The Wyrd Gets Weirder – Loki and Springfield, Oregon

If you’re involved in a devotional relationship with the actual Norse deity, Loki Laufeyjarson, you will not be able to avoid signs and portents that let you know–from time to time–that this stuff with Loki is actually real. Loki will often communicate with his human followers through a combination of unlikely coincidences, humor, and mischief. These signs and portents could be anything from a series of pointed song references on a streaming service (love songs mentioning donuts probably mean you need to offer one to Loki ASAP) or foxes appearing where there should be no foxes. (Pay special attention to foxes with half-eaten donuts!) We Lokeans have all heard the stories and most of us have some of our own. There are enough personal anecdotes to have created a shared community-verified gnosis: yes, Loki does this.

Norse Loki even enjoys using “Marvel Loki” as an attention-getting device. I know. It happened to me, and to so many others besides.

I call such coincidental messages “signal flags” and they have waved throughout my life, even in circumstances that have had nothing to do with Loki. But Loki seems to be the most enthusiastic about using them. So, let me tell you about the latest…however you need a little background to understand.

As a teenager in Southern California, I was an ardent admirer of Tom Wolfe’s book, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which is a 1960’s saga about the author Ken Kesey (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), a day-glo painted bus, and a band of “Merry Pranksters” who were usually stoned out of their gourds on LSD and in some cases, were Not Very Nice to Women. As a naive teen, I kind of glossed over the Not Very Nice to Women parts and instead fell in love with the ridiculous pranking portrayed in the book. (I even have a small Revereware saucepan that I picked up on a hitch-hiking pilgramage to Kesey’s former property in La Honda, CA–long after the Pranksters had moved on. My ex-husband took it to Burning Man one year, without my permission, and lost it, and boy, did he hear about it until he finally found it again!)

I was probably under that book’s influence when I drew pictures of cows on large marshmellows with purple felt-tipped pens and scattered them around La Jolla Cove Park to show my dismay that marshmellows were not and are not vegetarian. And I was probably under the influence when I rode on my boyfriend’s shoulders with a blanket over my head, to wander through the park alarming wealthy tourists with cries of “Alms for the Poor!” Honestly, teenagers!

An important detail to remember is that Ken Kesey, father of the “Merry Pranksters,” grew up in Springfield, OR, and I was dimly aware of this.

The Ken Kesey mural in Springfield, OR.

Fast forward and here I am, now a Lokean and still hooked on the emotions of “unholy glee,” actually moving to Springfield, OR myself in just a few weeks, in a neighborhood close to the big mural of Kesey on the corner of Fourth and Main. And, I have promised Loki that I would try to organize an in-person LokiFest when I move. A couple of years ago I tried to do this very thing here in Lake County, CA, but the effort fell apart. A few of us have organized online LokiFests instead, but it’s just not the same as a gathering of people honoring Loki with music, crafts, cosplay, etc. Eugene is a college town with a strong hippie vibe and Springfield, just across the river, is a town hoping to boost its arts (and commerce). I think the area is a strong location.

And, if you don’t know already, Springfield, OR is also the hometown of The Simpsons. This too is celebrated with a Main Street mural.

The Simpson’s Mural in Springfield, OR.

Now here is the part that is hilarious: a few days ago I discovered that The Simpsons announced an animated short featuring Marvel Loki, in which he is forced to leave Asgard (realm of the Aesir gods) and exiled to…(drumroll)…Springfield, OR! The episode is called “The Good, the Bart, and the Loki.” (And yes, Tom Hiddleson will be doing Loki’s voice.) The episode previews on July 7th.

The poster for the animated short.

Now if this isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is! So yes, I pledge to do my best to create a LokiFest in Springfield, OR as soon as is possible, and in order to do that, my Most Trusted One, I need to get through escrow. So, help me out with some good luck, pretty please? (I promise donuts! Many, many donuts…)

The poster for the failed Lakeport CA LokiFest. Art by Moon Rouge.

P.S. “Wyrd” is a word for “fate.”

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Two Years Oathed to Loki Laufeyjarson

This date snuck up on me. I knew it was coming up “sometime soon,” but honestly, in the flurry of the last two weeks (don’t even ask!), I’d plumb forgotten. I only just realized it today. But how, you might ask, does one forget anything having to do with Loki?

Well, because humans just do that, sometimes, and I’m no exception, and it’s been an unusual time in Midgard lately. And I think the old powers, like Loki–or even, especially Loki–can understand when we loose sight of temporal dates. I have a feeling it would be worse if I forgot his morning offering of cinnamon tea (which I never do) or the weekly offering of a sweet (ditto), because consistent, daily attention seems to be more helpful in cultivating preternatural relationships than observing annual special events.

Nevertheless, I mark this day as significant as one does not lightly oath oneself to a deity, particularly one as complicated as the Norse Loki. And though I didn’t do this lightly, I did it fairly quickly. I was all in within a couple of months of interaction. I’ve never been sorry about it, either. Nothing would have been gained by waffling and waiting.

So what does it mean to me, to my life, that I am oathed to a fiery, shapeshifting, gendershifting, trickster deity? Well, he is the focus of acts of devotion (offerings, prayers, chats) and acts of service (they vary); but I also have a feeling of kinship. There’s a kind of reciprocity and caring that takes place, and a commitment that can be worn lightly even as it goes very deep. I am not sure I can explain it, but I find it very grounding. This interaction can also be described in opposite terms as creating feelings of “unholy glee” and a sensation of “tripping the light fantastic.” For me, Loki is a “Lord of the Dance” as well as a psychopomp; a deity of kundalini energy and witchcraft as well as a spirit of hearth fire. Creator, destroyer, mischief-maker, and (lest we forget) a donut gourmet…

Finally, this Swedish publication arrived yesterday, just in time for me to put it on Loki’s altar. A blog of mine, “Loki the Loving,” was published in it. I am pretty tickled about this! Thank you to the editor to asked to use this piece, and then translated it into Swedish!

Hail Loki Laufeyjarson, Flamehair and Silvertongue, nimble-footed, master strategist! My beloved fulltrui, teacher, and muse!

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Lessons From Loki

At the moment, life feels a little rough around the edges. Earlier today I was angered and triggered by a private matter. And I’ve got plumbing problems and a sick kitty–as well as the money problems that go with unexpected vet bills and plumbing repairs. Also, the “holidays” (some dreaded, some not) are just about upon us. I’m saying “yes” to Yule and Solstice (in a modest way) and “meh” to Xmas (except that I’ll see one of my kids on that day).

But no matter what’s going on in my life, Loki keeps me moving forward.

So on the positive side, I’ve worked on my novels almost every day this month (including the one that stars Loki as “Lucky LaFey). I’ve been teaching and updating my online course. I’ve been researching some new and exciting ideas for my clinical practice as well as my own personal healing. I’m also fiddling with my websites, including this one.

Since the sick cat has finally moved from its space between my chest and the keyboard, and his sister is keeping him warm on a blanket, I want to seize this opportunity to write about a fragment of the immensity that is Loki.

Loki. He/she/they/ze is positioned in my life very much as he is illustrated below by the brilliant artist, A. Skeith (see her Deviant Art URL below). A cascading river of life pours down a chasm in the mountainside, and he is liminally perched on a rock between the rushing waters. He is vigilant and aglow. He is poised, ready, and perfectly willing to prod me with that sharp, pointed thing he has in his hand. But between us, there is trust.

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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.

The other day I was able to tell a new friend about my relationship with Loki, including some of the more private aspects. I was nervous about the conversation, but my communication was not only accepted, but welcomed. I took a risk and it turned out well. Loki, who has been utterly merciless in quickly revealing the deficits of new aquaintances this last year, seems to take kindly to the friend above–a friend who seems to have a genuinely sterling character.

I have been surprised by the tumultuous, almost adolescent nature of this phase of life (60+ years). Once again I am–by virtue of my age–unsure of almost everything: my attractiveness, my place in the world and among people, my social skills, my economic prospects, everything! My body baffles me now, much as it did at puberty. When I was a teenager, I had a lot to say, but was often ignored. I still have a lot to say (hence, this blog) and nobody much pays attention. Once again, I am categorized among the dismissed and the disposable–simply due to my age. Loki, my future psychopomp (here’s hopin’), turns out to be a fabulous “Do not go gentle…Period!” guide and muse.

I look back at my life now–including a few rather brilliant conceptual pranks, some tricksy works of art and writing, and a sense of humor that seems to have been largely unappreciated by my former spouse and children. If only I’d known sooner that I was one of “Loki’s own”…I would have know better what I was about. And my poor ex-husband might have had some warning…(I’m sorry, I am! Lokeans aren’t the greatest wives.)

Loki is definitely the “know thyself” dude. But he also seems to like it when we retroactively recognize his influence in our brief human lives.

So when I look back and confront a teenage memory of drawing cows on large marshmellows (with a purple Flair pen), scattering them around La Jolla Cove Park, because I was pissed off that marshmellows were made with animal products… I see Loki was there.

And when I look back on dancing to the twenty minute Ramayana Monkey Chant from this recording, along with another stripper, at a seedy nightclub in San Diego, simply to  freak the club’s sodden patrons–sailors on leave and Broadway bums–I know Loki was there. (The Ketjak monkey chant starts at 16:24 into the video.)

And when I remember our 80’s punk rock fashion protest in Union Square (“We Have Proof the CIA Killed the Mini-Skirt”), I know Loki was grinning, though I knew him not.

And when I wrote a short story featuring all the names of Kentucky Derby winners, from the race’s inception until 1999, Loki was definitely a muse. I recognize that feeling of unholy glee! It’s an emotion I treasure.

So much in my past is made clear. But knowing that Loki is with me in the present makes it all so much better, even when clarity is painful.

Finally, his “Mr. LokiBot” message to me today is:

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Thus sayeth the “Lie-Smith.” Ouch! That’s what I get for calling this blog post “Lessons from Loki.” However, I love and trust him BECAUSE of stuff like this. Is that so very wrong?

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