Question: How has your relationship with Loki changed over time?
When Loki first came into my life, I was still at a stage where I was working with leftover baggage from growing up in a monotheistic culture. When he started communicating with me, he was among the first of the Norse gods (and other Pagan gods) to do so. I spent a few months thinking I was crazy because I couldn’t comprehend why a god had come to me, of all people. I was overwhelmed and conflicted, pleased that he was communicating with me but confused because I felt like I had done nothing to deserve his presence. It took me a while longer to come to the understanding that the gods show up when they want to; it has nothing to do with us being deserving or not – though it does help to be receptive to them showing up in the first place.
In many ways, the way my relationship with Loki has grown has echoed the growth of my own understanding and development of a polytheistic framework. He has coaxed me along that path so subtly that it wasn’t until I sat down to answer today’s question that I realized how true it is. He’s always been a gentle guide for me, except when I’ve asked him to push boundaries to facilitate healing, and, like I’ve said elsewhere, his kindness always astounds me.
As I grew into a firmer understanding of a polytheistic worldview and began developing my practice, my relationship with Loki went from friend to devotee, as I started giving him offerings. Over the years, I have gifted him with many things, though the ones that stand out to me as things he has enjoyed the most include orange chocolate (of any variety), cream soda mixed with Fireball whiskey, and a Rubix cube.
Alongside developing my own practice, I spent a lot of time researching Heathen communities online and browsing through forums. I also started this blog, partially as a record for myself but also for my writing to help others. I learned through the internet communities I found that Loki was regarded negatively, and I hated that – especially after reading the Eddas.
Even in my first read-through of the Poetic Edda, I saw that Loki was just painfully honest and incredibly adept at solving problems. Sure, some of those problems he caused, but that’s pretty standard – think of your own lives. I’m sure there are plenty of problems you’ve had to solve that you created. In the myths, it is fairly standard for Loki to be the one figuring out the solutions to the problems, no matter how dire. He also always acts for the benefit of the gods, and that includes his actions during Ragnorak. Understanding how that is beneficial to the gods requires understanding that the Norse didn’t see this world as the only one, but as one in a continuous chain of regenerating worlds. It’s a standard creation-death-regeneration cycle.
Anyway, I hated how people had fundamentally misunderstood Loki because it seemed to me that they had simply failed to apply logic to myth interpretation. I also hated how the people who were defending Loki always seemed to do it in a way that made it seem that Loki was incapable of fighting his own battles. They painted him as a weak god, and I have known him to be a lot of things but weak and cowardly are not traits I would ascribe to him. He can and will fight his own battles.
That said, I also started noticing that the Lokeans I came across in online communities were almost always speaking with one voice, forced into a corner because they did not want to give in to more vocal Heathens who kept telling them they were wrong for worshipping Loki.
It was around that time that Loki came to me and originally asked me if I was interested in a godspouse relationship with him. I was not, nor will I ever be. He is like a weird mixture of father/brother to me, so the idea of that type of relationship with him just disturbed me. Still, I took the offer and thought about it for a long time before I finally asked him if I could serve him as a priest instead. I would have been content to remain a devotee if he had said no, but he pretty eagerly accepted that arrangement.
I’ve been working for Loki as a priest for three years now, and the first part of the work that he asked me to do for him was to create an online community for his devotees to have a place to discuss him and their practice. That’s where Loki’s Wyrdlings came from, and it is why it persists to this day. The community is centered around Loki, so there is no one there who will be harassed and told that they can’t be a real Heathen if they worship Loki or that they aren’t welcome because one of their gods is unwelcome.
Other work has sprung from that bedrock, as Loki University was directly inspired by people in Loki’s Wyrdlings who wanted a place where they could go to learn more about Loki and being a Lokean without being dismissed out of hand. Loki’s Torch, which will be an annual publication featuring a diverse array of Lokean works, came from a handful of Wyrdlings who pulled together and worked to find a way to make the Lokean community more widely accessible.
The work that Loki has me do is very community-centric, but it has very little to do with facilitating rituals or acting as spiritual counsel. Those are roles I can play (and have, when necessary), but the work I do for Him is the work I do for the Lokean community as a whole. That is why I wrote the article in the Wild Hunt to counter absurd claims about the dangers of being around Lokeans made in Siegfried’s article that compared Loki to Trump. I wrote a post here on how ludicrous that comparison was, but the more important work was correcting assumptions about Lokeans, the people who honor Loki.
What I have really learned over the course of the relationship I’ve had with Loki is that he cares deeply about those who worship him. He seems to cherish each and every Lokean, no matter what their backstory is or how they perceive him. In many ways, I think he perceives us as children he needs to protect. Sometimes, that protection comes in the form of pushing off a branch to teach us to fly, but it always comes from a deep, resounding kindness.
So, really, the only way in which my relationship with Loki has changed over the years is that it has become one that is much more intertwined with my day-to-day life. I do more and more work for him, and he continues to be present in my life. To me, his presence is more than enough reason to do the work that I do for him. I have a deep-seated reverence for the divine, and I do the best I can to avoid the all too human trap of assigning human-born concepts of right and wrong to the gods I honor, and I am grateful to be able to count Loki as one of them.