Spiritual Seesaw

This last month has felt bifurcated. On the one hand, I was finishing up two important acts of devotional service for the Norse Loki Laufeyjarson, my patron deity, and on the other hand I was called into service on behalf of Mauna Kea and Poliahu, its goddess of the snow.

I know. It sounds weird, doesn’t it?

2560px-'Mauna_Kea_from_Hilo_Bay'_by_D._Howard_Hitchcock,_1887
“Mauna Kea from HIlo Bay,” D. Howard Hitchcock, 1887. Public Domain.

I guess that’s just how it rolls in polytheism, especially when you work with deities from different pantheons. Bifurcation, trifurcation, whatever-furcation!!!

In my most recent work for Loki, of course I’m referring to the LokiFest Online conference and the completion of work on Loki’s Torch, an anthology of devotional work.  I’m now experiencing a post-project “let down” (I hear that’s normal) with only vague intimations of what’s coming up next.

In my work on behalf of sacred Mauna Kea, I’m referring to signal boosting and  writing, as an ally from afar. And of course I’m not going to stop finding ways to pass along information about the cause. It’s also a gift to connect once again with the spirit of Kapu Aloha, as exemplified by the Mauna Kea Kia’i (protectors). I so want them to win!

The above is background for an unexpected grace that’s emerged in these last few weeks. I had thought that my incongruous relationship with the “powers” of Hawai’i had been severed back in 2017, and I’ve felt a sense of exile, and a vague shame, ever since. Finding that connection fanned into life again, as part of a “call” for everyone to show up for the Mauna and for the Kanaka Maoli, has been healing. All I had ever wanted, really, was to be of use to Hawai’i nei (beloved Hawai’i).

And why is that?

Because, starting the early 2000’s, Maui and Hawai’i islands whammed me with a spiritual epiphany and then bestowed substantial healing for my environmental illness. I have no idea why, but it happened and I benefited. In return, I pledged to do whatever I could for Hawai’i as a “give-back.” I’ve often been clumsy in how I went about this, and have stumbled on the paving stones of “good intentions” as I travel my personal “road to Hel.” But I did try to keep my vow even when looking (and acting) the fool. I guess it feels good to have another opportunity to potentially contribute.

Years later, Loki also saved my life, coming to me during a time of utmost despair and shame. I made a vow to him too, oathing myself to him and his service. However he understands that I’ve also got previous commitments. He graciously stepped to the side as Mauna Kea came front and center on July 15th. (Besides I was still doing his work, as well.)

Come to think of it, I’m no stranger to bifurcation (trifurcation, whatever-furcation!). I’ve straddled worlds and juggled distinctly different viewpoints and approaches as a parent, in my romantic relationships, in my career, and in my creative work and spiritual quests. I’m always in exile, never entirely at home. Yet, there are common themes with all of this. But maybe only I can see, from my own peculiar vantage point, how it makes sense for me to honor deities of both the Norse and Hawaiian pantheons, as long as my offerings are acceptable.

My favorite Loki artist, Sceithailm on Deviant Art (aka Sceith-A), often depicts Loki as shod on the right foot, shoeless on the left, walking between worlds. How lucky I am to be at last with a deity who understands. My own right foot walks the Midgard realm known as Turtle Island. My left foot–apparently–never really did leave the ‘aina.

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Artist: Sceithailm, A. URL: sceithailm.deviant.art.com. I do not own the rights to this picture but am using it in this blog for educational purposes and to promote the artist’s webpage.

Hail Loki!

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Day 30: Approaching Loki

Gurgy_2008_LjapunovDiagr1-7-4
Artist to come. Public Domain.

Our last  Deity Devotion question is: “any suggestions for others just starting to learn about this deity?” Yes, I do have a few.

Don’t do what I did–which is immediately plunge in wholeheartedly. You’ll want to, but it is better to go a little slowly at first. My experiences have not been negative at all–though they have been intense–but I’m an aging Scorpio with a tremendous range of life experience. I tend to think I can get away with being reckless, even at my age. (Hubris, I know…)

Do read the lore, The Poetic Edda and The Prose Edda and others. As you do this you may become frustrated by Christian attempts to cast Loki as an evil “Norse Satan” (this comes up in The Prose Edda and modern myths), but these are still important literary references. (These are not sacred or religious texts.)

Read the books by Dagulf Loptson and Steven Grundy, Ph.D.

Get to know Loki in all his manifestations and kennings and moods. You won’t be sorry.

Enjoy devotional Loki poetry and the very wide array of contemporary Loki art.

Don’t make a promise or a vow you can’t keep. Whether your promise is trivial or vital, Loki expects that you will keep your word. So, watch your language carefully.

Regular offerings to Loki are fun to do. And altars to Loki are fun to make.

Have something to offer him if you want to ask for assistance.

Enjoy the online community. I personally like the Lokean Welcoming Committee on Tumblr, especially this FAQ, and Loki’s Wyrdlings group on Facebook (I’m a moderator for the latter). There’s even a Loki University!

If you’re interested in Heathenry, especially inclusive, social-justice-aware Heathenry, check out The Troth. They hail Loki again at their annual Trothmoot. We’re all so pleased.

Shameless plugs: Our upcoming LokiFest Online, which is free. Aug 5-9, 3-6 PM PSDT. On Zoom.

And check out Vol. 1 of our Loki’s Torch anthology, published by Loki University via MagCloud. Link to this print on demand publication will be posted tomorrow. Available in print or as a PDF.

Hail Loki!

Day 18: Loki’s Genders & Sexuality

Today’s topic is actually never far from my mind. The question is: “how does this deity stand in terms of gender and sexuality? (historical and/or UPG).” Well, Loki as a deity of liminal spaces “stands” pretty much everywhere, honestly. Consider this fractal as a map of how Loki could shape and gender-shift anytime, any place.

Koch_snowflake_(RGB-CMY)
Artist to come. Public Domain.

Reproduction

Reproductively, Loki has both fathered children AND birthed ’em. Yep. Sometimes he’s been Mom and sometimes he’s been Dad to some of the most powerful and challenging offspring you can name, including an eight-legged horse. Just…think…about what it takes to actually give birth to something with eight legs and hooves. Shapeshifting certainly came in handy then, I betcha.

Loki is a fabulously fertile deity. Even the consumption of a burnt heart caused him to become pregnant with an uncounted number of witchy “troll women.” This is one reason I count him as a spiritual ancestor.

Gender Shifts

Loki also gender-shifts beyond mere reproductive function. Loki is most frequently referred to as “he,” but his/her (their/zir?) female aspect is potent as well. Yesterday I had the pleasure of listening to an audio book called Worshipping Loki–A Short Introduction by Silence Maestas, available for a song on Etsy. I highly recommend it. One of the great features of this valuable book is the appendix concerning Loki’s female aspects. This contained insights which enabled me to connect meditatively with this aspect of my patron deity, in a way that I hadn’t before. I am so grateful for this!

Silence Maestas has also created a “Virtual Temple to Loki Herself” which you can find here. Maestas’s blog is called The Road, The Walker, and What Comes Next.

[Maestas will be presenting at our online LokiFest conference, a session called “Sweet Idolatry.” More info on that to come.]

Usually Loki’s gender-shifting is presented as fairly binary–either male OR female–but I don’t think Loki is limited in that way. I would love to hear from Lokeans and other Loki-friendly people who have experienced Loki as otherwise gender-diverse.

A Queer Deity

As a sexologist, if I were to sit down with Loki and take a sexual history ala Kinsey I’m betting the data would pretty much shout “pansexual” often expressed through “non-monogamy.” In the old Norse lore, Loki is shown to have quite a number and range of partners. (He is portrayed as outing quite a few in the old poem, Lokasenna.) Among modern humans, there are anecdotal accounts that are pretty much the same. You might want to check out the results of my Spectrosexuality and God-Spousing survey.

And there are rumors, of course, about the (shall we call them) “complexities” of Odin’s and Loki’s relationship. But even Frigg (Odin’s wife) would rather not know the details. In the Lokasenna, after Loki and Odin have accused each other of “unmanly” behavior, Frigg pleads for discretion in stanza 25:

Frigg spake:

 “Of the deeds ye two | of old have done
Ye should make no speech among men;
Whate’er ye have done | in days gone by,
Old tales should ne’er be told.”

In Asgard, what happens under the World Tree, stays at the World Tree?

These days, Loki is cherished by many as a queer deity and champion of LGBTQIA+ people (as well as a champion deity for other categories of people who have been outcast for being “different” from the mainstream). It’s one reason why so many love him, including me.

This aspect of Loki is reflected in many modern works of art, both of Norse Loki and his “Marvel Loki” pop culture incarnations (based on Hiddleston’s portrayal of the Loki character in the Avengers movies, and the comic book “Lady Loki”).

Here are links to some examples of Loki images. One expresses the kind of male display that hyper-masculine Odin might object to–in public anyway“Uproar’s Your Only Music” by Muirin007. The second portrays an unabashed solidarity and kinship with LGBTQIA+ people: “Pride Loki” by D.Kettchen. You can find some images of “Lady Loki” in the wikipedia entry for “Loki-Comics.”

Based on the above, and my own personal gnosis, I’d say Loki ranks among Midgard’s top sex-positive, gender variant, champion deities.

Hail Loki, in All Your Forms!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bumps in the LokiFest Road

Update: Lakeport park event cancelled due to prohibitive insurance costs which were added on later, as per city requirements. Online portion still on.


First, an offering…

Hail Flame Hair, Consumer of Modern Desserts!

Grant us your alchemy of dough and desire,

Sprinkle us with blessings even as this donut is adorned

With multi-colored sugary goodness.

Dip us in the sweet heat of the moment,

Allow us to savor life even as you savor this goodie.

Hail Silver Tongue, may this edible monstrosity grace your tastebuds,

May it provide complete satiation for your infinite appetites.

Please accept this crisp and creamy offering as a token of our devotion.

Hail Loki!

Dough-Donut-Lemon-Ginger

Please look favorably on our preparations for LokiFest CA in your honor!

Then the narrative. Frustrations first.

Event insurance and city bureaucracy. The City of Lakeport wants ONE WORD removed from a policy document that runs over 300+ pages for an event lasting less than twelve hours. If the insurance company declines, the event is cancelled. The city won’t approve it. I’ve made the appropriate request for policy revision. Now I guess I wait.

I’m not good at waiting…

Food vendors. I haven’t secured any yet. I keep getting “no.”

Retail vendors. Though I have secured several “yeses,” I don’t have applications or checks yet to let me know they are really committed. Emotionally, I’m chewing my nails as I send out reminder emails.

Sound system and sound person. Still elusive, though I have a lead or two.

Musicans. Still attempting to confirm. They are limited to original or public domain music.

The good news.

The online portion of LokiFest CA. This is a free event which will run for three hours a day, from August 5-9, is shaping up nicely. So far, our presenters include Diana Paxson, Dagulf Loptson, Kyaza, and Silence Maestas. I feel honored to have their participation in this new effort. (And I’ll do something about the results of my spectrosexuality/god spouse survey.) There is space still for a presenter or two!

Local volunteers. They’re starting to emerge from the Lake County community. Thank goodness! My co-producer, Verge Belanger, co-host of Pagan World Views on KPFZ 88.1 FM, and I can’t do this alone! (Catch Verge’s show via live stream on Thursdays from 11 AM – 1 PM.) Verge’s friends and contacts are the people who are volunteering, so that’s amazing and great. Thank you all!

Raffle donations. At least two people from the Lokean community are donating prizes for the gift baskets. All money earned from the raffle will go to the new safe house for transgender youth, run by Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco and The Troth Red Hammer Fund.

And so it goes. As crazy as this all feels right now, it’s an honor to be in service to my patron deity in this way. Weird how my heart lifts even as I write these words!

More news soon! Hail Loki!

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LokiFest CA Online!

LokiFest ONLINE Best FlyerFree! Web conference limited to 100. Sign up soon!

You are invited to a Zoom meeting, LokiFest CA Online.
When: Aug 5 – Aug. 9, 2019 3:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this meeting:
https://zoom.us/m…/register/f1a6411238d0a0e5c5b9141539e44ee6
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

7:30 LokiFest Online

Hail Loki!

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LokiFest CA Moving Forward

UNDER CONSTRUCTION LokiFestGood news! We have provisional approval from the Lakeport City Council to hold the public portion of LokiFest in Library Park, Lakeport CA, on August 10th! I have to jump through a few more bureaucratic hoops, but it’s probably going to be okay.

I’m also working on setting up the online portion via zoom.us either day before or perhaps the Sunday after.

There will aso be a private Lokean/pagan gathering for rituals, presentations, and community discussion on August 9th. Email me at feypride at yahoo.com if you are interested.

The event is timed to roughly coincide with (1) the rising of Lokabreanna (Sirius) and the “dog days of summer” and (2) the release of Loki’s Torch anthology. The submission period for this publication is just about over–ends May 31st.

Sub Flyer Loki's Torch Cover 2.