In the last few months, I’ve stirred up some dust for poking at Loki’s mortal wives – even though I count some of their number as my nearest and dearest friends. I encouraged readers to write about their own relationships with Him, especially if these relationships were not spousal.
Time to put my money in my flapping maw, I guess.
One of the biggest misgivings I had about answering Loki’s call – even though I had already surrendered to Him as His servant – was that I was not happy about His claim of being my “father”.
As a Christian apostate, I had spent too many years of my life desperately trying to relate to God as a cosmic Daddy. It never worked for me, and as I got more involved in my particular flavor of Protestant faith (United Methodist), I was lucky to find others who weren’t so quick to assume God-the-Masculine. It was just becoming the new vogue to refer to God as either “She”, or gender neutral words. This was much more in line with how I experienced God, and that feeling grew moreso in my first forays into Paganism, at the hands of Dianic Wicca, a particular kind of Wicca that is Goddess-centric (to the exclusion of a male “God” at all, or worship/mention of male deity) and wouldn’t even let men into their rituals. (Or Trans* Women either, let’s be honest.)
So just as I was getting more comfortable in my relationship to the Holy One(s), a Male Deity showed up and claimed to be my father. And not just in some metaphorical, archetypal way either – He actually detailed for me the scene at my conception, to prove He had been present, even if my (human) parents knew nothing about it. He claimed to have molded me in the womb, to be what I am today, so as to be a better shaman/spirit worker for Him.
Part of this relationship with Him was specifically engineered to help me overcome the deep wounds I had about my human father. He was a very troubled soul, nearly friendless throughout my lifetime, wrought with depression and other severe mental illnesses, as well as the results of a horrific childhood. I tried for years to come to better terms with him, especially as I became an adult and saw him for the sad man of circumstance and bad choices he really was, rather than the abusive tyrant he had been in my youth. Not that I explain away or mean to make excuses for the fucked up things he did to me and my siblings (and my mother too), but I understand much more where those dysfunctions came from. When I first learned of his death in 2007, I honestly couldn’t tell if I was sad or glad he was gone. So ambivalent my family and what little friends he had were, I was the only one brave enough to give a eulogy at his funeral, and even then I made sure to make it known that I wasn’t going to ignore or pretend that he hadn’t been an asshole to a lot of people in his day.
It’s obvious, then, why I never really felt God as a reflection of my father, which was really the only “father figure” I ever had – the only other male who served as a role model in my youth was a very fey gay man, go figure – because I could not separate the idea of my father as the self-proclaimed sovereign of my childhood household and this supposedly benevolent Being who not only never saved me from the terrors of abuse as a child, no matter how much I prayed, but who saw fit to give me a deep desire for spiritual service combined with a strong sexual attraction for gay men and lesbians. Either way you sliced it, the idea of a Holy Male (or wholly Male) never really felt right to me.
But there Loki was, not only claiming to have a hand (so to speak) in my actual conception, but now wanted me to worship Him as a child does their Father. I wasn’t having any of it.
But Loki, in his infinite patience, bore out all of my fighting and rejecting and trying to reframe our relationship in any other matter but this, until finally I came to accept my lot. And honestly, it’s more that I can totally see myself as not unlike His brood via Angrboda – a monster, not quite human, but of this world nonetheless. And this is why, friends, that I get really fucking pissed off when I call myself “monster” and you feel bound to assure me I am not. I do not see this as a bad thing, nor really a good one either, but just a thing, like being a redhead. In some ways, I see it not unlike many of the other labels I have come to accept for myself, many of them having once been epithets but now reclaimed: queer, trans, crip, fat, weirdo, geek, etc.
Then, of course, just as I started to feel comfortable with my lot, I found Loki’s mortal wives. Some of them are wonderfully nice people, fellow Lokeans that I love dearly. But just as many told me horrible things, like “If Loki really loved you, He’s marry you” or “If you’re Loki’s child, and I’m His wife, that must make me your mother-in-law in some way”, or “Why would someone *choose* to be a monster like Fenris, who is an enemy to the Aesir?” and so on. It broke the shaky confidence I had gained. I cried for months, through which Loki stayed mostly distant, waiting out the temper tantrum for what it was. I felt ugly, abandoned, unworthy, unloved, because He did not choose me for a wife, but instead a child. It made me feel condenscended to (from both the mortal lot as well as He), like I was fated to always be seated at the kid’s table, that no one would take me seriously as either a spirit worker or Lokean should I make my relationship with Him known.
(Maybe now you can see why I get so fucking angry when Lokeans come to me having been told similar things – the gas over Loki only really loving His wives being among them – because not only does it fucking hurt, not only is it not even remotely true, but because I’ve known more than one who have turned from Loki completely, feeling that if He did not want them for a spouse, they would find a different God who would take them as such.)
Part of my journey with Loki is to learn about being a non-asshole Father, but even more deeply as I started my transition, how to be a non-asshole man. Unfortunately, as many formerly abused children do, I have dated some pretty fucked up individuals in my day, hoping to find some sort of Daddy replacement, only to get wounded all over again. It has been difficult for me to figure out what kind of man I am, or want to be, because there aren’t many role models I’ve had access to in an intimate enough manner (not meaning “fucking”, but as in “understanding all aspects of them”) that have panned out. I think my picker has gotten better as I grow older, but it still needs some WD-40 from time to time.
It has also been about being the underdog, the minority voice fighting to be heard, to be respected. In the past few years, some have told me they see me as an Elder, and knowing how hard I’ve had to fight to be taken seriously (both in general and as a Lokean), I find a deep honor in that. I don’t know if I’m ready to take on that mantel quite yet, so for now I’m happy to be a Pope (which I will write about soon).
So that is my relationship to Loki, as well as I can tell it today. He is my Dad, and His blood runs through my veins as surely as my mortal parents do. I have learned to see my human father as a three dimensional human being, rather than just “the bad guy”, and I have learned to cultivate the aspects of masculinity that suit me, and to remember not to emulate the aspects that don’t, even if I might pass more as a man if I did.
I’ve never had to deal with anyone trying to beat me down for “only” being his son and not his spouse (gross), or trying to one-up me about it, or presume to be some sort of parent of mine as well/authority figure. It’s fortunate; I would’ve had to be very rude to them. I know both of my parents, and neither of them are human.
I wish that more of his children were visible or didn’t feel awkward about being visible, because I know how absolutely he cherishes all of his children.
Both of my parents are amazing, and I can’t even even imagine that being their son would ever be “not good enough.”
I used to wonder how I would ever find something suitably ‘devotional’ in my attitude about my father, because we’d always gotten along so ordinarily, but it’s in this, in the fact of being his well-beloved child, that it gushes from my heart.
Reblogged this on Thrudvangr and commented:
I love this. I keep getting wind of these Lokiwives who’ve turned people away and thankfully have not experienced that. Thank you for this. It was my first post in the reader this morning before prayer. I am so sorry any of us have suffered under the immaturity of idiots. Bravo that this shaman held on. Let’s all remember folks…our gods are real, sentient, and powerful. And Karma can be a bitch.
Pingback: A Month For Loki: Being A Child | Conflagration
Reblogged this on Bluehufsa's insanity train and commented:
I’m not a Godspouse either.
I’ve never doubted your importance to Loki. Children are often more important to people (and gods) than anybody else is to them — even their spouses. I wonder how many of the Loki’s wives who told you that bullshit about “if He loved you, He’d put a ring on it” have ever loved someone more than themselves, children or otherwise? Devotion isn’t a fucking contest.
Loki’s children are just as loved and important as any of his spouses. As his grand-nephew, I have never ONCE doubted his love for me as a member of his Family, even though I’m far more distant than you are in relation. He loves his spouses as much as his children and other relations.
“at the hands of Dianic Wicca, a particular kind of Wicca that is Goddess-centric (to the exclusion of a male “God” at all, or worship/mention of male deity) and wouldn’t even let men into their rituals. (Or Trans* Women either, let’s be honest.)”
I’m a Dianic Wiccan, and our circle is open to menfolk and children for Beltane and we’ve *always* been open to Trans*Women. We’ve given workshops for all genders. I know circles that include all genders all the time.
I hate that Z. has been so freaking awful. I participated in the post-Pantheacon round up about about the Z. debacle at The Wild Hunt (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wildhunt/2012/02/the-pantheacon-gender-conversation-continues.html).
But we’re not all like her. Pinkie swear.
I know there are some Dianics who aren’t so exclusionary (or downright degrading, like Z’s comments about trans folk), but I was chronicling my own experience in this essay, and the group I ritualed with were mostly lesbian seperatists, gender essentialists who were the first dykes to force me to choose “Butch or femme?”, so I could be better defined and understood by them. After I decided that butch suited me better, I was ridiculed into cutting my hair short, and for not being stone. I was the only one in my coven, when we were approached by a trans* woman, to not only encourage her being permitted to attend our rites, but to stand up against much of the terrible language and assumptions that these supposedly enlightened women (well, womyn) used in speaking not only about her, but to her as well.
In the end, I had traded one form of religious intolerance for another. Now, to be fair, I learned a great deal from them, some of which still can be seen in the rituals I construct, and had many pleasant experiences that I hold spiritually dear. I also know that many people, especially women, find a safe and sacred space in their rites, and I don’t begrudge them that at all, whether they are trans* friendly or not. I have also written a great deal in defense of gender segregated space, in whatever way the definers of that space will it. I have even held rites only open to those who identify as neither man nor woman – third gender mysteries – in a way to create a different, but similar – space for my own kind.
Thanks for your comments, though, as it is always good to hear more than the stereotypes.
Thanks for replying, Del. While I can’t directly relate to those experience, I definitely sympathize with how difficult they must have been for you and I honor your experience with the not so great side of Dianic Wicca.
I’m really glad you’ve held third gender mystery rituals, it’s needed work in my (cis) gender opinion.
Something you said hit me like a load of bricks. You said, “Part of my journey with Loki is to learn about being a non-asshole Father, but even more deeply as I started my transition, how to be a non-asshole man. Unfortunately, as many formerly abused children do, I have dated some pretty fucked up individuals in my day, hoping to find some sort of Daddy replacement, only to get wounded all over again.”
Coming from a shitty childhood, looking for the Perfect Daddy has impacted my love life too. For the first time, however, I realized just how often I was trying to *be* the Perfect Daddy in these relationships too–because that was what I thought a non-asshole man should be. That had an even worse impact on my love life in lots and lots of ways, and I just realized why I might have fallen into the pattern of trying to be everyone’s savior thanks to what you wrote.
Thanks for getting me thinking.
What struck me about the Lokiwives was it seemed to echo Christian sentiments of if God loved you, He would…. or if Christ loved you….. As there are multiple types of love, there are multiple types of relations with Gods. To have everyone be one thing limits the Gods and makes Them seem petty.
I have an Uncle relationship with Neptune, and never thought well gee I have to be something else. It is a comfortable relationship and it suits how we relate.
My son has a kinda of similar relationship with Loki and as a result I would never presume to tell someone that a mortal spouse is more important than a child. I’ve seen how close Loki and my son are and I know that’s just not true. Even if He didn’t have a personal hand in their conception Loki loves kids, and has a protective streak where they’re concerned.
Pingback: “What Makes?” | The Infinite Battle
I find it interesting that I stumbled upon this post now, years after it was made, when I here recently found out/discovered/was told that Loki is my father. Which makes a lot of sense looking back on things from years ago. Wish I knew that sooner. Reading this post has me thinking a lot.