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.

 

Common Ground In Spirituality

Though I identify myself as a Lokean,  I strive to find common ground among various spiritual paths;  all positive paths have the same common goal:  To be in touch with the Divine.  In general,  this is the ideology of an eclectic Pagan.

As a Patron God,  Loki can keep one in touch with other Divine entities,  whether of the Norse Pantheon,  or other sources;  particularly,  any paths akin to the Nordic Tradition,  especially Celtic.  Conversely,  I studied Celtic Paganism extensively in my early days of being Pagan,  which is closely tied with Germanic Paganism.  The Celtic Equine Goddess,   Epona,  will always be my Divine Patroness and friend.

Parallels among many ancient traditions exist;  though mainstream religion has cast much negativity on the modern revival of Paganism,  it is not,  in of itself,  negative.  It is not fair to judge an entire class of person based on what individuals or isolated groups do;  I have seen good and bad examples set on both sides of the religious coin.

Yes,  there are bad apples in every barrel,  but I choose not to focus on who my  ‘enemies’  may or may not be.  As an eclectic solitary Pagan/Lokean,  I must keep my heart and mind open.  Loki teaches me to find balance between light and dark energy,  and even if it is a tricky balancing act in establishing common ground among many paths,  it remains important to do just that.

 

Animal Spirits

If one has a primary animal spirit  (totem),  related species are part of the same spiritual archetype.  For instance,  if the primary totem is a raven,  then other corvids  (members of the crow family)  are included as   ‘extended’  totems.

My primary animal spirit is a horse,  but anything pertaining to an equine  (including zebras,  mules and donkeys)  are extensions of that totem,  as are mythological equines  (such as unicorns and Pegasus).  Of course,  an individual can have multiple totems;  those which are not primary,  will make their presence felt when needed.

As with any other spiritual entity/archetype,  imagery is useful for communication.  Artwork  (whether one’s own,  or the creation of another source)  is excellent for this purpose,  as well as photographs.

Connecting with any animal totem  (primary or otherwise)  is simple;  if an animal is not actually encountered regularly in person,  recurring dreams and visions in meditation can also lead one to his/her animal spirit guides.

Lokeans Divided

The Norse God Loki remains controversial in modern paganism/heathenism,  partly due to misunderstandings regarding his actual place in the original Nordic pantheon,  and his part in modern pop culture.  Granted,  archaeological evidence regarding Loki is scant,  yet,  evidence of ancient followers is in existence  (with more being uncovered in recent times).  As a pop culture figure,  Loki has been known in the Marvel Comics universe since the early 1960s  (with an early use of him as a comic book character making an appearance in the late 1940s),  and with the release of live-action movies since 2011,  there has been an amazing surge in popularity.

Unfortunately,  Loki is maligned by modern Nordic pagans for two reasons:  1.  He is considered by some to be the Norse version of the Christian Devil,  who is destined to destroy everyone and everything.  2.  Modern pop culture seems to have created more Loki worshipers,  leading to the idea that he is not a  ‘true’  deity to be taken seriously.  With misunderstandings comes ignorance,  and a need to see more of the facts.  Loki is a complex God,  and though he is associated with dark  energy,   he can help one come to terms with the  ‘shadowy’  side of existence.  By embracing opposing energy,  we can better understand what makes us whole,  therefore,  establishing balance.  Many classic tales in ancient pantheons hold truths regarding the actual natures of deities and related figures,  but much of the details are symbolic.  Pop culture is merely a modern twist on classic myth and folklore;  in of itself,  there is no harm in association with it.

Serious fanaticism is found in many situations,  including pop culture;  fans can become detrimentally immersed in favorite characters,  to the point of unhealthy emotions  (and an inability to cope with life).  Mix this with a spiritual path,  and it can result in further trouble;  having said that,  there are also beautiful,  wonderful bonds that are forged with favorite characters,  and if an individual is responsible,  a sense of play can safely be integrated into spiritual practice.  As a shape-shifter,  Loki will gladly assume a role  (or more than one)  to bond with a devotee,  for he has a child-like quality he enjoys sharing.  In my personal experience,  Loki is a powerful protector,  but also loving and playful.

The modern Lokean community itself is divided;  no one can fully agree on what is the  ‘right’  way to worship Loki.  Truth be told,  there does not have to be a strict set of rules  (Loki himself does not use them),  but whatever path an individual chooses,  there should be a balance of responsibility with a sense of play.  Not everyone will agree on the same subject matter,  but to pass harsh judgment is unfair.  I am a solitary practitioner,  so I advocate individuality,  but there remains a need to respect the personal beliefs of others.  As a Lokean,  do take care,  but do not relinquish what feels right.  Not everyone will understand this spiritual path,  but for all the fun it can involve  (in the right measure),  it is indeed serious devotion.

 

 

 

 

Loving Loki

There are multiple aspects to any given deity,  and Loki is no exception.  It’s almost as if one will have his/her own  ‘version’  of Loki as a patron deity,  and any mortal companion to that aspect of his archetype is a representation of a consort  (whether romantic or not;  traditionally,  priestesses are tantamount to mortal consorts of the Gods).  This is not to say that a devotee of Loki is a literal replacement or incarnation of the Goddess Sigyn  (for instance),  just that the devotee is a mortal correspondent of her archetype for the aspect of Loki with whom the devotee has bonded.

I have heard accounts of how modern Lokean spouses feel a need to compete with one another for the title of  ‘best wife’  of the Trickster.  Relax:  There are many aspects/personifications of Loki,  and plenty of him to go around.  Every devotee has his/her own personal connection to his archetype,  so no one is truly in competition for his favor or affection  (and it seems foolish and pointless to compete in the first place).

Just as there are many aspects to Loki’s archetype,  there are also various ways to worship him.  No one has to marry him or become romantically involved;  bonding and love take many forms,  and the exact path of devotion chosen largely depends on whatever feels right for the individual.  Loki’s energy may seem erratic to some,  but if approached with sincere intention,  he will work with you,  not against you.  He is a deity who often makes his own rules,  so never feel a need to follow him in a particular way just because others are doing it.  Be yourself,  and Loki will appreciate your devotion.