Worshipping Loki

copyright 1995 by Alice Karlsdottir


Yes, I confess, I sacrifice to Loki. Informally, such as toasting him at a sumble, mentioning him along with others in a blessing, and generally giving him bribes, er, *gifts*, etc., quite frequently. However, at least once a year I do a full blot, just for him (on April Fools' Day, when else?), and sometimes at other times, when I need to. This is absolutely not attested to historically, but I tend to find it hard to believe that I'm the first person in history to have been motivated to do this, so I wouldn't say it was *never* done. Quite possibly in the past a few individuals might have honored Loki but were discreet about it, since others often don't want to participate in such blots and some even get downright angry at the idea of anyone doing it.

Two of Loki's main functions seem to be promoting and causing change, particularly drastic, uncomfortable change which is nevtheless usually ultimately beneficial; and deflating the stuffy and pretentious. If you are around people who are being stuffy and pretentious and overfull of their own importance, try quietly lifting a horn or glass to Loki and watch what happens. Loki is the voice of the kid who says to the emperor, "But he has nothing on!" Loki will not put up with pompous, power-hungry people; he believes that for every foot there is a banana peel.

When I do my annual, formal blot, I either do it to generally honor Loki and acknowledge the benefits of his presence in my life, or to specifically pledge to change something in my life that needs changing. Loki dislikes things that get into an unworkable, stagnant mess; he likes people who are willing to risk taking a few chances to change things that aren't working in their lives. If you remain in a bad, unprofitable, ill-functioning situation long enough, quite often Loki will decide to "help" you by bringing on the changes you are too afraid or lazy to make yourself; he likes to change things quickly and drastically. You might not really want things changed that way, so it behooves you to periodically examine yourself and your life and see if there's anything you should work on changing yourself, so Loki won't need to interfere.

I've occasionally done a Loki blot with a few others, but haven't done so in a while. Many people seem to regard worshipping Loki as some sort of joke or game, and, while it's certainly one of the more entertaining blots one can do, it's not in fun, it's serious, and the very people that think it would be fun to get drunk in the name of Loki are the ones that probably have some gods-awful thing in their lives that will blow up in their faces if they really do contact Loki.

Some of the people with whom I did Loki blots had drastic changes happen in their lives afterwards that they weren't prepared for, although they were all glad in the end that these things happened and agreed that these were changes they themselves had long wanted to make (they also said that, had they known, they wouldn't have done the Loki-blot, because they weren't quite ready for *that* much change so quickly). Now I think that I would only do a real, full-blown Loki-blot with a very few people at a time, and only those who I *knew* were fully aware of what Loki can do and were willing to accept the results.

When I do a blot to Loki, it usually is a mixture of dead-serious and outrageously funny; Loki himself seems to have this desire to be accepted both as a buffoon and as a powerful and formidable god, both at the same time; if you can somehow get a handle on this juxtaposition, you can understand Loki (well, a little). The key themes I focus on are destroying something you want to get rid of, replacing it with something you *do* want, and not taking yourself or anything else too seriously.

The Loki Blot

Purpose: Not, as some might think, the destruction of the Universe. The purpose is creative destruction -- to destroy something in your life that is unnecessary or even harmful, but which you can't quite bring yourself to let go of. Also, its replacement by something new, built on the ashes of the old.

Drink: Something good and strong, like straight scotch (he likes single-malt) or whiskey (others have suggested such things as aquavit and red-petter vodka). Also, really cheap beer or rot-gut wine (Loki likes disgusting, silly things, what can I say?)

Eats: Things you break to eat: nuts, eggs, bananas, coconuts, oranges, etc. Also, things you *shouldn't* eat, like chocolate, ice cream, pastries, bacon-cheeseburgers, etc. And also *silly* or childish foods -- I personally like twinkies, which are not only silly and totally non-nutritious, but can make for great bawdy jokes under the right circumstances.

Sacrifice: No, not little animals, or even virgins. This should be something you care something about, or something beautiful, which you are willing to destroy during the rite as a symbol of the thing you want to get rid of.

Gift: This is for you, a present to yourself representing the thing you want to put into your life. It can be anything, especially something you've been wanting or meaning to get for yourself. (It's especially neat if you can enclose the gift within the sacrifice, so that when you break or destroy the one, the other emerges; this is hard to come up with, though, I've only done it once or twice).

Mood: Quick, unpredictable, whimsical, energetic. Alternates between the solemn and the silly. Movement: as much as possible. Noise: as much as possible. Confusion: as much as possible (get it?). Later in the ritual, you might want to have some light-hearted music, or bawdy, funny songs, as well as jokes and stories.

The Blot proper

(or improper, as it were):

-- Hammer-signing, or some other opening to set up the ritual space. I would suggest you do the most complete, detailed, and thorough version of this that you typically do. You might also want to invoke some deities of protection, or at any rate someone fairly clear-headed, to act as sort of a chaperone over the rite (Loki's not malevolent, but he *is* a god of chaos and mischief, and he's liable to get carried away a little if not properly restrained. I personally prefer Thor, because for one thing he seems to be the only god who can reliable put a lid on Loki (like in the Lokasenna), and also because Thor isn't too stuffy himself so he won't put a damper on Loki's fun, or yours. Also, if you typically use fires or candles, I would suggest only *one* candle or a small and well-contained fire (just in case -- not good to tempt him, you know)

-- After the formal opening, I run and skip and dance and clown around the ritual space until I have lost all inhibitions and am dead to shame and feel extremely silly and am having fun. Sometimes I play Wagner on a kazoo. This should not be confused with dancing to raise power or anything (like those *other* guys, you-know-who, do); its purpose is to destroy any pretentions about yourself you may still be harboring and to get you in a cheerful and reckless mood, plus it's pretty fun when you do it right.

-- At this point I usually do a formal invocation to Loki, down half a shot of booze, and throw the other half into the blessing bowl for Loki.

-- Next I make some sort of statement about what I'm going to work to get rid of and what I want instead. Be sure to be clear here -- don't let Loki improvise on your wishes! Then I burn, tear up, smash with a hammer, etc., the object I brought that's symbolic of what I want to get rid of and change; sometimes it helps to stomp around and yell and work yourself up emotionally over this right before the smashing part, especially if it's something you really have trouble letting go of.

-- Take up your gift to yourself and bless it and state what you want to bring into your life and what steps you will take yourself to bring this about. Thank Loki for helping you (give him some more booze so he won't help you too much!). [Note: Loki really seems to like hard liquor, but if for some reason you have people who can't or won't drink, chocolate seems to be a very acceptable substitute]. At this point you might want to sit around while drinking cheap beer (right out of the can, and just throw those pop-tops on the floor!) and singing bawdy or silly songs and telling stories and generally having a good time in honor of old L.

-- When done, make a final toast to Loki, thanking him for helping you and bidding him goodbye nicely. Be sure to do this, or he'll hang around forever and you'll be real sorry when you can't find a pair of matching socks anywhere the next morning). Finish closing the blot however you usually do it.

Then, you can sit around some more, eating bad things (double-double cheeseburgers, Big Red soda, milk duds, cheese doodles, marshmallow Easter eggs, and any other fattening and inappropriate things for adults to eat) and watching stupid videos or singing stupid songs, etc., etc


Call to Loki

copyright 1979 by Alice Karlsdottir
Stirrer of strife, mischief-monger,
Father of falsehoods, teller of tales,
Maker of laughter and bringer of change.

Father and mother, god and giant,
Friend and foeman, order and chaos.

By your hand fall the empires of kings;
At your touch the green leaves wither.
The warm and drowsy peace of the mead-hall
Is shattered by the roar of your wrangling,
And men who were content to sit
Rend asunder their safe stillness.

Loki, sly one, bench-mate of Odin,
We call you here as our companion;
Tear us from our certain harvest,
And push us forward into spring.
Where content was, now stir longing;
Where peace was, create now strife.
Tear the seed from fruit and flower!
Kill the sun that it may rise!

Come to us and make us merry --
Lodhur -- Loptr -- Loki -- Come!


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