Thank you all for the overwhelming response to the pre-order for the hand bound copies of Worshiping Loki. As of now, nearly half of the 20 volumes have been reserved and paid for. If this is something you’re interested in, I suggest getting in contact with me soon. (To order, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide me with your shipping information and Paypal email address if you have one. I’ll generate a Paypal invoice that can be paid with credit card, debit card, or Paypal balance.) In the meantime, I’m already cutting cover boards for these volumes and I’ll be purchasing additional sheets of cover paper and book cloth soon.
This little book came about in a very curious way. In the nearly 15 years I’ve been a Lokean I’ve come across the same questions over and over – and over and over – again. “I want to worship Loki; how do I get started?”, “How do I build an altar?”, “How do I do ritual?”, etc. etc. People more patient than myself have been answering these things for a long time and have certainly done a great service to newcomers. Earlier this year I suddenly wondered why someone didn’t just write a book answering all these basic questions since the answers were always the same.
And that’s how it started.
I knew I didn’t want to write about Loki in a Heathen context. Other people have done that and frankly I’m not entirely convinced that doing so again is really necessary. While I think having a grounding in the fundamentals of Norse polytheism is helpful (and it’s certainly respectful), the fact that Loki worship has turned into some weird ideological pissing match makes current Heathenry a really hostile environment to newcomers. I also don’t believe that Loki is limited to this context. Except for the highly appropriate courtesy towards cultural context, there’s absolutely no reason why a person needs to participate in current reconstruction Heathenry in order to worship Loki. This book therefore is not grounded in Heathenry. Though I state as much in the introduction, I’ve no doubt that people will leverage this as a negative criticism. (I invite them to step up and write their own damn book.)
Aside from not wanting to go back over ground that’s already been covered in better ways by better authors, I wanted primarily to provide practical information that could be immediately applied to one’s practice goals. Providing an ideological and theoretical background is undoubtedly part of how practical information should be shared but again: other people have done it already.
Related to the desire for a practical emphasis, I wanted to empower people with the fundamental skills to make religion happen for themselves. Expressing hospitality towards the Powers, arranging a space for them, and then expressing praise and worship in a constructive way are all essential skills in the actual doing of religion. Polytheism should be empowering to individuals. We can and do rely on religious specialists the same way that we rely on, say, chefs. This doesn’t mean that we eat every meal out. Knowing how to provide for our day to day religious needs is important and part of what makes paganism on the whole a very powerful thing. I wanted to make this very clear to readers.
And finally, I wanted to talk about discernment in a way that didn’t rely on any kind of psychic context. Discernment can and should be a logical, reasoned approach to problem solving in a religious context. By divorcing discernment from the realm of psychic woofoo, I hope to make polytheist Loki worship even more accessible to people.
All these goals were swirling around in my head as I started writing. I wrote a few thousand words and then got bogged down in a lot of self doubt. Self doubt is my primary demon. I questioned the wisdom of removing Loki from a specifically Heathen context – never mind that He’s been disowned by many voices in Heathenry. I wondered if I should include yet another pointless reiteration of stories that other people had told better. I wondered if I should talk about reconstructionism despite not being a recon polytheist myself. I wondered if I really had that much to say. I let the project stall.
Quite unexpectedly I got an order through my Etsy shop for a custom devotional volume. This listing is for a hand bound volume with content that the buyer provides. It’s a great way to present one’s ritual records, devotional poetry, or really anything. The buyer misunderstood some of the details of the listing and asked for a book on Loki – specifically a book on Loki worship. A book on Loki worship that would providing information on things like how to set up an altar and do a ritual.
To reiterate: I was being asked, by a stranger, to write the very book I’d been working on for Loki. I’ve rarely received such direct direction.
Because it was a formal order through Etsy I had a hard shipping deadline to meet. I had to finish the manuscript, edit it to some presentable state, format it for printing, get it printed, and do all the rest of the fiddly steps involved in hand binding a book in about six weeks. Worshiping Loki: A Short Introduction is the result.
Is this little book everything it could be? I’ve no doubt that I could have done more but at a certain point I felt like I wasn’t providing anything unique anymore. I wanted to present information that was fresh and hopefully interesting. This book shouldn’t be your only reference for Loki worship but I hope that it provides something that no other book can. I hope that it helps empower you to do religion for yourself, to make spirituality occur on your own terms, with the Powers you love most.