“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.