On the michievious one.

How often have we all seen the celebration of Loki
among the posts of our friends on the pages of Facebook
and in the circles of a sumbel and a blot? Most of the
time folks have to be told that in this circle we do not
raise a horn to the mischievous one and still people try
to sneak one in. With the ever growing popularity of
Asatru as a way of life among disparate souls, it is
becoming more and more common to see folk who
adhere to the knowledge they believe offers them a step up
from which to peer down upon the rest. Typically this
involves some knowledge or better yet an understanding
of the mischievous one brought about by some book or
meditation they have gone thru. Although none of the
Nine Noble Virtues we try to live by can be exemplified
by adherents to this fringe element of a fringe element of
society, any discussion with them leaves the same taste
in a person’s mouth the assembled gods and goddesses
finally got tired of at Aegir’s feast. So let’s take a look
at this phenomenon of faith and bring it back into
perspective.

While it may be true there is no perceived element of
accountability in Asatru as characterized in Christianity,
that being burning in hell, there is shame. In living the
Nine Noble Virtues we embark upon a grand adventure
in the exploration of ourselves and our affect upon the
world around us. In making such a transition we have to
answer some very uncomfortable truths about ourselves.
Sometimes we are unable to do this. It can be painful
and all too often the benefits of such a change lay
somewhat outside the scope of our ability to realize
without some kind of push. It has been said that nobody
is going to change anything about themselves until it
causes them enough pain to want to do so. Folk who are
Christian have an easy way out and it’s become
ingrained in our culture. Somewhere in the back of our
minds there is a little voice saying “Don’t worry
someone else will take care of it.” This is where the
shortcut of following Loki comes in. Not having a clear
goal of what we are striving for and not indulging in a
fear of an eternity in hell, those very catalysts which
inspired us to seek a new direction in our lives and our
faith become shackles upon us in our search for a new
found freedom. The confusing position of Loki and even
his inclusion in the pantheon of northern gods dazzles
many into believing some of these behaviors we have
heretofore taken part in, ones that have led to our
ruination to one degree or another, may now be
acceptable. The presumptions of knowledge that people
claim to possess concerning Loki, which no intelligent
person would do, must therefore reside in the realm of
the ego. Righteous indignation, drug abuse, alcoholism,
laziness, arrogance, all of those markers one exhibits
when the ego is run full tilt out of control might now be
all right if only we understood a little more concerning
Loki and appeal to him. Immediate success and triumph
of small problems hint at the fact that perhaps there is
something to his blessing in a person’s life.
Notwithstanding the evidence present in the lore that
every little victory we may achieve is nothing more than
a sacrifice on the altar of our own long term spiritual
growth. Much like all the gifts the Aesir receive from
Loki’s actions, they fail when the end times approach. in truth, they are the shyld he owes to the entire tribe for his egregious crime against Sif.
The gods who use them still lose their lives despite the
precious trophies they have received and during the creation of these fine gifts, he still does his best to sabotage the effort. But once we begin
to see these little victories we lose sight of the fact that
maybe we really did need to do a little work on ourselves
mentally, spiritually and emotionally. This takes
courage far beyond what most people possess. Very few
people are willing to seek anything resembling
psychotherapy. The sicker the individual the more
reluctant they are to expose their problems to the light of
truth. The problem is unless you successfully do this
your correspondence with the divine may be stunted
until such time as we reach an age where wisdom and
life wear you down into a state of acceptance of a great
many things you can no longer control. My grandfather
was a very strong man, he could lift the rear end of a 48
ford off the ground, and he was a boxer in the Army
during WW2, at 55 he could jump onto the top of a 55
gallon drum with ease. He was forceful and driven and
amassed a good deal of money working in natural gas.
His home life was less than pleasant. There was no
hesitancy to deal out punishment with a belt or a fist. It
wasn’t until he was in his 80’s after grandma had passed
that I recognized in him a softening around the edges. I
asked him once in one of our many cherished long
conversations “Doesn’t that just make you mad?” To
which he replied “I am too old to do anything about and
it really isn’t that important anymore.” Life had finally
worn down the man to a point where he could enjoy a
little peace. Fortunately science can help us speed that
process up in counseling in order for us to enjoy a full
life before we hit 90. Our faith in Asatru and our own
personal advances in self discovery are inexorably
linked. If we are to become a viable faith and way of life,
we must address the issue of Loki, as well as our own
shortcomings in order to be an example for others
seeking a way of life that works.
In a peculiar twist of fate coinciding with the explosion
of Asatru we have been gifted with the Internet at a most
crucial time. While we are yet a still spiritually
immature ideology. We are faced with a constant barrage
of keyboard berserkers claiming favor with Loki and all
the myriad of reasons they believe themselves right in
doing so. But if we are to submit ourselves to the belief
that the entire pantheon of the Aesir represents aspects of
ourselves as well as the worlds and universe around us
and beyond us, the afterlife, we must also grab a hold of
tenets that encourage us to continue on in a quest to be
god like and assist the Aesir and our fellow heathens in
pursuing spiritual ascendancy because it is the right thing
to do. Loki is interfering with our ability to do that.
What we’ve got to remember is he represents a unique
position in all this. There is a case to be made that Loki
exemplifies the human mind, clever, foolish, immature
and ready to fight back even though he is way out of his
league. While we may know this and be able to learn
from his mistakes, Loki will not, he hides these
shortcomings and denies them, this is cowardice, it is not a
state of being we should strive for much less emulate and
boast of. It does not provide spiritual growth and speaks
volumes about personal mental health.
It seems he is one step in front of mankind in our quest
to become Asa-like. But he is not there yet. His
independent actions cause no end of chaos, yet when he
is partnered with the divine his actions become laudable.
A constant reminder, we are told and he demonstrates
again and again it is his association with the divine that
makes him who he is, his own actions are a series of bad
choices. It is no accident that it is Heimdallr or Rig who
slays him at the end of all things. Rig visited three
couples, and while some folk believe it happened in
short order, there can be an argument made that his three
visits took millennia to accomplish. The couples’ names
translating as Great Grandparents, Grandparents and
finally parents. These visits are said to have moved
human kind further along the road to a higher plane
spiritually and show us that the gods are indeed on our
side and want us to succeed. Loki’s actions make a joke
of this entire effort. A consistent and direct effort by the
divine to inspire, motivate and encourage men to be
more Asa-like from, Odin, Vili and Ve, Rig, and Gefjon
is lost upon us at times, Loki is the example of the
spoiled child demanding more of the divine. Lessons we
are meant to know and learn from. Having had dose after
dose of it in human history he craves yet even more in
order that he may join them at the feast. But he is not
willing to make the personal sacrifices to earn his way
into Asgard. Notice his actions when he is alongside
Thor:
During the feast, Loki whispered to the farmer’s son that
he should taste the marrow which, he said, had magic
properties, and the boy cracked a bone to do so.
This interaction is indicative of the nature of Loki and
his dealings with mankind. Thor of course is horribly
wroth when he discovers one of his goats is lame the
next day and the terrified parents offer not one, but both
of their children as recompense to the angered god. On a
journey alongside Thor in which he performs admirably
in all other respects. His one interaction with a human he
encourages him to defy Thor and break the leg of the
goat for the marrow, encouraging this young man to seek
a shortcut. This begins his enslavement, robbing the
young man and his sister as well from the continued
upbringing of their rightful parents, and shortly
thereafter a competition for his very life. Notice the
boy’s actions affect everyone in his family, not just him.
His desire for a shortcut hurts them all. While some may
say “Look these two have the chance to serve Thor and
enter the great halls of Asgard.” It matters not how big
the house may be; a servant is still a servant. All future
development and whatever the two may have become, is
lost in the blink of an eye and a whispered word from
Loki. Yet still folk believe he is on their side and worthy
of worship.
The Prose Edda gives us a very clear picture of how to
look at Loki:
XXXIII. “Also numbered among the Aesir is he whom
some call he mischief –monger of the Aesir, and the first
father of falsehoods, and the first father of falsehoods,
145
and blemish of all gods and men: he is named Loki or
Lopt, son of Farbauti the giant; his mother was Laufey
or Nal; his brothers are Byleistr and Helblindi. Loki is
beautiful and comely to look upon, evil in SPIRIT, very
fickle in habit. He surpassed other men in that wisdom
which is called ‘sleight.’ And had artifices for all
occasions; he would ever bring the Aesir into great
hardships, and then get them out with crafty counsel. His
wife was Sigyn, their son Nari or Narfi.
In this passage from the Prose Edda we are given
an inventory of character defects most folk would cringe
in shame if any one of them were attributed to them.
Being fickle in habit he lacks discipline, he is above
others in sleight, and evil in spirit. This in and of itself
wouldn’t be a problem as once you know a person you
can choose to associate with them, but it is contagious.
It spreads to every effort or mention of him we can find.
I have yet to see a thread of Facebook, a scholarly
review or in the lore where the presence of even his
name is not trouble. Stefanie von Schnurbien (2000) in
the review of her discourse involving Loki stated that
“Loki, the outsider in the Northern Germanic pantheon,
confounds not only his fellow deities and chronicler
Snorri Sturlson but has occasioned as much quarrel
among his interpreters. Hardly a monography, article
or encyclopedic entry does not begin with the reference
to Loki as a staggeringly complex, confusing, and
ambivalent figure who has been the catalyst of countless
unresolved scholarly controversies and has elicited more
problems than solutions.” There are other scholarly
opinions that mirror this sentiment. From the standpoint
of the scholar or the layperson of faith it is a problem
when some high minded individual who appears to be
doing well comes along and says “I give credit to Loki
for my success, I really understand him.” More than
likely any experienced person in Asatru or the scholarly
community will take an appraisal of such a person and
think to themselves of a child whistling in the dark to
keep the demons away. Be that as it may, despite all the
evidence to the contrary he is still followed loyally.
We have all seen people who we would deem as
intelligent switch foot in an argument between faith and
science to justify a position everyone around knows is
ridiculous at face value. Their primary concern in such a
situation is to win and bolster a false ego, once again
having done none of the work to earn legitimate wisdom
for themselves.
I think this is the proving ground for faith in
Loki, the realm of the ego. There are few things more
dangerous in this world than the ego and a half truth.
Loki specializes in both. These two ideas, the ego and
the half truth, are just the opposite of the teachings of
nearly every deity that is entrenched in the struggle of
furthering mankind along the spiritual axis. Jesus Christ
said “Deny yourself”, the Chinese character for Buddha
translates literally to read “no man” and the actions of
Baldur in accepting his trials in Hel in order to usher in
the next golden age, are all in an effort to help men
realize that this idea they possess, that they are “all that”
is not what is going to help them ascend on any level.
By some reckonings the story of a deity serving men,
dying and being reborn has been told sixteen times in the
history we possess.
We see Loki’s antics repeated with familiar
outcomes. When he is working closely with the divine
he succeeds, but when he is on his own his decisions and
actions are usually detrimental to the future of everyone
around him including himself. Just like humanity. He is
an example of us and worshipping him is akin to praying
to your wife. She may be happy, but eventually she will
tire of the codependent nature of the relationship. There
is also the phenomena of a marriage that more closely
resembles thralldom, whereby both partners are equally
engaged in a vicious cycle consisting of evil, using the
strength inherent in the union, to the detriment of the
spiritual growth of one of the partners, to further enable
their sick nature. Followers of Loki will be hard pressed
to admit such a status in their own lives, but when we
look it will be there.
With regards to followers switching foot so to
speak between scholarly and articles of faith to win an
argument, this is a ridiculous attempt. The realm of the
supernatural has been ruled by men of faith for millennia
whilst science cannot begin to fathom it. It is a truce that
has existed for a very long. Folk who have attempted to
use the research of scholars to understand the working of
an ancient faith may get a glimpse into the daily life of
our ancestors but will miss or conveniently leave out
aspects of faith to suit their purposes. Likewise those
individuals who wish to see only the faith and walk
about blindly looking for a vision or dream, will miss the
accounts of the true struggle it was even to exist in that
day and age. That struggle encouraged and enriched
their faith in a dangerous world. This strange paradox
between science of history and faith is narrowing but for
the time being it is allowing for loopholes, such as the
fiercely independent idea that individuals can do this on
their own and the outright silly notion that there was not
a guiding principle in the worship of the gods in those
ancient times. I assure you the priest class at Uppsala
had a lot to say about it as well the Volva who may visit
your village. In this vacuum of arrogance we find a rich
feeding ground for individuals full of themselves to
worship Loki. It is time to mitigate the ability of people
to use these dual arguments positioned to empower them
and feed their ego and return matters of faith to those
more capable of understanding such things and willing to
establish firm ground upon which the faith of Asatru can be.

to purchase my books in the UK http://amzn.to/2t0B8va

to purchase these books in Germany https://www.amazon.de/Bryan-Wilton/e/B00J37HRR0/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1500077272&sr=8-1

 

Advertisements

One thought on “On the michievious one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s