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A Month for Loki: Post I

As I’ve said before, one of the reasons I rushed to get this blog up and running was to participate in Galina Krasskova’s Month for Loki.

The reason this came about now is related to a Heathen group called The Troth, of which I am not a member. I don’t know the story very well, but this is what I understand (and I invite those with better knowledge to correct me in the comments): The Troth had a rule that members could not hail Loki because it caused problems with frith. (Frith is a Norse term for “everyone getting along as best they can”.) No one seems to know what the problems with frith were, and no amount of asking has yielded an answer. Anyway, the Troth has a big get together every year, called Trothmoot. This year, a bunch of renegade Lokeans got together and held a private blot (ritual) for Loki. Then a somewhat prominent member of the Troth decided to hail Loki during one of their big rituals. The reaction of the Troth was to look at their ban on Loki-hailing and change things….kinda. It’s now okay for Troth members to privately hail Loki and/or work with Loki in their own spiritual path, but Loki is still banned from their big group rituals.

Now, my UPG (unverified personal gnosis; that is, what the Gods tell me) is that Loki doesn’t care so much. It’s always been Loki’s line with me that he’s happy to go where he’s invited and if he really needs to go somewhere he’s been banned from, he’ll find a way. After all, he’s a God; they’re little meatsacks who think saying something makes it true. But what bothers me about anywhere that limits what Gods from a pantheon one can honor is that it smacks of residual Christian influences. That there somehow can’t be a group of Gods without dividing them into Good and Bad. And/or that Order is somehow inherently good and Chaos is inherently bad.

I’m going to go all gamer geek on you for a moment and I promise you’ll be okay. For a long time, and probably still to this day, my favorite role playing game was Werewolf: The Apocalypse by White Wolf Studios. I even ran a LARP in that world for three years. The game has a heavy spiritual component, as werewolves are spiritual beings who are working to try to balance three cosmic forces: The Wyld, or untamed creative energy; the Weaver, or that which brings order and stasis to creation; and the Wyrm, that which breaks down what is no longer necessary. In the game world, the three started out working together in harmony, but then they tried to prove that each was the most important. Somewhere in this process, the Wyrm went from being natural destruction to corruption, and therefore the entropic forces were now creating pure evil beings who corrupted for the sake of corruption. (Fun villians for a sadist like me to write for!) So most people who approach the game see it as the Wyld and the Weaver trying to reel the Wyrm back in.

I never saw it that way. All three need to be in balance, but our world is very full of Weaver, too. People have evolved to exist in a world where there is so much newness that we all cling to things that are less likely to change. We still enter into relationships thinking that this one will be different from every other one and will last forever. We buy cars hoping that this will be the car that will last us over a decade. We desperately want things to stay as much the same as possible.

Loki (yeah, I know, I’m not writing an essay about W:tA) is very much committed to the concept that sometimes shit’s gonna be burned down in order for new things to grow. Many of his opponants fear or hate him because they think he forces change for changes’ own sake, but that’s not been my experience of him at all. Loki looks at a situation and, finding it broken and in need of replacement, begins to break it down so eventually it will have to be replaced. And this can be scary for someone who isn’t used to it. It scared me, the first time I really surrendered the reigns of my life to him. Things I thought would never change about me – oh, say, my gender identity? – were suddenly on the table for examination.

As someone who works so closely with Loki that I beam with his energy often, I have had to adjust to a life where everything is being tested. I have learned to enjoy the process of looking at a situation and asking why it is the way it is, especially if that situation is causing discomfort, drama, or grief. You’d be surprised how many people cling to life situations not because they are happy about them, but the mere thought of changing them (even to something more desirable or better) scares them beyond belief. The known is so much more comfortable than the unknown.

A side effect of this is that everything in my life is examined on a regular basis. Does the name “Del” still serve me? Do I need to stop going to this event I’ve been at for the last eight years? Should I grow my hair? Is Maryland where I need to live right now? Should I start looking for a more traditional job? Nothing is ever etched in stone. Nothing is permanent. Even my association with Loki could change if working with a different Deity would be a better thing (for me, for the universe, for Loki).

So the devotional act I ask you to consider to kick off this “month of Loki” is to take some time and really examine your life. Look at all the little details – your name, where you live, what you do with your free time, your job, your relationships, your car, the things you collect, the people you spend time with – and give them as impartial a once-over as you are capable. Maybe ask Loki for his help, if you think you can handle it. (He’s brutally honest, and once he tells you something needs to go, your life will keep making it easier and easier for that thing to go…) Find something in your life that you’re ready to change, and give domain of it to Loki. Tell him that you are ready to root out that which isn’t serving you anymore and replace it with something better. Make a sacrifice of your fear, your habitual nature, your desire for things to stay the same forever. I’d even suggest literally burning it – writing whatever it is on a piece of paper and holding it over a candle flame until it’s ash.

Hail Loki, he who sees what others hide from their own eyes!
Hail Loki, who upturns the apple cart so as to reveal the rot beneath!
Hail Loki, may he assist us in living the most fulfilling life we can!

About Del

A shaman who writes about spiritual things, but not in that namby-pamby "everything is light and fluffy" sort of way.

12 responses to “A Month for Loki: Post I

  1. Pingback: Excellent Essay on LOki - Gangleri's Grove

  2. Pingback: A Month With Loki #2 « Valiel's notes in english

  3. Eric S ⋅

    Well, yes, I did that or it happened but it wasn’t Loki. 😉

  4. Kitten ⋅

    So, I read this post on Loki, and, I haveta say… for values of “Loki,” you could easily enter in “Eris,” and that’s pretty much exactly how I see Her (I’m an Erisian.) They serve the same purpose within the order of the Universe – They are the shit stirrers. It reminds me of Spike, talking about how Angelus wants to end the world, and being annoyed with it; “why do all of the bad guys want to destroy the world,” he laments. “The world is great as it is – I just want to be able to my thing and enjoy myself; can I help it if my thing looks evil to non-vampires?” is basically his outlook. And, that’s pretty much how I see Loki/Eris – They’re not *trying* to bring about Huge Ass World Ending Events, They’re just “doing Their thing,” which, unchecked, would bring about Huge Ass World Ending Events. Just as a wild fire causes property damage – the fire isn’t *trying* to destroy the houses, the houses are simply in the fire’s way. Not evil in and of itself.

    And, those fires *are important* for the world. It clears away and makes room for the new. Those shit stirrers are important. Without them, we wouldn’t be as encouraged to reach out of our comfort zone. As you said, it’s *important* for there to be *a balance* between the Wyld, the Weaver, and the Wyrm. But, so often, the Wyrm (and, to a lesser degree, the Wyld) are absolutely *vilified.* It’s completely acceptable to be on the side of the Weaver, and yet, if you look at it, so many dictatorships and even *wars* are fought, because people are *too* invested in their version of the Weaver. To me, it’s the Wyld and Wyrm that encourages self expression and open mindedness. It’s Chaos that loves that-which-is-different-than-self. It’s Loki that whispers in your ear, saying that it’s perfectly acceptable to be gay in a Catholic society.  

  5. Jalkr

    How the business with the Troth came about was this: I encountered Kveldulf Gundarsson on Facebook, on a friend’s Wall. he found the remark I made about Odin intriguing and asked if I would be at Trothmoot (bear with me, this all relates), and the Wall owner said I wouldn’t be welcome there, which only intrigued him all the more. He is one of the founding Elders of the Troth, you see and the author of their key educational materials. He and I began to talk via FB and I asked him if he was aware that the org he’d started 25 years ago prohibited hails to Loki in any group gatherings. he was horrified and said he’d had no idea. I brought a third person into the conversation, a Lokean, who related what had happened in his dealings with Troth boardmembers (he provided a damning chat transcript). That got the Founder quite angry and he began to communicate with the other Founders, who, to a person, did not at all approve what had been done by the current admin/rede/whatever. So when Kveldulf showed up at Trothmoot and spoke at the Grand Sumbel he had arranged for a performance style retelling of Thrymskviða, getting the audience so enthused that before they knew it, they were right along in the fulsome praises for Loki…and there was a collective stunned moment when they realized what they’d done. The Elders made their position known in formal conversation and it’s been flying back on forth on the Troth e-list ever since. The ONLY reason Galina knew about what happened when she did, was Kveldulf posted privately to the Lokeans group on Facebook, specifically asking people not to re-post and she ignored his request. I drove down to Trothmoot on the walk-in Saturday (it’s a four hour drive) and met Kveldulf just as the formal discussion group was finishing. He thanked me for telling him about the policy far in advance so he could have time to prepare and marshall the other Elders. I’ve been dealing with a tidal wave of antipathy and email ever since, especially from people assuming I must be part of a Cauldron Farm plot. I’m not the least bit sorry I spoke out, but it was for Loki, not out of solidarity with any damned group.

    • Del

      To be clear, Jalkr is not a part of The Church of Asphodel, nor is he connected in any way to anyone at Cauldron Farm. He is not a representative of either, does not speak for them in any way, and should not be confused as such.

      I hope this helps, Jalkr.

      • Del

        I guess while I’m at it, I should make it clear that *I* am not a member of the Church of Asphodel, nor do I live at Cauldron Farm. I am friends with the people who live there, and do identify as Northern Tradition, but they do not speak for me nor I them.

  6. Del

    If you happened to have arrived here via Jalkr’s blog, and wanted to see the terrible, awful, ego-centric email I sent him, here it is:

    Hey there Jalkr:

    I’m kinda confused, and maybe you can help me out.

    I noticed you had blocked me on Fetlife, and although I have some ideas as to why, I just accepted it. I knew you and I had gotten into a few disagreements and I said some things that upset you, so I wasn’t all that surprised.

    So I decided to give you space. I defriended you on Facebook so I wouldn’t be tempted to reply to your posts. I have generally gone out of my way to stay out of your way. I figured if you were interested in some form of reconciliation, you’d let me know.

    Then you go post a comment to my blog. I think I get your impetus: you wanted to set the record straight and very clear as to how the Trothmoot thing went down. That’s cool with me. What bothers me is that you had to find a way to put a dig in against people that I care deeply about. I let the comment through, even with the dig, because I do think what you had to say adds to the conversation. And I’m not an idiot: I know you don’t like “the Cauldron Farm people”. I just wish you wouldn’t come to my blog, where you know lots of Cauldron Farm and Asphodelians read, and add your jabs.

    And I’m unsure why you’re reading my blog anyway, since I figured you didn’t want anything to do with me. Which makes me sad, but I accepted it a while ago.

    ~Del

  7. Renee ⋅

    Reading your comparison of Loki to Wyrm got me thinking about Loki and his role in the grand cosmology differently than I have in the past. I’ve never seen him as bad, but I hadn’t previously made connections between him and various other gods; gods that people would never see as “bad” or “evil.” I’m wondering why that is and I can only think that the stories of those other pantheons, and the relationships those other gods are in, somehow highlight their “redeeming” qualities. I’m fairly sure that part of the difference is that Loki isn’t part of Norse death mythos — instead of his destruction being seen as part of the cycle of life and death, it’s seen as just destruction and chaos, period.

    On the other hand, I can think of one entity who is somewhat similar, though her manifestation is different — Oya. She is about the destruction and change the hurricane brings, but again she is also seen as having other, more “positive” characteristics. I can’t help wondering whether Loki, too, was acknowledged in more “positive” ways at one time, but that those ways have fallen by the wayside over the years.

  8. Wow, that and posts ii and iii have given me a lot to think about. I must say, you see Loki somewhat differently than I do, insofar as to me, he and his background are not only full of change, but also of loyalty in his own way. In working with Sigyn, who is very much a part of his life, I’ve also learned that there are things that are worth fighting for, that sometimes things need to be broken and cut into not just to be thrown out, but to heal properly.

    Still, I can relate a lot to some of what you post. Many times in my life, it’s felt like the floor itself has disappeared from under me. There have also been times when I’ve been suicidal… and there’s this odd space after those times where I realized I didn’t want to die, but I also didn’t know how to begin living again.

    Blessings to you on your journey.

  9. Jalkr ⋅

    Uh, Del–when someone blocks you on Facebook or elsewhere, it means THEY, not you, are calling the shots. It’s not a matter of your being magnanimous, it’s a matter of their enforcing boundaries. You’re not “confused” you’re being snide. Don’t mistake my being indifferent/noncommittal to talking with you before with our being buddies, because we were never that. As for “had to find a way to put a dig in against people that [you] care deeply about,” how does stating the truth of what was done qualify as a dig? I have a cut and paste from Lokeans & Allies in which it was asked that information not travel outside the group, which request was promptly ignored.
    And finally, posting that I have a FL account, which has z-e-r-o to do with Trothmoot or breaches of stated community rules on Facebook–that is exactly the sort of “terrible, awful, ego-centric” behavior I expected. In your Jul 6 missive you said, “I think you’re an insightful, interesting, scholarly individual, and I hope that your Temple receives real blessings.” Which is a total crock, because in deciding that the www needs to know irrelevant things, you’ve chosen to out me for sheer spite.

  10. Pingback: The Starting Post « A Place to Mew

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