My Gods and Goddesses – Loki


251773_2894680182264_1000456344_nLoki

I am prefacing this with saying that I’m including Loki in this section because of his importance to my Mate and some of my students. Personally, I have not made any oaths to him and do not consider myself a Loki-woman. What the future may hold, I cannot say, but for now I haven’t worked with him. Still, I think I should share what my experiences with him have been.

I’ve been in a romantic relationship with a wonderful, sweet, caring, and playful man for nearly eight years now. I met him a few years after I took the oaths and vows of priesthood to the Old Gods and was ordained as a Priestess, but before I had done a whole lot of what I now consider to be the ‘official’ work of being clergy. I had a bit of experience with it, but not enough to satisfy me and even years later, with lots more knowledge, practice, and experience under my cords, I sometimes still feel like a total newb. I have to check myself and do self-evaluation and intense self-study constantly. I don’t complain about it though. I need to know why I do what I do in order to understand myself. Plus, it comes with the territory of making the commitment to facilitate and guide others in their own spiritual and religious paths. I can’t be a guide for someone else if I’m still constantly tripping over my own feet, so I try to keep my head and heart clear and focused and ride the waves of change and new ideas and understandings as they come up. Nowhere do I think this has been more prevalent than in my fairly recent study and newly-found respect for Loki.

Like many others, the first connection that came up when Loki was mentioned is: Trickster, Trouble-maker, Agent of Chaos, and later on when I actually became more familiar with the stories of the Norse and Germanic gods, the reason for Ragnarok and the Destroyer of the World and the Gods.

Talk about a bad reputation.

And I don’t like to admit that along with not really having a strong connection to the Norse path or deities of that path, I was kind of creeped out by Loki. So he was really the bottom rung of an unused ladder as far as my own spirituality was concerned. That all began to change (reluctantly) when I was speaking with my beloved one evening several years ago and asked him if there was a particular God or Goddess that he felt he could relate to and he answered back immediately with “Loki”.

“Are you kidding me?”

“Nope.”

What followed was no small amount of confusion and concern, not the least of which was centered upon his only recently-made departure from Christian practice and religion and his nonexistent desire to read or study anything about Loki before reaching such a conclusion. So, being the history and mythology nerd I was (and still am) I began to unload all of the things I had read about Loki, which wasn’t much, to be fair but was still more than he’d read. He had also known me long enough at that point and listened to me talk about things regarding gods and religion to understand that I believe claiming a patron god or goddess involves taking on lots of responsibility for them as well as manifesting their personality traits in your own life.

NO WAY did I want what I thought was Loki hanging out around me and it took a long while of watching, observing, and listening to him talk about Loki to bring me around.

I mentioned that he didn’t read anything about Loki. I know that he didn’t, because I tried to get him to and he wouldn’t. To explain, he’s just not a scholastically-minded individual and isn’t fond of books, or anything really related to studying as he didn’t show much interest in viewing website info I found on Loki for him either. But the really weird thing was that I could tell he knew what he was talking about. I could tell that he and Loki had a connection, because he had insights into Loki’s personality and stories that I hadn’t come across yet but when I did stumble over something a few months after a particular conversation that matched up with what he said, I would just kind of sit back and “huh” to myself.

As more time went on, he told me in so many words and on different occasions that I had Loki figured wrong. That was kind of irritating. I mean, I read, I studied, I practiced, I was committed;  he was an aimless, uncommitted, bibliophobe who still said he didn’t really know how to define his religious beliefs, or if he even had any.  And he had an inside track to Loki’s machinations that half-spooked me. But I listened and talked to him about it and like a lot of things I’m faced with, I tried to find a way to relate. I had experience with Hermes who also fits into a ‘trickster mold’, so I thought about what my feelings and impressions of Hermes were. There was also Gwydion that I was familiar with who did some of the same sorts of things and I wasn’t averse to seeking them out. Maybe I could learn to tolerate Loki.

I didn’t expect that tolerance would grow into respect and appreciation, compassion and admiration.

I’m still learning about him but what I have learned so far has been very enlightening. Two of my student coven members are seekers after Loki, so now I have three guys in my life who espouse his energy and teachings. I have a friend who I mostly communicate online with through Facebook, though we have met and spent some time together in person before I moved to the other side of the country. The subject of Loki or Paganism in general never came up when I still lived in Ohio though. I wish I had spent more time getting to know and hang out with her before I moved because she is really smart. Her insight into Loki has also helped me to gain an understanding of him.

A few months ago I purchased a book about Loki titled Feeding the Flame: A Devotional to Loki and His Family by Galina Krasskova which I highly recommend if you are interested in gaining an understanding of these fascinating gods. I wanted to expand my understanding of Loki for the benefit of understanding my mate’s connection with him as well as being better equipped to help the two coveners in their personal paths and connections to him.

Loki is intriguing, mysterious, and a very complex creature who doesn’t get the respect he is due in many cases. Thor is inseparable from the mighty hammer Mjollnir, Odin is known for his spear and magical eight-legged horse, but it seems less well known that Loki is the one who attained these gifts for them. He is seen as the father of monsters because of the children he had with his giantess wife Angrboda: Fenrir the huge wolf, the World Serpent Jormungandr, and Hel the Goddess of Helheim, a section of the Underworld which houses the portion of dead souls allotted to her. He works as a force of change and upset, but in the bigger picture of things, it must be realized that change is necessary even if it is seen as unwanted on the surface.

It troubled me when I realized that I had been giving this allowance to Gwydion and Hermes, and even Eris/Discordia for the longest time and had held out on Loki, who after reading and learning about him from those who know him, showed me how deserving of respect he is. If you take it upon yourself to travel that path as well, and do what I did, I think you may come to the same conclusion.

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