9/9

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.”

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There Was an Incident

ECT 2020 may be a virtual event this year on account of, well, 2020, but that doesn’t mean that fuckery isn’t afoot. Tonight was the Loki blót, performed with 30-odd people via Zoom. It was awesome, and E did a wonderful job as always leading the blót (and the Loki vé is gorgeous), but of course, I was not spared my “well, that’s not supposed to happen” moment. Thankfully, because it was on Zoom, no one else knew what was going on in my house. But because I’m without any sense of shame or decency, I’m making it public anyway.

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Saga of the Jetta GLI

This veers away from the usual content I share, but this story is too good to not tell. It’s not quite as astronomically impossible as The Story of ECT 2018, but still pretty improbable and mind-blowing. And hey, I’ve been naming my cars after Loki’s children for almost 20 years, so there’s your Loki-connection to justify this post. Bear with me, there’s a lot of background to set up The Improbable Story.

Anyone who’s ever had the misfortune of meeting me knows I have an unhealthy attachment to my VWs. I grew up in them. My first ever car ride, homecoming from the hospital where I was born, was in an ’81 Rabbit, and we upgraded to a Jetta in Germany (after an accident involving a tractor trailer that should have killed me, but that’s another story for another time). So when it came time to buy my first car, I knew I was getting a Jetta.

November 2004: I’d graduated college, was accepted into Army OCS, and promptly destroyed a good portion of my skeleton during BCT. I’d been home from FT Jackson for less than a month when I decided to use my Army pay towards a new car.

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A Lokian’s Take on Fenrir Worship

Last month, I threatened to explore my complex feelings regarding Rokkatru stuff, and I’m one who tends to make good on my threats. Long, long ago, when I was still exploring my alter ego in fiction writing, I wrote, “I don’t make threats; I make promises.” Still applies, all these years later. And it feels relevant to the topic at hand.

There’s been some strife on various online heathen forums and groups (shocking, I know, but please bear with me), and I’ve noticed a creeping faction of Rokkatru making their way into mainstream discussions. For those who’ve been blissfully unaware, Rokkatru is the faction of heathenry that focuses reverence on the deities and beings that oppose the Aesir and Vanir at Ragnarok. Fenrir, Jormungandr, and Angrboda are the three who are most commonly worshipped in Rokkatru, and I’ve seen people who honor and claim Surtr as a patron as well. It’s. . . alarming, personally. I understand that people will have different UPG than me, and different experiences and relationships with gods and other mythical beings. But it’s still a bit baffling to me that people genuinely worship and claim patronage from those who bring about absolute destruction with little regard to anyone caught in the path of their rampage.

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Some Things Aren’t Worth Saving

For some inexplicable reason, there’s been a noticeable uptick lately in debates around “reclaiming” the swastika.

WHY?!

It’s frustrating enough to see arguments in favor of trying to erase the stigma and bring it back into the fold, but it’s absolutely enraging to see people respond to the “let it go” statements with arrogant “well actually” drivel about other cultures. These smug retorts not only assume that the anti-swastika side is ignorant of the history of the symbol and its continued significance in Eastern culture, but they also completely overlook the whole point of the argument: the swastika can not be reclaimed within the context of Germanic religion.

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Lea 1, Plague 0

Oy, I did not intend to have such a long hiatus. I’m mostly recovered from Covid-19 now, but the radio silence has been more of a “I have lots of nonsense I’m working on” thing and less of a “PLAGUE!” thing (though the fatigue issues I’ve dealt with since my appendix issues have definitely been exacerbated with the plague problems).

I’ve actually been writing a post about my complex feelings regarding Fenrir, as inspired (and threatened) by a conversation that heated up on an internet forum regarding veneration of Loki’s furry baby. I chimed in a little, but wanted to explore the controversies and such a little more here, where I can write a novella that doesn’t bog up a threaded conversation. However, while writing, I learned my feelings regarding Fenrir and his worship are far, far more complex and scattered than I realized, so I’ve been letting it marinate while I try to get my head straight and figure out exactly what I intend to say on the matter. So there’s a teaser for you.

Speaking of teasers, I’ve got another project or two in the works. . . one which I can talk about freely, one which I’m keeping a little more mum about until there’s more to actually link to. These projects have resulted in the need to actually create a public Facebook page for my writing, so if anyone feels so inclined, please check it out and give it a like or a follow to see updates on these projects (including this blog) as well as memes and cat pictures and the usual FB type of nonsense. I’m admittedly terrible about engaging in comments here, but I’m better at it on the FB (I’ll blame that on the ease of using GIFs on that platform).

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Support BLM, Support the Gods, and Take Care of Yourselves

Our favorite twerp has been busy these days, needless to say. He relishes in the fury of a world finally addressing fundamental problems in society and fighting for the change that’s so desperately needed and so shamefully overdue. This is his time: World Breaker, Chaos Maker, Master of Mischief and Mayhem. His bride, too, is busy: Sigyn, whose very name echoes Victory, and our Lady of Compassion is working overtime to see that the tides shift as they must and that those affected find comfort. Thorr and Freyja are backing the protesters in the trenches, standing among the men and women who are demanding better from their governments, and Tyr and Odhinn are weaving their way among the legislators and commissioners, hungry for justice, willing them to listen and learn.

I thank Loki for lighting the fire in our bellies, hearts, and souls to scream out against injustice and hatred. I thank him for pushing us to gain and maintain momentum across the nation and the world to call out systemic racism and hate and brutality. I thank him for giving people of color a platform where their voices are finally being heard, after hundreds of years of oppression and fear. They’re finally being heard. I’m so, so grateful that change is happening, right now, all around, and I praise the leaders on the front lines of this movement for everything they’ve accomplished and are continuing to accomplish. I’m glad that the powers that be are being exposed for the hateful, shameful scum that they are, the cowardly, cruel tormentors that they’ve always been. I rage that it’s taken this long, this many generations for these men and women to be heard, but I’m proud of them for seizing this moment and fighting for what they’re owed.

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I’m Listening

One of the (many) constant refrains in this blog is “listen and pay attention.” It’s the advice I offer when people ask how to develop the lines of communication with the gods, it’s what I said in my last post about learning how to honor the land spirits, and now it’s something I’m imploring for everyone to do to their fellow humans.

Once again, the American refrain of violence and racism is drowning out the humanitarian refrain of “listen.” Once again, a black man has been murdered by a police officer, once again the peaceful protests have been ignored and overlooked, and violent riots have erupted yet again. As has happened countless times in the course of American history, the peaceful protests and pleas for justice have been for naught, and they’ve been goaded into a chaotic, angry mess of things. Reporters are being arrested on live TV, a cop was witnessed breaking the windows of an Auto Zone to incite more violence, and people who are not at all impacted by any of this are sitting back and scoffing at what they’re calling “thugs.”

How dare they?

At work, I heard some guys talking trash about what’s happening in Minneapolis. All white men, all speaking on matters they can’t even begin to understand. One of them said something about how “they” always loot and riot, all throughout history. So I raised my voice and shouted across the room, “Yup, just like the Boston Tea Party. Looting and destruction has been a part of American history since the colonials, right? How is this different?”

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Landvættir, Nisser, and Ghosts . . . Oh My!

This post is long overdue as it’s a requested topic from my awesome friend P. She asked me to talk about the landvættir/honoring land wights quite some time ago, but as I’ve admitted before, they’ve never been a huge part of my practice because I don’t notice or sense/feel them the way I do the gods and my grandfather. So for the last few months, I’ve been at a loss for words and had no reflections on the matter brewing in my brain.

Clearly, that’s changed. A little back and forth with E the other week changed my perspective entirely as she inadvertently pointed out the ways I actually do honor them. So here we are, finally. This one’s for you, P!

In Norse heathenry, nature spirits and protectors of the home and hearth are landvættir (also known as wights). Being of Norwegian descent, I grew up calling them nisser/nisse. My most treasured family relic is my grandfather’s porridge bowl and cup he brought with him from Drammen; it’s painted with nisser dancing around the edge, and I’ve got a note in his handwriting offering both the literal and idiomatic translations of the inscription inside the cup. wp-1590613002145.jpg “Vi Nisser, Vi Nisser, Vi Gjöre Hvad Vi Kan,” or “We elves, we elves, we do our best.” The folk tales on which I cut my teeth focused around nisser and their kin, yet I rarely felt too much of a connection with the spirits of the land. I noticed them frequently in Iceland, but often remark that in the United States, the energy (to me) is much weaker and much more confused and jumbled, which makes it incredibly difficult to pick up on things. And to be utterly honest, I’ve always felt silly leaving out a bowl of porridge with a slab of butter melting into it. I’ve obviously got no problems feeling dopey leaving out offerings of sweets and snackrifices, so being weirded out and embarrassed by a bowl of porridge says quite a lot about my relationship with the nisser (or tomte, for you Swedes). 

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