At the moment’s column is a visitor submission by Ky Greene, a Lokean and co-founder of Loki’s Wyrdlings and Loki College. She has been Pagan for 18 years, a working towards Polytheist for 9 years, and she or he presents free religious session about creating reciprocal relationships with the gods.
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When some Heathens consider Loki, they conjure up a picture of an evil, Devil-like deity who gave delivery to monsters and heralds the approaching of Ragnarok, the top of days. This conception has been strengthened by retellings of the myths like Padraic Colum’s ebook, The Youngsters of Odin, revealed in 1920. Colum’s model of the mythology paints Loki as all the time as much as no good, continually inflicting hassle for the opposite gods. Loki is the one who kidnaps Idunn and cuts Sif’s lovely hair. He’s the one answerable for Baldr’s demise, the one who gave delivery to the three monstrous youngsters, Jormungandr, Fenrir, and Hel.
The Lokean group, which is what I’ve come to speak about right now, sees Loki in a unique mild. However earlier than I can talk about what the Lokean group is, I’ve to start out with what it isn’t – that’s the unlucky fact when a gaggle of individuals have been demonized as typically because the god they worship.
Lokeans are sometimes seen because the brokers of chaos and dysfunction, susceptible to stirring up hassle the place none is warranted. That’s an unrealistic characterization, as most Lokeans attempt to duck underneath the radar of their native Heathen kindreds and worship Loki in secret. For a lot of Lokeans, worshipping this deity is a secret they really feel ashamed to share, as many Heathen kindreds disgrace those that work with a deity they really feel is an agent of chaos.
Loki is a posh and sophisticated god, as are all deities, as are all individuals. It isn’t so simple as Loki being all good or all evil. The great-evil dichotomy is an Abrahamic invention, and it doesn’t belong inside any Pagan faith. The traditional individuals of this world understood that deities had complicated personalities, and, typically, they didn’t adhere to a good-evil dichotomy of thoughts.
My spiritual path has been pretty chaotic, and I gained’t go into each element right here. I’m 31 years previous, and I’ve been Pagan because the age of 12. I got here to Loki and Heathenry 9 years in the past, and I’ve served as a priest to Loki for the previous three years. As his priest, he requested me to construct a group the place Lokeans felt protected, the place they felt like they might exist with out being informed their practices have been flawed or that they have been horrible human beings for merely believing in a god that so many insisted was both evil or not a god in any respect.
Once I took up that calling, I co-founded the Fb group Loki’s Wyrdlings with Amy Brown. At the moment, we have now over 450 members, and I’ve spent the final three years attending to know lots of these people. Once I converse of the Lokean group, I converse solely of the experiences I’ve had inside the Loki’s Wyrdlings group. From what I’ve heard, it’s the most respectful, inclusive Lokean group on Fb, and I take a whole lot of satisfaction in that.
Many Lokeans, myself included, mix mythological interpretation with private gnosis. We’ve got developed a basic understanding on the sorts of choices that Loki enjoys, together with espresso, Fireball whiskey, cinnamon, chocolate (particularly orange chocolate), and toys. This can be a shared gnosis all through the group, and, like different individuals who have a robust private religious aspect to their faith, we are likely to expertise Loki in comparable conditions.
Most Lokeans additionally share an understanding that Loki doesn’t permit his followers to get away with mendacity to themselves. He could also be a grasp of deceit himself, however he positive as hell rejects self-deceit. When Lokeans mislead themselves, we frequently discover our lives going a bit of haywire.
Loki is a god that evokes change, crosses boundaries, and blurs strains. That’s why the Lokean group strives to be accepting and inclusive as properly – we see these because the defining traits of our god. Not chaos or dysfunction however acceptance, inclusivity, and compassion. Alongside these, there’s an understanding that life, at its core, just isn’t a good place, and that humor is what we’d like so as to survive the pandemonium that typically surrounds us. Change is inevitable – it’ll all the time occur. However we don’t should face it with dread. We will face it with humor as an alternative.
The Lokean group, above all, is a group of human beings, with actual lives and actual issues and considerations. Most Lokeans reside on the fringes of society as a result of one thing about their id forces them to that edge. Usually, that is one thing they can’t management – their sexuality, their gender, their race, their troublesome childhoods. Loki has one thing to supply all of us.
One false impression often seen about Lokeans is that the majority or all of us are henotheistic – that’s, we worship Loki to the exclusion of different deities. Whereas there are some henotheistic Lokeans, most of these I do know – together with myself – work with many, many gods. Personally, I’m oathsworn to Odin, and I additionally function Freyr’s priest and work with Freyja, Ullr, Niorun, Tyr, Thor, and Mani – and that’s simply inside the Norse pantheon! I work with deities outdoors that pantheon as properly, together with gods as far-ranging as Quetzalcoatl, Bastet, and Hermes Trismegistus. Most Lokeans I do know have comparable practices.
When it comes to gender and sexuality, lots of Loki’s worshippers are drawn to his genderfluidity. He actually shifts right into a mare to lure an enormous’s stallion away from a wall the horse was serving to to assemble, and he later provides delivery to Sleipnir, Odin’s eight-legged horse. Loki has no drawback taking over both male or feminine types – he’s the penultimate shapeshifter.
Loki has no drawback shifting form or giving start to youngsters that different individuals deem as monstrous. Jormungandr is the serpent that encircles the world, retaining Midgard separate from Jotunheim, however he’s solely remembered for his monstrous measurement. Fenrir, who did nothing however develop too massive, was tricked into shackles by Tyr, who made an ideal sacrifice to do what he believed to be essential to maintain the world in stability. From Fenrir’s perspective, his greatest pal betrayed him. From Tyr’s, he stored Ragnarok a bit of extra at bay. The myths are difficult. There isn’t a black and white to them.
Then there’s Hela. What has all the time fascinated me is that Hel’s position as a goddess of demise shouldn’t be questioned in the best way that Loki’s declare to divinity has been. Loki fathered her, and Angrboda, her mom, was a full-blooded Jotun – so the place did Hela’s goddess nature come from? It undoubtedly didn’t come from Angrboda.
Loki’s presence additionally dispels myths of racial purity among the many gods, and he is a perfect deity for individuals of numerous backgrounds due to it. He’s a full-blooded Jotun the Aesir adopted. The Norse gods absolutely accepted him, they usually by no means questioned him on account of his race. His temperament can annoy the opposite gods within the myths, however this isn’t as a result of he has Jotun blood. (Certainly, even Odin was born of Jotuns; the thought of purity is anathema to the myths). Due to this, inside the Lokean group, there’s a robust bias towards discrimination in all its varieties. I’ve by no means met a Lokean who endorsed white supremacy, racial superiority, or tried to implement conventional gender roles.
Lokeans work with a god who crosses boundaries and blurs strains, and that features throughout racial and cultural divides. Alongside different Lokeans, I perceive Loki to be a social god amongst each gods and people. Most Lokeans know him as a god that tends to get together with gods inside the Norse pantheon in addition to outdoors it. He appears to be one of many few deities that may cross the boundaries that tends to divide pantheons. Many Lokeans have skilled interactions between Loki and Set and Loki and Lucifer, and there are numerous Lokeans who additionally determine as Left-Hand Path practitioners.
I discussed that Lokeans typically share the expertise of inauspicious childhoods. Loki, amongst Lokeans, is called an extremely loving father. It’s arduous to precise how a lot pleasure we see within the concept of parenthood, of seeing new life bloom. That may be a pleasure that the majority Lokeans share. On the similar time, nevertheless, most Lokeans have handled mother and father which were lower than loving. We have now typically handled abuse by the hands of our mother and father, different relations, our spouses, our pals, or our communities. We all know what it’s wish to be harm to the purpose that being damaged appears to be the one choice left. But we additionally know that life is value dwelling as a result of Loki provides us the instruments to outlive the toughest issues life throws at us and make it by way of to raised issues that await. Most Lokeans are survivors, and most survivors don’t present themselves or inform their tales simply.
Many Lokeans are LGBTQIA+. There are a better variety of trans people inside the Lokean group than some other Pagan group I’ve ever been part of or come throughout. We respect that individuals are extra complicated than the our bodies they put on. This understanding comes from working with a god that shifts type – the underlying individual doesn’t change whatever the look. The physique isn’t the complete story. Sexuality isn’t static. Gender is fluid.
That’s the actuality that we face, as members of the Lokean group. We embrace a god that embraces us and doesn’t discover us flawed or wanting. We embrace a god who encourages us to be who we’re, no holds barred. And we embrace a god that, typically, kicks our asses once we refuse to simply accept the reality about who we’re.
Most Lokeans settle for that Loki has a number of faces, a number of points, and that every facet is a unique model of Loki. One of many extra terrifying points of Loki is his Worldbreaker facet. That is the facet that has a hand in inflicting Ragnarok, in ending the world. That is the facet that destroys as a result of destruction is the one choice left. It’s the facet of Loki that seems when all different choices have been exhausted and nothing however utterly dismantling the state of affairs or the individual at hand is required for change to occur. Primarily, that is the guise of Loki that embodies the idea of hitting all-time low earlier than with the ability to go up. Most Lokeans don’t work with this facet, though some do. That is a facet of Loki I not often work together with – it isn’t the face I sometimes see from him.
That stated, there’s a saying amongst Lokeans – “the face you anticipate from Loki is the face he exhibits you.” If we anticipate him to be terrifying and Satanic, he’ll come to us in that guise. If we anticipate him to be caring and compassionate, he’ll come to us in that guise. Lokeans are as fluid as Loki himself. Once we are approached with hostility, we are likely to return it in type. Once we are approached with compassion, we return it. We’re, in any case, simply as human as anybody else.