Laguz I surrender to the depth and the flow
Othala I surrender to that which encompasses all [the Norns know]
Kenaz I surrender to the flame that roars and sings
Isa I surrender to the stillness at the beginning and the end of all things
A lovely poem about Loki by Sophie Oberlander:
by Sophie Oberlander
“I never sought You.
Those places deep within my heart were far too burned and scarred
To let You in, hard like misshapen stone.
Or so I thought. But I gave much
The first time I hung on that Tree.
Not enough, by far, but just enough to shatter that wall of stone
The barest fragment breaking free.
I heard Your whisper, but turned aside my face
You could not be speaking to me.
I felt Your gentle touch cradling my wounded spirit
As You cradled Odin,
His body bloodied, His spirit on fire beneath that Tree
Long before I climbed its branches.
Was it through Your laughter that You taught me to love You?
Or through the tenderness of Your caress?
I have seen a face of You that few bother to see.
I have felt Your burning passion, gentle and tender beneath the Tree.
Brother, Lover, Friend,
No image of God quite prepared me for You.
You eased away my terror with Your wicked cavorting,
Making a broken child laugh by playing the fool.
I have seen Sigyn’s quiet contentment,
And the love behind Your games.
I no longer understand the trepidation in which others call Your name.
I have seen Your other face too,
When You took me to Your daughter’s realm.
I have seen You, locked in ecstasy,
Summoning up Her wards and wights for me.
My heart’s stone did not so much break
As melt beneath Your flame.
I have tasted Your rage, Your fury at my hurt,
Reveled in the darkest glee
With which You opened the gates of Niflheim to defend me.
No one told me how much You cherish Your children.
I have seen You, Trickster, weeping in anguish
Every one of Your children’s’ wounds piercing Your heart.
And I have seen You in battle, Odin’s equal,
Though Yours a far darker art.
I have heard Your song,
Far sweeter than I ever knew it could be,
As You took my hand, and led me from that Tree.
If it Your stories I cherish most, as we walk Bifrost bridge,
Dancing patterns amongst the stars.
You placed my hands upon the web, and taught me songs to weave.
As I hung for Asgard, through You, for Hella’s realm I reached.
I know how You are feared, or mocked, or thought long bound.
But I know too, it was Your hand guiding me
Through my darkest despair and pain.
And how can I fear Your deepest love,
When it is the freedom of my heart I’ve gained?
Loki, now it is Your burning that I seek.
Let us mingle songs beneath the Tree,
For I adore the flame you have ignited in me.”
~~ The Journey~~
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.~
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
I know that this may come a little late, as it is nearly mid-February, but this is my second year of doing My One Word.
While last year’s word was definitely Allow, my realization of this year’s word proved to be more subtle… but no less profound than Allow had been.
Though, unlike Allow, I didn’t grasp my One Word as quickly this year.
Actually, this year’s word is actually a compound word:
I have come to realize that I have been avoiding working on the concepts associated with Self-Love for a rather long time.
Though, in late January, it became quite clear to me that as much as I thought that I’d done pretty well learning how to Allow myself to feel and to act (rather than react) and to build upon other shadow work I’d done over the last year, there was definitely an aspect of that Allow shadow-work that I’d been avoiding.
And I got the impression from Them that I could not afford to ignore that aspect anymore.
Thus, I discovered that Self-Love was the missing piece.
Or, as They have often impressed upon me:
No one is going to love you exactly the way that you need to be loved, so you may as well learn to love yourself.
Tom Hiddleston reads Derek Walcott’s lovely poem, Love after Love:
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.