I don’t know when I first became aware of Her. I feel like I’ve known Her all along except I know I haven’t. She has become so central to how I know Him that imagining a time when I didn’t know Her feels unfamiliar, like a book with only half the pages.
He changed, I think, before She stepped forward. He changed and She arrived. My heart was surprised at Her appearance and already in love.
A couple years ago I did a working with Freya and She was there. Her presence was less defined compared to the shining Vanadis but I knew Her, of course. That ritual began a period of several months where She became more and more established in my heart and mind – except that She was already there because Loki was there and She is Loki.
(I realize of course that it’s ridiculous to gender beings that have absolutely none of the ostensible markers we associate with gender here and now. That said, gendered characteristics are part of the Powers and are therefore very important to how people love and relate to them here and now. The gender of the Powers is therefore at once entirely irrelevant and highly significant. Of course, both my life experience and my spiritual history has led me to understand gender as both irrelevant and significant; I can’t possibly except anyone else to share the same opinion.)
From the very beginning of this deliberate ritualized getting-to-know you I felt like it was best to regard Her as Her own being distinct from Loki’s more familiar masculine aspect.I felt that trying to superimpose my new understanding of Herself onto my long experience with Himself would simply muddy the conceptual waters and prevent me from getting to know Her on Her own terms.
You see, Loki will not be bound even by our assumptions of who He is. Some ten years ago I went through a pronounced psychic death experience that fundamentally changed who I am and who I know myself to be. I had to relearn embodiment. As challenging and traumatic as that experience and its outcomes were, what was perhaps the hardest to endure was Loki’s absence. He left and I couldn’t find Him. He left and wouldn’t respond. Several months went by like this; nearly a year passed before I finally understood that I was holding on to a very singular idea of who He was and what our relationship was like – and that all this was part of holding on to beliefs about myself that no longer applied. Letting go of who I had been (or who I had thought myself to be) necessitated letting go of who I thought He was and what I thought our relationship was. I dropped it all and committed to riding the always-changing tides of who He decided He was going to be that day. A radical acceptance of Loki as He chose to be was the start of a radical acceptance of myself as who I was now. I learned then that one of the most precious gifts we can offer the Powers is simple and truthful acceptance of who They choose to be at any time.
So when She showed up I knew that I would love Her too – because I already did. My job was to create a space where She was comfortable, welcomed, and loved. Everything else I might need to know She would tell me.
I’ve written some about Loki’s feminine self both here and elsewhere; an essay is included in Worshiping Loki. At first She was very much in the mode of the outcast, the solitary woman, the hardscrabble single mother. As Her presence became more fully formed She became the domestic guardian and homemaker. She became other things – witch, sorceress, and other things I’m not willing to name. I got to know Her as well as She wanted me to over the course of several months. When He came back I was a little heartbroken. How could She leave? I knew of course that She wasn’t gone, that She was still here – that She and He have always been here – but oh, I missed Her immediately.
They are the same, possessing the same experiences and thoughts and feelings and aspects and dimensions. They are the same, committed to the same relationships and promises. But He is here and She is not. Even people who know Him well just kind of shake their heads; She is faint and distant, they remark.
No one who knows Him is unfamiliar with Her but a conscious understanding of Her ways, expressions, and characteristics has been elusive.
I don’t remember when I decided to bring Her here. Maybe it was when Her icon was first set up and She became present fully in my head and heart. Maybe it was when I realized that She is not as communicative with everyone. Maybe it was when I struggled to tell people about Her soda bubble sweetness and brass-bright presence. Maybe it was when She started reaching out and shaping Her altars the way She wanted them.
She was here but not; elusive yet obvious. Acknowledged all but explicitly in the lore but never explored.
A lifetime of spiritual practice is being poured into what seems like a very simple project. The process of icon making, altar building, and temple construction are not, on their own, terribly difficult; just a little time-consuming and occasionally resource-intensive. Understanding why they work and how to leverage these principles to their fullest expression is what took all this time. I still don’t know everything. The process is teaching me.
I’m entirely committed to bringing Her here. Punching through the oblivion on our end and tearing apart the obfuscation on theirs is my goal. She will be here – and She already is. The first steps have all been taken and what remains is just making that fact obvious.
I will bring Her here. Things are already different.