In my last post I talked about my relationship with Inari-Ōkami and how she is like a parent to me. This time I’m going to talk about my other patron deity, Loki.
Loki is one of those deities where I’m not sure exactly when he arrived in my life but it feels like he’s always been there in one form or another. I’ve always loved foxes and coyotes, particularly the trickster aspects of them that we find often in many cultures. My earlier memory of hearing Loki’s name was when I was a teenager; someone’s pet dog was named Loki and I thought the name sounded incredibly familiar though I wasn’t aware of hearing it before. After looking him up I discovered that he was a trickster god, but that’s as far as I really went. I just kind of started associating him with Coyote and the element of fire, as I was pretty interested in North American Shamanism and Totemism at the time.
I didn’t really think about Loki again until the Marvel ‘Thor’ movies started to come out. I even named my first pet snake Loki! Like many people I admired Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of Loki and began to research him once again. Of course I know that Marvel’s version of Loki is far from accurate to the myths, but it definately served as a kind of launch pad for my interest.
Loki really began to make himself more known last summer to me through a series of signs and events. He’s been doing it for years and I often used to refer to him as my ‘stalker’ but I was too wary to work with him. Eventually I put aside my judgement and pretty much fell in love with the guy. I formally devoted myself to Loki last year and now he is one of my most important deities.
Since then, I created a small altar to Loki (shared with Cernunnos/The Horned God and Ceridwen) and have been making regular offerings. It feels like a blessing in itself that he loves coffee and chocolate as those are probably my two favourite things as well!
My relationship with Loki is much different than my one with Inari-Ōkami. Firstly, I don’t see him as a parent as I do with Inari-Ōkami, he’s more like a brother to me. I feel very close to him and feel that he’s someone I can talk to at all levels. By ‘all levels’ I mean that I can talk to him with great respect, I can curse and rant to him or I can just tell him how my day went. I still have respect for him of course, but it’s more like an old friend who you can trust with anything.
Loki is a god who is a patron to people with disabilities, mental health disorders, the poor and weak, the down-trodden, transgender and queer people. Therefore he almost represents me fully as a god; I fall into almost all of these categories. I think that this is the reason I feel on the same level as Loki.
It might be my Shinto influence but I believe that deities are not sitting on a cloud somewhere but are the same as us; they go through struggles, they have wives/husbands and children, they even have sex. They are born and they die and it is through our worship that they continue to exist, as well as their influence on humankind throughout the ages. I believe that deities are a conscious energy that is a reflection of human psychology, lifestyles, history and beliefs.
If Inari-Ōkami is the deity who encourages me to be my best self, Loki is the deity who tells me it’s okay to fail. It’s okay to have bad days, struggle with mental health and feel hatred and jealousy. Although I strive to be ‘pure’ for Inari-Ōkami, some days I just feel like I can’t deal and Loki is there to catch me. It’s hard to describe though as Inari-Ōkami is of course there for me on these days too, but it almost feels that Loki is a part of Inari-Ōkami too (I’ll talk about this in my next post!).
Loki is a god who I feel incredibly close to and I often feel that I channel him. Many of his personality aspects and lore I greatly identify with. Because of this I ‘hear’ his messages much clearer than Inari-Ōkami and I need significantly less energy to do so. He jokes a lot and it’s really fun to communicate with him! Inari-Ōkami jokes too of course, but her words are different. To try and describe it it’s almost as if Inari-Ōkami talks with uppercase at the beginning of words Like This, whilst Loki talks more casually and all in lower case (and has even been known to meme!).
Of course I can’t downplay my relationship with Inari-Ōkami as to me, they are the bringer of blessings and the provider of life. My desire to be ‘pure’ when talking to Inari-Ōkami is more a tradition of Shinto than a requirement of Inari-Ōkami herself. I know that Inari-Ōkami is fine with me unwashed and ill, depressed or upset, and this is something that I want to work on more. It is out of respect that I worship Inari-Ōkami in the traditional way, not out of fear or not feeling close to her.
All in all, I am glad Loki has come into my life. It’s hard to describe my relationship with him as I feel it’s pretty complicated, especially as I often feel him and Inari-Ōkami as very similar. I am not one to put deities into a hierachy outside of their own pantheon, but to me Loki is more on the same level as me, whilst Inari-Ōkami is above. It could be because Inari-Ōkami is part of a very lively tradition, and she has thousands of shrines across Japan.
Anyways, before I spend way too long on this post I hope you enjoyed reading! I apologize if my descriptions are a little confusing but well, that’s spirituality for you! I’ll see you guys soon for my third post in this series!
If you haven’t already, please check out my first post: Inari and Loki Part 1: Inari