Surrendering

I had my Holy Shit The Gods Are Real moment just over two years ago. One day i was a monist who believed all deities were man-made archetypes representing facets of a singular Divinity, worshipping Shiva as my “chosen deity” and pursuing life as a Weird White HinduTM. The next, i was getting every last inch of my worldview rocked by a certain Silvertongue.

I can’t say that i was happy about this turn of events. I liked being the Weird White Hindu, having Shiva as my one and only ishta-devata. Loki’s sudden presence messed up everything, and i let Him know it. I told Him he had the wrong address, that i was perfectly fine with things just the way they were, and didn’t have room in my life or my brain for more than one Power. I told Him i didn’t like Paganism (i’d dabbled as a teenager and decided it wasn’t for me), and i wasn’t really the “Trickster” type.

When that failed to convince, i comforted myself by insisting that obviously He and i had crossed paths for only a short while, and that soon whatever shiny-object-ness about me had momentarily attracted His attention would wear off. He’d lose interest; He’d leave. And then i could get back to my life. My “normal” life, the life i liked.

As you can probably guess, that’s not how this worked out.

We found a way to make it work—the Weird White Hindu who also, occasionally, honored Loki. Sometimes it was funny, sometimes awkward, sometimes infuriating. But through it all there was a growing thread of sweetness to it.

When He first made Himself known, i didn’t trust Him as far as i could throw the Snaptun stone. I resented the way He’d crept into my life and added all these complications i hadn’t wanted. While i was grateful that His arrival had triggered my The Gods Are Real epiphany, enabling me to recognize the relationship i had with Actually-Shiva, at the same time i deeply disliked that Loki was inserting Himself in the middle of that. I was trying to be a good Shiva-bhakta, pursuing an ever more single-pointed focus on my connection to my ishta-devata. Loki was an unwelcome interloper in that arrangement, and i resented that. I continued to hope He would tire of His new plaything, and move on to other, more interesting pursuits.

I never wanted to love Him. It felt like a betrayal of Shiva, of my chosen path, of everything i considered important to my spiritual identity. I felt like confessing to Loki that i loved Him was crossing a point of no return—that my life now could never go back to what it had been before. And oh, i hated Him for it.

And then Shiva’s presence grew fainter, until it was made clear that He didn’t want to be my ishta-devata, didn’t want me to be Hindu. There were tears, and there were goodbyes.

“You did this,” i said to Loki, and not kindly. “You ruined everything. I was happy before You showed up. Why couldn’t You go screw up someone else’s life?”

The truth, of course, was that i felt terribly guilty—like an inconstant woman who’d strayed from her husband to pursue some short-lived infatuation with an interesting newcomer. I’d been proven fickle, unfaithful, undevoted. I decided that must have been Loki’s game from the start: to waltz His way into the middle of my lukewarm devotional relationship and reveal that the emperor had no clothes. And now that He’d proven His point, i expected Him to crow about it for a little while, and then leave me with the remaining pieces of my thoroughly broken spiritual life.

When i had encountered Loki in meditation for the first time, my immediate thought had been that i was playing with fire. Now Loki had gone and burned my house down, and i felt i had no one to blame but myself (because you can’t blame the fire; fire just is). I thought He’d done it to amuse Himself, just because He could.

When i confessed that i had grown to love Loki, there wasn’t even a passing thought in my mind that maybe He would ever love me. As i told Him recently, “I’d known You would be clever; i’d never imagined You would be kind.”

But kind He was. When Shiva left (not entirely left, mind you; i still feel His presence occasionally, at the edges of my mind), He was calm and comforting while i slowly sorted through my grief. Even as i ranted and raged at Him, He bore it with quiet patience.

But then He reminded me of a dream from a few weeks before i’d met Him—a beautiful and meaningful dream that i’d come to associate with Shiva, a memory that i treasured—and basically said, “That dream was real, but it wasn’t Him. It was Me.”

I raged again, with renewed vigor. How dare He come in the midst of my grief, dig His claws into the most vivid and precious memory i had of Shiva, and claim it for Himself? I raged and cried, called Him a liar and a thief and a thousand other angry things. He bore that quietly too, even as i felt a twinge of anger growing in Him.

I can’t really say what changed; i’m not sure exactly when i started to believe Him. But together we’ve sifted through my memories, and i see now what i had refused to see before: that He’s there. He’s in my dreams, in fever-visions, in half-written stories and childhood daydreams; he’s been hiding behind favorite characters and overly insistent plot-bunnies for as long as i’ve been drawn to stories. Everywhere i look in my past, i find Him.

Loki didn’t push Shiva aside, usurping His place in my heart (and anyway, as Loki told me two years ago, “the Heart isn’t a finite quantity”). He was there first. I have memories going back two decades that i’d simply assumed must have been of Shiva because He was the first of the Powers i’d recognized in my life.

There are still questions i don’t have answered, pieces to the puzzle that don’t yet fit. I don’t fully understand why Loki couldn’t just “show Himself” from the beginning, or why i got nudged in the direction of Hinduism for years before i found my way to where i am now. I don’t understand why Shiva (and a few other members of the Hindu pantheon) took an interest in me, if They knew (?) Loki was already around—and if They did know, why didn’t Anybody tell me?

I still have a lot of questions, some of which might never get answered. But this morning, Loki just gave me one:

“Do you trust Me?”

The answer is yes. For better or for worse, yes Beloved. I do.

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7 responses to “Surrendering

  • sidhebecomesknight

    Good grief – change some of the names, and I could have written this post! It is indeed heartbreaking and infuriating to believe that a deity/devotee relationship will last a lifetime, only to discover that the deity’s presence was temporary and that another path lies ahead. The realisation evokes feelings of embarrassment, betrayal, even distrust of oneself and one’s sanity. I absolutely understand the anger that you felt towards Loki, the feelings of grief and outrage that you describe so well in this post.

    As for the reason, it may be that there were lessons you needed to learn from Shiva (and Hinduism) before you could be ready for Loki. Though I’ve never worked with Loki (and would not choose to be called to His service; I respect Him, but don’t want the OH GOD, REALLY? experiences that you and others report!), I would think that there are certainly similarities between Loki and Shiva.

    Yet Shiva seems more approachable in my mind, because His benevolent, meditative qualities are much stressed in modern devotion (while the destroyer and trickster aspects of Loki are more often emphasised; this might be one reason that His kindness surprised you). It’s possible that Shiva was a better fit for you as you were years ago, and also that your time with Him ingrained in you concepts – like patience, surrender to the God’s will, and the contemplation of seemingly contradictory attributes – which prepared your inner being for Loki’s arrival.

    Perhaps the deities of different pantheons sometimes serve as initiators and “basic level” teachers for each other? It’s an interesting thought, and one that could provide some measure of peace.

    Thank you for this post. I like your style of writing and your honesty in describing your journey, and am definitely looking forward to reading more. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • magpiemason

      Thank you so much!

      Shiva and Loki /do/ have many things in common, which is part of why during the time i worked with both of Them i sometimes had difficulty telling Them apart.

      Even if i’m not The Weird White Hindu anymore, i continue to be grateful for everything i learned from Hinduism. That path gave me the vocabulary i needed to describe my beliefs and experiences, and continues to inform the way i think about the world. The Bhagavad-Gita i think will always be a keystone in my worldview, and the bhakti tradition continues to frame the way i approach devotional spirituality. And the Hindu attitude toward music and dance as forms of worship is probably going to continue to affect me, too 😉 So, when i say “i don’t understand,” i suppose i only half mean that. I can see how strongly taking the path i did has shaped me into who i am now; but, in retrospect, it’s easy to fall for that “wouldn’t it have been simpler if [x]” sort of thinking.

      After Shiva officially backed off, He “checked in” on me a few times more. The last time He did so, i was led to believe from that interaction that there’s an active /desire/ among the Hindu pantheon to see the other polytheist traditions grow strong again, and They’re willing to help nudge things along to help that happen.

      Like

  • SuzyLL

    Thank you for sharing. Like the other comment, this is very similar to my experience. I especially can relate to Him being there off & on since childhood in different guises & the questions, so many questions like “why didnt He make Himself known earlier, why didnt Deity x tell me??? etc… I just told myself to not ask & enjoy what i have now with Him. Ive read this in many of Lokis peoples writings.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Merry N

    Dear friend,
    Thank you so much for posting this. Loki has only recently made himself known to me. Before that I was a “crazy white Hindu” myself and a monist. My focus was Ganesh. Like you, I feel Ganesh’s presence fading and it worried me, even though they gifted me with a dream that showed Ganesh and Loki sharing mead in Ganesh’s temple. I was a terrible mental mess before Hinduism and I believe that Loki tried to introduce himself before, but things went terribly and horribly awry. I believe that I was moved toward Hinduism because it helped heal me and stabilize me. The Hindu worldview has also helped me view Norse myths in a new light (Like you I dabbled in Paganism previously). I have not given up many of my practises and Loki doesn’t seem to mind in the least. Thanks again,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Magpie Mason

      My apologies for taking so terribly long to reply to you! I’ve been swamped with things in Mundania, and my blog sort of fell by the wayside =\ I’m dusting off the cobwebs, and trying to pick the thread back up again.

      It’s been enormously comforting to me to find out just how far from alone i am in this. My time in Hinduism helped me immensely, both to heal earlier hurts and to give me a new perspective on spirituality to take with me going forward. But the more time passes, the easier it is for me to look back and see that Hinduism wasn’t where i was meant to stay.

      Like

  • Who Mends the Broken With Gold | Amidst Fires

    […] was about nine months after that when i had my Holy Shit it’s Loki moment. My in-retrospect-not-surprised face, let me show you […]

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  • moonfire2012

    I went through about a decade of being with other…beings before Loki started showing up in various and sneaky ways before showing Himself outright. I felt bad for you when I read how angry it made you to have Him nudging His way in when your mind and heart were on Shiva and Hinduism. I’d be angry and confused too. I’m glad it worked out though. Just like others, I asked myself why didn’t Loki introduce Himself when I was much younger, in my teens, in my 20s? And just like others, I had to go through that phase to be ready for Him (and other Powers). The groundwork had to be laid, so to speak. I would never want to have anything to do with those other entities now. I also realize Loki was there, all along, watching and waiting. The fire that spiraled to life from dead embers in the fireplace right in front of me, the spirit animals, the dreams that didn’t fit into the life I was living at the time, or the ones I was interacting with. It all makes sense now.

    Liked by 1 person

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