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For Loki – Day 3

Loki by John Bauer 1911

Yesterday, a friend called you “Kinsman of the Unquiet Thought”
and I recall something similar was my mother’s favorite heiti for You. 
It encapsulates Your sneakiness, and it is not deceit as so many claim, 
to keep us aware and on our toes. It is a grace, gift, and kindness.
Let us ever and always be “unquiet” too, lest complacency smother
our devotion. 

Hail to You, Loki, enemy of Acedia.
Hail Hugreynandi Hoenis, Tester of Hoenir, 
You test us as well, to make us stronger, 
to make us better, to root us in courage, 
confidence, and piety. 
We grow under Your caring hands,
whether we would or not; 
and our worlds expand
as the worlds expanded in the beginning of time,
under the will of You and Your brothers, 
and Your capable hands. 
Hail Holy One.

Hail Loki – Day 2

You, oh God, were the comfort of my youth, 
my strength in times of weakness, 
my salvation when I otherwise would have been lost. 
You held my head above the waters of terror. 
You sustained me in isolation and poverty. 
There are no words that I can say; 
no gift that I lay at Your feet,
can ever equal the care and protection
that You gave me, all unasked. 

Ever will I eat the fire You proffer in Your hand, 
ever will I allow it to polish my heart, to anneal it,  
to transform it into a gleaming anvil, 
upon which You may hammer out
the contrapunto of Your desire. 
I will always be grateful for the gifts You have given me;
and ever and always will I praise You. 
I will lay gifts at your feet every day of my life. 
I will make thousands of offerings, as many as I can,
always and ever in joy, and always to You,
before my time here is done.

Hail Loki, always. 
Arthur Rackham, Loki

July for Loki — one more time.

Ten years ago this year, I began celebrating Loki specifically in the month of July. It’s not that there aren’t other feast days for Him during the year, but July for a number of reasons, including the rising of the dog star Sirius, which is associated with Him, is a very potent month for His veneration. 

For awhile, a number of years actually, I would write a prayer for Loki every day from July 1-31, and I believe I was the first to make this commitment, but the last couple of years I haven’t done that. Instead, I’ve made offerings to Him and done my household devotions and gotten about my devotional life. Today, a friend reminded me that I’d started the July practice in 2012 – maybe even earlier. I’ve honored and loved Loki so long it seems like decades and decades -- and I thought maybe it was time to do this practice again. 
So here goes. 


For Loki on July 1

Slyest and most cunning of Gods, 
Laevisi Loki, Protector of our House, 
I hail You on this day, 
when the heat batters down upon us,
and auguries of birds whisper tales of 
Your clever might. 

Bölvasmiðr, Mischief-maker, 
better than any other God
at stirring up trouble, 
getting the necessary things accomplished, 
and shattering the walls we set around ourselves, 
I pray to You that our thought-worlds may never be small. 
May our devotion rage like a wildfire through all the many halls
and hazy turnings of the world we have created for ourselves,
until there is nowhere within our lives You have not been. 

God of fire and transformation, open us up via Your grace
to all the glories the Gods have made. 
Let us exalt and celebrate all that is Holy 
and when we are confronted by evil,
may it be Your maegen we call upon
to see us through. 

Hail to You, Loki, best-loved and ever honored
as every God should be, now and forever.  
Loki by A. Rackham

Bookversary: Consuming Flame

Affiliate Advertising Disclosure

First published in 2014, Consuming Flame is a devotional devoted to Loki and his family.

Consuming Flame brings together everything written to date on Loki and His family by noted author and priest Galina Krasskova. It includes the texts of “Feeding the Flame,” “Honoring Sigyn,” and “Sigyn: Our Lady of the Staying Power” with a significant portion of new material venerating Loki, Sigyn, Angurboda, and Their Children. This omnibus edition provides the reader with the result of twenty years of engagement with this most controversial of Gods. “

Don’t have a copy yet? You can pick it up via amazon, or through bookshop which supports independent booksellers.

April 1 for Loki

For the better part of twenty-five years now, I and many other devotees of Loki have celebrated April 1 as one of His feast-days. I always forget to write anything for Him on that day, so I wanted to be sure to do so well in advance this year. I don’t usually do much more than clean His shrine (in my house, Loki and Sigyn share a shrine) and make more copious offerings than usual, but still, I like to note the day. 

Loki has many by-names (epithets or heiti). Many of them refer to His relationships like Verr Sigynjar (Sigyn’s husband) or Hoenis vinr (Hoenir’s friend). Some refer to His reputed cleverness like Bölvasmiðr (Mischief maker—this one reminds me of Bölverkr…Odin’s by name that means Bale-worker), Inn Slaegi Áss (The Sly God), or Laevisi Loki(Cunning Loki). Some have a strong connection to the sky…Loptr – Skytreader, Meinkráka (Harmful Crow), and one that I haven’t explored at all but that perplexes me every time I think of it: Gammleið (Vulture). Some names focus on His position as goad and even perceived adversary to the Gods like Goða dòlgr (Adversary of Gods). Then of course there is Inn bundni Áss (the bound God) and there are dozens more. I particularly like Farmr arma Sigynjar (Burden of Sigyn’s arms). Then there’s Dumezil who referred to Him (in his monograph titled ‘Loki’) as “the unquiet thought.” It’s a very fitting by-name for a God Who never ceased to challenge. There’s a very good article by Dagulfr L. elaborating on many of these names here.  I highly recommend it. Of course those who honor Loki today have given Him new by-names too. The list is probably never-ending. 

Heiti are important. They highlight unique aspects of a God, doorways into deeper devotion, some facet of the God’s power or kinship or nature. They are words of power. They tell us our Gods are multi-faceted, loving but also dangerous, as everything sacred is dangerous. Their mindful utterance draws us closer into Their sphere of Being and power. I meditate on them frequently. 

I like the by-names of Loki that emphasize how dangerous He can be. It’s a register shift for me that demands my full attention, my full respect, and all the protocol due a Holy Power….which is a good reminder in a relationship that has been long and emotionally intimate, that Gods remain Gods, no matter how deeply we love Them and that is a good, joyous, and holy thing. 

So for those of you who honor Loki, what are your favorites of His heiti?

(large framed image by G. Palmer. The small flame haired Loki is by W. McMillan. My Loki and Sigyn shrine, but an old photo from 2017 — it was too dark by the time I finished writing this to take one tonight. the light wasn’t right.

New Book: “Loki and Sigyn” by Lea Svendsen

Affiliate Advertising Disclosure

On the up side, this book gives interesting etymological information on Loki and Sigyn’s respective names. I actually quite enjoyed reading this part. It was informative and pointed me in directions that I hadn’t considered with both Deities. The book is not a bad introduction for a beginner. Also, the  cover is gorgeous and would make a lovely devotional icon in and of itself.

On the downside, the author makes a show of giving a seemingly comprehensive history of Loki and Sigyn in contemporary Heathenry. That would be fine, save that she ignores the work of those like myself, who not only wrote the first extant devotionals to Loki and Sigyn individually, and to Their family as a group, but who frankly, were the ones who, with constant harassment over the issue–including some from at least one person quoted in the book–moved the center in Heathenry so that the idea of honoring these Gods is far less controversial now than it was when we started talking about it two decades ago. 

Also, and far more egregiously, while omitting any reference of the first devotionals ever published to Loki and to Sigyn (my own, published in the period between 2004-2014), the author has no problem quoting bynames for Sigyn that my own mother developed and wrote about, and that I first put into print, specifically “Lady of the Staying Power” (the name, not incidentally, of the first devotional to Sigyn ever written in 2009). It’s poor scholarship and were this an academic text (the author tries so hard to sound academic in parts), it would not have been published by any peer reviewed press due to this lacuna and borderline plagiarism.

My books (this doesn’t count the numerous articles I’ve written over the years) on Loki and Sigyn, all available here

“Our Lady of the Staying Power” now in second edition.

“Honoring Sigyn”

“Consuming Flame”

“Feeding the Flame”

“Heart on Fire”

“Hymns and Prayers of a Polytheistic Household” (includes prayers to both Loki and Sigyn)

 “Essays in Modern Heathenry”

For many years I’ve largely been silent when people have done things like writing me out of my own religious history, plagiarizing my work, harassment, bullying, slander, and lies. No more. Every time it comes to my door, I’m going to be calling it out. When I came into Heathenry in the early nineties, a devotee of Odin and Loki, one could not mention Loki in many, many circles without open hostility and in some cases (usually Theodish) threats of violence. It was my work and the work of many of my colleagues who changed that. If that’s too hard to swallow for people like Svendsen then maybe grow a set and admit it, instead of pretending innocence while practicing erasure. When you don’t publicly cite someone, but you draw upon their work in any way, that’s called PLAGIARISM. Plagiarism is theft. Scholarship means coming up with your own ideas, or correctly citing the work of others as you engage. It doesn’t mean copying someone else’s ideas and passing them off as your own without attribution. Not citing extant sources is theft and appropriation. That’s it’s definition. It’s also cowardice and poor scholarship.

Hail to Loki on His Feastday

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. 

Loki by A. Rackham

(from my Loki in the West playlist):

Yuletide Shopping Guide – Books

Today is the last and final installment of my Yuletide Shopping Guide. I created the Yuletide Shopping Guide in part because Yule is one of my favorite times of year. The guide features items polytheists might enjoy seeing in their homes or under their tree this yuletide. All with the hope of spreading some holiday cheer in a difficult year by finding items that can help feed our devotions within our polytheistic traditions, but also to hopefully along the way lift up some of the artisans in our midst too.

So far I’ve included resources for crafters, makers, and DIYers: cookie cutters, crafting molds, fabric (MesoamericanEgyptianGreekNorthern Europe), machine embroidery designs, cross-stitch and embroidery patterns, as well as knitting and crochet patterns. I’ve also highlighted some items on a Krampus theme. I’ve spotlighted items you can use to deck the halls & trim the tree. 

Check out the Greco-Roman themed products relevant to devotees of Cultus Deorum and Hellenismos, the Egyptian themed products ( Part 1 & Part 2 ) relevant to devotees of Kemetism, Northern European themed products ( Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 & Part 5) relevant to Northern Tradition polytheists (Heathens, Asatruar, etc.), as well as some Miscellaneous ( Part 1 & Part 2 ) spotlights featuring artists and artisans who offered a range of product across pantheons, or whose work focused on a tradition that I didn’t have enough items to spotlight on its own. Peruse with care and you will find items related to deities from the Norse, Slavic, Celtic, Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Hindu, Polynesian, Mesoamerican, Minoan, Assyrian, Sumerian, Welsh, Asian, Native American/Inuit, and more!

Today I’ll be spotlighting books.

Affiliate Advertising Disclosure

I am an avid reader and quite the bibliophile. If I really wanted to do this section justice, I could be writing for over a year on suggested books. So I decided to approach this list primarily from the point of view of more recently published works I have either personally read and therefore recommend, or for texts that are on my to read list. I’ve also sprinkled in a few classics, and some books I felt kids could enjoy too so we can pass our traditions to the next generations.


Academic Reading

Unfortunately, I will warn you that some of the academic books are part of small academic print runs and can be prohibitively priced as a result.


Books for Polytheists

The Illustrated Havamal and Illustrated Voluspa takes the old Bellows translation of those eponymous texts but is released with illustrations by artist Sam Flegal. The Man Who Spoke Snakish is a fictional work with strong themes that should resonate with polytheists. The remaining texts were all written by polytheists for polytheists.


Mythology Books

Many of these texts are geared towards children and young adults, so content tends to be adapted for that audience.


Coloring Books

Coloring books for both kids and adults.


My Books

In case you missed it since last December I have released 9 books. A Modern Guide to Heathenry is a significantly revised and expanded book built on the foundation of Exploring the Northern Tradition with over 70,000 words of additional, new content. Sigyn: Our Lady of the Staying Power is a re-release after a change in publishers. The other books are all new releases.


Walking the Worlds

After several years and 12 volumes, Walking the Worlds, a peer-reviewed journal of polytheism and spiritwork has concluded its run. In commemoration, here are the links to each release of the journal in case you missed any.


What books are on your to read list? What books would you recommend? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Yuletide Shopping Guide – Northern Europe Products – Part 5

I created the Yuletide Shopping Guide in part because Yule is one of my favorite times of year. The guide features items polytheists would enjoy seeing in their homes or under their tree this yuletide. All with the hope of spreading some holiday cheer in a difficult year by finding items that can help feed our devotions within our polytheistic traditions, but also to hopefully along the way lift up some of the artisans in our midst too.

So far I’ve included resources for crafters, makers, and DIYers: cookie cutters, crafting molds, fabric (MesoamericanEgyptianGreekNorthern Europe), machine embroidery designs, cross-stitch and embroidery patterns, as well as knitting and crochet patterns. I’ve also highlighted some items on a Krampus theme. I’ve spotlighted items you can use to deck the halls and trim the tree. 

Check out the Greco-Roman themed products relevant to devotees of Cultus Deorum and Hellenismos, the Egyptian themed products ( Part 1 & Part 2 ) relevant to devotees of Kemetism, and Northern Europe themed products ( Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 ) relevant to Northern Tradition polytheists. Primarily these items are Norse-centric, but there’s a small scattering of Celtic and Slavic goods too in the mix.

There were some artists and artisans who offered a range of product across pantheons, or whose work focuses on a tradition that I didn’t have enough items to spotlight on its own. So I highly recommend that you carefully peruse the spotlighted artists and artisans in my miscellaneous ( Part 1 & Part 2 ). You will find offerings encompassing a vast array of traditions: Norse, Slavic, Celtic, Roman, Greek, Egyptian, Hindu, Polynesian, Mesoamerican, Minoan, Assyrian, Sumerian, Welsh, Asian, Native American/Inuit, and more!

Today is the fifth installment of Northern Europe themed products relevant for fellow Northern Tradition polytheists.

PantheonSkulptur

PantheonSkulptur based in Sweden, features the artistic gold or silver gilded statues of Norse or Celtic Gods and Goddesses by Stina Jarenskog. Since ever piece is handmade, sometimes there’s nothing in the shop as she’s sold out. Just be sure to bookmark the shop and revisit.


FatefulSigns

FatefulSigns is the online storefront for illustrator Sam Flegal, who has done work for gaming companies and concept art for movies. He has some truly stunning images of our Gods and Goddesses, and offers the original for sale, as well as prints. He’s also decided to do his own illustrations for sections of the lore, which you can find in his two books: the Illustrated Havamal, and the Illustrated Voluspa.


Grimfrost

Grimfrost is a Swedish based company that specializes in items inspired by and related to Viking Age culture. They have some replica statuary and jewelry, but also some truly unique things based on the familiar. Some highlighted items are the Sleipnir Post Earrings, a Freya Drum, a replica of a ritual procession, and replicas from the archaeological record of our Gods.


Norsies

SummitCollection’s Norsies features painted cold cast resin figures of Norse Gods & Goddesses.


Miscellaneous

Not every item listed below is depicted in this image.
  • Poster of Travis Bowman’s prayer to Odin 
  • Norhalla’s Sleipnir Plush Toy
  • ArcanicaArt painted Frigg
  • MailoniKat’s Fox Cloth
  • DeBaunFineCeramics Valknut Pendant
  • HeathenTreeCreations – Vanic Deities Statues
  • Dharmalus – Valknut wall shelves
  • SevenOaksGrove Rune Cloth
  • ShirePost Ullr and vegvisir zipper pull
  • The National Museum of Denmark’s Gift Shop has a wide range of products too!

We’re almost done! Just one more post to go.

Yuletide Shopping Guide – Artists & Artisans – Part 1

Yule is one of my favorite times of year, and to help spread some holiday cheer I decided to create the Yuletide Shopping Guide to help people find goods for their homes, and gifts. Hopefully in the process, helping to steer some business towards some very talented artisans, including some within our religious community. So far I’ve spotlighted resources for crafters, resources to trim the tree & deck the halls for the holiday, highlighted Krampus goods, and now I’m moving onto artists and artisans.

VisaVisJewelryLA

VisaVisJewelryLA specializes in jewelry made with bronze and gold, sometimes with a cloisonné technique too. There’s a range of polytheistic traditions represented across the bling worthy offerings: Assyrian, Sumerian, Norse, Celtic, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Hindu, and more.


Making Magick

Making Magick features a husband and wife artisan team from our religious community based in North Carolina creating goods in ceramics, wood, metal, fabric and more. They are currently specializing in scroll saw wooden puzzles for children. They can make any animal or object into an age appropriate puzzle. They can also make other items in wood too, from decorative bowls and decor for the home, or memorial items for use outdoors. As we all know, 2020 has been a challenging year, and that’s included unemployment for one of the members of this artisan team. If you have an idea, they’d love to talk to you.  


RareEarthWoodworks

RareEarthWoodworks features a variety of artisan crafts in wood, featuring divination tools such as ogham staves or runes, and an expansive array of portable travel altars or altar icons across a range of polytheistic traditions: Welsh, Norse, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and more. There’s also other items too!



SacredPathArt

The United Kingdom based artist Amanda Lindupp offers up her range of art prints and cards through her store SacredPathArt. Her illustrations of Gods and Goddesses encompass Kemetic, Norse, Celtic, Greek and Roman deities.


CorazonMexica

CorazonMexica features chicano created works depicting Mexican spirituality and pride, with a focus on Mesoamerican deities from the Aztecs, as well as Aztec inspired tarot, queer art, and regalia.