Wow, I can’t believe I actually completed this. I would’ve gotten this out yesterday but I’ve been so swamped at work as of late that once I got off, all I had the brainpower to do was scroll through Reddit. So here’s the final prompt of 31 Days of Heathenry.
What’s the one thing you wanted to be asked that didn’t get covered? Answer it today.
I’m not sure what I’d choose, but probably something along the line of “how does your standard ritual look?” I always think it’s interesting how different hearth cult can be for different people and yet still be heathenry. I do things differently than the heathen down the street and they’re still both valid forms of worship.
(And to be honest, if I did this again, I’d probably mix up the prompts. It seemed pretty response heavy in the first 15 days and got progressively easier the closer you got to the end.)
It was a fun little challenge and I stuck with it, even if some of the prompts were late or I couldn’t scrounge up the right words to get my point across. It’s easy to do hearth cult but when you actually sit down and try to explain the hows and the whys it can be a bit daunting. I hope my dear readers who have followed me through this journey have learned something from me and hopefully inspired them to think about how they do heathenry.
But now, a quick bit of housekeeping.
I enjoy writing (hello, English major) so I definitely want to keep blogging. Not every single day, mind you, but perhaps every other week. I plan on doing more heathenry related topics (ancestor worship, being lokean, book reviews, et cetera) as well as some non-religious blog posts including the Hulk one I pulled from the blog before I scrubbed it clean. It needs a bit polishing but it should (hopefully, fingers crossed) be out soon.
I went to the local farmers market and it felt good. Granted, I wish more people were wearing masks but it was really nice to get out and listen to a live jazz band who were going to town. Also, there were crepes. So all in all, a good time.
What do you feel the future holds for you in regard to your path?
I’ve been a heathen for five years now and I just want to continue on with heathenry.
I want to get deeper into my practice, spread it out into more aspect of my life. I’m absolute shit at keeping a schedule but I can make it a point to get into the habit of offering more regularly.
My mother prays that I’ll one day come back to the faith, that I’ll come back with my tail tucked between my legs and begging God for forgiveness. But the longer I’m away from Catholicism, the more I don’t miss it. I like making up my own rituals, and now my brain has associated it that I’ll sometimes get Catholic prayers stuck in my head as I give offerings to my pagan gods.
That isn’t to say that I’ll only be rubbing elbows with Loki and Sigyn and all the other Norse gods. The Norse gods have an odd tendency to introduce you to others, so who knows what gods I might meet in the future? The gods, I’ve found, are like the dwarves in The Hobbit. Let one in and suddenly you’ve got ten raiding your kitchen.
I had some adulting to do yesterday, so I wasn’t able to get a post out. But there’s no better time than before work when my office is literally two steps away from my bedroom. So without further ado, here’s yesterday’s prompt, answered today.
Do you feel that others have misconceptions when it comes to your faith?
As a lokean, there’s this pervasive misconception that only young teenage girls flock to him. While there is a large. Lokeans come from every walk of life, and are any gender or sexuality you can think of. We’re not all fluffy woo-ey neopagans, but they do exist and have a right to be heard. No lokean is better than another if they found Loki through Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology or American Gods instead of Tom Hiddleston’s smashing performance in Thor. We’re all navigating life with a trickster at our side.
And as for being heathen, there’s an unfortunate stereotype that any heathen you meet is of the folkish, white supremacist type. They are a very loud, very vicious minority but that’s what they are: a minority. There may be a lot of modern heathenry that’s dripping with white supremacist dogwhistles, but that seems to be lessening somewhat. Say what you want about the Troth, but they do seem to be doing some good. Also, surrounding yourself with not-shitty heathens really helps. We still need to combat the white supremacists weaseling their way into heathenry, and decrying those who have already made a home here.
Today’s actual prompt will be posted later tonight, as usual.
Another Monday, another prompt. It’s crazy that I only have three more prompts after this. But let’s get on with it, shall we?
What would your current self like to tell the younger you about Heathenry?
Simple: other heathens don’t hate you.
When I first discovered heathenry, I trawled deep into the lokean tag on tumblr, far enough to discover abandoned blogs vehemently reviling Loki and those that followed him. We were the scum of the earth, frith-breakers, even niðings for worshiping Loki But I didn’t know at the time those posts were actually from years ago. I got the distinct impression that no heathen online would accept me for the simple fact that I worshiped Loki.
That isn’t to say there aren’t places online that revile Loki and his followers. When Asatru Lore was still online, threats of boggings followed. In 2018, Karl Siegfried posted the worst op-ed on the Wild Hunt (called “Loki in the White House”) comparing Loki to Donald Trump and oh-so-subtly suggesting that he may have had a hand in getting 45 into office. Even on relatively inclusive Facebook groups and discord servers, nokeans still exist ranging from “I don’t think Loki was a real god, why do you worship him?” to “worshiping Loki is akin to turning your back on the gods while giving them the double bird”.
It wasn’t until I started getting involved in heathen discords that I realized that not every heathen was going to reject me on the spot. Sure, I still get some side-eyes and questions of “why do you worship Loki?” I’ve learned there’s a fine line between someone asking a genuine question, and someone looking for a fight. I hope that in the time I’ve been online and talking with other heathens, I’ve broadened their horizons on why someone might worship Loki or Fenrir or Surtr. But not once have I felt lesser for worshiping Loki and despite an initial awkwardness, I’m now sharing my UPG and wild adventures with Loki every chance I can.
So my advice to whoever is reading this, especially newer lokeans, is that there are spaces who accept you for who you are. There are spaces for us in the heathen sphere and the only thing to do now is take up those spaces. There may be a few that scoff at you, but there are so many more that want to hear our experiences and our stories.
I started off pretty early in my path learning tarot. My first deck was the Steampunk Tarot. Decks have different personalities, I’ve found, and my Steampunk deck only likes me. As in, if I do a reading for someone else using that deck, it doesn’t make much sense. It’s also one of those decks that isn’t afraid of being an asshole (I’ve had to put it in gay baby tarot jail more than once). I have a few other decks and they are each so very different. The Impressionists deck likes for reading for others, Wild Unknown likes to throw me for a loop, and Prisma Visions is just . . . amazing.
I also do rune casting. We don’t really have much information on how it was done back in the Viking age and the modern books are . . . not very trustworthy. I recommend creating your own personal associations as you go along. I have two sets: a lapis lazuli set and a bone set. As for the ways I use runes, I have two methods. The first is a simple pull method in which I pick one or two from the pile. That one is a quick way to get. For some reason, I tend to pull dagaz a lot, and I always feel good when I get that rune. The other way I use runes is casting with the full set. I toss them on the ground and interpret where they fall and which ones are. From what I’ve found, runes are better for more pertinent questions. They can also be quite blunt. I once had someone ask the runes “how do I stop being so standoffish?” and all I got from the reading was stop being a frigid bitch.
I hope you’re enjoying whatever you’re doing this weekend, dear reader. Here in Wisconsin, it’s hot as Surtr’s armpit and I’m just waiting for Thor to start another project. While I’m waiting, let’s take a look at today’s prompt, which is:
Make something with your own hands today. Report back.
This prompt coincided with the exercise for the chapter I read this week in Trickster and Transformer. The chapter was about Inn Slaegi Ass, or the ‘Sly God’ aspect of Loki. It also touched on the various evidence of statues of what could possibly be Loki. I thought the note about how Loki may have been associated with secrets of the blacksmith trade was an interesting one.
I chose to base my idol off the Snaptun stone, which was found in Denmark in the 1950’s. It was used as a hearthstone that would protect the bellows from the heat of the fire. This could lend credence to the theory that Loki may have been connected to fire. But as anyone who has studied history, it’s important to keep in mind that we may never know what an item truly means.
Well, this is no hearthstone but rather sculpting clay baked in a modern oven. Making it was oddly . . . fun. It brought me back to a simpler time where I could just create for creation’s sake. The Snaptun is well-known for its long mustache and seemingly stitched lips. I don’t see Loki with a Salvador Dali-esque so I left out that for some wild hair. I gave him more of a smile and I hope that he doesn’t seem too nice. He is a trickster who gambled his head for Sif’s golden hair, after all.
This hot summer evening, I’m chilling with an amaretto sour and Azriel purring up a storm beside me. The world is going to hell, but there’s no harm in taking time to slow down and decompress.
SHARE A PICTURE OF SOMETHING MEANINGFUL TO YOU.
This was my altar when I celebrated five years of being a lokean. I don’t have a set date for it, I just get a . . . feeling around late March and I know it’s time to celebrate. I like to hearken back to that first offering of Pop-Tarts and grape juice. This year, he got cinnamon Pop-Tarts (ha!), chocolate chip cookies, and Fiegling (a German fig vodka).
The thing is, five years doesn’t feel like a long time. But at the same time, it feels like a good chunk of my life. When I met Loki, I was an unsure college freshman questioning where I fit into the world. Now I’m living in my own apartment and not only can I adult for the most part, I also have a cat. During the time he’s been in my life, I’ve learned the art of rapier, wrote 75% of my novel, and studied for a month in Oxford. I’ve also come out as agender, not only to myself but on social media.
That isn’t to say that everything has been great. There have been times that I doubted myself, and doubted that these experiences weren’t just a figment of my imagination. There have been more than a few times in which Loki felt far away. Those are what called “fallow times” and can be pretty disheartening to newer heathens. I think it’s something I’m definitely going to make a blog post about.
I’m hoping that the next five years will be just as interesting. And if things don’t pan out and we part ways, I’ll fondly remember all the times I spent with Loki and Sigyn and all the other gods I’ve met along this journey.
What are some blogs/sites/Tumblrs you’d recommend?
Nowadays, there’s a lot of information on the internet about heathenry. In theory, you could learn all about the gods and how to worship them without ever opening a book. Some of it is good some of it is . . . not. I hope this short list will help whoever may be reading this find somewhere where they belong in heathenry.
lokeanwelcomingcommittee: Say what you want about tumblr, but this blog is really good for a lokean just starting out on their journey. Or if you’ve been doing this for years and want to find something new you haven’t seen yet. So go ahead, take a bite of the lokean cookie and stay a while.
The Longship: This is another beginner’s site, but geared more towards reconstructionism. Still, there’s a lot of really good information that tries to break down the denser concepts of heathenry that can make one’s head spin when you first read them.
Skíðblaðnir: I know, I know, I’ve talked about them a lot but I really can’t thank them enough. It’s so good to have a place to talk to a fellow heathen in real time and bounce ideas off one another. That’s how religion works. You’re supposed to talk about it, not just hide away and only speak about it behind closed doors.
And now we’re all caught up! Technically, I’m swapping out tomorrow’s prompt with today’s but this is my prompt challenge so nyeh.
List three songs that are meaningful to you & your practice.
Voluspa – Wardruna: I’m not going to lie, this song is so good and partly because of the scene it was in. Season 4 of Vikings was the “oh fuck, Norse mythology is a thing!” season and they went hard into the motifs. The linked video is a huge spoiler but I decided to link it for a reason. The way Floki moves through the scene, hiding under his hood and on a mission, gives me godfeels up the wazoo. I can easily imagine Loki looking exactly like that, a sprig of mistletoe in his hands.
The Other Side – Zac Efron & Hugh Jackman: I remember watching this in the theater and just laying my head back. I didn’t become a heathen the minute I was tapped on the shoulder by Loki. I had to be coaxed into it. And so watching Hugh Jackman jumping around a bar like, well, a trickster reminded way too much of my own trickster god.
Savage Daughter – Laurel Wyndreth: Oh man, I love this song. Not just because I’m in the SCA or its author is a fellow Northshielder. The lyrics are modern, but there’s something so ancient about it that it sends shivers down my spine every time. “Deep in our bones the old songs are waking,” the lyrics cry, and hoo boy, they certainly are.
I had the worst migraine yesterday and could barely look at my computer screen, so I’m posting this today. Today’s actual prompt will be posted shortly after this goes live.
Tell us about a place that holds special spiritual significance for you.
This is going to sound a bit strange and a bit ironic, but it’s a Viking longhouse at UW-Green Bay, my alma mater. During my sophomore year, my college was gifted a replica Norwegian longhouse. It took a year to fully construct and I fondly remember wearing my viking garb to the ribbon cutting. It’s a small thing, but it’s got a lot of heart and people who love it. You can feel it as you sit on the benches, smoke writhing to the ceiling above, listening to a skald tell stories of old as a storm slowly approached. (Yes, that did happen and yes it was a m a z i n g)
There have been a few events hosted there, and one of the ones I took a part in was a cooking class with Daniel Serra, one of the co-authors of An Early Meal. I highly recommend that recipe book because it’s likely the closest thing to Old Norse cooking using ~experimental archaeology~.
And it was between mixing dough and stuffing hearts that I felt the closest to to what it would’ve been like for a Norse person getting ready for a feast. The food was hearty and included some interesting flavor choices (who would’ve thought to boil your cranberry-and-green-onion-filled bread in your royal “horse” broth?). All the food was incredible, not just because it tasted good, but because I had a hand in making it.
I left that longhouse, belly full of hearty Norse food and heart full of happiness and laughter. The next day I returned, tupperware in hand, ready to dig into our pit pig, lovingly named Lady Gristle. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen consequences, she cooked unevenly. As Daniel put it: “Experimental archaeology is experimental and sometimes you make mistakes.” So I settled for the next best thing: the student union cafeteria.