As a note, these stories are meant for entertainment only. They are not meant to be used as “new mythology” or a guideline system to grant you access to the deities these stories come from. I am simply drawing inspiration from the spiritual experiences I’ve had with various Deities along my path and while some of the story is true, it is in large part, mostly fictional. I will let you guess at what is truth and what is not, since those aspects are sacred to me and my practice. This first story brings us to my first true face to face with Loki. Enjoy!
I woke to find the lumbering, massive pines of the Iron woods stretching up before me, with snow clinging to their roots. The needles made a soft, spongy bed beneath me and I inhaled the crisp, cool air of the winter forest. This place, whether it was the actual Iron woods, felt like a piece of home to me. Ages ago, when I first started this path, Odin asked me to create a safe place in the in between for us to meet and commune with one another. A place where, when I visited, we both gave each other the freedom to show if we wanted to without pressure of demanding an answer. But now that I had stepped away from Odin’s service, the place had gone slightly unused for some time. It felt good to be back amongst the dark forest. I didn’t have to look up to know that it was night here, for it was always night in my forest.
I breathed in the sweet sap of the ancient giants that towered above me and closed my eyes, slowly reconnecting with the energy of this place in between all the rest. I could hear my waterfall off in the distance, gently beckoning me to it. I got to my feet and made my way silently to its banks so as not to disturb the peacefulness of the surrounding area.
The pond was just as I remembered it. Its waters were a perfect clear with soft ripples emanating out from where the waterfall connected with it from the outcropping on rocks that took their time morphing into the mountain range that made up the back drop of my meeting place. The pond and waterfall were small and intimate in their design, framed on either side by large tress whose exposed roots, highlighted from the snow, gave off the illusion of serpents frozen in movement within the ground.
I gently laid out my dark green cloak on the edge of the pond so I could dip my feet into the warm, clear water playfully lapping at the edges. Despite the frozen landscape, the pond was like a hot spring that made steam dance across the surface of the pond reminding me of ice skaters on a frozen lake.
She said he would meet me here, that he would know how to find me. So, I waited. The water called to me, but I resisted the urge to feel its warmth surround me. Meeting a God face to face for the first time was a big deal, and I didn’t want to expose that much of myself right out of the gate.
His voice came out of the dark forest that surrounded me and his approach was so silent that I nearly jumped out of my skin.
“She told me this place was beautiful. I just didn’t expect it to be so… Full.” Loki stood on the opposite bank, the sharp features of his face, his high cheek bones, and too green eyes were wreathed in bright red hair that seemed to move like fire. He wore a simple dark green tunic and a pair of dark brown pants that ended at a pair of bare feet.
I came to my own bare feet and bowed to him respectfully, realizing that my apron dress and cloak matched his dress perfectly. Smiling at myself, I looked up and realized he was no longer on the opposite bank, and instead stood right next to me. He held his hands clasped together in front of him and was relaxed with a soft, almost teasing, smile across his lips.
“Thank you for agreeing to meet with me.” I looked to that spot between his brows because there was something powerful in those deep green eyes that I was not ready to see.
“My daughter thinks very highly of you. The flowers that decorate her halls, those came from you?” His tone was gentle, curious, and searching. Almost as if he was testing me. I smiled, still unable to meet his eyes, even though he tried to catch mine on numerous occasions.
“I would say a good many of them came from me, but it’s unlikely all of them did.” I removed my cloak and spread it on the ground. “Would you like to sit with me?”
He hmmed in response, the smile now gone from his face as we sat, me awkwardly, him full of a fluid sort of grace.
“She was the one who brought you to my cave?” It was a question, and the way he said cave was full of worried abandonment.
I gently placed my hand on his, looking to comfort the sudden sorrow twinged with rage that woke within the once playful demeanor.
“Yes, she wanted me to understand you better and thought that was the best way. I’m sorry I misjudged you, and I hope you can forgive my weakness.”
He looked at me then, and like a hunter catching unwary prey, he caught my brown eyes with his emerald green ones and I felt a burst of connection between us.
Swimming within the sea green of his gaze, unbridled rage that pulled at the very plates of the Earth and shook the world right down to its very foundation pulled me in and began to consume me. Fear gripped my senses and I tried and failed to pull away. I saw him naked and writhing, pulling against his chains, screaming in agony as his love, Sigyn, emptied the bowl that caught the venom from the snake. I watched as his puckered and burned skin on his chest tore open, and felt the way his vocal cords strained as he screamed within my own. I felt the abandonment and betrayal he felt mirrored within my feelings and rise up and threaten to choke me. I tried to look away but his pale hands caught mine and from a distance I could hear his gentle, pleading voice say hold on, ride this out, you need to understand, to see, push past this and go deeper, please trust me, I will not hurt you.
With effort I pushed beyond those feelings and that imagery, and came into a sorrow so deep and cutting, it ripped through both of us like a chasm. I cried out as grief over whelmed my senses, catching my breath in my lungs and made it hard to breathe. I wanted so badly for this ride to end. I felt his hands, cool and pressing against mine, reassuring me that I was safe. His voice was gentle and persuading me to go deeper. To push beyond the pain and disillusion.
I forced myself forward, unwilling or unable to glimpse the landscape that now surrounded us, and moved into a feeling of peace, content, and complete and total calm and understanding. I felt his hands, now warmed by my own, gripping me tightly, gently pulling me back to the here and now.
I slowly opened my eyes and realized at some point I had started sobbing, the air forcing itself in and out of my lungs as I gasped in desperation. My emotions and spirit felt raw, but there was something new that had formed between us. A connection, an understanding, a kinship. He reached forward and wrapped me in his arms and let me sob against his chest while he rubbed my back. When I finally was able to pull back, I avoided eye contact again, not willing to experience that again. He gently grabbed my chin and forced me to look into his too green eyes once more. All the rage, all the sorrow, all the grief, and all the calm understanding was still there, but I understood now.
They worked as one, often feeding into one another, and often times individuals feel the same things, through different experiences.
“I’m so sorry.” He whispered. “You had to know that you could trust me, and I had to know the very depth of your pain. It’s time for you to go. It is unwise to linger outside of your body for too long. Meet me back here when you’re ready.” He wiped the tears from my cheeks, and I returned the gesture to him as well. Laughing into my hand, he said as a parting gift “Not every day a mortal wipes the tears of one such as me.” And gave my spirit a gentle push by kissing my forehead and returning me to my body.
That night he taught me how we all experience the same emotions, if from different sources. He also showed me how our emotions can trigger darkness within others that either brings us closer together if we are willing to push through, or separates us further deepening the rift within us. It takes effort and a willingness to push forward to connect that deeply with someone and truly trust them with the understanding that they are just people living in a world designed to make you tougher. The thing he taught me the most though, in that one meeting, was that it wasn’t force that makes you tough. It’s compassion, empathy, understanding, and kindness. The things we perceive as softness are actually the strongest things out there.
I will return eventually to the remainder of my meetings with him, but the next story will be my meeting with his daughter, Hel, and how we became so close in the beginning. A reminder that these are just stories. Ways for me to share the lessons I’ve learned from the Deities I’ve worked with. This is not encouraging you to go gallivanting off to meet up with Loki and have a profound and remarkable experience with him. The meeting that inspired this story was born out of years of practice and diligence on my part, building a relationship with and working hard alongside his Daughter Hel who suggested I take the work I had been doing with her to him for completion. The only advice I have for you, if you do choose to run off and be torn apart by a God, is don’t do it alone. Make sure there is a human being with you that knows how to pick you back up at the end. Safety first, folks.