Day 11: Sacred Festivals

 

1600px-Fractal_Crown_of_morgoth2_5600x4200
Artist to come. Public Domain.

Today we consider “festivals, days, and times sacred to this deity.”

As far as we know, there were no old Norse traditions around holidays or worship of Loki. That doesn’t mean there weren’t any–much lore has been lost. It just means we don’t know. So what follows are completely modern inventions.

Loki as a god of liminal space/time may very well enjoy sunrise and sunset, but I haven’t personally encountered anyone yet who sets aside these times of day for Loki. It’s not a bad idea though.

Many people do weekly observances for Loki on Saturday, but in my case, first he wanted Tuesday and then he wanted Sunday as his “special day.” I don’t know why.

April Fool’s Day, April 1st

I don’t personally use this day to celebrate Loki as I don’t see him as “a fool” (quite the opposite) but others enjoy this day. And here’s a delightful song for it.

 

Loki’s Day, 11th Day of Lithemonath, June 11th

This holiday comes from the Pagan Book of Hours–The Breviary of the Asphodel Tradition. Lithemonath is “the month of Litha, the summer solstice.” I am not sure how widely it is celebrated outside the Asphodel tradition, and wonder if it is appropriate to adopt it as a generalized holiday for Loki.

I first came across mention of this holiday in The Jotunbok–Working With the Giants of the Northern Tradition by Raven Kaldera, 2006, Asphodel Press  (p. 277)

A note on the website’s homepage says the proper attribution is:

Pagan Book of Hours
Order of the Horae
First Kingdom Church of Asphodel
http://www.paganbookofhours.org/

Lokabrenna, Late July or early-mid August 

In the Northern Hemisphere, the heliacal (morning) rising of Sirius ushers in the “Dog Days” of Summer. This usually takes place late July or early August. Lokabrenna is a Nordic name for Sirius, the brightest star in the sky. It means something like “Loki’s Torch.” This year, in the Northern Hemisphere, the date of Lokabrenna’s first morning appearance is calculated as occuring on August 14th. I found the following information on this site. Here’s the relevant paragraph:

“During August, as Mercury makes a morning appearance, brilliant Sirius, the sky’s brightest star, makes its first morning (heliacal) rising just before sunrise. For the latitude on the diagram, about 41.7 degrees, this is August 14, 2019. For locations farther south, this occurs days earlier and later for latitudes farther north.”

[Note: 41.7 degrees is near the California/Oregon border.]

Loki Spongecake Day, Either September 4th or 5th

Somehow it seems appropriate that the date is ambiguous and based on when people first read and reacted to a certain Tumblr post, dated September 4, 2012.

I read about this day on the Lokean Welcoming Committee blog and if I remember correctly, it apparently started via an innocent Tumblr post about offering Loki a storebought sponge cake, with strawberries and whippped cream. Then someone took great umbrage, claiming this was an inappropriate offering (too storebought, too modern, whatever!). Then many other people said, “F— that! You can offer whatever you want and whatever you think Loki wants.” Voila! Loki Spongecake Day was born. I wish I could find the post where I first read about it, because it was a great telling of the story and I remember the phrase about turning this fracas into a holiday, “because that’s how Lokeans roll” or something to that effect.

In addition to Loki, the holiday celebrates a smart and snarky defiance of convention.

Significant Personal Dates

Many Loki devotees and enthusiasts celebrate anniversaries of oathing and/or godspousing as well as other dates that mark a special time with Loki.

Today, July 11th is my anniversary of oathing and asking Loki to be my patron deity.

October 28th will mark the first anniversary of the Lokabrenna Tiny Temple dedication.

People may also celebrate special holidays for various members of Loki’s family, but I haven’t covered that here.

Hail Loki!

 

Day 10: Offerings

Fractal_red_flare_Sterling2_2831
Artist: Sterling2. Public Domain.

 

Traditional offerings or those a devotee chooses via intuition and “personal gnosis”–that’s our devotional topic for today. Others are blogging on this topic, of course, and Kyaza’s blog for Day 10 presents an array of modern choices beyond the usual cinnamon-flavored goodies that I and others offer to Loki. Ky mentions “intangibles” too, such as community service, which are as legit as donuts and not so likely to attract ants.

The Lokean Welcoming Committee also has great, heaping gobs of information regarding offerings and a lot of other stuff beside. I love them.

As far as days of yore, no one knows if Loki was given offerings. However, people may have toasted him with mead…so…there’s that.

Why Offerings?

I’m a fan of the series, Sense8. And though I have many favorite scenes, I have a special fondness for the ones of Kala Dandekar talking to Ganesh while offering really tasty plates of food. These scenes epitomize a loving and personal relationship between a devotee and a deity.

But why make offerings in the first place? Doesn’t it just mean a bunch of food is going to waste? Well… offerings are a way of cultivating and deepening relationships, of course. And they don’t have to be edible.

Here’s what some of my favorite magic authors have to say:

Aidan Wachter writes that “much like bringing your guy chocolates, we bring the Spirits and Powers offerings with the intention to make them happy, and with luck, to have them look more favorably upon us” (Six Ways–Approaches & Entries for Practical Magic, p. 79).

In The Elements of Spellcrafting–21 Keys to Successful Sorcery, Jason Miller talks about simple offerings as “gumball magic”–put something in, get something out (p. 81). He goes into greater depth with regard to researching  folklore and history to understand which traditional offerings are appropriate for a particular spirit or deity. You don’t want to offer something inappropriate, no matter how heartfelt! He also says it’s good to make it a habit to make regular offerings, just ’cause. Again, this enables you to cultivate a relationship. Disposing of offerings also requires some care and thought. I recommend the chapter in his book which addresses these topics (pp. 81-91).

And for those who are new to the process of developing relationships with deities and spirits, I highly recommend Misha Magdalene’s Outside the Charmed Circle–Exploring Gender and Sexuality in Magical Practice, especially the chapter “On Negotiating Consent With the Gods. The book won’t be out until January 2020, but I was privileged to read an online copy, courtesy of the author. It’s SO GOOD! Preorder it!

The Five Love Languages of Loki

Just for fun, I’m gonna categorize some of my own offerings based on The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman!

1) Quality Time:

Inviting Loki to stand in as “Rando Cardrissian” in Cards Against Humanity.

• Inviting him to “come along” to a good restaurant, or when something fun is happening. Whether he’s “there” or not, the gesture of invitation is an offering.

I’ve offered “twisted humor” in the past and will do so in the future.

2) Physical Touch:

• It’s tough to “touch” a spirit other than energetically, so I dedicate orgasmic energy to Loki. It’s a sex magic kinda thing.

3) Acts of Service:

• Creating and dedicating Lokabrenna Tiny Temple.

• Blogging about Loki and Lokean matters.

• Co-moderating a Lokean Facebook group (service to the community).

• Doing the layout for Loki’s Torch anthology.

• Organizing LokiFestCA online.

5) Giving and Receiving Gifts:

• Physical offerings of food, incense, candles, beverages, toys, etc.

6) Words of Affirmation:

• Prayers, verbal endearments, affectionate kennings, or just letting Loki know that he’s appreciated in so many ways.

• Including him as a character in my second fantasy novel.

Loki limericks.

• Co-signing last fall’s protest letter against “that Karl guy’s” anti-Loki article in The Wild Hunt.

Finally, I think trying to live in accordance with whatever one perceives as honoring Loki is also an offering–an important one. I’d be interested in hearing how people do this. Do comment!

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Day 7: Today’s Secret Word

Today’s devotional topic is “names and epithets” of Loki. I suggest we take up the PeeWee Practice of “Today’s Secret Word” and “scream real loud” today whenever someone says “Loki” or one of his kennings. (This will work real well in those Lokean Facebook groups.) Ready?

 

“He Who Is Not Marvel Loki” (Arrrrgh!)

“He Who is Using Marvel Loki to Channel His Norseness” (Aiiieeeee!)

“Fárbauti’s Terribly Sly Son Who Wants Another Donut” (Yiiiiiiiikes!)

And there’s an assortment of favorite, personal pet names, but I’ll only share one:

“Charming Iconoclast” (Aiiieeeee!) (See, that wasn’t so bad.)

But seriously, I enjoy finding many ways to verbally venerate my favorite you know who. (Ha! Thought you’d catch me out, didja? No screaming in THAT sentence!) (What? “You Know Who” is an epithet? Arrrgh!!!)

Okay. I’m just gonna suck it up. Content warning from here on out. There will be written expressions of screaming and shrieking, and other sounds of being aghast.

.

.

.

(Step away from that period, Ma’am…Drop it. I mean DROP IT!)

.

(I warned you!)

.

(For God’s sake…)

…(God? Hey, an epithet! Aiiieeeee!)

.

Ahem.

Look, just read the chapter in Dagulf Loptson’s book called “The L Word.” It has — if not all — then certainly very, very many traditional names, epithets, and kennings for Loki. (Shriek!)

One of my favorites is “The Deep-Minded-War-Booty-Withholding God,” (p. 36).

1280px-Edvard_Munch_-_The_Scream_-_Google_Art_Project
The Scream, by Edvard Munch. This version, executed in 1910 in tempera on cardboard, was stolen from the Munch Museum in 2004, and recovered in 2006.

(I got tired of writing “arrrgh” and stuff…)


Please note: “Booty” reminds me of pirates. Some would say I’m too old to think it means anything else… but as a sexologist I find myself rather fascinated by the term “booty-withholding.” But I digress…


I also like all the endearments and kennings used in Elizabeth Vongsvisith’s poem on page 276 of The Jotunbok.

And since I began with PeeWee Herman, it’s only fair to end with an academic (and refreshingly non-screaming) Dr. Jackson Crawford video on Old Norse names, and the customs around giving names. He explains kennings.

There now. Wasn’t that FUN? (Arrrgh!)

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Day 4 – Loki, Tales of the Witty

Now this one is hard. I have to choose “a favorite myth or myths of this deity,” which is the devotional exercise for today. Honestly, I don’t have a favorite. But there are gaps in Loki’s lore that fascinate me, particularly the children of Loki who are seldom talked about in detail: (1) the witch daughters aka “troll women” that Loki birthed and (2) the fate of that poor son who was turned into a wolf and forced to attack his brother. What happened to him after that?

Harter-Heighways_dragon_curve_(3D_twist)
Author to come. Public Domain.

I’ve got a series of fantasy novels in the work. The first, The Dire Deeds of the Guild of Ornamental Hermits, is done and I’m trying to find a literary agent now. The second one, The Witching Work of the Guild of Ornamental Hermits, is in progress. I didn’t plan on it, but Loki–in the guise of Lucky LaFey, the quintessential “handsome drifter”–inserted himself into the second book and now his quest to find his younger, missing wolf son is a huge part of the plot. (Read an earlier version of Lucky’s character sketch here.) We also get to meet some of his witch daughters (seventeen in all).

Below is an excerpt from The Witching Work where Lucky is speaking with Babe Bump (the first person narrator of this scene) and (spoiler alert) his newly rediscovered son, Oyster Olson.

FYI–Oyster and Babe are two of the “Hermits of Hermitville,” a fledgling magical collective in cahoots with a number of Elves. “The Dip” is a cult leader who may have imprisoned Loki’s missing wolf son in a cave at Mount Konocti, and “Ozzie” is the luscious Professor Osbert Almond, an Elf.

Here Lucky introduces the fact that Oyster has a slew of part-sisters (aside from Hel, of course):


“Mmm. I guess we do need to address that. And, Oyster, you’ll be meeting them someday
anyway. More siblings. Sisters. Long ago, I gave birth to a number of witches after eating a woman’s heart.”

(Me: what the fuck?!)

“I forget how many of these daughters I have. Every hundred years or so, they have a reunion. I’m always invited but I don’t always go. I think the firstborn plans on teaching here, actually.” Oyster looked startled. “Son, I meant to talk with you about this. Just hadn’t had a chance. Sorry!” Then Lucky continued, “Anyway, three of my witch daughters help me with tracking the Dip and now they’ve infiltrated his operation. I was telling Ozzie that a fourth might be available. That’s all. But since I hadn’t told Oyster about his witch sisters yet, Babe, I didn’t want to tell you first.”

“You could have told me about them when I first learned that you were one of my fathers!” Oyster cried, “Remember me begging you and Dad to not hold anything back?”

“It’s just… not how I do things, kid. Try to not mind it too much,” Lucky patted Oyster on the back, a kindly gesture but I don’t think it was the one Oyster wanted.

Oyster gave up. He just lifted his eyes and gave a great sigh. “Ok. I’ll try.”


 

So, the above is first draft stuff. Not entirely smooth. But why am I inserting my own Loki story here instead of discussing something in the Norse lore? I’ll tell you: Loki was and is a potent and endlessly interesting muse. He fuels plot lines as easily as he shifts shape. Ancient storytellers love him, and modern authors too. And because I haven’t found much in the lore that speaks of the fates of these other children of Loki’s, I am free to add my own PLG, “personal literary gnosis.”

Writing this second book is a devotional activity, now that Loki’s involved. And I read it aloud to him as I go. I believe he enjoys the attention and the literary invention on his behalf.

Hail to Loki, my patron, and the most amusing muse that ever was.

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Day 3 – Loki, The Fractal Face of Change

The question for the third day asks about symbols and icons of Loki. Because I’ve been musing about Loki as a sort of “Lord of Fractal Forces,” whose shapeshifting begins at subatomic levels and probably follows fractal-like patterns in the process, I’m going to answer this question about just a few of his symbols and iconic moments, using a selection of fractal images.

Please see references at bottom of this article.


Hail Loptr!

Fract027
Author: Pakaran. Public Domain.

Hail Flamehair! Loki as a sky-walking god of fire and lightening. [1] [2]


Hail Lóðurr!

Julia_set_(C_=_0.285,_0.01)
Author: Solkoll. Public Domain.

Loki as Lóðurr (or Lóður) grants blood and “good color” to the first humans, Ask and Embla, who start out as trees (18th stanza Völuspá). [3]


 Hail, Father of Monsters!

Fractal_Sentinel_SterlingW3165
Author: Soler97. September 2008. Public Domain.

Loki, as father of Hel, Fenrir, and Jormungandr. [4]


Hail, Mother of Witches!

Avi_Kedmi_10:8:06
Avi Kedmi, Oct. 2008. Public Domain.

Mother of witches (troll women), after eating a burnt woman’s heart, left on a tree, possibly as an offering (see stanza 12, Völuspá hin skamma).


Hail, Mother of Sleipnir!

Fractal Flame, Made with Gimp
Author: Nevit Dilmen. 2000. GNU Free Documentation License.

Loki gives birth to the magic, eight-legged horse, Sleipnir. [see 2 again.]


Hail to the Bound God! (Let’s get you out of there!)

Fractal_tower_Sterling2_1837
Author: Soler97. October 2008. Public Domain.

Loki’s agony: bound with his child’s entrails, unable to escape the venom dripped from a snake. [5]


Hail Vulture’s Path!

Fk-386
Author: Avi Kedmi. October 14, 2006. Public Domain.

Loki as Gammleið, “the vulture’s path” and perhaps a reference to cremation fire. [6]


Hail Worldbreaker!

Burning_Ship_Fractal_Overview
Author: Mikecondron. May 3, 2011. Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Loki captains Naglfar, the corpse ship also known as the “Ship of Dead Men’s Nails,” prior to Ragnarok. (See stanza 51, Völuspá.)  [7] [8]


Fractal_fire
Fractal Fire. Author: Stevo-88. May 21, 2007. Public Domain.

The Star Sirius, Lokabrenna (Loki’s Torch)

Sveshnikov Andrei_Young_star_
Young Star. Author: Andrei Sveshnikov. Public Domain.

References

Voluspa.org

[1] Loptson, Dagulf. 2014. Playing with Fire–An Exploration of Loki Laufeyjarson. Asphodel Press. pp. 27-29.

[2] Grundy, Stephan. 2015. God in Flames, God in Fetters. Troth Publications. pp. 35-40.

[3] Loptson, Dagulf. pp. 22-26.

[4] Grundy, Stephan. p. 4.

[5] Loptson, Dagulf. pp. 31-32.

[6] Loptson, Dagulf. pp. 29-31.

[7] Grundy, Stephan. pp. 26-27.

[8] Loptson, Dagulf. pp.182-185.

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Day 2 – Loki? We Met Online

1920px-Fractal_m.tentacle2_5600x4200
Author: Randomness. May 25, 2008. CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Today’s question is: “how did you become first aware of this deity?” (In some ways, I could say we met online…LOL!)

I was at a really low point. It was bad. Really bad. It wasn’t the first time I’d been scraped raw, heartbroken, consumed by despair (as a Scorpio, the pheonix cycle is a regular feature of my life) but it was devastating even so.

Then, completely unexpectedly, someone made themself known (plural gender, y’all!). It was “like thunder, lightening–the way it happened was frightening.”

And then it was like this:

And, well… ever since it’s been kinda like this.

And this, in the sweetest moments of meditation and connection.

So. Yeah.

Hail Loki.

And big thanks to Kyaza for setting a good example! Ky’s blog post for Day Two.

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