Beware the Bread! (or Why a Lokean Shouldn’t be Let Loose in the Woods)

Aieeee, the last few months have been wild in the best possible way! The first round of revisions for the book are complete and I’m beside myself with excitement for this project to be released into the wild. Llewellyn has dubbed it Loki and Sigyn: Lessons on Chaos, Laughter, and Loyalty from the Norse Gods. I’m currently waiting to see the cover art, which I’m stoked about because my favorite heathen artist is involved thanks to an absurd intervention from Loki. As soon as I have more information about the cover and the release date, I’ll scream with joy about it here, I promise!

One of the delightful (and thoroughly unexpected) side effects of this book involves me latching onto a partner in crime and chaos. The etymologist friend I reference heavily in the academic discussion about Sigyn is actually to blame for the whole project – he’s a member of my in-law kindred with my Shadow Husband and Shadow Sibling Spouse, so he’s treated me to a number of linguistic-related rants at blóts over the years. It was after I hailed Sigyn as “Victory Woman” at their “Fuck Yeah The Troth Repealed the Loki Ban!” blót that he told me why that wasn’t the best translation of her name. This planted the seed in my brain that we needed more and better resources about Sigyn, and here we are.

This is where it gets interesting: over the last few months, we’ve grown even closer as we’ve gone back and forth about etymology and the research he compiled and translated for me. Because he’s just as oblivious as I am, it took us a while to realize that we were enjoying a mutual crush. Evidently, we’ve been crushing on each other since late 2018/early 2019, but neither of us thought we stood a chance with the other. So yeah, we’re ridiculous. Just another opportunity for me to reference Neil Gaiman’s Low-key character from American Gods: we’re slow, but we get there in the end.

Long time readers may recall that I’m Ace af and I’ve never had a mutual crush of this sort. I have Shadow Husband, with whom I have an extraordinary emotional bond, and I have my kindred and my in-law kindred, and countless amazing friends, so I’ve always been happy being terminally single. I thought I had more love in my life than I deserved as it was, but to my shock and bafflement, it seems I have room for more. For years I thought I might have aromantic tendencies as well, but K has certainly challenged that notion. Best of all is the utter respect and acceptance of my orientation as Ace. This is due to he himself falling on the Ace spectrum, which just makes him all the more perfectly compatible with my crazy ass.

Speaking of, the poor fool was trapped with me for an entire weekend on a recent camping trip. I’ve been trying to warn him for weeks about the risk he was taking by going camping in a haunted forest with a Lokean nun harboring mad chaotic energy, but he seemed to think being at the center of the storm was the safest place to be. The adventures were many, and save for an incident in which a finger got mauled by a piece of bread, we were indeed safe and happy at the storm’s eye.

About the bread: K is a marvelous cook, and he spoiled me with some mighty fine savory campfire cooking. One such feast involved pita bread warmed over the coals. Alas, we overestimated our appetite and forgot about two of the pitas. They were practically hardtack by the time they were rediscovered. Naturally, we decided to have an impromptu discus throwing competition. I’m going to offer some sage advice: when doing a tandem discus throw, make sure there’s enough room between you and your competitor so that your hand is safe if one of the hardtack rounds goes rogue.

It should come as absolutely no surprise that yours truly can rock scrabble like a mountain goat up and down steep slopes with no injury (but a lot of cursing thanks to having been pretty sedentary the last year between Covid long term effects – which have abated with the vaccine! – and working on the book), but have the back of my finger flayed open by a piece of flying pita bread. I wonder if that freak accident was some kind of forest sprite payback for the argument I had with a noisy tree a few hours before (“For something with no mouth, you’re sure good at shooting yours off!”). Pagans respect nature. Heathens fight with it. Until it scolds us, at which point we just laugh hysterically (such as when a raven had words for us the next morning. Curious, since NJ isn’t exactly known for its raven population).

Though we selected the particular forest and campsite because of its reputation for being haunted, we didn’t have any ghostly encounters. The dead weren’t active, but the gods sure were. I wrote about it over at my Patheos column; K was gobsmacked by a rather intense, unexpected encounter with Sigyn, Gefjun, and others when we were resting during a hike. It gave him a deeper understanding of what it means to hold the bowl as well as reassurance that he wasn’t stepping on Loki’s toes by being with me. I had been well assured by Loki a few weeks earlier that K had his approval, and his energy has been abundantly joyful these last few weeks, but I suppose K needed to hear that approval from Himself as well. He was a bit stunned by the experience. I was oh so helpful with my shrug and, “Hey, I tried to warn you, but nooooooo, it’s safest at the center of the storm, you said.” Welcome to the storm, my dear. It’s not just laughing until you wheeze or noticing the campfire spontaneously resurrecting with an even stronger blaze than ever (after having burned out half an hour prior). It’s also bracing yourself for the gods getting all up in your business.

All said, I’m more grateful than ever for the opportunity I’ve been given writing a book about Loki and Sigyn for Llewellyn. The process not only deepened my own relationship with them and gave me the chance to connect with my favorite heathen/Loki artist, but it brought me closer with K. This is a gift I cherish more than words can express, and given my tendency to ramble on, that’s saying something.

2 thoughts on “Beware the Bread! (or Why a Lokean Shouldn’t be Let Loose in the Woods)

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  1. Aww! Love happens when we aren’t looking lol! Happy for you 😊 and I’m glad the Gods are easing him in slowly (….or as slowly as it gets in this tornado lol!)

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