my siblings – and as a result, in turn, as a woman and as a mother, I have both loved and hated myself. I struggled – and still struggle – with the emotional scars of my upbringing. I crave to feel understood, to feel safe, to feel loved, and yet I have been skeptical of the existence of a relationship wherein I can feel understood, safe and loved. Sometimes, I find myself skeptical of those who have tried to nurture me, so deeply ingrained was my belief that I did not deserve even my mother’s love, the love of my brothers and sisters.
It took me years to decipher that it was not my inadequacy or failing, but the lack of self-love and incapacity to receive love that my mother (and perhaps of those even further back) suffered with that continues this horrible chain.
It affects all of my relationships. I have tried valiantly to be the mother that my own wasn’t, and yet, I still find myself wondering if I’ve fallen short, if I’ve done a disservice to my children. As a person, I have endeavored to be emotionally reliable, compassionate, and kind, and yet, sometimes, I am a victim of my own perfectionism and pessimism, and my own distorted habits and worldviews.
I am estranged from my family, even today.
But the truth is, I am no longer estranged from myself. I am no longer lost.
I had to learn to break the cycle of the past. It is daily work to remain mindful of my emotional responses and reactions whenever I interact with others. (Is it kind? Is it necessary? Am I responding from a place of love and understanding rather than from fear or anger, for example.)
I have learned to be acutely aware of my own negative self-talk and self-limiting behaviors and beliefs. I am learning to accept myself and recognize my strengths and weaknesses, as well as accepting and recognizing that everyone else also has their own struggles with similar issues, with similar emotions, behaviors and beliefs about themselves – and none of us are perfect. Perfection is stagnation.
I am learning to allow myself …to feel vulnerable. To feel angry. To be open to my own emotions and not fear the emotions, reactions, or responses of others. I am learning to be accountable. I am learning to let go of what doesn’t work and focus on what does. I am learning to let go and trust the process. Trust Him and trust myself.
Loki taught me a lot of these things. He has taught me to embrace imperfection, to confront fear of loss or change, to let go of the need to control outcomes, to work with what I’ve been given, and most of all, to allow myself, to open myself to love.
Love the process of living, love the process of learning.
Hail Loki, God of the lost and…found.
Thank You for finding 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:
We are halfway through the month now.
There is so much that I still need to write about…and tonight, I got this little bit of pandoramancy that seemed to confirm that.
Evidently, Someone seems to be waiting for me to say something in particular
…as three different friends of mine have pushed this song on me in the last two days:
Do you know Drowning Pool? No? Not so much? Well you’ve got to listen to this song!…it’s a great song. I promise you’ll like it.
Do you like Drowning Pool? Well, this is my favorite song of theirs. Listen to it!…
Hey. Listen…listen to this song, OK? I think it might be… important.
And so, I did.
One friend even sent me a link that to the first copy of the song that she found on YouTube that not only played the song along with lyrics (since I prefer to look at the lyrics while I listen to the song for the first time through) but then had the song lyrics posted a second time through – without the melody – for a total video length of 7 minutes, 40 seconds.
So, it was as if the Universe *really* wanted to make sure I had the access and the opportunity to study the lyrics not just one time through, but twice. O.o
So what could it mean?
Perhaps this song has a specific message that is supposed to serve as a nudge toward me.
Perhaps it’s supposed to be some subtle encouragement from Him
to continue along the same vein as I have been
concerning the story that I’m supposed to be telling this month.
You know, that story that details the main things that I’ve learned on this path, followed by discussion of several of the major ways that my path has changed?
Yes, that one.
Or maybe, there’s no message; the song might signify absolutely nothing at all.
But still…this is a powerful song that has created quite an earworm for me today.
Oh…and in case that I had it in mind to
Start running away from Him
here’s another bit o’ pandoramancy:
Point taken, Sir.
Being still sick with this flu, I spent most of this day in an almost meditative haze.
As in, I meditated heavily upon my follow-up to this entry.
And this is what came up:
Who bows to whom?
We are both switches, you see.
But I don’t know if He is talking about the relationship between He and Odin
… or if He is talking about the relationship between Himself and me.
The first thing that came up in my email feed was this powerful video post from a blog I follow:
and how the poet has allowed words to separate him – how words separate us all – from facing each other in love.
That post was followed within moments by Jolene Poseidonae’s post on how ‘the heart must go first. [and] The brain may follow’ **
What I took from these two posts was to mean was that I have allowed this little writing project of mine to limit myself in my words already.
I promised to write and yet I have allowed the words to separate Loki and I from each other.
He doesn’t really care what words I use, as long as I write the truth of the story.
And the truth of the story is difficult for me to admit to because it requires a certain amount of writing with an openness and eye towards vulnerability that I am not used to.
I have begged Him to take me deeper and yet it has been the words that have always separated us.
When I taught other kinksters about words as ordeal and how words can make thoughts manifest –
How with the use of words alone, one can create powerful connections!
I was also acutely aware of the concept that Gage Wallace speaks of concerning about how the distance between lovers can be created just as easily — created by the words on the tiny screen of an iPhone.
Words can bring together and words can separate. Names, titles, concepts, aspects….do they matter?
Well, it all matters just as much as it doesn’t matter, because words have a fluidity of meaning and power than is entirely dependent upon context and meaning.
We give words the power they have, and yet once they are said, or heard, their power becomes dependent upon others’ understanding of meaning and context.
Whether one is having a conversation or an argument, words are means by which access is given to thoughts, ideas, and feelings.
We connect with our words. We encourage with our words. We open up to others with our words.
But we can also wound with our words. We can shut down connection with words. We can separate ourselves from others with labels, titles, names, designations. We can lie, confuse, obfuscate meaning. We can hide behind our words.
Words can open and words can limit.
When Loki first came to me, almost from the beginning, I wanted to know Who He was.
And He wouldn’t tell me.
So I put words on Him:
But I realize that Loki encompasses all of these words…and yet, none of these words.
**I love that last line, by the way. It is a perfect description of where my devotional practice with Loki seems to be going this month. I was equally tempted to use those words as the title for today’s post.