Loki the Loving

Loki Laufeyjarson has a lot of “kennings” (descriptive phrases used instead of a name or a noun): “The Sly God,” “The Bound God,” “Worldbreaker,” and so on. You can find a number of these names listed on this page of the Grumpy Lokean Elder blog and in many other places. But what I haven’t found yet is a kenning that expresses the loving side of Loki’s nature, with regard to his family as well those who work with and/or honor him.

Earlier today I was listening to this new podcast episode of Gifts of the Wyrd. This is an episode which focuses on Loki and his family. Bat Collazo and Luke Babb were the show guests and John Hijatt is the show host. One of the topics of conversation included feelings of being loved and accepted when in contact with Loki. I have heard and read this so often from people who work with Loki that I would venture to call this a “verified community gnosis.” This feeling of love and acceptance–sometimes spontaneous and surprising–is one of the ways I know he’s “around.” In fact, as soon as this topic was broached during the podcast, I felt this love coming from him. My first response was, “oh, there you are!” (since I’ve been a bit disconnected from spiritual practice lately) followed by “how lucky I am!”

There’s an incredible sweetness associated with many of my dealings with Loki, often accompanied by a simultaneous sense of “unholy glee.” I find this mixture intoxicating and fascinating. It’s deeply enjoyable. It’s joy.

For some, I suppose it could be a bit startling to realize such feelings radiate from a deity who has been reviled as “the Norse Satan” or a cause of destruction or pointless mischief.

I’m not saying Loki is “wholly loving” though! Most of us know that many of his more unnerving kennings are also well-deserved. But I think it’s past time our community shared a kenning that acknowledged Loki’s powerful love for those who honor and trust him.

Loke,_Fenriswolf_und_Midgardschlange

Hail Loki!

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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.

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

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(I warned you!)

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(For God’s sake…)

…(God? Hey, an epithet! Aiiieeeee!)

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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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