Today is the anniversary of my oaths and vows to Loki. I took the day off with the intention of doing something with intent and working on the book, but as usual, my body had other ideas. But Loki still came, and this day is still meaningful.

I haven’t been dedicated to him for long, just a few years in a lifetime of loving the gods, but he’s always been around, trying to remain patient while my devotions were offered to others in the pantheon. I’ve always been on his side in the American debates regarding him, and I’ve always poured offerings to him when offering to Odhinn. He’s always been present in my mind, and his was one of the first idols I bought and displayed in college. According to my friends, even the Christian friends, he was the god I spoke of the most, so when I announced I was no longer an Odhinnswoman but rather a Lokian, I was met with confusion rather than shock (except from Odhinn – that one-eyed bastard heaved a sigh of relief that still annoys me to this day). Everyone always thought I was Lokian all along, and apparently referred to me as such years. As usual, I was the last one to know. Like his character says in American Gods, “You’re slow, but you get there in the end.”

The last few years have been the most transformative, as though my life didn’t really begin until I took that oath with Himself. I’m leagues more confident than I’ve ever been, my mental health has done a 180 (not perfect, I still have my lows, but they’re fewer and farther between rather than being a steady state of being), and I’m so much more active in the community than I used to be. Granted, a lot of that also has to do with my father’s death, because I’m free of the fear that he’ll track me down. Now that I feel truly safe, I’ve come out of hiding and can do the things I’ve always wanted. The fact that his death occurred a month after I took my oaths with Loki is interesting. Not that Loki was responsible, but more that he spoke of learning how to fly before I made my oaths (another Gaiman quote that’s followed me in my life: “Sometimes you wake up. Sometimes the fall kills you. And sometimes when you fall, you fly.”); when I took the vows, he said, “Good. Now let’s fly.” Suddenly my biggest obstacle in life was gone, and I could take to the open skies.

Since taking Loki’s hand, I’ve been genuinely happy despite my ongoing medical frustrations and physical limitations. My life has been enriched by my growing activity in my kindred and community, which in turn has led to opportunities I didn’t even dare to dream of before. I’ve met extraordinary people in the last few years that have become true family, distance be damned. And I’ve met actual family, relatives who hadn’t even known that I existed, and I’ve been gifted with photos of my beloved grandfather and stories about his brothers and parents that I never thought I’d get to see or hear. It’s made my grandpa’s voice stronger in my memory, his deep belly laugh louder. I feel his joy in how far I’ve come in such a short time. And he’s been linked to Loki in my mind since I was a child because of a recurring dream I had about foxes, and this only reaffirms his connection with the Sly One.

[The book I’m writing for Loki and Sigyn is also a book for my grandfather. I’m his only grandchild, and I’m child free. So the only way to honor him and his legacy, to ensure he is remembered after I’m gone, is to create something for him that will exist beyond me. He never called himself a Lokian specifically, just a heathen, but it’s impossible for me to associate any other of our gods with him. My mother’s determination in keeping me pro-Loki when I was first exploring the American heathen community has long led me to suspect that when learning about my grandfather’s beliefs, he always spoke fondly of the Trickster. The book is a gift for Loki, made possible because of Loki, and Loki himself insists it be dedicated to my grandpa’s memory. He also pointed out that our anniversary is 10 days before grandpa’s birthday. Once again, I was oblivious to this and it had to be pointed out to me in blunt terms for it to sink in.]

Now, I’m not saying that life is nothing but peaches and cream since giving myself to Loki. It’s not that I have an easy time of things, not by a long shot. It’s just that with him at my side, I’m now better equipped to handle things when it all crumbles down around me. It’s easier to see the possibilities that are born of chaos and destruction, and I’ve got the strength now to seize those opportunities. I have my regressions and back slides into the abyss, but as mentioned, they’re infrequent, they’re not as violent and self-destructive, and I claw myself back out much quicker. Learning how to fly has made it easier to escape the abyss when it comes yawning at me, and Loki has frequent use of Freyja’s falcon cloak, if you catch my drift.

Loki, I really fucking love you, and my only regret in life is not latching onto you sooner. You’ve always been there, and I’ve always seen you and felt lurking at the edges of every interaction I had with Odhinn, with Freyja, with Hel. I just never listened, but now that I am, I’m ecstatic with the things you teach. Yes, you’re a twerp, but I love you for it. I always harp about the value of “a gift for a gift,” and you, my dear, are the gift that just keeps giving. Thank you for your persistence in getting my attention, and now that you have it, thank you for helping me grow.

Happy anniversary, you dork, and here’s to many more!

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