Adapting The Past To The Present

In any Pagan path,  the ideal goal is to renew practices of the past in the present time.  There is no real way to completely bring back traditions of primitive times  (humanity primarily exists in a technological age,  for instance),  short of going off the grid and living in the wilderness.

It is fine to honor Pagans of the past while living in the present.  Nature abounds,  and it can always be accessed;  energies exist everywhere.  Bear in mind,  however,  that primitive cultures often practiced what would be considered barbaric acts  (including human sacrifice);  deities understood back in the day,  that the human race was fairly young,  and were not educated enough to know better.  In other words,  your patron/patroness will perfectly understand if you don’t resort to primitive barbaric measures to achieve spells and rituals!

Sadly,  I’ve borne witness to conflict among modern Pagans of various paths who seem to have a  ‘purist’  attitude regarding their practices;  as aforementioned,  there is no way to fully revive the  ‘old ways’;  honor the positive aspects of the past,  but learn and grow in the present.

My patron deity is the Norse God Loki;  I am not a  ‘modern Viking’,  so much as a Pagan who is drawn to the Nordic Path  (though I also have Celtic roots).  Many Vikings were warriors and raiders  (the lower class were often forced into servitude)  but many more were craft-makers and tradespeople.  I have no desire to bring back bloodshed!  As an artist,  the creative aspect of this primitive culture seems to be my greatest calling.

Another positive aspect of Viking culture:  Diversity.  As travelers,  they encountered all classes of person,  which is compatible with my eclectic Paganism.

As with anything else,  focusing on the positive is the best approach.  If you strive for  ‘purity’  or  ‘perfection’  in Paganism,  you will never find it.  Connect as much as possible with the past,  but improve yourself in the present.

 

 

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Loki And Element Affinities

It is widely accepted that the Norse God Loki’s primary element is fire,  but no element is completely pure;  they can all encompass qualities of the others.  Bearing this in mind,  understanding one’s own element affinity can make it much easier to understand how best to associate with Loki’s archetype personally.

One simple way of discovering one’s strongest element connection,  is through a zodiacal sign.  In my case,  I am a Libra,  which has ties to the air element.  Air is associated with intellect,  eloquence,  gentleness,  and artistic ability  (not to boast,  but these happen to be my strongest qualities).  Air is also the friendliest,  most compatible element with fire,  which is not always the easiest element to handle,  but air can assist in taming it.  In its physical form,  fire needs to  ‘breathe’,  so it requires air,  hence the compatibility factor.

Air can aid in harnessing fire’s power,  making it easier to work with.  Does this mean that the other elements cannot work with fire?  Of course not.  Here are ways to do so,  depending on element affinity:

Earth is grounding,  and in its physical form,  a substantial amount of it can smother fire.  Though an opposing element,  it will merely cause one with its affinity to focus on whatever compatibility is there,  and to be more resourceful.  Dry physical earth is useful in igniting a fire,  for instance,  and the earthiness of wood or coal are also helpful.

Water is fire’s greatest opposing element,  but some compatibility can still be found.  Lightning is a fiery form from the heavens,  present during rain storms,  and therefore friendly to water under those circumstances.  As with earthy types being resourceful with fire,  water types can also find ways to work with it.

Loki’s archetypal energy is mercurial,  and he will gladly work with anyone seeking his aid,  regardless of whatever limitations one might have.

 

Lighten Up Over Pop Culture!

I have been an eclectic Pagan for much of my life,  and the Norse God Loki is my patron deity.  I study the Northern Path,  but also integrate my years of study regarding Celtic Tradition into my religion.  I am also a fan of pop culture,  including aspects of the Marvel Universe.

Does it mean that I worship movie and cartoon characters?  No.  My connection to Loki  (and other deities)  is real and serious,  and like any other individual in modern times,  I like to have fun.  Being devoted to one’s religion does not have to entail one hundred percent stuffy allegiance to higher powers.

As an eclectic Pagan,  I also refuse to look down my nose at people of other religions.  Dangerous fundamentalists can be found on any path;  I get annoyed with Christian evangelicals just as much as anyone else,  but I also know that there are many more Christian folk who are genuinely loving and accepting.  Good and bad exists in any religion,  and it’s not fair to judge an entire class of person based on what select individuals or dangerous groups do.

Personally,  I am appalled at the overly purist attitude of some in the Heathen  (Northern Path)  community.  Fortunately,  modern Heathenry is an accepting spiritual path,  but as with other things,  it can be perverted into something negative.  It is not fair to exclude others merely based on different views.

It often seems that Heathen purists cut down modern entertainment  (Marvel)  just because they want to prove how devoted they are to their chosen path.  If you don’t like Marvel,  that is fine,  but to harshly judge others who do is wrong.  Many modern people love cinema,  books,  television series,  anime,  animation on various subjects;  are these religion?  No,  they are for fun.  Loki is the Trickster deity with a childlike side,  and I am certain he would never be at issue with my inner child.

My patron deity has assumed many guises throughout my life,  and when I realized his spiritual role with me,  he has come to mean more.  I am also an eccentric artist,  and to quote Marvel pop culture Loki,  “I do what I want!”

Be yourself.  If you are not harming yourself or others,  lighten up!

 

 

 

 

Daily Ritual

Honoring one’s patron deity  (or any guardian spirit)  as a daily routine will ensure a steady connection.  Such spirits are around all the time,  but maintaining a close bond offers peace of mind,  as well as a more conscious awareness of that spiritual presence.

I light a candle every day for my patron deity,  the Norse God Loki.  He has been with me in various forms throughout my life,  and though I know he is a constant presence,  performing a daily ritual allows me to focus on him regularly.

Prayer and various rituals for certain occasions are always significant,  but a simple daily ritual will ensure blessings from a patron/guardian on a regular basis.  I light a candle each day as part of my daily routine,  just as I have a bath,  brush my teeth,  and prepare meals.  It becomes second nature,  and magic is routinely practiced.

In some of my contact with other Pagans,  they often wonder how to summon a patron deity.  It is actually simpler than one might imagine;  spiritual entities may exist beyond the physical plane,  but they can always be accessed.  Formal ritual and spell work are useful,  but not necessary.  Treat a patron as a close friend.  A simple ritual of acknowledgement will keep the connection strong,  and guarantee a greater channel of communication.

I light a candle daily,  but any simple daily activity of one’s choosing will be just as helpful.  There is never physical distance between a patron and his/her charge;  simply reach out,  and the bond will strengthen.

Major Life Changes

It has been a while since I have updated my blog;  much has happened over the past year.  I now have my own apartment,  which works with my fixed income,  and have become a political activist  (mainly through social media)  after the disastrous Presidential Election of 2016.

I will share more of my spiritual insights and experiences soon.  I am highly active on Twitter.

Many Blessings.

The Equine Fetch

My primary animal totem  (also known as a  “fetch”  in the Norse Tradition)  is the horse.  One way of knowing which animal is a primary totem  (other animal spirits can also occasionally reach out),  is to encounter it constantly,  whether in dreams,  imagery,  or unexpected real life interactions.

I often find horse shapes in many things,  especially clouds and leaf patterns in trees.  It’s also common for me to find shapes in food;  one remarkable example,  was finding a nearly perfect horse head shape in a cup of vanilla ice cream  (reminiscent of a chess piece).  Considering how valuable the horse is to me in artistic inspiration,  it is not surprising that I encounter my primary animal spirit on a nearly daily basis.

Though I identify as Lokean,  I retain some eclectic spiritual practices,  including my early Celtic Pagan path;  I consider the Celtic Equine Goddess,  “Epona”,  as a patroness who keeps me inspired artistically.   The Norse God Loki is also associated with horses  (as are other figures of the Nordic Pantheon),  so my patron is quite compatible with my Celtic roots.

I have often felt that,  without horses,  I would lose so much creative inspiration,  if not all of it.  I can understand how artists of all sorts have been inspired by equines over many centuries;  their graceful forms and many colors fascinate me greatly,  just as they have many artists before me.

It is said that one will exhibit characteristics  (mainly via mannerisms)  of their primary totems;  I admit to being hypersensitive,  and my reflexes are quick  (much like an equine),  and studying the instincts and behaviors of this animal has also given me a better understanding of my own nature.  Artistic ability provides my strongest connection to my primary totem,  but the connection runs deeper in other ways.

 

Further Studies

Though I have researched many aspects of paganism  (starting with Celtic tradition in the late 1990s)  over the years,  one can never truly garner enough knowledge.  I like to think of life as an ongoing learning process,  so I am currently reading more about Viking history and culture,  mainly due to getting better acquainted with the Nordic Pantheon in recent times.

I have not  (and never will)  abandon my eclectic spirituality,  regardless of my primary path;  there are remarkable parallels in many traditions,  and the more common ground I discover,  the greater my fascination grows.