I became a shaman in 2005. That is, I accepted what was happening to me as shamanic in 2005. I don’t rightly remember when I actually started using that word to describe what I did, but I knew in 2005 that I had been forever changed. And when I became a shaman, I became a shaman for Loki. I literally handed over my wyrd, or “magical destiny”, to him. I wasn’t going to be using it anyway.
I’ve talked about this in several places, so I apologize if you’ve heard it all before. The day I accepted Loki’s offer was the day I was attempting suicide in my friend’s spare room. It was very Interview With a Vampire, in that he basically gave me the option of dying (as it seemed I wanted to do) or choosing to live my life in a very different way. I really didn’t want to die that night; I just wanted a different fate. I felt trapped, both internally and externally. I had no hope for the future, no options, and not a lot of choices left.
When Loki helped rebuild my life, he also taught me many things. He gave me a real handle on my mental health issues, both internally and also by helping me find the right treatments. I learned a great deal of spiritual techniques, like how to open myself up for possessory work and how to shapeshift both in the real world as well as astrally. It felt like boot camp, sometimes, as I retreated to the little room I was staying in Arlington, VA. I would go up there and close the door and meditate for hours as he showed me how to see someone else’s wyrd. But every step, every moment, every breath, he made one thing abundantly clear – I was NOT learning these things so I could become an awesome, untouchable, special snowflake spiritual guru. No siree. This was valuable, and it needed to get to the right people at the right time.
Really, he said to me, I want you to serve the people. You can’t be all spiritual up in your room and still be of any worth to me. You have to go out and find those in need. You need to build a positive reputation, so that people will trust you with such sensitive matters. You need do continually do good works, be in service to your fellow man, so that when someone thinks of you, they think of a tireless servant to the Gods. I have no use for crowns, and neither can you.
I’ve had to think a lot about the crown comment. There have been many times when I just thought to myself, “If I take over and make everyone do it my way, it would go so much better!” But that is not my lot, as it is not Loki’s either. No one would listen to Loki if he just claimed the head of the Aesir. First of all, he was not one of them, and that is a big part of the role he plays with the other Aesir – he’s the holy outsider. (He was born of the Jotun, not of whatever the Aesir are born of.) That’s part of how my Lokean stuff works, too – I work best when I can be an observer, rather than a mover/shaker. Even though there are times I am sorely tempted – and once when I actually tried – to take control in order to steer things in what I think is the right direction; I am continually bapped on my cosmic nose and reminded that my place is the servant, not the Lord.
Another thing he made of me when he made me a shaman was that he took away a large piece of my humanity. I identify as a Monster, and not just as a boogaboo that goes bump in the night. There is a part of me that is inhuman, that other animals sense is off, that even spirits recognize as being different that the average joe. But this is much more of something I struggle with, rather than celebrate. This is not “whoo hoo the Gods have made me sooooo different I’m not even human anymore!” This is much more like, “I am sad that I no longer understand some things that come naturally to other humans.” It does have its upsides, but there are a lot more down ones. This is also part of the natural outsider thing as well.
So excluding Loki, acting as though he is not a rightful member of the Aesir, only puts him in his wheelhouse. He can do his best work when he’s the sacred servant, the outside objector, the observant next door neighbor. He will find a way to have his thoughts relayed without needing someone to raise a horn to him. He gets plenty of that anyway. I know I raise one to him as often as I can.
Where in your life would it be better if you took a step back and just observed, rather than remain in control? In what ways have you shirked the role of the servant in order to seek out a crown? How can you take what you do best and turn it into a way to help those around you? When you redirect that part of you that is so caught up in being one of the cool kids, and put it towards actually doing things that might gain you real recognition, you find life flows a lot more like water.