Oh, Rite…

In anticipation of delving into the Troth’s Clergy Program, I was reviewing my not-so-little library of lore and heatheny tomes. I found The Troth’s printing of Book of Blots, and I was perusing it, looking for ideas to use for upcoming events. It didn’t take long for me to realize why this book was forgotten in the back of a bookcase: it’s awfully formal. Like, really formal. Proper, solemn, and other adjectives. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it wasn’t jiving with me, like, at all. Which is funny since one of the things I enjoyed about Catholic school and funeral service was the super structured, ritualized nature of the Mass. The chanting, the prayers, the readings and iconography and incense; it’s soothing and lulls you into the half-sleepy state of rote participation. For some reason, however, reading the chants and prayers and formats of these published blots was unappealing. I had kind of an uneasy, nagging sensation as I skimmed through, looking for a nice turn of phrase or bit of prayer that I could incorporate into my own practice.

I found a few things that I can work with, but overall, none of it felt all that right to me. But really, that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, least of all me. Hi, have you met me? I’m an absurdly devoted Lokian. I talk with Himself and the other gods on a regular basis, and I poke fun and tease and goof around. So do the other heathens in the kindreds I do blots with. Stiff rote prayer seems (to me) like a way to detach from the gods rather than draw them closer. But again, that could be because Loki would give me hell if I tried to be so proper.

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Sarcasm is His Language

I’m open about my beliefs, always have been. In high school, though it was a Catholic school, our mascot was the Viking. My principal got a kick out of me because I was the only Scandinavian there. “There she is!” he’d shout in the hallway. “Our actual Viking!”

“Hail Odhinn!” I’d reply, loudly.

“Stop that!” he’d say, lest one of the priests or nuns overhear me.

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Lessons from Loki

We all know the Trickster has a sweet tooth. He also likes to share. More often than not, when I buy him a donut or other snack, I end up getting double what I paid for, or the vending machine will give me wrong change, just enough to buy a second bag of Goldfish or whatever it was that caught my eye and made me think of him. Dude doesn’t like to eat alone, I guess. He’s generous, and he takes the “gift for a gift” mantra seriously. So I pretty much get to stuff my face with junk food whenever I make offerings to him, because that’s just how it works out more often than not. I’ve long since accepted it, it’s no longer a confused shock when I open the bakery bag and see that the sweets I purchased have miraculously multiplied. Fish and loaves ain’t got nothing on vanilla cream pastries.

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Follow-up to the last post. . .

Within 10 minutes of hitting “publish” on the article about the old family photographs and the recurring dreams, I got some more pictures from my cousin. The timing was impeccable, because I’d just finished writing about my grandfather keeping us close to the gods, but including the caveat that I didn’t think anyone in the family actually calling themselves Lokian or heathen (well, my grandfather called himself heathen. And I know my father was heathen). One of the new pics my cousin sent was a picture of the newly erected military headstone for my father.

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Hail the Ancestors!

I’ve only ever had 2 recurring dreams in my life. The first one was the pleasant one, the other was a nightmare. The good one was one I’d had as a child, and again as a young adult: both times, it was exactly the same. I’d be at my grandparents’ house, my father’s parents, but no one else was there with me. Standing in the kitchen, something would compel me to look out the window over the sink. The back yard would be teeming with hundreds of red foxes, and I’d know they were linked to my grandpa. They were there because of him. And because I was his granddaughter, they were there because of me, too. The foxes, the sea of red and copper and white, the ocean ebbing with black-tipped waves, moving on black sand, their golden eyes gleaming and twinkling in the sunlight: they were there because they loved us, and wanted us to know we’d never be alone. They would never leave us. They were here for us, grandpa and me, and they’d always protect us.

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Welcome to the Realm of the Weird

There’s no actual point to this bit of writing. Yesterday was just such a bizarre, stupid day that it merits its own little corner of the internet.

I had a fun(-ish?) dream the other night involving the zombie apocalypse. Loki was in it, of course, but he wasn’t the cause of the chaos, for once. He was my survival buddy, for lack of a better term. In the dream, he owned a high end art gallery, and we went there to stock up on supplies. What kind of supplies, I couldn’t say, because I was distracted by all of the plush fox toys he had in the gallery gift shop. There were also some wolf hounds there that were super excited to be rescued and hugged by us, but I may have been more excited by the hugging part than the pups, because my dreams echo reality. So it should be no surprise that I was in an unusually happy mood the next day at work, images of a dapper art broker Trickster dancing around in my brain with foxes and wolf hounds. It was a lovely day.

The next day, however. . . well, it was just stupid. It was one of those days in which everything goes so comically wrong for everyone that you end up giving each other exasperated looks and screaming, “IS THIS REALITY?! IS THIS OUR LIFE NOW?!” 

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Yuletide Reflections and a Statement of Intention

A coworker recently got me addicted to Wish, and I was startled to stumble across Catholic vestments for sale there. They just popped into my feed one afternoon when I was scrolling idly through, and my brain did a few somersaults trying to compute why they were being offered. There may or may not have been a faint cackle in the back of my consciousness as something tickled at me. Something that’s tickled at me for a long time, something I’ve given more serious consideration to in the last few months.

I’ve been a licensed funeral director for many years, and though I originally got into the field because of my keen interest in embalming, I ended up really connecting with families and enjoyed coordinating the funeral and memorial services themselves. I’ve even led countless services, standing in for families that didn’t have pastors or priests. A few months ago, I attended a calling period for a friend of a friend, someone I’d never met, but I’d been invited to go because the deceased was pagan, and no one in his family understood it or knew what to do. I put together a poem/prayer that was consistent with his beliefs as I knew them, and I was asked to read it for everyone gathered. It apparently brought a great deal of comfort to his family, and the experience reignited an interest I had toyed with back in the mid-2000s.

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Music and Mayhem

There’s been a lot of debate lately about Loki, moreso than usual, it seems. Different organizations are in contention about whether or not to embrace Himself as they do the rest of the Aesir and Vanir, or to continue holding him at arm’s length. I’ve noticed a few discussions delve into an interpretation of mythology that I myself hold, one that Shadow Spouse and I discussed at ECT ’18 during our Loki Marathon Blot.

I’ve also noticed that one of my favorite songs, “The Show Must Go On” by Queen, is a very Lokean song when listened to in context of that interpretation.

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