What happens in the lore stays in the lore. Or does it?
Today’s devotional question is: “how does this deity relate to other gods and other pantheons?”
I might be answering this question through the murk of my own social anxiety issues, but my first thought reading this question was, “according to the lore, Loki’s been through a shit show with the other gods.” Sure, there are tales of rollicking adventures (amorous ones too) and a fair share of drunken comradery, but also an awful lot of truly dreadful manipulation and worse–much of it directed at Loki, mind you.
However I have to keep in mind that only a fragment of the old Norse lore survives and that there were probably many more stories, now lost forever. Some of those stories could have modifed how we currently view Loki’s relationships to other deities, at least those within the Norse pantheon.
A Polytheist with a Patron
As Loki is my patron, I consider his guidance and direction as having extra weight in my spiritual life, so keep that in mind as I relate the following. Also what follows is entirely based on personal gnosis, as there is no old lore that I know of that can tell us how Loki interacts with deities and spirits from other spiritual/cultural pantheons.
In addition to Loki, I mainly honor Freyr, Freya, and Gerda in the Norse pantheon. But since I don’t stick strictly to Norse deities, sometimes things feel a little confusimg. At times I have a vague sense of discomfort–a “I hope they all like each other” feeling– when I view the collection of candles on my altar and think about who each candle represents. And since Loki gets the lion’s share of attention in my life, I hope the others don’t feel neglected.
I do recognize that I’m not responsible for how these folks interact with each other, and how they carry on their relationships. Nor do I understand enough about what those interactions are, at any given moment of (non-linear) time. Still, I have “feelings.”
For example: At times I’ve gotten the feeling Freya isn’t all that into me as a devotee. She was on my altar before Loki, and I sometimes wonder if she resents how he’s taken precedence. I may need to follow up on that, though the last time I checked in (via pendulum), she was okay with having a place in my devotions. I have a fondness for Freya, but also experience a lack of closeness that actually predated Loki’s arrival. In this case, are my feelings due to Freya’s response to me as a devotee, or to Loki, or both?
Gerda is quiet and self-contained. I don’t feel she’s that interested in having devotional attention in general, but she’s a good plant teacher for me and I appreciate her for that. I also don’t want to ignore her, as Freyr’s wife. She seems neutral about Loki.
Freyr is one of my two “non-toxic masculinity” deities. (The other, of course, is Loki.) Freyr seems bluffly chill with whatever I do and there’s no feeling of competition. Loki seems okay with Freyr as well, though I get the slight sense that he considers Freyr a little “square” or his role as a harvest fertility god may be slightly passe, given the horrendous challenges of climate change. Again, this is all personal gnosis.
So, these four Norse deities don’t seem to work together much, in my life, and I find myself approaching them separately, except for requests for general blessings from all. Of course Freya, Freyr, and Gerda also have closer family ties with each other than they do with Loki. He’s very much the outsider in that regard.
For some reason, the rest of Loki’s family are not yet “in play” in my life. I acknowledge them of course, and honor them in my heart, but I’m not yet “introduced.” (And I get a slight feeling Freya is sniffy about Sigyn, for some reason. Anyone else get that?)
Outside the Norse pantheon, there are a few others. I have have a few vague feelings about how Loki interacts with these others, or is viewed by these others, but again, it’s all personal gnosis.
I’ve been aware of Bast as a cat goddess for decades, and have felt drawn to her as a result, but it didn’t occur to me to make offerings until this year, when one of my cats was ill. Aside from cats, her emphasis on pleasure, music, and dancing is also healing to me. As for Bast and Loki, I don’t sense much going on between them, at least in the context of my practice, but I sense it would be cordial, at least. There’s a kind of “yeah, we see each other at parties” vibe.
In other cases, I’ve become interested in a deity or spirit because of some prompt from an ancestral lineage.
Ancestors in my father’s mother’s line (and another lineage) indicated a spiritual connection to Brigit/Brigid. A few months ago I began to honor her in her pagan aspect (I’m not equipped to deal with the Christianized version of St. Brigid). She seems neutral with regard to Loki and the others, somewhat set apart. I hadn’t know Brigid was associated with poetry–or fire–until I began to learn about her (I was interested to read Kyaza’s Q. 17 blog today, which reports feeling a distinct antipathy between Brigid and Loki.)
Goetic Amy–not a god but a fallen angel with an interesting CV–is someone I’ve been saying “hello” to, via a weekly offering of wine. But I have not yet “worked with” Amy in any sense. Goetic Amy seems to have been important to someone in my maternal great-grandfather’s line and that’s mainly the reason for my greetings, though there may be a situation coming up that would prompt me to ask for help from this spirit. Amy is a fire spirit who also gender-shifts, so there is a superficial similarity with Loki. However Amy seems serious, reserved, and scholarly–not a trace of “madcap” humor. With Loki and Amy I sense a mutual (distant) respect but a distinct “we move in such very different circles” vibe.
Just this last week, I was surprised by another nudge or poke from The Morrigan. This had happened before, a few years ago, but I wasn’t spiritually or emotionally ready to investigate. When this happened last week, I checked in with Loki (via pendulum) and the feeling was, “it’s cool with me, but learn everything you can before making a decision either way.” There was also a kind of “You think I’m intense? Just you wait!” feeling behind this cautionary advice.
Using a fresh pendulum in hopes of contacting The Morrigan, to show her the courtesy of acknowledging her signal, I asked her if she knew Loki was my patron. There was a kind of “Hmmm, no, actually” feeling, with a bit of a slight withdrawal in learning that Loki is paramount in my life. But that was replaced with a feeling that she “might possibly consider a limited contract or specific interaction” relationship. These words are much more definitely expressed than the actual feeling, by the way. I also got the feeling that The Morrigan’s hesitation, modifying the pendulum indications, had more to do with my being already “taken” (oathed) than a reaction to Loki in particular. I could be wrong.
(Again, I’ll be going slow and learning more before I make a decision. Lora O’Brien’s videos are invaluable. I also have Morpheus Ravenna’s The Book of the Great Queen, which I purchased a few years ago, after what I thought was the first nudge.)
Though I have released my practices with Hawaiian deities (mainly Pele) after leaving the islands in 2017, this week I am chanting and lighting a candle for Poliahu, Mauna Kea’s chief goddess, and for the Kia’i (protectors) who are actively resisting the construction of the TMT (Thirty Meter Telescope). Though Poliahu’s candle is now on my altar for the next few weeks, there is no sense at all of interaction between Poliahu and Loki, or any of the others for that matter. It’s very separate and specific, a time-limited action and show of support.
So, there you have it. My own personal gnosis about how Loki interacts with others (or doesn’t), in the context of my own practice as detected through pendulum and intuition. I feel everyone is different in detecting such affinities or antipathies, though there might be similarities in what some of us perceive. I am actually glad that these differences exist. I believe our own personalities and wyrd have a lot to do with this.