Rudra, Shiva and Loki – Part 2

Rudra, Shiva and Loki – Part 2

Gods of our Time – Rudra, Shiva, Loki

I have noticed a lot of interest of readers in the post Rudra, Shiva, Agni and Loki, so I decided to write a little more about them. As the other post was based on mythological facts, this is more of my personal experience with the energy of these Gods.

In the beginning of my friendship with Loki I was puzzled by His complexity. Outwardly He had a perfectly controlled and calm demeanour, yet within Him smoldered a seething fire, simmering under the surface like a volcano and if I went even deeper I would find a vast, infinite space – peaceful, still and all-pervading. To gain trust in Him and understand Him better, Loki urged me to deepen my knowledge of Lord Shiva, and as I immersed myself in books and scriptures, I found that Loki as I knew Him embodied very similar qualities.

Even though I have experienced them as separate beings, I feel that essentially they are the same – of the same Source.

The energy or consciousness of these Gods is more present in our time, because we are living in time of change and have the opportunity to rise above polarities and experience ourselves as the spiritual beings we really are. The intense, chaotic and potentially destructive energy these deities carry, breaks old patterns and makes room for the new. As I understand it, the dynamic aspect of their nature is Prakriti or Shakti, the feminine energy in creation – but I will speak more on that later in this post. Yet it is noteworthy that we live in a time where there is a shift in consciousness, and the new consciousness that awakens is of feminine nature.

The Horned God

I believe Loki and Rudra (whose name appeared in the oldest of the Vedas, the Rig Veda, before He was known as Shiva) to be a very ancient God, who is closely connected to nature and the worship of the Mother Goddess. A God, whose worship was not accepted in Europe (to control Him He was bound under the earth until the end of the world – Loki), while in India He re-established Himself (even though it took a while to “tame” Him) in the benevolent form of Shiva.

Due to our friendship, Loki allowed to “experience” Him directly in many different aspects and forms, and much of the information I received about Him – through mediation and inner or outer experiences – was confirmed when I researched on Shiva and Rudra (and also Agni).

One day, during a walk in the forest I perceived Loki as a guardian. A friend and protector of animals and innocent creatures, especially children – Loki has a special fondness for those who suffered from hardship and abuse, or are having a hard time to fit in. He also seemed to have a strong connection and love for plants and trees and nature in general. Later when reading about Shiva/Rudra’s form of Pashupati, the Lord of animals, herder of souls, and when I saw the Pashupati seal it led me to believe that these two Gods really share a deep connection.

Unfortunately, there is little archaeological reference to Loki, but in the small village of Kirkby Stephen, England, there is a tenth-century stone with a carving on it, which is believed to be the bound Loki, depicted as a horned figure.

Not surprisingly, there is also a depiction of a horned deity on a stone in India:

The stone seal was found in the Indus valley, depicting a horned God – who is believed to be the God Shiva. The seal depicts a seated figure with possibly three heads and a horned headdress, who is surrounded by animals. He may represent a horned deity and is thought to be one of the earliest depictions of Lord Shiva or Rudra, who is associated with asceticism, and regarded as lord of the animals (Pashupati) – hence the name of the stone is Pashupati seal.

Storm and Fire

Agni, Rudra, Shiva and Loki are Fire Gods, representing different aspects of this element, yet also embrace it in its entirety. They are responsible for illumination of our ignorance and transformation of lower movements that bind us. They make us aware of our spirituality. Both Rudra and Shiva are known as Storm Gods – and considering that Loki is also known as Sky-traveler and friend of Thor, I guess we can place Him in that same family.

All four deities have terrifying apects, as well as auspicious ones and while they have the capacity to wreak havoc and bring chaos and destruction, they can also bring health, wealth, happiness and more – they can offer us liberation -true freedom from the bondage of material existence.

Trickster

Another thing they share is that all of them are known as tricksters. A trickster is a deity who is cunning, holds a great deal of secret knowledge and uses it to play tricks on others and/or crosses and often breaks social rules and disobeys conventional behaviour. Tricksters violate principles of social or natural order, playfully disrupting normal life to re-establish it on a new basis. Their actions can be cause for outrage, yet they are meant to illumine and transform outdated or wrong behaviour. Tricksters are cunning, wise, can cheat and teach by playing tricks on you, they are also known to have a potent sexuality.

While Loki is well known as a trickster, Rudra and Shiva are also tricksters par excellence. The fact that they all are considered Gods of Chaos exposes them as tricksters as well.

The potential for dynamic chaos is the metaphysical heart of the trickster.

“The (African) trickster Legba, always risks unleashing a Pandora’s box of powers. But it is only in risking such chaos that novelty is continually reborn, and the community is imagined to interact dynamically, rather than by some rigid structure.” ~Erik Davis, Trickster at the Crossroads

According to Arthur Anthony Macdonel, in the Vedas Rudra is referred to “lord of wanderers and thieves, the prowling rover, the tricking arch-trickster, the lord of pilferers, robbers, cheat, deceiver”. He is seen as an outlaw, not part of orderly society – and obviously able to stir up trouble when invoked. People invoke Him to praise His strength and His fierceness, asking Him not to “aim His arrows at them”. Rudra is a God of disease as well as “the greatest healer” – and Lord over thousands of healing herbs.

In stories of the Siva Purana, and Tantric texts – some versions of the stories tamer than others – Shiva/Rudra is spoken of as a God with potent sexuality who often acts in typical trickster fashion to test devotees or to illumine falsehood.

In the Tamil Kanda Puranum, Shiva tests the forest sages by appearing with a beautiful courtesan, Mohini, by his side. This courtesan, Daniélou explains, is actually the God Vishnu, whom Shiva has commanded to take this form (Shiva had commanded Vishnu to take on this form on an earlier occasion, in order that Shiva might seduce Vishnu). In this form of the legend, the sages abandon their austerities to follow the disguised Vishnu everywhere, whilst Shiva, as the divine Beggar, seduced the women of the sages. In this version, the sages and their wives are brought together in the forest and realise that they have been tricked by Shiva and Vishnu.

The sages summon a tiger which springs forth to attack Shiva. He kills the tiger and seizes it’s skin to use as a garment. There then came a fire, which the god made into a trident; an antelope, which he took with his left hand, and snakes, which he used to adorn his head-dress. Demons then sprang at Shiva. He calmed them with a hand-gesture, and they agreed to serve him. All the magics of the sages could not prevail against Shiva, and the sages finally agreed to practise the rites of Shiva’s cult.

The forest sages had lost sight of the goal of their austerities and rites -which is release from bondage. They have become bound up by conventions. … They are performing their rites and austerities out of a sense of lust for the power and ‘merit’ they will gain from doing so, not as a means to liberation.

They do not see that Bhairava-Shiva breaks all boundaries and conventions precisely because he is beyond them.

http://www.philhine.org.uk/writings/tt_wrathful.html

There are many stories about Shiva’s trickery and his sensual side – He is the God who can break laws and does things that are otherwise strictly forbidden – and He also takes responsibity for His actions (similar to Loki, who always pays the price for his actions).

“Bhairava is one of those paradoxical figures of Indian myth – he has broken all fetters. He has severed one of the heads of the Creator, killed the doorkeeper of Vishnu, the preserver; he dances naked, accompanied by women (and in some versions of the myth, Vishnu), and he appears as a figure of horror and ecstasy.”
In other stories, especially with His consort Parvati, Shiva displays the light-hearted and cheeky side of His trickster personality by teasing her lovingly.

Shiva is a God who allows us to think beyond social concepts and structures – but not to act out in anarchy, but to find a deeper wisdom and illumines us to see God beyond moral and social boundaries. He also prefers worship with sincere, heartfelt devotion to rigidly following of rituals.

Worship

Rudra, like Loki, was not officially worshipped and was “regarded isolated from the other Gods. When the Gods attained heaven, Rudra remained behind.”

Later, in His form of Shiva, He was granted worship, although even here He had to establish Himself by force, and in the turn of events He lost His beloved wife Sati (to me this literally means that He lost His power, respectively had to give up a dear part of Him – His Goddess – to become part of the Vedic Pantheon). The loss drove Him into leading an ascetic life and let Him withdraw into meditation – until his second wife, Parvati, comes along and awakens His fire again.

I experience Shiva, Rudra and Loki as Gods who do not care so much for idol worship, rituals and strict rules – but for sincere devotion. They prefer the devotee to pour their heart out to them, include them in their life, and share with them everything they hold dear. This can even be through arts, dance, writing, meditation or even appreciating the good in others. Every action can become an act of worship. Loki, Rudra/Shiva are very – you could say – intimate Gods. They like to be close, included and connected. Instead of worshipping them as someone high above and outside of ourselves, they ask us to feel them inside our hearts, and turn every moment of our life into an offering.

Shakti

What I struggled with in the beginning was Loki’s undeniable sexual attraction, which made me weary of His presence. I had never before connected this energy with Lord Shiva or Rudra – or God in general (maybe because in Western society the shame and guilt it brings, is rooted deeply inside us). I imagined Shiva as extremely pure, above and beyond pleasure or passion (which He actually is). It was much to my bemusement, when I found Lord Shiva to be the God of Tantra and in many ways similar to Loki. What Loki made me aware of is that this energy that I perceived as shameful, is actually our creative force. There is neither reason to fear it, nor to be ashamed of it. It is the power of Shakti, the dynamic force of the Goddess that all three Gods embody, because they are beyond duality – uniting both male and female within themselves.

The story of Sati and Shiva is heart-breaking, because in the light of my own wisdom, it is a story of Shiva loosing not only His dearest, but His power to a male-dominated culture of ritualistic worship, while Sati sacrificed herself for Him to give Him an equal place amongst the Gods. In many stories Sati is said to incinerate herself because Shiva is being insulted, yet it feels more that She (basically the Goddess-worship) was disrespected and driven out by the more controlled and structured culture of the Aryans. There was no place for the worship of the Goddess (Shakti), who was wild, powerful and uncontrollable. They had to tame Her, domesticate Her to be able to control Her.

The loss of Shakti left Shiva distraught, and He became a wanderer, an ascetic, withdrawing His senses from the world. But Shiva is a deity of balance – as long as He is stays in His ascetic aspect, His all-pervading meditation, He is unable to act in the world. It is the feminine principle of Shakti that brings Him to life. 

Shakti came back into His life as a “tamed” version of the fierce power She represents. As the Goddess Parvati she went through severe austerities to win Shiva’s heart, and became the perfect wife. And even though in some accounts it seems that Shiva is Her Lord, it is really Shakti who enchants Him and draws Him back into Her play of creation. In duality, Shiva cannot act without Shakti, yet Shakti also needs Shiva to balance her power – on a higher level they are one. Shiva and Parvati are worshipped as the perfect married couple.

Loki has a similar story concerning His wives. His first wife Angrboda (“bringer of grief” – incidentally that is exactly what Sati also brought Shiva – grief), is a fierce and fearless giantess, by some seen as malicious or as a witch. In my own experience, She is a strong, independent, uncontrollable (like Loki), fierce, powerful warrior Goddess with a large motherly heart for everyone who dares to love her sincerely. Angrboda resides in Jotunheim, the realm of the giants. Loki’s wife in Asgard, is Sigyn (very little is known about her from mythological texts), who embodies the perfect wife, with undying devotion, love and surrender to her husband … however, this does not mean that Sigyn is weak. Sigyn is Loki’s balance, just like Parvati is Shiva’s. Like Shiva and Parvati, Loki and Sigyn are often seen as the perfect couple (more often she is regarded as the perfect wife, because Loki’s reputation does not necessarily represent Him as the perfect husband. Curiously, the God who is said to have seduced pretty much every Goddess in Asgard, is married to the Goddess of Fidelity and Victory – and she accepts and loves Him.)

The seething fire that smoulders underneath Shiva/Rudra’s and Loki’s calm outer demeanour is indeed the fire of Shakti, the Goddess. They control it – or maybe not control it – but rather balance it with the vast stillness that lies underneath. Outwardly they seem to have mastered this powerful force, but inwardly, beyond duality they are one with it – embodying both the male and female principle of creation, Purusha and Prakriti. This fierce fire that is inherent to all three Gods, it is part of their nature. Shakti and Shiva/Loki/Rudra are so intimately connected to each other, that you cannot separate them.

To me Shiva, Rudra and Loki are manifestations of the masculine principle that is in perfect harmony with the feminine – they are unified, they are whole. As I understand it, their fierceness, their power and their strength is essentially the dynamic force of Shakti, and all three of them have a deep reverence for Her.

Since Shiva, Rudra and Loki all deal with the energy of the Goddess they also are Gods who would have been revered in ancient times by matriarchal systems, also by female healers, wise women and witches.

Fearlessness

I found that being blessed with their divine presence in my life, Shiva, Rudra and Loki have helped me to let go of a lot of fear. Mainly unconscious fear based in my lower chakras – and thus my view of the world changed and granted me access to a deeper wisdom. To be able to look at the Truth, and have access to it, we have to shed our fear.

They taught me to face my fears with courage, and to question fear when it arises instead of being overcome by it.

Emotions, pleasure, passion
“She (Shakti) appears in the form of dark, unpredictable drives, aggressions, and passions that enmesh the frail human soul like a boa constrictor its prey. There is no running or hiding to escape her. For this reason, her devotees try to unite her with Lord Shiva, that she might become peaceful and friendly.”

Shakti is the Kundalini, the Mother power, the creative power, life-energy, sexual energy and Shiva, Rudra and Loki are all wielders of this power – because they respect Her and love Her. Once the serpent energy of Kundalini awakens and travels upwards, it can throw our lives in chaos – especially emotionally, because it brings up all our deep-seated emotions, desires and passions so they can be purified.

“Rudra stands for all the intense feelings associated with the entire spectrum of surging emotions, ranging from piteous wail of the one weeping in excruciating pain to the terrifying thunder-clap emanating from clashing universes. It appears;”

Like most trickster deities, Loki relates to our emotions and feelings, especially on a lower level. He comes “down” and deals with our primeval urges – physical needs of security, sexual energy, desires, pleasures, emotions like anger, hatred, guilt, shame, fear, loss, grief, terror – you name it. He knows about the dangers that dwell in the hidden darkness of our being – so also does Shiva/Rudra as the Lord of Tantra.

These emotions need to be transformed if we wish to be liberated, because they bind us to the material life, to our earthly life and the “illusion” of Maya, another form of Shakti.

Illusion/maya does not mean that this world of ours is not real. Rather it refers to our bondage, our tendency to get caught up in our basic fears and needs to create attachments, thus we bind ourselves through our thoughts and deeds (karma). Sometimes Maya is referred to as a net or a noose, trapping us in it, and it is  interesting to note here is that it was apparently Loki who invented the fishing net and also has been described by some as holding a noose. Shiva/Rudra is known to be the Lord of Maya, and therefore can free us from  our self-created limitations and bondage. The journey out of “illusion” is one of letting go of old beliefs and rise beyond polarities – and Shiva, Rudra and Loki are experts on that.

The complexity of Life

Shiva, Rudra and Loki embody the complexity of life and creation, its dynamic flow as well as the stillness of Eternity. They awaken within us a love for life, a love for ourselves, acceptance of our own strength and give us the opportunity to gain liberation from bondage.

“WHAT shall we sing to Rudra, strong, most bounteous, excellently wise,
That shall be dearest to his heart?

To Rudra Lord of sacrifice, of hymns and balmy medicines,
We pray for joy and health and strength.
He shines in splendour like the Sun, refulgent as bright gold is he,
The good, the best among the Gods.” (RigVeda, XLIII, Rudra)

(Translation by Ralph T.H. Griffith)

“Rudra in the Rig-Veda Samhita is a highly complex divine character with contradictory qualities; and yet harmonizing within himself all contradictions.” https://sreenivasaraos.com/2012/09/29/the-rudras-eleven/#comments

One verse in the Rig Veda even implies that Rudra is the destroyer of evil and usherer of peace.

Rukh draavayathi, iti rudraha

(Rukh means “sorrow/misery”, draavayathi means “drive out/eliminate”, its means “that which, or the one who”)

https://sreenivasaraos.com/2012/09/29/the-rudras-eleven/#comments

“If you read through the Shiva Purana, you cannot identify Shiva as a good person or a bad person. He is everything – he is the ugliest, he is the most beautiful; he is the best and he is the worst; he is the most disciplined, he is a drunkard. Gods, demons, and all kind of creatures in the world worship him. The so-called civilisation has conveniently eliminated all those un-digestible stories about Shiva, but that is where the essence of Shiva is. Completely contradictory aspects of life have been built into the personality of Shiva. Sucha complex amalgamation of all the qualities of existence have been put into one person because if you can accept this one being, you have crossed life itself.”  ~Sadhguru, Isha Yoga Centre

Rudra, Shiva, Loki – You get whatever you signed up for

As Loki explained to me once, He appears to those who “worship” Him in the form they expect Him to, or the form they are ready to accept. He can appear fierce, cunning, full-of-trickery, brutal, enraging, fearsome, seductive, cheeky, sweet, tender-hearted, compassionate, loving – anything the person dealing with Him expects to get.

“Stella Kramrisch notes that not all who behold Shiva as the Supreme Beggar see him in quite the same way. By turns, Shiva baffles, enrages, seduces, sows confusion, and illuminates. He reveals himself to his devotee, in the shape and extent to which they are ‘ready’ to experience him.”

http://www.philhine.org.uk/writings/tt_wrathful.html

There is a famous hymn in the Vedas called the Sri Rudra Prashnaha, which addresses Shiva/Rudra in all His Glory – from terrible to beautiful. It is very special and infuses one with instant peace. You can find chants on Youtube, but the most haunting version is one of a female artist called Uma Mohan from her album “Divine Chants of Rudra”.

Find info on the Sri Rudram here:
https://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/19272305/…/SRI_RUDRAM_with_meaning.pdf

Qualities I discovered in Loki, which I later found to be attributes of Shiva/Rudra as well:

~ Loki is a very honest God and He teaches me to speak the truth and be non-judgemental
~ He Himself is innocent of nature, not malicious, and He adores childlike innocence and sweetness
~ He encourages me to find beauty in everything, not to judge things by the way they appear to be
~ To see good in other human beings and have respect for all living creatures and Mother nature
~ He encourages me to act with detachment, neither feel good or bad about my actions but surrender them to God
~ He kindles my devotion and fills my heart with love for God
~ He demands faith – not in Him, but in the One Absolute Consciousness that is above all else
~ He breaks my ego, to alert me and open me to new ways of being
~ He helps me to deal with the primeval urges of passion, pleasure, and all intense feelings like grief, anger, lust, etc.
~ He is a Lord of the Kundalini and revers Shakti
~ He definitely has a fiery temper, although I have not experienced it myself – but I can feel it underneath

If you got all the way through this very long post  – congratulations! – I do hope you enjoyed it and thank you for reading about these beautiful Gods.

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Tricksters

Hi! Sorry to those who have already read this article – it came “live” before it was edited!! … Well, I guess there is always some mischief involved when you deal with tricksters … So here is the final, edited version:

Trickster is a teacher whose lessons awaken us to who we are and allow us to explore the true purpose of our soul’s journey.
(crystallinks.com)

“Trickster is at one and the same time creator and destroyer, giver and negator, he who dupes others, and who is always duped himself … He knows neither good nor evil yet he is responsible for both. He possesses no values, moral or social, is at the mercy of his passions and appetites, yet through his actions all values come into being.”  ~ Paul Radin

Lately, Loki has lead me to immerse myself in His trickster aspect, and the research I did opened my mind to new ways of thinking. Tricksters have been around as long as human kind. They appear in mythology and folklore as gods, spirits, men, women, animals, teachers, guides or messengers, often described as mischievous in character, embodying both light and darkness, existing beyond social and moral concepts, even beyond duality. They are rule-breakers, magicians, truth-tellers, wise-fools, heroes, villains, survivors, outrageous and cunning, always moving. It seems like they do good despite of themselves, although in my own experience, tricksters are far too smart not to anticipate the outcome of things. Tricksters tempt us on purpose to look at our “dark” side, and in doing so they give us an opportunity to accept it and integrate it. Tricksters are mostly portrayed as male and are often shape shifters and many can change gender at will (which is not surprising, considering they are above and beyond duality).

In psychology the archetype of the trickster is part of the collective consciousness that shatters old paradigms and points out our rigid behavioral patterns, and pretensions.

As dubious as a trickster may appear to be, he always brings great gifts to those involved. The tricksters role is to question, not to accept blindly. He appears when things in our life that have outgrown its value, become rigid or need to be discarded, so that something new can grow. Trickster energy allows us to break out of old patterns – imposed on us by ourselves, our families, our culture or circumstances – and it opens the door to a world of limitless possibilities, but unless we learn to work with this energy its intensity has the potential to destroy us.

“… the (African) trickster Legba, always risks unleashing a Pandora’s box of powers. But it is only in risking such chaos that novelty is continually reborn, and the community is imagined to interact dynamically, rather than by some rigid structure.

The potential for dynamic chaos is the metaphysical heart of the Trickster. 

The Yoruba deity Eshu-Elegbara is a divine mediator of fate and information, a linguist, a crafty metaphysician. Eshu is a trickster not just because he fools people and creates chaos, but more profoundly because he’s always escaping the codes of the system he simultaneously reinforces.”

http://www.levity.com/figment/trickster.html

Tricksters are our light, as well as our darkness. They teach us to be flexible, to flow with life and adapt to unforeseen circumstances without feeling helpless or victimised. Another gift trickster brings is responsibility. Loki taught me how essential it is to take responsibility for my life, my thoughts, my feelings, my actions … for everything. By blaming all and sundry for our misery, we are only allowing others to have power over us and become victims or – due to the polarities we live in – we become powerful intimidators, lording it over others. Only by taking responsibility, can we escape this control/power drama, basically the drama of polarity. With responsibility goes hand in hand with acceptance. Tricksters teach us sincere acceptance of ourselves and those around us, so that we are no longer dependent on other’s energy/power, but instead rest peacefully within our own.

The Trickster is connected to our feelings and our emotional body, our second chakra, and thus also to our inner child. In most of us, our inner child might have been hurt or traumatised and usually feels scared, numb and alone. A healthy inner child is mischievous, fearless, safe and rests in the awareness that the universe is its playground. Tricksters usually radiate a very powerful sexual presence and, in duality, are connected to our lower emotions, lower chakras and all that gets us into mischief or trouble – so to say – the aggressive side of our being that deals with the lower frequency emotions, power, fate, jealousy, anger, self destruction, rage, pleasure, depression and so on. Because of this, tricksters naturally have the ability to use this energy to dissolve shame and guilt, or to heal and empower those who fell victim to sexual abuse.

Many of us are shut down emotionally. Loki explained to me that guilt, shame and embarrassment keep our emotions from flowing freely. To be receptive to the abundance of life as well as our inner wisdom we need to abandon these emotional locks, and free emotions that have been trapped underneath. So that we can feel and keep our emotional field open. It is the Trickster who cracks us open. Who teaches us how to be vulnerable. How to feel deeply. How to connect. Because only by keeping our entire being open, will we be able to grow.

Because Tricksters understand emotions and work on the emotional level, they can bring great healing for those who suffer from any kind of trauma. Loki loves working with my inner child, and it was Him who made me feel safe inwardly for the first time after I suffered from severe trauma.

Tricksters are probably the most intense yet also the most honest deities we can come across, as they confront us with those parts of our being that we attempt to control, suppress or deny. Our darkness, our ignorance, our hidden feelings, everything that could destroy that pretty mask we wear. So when a trickster shows up in your life to “annoy” you, it is time to be sincere with yourself. Allow him to strip you of your false securitys and masks to see yourself the way you are, because only then can you grow into someone new. Someone who is free from dogmas, pretense and completely authentic. Someone who can access a deeper wisdom and see the Truth of what is.

“Don’t take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive!” ~Elbert Hubbard

Tricksters like to play, and make light of things. They enjoy to embarrass us to give us the opportunity to laugh about ourselves, because if we take life and ourselves too seriously, we get stuck and loose the magic this existence has to offer.

Another thing that tricksters encourage is the ability to work things out ourselves, to think independently – out of the square. When I ask Loki questions, He hardly ever gives a straight answer, because He wants me to think for myself, to find my own answers. I was not surprised to find this to be a trickster trait, like shown in this dialogue between the African God Shango and the Trickster-God Eshu:

At one point, Shango, the thunder god asks him, “Why don’t you speak straightforwardly?” “I never do,” Eshu responds. “I like to make people think.”  (I found this delightful, as it could verily be a conversation between Thor and Loki)

There are many tricksters out there, many of them distrusted and often described as malicious. Even though I know that tricksters can be your worst nightmare – especially if you fear them (Loki appears to people the way they expect Him to be, even brutal and violent if they believe Him so), I do feel the reason that tricksters have gained a bad reputation, might be because they remind humanity of the freedom to think and act independently, without needing to be controlled by anyone. True independence has nothing to do with financial independence or egotistical goals, true independence is the capability to use our common sense, to apply creative thinking, to find solutions – not focus on problems, to act from a deeper wisdom – not to obey dogmatic rules. True independence is to use our individual capacity for a greater good (even without being appreciated for it). All things which might not be welcomed by those in power.

The one thing that Loki is constantly drilling into me is that nobody can control me, unless I allow them to. He wants me to abandon this belief of control, but he also makes me aware that this need for control and power runs right down to the most unconscious levels of my (human) being … luckily Loki is very, very patient.

I consider myself fortunate to have my own private trickster tutor – as much as people might fear Him, loathe Him and even despise Him. I know I can trust Him.

He is always changing, yet (or maybe that is why) He is always Himself.

The oneness of Shiva and Parvati

The flame of aspiration
The wings of my longings are undone,
All my desires are hushed.
The flame of aspiration shines—
Smiles now my heart abashed
To feel the Formless in Form divine,
To see nought save the One
That, neither male nor female, yet
Broods ever, our Parent-sun.

Sri Chinmoy, God’s Glance and God’s Grace, Agni Press, 2006

Loki, Rudra and Shiva revere their female counterparts as sacred and Loki continuously teaches me to honour the fact that I am female. Just as Lord Shiva wears the moon in His Hair, the sacred river Ganga flows through it and the Serpent King Vasuki adorns His neck – every single one of these a symbol of feminine energy –, he appears in the form of Ardhanarishvara (half male half female), and the source of Rudra’s fierce power is Shakti, the sacred feminine force of the universe, so Loki also is God who is intrinsically connected to the power of the Goddess.
I dare say that these three Gods encourage us more than other Gods to go beyond the polarities of male and female, striving to make us whole again and thus setting us free.

I feel the need to share a beautiful story about the divine couple Shiva and Parvati.Whilst Shiva and Parvati play the roles of husband and wife to show humanity how to go beyond our own limited existence of bondage and attachment. On a higher level they are truly one. Like parents they nurture us, play with us to guide us towards the truth. Needless to say that I feel that you could replace Shiva’s name with Loki’s and Parvati’s with Sigyn’s.

Enjoy!

Find the story here:

http://www.atmapress.com/ShivaandParvati.htm

With much gratitude to atmapress.com

Keeper of Time

“O Lord of lords, O refuge of the worlds, please be gracious to me. I cannot keep my balance seeing thus Your blazing deathlike faces and awful teeth…

All the sons of Dhrtarastra along with their allied kings and all our soldiers are rushing into Your mouths, their heads smashed by Your fearful teeth. …

O Visnu, I see You devouring all people in Your flaming mouths and covering the universe with Your immeasurable rays. Scorching the worlds, You are manifest.

O Lord of lords, so fierce of form, please tell me who You are. I offer my obeisances unto You; please be gracious to me. I do not know what Your mission is, and I desire to hear of it.” Thus spoke Arjuna, the mighty warrior of the Mahabharata.

The Blessed Lord, said: “Time I am, destroyer of the worlds, and I have come to engage all people.”

Bhagavat Gita, Chapter 11 (excerpt)

In the beginning of our friendship, I felt intrigued by and at the same time was a little weary of the complexity of Loki’s nature as underneath His charming, sly demeanour smothered intense power, similar to a volcano. Even so, Loki also embodied a vast stillness as well as compassion and love that radiated a warm feeling of safety. More than once I asked Loki who He really was. Mostly he would give me a childlike smirk and remain silent. Even though Loki can be very outspoken, He often prefers to convey information in a roundabout way, through stories and images, because He wants me to discover my own answers through meditation and contemplation. On one occasion though, Loki offered me a glimpse of something deep and vast, beyond my comprehension, and gave me a straight answer to said question:

“I am the Keeper of Time.”

“The keeper of time?” In reply He brought images of His three children to my mind: Jormungand, Fenrir and Hel. I asked Him to elaborate on this and He answered that these three represent aspects of Time, the destroyer of all things. I wished to know more, but He just left me to ponder over it.

A short while after, Loki did take me on a journey to meet two of His children – Fenrir and Hel. While being in Hela’s realm He also revealed a form of Himself that I had not encountered before – as the “conquerer of death”, He appeared as a God embracing His consort on a field of corpses surrounded by shrieking vultures. As I wished to know more about the conquerer of death, Loki nudged me to deepen my knowledge of Lord Shiva and His different aspects. Shiva is traditionally known by 108 names that relate to the God’s multifarious aspects. It did not come as a surprise to discover one of his manifestations is Mahakala (Lord of Time) and another one is Kalantaka (or Mritunjaya), the conquerer of death. What struck me was that Mahakala’s description/depiction matched perfectly the form that Loki had revealed to me in Hela’s realm (except that Loki did not appear in a “frightening” form with four arms and three eyes, but in the form that I am used to. The arms, eyes and weapons that Hindu deities are depicted with symbolise the powers of the deity described, rather than the actual appearance of the Goddess/God).

According to Shaktisamgama Tantra, the male spouse of Mahakali is the outwardly frightening Mahakala. Mahakala is described as having four arms and three eyes, and the brilliance of 10,000,000 black fires of dissolution. He dwells in the midst of eight cremation grounds, is adorned with eight skulls, holding a trident, a damaru, a sword and a kharpa in his hands. His is a beautiful body adorned with ashes from the cremation ground, seated on corpses he dallies with the beautiful Kalika (his consort), surrounded by numbers of loudly shrieking vultures and jackals in a deserted place.

Both Mahakala and Kali/Kalika represent the ultimate destructive power and are not bound by any rules or regulations. They have the power to dissolve even time and space into themselves and are responsible for the dissolution of the universe at the end of each age. They are also responsible for annihilating great evils and demons when other gods, Devas and even Trimurtis fail to do so. Mahakala and Kali annihilate men, women, children, animals, the world and the entire universe without mercy because they are Time in the personified form. Time is not bound by anything and Time does not show mercy, nor does it wait for anything or anyone.

source: http://www.shivashakti.com/mahakala.htm

As Kalantaka (or Mritunjaya) Shiva appears as the Conqueror of Time and Death itself. Both Kalantaka and Mahakala ultimately transcend bondage, not only from the material universe but also from the illusion of time. Thus they help us to transcend the most prominent fear of our finite existence – the fear of death – and also the concept of time. Shiva is ever-transcending and therefore He masters and controls time. There is another, even fiercer form of Shiva who I encountered when meditating on Fenrir and His connection to time, but it would be too lengthy to include this in this post.

While contemplating the term Keeper of Time, another God came to my mind, who is known as Shani in India – we know Him as Saturn or Kronos in the Western world. In India Shani is feared by people who wish to enjoy the pleasures of material life, while He is revered by spiritual seekers of the ultimate truth, because His influence and blessings free us from bondage and allow us to go beyond maya or illusion (Maya/illusion does not mean that our world is not real, it rather points out that we bind and limit ourselves by the thought patterns and beliefs we create. Saturn, Shiva, Loki and Rudra are all God’s who have the tendency to break these patterns and free us of our self-created illusions.)*

(In India) We all pray to the Cosmic Gods, “Please come and bless us, bless us.” But to Shani, or Saturn, we say, “Please, please, remain away from us, remain away!” He is also a god, but we pray to him to remain away from us. Why? Because Shani brings renunciation.

In India, people do not do anything sacred on Saturday (Saturnday), because they are afraid that Shani will cast his glance upon them. They feel that the best thing is to pray to other gods, “Please come and bless us.” To Shani they pray, “Please, please, remain away from us!”

This is our human desire. But Shani comes and gives us renunciation. He creates conditions of human hardship and imposes austerity on us. He even takes our dearest ones away from us. Ordinary human beings will find it hard to embrace this kind of deprivation. But when a seeker wants to reach the Highest, he asks Shani and Rudra, another cosmic god, to expedite the journey toward the transcendental Goal. He prays that they will do their divine work and cut all attachment. Shani and Rudra want us to be freed from the meshes of ignorance. That is why they constantly strive for perfection in and through us. It is precisely because we are fond of living in ignorance that we human beings are afraid of Rudra and Shani. (The dance of the cosmic Gods, Sri Chinmoy)

Shani is the son of Surya, and Suryaputra is also Shani’s name.

source: http://www.srichinmoylibrary.com/dcg-10

I found it remarkable that in one of the Tantric texts, there is a hymn to a God called Mahakala Shani Mritunjaya (Kalantaka), a personification of Lord Shiva that identifies Mahakala with Shani (Saturn) as well as Mritunjaya. In a conversation between the God and the Goddess, she desires to learn more about Him, and also reveals the virtue of His blessings:

The Goddess said, “Tell me about your special Mahakala form. Relate the hymn of praise to Shani Mrityunjaya, who gives freedom from time, bestows immortality, destroys untimely disease and give the Shani mantra particular to this hymn!”

http://www.shivashakti.com/mahakala.htm

In any description the Gods connected to Time are frightening and mostly feared by people. Shani and Rudra are even said to bring calamities upon those who are not ready or willing to give up attachment. In my experience Loki is just like that. He seems to be an inconvenient God, because He stirs up all those things that keep us in bondage. His “blessings” can be unpleasant, painful and chaotic. So most people would probably rather not have Him in their life. However, if we open ourselves to the Truth and cry for illumination of our limited existence, if we really long for the freedom of earthly bondage, then it is Loki, Shani, Shiva or Rudra who come to our aid. Because this is what Light does, it illumines old, outdated beliefs and illusions we carry about ourselves and the world. If you dwell in a dark room, unaware of what it holds, you might be surprised of what you find when somebody comes along and turns on the light. You might find your room full of rubbish and now, since the lights are on, you are forced to deal with it all. This is unpleasant for most of us.

In my experience, Loki is quick-witted and not willing to spend time with those who indulge in their own bondage. When Loki offers us a hand with the “clean up”, He expects sincerity and dedication, because He offers quick and radical transformation. His blessings can bring great freedom, but if not alert and on guard, they can throw your life into chaos and destroy you just as well. Sincerity can save you a great deal of trouble when dealing with Him, and when He offers His love and compassion, the blessings one receives are far greater than one could imagine.

*as well as their female counterparts, the manifestations of Adi Shakti, who are the most powerful forces when it comes to destroying human ignorance. The Goddesses Kali and Durga are revered and feared for these very reasons.

 

Conversations with the God of Change

Loki is a caring and compassionate guardian for those He loves, and sometimes He prefers to teach through tales and stories, because He likes words, He likes to express Himself and He likes to talk – especially if you ask the right questions … and my inner child has a lot of questions. So here is a little conversation that poured out of my pen one night – a conversation between my inner child and her – uhm – Guardian God, in this case, not Guardian Angel – about God, transformation, suffering, free will and ultimate freedom. 

The warm breeze brushed over her cheeks, ruffling her hair and his hand gently tucked the loose strands behind her ear. Lokelani’s* head rested in Loki’s lap, and she opened her eyes to look up at him when she felt his touch. Loki gave her a warm, comforting smile. The girl’s eyes studied his face for a while before she muttered, “You are nothing like we humans imagine you to be.” Loki raised an eyebrow. “Would you care to elaborate on this?” “Well, you know, I read a lot of things about you. Myths and stories. Most of us do not see you as a benevolent God. Some even see you as downright -” she hesitated before she said, “evil.” He simply looked at Lokelani, the corners of his mouth turning ever so slightly upwards, while he waited for her to continue. “Some see you as a trickster, as someone who takes advantage of others and is not necessarily trustworthy. Others imagine you as dominant, demanding, unpredictable, dangerous, destructive and chaotic” She smiled apologatically, “Sounds pretty bad, I know.” Loki smirked. “Sounds intriguing. So, tell me, why would that not be in accordance with who I am?” He asked, the smile still on his face and his eyes on hers. She sighed, “Because you are loving, compassionate, tender-hearted and kind. You have never done anything to harm me, you always supported me and helped me. It feels like everything you do, you do out of love.” “Because you let me” he said. “What do you mean?” Loki combed his fingers through her hair. “I am all those things humans imagine me to be” he said, “and much more. I am inconceivable to the human mind. Whatever one needs from me to serve me, I will give. If they want me to be dominant, even brutal, I will be. I will break them open if necessary and expose them to face their own ignorance. But, eventually, they will find my compassion.” “Then why have you been showing me only kindness?” “Because it is what you ask from me, and what you give. You are willing to let me mould you, transform you the way I choose. You surrender to me not out of fear or passion, but out of love. To a heart that sees only love and kindness in me, I give exactly what it needs to love me more. A teacher does not and cannot only make demands on a student. It is a reciprocal relationship. He gives according to the student’s needs, so that the student can grow, otherwise he would not make a good teacher. The heart is humble, because love never seeks to control and I cannot counter humility with anything else but love. Those who approach me with their heart, will find in me a trustworthy friend, an affectionate lover or a protective parent – or all of the above. Those who fear me, will find a God they can fear. Those who want to be dominated by me, will find me that way.” “This explanation gives shapeshifter a whole new meaning” Lokelani said and Loki chuckled softly. “The ones who are willing to love me, are willing to transform their nature. They aspire to free themselves from the bondage of the lower realms. When you chose me as your God, you gave me permission to wreak you exactly the way you need to achieve that goal.” “Whoa, wait, the human in me has a bit of trouble keeping up here … I – chose you as my God?” A smug smile appeared on his face as he took in Lokelani’s perplexed facial expression. “Well, more or less consciously,” he said in the soft voice, filled with patience, that he always used when he wanted her to pay attention. “You were born to be under my protection or as you would say, you belong with me.” Lokelani’s gaze wandered up to the clear blue sky above and it took a moment before she asked, “So what does that mean exactly?” There was a pause. “It means that you are mine and no matter where in the nine realms you go, there is no escape from my grasp,” Loki whispered in a deep growl, teasing her, and earned himself an affectionate punch in his side. “Well, at least I chose a God with a sense of humour,” Lokelani growled back. “God always has a sense of humour, it is your human minds that imagine him strict and terrifying. For some reason quite a few of you indulge in the need to be punished.” “Because we are so imperfect and impure!” she blurted out and Loki gave her a stern look. “Tell me, Lokelani, where did that belief come from? God? I doubt it. If you ever say or think that about yourself again, I will definitely punish you.” Lokelani pulled off a pretend fearful expression which made Loki laugh, but he fell silent when he sensed her growing serious. “What does it really mean, Loki, that I belong with you?” She asked again. “Are you concerned that you could end up as my eternal slave?” She frowned. “I just do not wish to be controlled by anyone anymore.” “And, have I ever tried that? To control you?” Lokelani shook her head, still there was this nagging little voice in her head. “You still doubt me.” Loki voiced her thoughts. “I do not wish to doubt you, yet I have this feeling of impending doom somewhere in the back of my mind. That you will turn on me, when I served my purpose.” As soon as the words were out, she regretted them. Loki had shown her nothing but kindness, affection and love. How could she say anything hurtful to him? The girl averted her eyes and sat up and Loki carefully placed his arms around her. “I know your feelings. I am aware of your doubt, Lokelani, there is no need to be ashamed to admit it.” She closed her eyes and felt his magic flowing around her soothingly. After all they had been through together, there was still doubt in her mind. Doubt that he would do something to hurt her, control her, to use her for his own advantage and then – abandon her. “Questioning your beliefs is good. It keeps you on your toes, never lets you take things for granted. But your doubt stems from fear. You need not fear me and you must not doubt yourself. All souls who take a body on Midgard, come from respective realms and thus are connected to different aspects of God. You came from my “family”, that is why you belong with me. My consciousness is more prominent in those who come from my family, so my consciousness is more prominent in you. This is what it means.” Then he added lightly, “I am sorry to break it to you, flower, but I fear that you will be stuck with me as your God for a long time, and I do not wish to unsettle your mind by mentioning words like – eternity.” His lightness eased her thoughts a little and Lokelani looked up at him, responding to Loki’s mischevious grin with a sweet smile. “Bound eternally to the God of Chaos … Well, my life’s pretty messed up now – but I guess, it could be worse.” He furrowed His brow, “How could it be any worse?” “Well, I could be bound to the God of Thunder … that would be – far too noisy!” They laughed. “You are more than bound to me”, Loki said and placed a fatherly kiss on the top of her head, “You are part of me.”

Lokelani closed her eyes and Loki felt her mood shift. “Would you like to tell me what is bothering you now?” “You know what it is, you read my mind like an open book.” “Does it not make you feel better, when you can talk about it?” The girl sighed and nodded, she could not hide anything from Loki, because he understood her in ways that she could not fathom. “Things I have been through, that have been hurtful and heart-breaking … traumatising …” she started and broke off, so Loki continued. “Have also made you grow, when you learned to accept them. They broke your ego, broke you open so you could heal”, he explained. “But they hurt!” “Because you were clinging onto your ideas of how life has to be. It is your attachment of wanting things in your own way, trying to control life, that makes you suffer. Life is not meant to be full of suffering, but as long as you dwell in polarities it will be.” Lokelani kept her eyes closed and whispered, “I was a child when I was raped. Tell me, was that just a “lesson” to break my ego?” It was Loki’s turn to heave a sigh and he pulled her closer, so that she was sitting on his lap. “Are you blaming me for letting these things happen to you?” She turned to face him. Loki searched her eyes and Lokelani shook her head. “I am not. I would simply like to understand why or how things like this happen to innocent children. How can God be so cruel?” His magic flowed around her in a gentle, warm embrace. “I am sorry” he whispered as he opened himself to her and let Lokelani see that all the pain she had endured in her life, Loki himself had felt it in exactly the same way. He suffered inside her suffering. “I wish nothing more for you than to be happy.” His voice was soft and comforting. “It is not in my nature to torture those I love, nor do I enjoy seeing them hurt. However, there are experiences I cannot intervene with, because of certain laws. And even though my nature is to break old worlds, so that the truth can shine brightly, it does not mean that my actions have no consequences for me. I experience things in and through you and rest assured that I did not just sit and watch when you suffered. There are laws in this universe that are beyond the understanding of the mind and I cannot make you comprehend the reasons why innocent creatures suffer like they do. I can only assure you that as a God I am not aloof to your suffering, I am going through it with you.” Lokelani felt the sincerity of his words. “The path of the God you belong to is not an easy path to tread on, because it forces you to face all those things inside yourself that keep you from seeing the truth. The true nature of your own being. All the things that keep you bound in darkness. My path is a path of transformation. It is the path of the ultimate Truth, and I will break you again, and again, as long as you hold wrong beliefs about yourself. But never doubt my love for you, Lokelani, never doubt my love for you.” She nestled closer to him, letting his magic shelter her, while Loki continued. “Someone gave humans a free will. It is like a game and one of the rules is that the Gods do not have the right to simply interfere whenever they see fit. We too are bound to laws.” Loki loosened his embrace as he felt her relax, and she leaned against his chest and listened to his heart for a while. “So, you felt the pain that I went through?” “I feel everything you go through. The more conscious you are of me, the more you surrender to me, the better I can mend things. If you can see pain as an experience I am having in and through you, it would make it easier for you. Those who can surrender to me will walk this path more easily, because I can hold on to them and catch them before they fall.” “Do I have to give up my free will if I surrender to you?” “You will align your free will with something higher, that guides you through life from a deeper wisdom. Life is like a river. Most people stand in the water fighting against the current, exhausting themselves and not getting anywhere. Then there are the ones who swim against the current, struggling hard to get upstream, yet they mostly stay in the same place. And then there is a third kind, who give up the struggle and let themselves be carried by the current, unafraid and ready to face whatever looms around the next corner. It could be a waterfall and you could fall to your doom. Yet, if these people can keep their faith and surrender, there will be no doom. They will go down the waterfall and emerge as something new, completely transformed.” “So, it is how we use our free will that determines the flow of our life.” He nodded. Lokelani pulled away to be able to look into his eyes. “That does not leave me much choice, does it? If I do not surrender, I will suffer?” Loki laughed softly. “It is not quite as black and white as your mind perceives it. Surrender is not something you do out of fear, or to avoid punishment. It is something that grows from love, from devotion. Your love for me and my love for you. Surrender means your becoming part and parcel of my reality, your oneness with me. You will not loose anything. You will only expand into something vaster, deeper and higher. Like a drop entering into the ocean. The drop does not loose its identity, it only becomes something much larger than it was before.” “Then, why am I afraid?” “Because you still identify with your finite consciousness, with duality, with your ego – and this is what I break, when I break you. Because I long to set you free.” Loki paused for a moment, before he said, “You know you belong with me?” She nodded. “Can you feel my love for you?” She nodded again. “Good. I claim you as my own, because I know you are part of me. One day you will be able to do the same. You will be able to claim me as your very own. Then there will be no more doubt, no more inferiority or insecurity, no more separation. Then you will know who you truly are and who I am. You will cast off your earthly, finite shackles and gain true freedom.”

 

*Lokelani is a Hawaiian name and is not related to Loki’s name. He likes to use this name, or simply “flower”, when he refers to my inner child.

Sigyn and Loki

If you love somebody – set them free! (Sting)

Like a child Sigyn exists inside her heart and has a pure, innocent beauty. Sigyn can be mild, sweet, almost fragile like a butterfly, yet one should not be fooled by her appearance and dismiss Her as weak, because this Goddess holds a power that is able to pacify an almost uncontrollable God. Sigyn is Loki’s balance, the power that gives Him direction and focus, while Loki is the fire that fuels Sigyn’s love. She is the stable strength of peace that makes Loki’s force of transformation one that brings lasting benefits.

It is nonsense says prudence
It is what it is says love

It is calamity says calculation, it is nothing but pain says fear,
it is hopeless says reason
It is what it is says love

It is ridiculous says pride, it is foolish says caution,
it is impossible says experience
It is what it is says love

(Erich Fried)

Loki and Sigyn’s relationship is uniquely beautiful as it is one of true equality and mutual acceptance. They compliment each other perfectly. They are completely one with each other. It is lovely to experience the untameable Loki becoming very lamb-like and sweet in Sigyn’s presence. This powerful force that pacifies Loki’s all-consuming flames and channels His fire so that it can give comfort and warmth, is none other than love. Sigyn loves Him, She does not control Him. Love never does.

Sigyn’s love for Loki is sincere, pristine and deep. I believe, that, if there is one true devotee of Loki, it is Sigyn. She reveres Him for all that He is and is ready to offer Him everything She has, and she does it with a sweetness and devotion that makes my heart ache. In turn, Loki offers Her all He has and all He is, because He really sees her as His equal. The God has a deep respect and love for Her and finds comfort in Sigyn as much as She finds fulfillment in Him. Their relationship has everything a healthy relationship should have, and both, Sigyn and Loki, offer a love that is all-embracing, unconditional and pure like a parent’s love for a child to those who are open for it. In my opinion they make the perfect parents as they teach the importance of setting boundaries,  to have faith and be true to oneself, be sincere and live an authentic life.

Freedom

I have come to know Loki as an aspect of God that is beyond good or evil, one who works to awaken humanity to a new freedom and one who allows us to go beyond duality. And I believe that when Loki appears in our life, so does Sigyn. It is a natural balance as both of them embody aspects of the other. On the highest level, they are the oneness in duality, never really separate. Loki breaks us open so that we can see what needs to change, so that we learn to forgive, forget, love and live in compassion. If we allow ourselves to stay open, Sigyn fills the new space with her love and helps us to take the step from our basic egoistic needs up into the centre of our heart, so we can experience love, compassion and oneness.

Loki and Sigyn know illusion and bondage like no other and can help us achieve ultimate freedom from both. Maybe this is the reason they ended up in that cave after all, to show us how to free ourselves from our self-imposed fetters, gained through our own deeds, and how to keep our faith even when treated unjustly? Maybe they ended up in bondage, because they represent a freedom that humanity could not be allowed to have – until now? The freedom to question the ones in charge, to speak and search for the truth, love the truth and live authentically? 

Loki is a God who asks us to abandon our victim mentality and take responsibility for everything that happens in our life. He urges us to live our dreams, reach for the stars and find the highest Truth. Believe in ourselves. Sigyn gives us the courage to forgive, keep the faith and move ahead into the unknown. Forgiveness is a quality Sigyn, as well as Loki offer, and it is really a tool to set us free. As long as we hold on to unforgiven hurt, we can never truly be free. It is not those who hurt us that keep us bound, it is we who bind us in the prison of resentment and bitterness. A great freedom lies in the ability to forgive ourselves and others. 

As human beings we are blessed with free will. We can use it to pursue our desires, attachments and other worldly pleasures or we can use it to expand our consciousness and devote our lives to seek spiritual freedom. Loki is the one who teaches us that free will comes with responsibility and consequences (the law of karma), Sigyn shows us that through detachment, divine love and devotion we can surrender to the will of our Higher Self and thus transcend the fetters of earthly bondage (karma).  There is no greater freedom, than to live in the freedom of the soul.

Meditation and Inner Peace

If you can truly love yourself, if you are at peace with yourself, then nothing will be able to disturb you.

I have read that if you encounter Loki in an uncontrollable mood, it helps to call on certain deities to calm him or control Him. Some advise to call on Thor, others on Loki’s mother, Laufey. If you not only wish to pacify Him, but also learn about Him, I would advise to call on Sigyn (provided you call on her with the love and respect she deserves – as any disrespect towards Sigyn might just put Loki in a bad mood).

I did not know much about Sigyn, but judging by the feelings Loki carries for her, I figured that she knows Him better than anybody. And she does. Loki is incredibly talented at letting things get out of control, and I called on Sigyn, not so much to control Him, but rather to learn how to respond when life becomes too chaotic. Indeed, a very practical skill in today’s world! A world where you are often faced with things you cannot control or stressful, overwhelming situations.

In my experience of Loki, He is very loving and affectionate, yet He can have the all-consuming intensity of a wildfire when He wants your attention and the force of an earthquake when He breaks your old beliefs. With Sigyn’s presence, it feels like sitting in the eye of the hurricane. Everything is peacefully calm amidst complete disaster. Now I realise why (right from the start of our friendship) Loki has been asking me to meditate more on my heart and to focus on peace – to be able to bear His presence and not get consumed or distracted by His force. I still have a long way to go and am very grateful to Sigyn for her support!

Sigyn encourages me to still my mind, make it tranquil and to go deep within to touch the place inside my heart that is all peace. Mediation is the key. The more peace we have, the easier it will be to deal with outer circumstances.

Peace is the only solid strength we truly possess.

The greatest misfortune that can come to a human being is to lose his inner peace. No outer force can rob him of it. It is his own thoughts, his own actions, that rob him of it. (Sri Chinmoy)

Some see Loki’s force in the craziness of today’s fast-paced, chaotic world. If this is true, then Sigyn’s force is the answer to survival in this world – we need inner peace. Sigyn’s peace embraces the chaos to bring it back into balance. She does not control. She loves. Love embraces and accepts. Maybe Loki wreaks havoc in our world, because we so direly try to control everyhting, instead of simply accepting things the way they are, expanding our consciousness and opening our hearts to love.

Peace is love universal. Peace is power transcendental. Peace is the harmonious control of life. It is vibrant with life-energy. It is a power that easily transcends all our worldly knowledge. Yet it is not separate from our earthly existence. Peace is eternal. 

Our greatest protection lies not in our material achievements and resources. All the treasure of the world is emptiness to our divine soul. Our greatest protection lies in our soul’s communion with the all-nourishing and all-fulfilling Peace. Our soul lives in Peace and lives for Peace. If we live a life of peace, we are ever enriched and never impoverished. Unhorizoned is our inner peace; like the boundless sky, it encompasses all. 

(Sri Chinmoy)

Unifying Polarities

Everything in this creation is ruled by duality. It is a necessary law that we cannot escape, yet we can, with awareness and acceptance, live within it in a state of balance. Like the couple of Shiva and Parvati, Loki and Sigyn can help us unify polarities and return to our natural state of oneness with the source – our Higher Self. In this time of transition, when a new paradigm of wholeness is blossoming, Loki breaks open our belief patterns based on polarities of good and evil, darkness and light, truth and falsehood etc. and Sigyn embraces us with her love. Together they support us in moving beyond duality into a state of wholeness.

Sigyn – Goddess of Divine Victory?

The love of power tries to control, the power of love sets us free. Love is indeed the only power that brings true freedom.

This is my rather humble attempt to write about this complex Goddess, who embodies (in my eyes) the Victory of the Divine over ignorance. Even though Sigyn has only recently entered my life, I realise that Loki and Her cannot really be separated. They work as one. Sigyn’s main aspect is probably Love, but as mentioned above, She is much more complex than that – She is Innocence, Sweetness, Acceptance, Forgiveness, Compassion, Faith, Loyalty, Peace, Strength, Transcendence of Suffering, Freedom from Illusion/Attachment, … you see. It’s not that easy. She is a child, a loyal wife, a warrior and a wise woman all in one form. 

Not much is known about Sigyn, the Goddess of Fidelity, who is often regarded simply as Loki’s loyal wife, sometimes even as weak or submissive and She is frequently dismissed as a minor, insignificant Goddess. Sigyn is probably best known for her role in Loki’s binding:

After the Gods caught Loki, they brought him and his family (Sigyn and their two sons) to a cave, where they turned one of his sons into a wolf, that promptly killed his brother, scattering the entrails across the cave floor. The Gods then used the entrails of Loki’s slain son to bind him to three rocks, by turning them into chains. The Goddess Skadi placed a poisonous snake above his head, in such a manner that the venom would drip on Loki’s face and burn his eyes. Sigyn, his faithful wife, stayed by Loki’s side, holding a bowl above his head to catch the poison from the snake’s mouth. But ever so often she would need to empty the bowl at which point the drops fall onto the God’s face and make him to writhe in pain, causing earthquakes on Midgard, the world of humanity. Sigyn is said to stay with Loki in the cave until Ragnarok, the dissolution of the cosmos, which Loki will bring about at the end of time.

After the ordeal in the cave – How could anyone possibly consider Sigyn to be weak? Sigyn’s story is one of remarkable inner strength, as even when she could have surrendered to being a victim of circumstances, Sigyn consciously chose to sacrifice her freedom and stay with Loki driven by her love for Him. 

Sigyn’s name derives from the old norse word sigr “victory” and vina “female friend” and is often translated as “victorious friend” or “victorious girlfriend/woman” which also does not make Her sound like a victim!

Nothing concrete is known about the Goddess’ relations, some believe Her to be Odin’s daughter (given that one of Odin’s kennings is “Father of Victory” and also because Loki is Odin’s blood brother and a bond with Odin’s daughter would seem only natural), while others feel that Sigyn has a strong connection to Vanaheim and was raised by the peace-loving God Njord as a foster daughter. Where apparently Loki met Her first, when She was still a little girl. By Her devotees She is described as appearing either in form of a young girl, beautiful Goddess or as a strong woman, a mother who is past the ordeal of loosing her children.

Sigyn – Love, devotion, surrender and transcendence of suffering

Hurt people hurt people.
That’s how pain patterns get passed on,
generation after generation.
Break the chain today.
Meet anger with sympathy,
contempt with compassion,
cruelty with kindness.
Greet grimaces with smiles.
Forgive and forget
about finding fault.
Love is the weapon of the future.
(Yehuda Berg)

In my own experience of Sigyn, She is just as beautiful and complex as Her counterpart – Loki – and they are truly one and inseperable.

Loki is the tornado and Sigyn the eye of the storm.

The relationship between Her and Loki (Sigyn and Loki) is so intricate and deep that I could fill books writing about it, yet I will try and focus on the main qualities Sigyn has shown me and is teaching me: Love, devotion, surrender and the strength of  inner Peace.

When Loki’s force of destruction threatens to sweep us off our feet, Sigyn is the force that makes us resilient. She gives us the courage and strength to move forward. This Goddess embodies an unwavering solid power that withstands all adversities – peace – and Sigyn gains this peace from Her unconditional love and devotion to Loki. By loving Him, devoting Herself to Him fully, and finally surrendering her freedom, when She consciously chooses to stay with Loki in the cave until Ragnarok, Sigyn transcends her attachements, expectations, desires, fears and doubts on the strength of Her love. She is not a victim of circumstances, but makes conscious choices. And She knows well that the source of Her strength lies in Loki. (They have an interdependent relationship, which means that Loki needs Sigyn just as much as She needs Him.) Sigyn could turn away and leave Him, because there is nothing that Loki can offer Her to ease Her suffering, She could even blame Him for Her misfortune. But Sigyn does not blame Him. She does not complain. She stays. She takes responsibility. Even under the most difficult circumstances She is true to Her heart and Her love. 

Sigyn and Loki are part and parcel of each other, to me their situation is also symbolic to our dark and light side (in this case Loki represents our darkness, Sigyn the light). To be whole, healthy human beings who can live their full potential, we need to accept our darkness so that it can be transformed through our light.

I believe that Sigyn’s victory is one over the illusion of existence, over suffering, grief and injustice. Ultimately all bondage is an illusion. By acting without attachment, by staying with Loki without expecting a reward, She surrenders to something Higher and goes beyond suffering. 

In the sacred writings of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna says, “You have the right to act, but not claim the fruit of your actions.” He explains to Arjuna the importance of action in this world, the law of Karma and furthermore gives Arjuna the key to go beyond this very law by devotedly surrendering all actions to Him (Krishna/God), not worrying about results and refraining from attachments to success and failure, thus achieving liberation. This is the basis of Karma Yoga.

In the ancient teachings of Yoga there are four main directions through which a seeker of Truth can attain union with the Highest: Bhakti, Karma, Jnana and Raja Yoga. It was intriguing to find that, while Sigyn embodies the perfect Bhakti, the one who follows the Yoga of Divine Love, She also walks the path of Karma Yoga by acting without expecting a result. 

But I feel that Love is the driving motive behind Her actions. Divine love, as well as devotion and surrender are all qualities of the heart, so Sigyn is a good Goddess to call on if you wish to connect with your heart. 

“What is love? From the spiritual and inner point of view, love is self expansion. Human love binds and is bound. Divine Love expands, enlarges itself. Devotion is the intensity in love, and surrender is the fulfilment of love. Why do we love? We love because at every moment we are pinched with hunger to realise the highest, to feel the inmost, to be consciously one with the universe, with the universal truth, universal light, peace and bliss, and to be completely fulfilled.
How to love? If we love with a view of achieving something from others, then that love is no love. Love means constant self offering on the strength of one’s own inner aspiration.” (Sri Chinmoy)

Sigyn is sweet and lovely like a child just as much as She is a strong, fearless warrior. A peaceful warrior with a relentless spirit. Her victory lies in overcoming adversities, not escaping them. She inspires us to be strong and raise our consciousness beyond limiting beliefs, while at the same time staying open and vulnerable, so that we can forgive ourselves and others, and thus be truly free.

“We are all peaceful warriors in training – learning to live with a peaceful heart and a warrior’s spirit.” (Dan Millman)

Sigyn knows the meaning of suffering very well, yet She consciously chooses not to be a victim of it, not to let it bring Her down. She does not complain and She does not hold bitterness. She forgives, She has compassion, hope and patience.

Personally, I relate to Sigyn as my sister and friend. We are connected through a bond that runs far deeper than my little mind could actually understand and share a love for nature and animals, magical moments, the transient, all things beautiful and fragile and Mother Earth, as well as for powerful nature forces like storms, lightening, waterfalls, oceans and fire. To see the world through Sigyn’s eyes, is to see it with the eyes of a child – everything is a miracle, everything holds magic, light and beauty. This childlike Goddess beholds the world in an innocent, uncorrupted way – she loves a slithering snake just as much as a colourful butterfly.

To see the world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wild flower
Hold eternity in the palm of your hand
and Infinity in an hour.
(William Blake)

Some of the things that Sigyn teaches:

Sigyn can teach us how to love, in a pure divine way, how to surrender our free will to a Higher Source and thus find ultimate liberation from bondage, not by escaping but accepting whatever life gives us.

She can teach us not only to forgive, but also to forget. To keep our hearts open and realise that ultimately we are all interdependent beings – hurting someone else, is really hurting ourselves.

She can teach us courage and strength in the face of difficulties. Never to give up!

She can teach us to find the source of our power, which lies within our hearts. Deep down within each of us is an ocean of peace that is waiting to be discovered. This solid inner peace is our true strength and power and it will keep us safe from the storms of life.

She encourages us to focus and meditate on our heart, find love, find peace, devote our actions to a Higher goal, with devotion and without expectation. Transcend limiting beliefs and bondage.

Sigyn is a Goddess who also teaches detachment. True detachment is not aloofness or escape from the world…

Detachment is immediate peace. Detachment is wisdom. We are not our creators. Somebody created us. When we can detach ourselves from any person or any object, then we get boundless joy. Detachment is the wisdom-light in us that tells us not to be affected by anything that happens. 

When you try to remain detached, you have to feel that it is your wisdom-light that is coming to the fore. Detachment is not an escape from life. Detachment is a way to see or to feel that God knows that what is happening is for the ultimate good of mankind or for the ultimate good of Mother Earth. (Sri Chinmoy)