I have put off this post for several weeks. Despite all the writing I’ve done here up to this point, I am still very shy and nervous about discussing my beliefs and practices. It is hard for me to own my religious experiences, for me to stand up for them instead of continuing to be in the shadows over in the corner. Our society does not place much value on individual revelation and spirituality, despite our reputation for being an individualist society. As I’ve said before, though, I hope that my writing, my “coming out” as it were, might help somebody else who feels they are stuck in the corner with nobody to relate to.
About a year ago, I acknowledged Loki’s call and accepted Him as my patron. The next twelve months were a period of reflection, introspection, and revelation for me as I worked through His charge to Know Myself. I’ve learned to see my life and my self through a new lens, one cleaned of the foggy filter of perfectionism and trying to fit in. I’ve learned to see all the intricate ways the randomness in my life is connected, how so many chance things have converged on my path. I have spent time studying both the religion and culture of my ancestors. I even took on teaching a class on the Vikings in our homeschool co-op, forcing me to delve deeper to stay a step ahead of my students (often at 1 a.m. the night before the next class).
Essentially a year and a day passed, and I found myself again being nudged by Loki. Except with Loki it doesn’t really come as a nudge; it comes as spilled drinks and broken cigarettes, random jukeboxes and fritzy elevators, machines that don’t work, stumbles, power outages, loud noises in the silence. I can be dense sometimes, but I did finally realize He was trying to get my attention, so I asked a close friend to do a reading for me to shed some more light. The impression that I took away from that complicated reading was that the past year has been analogous to my postulancy with Loki, my year of learning and thinking and looking around through these new eyes. Now, He says, it’s time to step it up, move forward. There is no time with Him for sitting around letting the same old same old go on every day.
It’s a hard place to be in. I am already in a fringe religion. Now I am being called upon by an even fringier god to light my torch for Him in this world, to stop observing from the sidelines and be that agent for change, be the one to shake things up, be the one to be loud and proud. He is not asking that I abandon my path toward priesthood in the Craft, but rather that I take a step up in working for Him and owning His patronage in my dealings with the world.
I am doing smaller things, for now. I wrote a prayer for Him and added it to my daily devotions. I’ve started studying my ancestral crafts, making them also a part of my daily practice (and how lucky for me to finally find something to use as a nalbinding needle the very weekend all of this happened!). I buy lottery tickets and keep them on my altar. I’m keeping my mind open to His voice and paying attention when I notice it, even when it’s something as simple and silly as, “Let your hair down,” or something a little bigger like, “Bring your music back and share it with the world.” The negative nudges have mostly stopped (except the trouble with machinery) and positive ones have started to flow again, the serendipitous encounters, the chance findings of lost or needed things.
I have a strong feeling that an oath is wanted, but I’m not ready for it yet. I know how this goes. I know that anything could happen once that oath is given. It’s like jumping off a cliff, no going back. I’ve had my back against the wall for most of my life, safely secure as a wallflower so I could watch things go by (not that it has stopped the missiles of chance from continuing to land square on my head). I’m working my way out from that wall, but I’m not quite ready to leap into the fire that calls my frozen core, to jump off the cliff and trust my fragile wings to help me soar. I know if I wait too long, I’ll probably get shoved out there against my will. One way or another, I’m going to fly soon.