Group Lokean Letter sent to The Wild Hunt, Not Published

This letter was submitted to The Wild Hunt weekend editor on Nov. 30th. TWH declined to amend the article as requested (their response was Dec. 1). Feel free to copy and paste this letter in its entirety, along with signatures, and share as you will on your own blogs and social media. Update! See Ky Greene’s Lokean Community article here!

[Dec. 6 Apology] And here I have to apologize for originally writing that TWH “declined” to publish the letter. I stand corrected. In writing, they declined to amend Seigfried’s article. But, please note, they also did not publish the letter, which they could have done, especially as it was signed by so many people.

A Lokean Group Response to Karl Seigfried’s “Loki in the White House”

We are concerned about the religious bigotry and intolerance against our community and religious practices, as conveyed in Karl E.H. Seigfried’s recent column “Loki in the White House,” The Wild Hunt, Nov. 24, 2018.

Those who cultivate a relationship with the Norse god, Loki, are a minority among neopagans. Our individual practices are eclectic, nondogmatic, and individualistic.
By equating Loki with certain cherry-picked actions of the current president of the United States, Seigfried suggests that we who cultivate a relationship with Loki do not understand our own god, our own spirituality, and our community, and what we should understand is that our god is evil. This is no better than an evangelical Christian telling pagans that our lack of understanding about Jesus and our own gods is leading us to worship demons. This is not only condescending but also inappropriate for an interfaith chaplain.

While we are individually and collectively offended by Karl E. H. Seigfried’s comparison of Loki to the current president of the United States, we understand his right to his opinion, no matter how ill-founded it may seem to us. However Seigfried’s article crossed an important line from eccentric opinion to bigotry.

What concerns us most of all are Seigfried’s final two paragraphs, which are essentially “a call to action” to discriminate and further marginalize all who hail Loki in their religious and devotional practices, whether in a polytheistic or monotheistic context. The opinions he presents in those closing paragraphs are that Loki is bad, therefore we who hail Loki are also bad and undeserving of support.

“Lokiphobia” is a word we wish we did not need to coin, and yet many members of our spiritual and religious community have been dealing with prejudice for years. In Heathen circles, many people who hail Loki have been excluded, bullied, and threatened. We can supply examples of this claim if needed. So it is particularly dangerous to fan the flames of such paranoia and bigotry against an outlier group when things are already so volatile nationally and worldwide.

To be clear, Lokiphobia, in the context of neopaganism, is discrimination against the religious practices and beliefs of people who hail Loki and/or identify as Lokeans (or a similar description). We, the authors, (1) call out Lokiphobia in Seigfried’s column and (2) insist upon respectful, interfaith dialogue in public forums and events where we and our faith are referenced, discussed, or questioned.

While we understand that the Wild Hunt is a platform for many different spiritual views, this article has crossed the line from being an opinion piece to promoting religious discrimination and the expulsion of an already vulnerable subgroup within Heathenry. Many of us are women, LGBTQIA, have disabilities, or hold other identities that on the whole have made us targets within the larger Heathen community which has consistently held much more traditionally conservative views. For our own safety and well-being we are requesting that Seigfried either amend the portions of his article that are a direct cry for the expulsion of Loki worship or that the Wild Hunt remove the article entirely.

To do otherwise is to sanction discrimination against a religious minority.

Where as in the past we as Loki devotees have largely been disorganized and kept mostly to ourselves, we’re no longer willing to keep quiet and suffer discrimination and verbal abuse in the name of “different opinions.” We have reached a tipping point where we refuse to continue being a punching bag for the American Heathen community’s frustrations or used as villains in its own paranoid fantasies. We hope that in the name of true inclusivity you will choose to be our allies instead of contributing to years of unnecessary division. This has never just been about how  people feel about Loki: this is about how people choose to treat other people.

Signed:

Dagulf Loptson
Ky Greene
Amy Marsh
KveldúlfR Hagan Gundarsson (Dr. Stephan Grundy, Ph.D., Norse Studies)
Aiyana Assata Amare Ashen
Terra Akhert
Tara Aparicio
Carrie Bertwistle
Susa Morgan Black
Marina Boccuzzi
Lauren Buhr
Sara Cochran
Moira Hawthorne Copeland
Heathir Dhomhnaill
Amber Drake
Kriselda Gray
Ailim Hazel
Elizabeth Hefner
Alex Iannelli
Mischa Kvashninenkoff
Jennifer Lesko
Roxana García Liotta
Michelle Lord
Tom Mayernik
Jude Melvin
Lindsay Moose
Katherine Morgan
Draca Nightweb
Tahni Nikitins
Katie Oden
Lillian Sara Pink
Jenna Porterfield
Denise Marie Radcliffe
Logan Riley
Emily Sabin
Olivia Sweat
Tedri Liudan Thorne
Kyra Pandora Weaver
Lindsay Wiles


More people have asked for their names to be added at the copy of the above letter posted at A Polytheistic Life


By request in comments section or via social media, these names have been added to this blog.

Denise Bowen

Wyrd Dottir

Rev. Eric R. Roberts

Gangler is Grove

Richard Norris

Justin Nichols

Ki Lokean aka Ki Brosius aka Ki Brightly

Jessica Marcione

B. A. McNeely

Ode of 3 Pagans and Cat

And a statement of support from Saga Press in the comments section below.

Loki_taunts_Bragi

Here is the link to The Wild Hunt’s commentary about the controversy, posted above the original article with links to Ky Greene’s Lokean Community article and to this letter.

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46 thoughts on “Group Lokean Letter sent to The Wild Hunt, Not Published

  1. I no longer have a blog, nor am I specifically a Heathen or from the Northern Traditions, but I support this statement, I have hailed Loki many times (and will continue to do so!), and wish you all the best blessings of our many Deities in this endeavor, and know that many more Deities than some of the nay-sayers realize (even across pantheons!) also support Loki and are His Allies in all of this, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I bet Loki started this drama. Nothing like those bored Trickster Gods. 😉

    I’ve only knowingly met Loki once and He spiced up our ritual by dropping walnuts on us. Walnut dodge! Made it interesting; gave us something to talk about. Definitely didn’t feel evil to me, He was just livening up the ritual, no one got hurt.

    Great article, btw. Some folks are just ridiculous, not being able to see their own bigotry–a major problem in the community–well, world, really. They like to throw the word around, while dodging their own mirrors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Dyslexic Witch, thanks for reading and commenting. Over here in Loki Land we are doing our best to keep him occupied with donuts and cinnamon flavored whiskey (and keep him away from those walnuts because he will toss them about!), but now since this story broke, all he wants to do is replay Ancient Aliens (S05E11) The Viking Gods episode over and over ’cause Karl Seigfried’s appearance in it just tickles his funnybone sumthin’ awful!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Add me to the list…we must root out all discrimination from our paths. Seigfried’s article is completely unacceptable. The association of Loki with the Christian Satan is thanks to Snorri Sturleon’s BS. He tainted the Sagas he wrote down with Christian BS. Hail Loki!! Hail Odin!!! Hail Thor!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I used to have a blog called “The Adventures of a Bohemian Lokean”. I deleted it because of a convergence of several things in my life, but the main one was a continued willful ignorance about Loki that grew old after a while. My Sweetest Friend is just that to me, and while He’s cunning, He has always, ALWAYS, been a loyal friend, even if He’s Wild at heart.

    I do not understand how Modern Paganism has gotten to this point of discrimination.

    In my endeavors to better understand Heathenry in general, even though I identify as a Lokean and not a Heathen, I spoke with several people who have been practicing in my area since the 70’s. Loki was called regularly when what I like to refer to as “the pagan renaissance” was occurring. No one thought he was bad, and no one particularly equated him with the devil. It has only been since the late 90’s with the wider acceptance of Paganism and the influx of a large cross section of people into Heathenry who are perhaps less open minded than those who drove the resurgence of the “Olde Ways” that Loki has had to wear this veneer of “the devil”. And, well, Loki has always enjoyed a masquerade. These are people looking for a villain in the piece. Obviously, not everyone coming into Heathenry is like that, but we have a culture wide notion that where there is good there must be evil, and our culture drives this black and white thinking rather than acknowledging that most people and gods are a delightful mix of gray, with Loki sometimes being more quixotic than most.

    I’ve shied away from trying to engage the community at large in that last two years. I have a small enclave of people I trust, and would love to be able to talk to people at large, write the books I had planned, but when you love Loki there is a constant, never ending barrage of push back. It is so much easier to stay quiet and hide with My Love than it is to wade through the hate. I feel guilty that I’m not doing it anymore because sometimes people need to see others doing what they want to do, living how they want to live, and it can be a life boat in the sea of scorn and hate constantly piled on Loki to see kind people who love Him willing to offer a hand up.

    So, I don’t know. This shit from The Wild Hunt makes me want to go further underground and at the same time I want to reopen my blog and regroup my efforts to have a local gathering. I want a homestead for Lokeans, a place to escape if necessary, even if it’s virtual.

    Hail and well met, fellow Lokeans. Loki is our Vicious Sweet Shining God. People need to realize that Loki will GIVE YOU WHAT YOU WANT if you call him with a shitty attitude. He’s delightful that way. And He also comes with a fierce love in His heart for those who respect him and his Divine Purpose.

    Ki Lokean aka Ki Brosius aka Ki Brightly
    (Many names, many shapes, many ways to serve My Gods.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Ki, There is so much I want to say in response to your beautiful, poignant comments! I understand what it is to have to hide–I live a physically isolated existence due to mulitple chemical sensitivity–and yet also long for kindred, especially Lokean kindred. Whether you open up your blog again and write your books, or decide to nurture your spiritual relationships quietly, take heart! I think we have reached a kind of tipping point now, and Lokeans will now longer be pushed to the fringes or held evil for trusting in this quite complex but very loving god. Many of the people who signed the letter in response to The Wild Hunt article are having discussions about creating an organization to make that homestead happen–a non-dogmatic, really actually inclusive (rather than lip service organization offering and mix ways to connect, online and off (we’re thinking a Loki Fest!). I’ve benefited greatly so far from Loki’s Wyrdlings group on Facebook, and also from advice in the Lokean Welcoming Committee on Tumblr, which I’m sure you know about, but now we’re ready to take the next step. Even if the Troth decides to hail Loki again at Trothmoot (which they are considering once they get responses from a member’s survey), I think we’re clear about building that homestead. Also, read my Lokabrenna Tiny Temple blog posts here–I made one for him, so that there’s a place in Midgard that’s his–so he can kick back and admire that donut decorated shower curtain he made me buy! So do it, do what you feel is best for you, but know that we’re here and we’re starting to make a thing. In Loki Pride, Amy

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! It’s so heartening to see that there is action coming from what could have just been another in a long line of attacks against the Lokean Community.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. If you are still adding names, please include mine, Ode of 3 Pagans and Cat since that’s the only way anyone in the community will recognize me, and thank you for this– I only just discovered this response, and I’ve been seething about that column since it dropped. Your tone is a lot more polite than mine would be if forced to write a letter of my own.

    Liked by 1 person

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