Regarding Loki, Part 6: Why I Care About This At All

While commentary and conversation about my blog has been overwhelmingly positive, I have heard a rumbling of discontent here and there, and it’s usually how “pro-Loki” I am.  Let’s clear something up here about my reasons and methodology.  There is going to be very some very strong language here, so be fore-warned.

Also, this.

Also, this.

I am not, in any way, proselytizing on Loki’s behalf.  What happens at your altar is your business alone, so long as it doesn’t involve little kids in an inappropriate way.  As far I can tell, via my own UPG, I don’t think He cares

how anyone feels about Him.  If you want to feel Loki is evil and refrain from worshiping Him?  I don’t care; His influence didn’t depend on your opinion anyhow, so feel free to feel however you want to.  Pray to him, worship him, ignore him, malign him, threaten him?   When I think on that, I get a sort of sensation that amounts to “same shit, different day.”.

I am not here to “fix” the “perceptions” about him; I’m here to point fingers to a completely different kind of sickness.  The kind that injures our faith as a whole, regardless of individual stances of this God or any other.

I have been made to understand that the argument over Loki has caused many leader’s to leave the Troth, which baffled me.  Than there is the AFA, who doesn’t really see the need to bother censuring or calling to heel members of it’s organization spewing racist propaganda that is completely at odds with their own rules.  They do have, however, a rule against Loki.

40232332That we take time to worry about Loki, collectively, on this scale is mind boggling.  The conversation has become a cancer on our faith that grows by the moment.  We can break professional ties, snap frith in half, and ignore terroristic threats made from within our ranks (sometime across our ranks)…because of how we worship and whom we worship.

Madness.  Doubtful of the point I’m making?  Let’s look at a cross-faith example of the same sort of thing at work.

Pope Sideous was a pretty evil bastard, hunh?  You know a Pope has gone off of the strait and narrow when the fact that they were a Hitler Youth* seems almost quaint.  The man stands accused of sheltering and protecting priestly pedophiles, shipping them from church to church before the legal ramifications of their actions could catch up with them.  Now this is a serious allegation, that demands serious attention.  This is a moral and religious leader, and how the Catholic Church handled such an allegation is important.

So when they did nothing about and continued to argue about petty matters of religious praxis which were, in the grand scale of things, fairly inconsequential?  Well, that’s a problem.

Remember how enraged and incredulous lookers on were when the Catholic Church just seem to drum it’s fingers on the counter, and try to proceed with business as usually like nothing freaking happened?  I  was enraged.  All of us who not yet resigned to the moral failings of Catholicism were.

Yet, here we stand…discussing Loki like it’s the most relevant thing in the fucking work.  Have we lost out minds?

We have organizations that aspire to acts of racially targeted terrorism in our ranks, and even a few who already are committed to engaging in such actions.  We are not a legally recognized religion in a majority of the countries of the world, and many locations have not even the legal precedent to allow Heathen to own churches or perform religious ceremonies.  We are mocked by scholars, and a great majority of the public believes us to be little more than a violent prison religion.

I just tried to look up the number of public, Heathen churches in the world.  Google didn’t even understand the question.  That’s right, Google.  You know, the search engine where “If I eat myself” and “Why does my vagina smell?” are auto-completed searches?  I ask a question about public Hofs, and it gives me a blank stare.

If I am hard on the AFA, the Troth, or any other organization?  It’s because I expect better.  I don’t expect McNallen, Aswynn, Stinson, Abel, Lusch-Schreiwer or anyone else to make their organizations and/or writing match my exact desires; this would make me no better than the people I am trying to call to task.  I do expect us, collectively and individually, the most intelligent and the most dense, to look between issues like “racial hate groups that aspire to terrorism and ear mark the lot of us as prison-bound bigots” and “some people worship Loki” and be able to pick out which one has more reaching consequences.

i1232986517_1Our religion has ancient and venerable roots, but the form it takes today is young and vulnerable.  Our battles should be picked and chosen to be only the most vital, and long reaching ones.  The Loki issue….is none of these things.  One way or the other.  These simply is not an issue that demands the level of discussion that we give it.  This should be a matter of choice at a personal/kindred level, at most.

If you or your organization commits to having an official, group-wide policy to Loki worship and doesn’t have the time, clarity, or awareness to put forth energy to address the wanna-be terrorist organizations that try to subvert our entire faith for their own vitriol and scornful egotism?  If that’s what you want to think is important?  Well, I have news for you.

Your own ignorance is causing more discord, disharmony, and world-breaking than an entire pantheon of trickster gods ever could.  This, and only this, is what I care about in this discussion.  If I was against Loki’s veneration, I would feel the same way.

* Yeah, I know; many Germans signed up with Nazi organizations in spite of having no actually sympathy to the Nazi party.  Considering the extreme gravity of the accusations against him….I can’t really give the former Pope the benefit of that doubt.


5 thoughts on “Regarding Loki, Part 6: Why I Care About This At All

  1. Myriad says:

    That we take time to worry about Loki, collectively, on this scale is mind boggling.

    Absolutely. I came into contact with the parts of Heathenry where many people think of Loki as “the Problem” (one way or the other, accusing or defending) before I ever talked to or met another Heathen or Norse polytheist in my own vicinity. And, the funny part is: for the most part, the “Problem” exists only in the US and to a degree in the UK. Scandinavia? It’s a non-issue there. And heck yeah, Germany.

    Heathenry in Germany has a metric ton of problems, as you can imagine. Getting pigeon-holed with the nazis is one that pisses me off, mainly because the reason for that is that people don’t educate themselves out of some misguided sense of taboo. The information is available, but no one cares to look. Including those who make “curiosity” their profession, i.e., scientists and academics. I kid you not.

    Then, there is actual nazis exacerbating the problem by misusing our symbols, rites, and the names of our Gods to further their disgusting little agendas. And being vocal about it. If you believe you guys have a problem with racism and a reputation of being a “violence friendly prison religion”? You haven’t been to Germany.

    While on the plus side, it is true that there is generally more awareness of these aspects here than it appears to be over at yours, there is a veritable network of conspiracies and counter-conspiracies surrounding and including almost ALL heathen organisations here. There is nearly no single organisation that has not ever been linked with nazi slash racism issues—not because Heathenry in Germany is worse than anywhere else, but because everybody is extremely wary, bordering on paranoid about it. The links can be as strong or weak as you will; some of them are really obscure and the average person would not even understand why anyone would make the connection there. As far as I can see, the vast majority of the organisations openly and officially reject racism and nazi ideology, whether or not this attitude conforms to the reality of them.

    Turn the stone and see the rot beneath… and by that I mean the apparent need for a “common enemy” kind of deal. What is Loki with regard to a lot of organisations in the US, in Germany seems to be “Christianity”. Some of the things I witnessed could probably be called hate-mongering. They were definitely gross and distasteful to the extreme.

    So, you see that Heathenry has problems with reactionism in Germany, be it about racism and the specific nazi connections, or about us-versus-them mentalities regarding the monotheisms.

    But you know what? LOKI? Is not one of them. I mentioned Him cautiously in a relatively aggressively anti-Christian group elsewhere. No reaction. I gave a lot of information on His myth. No reaction. I basically said He’s my patron Deity. No reaction, except “ah, yeah that explains why you know so much about Him”.

    No one generally uses the term “Lokean”/”Lokian”, unless they are active in an American community. No one, at all, has the kind of violent reaction towards the notion of Lokeans that is present in the US groups, if they even know what “Lokean” actually means. And the best thing is: you know that there’s something utterly unique about the position, politically, if you will, of “Lokeans” in Germany, right? Because most of His followers tend to be openly liberal, leaning on left-ish politically, equal opportunity affine, marriage-equality-supporting, et cetera, and DEFINITELY NOT RACIST? Heathen organisations know full well that people like that are beneficial to their reputations.

    So in the end, me? I get to pick and choose. It would be hilarious if the sad thing weren’t that there aren’t very many passable options.

    P.S.: I disagree about Loki not caring. It’s true, He’s inviolate, and nothing we as humans can do means any harm to Him; the significance of worship may also be limited at best. But that’s not the same as “He doesn’t care”. Someone said once, I don’t remember who and where, that Loki is extremely loyal—just very picky about those He’s loyal to. I think He cares a great deal. Just not about human opinions.

    • Just as acceptance of Loki in German Heathenry seems to be based (in part) upon the issues unique to Germany’s history, I would offer that the typical American Heathen’s need to rebuke Him is based on our own background.

      As Americans, we are used to having a hierarchy of opponents to consider in all things. Our culture has moved from war to war for hundreds of years, and in every situation it seems we pushed things into stark contrasts of white and black. A majority of us have been raised under Christian mythology and ideal, so we get a lot of reinforcement in regards to such ideals. We are a people raised to have an enemy; even in peace, we look for the person we must next concern ourselves with.

      In politics, we look for the nation. In religion, we look for the divine enemy. It’s really sort of sad.

      Previously, I thought this issue only stemmed from the majority’s religious background…now this and other conversations I have gotten to take part in are making me wonder if this has a more broader cultural source. In North America, at least.

      As for my UPG, I simplified the message due to Loki’s “acceptance” not really being the point of that article. To be clear, I can’t say that I know the entirety of His feelings on this (or any) issue; my “Godphone” gets a lot of static, if that makes sense. In either case, as far as I can tell, I get…amusement? Objectively, there is a quiet hilarity in the amount of disharmony wrought in “protecting” Heathenry from chaotic.

  2. Doug Freyburger says:

    At one level we discuss Loki a lot because the topic is interesting. There are far more levels.

    If Asatru is about loyalty to one side in a war between Odin and Surt, uninvolved Sunna is not interesting for lack of participation. Loki with his ambiguously allegiance participates heavily is more interesting than Thor’s clear cut allegiance.

    If modern Asatru will eventually settle on values and tables of lore and such then those of us who participate in the parts of the discussion where there is disagreement will eventually matter because the outcome of the tables centuries hence. What anti-Christian would not like to have had the chance to oppose Saul/Paul who so greatly changed the face of Christianity across the millennia? So we have anti-Lokeans who use intolerance to push their agenda and who use a desire for frith from the rest of us as their leverage to push their approach.

    If modern Asatru is about actions then those of us who are in kindreds with rules against bigotry have already taken our sides. We figure racism is doomed so while we oppose it we figure we won the war long ago and it’s now only a matter of letting the dust settle. To the extent that racists keep appearing we’re wrong in taking this stance. To the extent that racists keep getting ejected from every organization they try to join we’re right in taking this stance. The leads us to any group that turns a blind eye to the topic. Over time better quality folks have steadily joined those organizations and have moved their policies slowly but certainly.

  3. Stephanie says:

    I live in a very small southern (US) town; there are five openly pagan families (only one other heathen actually) that get together on occasion to talk and share feast days. I and my non heathen (Celtic recon) husband were kicked out because of my worship of Loki. I’ve just recently been able to find an online group that is amenable to him and it’s the most amazing thing, to be able to talk to others without worrying about their reactions when the topic comes up. Thank you for writing this series, it makes me feel less like some evil outcast

    • Sorry to hear about your troubles, and wish I could extend you some frith; as I’m up in the Northeast, and that doesn’t sound like something viable.

      I’m glad I was able to help you feel perhaps a little bit better, and a little less uncanny. Some of my other articles were written to help explain some of the more foolish arguments made in regards to his worship, but getting people to listen at all can be difficult. :-/

      Regardless, thanks for your kind words. I hope you find a more appreciative crowd in the near future.

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