“Everyone knows that Loki is the bringer of discord, that his followers are all damaged people who disrupt the community”
You know, as we grow up, we all hear and accept certain truths from our community, and that is fine. What is not fine is when we never question how far the “truth” we accept differs from the experiences we have, and the people we actually know.
“We are our deeds”
This is another of those truths we all accept, and if this latter one is true, then I am the bearer of bad news, the harbinger of woeful tidings. Loki’s kids have earned an esteem far higher in our eyes by their deeds than we have ever allowed them, and we are DEEPLY shamed by our conduct towards them in return.
I have heard “Loki killed Baldur” as the trump card about as often as “Jews killed Jesus” and used for about the same purpose; to justify crapping on someone for reasons that have more to do with fear of what we don’t understand than any actual objection to the deeds of the people you are crapping on. Now don’t get me wrong, Loki is a god that does indeed embrace those who have no other place, the lost, the hurt, the ones whose definition of self finds no welcome home in other halls. Some of his followers have indeed provided incidents of colour, humour and outrage, but as someone who has been cleaning up the messes of public Heathen wrongdoing, the followers of Tyr, Thor and Odin are not exactly in a position to raise the banner unstained any day soon.
Let me tell you of a man. His name is Steve. I have known him since I came to the community as an outsider. I was a Heathen when that was somewhere between “thug” and “nazi” in the eyes of the local Pagan community, and few indeed were those who welcomed both me and my gods with open arms. Steve was, even though he had nothing to gain by it. In those days he was young, brash, wild, and in some ways driven ( I would now actually say ridden, but more on that later). He was Loki’s in ways that everyone could see, but even though from my own limited understanding at the time I should have distained him for his choice of patron, I was a soldier first, and judged people by their deeds.
Steve has been in my eyes for a decade, and in those years I have seen him embrace Loki fully, honestly, openly, sometimes at terrible cost. Asatru, to be true to the Aesir and Vanir, to be true to yourself, your beliefs, your oaths, your community. Steve has lived true all of his life that I have seen, and let me tell you what I have seen.
Steve and I have sported together, have stood against each other in arms and at gaming tables, have volunteered in the same pan-pagan groups in a hundred different ways and let me tell you that he is always among those I see with me setting up, and always among those I see tearing down. Not just his own, he is there to help whoever needs. When people need someone they can rely on, they turn to him, as they turn to me because…….you can. You absolutely trust that his word is good, that his instincts are better.
Loki’s kids are renowned for having no boundaries, and I really wish I knew where that came from, because whether we speak of tall male Canadian, or dark female American, the one thing that I have seen from Loki’s kids is that they not only respect boundaries, they are usually the ones to identify them and keep others in the community from casually and unintentionally causing harm. Loki’s kids are the ones who are frequently and quietly trusted by those who are hurt and those who are vulnerable because they sense that Loki’s kids respect the boundaries, understand about the broken places, and the dark baggage that comes with internal scars. Loki’s kids don’t judge, and boy, we really do, and it really doesn’t stand us in much honour when we do.
I am Heathen, Asatru, and its not much of a secret that I get most of my instruction from the Hanged One, as while there are probably better ways of doing things, I wouldn’t use them if they were there, so I may as well follow the instructor whose tools best come to my hands, and address my problems is ways I understand and can apply. I am not a follower of Loki, I treat him as an excamural god, honouring him outside my hearth only, but I do honour him. He is the breaker of stasis, and while that is uncomfortable, stasis is usually a death sentence, so comfort is not really affordable in the long run.
What I see when I look in the community, are a lot of Loki’s kids playing by our rules and being good heathens, worthy members of the community, while we proceed to violate the frith of our own halls by mocking not only their luck holder, but the lessons they have learned, and the prices they have paid.
Look long and hard around your community, and ask yourself how many of Loki’s kids are in there, and you have causually insulted while talking about Loki’s kids, all the while mentally exempting the ones you actually know, while you run down the other ones. Then ask yourself how many of the heathens you respect have held back their true views for fear of losing their community should they dare to share the truth that they had found solace in the inspiration, example, or experience of Laufey’s son?
At a Trothmoot past my daughter, who had been struggling with her own demons found Loki. Since she had been turning to Jesus, and seemed bend on destroying herself as a result, I thanked the gods and ancestors that Loki found her, and gave her the guidance needed to seek better options. Maybe he isn’t for you, maybe he isn’t for anyone without problems, if you meet such a person, let me know, for I have not. I took my daughter to a woman I knew how knew and loved Loki well, and whom I trusted without thought or hesitation with the instruction of, and care for my daughter. That is how I felt about those Loki kids; in all honesty, the first two that come to mind, I would trust with the life of my child. I own this truth, and I say it clear, we do not do them the honour they have EARNED in our community. That must change.
I am not asking you to hail Loki, what I am asking is that you who claim to be heathen, who claim to judge people by their deeds, look long and hard at those frithful members of our own community who offer to Loki. Now ask yourself, does the respect you have shown them, their practice, their belief, and their god, who is without a doubt a member of our holy tribe; does the respect you have given them match what their deeds have earned?