The night before: three of us sat down to play “Cards Against Humanity” with Loki as our “Rando Cardrissian” fourth (as per the CAH rule book). Loki ended up winning 21 rounds (but came in second). I set his winning cards aside, to laugh about them later. Then I went to bed.
As many people know, CAH calls itself “the party game for horrible people.” But this was the first time I’d played with my fave trickster. In the past, my (adult) kids and I would just blow up a balloon or a condom, drew a face on it, tape it to a chair and call it “Rando,” drawing Rando’s cards at random, just like the rule book says. But playing the game with Loki was decidedly a “leveling up” or at least a “leveling sideways.”
The next morning, in moment of near-fatal whimsy, I decided to invoke my trickster god and do a Celtic Cross divination shuffling the 21 cards that he’d won the night before. The reading, which I hoped would shed light on a troubling group situation, is weirdly appropriate…
Signifier (drawn at random): “Profoundly handicapped.”(Me: Well, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity HAS disrupted every aspect of my life…)
1. What covers me:“A micropig wearing a tiny raincoat and booties.”(Me: better that than roaches.)
2. What opposes me: “Men.”(Me: ‘Nuff said.)
3. What crowns me, the best I can arrive at:“Frolicking.” (Me: I’ll take it!)
4. What is beneath me, what I have to work with:“The wrath of Vladimir Putin.” (Me: Shucks. The Wrath of Khan would have been more fun…but, whatever!)
5. What is behind me, the influence that is passing away: “Gandhi.”(Me: With a patron deity like Loki, I suppose this is understandable.)
6. What is before me: “Harry Potter erotica.”(Me: I can hardly wait. Dibs on Snape.)
7. Me in the future:“A man on the brink of orgasm.”(Me: Will I find him on Fetlife?)
8. My environment in the future: “White-man scalps.”(Me: Could have an influence on public policy in this country. What say all of you?)
9. Hopes and fears: “The Pope.”(Me: Definitely a fear.)
10. What will come: “Getting naked and watching Nickelodean.”(Me: Netflix is more likely, but whatever. Guess that’ll be my Wednesday nights then…)
Okay, I really don’t have a godphone to Loki, like some folks do. Every now and then I get “pings” or even more definite gut-level tugs. I often feel a presence. Once in a while I’ve “heard” a strong message, like “no!” accompanied by unmistakable emotion (like when I mistakenly licked the spoon from His jar of Nutella after vowing never to eat from it). Mostly, though, I use the pendulum and other divination methods to communicate with my deities and guides, including Loki.
Still, I can’t help being amused by the kind of spam this blog gets–and by imagining Loki’s responses. Today, I cleared out “Sex Gals” and a cheap viagra post from the spam cache, and I could imagine Loki looking over my shoulder inquisitively. The rest of this blog is going to read like one of those (often annoying) conversation memes that are spread around social media like cheap mayonnaise.
Loki: “‘Sex Gals?‘ Sounds interesting!”
Me: “To you, maybe. Not to me.” (Proceeds to bulk edit spam cache.)
Loki: “How do you know those spam messages aren’t actually highly significant, divinatory messages from me? Or (snort) from Freyr?”
Me: “Are you really going to make me drag out Freyr’s pendulum too? I can, you know.”
Loki (grins): “Wouldn’t think of putting you through all that trouble!”
Loki: “Hey, I saved your life yesterday! Without me making you feel suddenly dizzy and sick, thereby causing you to delay your departure for five minutes while you took out my pendulum to ask if you should drive all the way to the Bay Area to see your youngest son, you might have been the spam in a can in that upturned car three blocks from your house!”
Me: “You’re saying I owe you?”
Loki: (Grins and says nothing.)
Me: “But I already deleted the spam!”
Loki: “Check your other blogs. Check that sexologist one!”
So I dutifully switch to the other blog and take a look at the spam cache.
Me: “Damn. There’s thirteen of these suckers already! You really want me to swing the pendulum for each one of these things?”
Loki: “Yep. Mine first. Then Freyr’s.”
Me: (Exasperated.) “Oh for heaven’s sake!”
Loki: “Asgard. You mean Asgard.”
Me: “I dunno. That really super long twumpian/Christian prophecy spam might beg to differ. It says that the end is nigh.”
Loki: “It’s always ‘nigh.’ Look at Ragnarok for heaven’s sake!”
Me: “LOL! Now you’re doing it!”
Loki: “So what else is in your spam cache?”
Me: “The usual. An ad for 500 mg. of amoxicillian is attached to my ‘Men with Smaller Penises’ post. Someone else offers licentious portraits of college girls…”
Loki: “That’s not from me!”
Me: (Dryly.) “I’m relieved.”
Me: “To continue with our spam inventory…CBD oil, something about ‘my nephew’ and ‘my pet’ but it honestly makes no sense, ‘amoxicillin for cats’…say, who makes amoxicillin anyway? Is it Bayer? Because they just bought Monsanto and the stock is DOWN!…(gleeful laughter with an tinge of ‘fuck the world is ending’ hysteria…).
Loki: (Dryly.) “Try to focus, won’t you?”
Me: “Ahem. Sorry. Okay…tech…fleece…RSS feed… There’s not much here except the apocalyptic Christian thing about bitcoin and the sign of the beast. One of yours?”
Loki: (Dryly.) “Use the pendulum to test each one.”
And then I get a bright idea.
Me: “I don’t have to! I just did a bulk pendulum query to ask if any of the spam posts are actually secret messages from either of my two fave gods! And the answer was ‘no!'”
Loki: “Smart ass.”
Me: (Smirking.) “Let’s go play with InspiroBot instead.”
So, we play with InspiroBot and this happens:
Me: “Are you sure that’s not a licentious portrait of a college girl?”
Yesterday was Imbolc and I consulted the Norse Runes. Yes, I know. Imbolc is a neopagan and witchy holiday, originally “a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of spring” and runes have nothing to do with it, really. But it was also Friday (Freya and Frigga’s Day). This is the day I make offerings to all my deities. I often do divinations on this day.
Frankly, I’m more experienced with Tarot, though still a beginner. I use the Rider-Waite deck designed by Pamela “Pixie” Colman Smith, a woman of color who is only now beginning to get the credit she deserves (see this article about Colman Smith and listen to this Missing Witches podcast). However the Norse Runes are fascinating and I want to learn more about them. For rune interpretation, I am currently using Nordic Runes by Paul Rhys Mountfort, though I also have a few other rune books.
So I had a burning question concerning the future of my private practice. I want to reinvent and freshen it, and incorporate more of my intuitive and witchy skills before I give it up altogether. Working in this way would be closer to my heart and passions but I want to know if this is advisable. There are some professional risks involved. I asked Loki to assist me in the divination.
Gebo (gift/exchange) was drawn for the first position, which signifies “the issue.” When I pulled this rune I thought immediately of my own “gifts” and how they are not being utilized in my present professional life. This rune holds the importance of equal and fair exchange (compensation) as well as warnings against being taken for granted. I do give away a lot of my time to friends and community, or to people who don’t have much money. Even if it is “a trade,” I seldom end up with my share of the bargain. I have to admit to being haunted by a line from the song, “Some People,” in the musical, Gypsy: “Some people got it and make it pay, some people can’t even give it away…” You’d think sexuality counseling and wellness hypnosis would be in demand ‘purt near anywhere, but right now it seems like I’m living inside an endless loop of Ethel Merman’s brassy voice of doom.
According to Mountfort, the meaning of Gebo can also include “exchanges” within sexual relationships and friendship, as well as rules of hospitality and largesse (pp. 101-105). A great deal of my counseling work addresses disrupted or inadequate exchanges during sexual intimacy, so this rune in this position seems apt on many levels.
Mountfort states that “Odin and his brothers (really aspects of the one All Father” gave humanity “breath, blood, and senses” (pp. 124). However other scholars assert that it was Loki in his aspect of Lodur who gave “blood”and “good color” to the first two humans (Dagulf Loptson, Playing with Fire–An Exploration of Loki Laufeyjarson, pp. 22-23). FYI, Loki is Odin’s blood brother. So though Loki is not named in this section he is significant behind the scenes.
Isa (ice/danger) was drawn for the second position, the “roots of the issue.” Mountfort interprets Isa as “stasis, emotional frigidity” or “a deadlock, bound in the coils of a crisis of the soul” and even “unrequited love, separation” (pp. 121-126).
Yep. I am the epitomy of the “wounded healer” when it comes to sexuality. Not only are there #MeToo incidents, but my last two long-term relationships were with men who refused all my efforts to salvage the relationships via better communication, transparency, and honesty, and even invitations to go to couples counseling! In fact, it seemed that the more skills I acquired, the more I was pushed away. Perhaps at the core I feel fraudulent, as I was unable to save my own marriage and the other major partnership. I do admit to feeling stuck and uninterested at this point, as well as lacking in confidence in spite of my education, training, successes, and years of practice.
I have also been demoralized by sexual harrassment from people posing as potential clients. At times I’ve been given reasons to fear.
So, yes, Loki, you have offered me some keen insights here with Isa. And yet ice can melt and bring new life. Heat is what is needed and I currently have more “heat” around magic, spirituality, and metaphysics than I do about sexual concerns. What would happen if I combined these elements in my professional practice and drew from deeper intuitive sources, including my guides and my gods?
Mountfort links Skadi, the frost giantess, to this rune (pp. 124-125). But he does not mention the story where Loki makes Skadi laugh by tying a goat to his testicles (a real icebreaker!). Mountfort also does not mention that Skadi sets a poison-dripping snake over Loki as he is bound and tortured. As a person with chemical injury problems who has a lot of fear about toxic exposures (see Loki, A God of Pleasure, Poisoned), that story is especially upsetting. So though Loki is again not mentioned in connection with this rune, he is significant behind the scenes.
Jera (year/harvestime) was drawn for “present events.” We’ve just entered a new cycle, a new year. I could harvest fruits from my spiritual efforts, if I wanted, and put them to work in service to others.
Mountfort mentions Freyr and Freya as those “who bestow favor and plenty upon the matter at hand” (pp. 127-133). Freyr and Freya are Vanir deities of the land, fertility, and pleasure. Freya is also a shamanic practitioner and teacher of magic, including trance magic used in oracular rituals (Seithr, Seidr). As a hypnotist, I can relate to this! My most recent hypnosis sessions have been increasingly intuitive and transformative. I already offer Freya and Freyr daily devotions and feel that having their blessing and guidance in my work could be fabulous!
I think that Jera tells me that I can own this side of myself, professionally, and that I could be confident of a good harvest if I plant these seeds within my practice.
Since I cast these runes on Imbolc, which celebrates the rebirth of The God, I note the association of this rune with Freyr (the corn god who dies and is reborn each year). In addition, the Celtic Brigid (Brigit), is a goddess who has just emerged as important to my spiritual life. Imbolc is very much a day for her celebration as well. So here I have the joining of cosmic male and female energies (sorry to be so binary) and the fruitfulness that can arise as a result.
Ehwaz (horse/movement) is the “likely outcome.” This rune signifies a “vehicle” for movement and change (pp. 165-169). When citing the lore associated with this rune, Mountfort brings up the story of Odin’s eight-legged horse, Sleipnir (p. 167-168). Loki is the colt’s mother. (Loki the shapeshifter sometimes gender-shifts and has been both a father and a mother.)
Mountfort also associates working in partnership (horse and rider) as well as boundaries. In considering my private practice as a vehicle for partnership with my gods and guides, as well as with my clients’, this rune seems auspicious.
Additionally, I’m a Wood Horse in Chinese astrology so this rune has extra bonus points for me.
My sexological journey actually began with a spontaneous spiritual combustion (a ten-month kundalini surge) and triggered my study of tantra, so it seems odd that I would have such hesitation about working more deeply and spiritually. It may be that a sense of privacy has held me back, as well as uncertainty.
This reading exceeds my expectations for insight and encouragement to move forward. However, I intend to do several more divinations, asking for advice from Freyr, Freya, Gerda (Freyr’s wife), Brigid, Bast, and perhaps also from the ancestral lineages that I work with. I may use a pendulum and Tarot for the other divinations as Loki’s runework leaves very little (if anything) to be desired.
I believe that working in partnership with my gods, guides, and ancestors will bring additional depth to my client work and will counter the “imposter syndrome” baggage that troubles me. Perhaps the “wounded healer” in me will also benefit from feeling supported and protected by spiritual collaboration.
The other day I was inspired by a podcast on divination to visit Inspirobot, my favorite artificial intelligence website, and then to invite my favorite Liminal Trickster to profer some wisdom, using the AI program as a divinitory vehicle. (Yes, I know. Too much time on my hands…)
I invited Loki to comment on my (non-existent) love life. Here’s what I got.
Of course I laughed, “Ha, ha! Spot on, Mr. Lokibot!” And of course I then asked the soul-searching question (but not out loud), “stranger than what, exactly?”
Being a glutton for punishment, or at least desperate for amusement, the next day I asked Loki to suggest a theme for our special day (Tuesday is always the big devotional day for Loki in my household). This is what I got.
Harsh, dude! And yes, much emotional pain ensued (Uranus was squaring Mars and I’m kind of heartbroken about a family matter) but I wouldn’t call it “good pain” exactly. As for the slaughter, I supposed that took place during lunch, when I vanquished a Thai chicken salad and several cups of weak tea while re-reading parts of Dagulf Loptson’s book. But Mr. Lokibot, the Worldbreaker, still got his special Tuesday offerings–an artisan macaroon from an artisan bakery and a glass of mango-flavored beer from an artisan brewery. (I don’t drink, myself.)
Today, not being a person who lets go of novelty easily (instead, preferring to wear it out by dreary repetition), I once again asked Mr. Lokibot to comment on my (still non-existent) love life. This is what I got: Mr. Lokibot summarizing the results of his sex research.
Well, yes, of course he’d see it that way. He is famous, both as Norse Loki and as the (very attractive) Marvel Loki, and this has most definitely boosted his number of spectrosexual partners and god spouses. However, did anyone send me steamy texts or love letters after my appearances on Tyra Banks and Good Morning America in 2009? Or after my commentary in two episodes of National Geographic Taboo shortly thereafter? Nope. All I got was vilification in right wing blogs for researching Objectum Sexuality. “Whack job of a sexologist” was one of the more restrained comments I remember. So, no, I don’t think the above holds true for aging sexologists.