Online Community Ritual: Loki, Worldbreaker, for a World in Upheaval
Join Bat Collazo, a Fantasia staff member and inclusive Heathen, for a free talk, guided meditation, and ritual focusing on honoring the Norse deity Loki and asking for help, especially during tough times, such as our current global pandemic. People of all identities and experience levels welcome.
The YouTube video is embedded above, or you may click here to view. Headphones recommended, as some portions are quiet.
Here is my basic written script, for those who prefer to read, or who may need text for accessibility.
My name is Bat. I have been a witch and pagan for over 10 years, and a Heathen and Lokean for more than half of that, which means my spiritual beliefs and practices focus on worship of Northern European and Scandinavian deities, especially Loki and his family, as well as land spirits, ancestors of many races and origins, and other spiritual beings. My ancestors hail from the island of Boriken (also known as Puerto Rico), and from Poland. I am a member of the inclusive Heathen organization the Troth. Through this org, I'm hoping to become ordained as clergy, and I'm working on my last module before clergy training proper. I'm also the editor-in-chief of the upcoming Troth Loki devotional book.
Anyone of any racial or ethnic background, sexuality, gender identity, spiritual tradition, and experience level may join me here tonight in honoring Loki and asking for his assistance.
A little bit about Loki for those of you less familiar. Loki is a complex deity from the Norse pantheon of gods. He is multifaceted and often associated with change. Loki is known for fluidity in his identities: his gender varies and shifts, his alliances with other gods and beings are constantly in flux, and he can be associated with both creation and destruction. As with the other gods of the pantheon, Loki can go by many names. For instance, he is sometimes called Lopt, meaning sky or air, for his stories of flight in the form of a bird, or "inn slaegi áss," the sly god, for his trickery.
What I discuss tonight will be based on my own personal experience with Loki, drawing on but not resting solely on the existing literature and lore. I use he and him to describe Loki in this ritual. These are pronouns that lore often (but not always) uses for Loki, but keep in mind that Loki can just as easily be referred to as she, or they, or ze, or any other pronoun. You won't necessarily experience Loki as a male god, though you might.
My ritual format tonight is not necessarily based on historical information about how ancient Germanic peoples practiced. Instead, it's my own modern take based in the emotional core of many historical rituals. This emotional core, I would argue, involves reciprocity or exchange between humans and spiritual beings.
Note that I will provide offerings on behalf of all of us as thanks for the gifts we receive tonight. But you are all welcome to provide your own offerings of any kind alongside me if you so choose. You may wish to pause and prepare some now if so.
We will do a brief, safe guided meditation, with a very loose structure, centered around reaching out to Loki and being in his presence. No experience is necessary, and I will be sure to provide grounding help afterwards.
Sometimes, we can call on Loki when we're too comfortable, stagnating. Stable, but in unhappy, unhealthy, or harmful ways. In these cases, Loki will help break our worlds as a catalyst for change. He is a god who will help us destabilize for our own good, who will help us become uncomfortable. He'll help us make that leap.
This is a very important aspect of work with Loki.
This isn't what tonight is about.
Tonight, to varying degrees, our world as a whole, and our individual worlds, are already destabilized, in upheaval.
I won't be making the argument that this is ultimately a good thing, or the gods' plan. I don't know that to be the case. I can't decide that for anyone else. What I know is that living beings are suffering, and while sickness and struggles are a part of nature, much of this suffering is amplified or even caused by the choices of a small group of humans with institutional power, who benefit from systems of oppression like colonization and classism. Choices made in greed and in hatred. I won't say that any of this is divine will.
So why call on Loki, you might ask? Why call on a god called Worldbreaker, who himself can spark unrest?
There are a lot of possible answers to that question. Mine right now, for tonight, is this: It is here in the upheaval where Loki's in his element. Here, we can ride out the quakes.
Example detailing Faroese ballad "Loka Táttur," which can be found here.
[Explaining Loki helping and protecting a human child from a murderous giant when all others have failed, and helping the child use his own abilities to his advantage, that may have been perceived as weaknesses to others, like small stature.]
Loki Laufeyjarson. Light on his feet, quick thinker. Unconventional problem solver. Loophole licker: in these knots and tangles in the thread of wyrd, instead of smoothing them flat, straight, perfect, he schemes, and finds new pathways through, squiggly detours where we meet ourselves. Pathways sinuous like a snake, like Loki's child the Midgard Serpent, encircling the earth. Loki, sly god, slippery shapeshifter, form changer, who can teach us to adapt to new situations.
Today, we can also remember that Loki is a loving parent to the goddess who offers shelter to humans who have died from sickness.
When my life is in upheaval, for me, Loki is the storm's eye, the calm and clear skies dead center of the cyclone. He is never more comforting and gentle to me than when the ground beneath me is unsteady. Loki loves an underdog. He'll push you from your tower, but when you're falling, Lopt has wings.
Now, I'd like to join us all together in space and time. Loki is the mother of the steed who can slip between worlds, times, dimensions, a horse who can even jump the borders between life and death and back again.
I call on the aid of the Best of Horses, Sleipnir, to transport each of us if we choose and consent, away from our disparate places around the world. We are distanced from each other physically. We even have temporal distance, as we watch and participate at different times. I ask Sleipnir to carry us to a safe space where we can all be present together, let our intentions mingle across time and space in ways that serve each of us without harm to another. I call on this splendid steed to bring us back again safe when we are done.
Thank you, sweet Sleipnir. I set aside some oats as an offering from all of us. [Give oats as an offering]
Raido Ehwaz Othala
Raido Ehwaz Othala
Call to Loki explanation
Next, I'll call on Loki tonight with a portion of a galdralag I've been drafting for him: a galdralag is an Old Norse poem form for magical incantations, pulled and pressed into new shapes here for a modern call to my beloved god. Then, when I say "Hail Loki!" please join me and repeat this back.
An excerpt from "Galdralag to Loki in Tough Times":
Mischief and muckraker--
in denouement, true-blue.
Hail Lopt of Lost Causes.
In pain's light, arm's wide.
Hail the Queer Comfort.
Hail the Sly Solace.
Hail the Bond Breaker.
Hail Loki! [Hail Loki repeats from crowd]
Now I want us to take some time to be here with Loki. Take a deep breath, and slowly let it out. You can close your eyes if you want to. Go ahead and express to Loki, aloud, or simply in your mind, what you've been struggling with, what parts of this upheaval have truly shaken you to your core. Don't be afraid to spill your guts to him: don't forget that this is a god who's suffered too. You're not below him: Loki's right there with you in the grime of pain and fears, up to his elbows in it, sometimes consumed by it, and still, here he is, listening.
So speak with him, ask him questions, or show him something in your life, and listen and watch, in your mind's eye. There's no pressure, just be in this space, just feel and observe. He might have something to show you or something to tell you. You might just have a feeling in response. You might feel nothing, and that itself is a feeling. Anything that arises is okay to feel, okay to think. It's okay to experience it, and let it pass through you. You're safe here. Be here in this space with Loki.
[5 minutes Loki meditation time]
Slowly come on back to my voice, back into this moment. Take another slow deep breath feeling that air enter your body, expand your chest, inhale. And slowly exhale, letting go of anything that arose in you during this time that needs to be given up, needs to be set free, unbound. You don't have to carry all your burdens on your own. Start fresh with an inhale. Exhale again.
Before we get fully grounded, I'll give an offering to Loki, a gift in thanks for a beautiful gift. You're welcome to join me if you have some beverage to pour out for him, a treat to set aside for him, or any other kind of offering you feel is appropriate. Anything sincerely given will be well received.
I see Loki as Lodurr, one of the creator gods, the giver of blood to humans. My particular oath to Loki also means I am comfortable binding myself to him (not everyone is and that's okay), so I often give a tiny, safe sacrifice of my own blood to him as thanks. I do this in a similar way that I would safely test my blood sugar levels with a glucose meter, from a fingertip. I'll do that now, but please look away if you need to. When I thank Loki aloud, this offering will be done. I will also list a timestamp for you to skip ahead if needed.
Thank you, Loki.
["Hail Loki!" from crowd]
Before we go, let's make sure we are all grounded and back to an alert state of mind. Sleipnir has already brought us back safely to our present moment and space, but we'll be sure to affix ourselves here. We'll do a five senses exercise. Some of these may not apply if you have different senses (for instance, if you are blind), in which case simply focus on the other ones.
I want you to think about one thing you taste. [My example]
Smell. [My example]
See. [My example]
Hear. [My example]
Touch. [My example]
If you still feel a little hazy or spacey and want to be grounded more thoroughly, please drink some water, and eat a snack, or even have the tiniest pinch of salt or hot sauce on your tongue if you have some. I also like to be barefoot and really feel my feet pressed against the ground.
If anything troubling or difficult came up during your time during this ritual, you can reach out for trained help.
LGBTQ+ Youth Lifeline (Trevor Project): 1-866-488-7386
National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255 (English)
Veterans Crisis Line:
Disaster Distress Helpline (COVID anxieties and other disasters):
Text TalkWithUs to 66746
24/7 Crisis Texting:
US and Canada: text HOME to 741741
UK: text 85258
Ireland: text 086 1800 280
Thank you also to Beth Rodriguez for ritual discussions that inspired an idea within this long-distance ritual. You can support her education and clergy services at Solfull Services.
You can check me out below:
Sending my love to all of you during this time. Please feel free to reach out to me with your Loki experiences if you'd like to share, or any questions you might have!
I know this ritual was open to beginners but has some concepts that might be more difficult to grasp without pre-existing knowledge, so by all means, please ask anything you'd like to ask. Thank you!