After some prodding by Himself and some encouragement from friends, I'm taking a stab at the Pagan Experience Project. I'm not necessarily going to do every prompt all the time, but if the prompt elicits good thinky thoughts, I'll share them. I've decided to start with week two's prompt on personal practices.
Loki's not a terribly formal Deity, and and so many of my practices are not either; I share morning coffee with Him every day; I meditate once a day; ideally I do yoga, but that practice is a work in progress.
Please note that this is not a treatise on how all Gods are One God/dess— in Norse myth or otherwise. Norse myth contains distinct deified ancestors, locally-specific Gods and many other members of the pantheon such as Njordh, Mani, Baldr and Thor.
We stereotype the peoples of Northern Europe as aggressive, looting, sea-faring warriors, hauling back pillaged booty or trade goods from abroad. We stereotype Odin (blame Wagner and his Victorian romanticism for this) as the stern, grim king: father of war. Thor as big-hearted, lustily drinking smiter of evil. While attitudes have recently begun changing, portraying the Vikings' "softer side", that aggressive image sticks-- both inside and outside of Heathenry.
It ignores that there is a third strong image of masculinity, from a triad of Gods honored at the ancient temple of Upsala, Sweden: Odin, Thor and Freyr.
Americans still haven't celebrated our secular harvest holiday yet (Thanksgiving)-- which marks the unofficial change from autumn to winter, even if the official shift falls on the Solstice. So I think it's still appropriate to honor Freyr, especially at lower latitudes.
I wrote this hymn around the autumn equinox, for a blot to Freyr at a far northern latitude where the leaves had already turned and the lake was skinning with ice, as farmers were pulling in the last harvests. It's meant to welcome the Norse God Freyr (Baltic & Slavic "Yarilo/Jarilo"; also called "St. John/Ian" and "Caloian") as the harvest Lord, and say farewell to him with the change in seasons.
Freyr is literally one of the words for 'Lord' in old Norse. In other words, it's not just a well-known God's name but his title. One of Odin's many heiti (by-names and titles) is Herjan-- also another word for 'Lord' with a warrior connotation, 'leader of hosts'. While both Gods are associated with kingship in Scandinavia, Freyr is mythically attributed in Ynglinga Saga as the ancestor of the royal house of Sweden (much as Egyptian pharoahs claimed descent from or symbolic right to rule as inherited from Osiris-- which also means 'Sire').