For the better part of thirty years, many of us have celebrated April 1 as a feast-day for the God Loki. This is the day wherein we honor Him as trickster, troublemaker, the eternal loophole-finder, and the chaos that keeps the architecture of creation vibrant and alive. All of these things of course, are reasons why some denominations of Heathens pale at the very mention of His name. Loki was one of the first Gods to really take me in hand (not the first, but close) and in many respects He prepared me for Odin. He’s been a good friend to me and my House and I can honestly say that in some way, shape, or form, every single good thing in my life has come through His hands. I am grateful, deeply grateful to Him. One of the first fights that I encountered in Heathenry was over whether or not His veneration was licit and I’m very proud to say that thanks to my work and that of Raven Kaldera, Fuensanta Plaza, and Elizabeth Vongvisith that is no longer the universal question it once was in the US. Others picked up that fight but we moved the center. There are still denominations that refuse to even say Loki’s name, but there are as many if not more in which His veneration is welcomed, embraced, or at worst at least tolerated. So today, I honor not just Loki but all those who fought for decades that His name might be spoken with pride. Those today who take it for granted, should remember the fight and those who waged it.
Hail to You, God Who breathes fire into the synapses,
Whose hands crackle with warmth and life,
Who whispered runes and carved sigils
along the wood-darkened flesh of Askr and Embla
and brought that flesh to living life.
God Who gave us our ability to feel,
Whose laughter can be heard as His numen overwhelms us,
Whose joy is palpable as His Presence steals our speech,
and His primal force purifies our souls,
may there always be those who flock to Your veneration.
Hail to You, Who evokes love and hate
in equal measure, Whose devotees
lose themselves so easily in You, generation after generation.
Hail to You, Who will not be silenced, Who loves as He loves,
and Who works His wiles throughout the worlds fearlessly.
Hail to the Husband of Sigyn, Father of marvelous Children.
Hail to the Friend of Thor and Brother to Odin.
Hail to the unquiet thought, Who challenges God and mortal alike
to greater integrity and courage.
May those who carry His mysteries be blessed.
May His cultus never cease.
Hail to You, ferocious God. Hail, Loki.
(from my Loki in the West playlist):
I’m writing this with a very bad headache, so I will probably be keeping it shorter than usual. I just want to bring two ritual days to people’s attention in case some of you, my readers, may want to celebrate too.
Tomorrow, my household observes Veterans’ Day. Originally, this was called Armistice Day and commemorated the end of WWI, the armistice of which was declared November 11, 11am (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month). It’s still called Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in some places. We have just passed the one hundredth anniversary of WWI and when I honor the military dead, it’s the dead of this war specifically that come forward more than any others. I don’t know why, perhaps because I lost relatives in this war (my cousin Wesley Heffner went over with Pershing’s forces and died on a field in France).
Anyway, we’ll be doing a rite to honor the military dead tomorrow evening, and this will also involve extensive libations for Odin, since in my household, tomorrow is His feastday as Herjafodr (Father of Hosts), Herteit (Glad of War), Valfoðr (Father of the Slain), and Valkjosandi (Chooser of the Slain).
For the Fallen by R.L. Binyon With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children, England mourns for her dead across the sea. Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit, Fallen in the cause of the free. Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres. There is music in the midst of desolation And a glory that shines upon our tears. They went with songs to the battle, they were young, Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow. They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted, They fell with their faces to the foe. They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them. They mingle not with their laughing comrades again; They sit no more at familiar tables of home; They have no lot in our labour of the day-time; They sleep beyond England’s foam. But where our desires are and our hopes profound, Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight, To the innermost heart of their own land they are known As the stars are known to the Night; As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust, Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain, As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness, To the end, to the end, they remain.
I’ve written on my other blog about my cousin Wesley Heffner. That piece, part of a larger section on an ancestral pilgrimage I did, may be found here.
Sunwait, a celebration of the six weeks before Yule which is held by some Heathens today begins this week. This will be my household’s first year celebrating this and we plan to keep it on Fridays. I’ll write more about that after Veteran’s day. Be well, all my readers. Stay safe. Stay healthy. Remember your dead.
For many Loki-friendly Heathens, April 1 is one of this God’s feast-days. While there are many recognized paths to this God, April 1 honors Him specifically as a trickster, a meddler, a wrench in the machine of entropy. Loki challenges our assumptions and pushes us well beyond our comfort zones. He demands that we grow and learn and confront our own bullshit. He’s a truth-teller, irreverently so at times but however uncomfortable His presence, wit, and wonder-working, sustains by His actions the architecture of the worlds.
Tonight, my household will be making offerings to Him. Sometimes we do a full ritual on His feast-days but we will have to abbreviate that tonight (I am down with a migraine unfortunately, though courtesy of modern migraine medication I am at the point finally where I can type and read). Still, He will have offerings, prayers, and praises and always we will celebrate Him and all the myriad ways that He calls us to greater attention, greater responsibility, greater mindfulness in our spiritual work and in the world at large. Praise Him.
Prayer to Loki
In the blistering furnace of our hearts,
may You be hailed.
In the fierce rantings of mind and memory,
may You be hailed.
In the tumultuous storm of our senses,
may we gasp, and chant, and sing Your praises.
May our lips burn with whispered adorations to You.
May our bodies shake in the onslaught of Your presence.
Where You are honored, there be in all of Your glory.
Where You are reviled, there also be,
and work Your cunning wiles.
May You ever be the unquiet thought,
the unruly impulse, the unwary stirring
of holy cravings, the longing for internal revolution,
the descant-mad, dervish-driven
prophetic-spewing roar that drives us
ever and always, unceasingly, unmercifully
into the arms of our own liberation.
Hail Loki, Liberator,
cunning, wild, and wise.
May You ever be hailed.
(By G. Krasskova)
(image by Arthur Rackham)
I live with a Dionysian and over the years of our relationship, I’ve happily participated in rituals to Dionysos (I venerated Him before Sannion and I met), and likewise in honoring members of the Bacchic retinue.(1) Today is the feast day of one of that retinue: Jim Morrison.
It’s odd for me to be pouring out offerings to a rock singer. I never listened to rock or pop music until I was in my thirties. No, I shit y’all not. I was a ballet dancer through my twenties (professionally) and my tastes tended solely toward classical with a bit of Nordic revival like Garmarna and Hednigarna thrown in for good measure. Occasionally a friend would introduce me to a new singer (I had a housemate who loved Loreena McKennit and Tori Amos, for instance) but on my own I stuck with what I knew and that was classical.
Then my adopted mom started broadening my musical horizons. She was classically trained at the Basel Conservatory of Music, but she had different favorite composers than I. She also listened to Meatloaf, Eminem, and other modern musicians to name but a few. It was rather surreal to look through her cd collection and see it go from Mozart to Dufay to Palestrina to Swiss folk music to Eminem (she always said he had a sense of rhythm that classical musicians could envy). Then my friend Mary Ann and I went on a couple of road trips and she picked the music we listened to and I found new styles and performers to like (the Dukhs, Johnnie Cash, Devil Doll, et al); and then I married a Dionysian with an incredibly varied musical taste and he began sharing his favorites with me, musicians like Sorne, Michael Gira, and Jim Morrison.
Many modern Dionysians venerate Morrison as one of the Dionysian retinue and the singer in his own life talked about Dionysos quite a lot. Likewise, he very much embodies not just the raw creativity and sexuality of one blessed by Dionysos but the trope that ‘it’s better to burn up than fade away,’ rather like a Dionysian Achilles. I’ve seen how very present he can be both in divinatory work and in rituals. When the retinue of Dionysos is honored, he is often very present.
Today is the anniversary of this death so we’re making offerings in my house to Dionysos’ favored son. People who tear holes in the world for our Gods are important. (2) It is right they be honored. That is all. Hail the Lizard King.
1. 1. Just as he occasionally joins me in honoring the Norse Gods, or in ancestor rites.
2. 2. In many ways they matter not as individuals, not for their personal characteristics or humanity but for the legacy they leave, the doors they open, especially for the doors they open through which the Gods can work, through which They can contaminate us all. They are there for the gods to use them up and we are made better as a species for it. Like shamans, our artists and holy people are curatives to the poison of our world. They’re carriers of something so much bigger than they themselves.