When Freyr Provides

Sometimes, the gods themselves bring to us the means in which to honor them best.

This day has been a prime example of that for me.

Earlier today, my sister went out to get food from food pantries, as her and her boyfriend are currently struggling to make ends meet. Due to complications arising between work schedules and school commitments, the two of them need some help to get by.

On my own end, I am saving money to move into an apartment at the beginning of the year, so I have sacrificed eating well for saving the money I need. I have been doing my best to live off the smallest amount of the cheapest food I can afford, so purchasing a feast to celebrate the High Night of the Winter Solstice was out of the question.

When my sister returned, she had a couple boxes of food with her. Some of that food included ham and ribs. Even though we share a home, we don’t eat together, so I wasn’t expecting them to include me in their meal tonight.

For supper, they prepared barbecued ribs, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and corn. After they were done preparing the food, they told me I was welcome to the food. I was surprised by the offer but gratified by it.

Not only did they offer me sustenance, they also allowed me the means in which to offer a proper plate of food to Freyr to honor Him on this night. Neither one of them are Pagans or Polytheists (I believe they are both atheists), so the meal itself didn’t seem like more than a coincidence to them.

I found it fascinating, however, that the meal itself contained pork, which is one of the meats most often used in feasts prepared in Freyr’s honor. I saw Freyr’s presence in the contents of the meal as well as in the way it came to me, as Freyr is a god of abundance and wealth. That wealth comes in many different forms, and food is one of those forms.

I was also caught up in thinking earlier how I wished I had a way to prepare a feast in His honor, the way my path dictates. And then that wish was granted. Freyr made it possible for me to honor Him tonight, and I don’t really think I can adequately explain how grateful I am to Him for giving me the means to strengthen the bond between us.

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Ragnarok and Roll

A great post from a fellow Lokean.

Sagna Hrœri

I realize that I have yet to even write an introductory blog regarding who I am and what it is exactly, that I believe….but I’ll get there. For years I have been wrestling with some very annoying insecurities regarding my writing as well as merely being allowed to have a voice. So, this is difficult for me. Today I’m feeling inspired by a question a friend posted in a spiritual heathen group dedicated to Loki:

“Here’s some food for thought. Why is Loki so present today?

Theory: Because the world is broken. Systems are falling apart. They’ve stopped working. And when systems stop working, Loki’s the only one who knows how to fix them. Usually by completely upending them.

Thoughts?”

This thought provoking question came from my friend Kyaza (Heathenwoman.wordpress.com).
Now, my thoughts on this question are based upon my own UPG, as well as experiences and research. I am…

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Loki University

While I originally planned to write a book for Loki, that morphed into putting together a school instead.

The school is intended to introduce people to Loki and the Lokean path, and it is also intended for people who often find themselves on the fringes of Heathenry and Paganism as a whole.

That school can be found here: https://lokiuniversity.wordpress.com/

Please feel free to take a look around and get acquainted with the curriculum.

If you are interested in applying, please read the enrollment requirements. We will accept applications now – just know that we will not start the course until after January 1st. Classes will begin when ten students have been accepted.

Note that the earlier you apply, the lower the expectations for the initial applicants will be, as we have nothing to judge against.

To all my wordpress friends, please spread the word about this school. Post about it on your blogs, on your social media pages. Talk about it on Youtube or Twitch. Please do whatever you can to get the word out about this new school.

In return for you help, I will offer my services as a guest writer or speaker – or I will promote you in turn. Let’s all help each other.

Blessed Yule,

Kyaza

Fight for Net Neutrality

If you’re interested in keeping the net neutrality laws that make the internet accessible to everyone, please visit https://www.battleforthenet.com/ and fight for that to happen. The cable companies are fighting hard to end net neutrality so they can impose bandwidth limits, throttle access, and potentially even block content. Information control is one of the worst things a government can impose on its people, and if the net neutrality laws are rescinded, there’s no telling what our social climate will end up looking like.

If you don’t want to be told what to think, then you need to fight for net neutrality. Visit the site, call congress, spread the word, and participate in the internet-wide protest tomorrow.

Sigyn’s Strength

I talk about Loki a lot, which makes sense, considering I serve him as a priest. But I also think it’s important to talk about Sigyn, as she is often overlooked and/or wrongly portrayed. She is one of the fiercest deities I know, and she’s not someone I’d want as an enemy.

It always astonishes me how easily she accepts the numerous godspouses that Loki collects. I asked her about it once – why she so easily accepted that her husband was always off gallivanting with other women. Her straightforward and nonchalant reply surprised me, but I must admit, it makes a lot of sense.

She told me, “It doesn’t matter how many women Loki sleeps with, at the end of the day, I have all of his heart.” She went on to explain that she knew exactly what she was getting into when she agreed to marry him. That she’d never try to change him, as she loves him for the person he is, not the person others want him to be. Her loyalty is very real, and very strong, but it isn’t founded in idealism. She isn’t waiting for Loki to get tired of sleeping with other women.

Sigyn knows that Loki will always have trysts, will always have more godspouses than he can handle. But she also knows that Loki will never trust them with everything he trusts her with. She is devotion incarnate. She gives him the room he needs to be himself, and, in turn, Loki’s devotion to her is unquestionable.

The reason people misunderstand the relationship the two of them share is that we tend to judge gods by the standards of human morality. Loki and Sigyn – neither of them view monogamy as a way to measure the loyalty they share. Loki sees Sigyn’s devotion, and he responds to it by giving her what he gives no one else – the full knowledge of who he is.

That is a profound gift, as trickster deities are masters of illusion. They morph from shape to shape, barely allowing us to grasp the understanding of one of their forms before moving on. Loki is no different. He shows us one aspect, then flows into another, and we are not capable of mastering an understanding of any one of his aspects. We may come close, but we don’t have the capacity – as human beings, we are limited in our capabilities to understand the gods.

I understand enough to know that I understand very little about the gods. That is why theology so fascinates me. The gods, to me, are the great unknown. To have a relationship with even one of them is a great gift; to have made friends with so many is an honor so great words cannot ever do it justice.

That is why it makes me so angry when I see the way Sigyn is portrayed by others as weak-willed and misguided in her loyalty. People judge her by human standards, and they fail to see the strength she exudes. The little we know about her from the myths only tell us that she never left Loki’s side when he was forced to endure an agonizing punishment. She stayed by him, never wavering in her loyalty to him, and there is a fierceness in that act that few people can see.

Sigyn is not a deity to be trifled with, and she’s not above teaching people better manners. I went to a restaurant with a couple friends, and the waiter we had was the most atrocious server I’ve ever seen. The restaurant was basically dead. The waiter handed us our menus, then came back every two minutes to ask if we were ready to order after we’d told him we hadn’t decided on what to get. He also only provided two menus (for three people), and he forgot to give us straws at all (we had to ask for them). He never came to ask us if we needed refills, and his general attitude was one of “I really don’t want to be here.”

Now, as someone who has experience working in the food industry, I know that there are circumstances that can put a person off their game. A busy restaurant, too many tables, too many people at a table – potentially even a bad day for personal reasons. If someone is bringing their personal problems to work, however, that’s unprofessional, and I dislike it when people act unprofessionally when they are at work.

I am typically the type of person to leave a tip, no matter how bad the service is. When I started to put the tip down on the table, however, I got a direct sense of Sigyn telling me not to do it, followed by the message, “We don’t reward bad behavior.” So, I didn’t leave a tip. I figured it was better to insult the waiter by not leaving a tip – especially as his service sucked – than it was to insult Sigyn by refusing to ignore her advice.

Sigyn, unlike Loki, isn’t constantly present in my life. She has a lot of meaning to me, and I highly respect her, but we don’t have conversations as often as I do with other deities. We do talk, on occasion, and that’s been enough for us. In this moment, however, I felt it was important to provide a different perspective on Sigyn than the one I usually find myself reading. She is a strong deity with a strong presence, and she deserves so much more respect than she gets.

On the Worship of Loki – A Facebook Discussion Response

The following is the response I gave to a TAC (The Asatru Community) facebook discussion where the original poster said “Debate* worship of Loki.”

Having read through all of this, I see a lot of people have some very strong opinions about Loki. I’m the admin for the Loki’s Wyrdlings page (found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/959611187421203/?ref=bookmarks), and I serve Loki as a priest. I have quite a bit to say, but I want to start off by saying that this is how I perceive Loki, and I do not expect anyone to agree with me – everyone is entitled to their own path, no matter how different it may be from mine.

So, first – Loki has many, many aspects. He is the Catalyst of Change (generically, the trickster). He is the Worldbreaker – the role he plays in Ragnarok is very real. Even here, however, he is playing a role. The world must always end and begin again, and Loki plays a key role in the change. I could go in-depth to the way I understand the Baldur myth, but I will hold off until/unless someone asks for further clarification.

Second – someone up above said that everyone they knew who honored Loki did so in a vacuum, where Loki alone was honored and the other deities ignored. Personally, I have rarely found this to be true. I myself honor many deities, both within the Norse pantheon and outside it. I work with Freyr, Odin, Freyja, Sigyn, Ullr, Mani, Tyr, and Thor within the Norse pantheon. Outside it, I work with Queztalcoatl and Bast. In my experience, most people who honor Loki honor a plethora of deities because Loki is an incredibly social god who seems to know all the deities in all the other pantheons and is incredibly willing to help people find the connections that others need with the deities.

I’m aware that within Asatru, it is far more common for people to work with ancestors and land-spirits than with deities, and if that is the path your spirituality takes, I have no qualms with it. I have a good relationship with my ancestors and the spirits residing on my land, but my practice primarily revolves around the gods and the relationships I’ve formed with them.

Loki is a deity of connection and self-knowledge – he doesn’t allow people who honor him to lie to themselves for very long, and that is why he can be a difficult god to work with. Someone once told me that the version of Loki who shows up is the version of Loki you expect – if you expect him to be evil and ill-humored, that is what he will give you. If you expect him to be friendly and compassionate, that is what he will give you. He shows up the way you expect him to show up because he has a tendency to reflect your deepest secrets and hidden neuroses to you in such a way you cannot deny that they exist.

Another thing that someone above pointed out is that everyone they’ve ever met has worked with Loki due to the Marvel movies or to be edgy. When I started working with Loki, I hadn’t seen the Marvel movies. I had just finished reading the Lokasenna, and I was incredibly amused by how he had been called the god of lies while telling the truth the entire time. I was instantly drawn to him because he refused to sugarcoat the truth, and I’ve been criticized my entire life for being too honest with people.

That being said, I’ve known people who have come to Loki through the Marvel movies. More than any other deity I work with, Loki seems to enjoy inserting his presence into fictional streams in order to find people who understand him. He is a social deity – he wants to have tons of friends among mortals, so he finds them through whatever avenue he can. Considering the problematic equation of Loki = bad or Loki = devil typically found within Asatru, it is no wonder to me that he seeks people from outside of the community. He is an inherent problem-solver, and the easiest way to solve a problem is often to circumvent it.

Another person stated that Loki is the type to use and discard those who come to him. Up until that point, I was enjoying the back-and-forth because Loki loves to watch people argue over him (his vanity is pretty high, so any attention is good attention). While some people may have the misfortune to be used and discarded by Loki, it is typically only the people who expect that from him who will find that to be true. Loki is one of the least self-serving deities I know, and his compassion knows no bounds.

There is a reason those who work with Loki are often those found on the fringes of society – the disabled, the mentally handicapped, those with mental disorders, those with marginalized gender identities, those within the LGBTQ+ community, etc. Loki prizes the people society discards because he knows what it is like to exist on the fringe. His godhood is constantly questioned, and he is accepted with unease except by those who know him well, which is a very small number. Loki sees the value and potential in the people that society is too quick to turn away from, and he never turns his back on anyone who truly commits to understanding him. He gives people the compassion they need when they need it most, but he also gives people the tools they need to look inside themselves and do a deep inventory of their own neuroses.

That is my experience of Loki. I don’t expect anyone else’s experiences to match, as all spiritual paths are valid and unique. This is simply a final disclaimer – I do not claim to speak for all Lokeans or all Heathens. This is simply my perspective.

Please keep in mind that this is part of a larger conversation – I am posting it here because someone asked to use the response with appropriate credit. I am posting it in my blog to make it easier for others to access and credit appropriately.

 

Prometheus and Coyote: The Theft of Fire

I was recently approved and selected as the editor of the Bella Online website for the Folklore and Mythology section. My first article has been posted: Prometheus and Coyote: The Theft of Fire. I will be adding at least one article per week, more if time permits. If there are any specific folklore related questions you’d like to have answered or just articles you’d like to see, please feel free to let me know, and I will add them to my list for article ideas.

 

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