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Loki is in the House

From A. Rackham's illustrations to Wagner's
From A. Rackham's illustrations
to Wagner's 'Ring' cycle,
'Loki talking to the Rhine maidens.'

Heresy is not a polytheistic concept, at least not in the way that I – tongue in cheek, of course---imply with the title of this new blog. The word comes from the Greek and means "to choose," in other words, to choose how one is going to worship, to choose what to believe, to choose not to limit one's spiritual choices by the fetters of contaminated lore, to choose to live a life steeped in the exaltation of devotion. I guess those are some pretty dangerous choices given how vociferously so many contemporary Heathens tend to respond. Hence, the title of my blog, because to the mainstream of American Heathenry, I am a heretic, and proudly so. Allow me to embrace the term; I've been called worse, after all.

Why, you might ask, is heresy not part of the polytheistic worldview? Well, polytheism is a religious worldview steeped in a magnificent, often mind-boggling diversity. There is no one right and true way to believe. There are more Deities than one can name. Nor is devotion determined by orthodoxy of belief in polytheistic religions, but by experience. It's all very praxis oriented. There are our ancestral traditions, practices passed down through the generations and then there is the freedom of practice inherent in a body of religions comprised of an endless number of Gods, Goddesses, and cultus. Heresy didn't become an issue until new religions like Christianity began imposing a rigid dogma on its adherents. Suddenly, the very diversity that enriched polytheistic religions became threatening to the new world order. Suddenly, one could choose wrongly and suddenly choice became suspect.

We've inherited that world, that attitude, that obsession with one right way of doing things. It's part of what I term the 'monotheistic filter' and I'll be talking more about that in future posts. For now, suffice it to say that those of us who converted to contemporary polytheisms, like Heathenry, have to do more than just switch one God for many. We have to also scour our minds, rooting out those inborn obsessions with unilateral truisms that so threaten to poison the restoration of our ancestral ways before we even get off the ground. We are called upon not only to restore our traditions but to root ourselves in our minds, hearts, and spirits, in an indigenous mindset. It changes everything and I'll be talking more about that in the future too.

This blog is going to be a place where I shall discuss Heathen happenings, controversies, indulge in my occasional theological meandering, and expand upon issues relevant to those of us fighting the good fight in the long, hard process of restoring our ancestral – i.e. our indigenous—traditions, like Heathenry (because no matter where you're ancestors came from, you had indigenous traditions before the spread of monotheism destroyed them). For now, I'm going to close by talking about my project for July: Bringing Loki into the House.

While there are many reasons that certain groups of Heathens consider my work heretical, the biggest and the one that has garnered the most open and unending hostility (up to and including hate mail and threats) is my ongoing and very public devotion to the God Loki. I talk about Loki here: http://krasskova.weebly.com/1/post/2012/06/pagan-blog-project-l-is-for-loki.html and I encourage folks to check this link out. I won't spend too much time talking about Who He is in today's post since folks can go to that link and read up on Him. Suffice it to say that as much as some cadres of Heathenry hate and loathe Him, He is adored and loved by many, many others. Loki is one of our most complex and compelling Deities.

Lately, within Heathen circles, He's been a frequent topic of discussion. Hate is not a spiritual virtue. Xenophobia, discrimination, and bullying are not spiritual virtues either and I've seen all of that directed at those who love and honor Loki within the Heathen community. Frankly, I'm sick of it. It's really time that we grow up and realize that spiritual bullying is spiritual terrorism no matter who's doing it. So heated were recent attacks against Loki and His devotees that I grew angry and since I wanted to put that energy to good, positive use, I decided that He deserved an entire month of daily devotion. So I started this project: http://krasskova.weebly.com/1/post/2012/06/a-month-for-loki-an-offering-a-day-and-all-that.html.

Every day, for the month of July I'm going to be posting something for or about this beloved God. It may be an article, a prayer, a brief insight, a recipe, a ritual idea…something. I encourage folks to do this as well and if you don't have a blog or you don't feel you can do every single day, then feel free to email me material at krasskova@gmail.com and I will profile it on my blog (giving you full credit of course) or simply give Him one post this month on your own blogs. Let Him be hailed, honored, feted, and celebrated for the entire month of July. ..for all the times He is not.

I'm going to close this post with a prayer to Loki, for all those times that He is spat upon and slandered by those who should know better:

Loki, best Beloved,
slyest of wordsmiths,
scar lipped, flame-haired sky treader,
friend of the Raven God,
friend of Thor,
skilled in runes,
unquiet, ever unbound,
hear my humble words this day.

In every place where You are unacknowledged,
In every place where impiety turns hearts and minds against You,
In every place where you are consciously slighted and spoken of with hate:

May You be there.
May Your presence be invoked by that negative attention.

Wherever You are consciously not hailed,
May You be there.
May Your name be the silent heaviness on their tongues.
May the grace of Your presence flow into that negative space.

Wherever You or Your kin are spoken of with insults and malice,
May You turn Your attention upon the speakers
And bestow upon them the fullness of Your blessings,
Nine fold nine times and more.

Wherever there are those who slander and attack the ones who love You,
May they bask in the unending joy of Your attentions.
May You hold their luck and maegen in Your slender, skillful hands
And weave those things their words warrant into the fabric of their wyrd.
May their ill words be an invocation of Your presence.

But where You are hailed with love, with adoration, or with simple respect
Come with kindness, oh Burden of Sigyn's arms.
Come with gentleness,
Come with fervor,
And bestow upon us the joy of Your favor.

Hail Loki, ever-exalted.

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 Galina Krasskova is a Heathen priest, author, and Northern Tradition shaman. She holds a Masters degree in Religious Studies and is currently working toward a PhD in Classics. Galina is the author of several books including “Essays in Modern Heathenry” and “Skalded Apples: A Devotional Anthology to Idunna and Bragi.”
(Photo by Hudson Valley photographer Mary Ann Glass.)

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