I’m sooooo behind omg. I’m so sorry Loki. Things have been hectic (as always). I talked about his relatives and spouses in the previous post, so I just wanted to talk about a connection with the Spider, since I’ve been getting spiders these days.
Spider gods are tricksters in different pantheons. The ones I was aware of are the African Anansi/Ananse, the Lakota trickster Ik’tomi, and the Hopi Grandmother Spider (Gogyeng Sowuhti). I consider these distant cousins, and it’s just my UPG but Loki doesn’t seem fazed by the Spider’s sudden interest in me and my house (trying to get rid of my arachnophobia).
Weaving is a meaningful activity linked with both stories and fate. It was also a gendered activity within Norse culture (see Frigg’s weaving and spindle). So of course, these associations make sense with Loki, as both a cunning spinner of tales and as a gender rebel.
Spider is also a Promethean being, with Grandmother Spider being the one introducing fire to the world (hello, association with Loki and fire in SPG). Spider is also tricky, they abides and waits for prey to fall into their web. Spider can be seductive (see Mr. Nancy in American Gods) and deadly. But ultimately, spider is a protective spirit with a bad rep, just like Loki is.
I adore you, Mr. I’ll stab you in the chest and in your back to help you get out of that body that doesn’t suit you anymore.
I adore you, “Don’t forget the Cinnamon Toast Crunch!”
I adore you, Mx. Hot Stuff.
I adore you, Spiderling Pappa.
I adore you, Wolf Father.
I adore you, Mother of Witches.
I adore you, Primordial Fire.
I adore you Loki, Lodur, Loptr. Forever and always.
I’m torn on this one. There are a few that I have to read up on that I know are important, and there’s one in particular that I like (the Lokasenna) because it gives us SO much information about who Loki is, where he’s at mentally and emotionally, and his relationship to the gods in Asgard…
I’ve already covered the Lay of Thrym, so I think I’m going to go with the story of the Master Builder. There’s a wonderful animation that I recommend to anyone not familiar with the tale, and I believe few wouldn’t be! It’s a common joke for people to make… you know, that Loki turned into a mare to distract the Builder’s horse Svaðilfari…and sometime later surprise! Sleipnir was born :D.
I’m here for some Svaðilfari love.
I like this story a lot. There’s shapeshifting and fluid gender dynamics. For some reason this is the myth that I feel most drawn to (as a reflection of my relationship to Their Highness), and not only because I keep getting the Ehwaz rune (haha). Loki is a good parent, and he (they) show me that it’s okay to just leave everything and go be with your kid for a while. Even if the kid has 8 legs and runs so fast that you can’t keep up.
This ties in to the previous prompt, I don’t see much about Sleipnir online which makes me think I need to get on with the program and start drawing more horses >.>
All I know from his kids comes from my own UPG. Fenrir helps me with my anger, I’ve asked Hel for help with shadow work, and I’ve seen Jor in a vision, but only a glimpse. I believe Jormungandr got a little (SPOILER FOR THE SHOW RAGNAROK) screen time which I enjoyed quite a bit. Sleipnir rides on during the Wild Hunt at/around Yule time. And Loki loves his babies.
Perhaps even less is known about his two other children Narvi/Narfi and Vali, Sigyn’s children, since their lives were cut short in the most gruesome manner. I don’t want to visit that today, so just head on over to the last verses of the Lokasenna for that. Oh, and now I’m crying.
As for Loki’s parents, I’ve used birch in ritual for recaning/sainning (smoke cleansing) prior to working with Loki. Birch is connected to Laufey in the Norwegian rune poem stanzas for Berkanan/Beorc
Bjarkan er laufgrønstr líma; Loki bar flærða tíma.
Birch has the greenest leaves of any shrub; Loki was fortunate in his deceit.
And it just makes sense that he was born from a tree. Faurbauti (Great Striker) can be seen as the Big Lightning(tm) who infuses the birch tree (Laufey) with his energy, which results in the creation of Loki (Little Lightning). When you give birth it really does feel like you’re being split open by electricity. I don’t know, it checks out.
Last, his partners from the lore. Sigyn, his wife, and Angrboda, his paramour. We already covered Svaðilfari. Again, we don’t know much about Sigyn, other than what we can gather from the etymology of her name (Sig – victory, victory woman, victory girlfriend). There’s theories out there about her parentage, possibly linking her to Oðinn (whose heiti Sigfaðir makes it seem likely), and it’s something to think about. What better way to consolidate a political alliance than with a blood oath AND a marriage? Marrying his daughter with his new ally would make sense (and it makes the ultimate betrayal at the end of Lokasenna EXTRA BAD). Again, just a theory. All we know is she was probably one of the Aesir. She’s the goddess of endurance and fidelity. I associate the rune Uruz and Nauthiz with her, and she’s the one I call on when home life gets tough. She’s the OG, holding the bowl for her man, even after everyone else has left them. Hail Sigyn!
Boda has been seen as a more feral yang energy type to Sigyn’s yin. Loki’s famous three children were born from this union, although we don’t know who bore the children (I see a very interesting dynamic there in terms of gender). Some of my friends call on her to get them out of a rut, or when they need an extra push. I myself am a chicken, and have not reached out yet.
Whew, that was fun and exhausting. I wish I could keep talking about all of this for hours, but until next time!
Hail Loki! Hail his blessed children and partners!
I am SO behind, omg, so I’m going to do my best to complete them today so I can start tomorrow in earnest.
Symbols and Icons of Loki, 1, 2, 3, go!
Several of Loki’s heiti (nicknames, alternate names) are related to the sky, and more especifically to birbs. And yes, we tend to think of ravens as immediate signs of Loki’s blood brother, but corvids are tricksters so I think it’s a fair association.
Next up, another birb.
Have you ever seen a vulture? They have enormous wings, and there is a sharp contrast between the flesh colored head and their dark feathers. There’s also different kinds. The one that’s more familiar to me is the Andean kuntur, condor, but I discovered there’s a bunch of different ones.
Vultures get a bad reputation, and they’re seen as both unsanitary and as harbingers of death (hello??? Loki associations). On the contrary, vultures are majestic guardians of the sky who have a very important mission: to clean up and make sure that the cycle of life and death goes unhindered. Imagine if there were many many rotten carcasses just laying around. Thank you vulture.
Next we got the hawk/falcon.
Loki borrows Freyja’s falcon feathered cloak to travel on occassion, according to the lore, so whenever I see a hawk in the sky I like to think it’s one of them checking up on me. Hawks and falcons especially were used for hunting in the Middle Ages and were seen as symbols of status (only the creme de la creme were allowed to own and use them). So yeah, regal vibes.
As for icons go (sorry this turned into a birb appreciation post), the Kirkby (Stephen) stone and the Snaptun stone are both depictions of Loki that people know. Important details: horns, sewn lips, a mustachio, and fetters.
As far as modern symbols go, the two entangled snakes are a favorite. This one, I have no clue about and I’m still looking into it.
For a last one, and this is very common UPG (SPG?) among Lokeans: the fox. Fox is cunning, loves to play tricks, but he’s also a good teacher and adorable to boot. Some Lokeans have been nudged towards looking into comparing the deity Inari and the kitsune spirits to connect with Loki as well.
Anyway, one post down, three more to go 🙂 hail Loki!
I probably will get some hate for this one, but I’ll be honest. I’m Latin American, so Norse mythology wasn’t something I was aware of. My introduction to the Norse pantheon was through the MCU. And to be even more honest, while the first Thor film was beautiful and well directed (gotta love Kenneth Branagh), I probably paid more attention to Chris Hemsworth than anything else because well, you know. Loki the character was in my radar then. I felt for him. I could relate to being an outsider and feeling rejected.
I wanted to go deeper into the comic book world, but access to it was difficult and confusing (I tried finding the vintage Thor comics online), so I had only a few volumes to peruse (comics are expensive in Latin America, and I didn’t have a credit card to subscribe to the new read online service). I was only able to find a few compilations about a year after I watched the first film, once I had my own money.
I read The Trials of Loki and started developing a deeper sympathy for the character. Then grad school happened, and I wasn’t able to buy any more comics. I watched the second Thor movie and that was that…
Until I answered the call, and started worshiping the Norse pantheon. I started with Odin, and I was obsessed with him. Then came Freyja and Freyr. Eventually I read somewhere that if you offer a drink to Odin you have to pour one for Loki. It clicked then. He was real.
Then I had an initiatory vision of sorts, soon after I started giving him some offerings. One of my friends told me she saw a little snake wrapped around me in her mind’s eye. He started showing up and crashing my meditations. I had some scary (but necessary) experiences, and he showed me the way out of complacency and victim mentality. Got on my ass about shadow work, and for that I thank him. It’s been a year now, and I’m still trying to figure out when he first started trying to contact me, or how long he’s been protecting me, but it seems like it’s much longer than I thought.
So hail Loki, it started with a movie and it’s been going well.
I’m a day late, eek! I was made aware that there’s a tradition now among lokeans to fill out a prompt in honor of our deity for the month of July. It’s part of a preparation for August, for Lokabrenna (or the Rising of Sirius, star related to Loki in lore).
The first day (credit to Amy Marsh):
For the first day I decided to revisit the “Lay of Thrym” or the “Thrysmkvitha”, a poetic composition found in The Poetic Edda (or Elder Edda). Why did I choose to revisit this story? I think it showcases many of Loki’s best attributes (cunning and sharp wit) and it also shows the relationship between him and other gods in a very lighthearted manner. Plus, who doesn’t love some dressing up and mischief?
Basically, Thor wakes up and find his hammer (mjolnir) missing, so he immediately starts hollering for Loki (which, fair, as anyone who has worked with Loki can attest, is the knee jerk reaction when something goes missing). Loki borrows Freyja’s feather cloak to find mjolnir and comes upon the giant Thrym in Jotunheimr. He reveals that he has, in fact, stolen the hammer and will only return it if Freyja accepts to be his wife. Freyja refuses, and Heimdall suggests that Thor should dress up and pretend to be her in order to trick Thrym into returning the hammer. Hilarity ensues as Thor gets into a wedding dress. Freyja lends him Brisingammen to make the disguise more real, and Loki shapeshifts into “his maiden”. Both of them fly to Jotunheim, and a heavy veiled Thor sits down to the wedding feast. Thor being Thor (aka eating like a small family of 12), he almost gets them found out, and Loki has to keep making progressively funnier and funnier lies to keep them from being found out:
25. Then loud spake Thrym, | the giants’ leader: “Who ever saw bride | more keenly bite? I ne’er saw bride | with a broader bite, Nor a maiden who drank | more mead than this!”
26. Hard by there sat | the serving-maid wise, So well she answered | the giant’s words: “From food has Freyja | eight nights fasted, So hot was her longing | for Jotunheim.”
Of course Thor is super fucking mad at the AUDACITY of this bitch, so his eyes almost betray the ploy, and Loki has to step in again:
27. Thrym looked ‘neath the veil, | for he longed to kiss, But back he leaped | the length of the hall: “Why are so fearful | the eyes of Freyja? Fire, methinks, | from her eyes burns forth.”
28. Hard by there sat | the serving-maid wise, So well she answered | the giant’s words: “No sleep has Freyja | for eight nights found, So hot was her longing | for Jotunheim.”
At the end of the meal, Thrym makes a huge mistake and wants to hallow the union (usually performed by placing a hammer on the bride’s lap) with the actual mjolnir, and once Thor has his hammer back the ruse is up and he kicks some jotun ass.
And everyone lived happily ever after. That is the usual story structure for the adventures of Thor and Loki. As a last comment, I love the interpretation of them being natural phenomena dependent on each other. Loki, being Laufey (Birch tree) and Farbauti’s (Mighty Striker) child seen as lightning and Thor as the thunder. Thus, they accompany each other in their travel through the sky.
The Eve of June 24th is a big event for Latin American Catholics in the Southern hemisphere, and it’s a big night in general in the Northern hemisphere if Strindberg is to be believed (see the play Ms. Julie). Saint John the Baptist’s birthday is celebrated on the 24th, and it’s one of a few birthdays with dates celebrated within that faith. It is a night of possibility very close to the Solstice. In the Andes the Solstice marks the beginning of a festival called Inti Raymi, a celebration of the Sun god (Inti), which can expand several days. In Bolivia it marks the Aymara New Year.
Two or three years ago I was in Barcelona, on the beach, enjoying the minimal breeze, looking at the groups of families and friends gathered in celebration. There might have been fires and fireworks too. I was with my good friend V, who is from Majorca. We met in Barcelona because we were doing some research over at the Archives of the Crown of Aragon and the Biblioteca de Catalunya. We first met in Boulder while she was a visiting scholar, and it was one of those friendships that develops slowly but that last over time. I remember being frazzled all the time, and just taking the time to show her around town, letting her know about where to find good deals (and where the good cafeteria was), helped me settle into a different rhythm. She repaid the favor when I visited both Barcelona and Majorca, and I haven’t been the same since. That night we visited the beach to celebrate the death of the old and the bringing in the new energy. In the old days, both in Spain and my natal Bolivia, people used to burn effigies and other items, but pollution has forced the governments to ban or restrict those practices now (I think Catalunya permits some communal burnings to take place now). That night, as we talked over some drinks and store bought sushi, we discussed our goals for the new cycle and the things we were letting go of.
During my stay there I “learned” a different time. The slow mindful footsteps on the cobbled streets of the Historic center and the sights were a reminder of a different cosmovision. Barcelona was Medieval, Christian and Jewish, yes, but also Pagan. Roman ruins were the foundation of the great Medieval and 19th century Art Nouveau city. Going even further in time, the city has ruins and objects from Phoenicians and other cultures. A port of entry into the Peninsula for the Mediterranean, as the Kingdom of Granada was and is to and from Africa. The timelines converged and I could feel the distant call, I didn’t know who or why, but I felt a buzzing in my body. A knowing. It was funny because it was confirmed that my family has Spanish ancestry, and from the Catalunya region specifically, so my first trip overseas to the Old Continent was a coming back of sorts. Still, the Andean in me felt at odds upon seeing the pillaged beauty of the New World in the artifacts and gilded edges of the books in Philip II’s spectacular library. The silver from Potosi gained after the genocide of millions of my other people. Curious thing, how much the body can hold from different past lives and ancestral memories.
Even more curiously, a different kind of awakening would happen the next summer. I found a book on the street, a year after my first encounter with opposition from my former Catholic faith in the form of a notice of excommunication by a priest. It was not the first or the last time I encountered the book, but certainly it was the entry point to a new faith and a new life. Walking back to my Airbnb after a morning at the library, I found a well worn copy of American Gods. That event marked the beginning of the visions and mystical experiences. It took some time for the seed to bloom, I didn’t quite finish the book right away (with grad school and all), but what the body felt was real. Coming from someone that spent (spends) half of their time dissociating from their body, it had to scream in order for me to notice.
Trigger warning here for c*ercion and a**ault.
An coming to the end of this post, after that long detour, I chose to embody my experience and make things official. After more than a year of being hounded by a certain member of the Aesir, of being and having my friends harassed by that same god, of being assaulted and coerced into doing things and agreeing to share knowledge while in a position of disadvantage…
Trigger warning ends.
After that nightmare, copious amounts of divination from myself and other non involved parties, after thinking long and hard and drafting a contract, I dedicated myself to Loki. The one who had been there from the beginning, trying to guide me towards the best path for me. The god who takes me to meet other deities and guides I need to know in order to do stuff. Loki, the networker, the advisor, who takes you on conferences and pushes you to speak with the experts of different fields, etc.
Under the light of the Full Moon in Capricorn, after a quite brutal Mercury retrograde in Gemini season, I performed a blot and became his. Here’s to many happy memories and moments of growth. Hail Loki, his children, and Lady Sigyn!
I have been multitasking and neglecting this blog for so long now, but finally found a little time to write out some ideas in order to get myself accountable to actually do the work. Sometimes life happens and our spiritual practices seem to be the first thing to fall to the wayside, but what’s truly important is to get back on the horse.
Today I want to write about creating an inner temple, what does it mean to hold a sacred space within oneself, some reasons why one would choose to do such a thing, and how to go about it. This reflection was brought by a number of funny “coincidences”, one of them being my discovery of the existence of Gobleki Tepe, an ancient temple structure found in contemporary Turkey. I stumbled upon this by reading Star.Ships: A Prehistory of the Spirits by Gordon White, in the context of doing research for a class I’m taking on Ancestral Star Wisdom. Without getting into a whole new topic in and of itself, I’ve been working on establishing a ritual practice that I repeat daily or at least weekly, and one of the obstacles I’ve faced is the matter of (lack of) space. Hence, the need for an inner temple.
But Rowan, you ask, isn’t it enough to have your apartment covered in tiny little shrines for your many deities and guardians? Why would you spend time and energy in building an inner temple, and how does that even work?
Well, if you’ve known me for more than a minute you know that I read a lot. I read everything that falls into my hands. I read for fun, when I’m stressed, when I want to escape, when I’m happy and relaxed, and this idea came to me through one of the books I’m working on finishing. And before that, back at the beginning of my practice, I remember reading about establishing your own place in the astral, with the advantage of being able to furnish that place and equip it with anything you need that you might not be able to have in the physical ordinary realm (fancy runes and bone sets? a working fireplace for burning offerings? the sky is the limit).
The TLDR; version is: you can build an inner temple because it’s convenient, or it’s something you’re interested in, or because you’re in the broom closet and you can’t risk being found out. All you need is some practice with visualization and strong intent behind your purpose, but I’m not going to lie, trance is where it would be the most beneficial state to manifest and access this space. With trance comes added protection (some folks ward their place, or cast a circle, invoke the quarters and ancestors or deities, etc.) and other tools like music or drumming or other cues that the practitioner has developed to reach that state.
The steps for building the temple are as complex or a simple as one would require. When I imagined my first place I focused on a cabin where I could go to during meditation. I used a drum track on my phone and imagined the place into being. It’s been useful to me as a meeting place and for one specific working where I needed a roaring fire and space for dancing, but now I’m looking to build a place from scratch.
What I would do now that I know more about the importance of ritual:
When choosing a physical place: Ask the spirit of the place for permission first. If you receive a no (could be a gut feeling, a chilling breeze, any other sign) move along. You can try a (biodegradable) offering and try again at some point in the future. Repeat until you find your spot, or if you’re doing it like I’m doing it, find a place where you find yourself comfortable in and set the intention of building that temple in your body, in your heart center.
Cleanse and consecrate the space that is going to be used. You may have a spot in your backyard, or at a local park, that you frequent and that you’d like to be a bridge between your inner and outer space. Cleanse with sound, with your breath, with light, whatever you feel works for you. Just don’t leave any remains that could light a fire or pollute the place.
Ground yourself and focus on harnessing the energy of the Earth and the sky (or however you do it in your tradition) to visualize the building of the temple step by step. If it’s too taxing you’re probably using too much of your own energy instead of harnessing the power of the earth and sky. Stop, ground self in gratitude, and try again in the future.
Ask any guides of yours to establish themselves in a position within the temple, for example, if you work with the Kemetic pantheon and you work with Anpu, it would be a good idea to ask him to guard the door if he’s willing. If you don’t work with deities, but you work with angels, you could ask them to inhabit their specific corners according to their elemental correspondences, or with animal guides, etc.
Once you’ve worked on the structure and who goes where, you could work on building the innermost chambers where only you are allowed in. This holy place is only for you and it can be dedicated to your secrets, your heart, and if you work with any specific energy or deity, you can also dedicate this space to them. The rest of the temple can be used for workings, prayer, etc., but the innermost chamber could be used for quiet devotion. Or whatever you feel like, it’s your temple.
I don’t know if this makes any sense, but this is where I am at. In the Union of IsisandThoth the temple they built was first birthed energetically into being, which of course, if it’s how you’d chose to do it can also be an option. Having gone through childbirth I’d rather choose a different method if I can help it, but that’s just me 😛
Anyway, I hope this was interesting at least, and I hope to update this blog sooner rather than later.
For years now I’ve wanted to try and create some sort of ritual that would call the rain to me. After reading a paper by Jorgensen, which discusses the ways in which mythology symbolism can be layered into ritual/heka, I finally reached a point where I felt like I could finally wrap my mind around what such a ritual would entail. This post is basically about said ritual.
If you’re not interested in any of the peripheral discussion around it, and only want the rubric, jump to the bottom of the post to find it.
I knew that I wanted to incorporate some sort of myth/story structure into this ritual, but I had never found anything that really felt correct for me. As luck would have it, I was reading about different NTRW around the same time I was working on this and found that there is…
Here are some lines from a particularly interesting New Kingdom hymn to the Goddess. I have simplified some of the lacunae and made the appropriate capitalizations. See if you can guess which Goddess the hymn praises:
“…great of sunlight, Who illumines [the entire land with] Her rays. She is His Eye, Who causes the land to prosper, the glorious eye of Harakhti, the Ruler of What Exists, the Great and Powerful Mistress, life being in Her possession in this Her name […]
[…] in the circuit. The Gods are in … Great of Might. Her Eye has illumined the horizon. The Ennead, Their hearts are glad because of Her, the Mistress of Their Joy, in this Her name of Heaven.
She is in their hearts, they being glad when She ascends to Her abode, Her temple. She has appeared and has shone as the Woman of Gold […] of best pure…
This is a coming out story for Pride Month: maybe not the kind you’re expecting. I have often written about how Loki is a god that requires our honesty. Why is that? I think it’s because Loki is a trickster and a god of destruction. But what does that really mean?
The trickster is a god who through either his own folly or observation turns convention on its head. I think sometimes people mistake convention to mean “order” and order is always good: thereby making the trickster an adversarial figure. But sometimes business as usual isn’t a good thing: sometimes it’s oppressive and sometimes it defends ignorance. Sometimes our order needs to be disrupted in order to be re-evaluated. I think people will often stay in familiar discomfort rather than choose an uncertain alternative. This is part of the reason the trickster makes us so uncomfortable. He pushes us into…