Gnosis Diary: Life as a Heathen

My personal experiences, including religious and spiritual experiences, community interaction, general heathenry, and modern life on my heathen path, which is Asatru.

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Gods Who Mask As Other Gods

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Loki borrows Freya's falcon cloak in the story of the Theft of Idunna's Apples. Loki is a shape shifter. In the Eddaic stories, he appears in various forms, including a fly, a seal, etc. In Continental European folklore, he appears as a red fox. It's very likely that he could have turned into a bird without Freya's divine object. For what purpose did he borrow it? It would make sense in the story to borrow it to have a greater flight time, but that would only be the answer if his shape shifting power was limited, and there does not appear to be any evidence for that. So, I think the answer is that he borrowed it to mask as Freya. So that when he flew over Jotunheim, the giants below would not know it was him. 

Freya must have known that Loki intended to mask as her when she lent him the cloak. Freya also once helped Thor mask as her, in the story in which Thor puts on a wedding gown to retrieve his hammer. 

The following is my novel gnosis on this topic. Novel gnosis is gnosis gained while writing fiction. 

When I was writing Some Say Fire, Loki came to me as a muse. I realized later that part of the time, the being coming to me claiming to be Loki was really Odin. Also, Lodhur and Loki are simultaneously the same being and two distinct beings with different personalities, just like Odin and Wotan are. Loki delights in appearing in different forms, including the modern story character of the same name. Odin, too, is a shape shifter. He appears in several different forms in the lore, including an eagle, a snake, and a woman. My novel gnosis shows me that he can also appear as another god when he wishes to.

This makes discernment a bit more difficult when one is just starting out with these types of god-relationships. Eventually I learned to tell the difference between all the brothers, even when they were pretending to be each other. I also learned to tell the difference between Loki and non-god entities pretending to be him. I have no useful advice for learning to tell the difference except practice.

I suspect the markers I identified are unique to my specific 'radio channel' or 'godphone' as it has come to be called these days. The markers by which I discern may even be unique to 'my' Odin and 'my' Loki, a concept I read about in Beth Wodanis's blog post here: https://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-paths-blogs/my-odin-and-other-people-s-odins.html That post made sense of things for me that I had experienced and not understood, so for me at least it is true. So, if I were to attempt to describe what 'real' Loki sounds like versus what 'my subconscious inner child trying to convince me it is Loki' sounds like versus 'Odin pretending to be Loki' or 'a random spirit pretending to be Loki' it probably would not help you discern them for yourself. 

Image: Loki's Flight to Jotunheim by W.G. Collingwood

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Erin Lale is the author of Asatru For Beginners. An updated, longer version of her book, Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path, is coming in 2020 from Red Wheel / Weiser. Erin was sworn to Freya as Priestess in 1989, given to Sigyn, and is a Bride of Odin and his brothers (Honir, Lodhur, Loki.). She has been a freelance writer for about 30 years, was the editor and publisher of Berserkrgangr Magazine, is gythia of American Celebration Kindred, and admin/ owner of the Asatru Facebook Forum. In 2010 and 2013, she ran for public office. She is a dyer and fiber artist, was acquisitions editor at a small press for 5 years, created the Heathen Calendar 2017 and 2018, and founded the Heathen Visibility Project.

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