Lokean Swamp Witch: Trickster-Induced Mysticism and Mayhem
Diary of a Lokean mystic.
a Month for Loki: Self
“Flame consumes my sorrow Reborn I am as art The jewel of selfhood blazes In my crowned and conquering heart.”
- Sharon Knight & T. Thorn Coyle, “Alchemy,” Songs for the Strengthening Sun
“You got to understand the god thing. It’s not magic. It’s about being you, but the you that people believe in. It’s about being the concentrated, magnified, essence of you. It’s about becoming thunder, or the power of a running horse, or wisdom. You take all the belief and become bigger, cooler, more than human. You crystallize.” Neil Gaiman, American Gods
Self is undoubtedly one of the more problematic topics for Him to ask me to write about, because in reality, I am more reserved than y’all think. “You’re easy to know, but not easy to know well,” He has said to me more than once. I had mixed feelings about writing about myself during a devotional month for Him, but this is what He wants – more than words or gestures, Loki wants me to know myself and be that, without shame or fear, and that kind of nakedness is the hardest thing for me to do, let alone to share publicly.
And to be a little more naked, I would much rather be writing mushy poetry, actually. I’m far more comfortable talking about Loki than I am talking about me, particularly if it’s emotional – things I’ve done are done, I guess, and so they’re less troublesome to share. So He’s been having me do shadow work, and that’s yielded interesting things. I revisited an exercise from Evolutionary Witchcraft on self, and it was about stripping down to your barest self, peeling off each layer like a mask. Coyle’s book doesn’t say it as explicitly as Dark Side of the Light Chasers does, but in essence, it allows you to realize that you are or can be your greatest good or your greatest evil, and that you can choose which face you want, pick it up, and put it down. It’s a tool, nothing more and nothing less. It’s been something to grok, because like many of you gentle readers, I was raised in plucky American individualism, so acknowledging that you’re not so different from someone you despise, that had you been raised in their environment that you could be them is both more and less unnerving than I thought it would be.
It reminds me of a Christopher Penzak quote from a recent blog, “I …don’t believe that we are all that real or individual.” It’s a reminder of what my Work really is here, and that while I’m deeply devoted to Loki, it’s not my path to act as if He’s much, much higher than me, it’s my work to blur that boundary between u/Us. I’ve been asked before by an atheist pagan if it could be proven that Loki was a part of me, would I still worship Him? After mulling that over, I can say that the answer is yes, because in that fuzzy wuzzy wibbly wobbley timey wimey way, I don’t believe we are that separate – we chose to weave our wyrd together, and that makes us One, even as He is Himself and I’m me. So I’m not Loki, but I’m also not not part of Him, if y’all can grok that. It’s probably one of the most problematic things to write about respectfully, because there is that balance between acknowledging that yes, Loki is a Holy Power, worthy of respect, devotion, and praise, and yes, I am a human being, and He’s made it clear that these facts shouldn’t be used to create a gap between us, or some sort of artificial humility that keeps me from looking Him in the eye. It’s a perspective that isn’t very heathen, or Northern Trad, but it’s the one He desires, and so I’m learning to run with it. I’m aware it might press buttons on some people, I dunno who, cause it’s never the people you think it would be, but I’m not here to press people’s buttons, I’m here to learn from Loki. Sometimes it presses my buttons, actually, because if I’m really capable of being my greatest good, by my own moral code, I should get on that sh*t, like now.
Hail Loki, God of Lighting Fires Under My Ass.
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