Loki The Muse

Loki has always been a “muse extraordinaire!” People love to write and sing tales of the exploits of Loki Laufeyjarson, the Northern trickster. From fan fiction to published novels, modern writers are no exception. I didn’t plan on making my second  Guild of Ornamental Hermits  fantasy novel all about Loki,” but he stepped into the plot during last year’s National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’ve been working on the book since then, and now, in the 2019 NaNoWriMo contest (goal: complete 50,000 words in one month), I am certain I’ll complete the first draft of the novel before December. (The book already weighs in at about 68,000 words.)

Best_small_ Buffalmacco,_trionfo_della_morte,_eremiti_02 copy

I’ll try to provide a short glimpse of the book without too many spoilers. In the first book, The Dire Deeds of the Guild of Ornamental Hermits, my plucky gang of intentional community oddballs, known as “the Hermits of Hermitville,” were living happily on twenty acres of jungle and agricultural land in Pahoa, Hawai’i (the “Big Island”). But tragedy struck, Elves showed up, and chaos prevailed. The book is “a tale of mid-life magic” and if you’re over the age of fifty, you perhaps can appreciate the challenge of learning magic(k) in the midst of a (mid-life) crisis.

This second book, The Witching Work of the Guild of Ornamental Hermits, finds the Hermits fleeing to another location, here in California. And Loki, in his guise of “Lucky LaFey, a drifter,” bursts into the book from the very start. And my writing life will never be the same.

The Witching Work has a lot to do with Loki as a parent. He’s the mother of witches (in my book there are seventeen), a co-father to one of my book’s characters (that’s a bit of a spoiler), and also the heartbroken parent of Váli, the son who was transformed into a wolf by the Aesir, and who then killed his little brother, Nari. Nari’s entrails were used to bind Loki to a rock, while he writhed under serpent venom whenever Sigyn had to empty the bowl she held above him (to catch the dripping poison).

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[Note: in some versions of this tale, Váli is named Narfi. I thought it would less confusing to use the name Váli.]

Loki’s seventeen witch daughters also appear in the book. They call him “Mapa” as he gave birth to them. Loki’s ever-complicated love life is also on display.

Loki the actual “Norse god” can be very interactive with those who pay him any attention. Since he is my “most trusted one” in my polytheist pantheon, he gets quite a lot from me. He seems to be quite willing to serve as a muse as well as my beloved deity and teacher (especially when the book is “all about him”). I enjoy his shameless delight in his own stories.

The beauty of this is that Loki, a shapeshifter, changes shape as a literary character too. “My” Loki (written and worshipped) is very different from “your” Loki, or the Loki of any other writer or devotee. He actively invites the union of my imagination with his inspiration, and laughs happily with the results. With his help, I’ve produced over 13,000 words in five days since Nov. 2nd. And the results are amusing and gratifying.

And now–I leave you to dive back into my manuscript, which is will get much more attention this month than my blog.

Hail Loki!

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Blessed Samhain…With Electricity

It’s blessed Samhain, as of this evening, and this pagan holiday runs right into my birthday until sundown Nov. 1st. I am feeling unusually cheery, in spite of postponing a birthday gathering with my friends and children, as the lights are on at last. Big_black_cats_howl_as_naked_witches_ascend_into_the_night_o_Wellcome_V0011894

I can heat my house and the electric hot water heater is once again on the job. In just a few minutes, I’ll make good use of it. Last night my part of Lake County was “re-energized” (PG&E’s quaint phrase) at approximately 4:30 PM. My four and a half days without power were not as dangerous or as costly as many people here in Lake County, and yet I was made all too aware of the vulnerability of being a “crone alone” in a rural county, 15-20 miles away from medical help, with only a few two-lane highways to get us in and out of our lake valley. Plus, I have to throw out some food.

Meanwhile the Kincade Fire, which has destroyed 76,825 acres and 282 structures, is at 60% containment but a friend of mine in Middletown, close to the Sonoma County line, is still on evac notice, as are the people of Cobb Mountain. The location of this fire meant that highways 53, 29, 128, and 175 would be poor choices as evacuation routes for people living around the lake (should we need them), as these highways would have taken the unwary too close to–or into–the fire (which at times also closed portions of the major freeway 101, in both directions). And then the Burris Fire broke out along highway 20, the way I usually leave this county, closing half of it for several hours. That left only highway 20 east to south interstate 5 as a potential escape route for me and my seven cats. With fires breaking out all over the place (again) I was really living in some fear. As were we all here in Lake County. We’re officially a disaster zone, an impoverished county already just barely scraping by, scarred by fires and floods in the last few years.

No internet. No cellphone. Only a land-line and a battery operated radio kept me linked to the outwide world. (But some people’s AT&T landlines were going down and the community radio stations were running on generators, with limited programming). Though I usually spend my days in silence, I was hungry for news and kept the radio on all day long. Along with call-in complaints and local news–who was open, who did acts of kindness, who had their generator stolen, what stations had gas–there was an overall esprit de corps and generosity of spirit that makes my eyes teary even as I write.

And so last night, before the electricity came back, a few of us gathered in my home for a Samhain celebration and a “Dumb Supper” (a silent meal shared with our beloved dead). I spent the day preparing, moving furniture, and cooking (yes, I have a gas stove and could cook indoors–I was lucky!). The imperishables and the food about to perish in my warming freezer determined the human menu: a soup of frozen corn, canned milk, eggs, and onions; chorizo; polenta; and applesauce. The dead were offered foods colored black or white: squares of chocolate, feta cheese, olives, small chunks of canned pears. We drank a toast to them from empty cups. And we all remembered people we love who are no longer embodied.

Funny thing though, the lights came on just as we were about to eat our own meal and cast our circle. We’d been prepared to carry on by candlelight, but now we didn’t have to. And as our priestess was calling in the North, the land-line rang with what I later learned was PG&E’s redunant announcement that the power was now on. (Of course I didn’t answer it at the time.)

That was three power outages this month. A lot of food had to be tossed. I am just now taking stock of what I have to replace, at the end of the month when funds are low. Every single person in this county who isn’t lucky or wealthy enough to own a generator, is in this same predicament.

For me, this year’s liminal season–which encompasses the founding of Lokabrenna, Samhain, and my birthday (as well as the birthdays of cherished friends)–has taught me precariousness and the need for redundant systems (including those which are low tech). It has also taught me (once again) the value of friendship and community, seen and unseen.

Power of another sort informed our ritual last night. The dark and the liminal are allies we cultivate. Our ancestors and our dead are with us as we suffer and celebrate. The firefighters are blessed allies of another kind. Everyone who made a kind gesture this last week has my gratitude and my awe.

Blessed be. And Hail to Loki, my fultrui and future psychopomp.

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My Favorite Time of Year

Leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, the light has changed, the veil thins. Everything feels liminal… I love it! And there’s lots going on in the next two weeks: the 1st year anniversary of the dedication of Loki’s Lokabrenna Tiny Temple on the 28th–an observance which also represents with a deeper spirtual bond with my “most trusted one”; a witchy ceremony and “Dumb Supper” at my house on the 30th; Halloween/part of Samhain and a good friend’s birthday on the 31st; the second part of Samhain and my birthday on Nov. 1st; and another good friend’s birthday on the 4th!

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Left hand path. Copyright Amy Marsh 2018

These are some of the joys of a life lived on the left-hand path, though the term itself means many things to many people. I first encountered it in neo-tantra circles but of course it is used widely elsewhere. I associate it with witchery, tantra and sex magic, and other spiritual processes. I also imagine my last years as a creatively crafted life–something along the lines of the Addams Family meets Downton Abbey meets War for the Oaks, but with a punk rock /Helium Vola/ Hawaiian music soundtrack and a Leather Family next door. I suppose this is a topic for a whole other blog. Meanwhile, I collect too many glass jars and lids. (I’m either planning jar spells or storing food against the next zombie power outage apolcalypse.)

Reflecting on this last year’s events and accomplishments, this blog is one. Though the blog has consumed much of the writing energy that should have gone to my two novels, I needed to do it. But never fear, NaNoWriMo starts on my birthday and that should propel me right back into The Witching Work of the Guild of Ornamental Hermits.

Other events and accomplishments include doing the “30 Days for Loki” observances in July; doing with the layout and assisting with the editing of Loki’s Torch; putting together an online Loki Fest conference; doing some writer/allyship in support of the Kia’i of Mauna Kea; my spectrosexuality survey; appearing on Australian TV; updating my 150-hour course on Hypnosis for Sexual Concerns; and acquiring three more cats. (That’s IT, I swear. Seven is more than enough!) I also acquired a roommate and that’s worked out fine.

Oh, and I gave away some books.

The mundane aspect of turning 65 next month has also brought the transition to Medicare. I have already fried more a few brain cells trying to figure out the unweildy assortment of supplemental plans.

I also, like most people in Northern CA, endured the PG&E power outage for three days (some endured it longer). But at least there has not been a fire this year to force me to evacuate my home. There’s a reason I make friends with fire deities and offer them cookies!

What comes after Samhain is going to involve another constellation of challenges. I intend go to “a place quite northwards, it seems”* in the next 6-8 months, to a place that is less isolated and more culturally active than where I live now. I’ve been well-sheltered by this house for the last two years, and have enjoyed my daily view of the lake and the mountain, but Lake County is not right for me. It seems I’m more suited to urban-ish environments than rural life and I need to find a better place to age, to spend the last decades of my life. A medium-sized college town, progressive and arty, will do me just fine. I know a place. I have friends there.

So this time of year involves reflection, liminal awareness, and a deeper opportunity to connect with my deities, guides, and ancestors. I am asking for their help in the coming year, of course, and Loki, my restless guide, is determined to not let me vegetate.

Hail Loki and all love to Freyr, Freya, Gerda, Bast, and Brigit as well! Love to the ancestors.

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*A phrase from Pride and Prejudice.

Loki Spongecake Day: “I Wanna Be Anarchy and Offer Storebought Goodies”

What Loki wants, Loki gets, even if it’s not made by hand, even if it can be bought for ready money. Today is #LokiSpongecakeDay.

The source of this fondly remembered Holy Day is a Tumblr thread where someone took umbrage at a photograph of another devotee’s humble offering of a simple store-bought spongecake (shortcake) with strawberries and whipped cream. And then there were comments and rebuttals, boiling down to “umbrage up yours.” You can find the original 2012 “Spongecake” thread here.

We’re celebrating online today, so show up if you’re inclined. Bring your spongecake and some limericks. Or whatever. And be proud of your spongecake, whether it is handmade from artisan-sourced ingredients or grabbed off the shelf. It’s the thought–the devotion–that counts. Loki will be thrilled with the attention.

Loki Spongecake Day Online


Hail Loki!

Fetish Loki

I wrote the above and felt an evil chortle arise in my gullet. Yes, my sacred, golden gullet, my darlings! Evil chortling is what all good villains master (in addition to you, my dears…) and I dost aspire to the most evil of masteries. And you will worship me betides.

Loki chuckles. Yes, the scene could go something like that…

Listen. Loki is everywhere. Even concealed (or revealed) in what may very well be only a lonely blogger’s esophageal spasm reinventing itself as wicked mirth (in the privacy of her own home).

Speaking of such privacy (and the apparent urge to violate it), I have a confession. I…logged on…to Fetlife… again…. after a looooong hiatus. As a sexologist, I regret saying this: it is as boring as ever. However I went there today, “burdened with glorious purpose,” as I wanted to see if there were any Loki-themed groups on FL, along with the usual very large array of this, that, and the other things.

As Marvel Loki says so feelingly in the above movie clip, “An ant has no quarrel with a boot.” In the same spirit, I have no quarrel with the Midgard Minions getting their kink on in “Furry Libras Unite” and “House of Leather Horrors.” As for the not-nearly-fawning-enough notes from men I don’t even know, kindly informing me that they’ll be “in town this weekend” seeking to have their fantasies fulfilled…they’ll get a psychic “boot” from me but nothing else.

Not even an esophageal spasm.

But back to my search for specific information: are there indeed people out there for whom Loki (Marvel or otherwise) is an actual “kink?” Judging by what I found on FL, it’s hard to distinguish fandom from kinkdom. I did a quick “Loki” search and found that several FL members have taken His name, for whatever reason. And there are a handful of fan-type groups, with rather small memberships, dating mostly from just before or just after Thor: The Dark World, released in 2013. All of these groups are moribund–most with no conversations more recent than 2015-2016.

A quick perusal of the postings was disappointing. I expected more cos-play and role-play posts, frankly, but there wasn’t much except someone proposing a Loki/Sigyn/Angrboda scene. And there was this: a post about a voice actor who “does” Tom Hiddleston and who reads everything from the children’s classic, Madeline, to some “not safe for work” (NSFW) material. His Loki’s Dirty Whispers are definitely worth a listen in the privacy of your own home or earbuds. This voice actor has a Patreon site as well as talent, and would be worth supporting if you have a little extra to spare. However, his sites also seem dormant.

What has happened, I wonder? Why did these FL groups fade, while on Facebook, Loki-focused groups are thriving? And I also wonder, where did that voice actor go?

Speculation

Since data is thin, I’d like to speculate about what elements of Loki–specifically Marvel Loki as played by Tom Hiddleston–might spark a kinky interest deeper than a fan’s crush.

Auralism and Acousticophilia

Auralism and acousticophilia refer to arousal through sound–including music, voices, sounds of other people having sex, and so on. I have never thought myself as an auralist or  acousticophiliac before, but it’s true that beautiful, expressive, masculine voices are very appealing and sexy for me. Tom Hiddleston’s voice, whatever his role, has become one of my favorites. (Benedict Cumberbatch is a close second.) So for a person with this kind of philia, even the voice actor’s reading of Madeline could be arousing!

You don’t have to be a card-carrying auralist to respond to such voices. Lower pitched voices are generally thought to signal sexual interest and are therefore sexually appealing.  Even WebMD has an article on this!

Long Hair on Men

This would be a variation of the hair fetish generally known as trichophilia, which can take many forms. Fetlife has at least one group devoted to “Long Hair on Men,” with many female members. Marvel Loki and Marvel Thor amply deliver on this, at least until Thor’s hair is cut halfway through the middle of Thor: Ragnarok (2017). Hearts were probably broken in that moment. (But not mine. Loki retained his long locks and that’s all I cared about.)

Leather

Check out Loki’s costuming in this video of Hiddleston’s surprise appearance the 2013 San Diego ComiCon, as well as Hiddleston’s dom-ly monologue.

As Stan Lee used to say, “‘Nuff said.”

Knife Play

Marvel Loki loves his knives. He’s graceful, fierce, and handles them well. The fight scenes are well choreographed. For someone out there, these scenes are the stuff of kinky dreams.

The sparse Wikipedia entry reads:

“Knife play is a form of consensual BDSM edgeplay involving knives, daggers, and swords as a source of physical and mental stimulation. Knives are typically used to cut away clothing, scratch the skin, remove wax after wax play, or simply provide sensual stimulation. Knife play can also be a form of temperature play or body modification.”

As a sexologist, I would add this caution: If this is an interest of yours, take some classes and/or let yourself be well-mentored before doing this with anybody. Remember this mantra: Safe, Sane, and Consensual. And this one too: Risk Aware Kink.

Bondage and Switching

In spite of his dominant persona, Loki is frequently chained, restrained, and/or gagged in the Marvel movies. When he is, he’s very much the smart-ass.

And when Loki is slapped by Thor’s GF, Jane Foster, in Thor: The Dark World, he grins, his eyes gleam, and he says, “I like her!” He is hinting, perhaps, that Thor is missing something key in Jane’s erotic nature (she certainly slaps people a lot!). Again, this is all the stuff of someone’s kinky dreams…

In Conclusion

I could probably watch every Marvel Thor movie again–and find more things to list–but you get the idea. These movies are a rich source of erotic and even kinky inspiration. While Lokeans and Heathens may argue about the uses that Norse Loki may or may not make of this pop culture phenomenon, my own personal gnosis suggests that He is rather tickled about it, and the kinky stuff is simply more icing on the donut.

Hail Loki!

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?

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“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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Publication Party! Loki’s Torch Anthology

Loki'sTorch-BlogHeaderCue up your favorite song. I said it was a party! Then click the banner link below to get your copy of Loki’s Torch, officially published today, August 1st, just in time for Lokabrenna (Sirius rising and the “Dog Days of Summer.”)

Update: By the way, in case you were wondering. Here’s a message from Ky Greene regarding the financial aspect of this ALL VOLUNTEER PROJECT: “Everyone who contributed got a free PDF. We only make $5 off every sale, which we are saving to be able to fund other events/products for the Lokean community as a whole. The rest of the proceeds go to MagCloud for their printing service. Since it’s a print-on-demand service, people are paying the printers.”


 


This is a great collection of devotional work from the Lokean community–artwork, poems, fiction, articles, rituals, and even recipes!

Print on demand or PDF. Published by Loki University.


This song’s going out to you, Loki!


Hail Loki!