Loki and awakening Kundalini – Part 2

According to Tantric scriptures, explained by Sally Kempton, the “coiled”  Kundalini refers to primal, dynamic energy that is ready to “spring” into action – it is not “only” seen as the coiled energy at the base of our spine, but Kundalini is “the name for the universal Shakti in Her subtle creative phase.”
~Sally Kempton, Doorways to the Infinite 

With my own very limited understanding of the workings of consciousness and energy (before Loki started opening my mind to the rather mind-boggling mysteries of the universe) I believed Kundalini to be “only” that mystic energy that allows us to access our “magic” and gain occult powers. Needless to say the ever-illumining Norse Trickster is an avid teacher, who slowly and steadily (with the patience only a God can possess)n opened my mind to see the greater picture. Allowing me to understand things in my own time (which is an ongoing process).

“She is the Mother of the worlds, the glory of the empire of the Soul
who gives shelter to the tender sprouts of the seed of the universe,
the phallic symbol of the footless Brahma,
the containing vessel of Siva, the Supreme Soul,
and the true source of the life breath.” 
~ Jnanesvara

So, according to Tantra Kundalini is the Great Goddess Shakti, and She is described to take three “forms”.

Loki showed me that no matter what we believe to be true in our lives, no matter how much we suffer, or how gloomy things seem to be sometimes, underlying everything there is only one Truth – and that Truth is an all-pervading loving energy. Which brings us to Kundalini-Shakti’s first form.

Samasti-Kundalini. She is the all-pervading Shakti, the God-energy, the infinitely subtle life-energy that pervades everything in the Universe. She is the loving presence that is there at the Source of our being.

As Chit-Kundalini, Her second phase – which translates to fully-enlightened consciousness, or fully-aware consciousness – She is the inner awareness that experiences life. When this form awakens within us, we become self-aware on a different level. We realise that we are not the body, not the outer activities, not our thoughts or our emotions, but a larger presence that observes with unattached compassion. In Yogic tradition this is known as the observer, practicing this, will lead to a deeper level of self-recognition.

In Her third form, as Prana-Kundalini, She acts as the life-force we experience in our subtle body. This is the Kundalini that “awakens” and turns our awareness inward.

Some texts describe Kundalini to have three aspects – Knowledge(Jiiana),Will (Iccha) and Action (Kriya) – which in turn also relate to the five aspects of creation … but it would lead to far to go into detail here….

Interestingly to note is that these three aspects are described as the three “kundals” or coils – basically three spirals – which are an ancient symbol that can be found all over the world, and which in Celtic spirituality symbolises the Mother Goddess.

With Loki’s presence in my life, came the presence of the Goddess … or more precisely, He made me aware of Her presence and re-connected me with Her. While my mind still tries to separate them, my heart knows them to be one and inseparable. At the Source there is no separation of consciousness and energy, of Shiva and Shakti. Only oneness. This is what they teach us.

Prana-Kundalini works to keep the functions of our body going, to power the breath, the heart beat, but when She awakens and turns our attention inwards, She flows through our chakras and meridians to purify the system from old patterns and beliefs. She confronts us with all those things we do not wish to look at and therefore, She brings radical transformation. Something which Loki is well known for. To me, the Norse Trickster is a God of Freedom, of Empowerment, and of Truth – and the force He uses is none other than Kundalini-Shakti. Whatever Loki stirred up in the darkest, deepest depths of my being, I knew that He brought it to Light for it to be transformed. And this is exactly what Kundalini does when She becomes active in our system.

Our past thoughts and actions, our physical and psychological “disorders” are all “programmed” in our subtle body manifesting as “knots” or “blockages”, which keep us stuck in old, limiting beliefs and patterns (sometimes formed over life-times). In turn this traps us in the illusion of “Maya”, the belief that we are separate from our Source.

In order to experience our oneness with the Source, with the Truth, these blockages need to be dissolved.

The cleansing-process of our subtle body can be challenging and is often painful as we are unaware of what is going on. Kundalini brings up everything that needs to be transformed. This can be old trauma, emotional and physical problems. She can lead to spontaneous healing from ailments, or we can suddenly be confronted with disease or physical challenges. She can create physical releases of many kinds, emotional disturbances, inner visions, and She can also empower our spiritual practices.

The aim of Kundalini is to take us beyond polarities and duality into non-judgemental acceptance. Which does not mean that we have to say “yes” to everything, or act out on every urge that comes up in Her wake, it means that we learn to accept and integrate the “shadow” parts of ourselves. The parts that have been pushed away, denied or neglected. Kundalini brings them into our awareness in order to release the energy which is bound up to keep these things “hidden”.

True acceptance opens the door to freedom. And our “shadows” need not necessarily be “dark”. Sometimes we have learnt to suppress creative talents, or tender, sweet and loving feelings – in fear of being vulnerable and getting hurt.

I myself have been struggling with physical problems, as well as emotional turmoil over the past years, yet I am sincerely grateful as Loki’s guidance allowed me to understand it from a spiritual point of view. And I face my fears with courage now. The more my self-awareness develops, the more it expands into self-compassion and self-love. Loki, like all Gods of transformation, wields Kundalini-energy as “His” force of cleaning out our old rubbish. He does not want us to suffer, but rather wishes to set us free so that we can re-connect with the loving undercurrent of the Universal Consciousness.

It seems that Kundalini-awakening happens to many of us spontaneously, maybe because we live in a time of transition, a time when we need to let go of the old to be able to step into a new, brighter future. The quicker we learn to accept, transform and love – right now, in this very moment – the faster this future will approach. 

But Kundalini is an intense, energetic force that sweeps our system, and if one has a healthy, strong physical body, a calm mind and even emotions, this happens without throwing the person into chaos.

The trouble is that many of us do not have strong, healthy bodies, neither do we have peace-filled minds or balanced emotions. A lot of us are carrying trauma, sometimes from generations before us. Technology is not helping us either. When Kundalini is active, we require grounding (we need nature), we need to discipline our thoughts and emotions, which is hindered by over-use of computers and cell-phones. To find balance in Kundalini’s purifying force, it is important to center ourselves inside our heart. Computers unfortunately respond to our mind and take us away from the heart, weakening our subtle nervous system and straining our mental-energy.

The “rising” of Kundalini is not a linear process. She does not climb from the bottom to top, stopping in each place until things are dissolved. She moves spontaneously, clearing whatever is ready and needed to be cleared right now

Physical problems that arise with Kundalini awakening can be linked to traumatic experiences, and it is always advisable to get some outer support in these areas. Loki encouraged me to find a therapist to work with and I have been seeking help regarding my physical health. 

Lately, Loki has stressed the importance of focusing on spiritual disciplines like meditation, immersing my mind in Mantras, singing, painting and also to pay more attention to strengthening my physical, which I find especially difficult since the ailment I have involves fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Since He has been an exceedingly loving and patient teacher, I will do my best. Loki has only my best interests at heart, yet that is exactly what makes it difficult, because this is an almost foreign concept to me. I have lived a life of (or probably quite a few lifetimes) sabotaging myself by denying myself the power to be in charge of my life, to put myself first and to do things that benefit me. I have yet to develop the reverence, love and respect for myself that He shows me constantly.

We carry an innate deep wisdom within us, because the Goddess, Kundalini-Shakti, in Her entirety is essentially our Highest Wisdom, our Inner Teacher and Guide. Unfortunately most of us have unlearnt to listen to Her with a pure heart and – more importantly – with discernment. Often leaving us unsure of what to do. To develop discernment is important as it will lead us to make “healthy” choices rather than keeping entangled in the fetters of our egotistical desires, urges and drives.

It is also beneficial to practice awareness that we are not who we think we are (our body, our emotions, our thoughts). In Yoga this is called the practice of the observer. The practice of detachment. Detachment is not indifference, but the conscious awareness that we have a choice of either identifying with our limited personality, our suffering or simply observing it, knowing we carry a presence inside us that is infinitely more powerful and beautiful than our limited thoughts, emotions and actions. 

Learning to use discernment and detachment concerning our desires, feelings, thoughts and actions will help us to flow more easily with Kundalini’s movements. We learn to trust and surrender, offer our thoughts, emotions and actions to the Her.

Everything that comes up in the wake of Kundalini, especially emotions like fear and anger, we can transform into something constructive. Especially anger which is effectively bundled up energy that we can use to either destroy or create. Anger is often suppressed, because we do not know how to deal with it. According to my Divine Friends, even anger has its base in the loving presence of Shakti – so it is up to me to learn to express this intense energy in a loving way. Not exactly the easiest of lessons, I admit.

But essentially anger is just energy – so why do we not use it to find creative solutions to problems? I guess, because most of us are conditioned to react, to blame, to resent. To be loving in the presence of injustice, pain and hurt is difficult, yet not impossible. We simply need to unlearn. It begins and ends with our own choices.

Those who are blessed with the Tricksters presence know that all too well.

Transformation of our nature is not an easy task, but we need to remember that we are never alone. The support team is always there. And what a gift if you have Loki on your team, because of all the various qualities He possesses, He owns a great sense of humour …  and He cherishes the fact that He can make us laugh and smile. A good laugh and a sincere smile can lift up our consciousness in an instant and transform our problems faster than a thousands words and actions.

“Just one smile immensely increases the beauty of the universe.”
~Sri Chinmoy

Hail, Loki! 🙂

 

Some literature, I can warmly recommend, that refers to and explains Kundalini-Shakti. Both deepened my understanding of the things that Loki has taught me over the past years. Especially the book on Kundalini made me realise that all the experiences I have been going through are Kundalini related and Loki truly is a Kundalini-God (it’s good to get some confirmation once in a while!)

 

https://www.sallykempton.com

https://www.soundstrue.com/store/doorways-to-the-infinite-5937.html

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/awakening-kundalini-lawrence-edwards/1114829330#/

https://www.soundstrue.com/store/awakening-kundalini-2750.html

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Loki and awakening Kundalini – Part 1

Kundalini, meaning “coiled up” or “coiled one” is essentially the primal energy that runs through every living-being and everything in the universe (even our beautiful planet Earth has its Kundalini-Shakti). The Kundalini most of us are familiar with from Yogic texts, is actually only one form of Kundalini-energy which is also called Prana-Shakti. This powerful energy resides in our “subtle” body, an intricate web of subtle “nerves” that holds the energy centres we know as chakras. These subtle energy centres are located along our spine, the first one sitting at the base (in the area of the coccyx) the sixth chakra is located inside our head (resonating with the pineal gland). In many cultures Kundalini is compared to a coiled up snake that slumbers at the base of our spine in the lower chakras.

From the base chakra, there are three rivers/channels of energy (Nadis) winding upwards towards the sixth and seventh chakra. Two of these energetic channels represent our dual nature and are called Ida and Pingala. Ida, the energy rising on the left side, represents the feminine principle and the moon. Pingala, rising on the right, represents the sun and the masculine principle. Without duality life how we know it would not exist. Once creation starts, so does duality. These two energies flow up and down in spirals, crossing each other in the main energy centres or main chakras.

Then there is a third, central channel, which is called Shushumna. Shushumna is our balance, it is the direct channel to our Higher Self. Once energy flows through here, we gain balance. Life begins to be worth living.

In most of us Shushumna lies dormant.

As does our Kundalini-Shakti.

Kundalini as our life-force (or Prana-Shakti) is not actually asleep, otherwise we would not be able to go about our daily lives. The process that is described as awakening means, that the power that is used to sustain life’s processes, like breathing, our heart beat, the main functioning of our body, emotions and thoughts, is now turned inward to support the process of transformation of our nature. When this energy becomes available She starts to sweep and purify our “system” from blockages and all things that keep us trapped in our individual existence, all things that do not let us experience our “oneness” with our Source.

It is said that when Kundalini awakened, She travels upwards through the chakras, rising up the central channel to unite with our higher consciousness and thus bring illumination. The practice of awakening Kundalini, Kundalini Yoga, is a very disciplined one, and requires utmost purity in body, emotions and mind. It is said that awakening Her without proper preparation can be dangerous, and many have failed unite with their Highest, as they succumbed to temptation that arose and by misusing the gifts Kundalini brought into their lives. Once the chakras are open and Kundalini flows through them, we are able to access all kinds of occult, magical powers. Some students of Kundalini never go beyond the desire to gain occult powers – which are but trinkets compared to the true jewels of wisdom that lie in enlightenment and union with our Higher Self.

My Teacher spoke extensively on Kundalini and also warned of the dangers that awakening Her primaturely can bring. He said that for realising our own Higher Self we do not need to gain Kundalini’s powers, which made me think that He did not want us to have anything to do with Kundalini.

Well, that was until She decided to wake up.

Now I understand that my teacher did not want us to awaken Her out of curiosity and focus on powers that we did not understand or would have been able to handle. Powers that would have caused confusion, distraction or destruction in our lives. As the force of Kundalini sweeps through the system, one needs to be prepared. And one needs to develop fearlessness. Stirring Her up before we are ready (eg. by practicing certain Yoga techniques and without having a genuine teacher who actually knows how to work with Her) means inadvertently inviting a LOT of problems into our life.

Even those of us who experience Her awakening “naturally” are often left confused and rather helpless, because Kundalini is a force of radical transformation. That is why She can be dangerous.

My own experience and the Norse Trickster taught me that Kundalini is not a force to fear, but to respect and value. There is much more to Kundalini-Shakti than magical powers if She is allowed to unfold and reveal whatever She needs to.

Over the past years I have noticed an increased interest in Kundalini and there has been a lot of talk about awakening Kundalini. More and more yoga centers offer Kundalini Yoga – which basically means they offer excercises to awaken Kundalini. Now, I have to admit that most of us Westerners (and maybe not only Westeners) have a misconception of Kundalini that can be rather confusing … and dangerous.

Kundalini is not just a concept we “play” around with, an energy we can try to “awaken” or a “power” to harness. Kundalini is the raw power of the Goddess – handled without the proper respect, conscious understanding and reverence She deserves, She can act in a destructive way in our life and in turn can increasing our own ignorance. It is not Her fault. It is us who lack the wisdom to work with Her appropriately. Some Tantric practitioners see Her as the Goddess Herself and worship Her accordingly.

I held a lot of wrong beliefs about Kundalini myself and I find that She is rather complex and I am ever so grateful to have a guide by my side who knows Her intimately.

Now … that brings us straight to – Loki.

The fiery, intense Norse Trickster God “invaded” my life rather ruthlessly – His presence being so overwhelming at times that I thought I might actually go insane. And while He was at it, Loki would bring to Light all the things I had so carefully suppressed over the years – all my neglected or unwanted needs, emotions, desires … basically everything that I did not want to face or feared, and it all drowned me with the force of an ocean wave. Thanks to the Trickster, my life had collapsed in chaos.

That was what it seemed like. It seemed that Loki had stirred up these things, that He had awoken a force so powerfully that I feared to be destroyed in the wake of it. Intuitively, I knew what this force was. It was Kundalini-Shakti. And while I feared Her.

While I accused Loki for having roused Her, I am aware now that it was not His doing. Kundalini had “naturally” awoken and it was She who had drawn Loki’s presence into my life. The Trickster was not here to cause chaos, but to bring balance. He was here to help me work with Her. To soothe Her powerful force, so it would not crush me. Like Shiva, Loki is a Kundalini-God, and therefore the wielder of this incredible energy – because She is His power, and He is Her stability.

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.”
~Wolf-Dieter Storl, Shiva the Wild God of Power and Ecstasy

Loki and Shiva are one with their power. They have reverence and respect for Her, and that is what they attempt to teach me. In the beginning I would be utterly astonished by the reverence Loki showed towards me. (Back then, me, thinking to be unworthy of His respect.) While now I understand that Loki sees beyond my small ego-traps, He sees the beauty and power of my True Self. When He revers me, He revers Shakti within me. Loki does not fear Her, He loves Her. So I try and do the same.

When active, Kundalini-Shakti travels through our subtle energy system and clears out all blockages, so that She is free to rise up and unite with our Highest Part. She is a powerful force. She is the force of radical freedom that clears all old patterns from our system, relentlessy. She is also the inner wisdom that guides us, if we learn to work with Her. 

As Maya-Shakti is the power of concealment, that allows our Selves to forget who we truly are, so Kundalini-Shakti is the power of revealment – the force that clears the road for us to remember our True Self.

Which is the true aim of Yoga.

Journey to the Goddess

I apologise beforehand that this is a rather lengthy article …

You see Her as black because you are far away from Her. Go near and you will find Her devoid of all color. The water of a lake appears black from a distance. Go near and take the water in your hand, and you will see that it has no color at all. … The nearer you come to God, the more you will realize that He has neither name nor form. ~Sri Ramakrishna

The Goddess of pure power is called Shakti in Hinduism, She is the universal life force that flows through all of creation. A dynamic force that is at once terrifying, destructive, creative, life-giving and life-saving. This force manifests as the Kundalini, the Mother Power, and it is Shakti’s consort, Shiva, who knows and wields this power. Adi Shakti is the energy that is at the very core of our being. She is beautiful and ugly, tender and fierce, powerful and compassionate. 

Since the dawn of earth-time the Mother as the Shakti has walked the soil along with her Divine Compeers, the Avatars. Alas, our ignorance paid no heed to her supernal Love and Grace. To the Avatars alone we built our altars. Their Shaktis remained almost concealed, and at times even ignored by humanity. Unnoticed, as it were, they appeared on the scene and unnoticed they dissapeared.
~Sri Chinmoy

It was eye-opening for me to read this because I had never really thought about it – the fact that all great Avatars (spiritual teachers who were known as direct representatives of God – like Buddha, Krishna or Christ) had revered the feminine aspect of God, Adi Shakti. Realised masters of recent times were Sri Ramakrishna, Sri Aurobindo and the contemporary Master Sri Chinmoy. These masters revered the Mother Goddess in the form of Kali – the dark Mother of Creation and Goddess of Transformation, who is fearsome in Her depicitions, but also embodies boundless Compassion. Because She is everything – Darkness as well as Light. She is the Absolute Consciousness.

Shakti is not only power, She is also the one who can grant us illumination and it is Her Force that eventually transforms our human nature into something higher and deeper.

I am fortunate that She has touched my life in multiple ways and take the liberty to share some of my first experiences with Her.

Nothing can stay hidden in darkness forever, especially if we wish to illumine it. My teacher once said that everything that needs illumination eventually comes to the fore to be transformed, but I never imagined it would be with the help of a Norse Trickster God. 

In the first months of our friendship, Loki, being the “God-who-knows-exactly-what-you-want-need-and-fear”, very skillfully brought exactly all of that to my attention. Since my biggest issue was probably my sexual-energy being suppressed and denied, I soon found myself waking up to a warm embrace in the middle of the night with thoughts and feelings surfacing that I would have rather not faced – Loki’s gentle advances brought up so many issues I could not even start counting them. When I found my spiritual teacher, I chose to focus on a life of celibacy which had worked well for the past 15 years by using meditation to purify my system, but mainly – to be frank – by leading a very busy life and distracting myself from all my subconscious needs. Yes, this had worked well until a Norse deity decided to stir up all my so nicely suppressed needs and desires, which were coupled with truckloads of guilt, shame and self-doubt. The infuriating thing was that Loki remained completely unfazed by the emotional turmoil He initiated inside me. I remember thinking, “Maybe You really are the devil after all! I can definitely see why people would believe it.” My thoughts elicited a soft chuckle from His side.

Loki brought up my most terrifying needs and greatest fears. Mostly my need to be loved, as well as my fear of it – which had led me to label my sexual-energy as “evil” and suppress it. The Norse Trickster had gently but persistently demanded His way into my heart, and even though part of me knew that I could trust Him whole-heartedly, it scared me. Spiritually I longed to be a warrior, independent and strong, yet as a simple human being I found myself yearning for someone to lean on, someone who gave me security, who would shelter, protect and love me. 

What I did not realise back then was that the energy I tried to deny and suppress was the very energy that gave me life, because our sexual energy, our creative force is also our life-energy. What I did realise back then was that Loki had brought a very powerful presence into my life for the simple reason that He got me in back touch with the “magic” of my feminine side. The energy of the Divine Feminine if you want to call it that. The powerful force that once unleashed is unstoppable as it spreads through our consciousness, cleansing us of shame, guilt and old limiting beliefs thus allowing us to “flow” through life as a child of the Divine. I felt Her presence as what I can only describe as an ancient, deep and incredibly powerful entity that I wished to connect with, so I asked Loki to bring me closer to Her. What followed was an inner journey through shame, guilt, violence, death and ceaseless love and compassion. In the space of a few weeks Loki guided me to connect with the Dark Goddess He Himself revered and loved so much, and He let me see that this Goddess resides within each female human being – asleep in some, while wide awake in others.

My journey happened mostly in form of writing – Loki only knows why He chose writing to relay things to me! I used to think that visions only came to those who prayed or went into trance – for me it was, well, writing. As soon as I sat down, a different world would open up in front of me and all I had to do was commit to paper what I saw, felt and experienced. Much of it I did not understand at the time, nor did I realise the significance of my experiences and the blessings they brought.

In her deep and great love for her children she has put on the cloak of obscurity, condescended to bear the attacks and torturing influences of the Falsehood, … taken upon her the pangs and sorrows and sufferings of the creation, since it seemed that thus alone could it be lifted to the Light and Joy and Truth and eternal Life. … This is the great sacrifice called sometimes the sacrifice of Purusha, but much more deeply is the holocaust of the Prakriti, the sacrifice of the Divine Mother.”

~Sri Chinmoy (The Mother of the Golden All)

Loki inspired me to write a story – or rather I just wrote down what He showed me. The female character in the story is the Goddess, the Divine Feminine Consciousness, who has incarnated as a human being – a sacrifice She had to take in order to save Her creation. The downside of incarnating as a woman is that She cannot remember Her true identity and is subjected to ignorance just like any other human being. She endures adversities, pain, humiliation, violence and even torture throughout her life, until she meets Loki who helps her remember who she really is – the beautiful, life-giving, powerful, dark primordial Goddess – while She brings balance and healing to Him.

Only now, more than a year later, as I am writing this, am I starting to grasp how symbolic this story really is. On a bigger scale, it is the story of the deep, pure love between Loki and the Goddess or Shiva and Shakti. On a smaller (my world) scale, I realise that I have been allowed to see many faces of the Goddess (including her fierce aspects) to remember and integrate them into myself so that I can find balance. The Goddess revealed Herself to me as innocent like a child, sweet like a lover, fierce like a warrior, wise and compassionate like a mother, but also torn and broken like a human being.

When I found the paragraph above written by the spiritual master Sri Chinmoy, which talks about the sacrifice of the Goddess who suffers in creation in order to save it (thus alone could it be lifted to the Light and Joy and Truth and eternal Life), it brought me to tears because from my experience with Her I knew it to be so very true.

The name that I had intuitively chosen for the female character of the story was “Ella”, which as I found out “is of Old German origin (surprise!) and means “other, foreign”. It can also derive from the German name Alja meaning “entire”. In Hebrew Ella simply means “Goddess”.

In the story Ella encounters different teachers in different places including the mythological realms of Vanaheim, Jotunheim and Helheim. For those of you who do not know much about the Nine Realms of Norse mythology, I will give a short description of each realm visited. Because I had no idea about any of these worlds at the time Loki brought me there, I wrote down my own perception of them, adding small details later, after I had done a little research on the Nine Realms. Nevertheless, I found the descriptions of the realms astoundingly similar to what I had seen so I will include excerpts of “Ella’s story” in the following text.

Some of the places Loki took me to were wonderful, while others were dark and sometimes a bit terrifying. Each one of them revealed a particular aspect of the Goddess and with Loki’s guidance I got in touch with parts of my nature that I had forgotten – the fierce power and awesome beauty that slumbers within all females on this planet and which complements our sweetness, softness and compassion. Since I shared Ella’s experiences quite vividly I would like to introduce you to some of her (and my) teachers and the beginning of my friendship with the Goddess.

Vanaheim (Realm of the Vanir, Deities of Fertility)

They arrived on a lush meadow stretching out over gentle hills under a deep blue sky. Vanaheim was a realm of magic and agriculture, pulsing with life energy. Ella took a deep breath, inhaling the sweet and pleasantly humid air that felt so different to Earth and Asgard. What she noticed first in the new environment was the vibrance of colours – the green of the land, the blue of the sky, the flowers – everything seemed fertile and full of life. It was late spring and wildflowers dotted the pastures that stretched over the soft hills with patches of woodland nestled in between.

Shedding the shame of being female

Vanaheim is a peaceful and extremely beautiful place. Nature is abundant there and full of pulsating life-force (some may call it sexual energy) which is very tangible in this realm – you can literally pick it up in the very air you breathe. It is here that I encountered the Goddess first in the formless form of the Universal Mother – as an immensely loving and compassionate presence who, while holding me in Her embrace, took away a lot of pain I carried and She started me off on my healing journey to make peace with my own feminine energy. 

Being fertility deities, the Vanic Gods and Goddesses have a very strong connection to the Mother Goddess, so it is no surprise to me that my journey started there. Coming to Vanaheim felt like returning home. The teacher I encountered there was Anait, a fearless, slightly intimidating and strikingly beautiful Goddess who taught me about what she called female magic. She let me see that even though the power of the Goddess slumbers inside every female on earth we were “programmed” to fear it. To fear our own power. Anait asked me to give up this fear and doing so tread loose an avalanche of information that started to flood me on inner and outer levels making me question and discard many of the old beliefs I held so far.

I “received” names and words which I would research outwardly by reading books and articles, before sitting down to meditate on them. I discovered the worlds of the Toltec shamans, Shaktism and ancient Sumerian Goddesses. In my research I “accidently” came across the ancient Canaaite warrior Goddess Anat (also called Anait!) and learned some pretty interesting facts about original meanings of words like “virgin” which means effectively “a woman who claims ownership of herself” or “independent woman”, while the word “harlot” derives originally from a word for a priestess of the Goddess, denominating a sexually independent woman of high status, who offered her body in the holy act of a sacred marriage. Needless to say, I abandoned a lot of old beliefs I held while spending time with Anait and shed much of the “shame” of being female. It was Anait who made me aware that sexual energy is sacred and that the way we squander it in our society nowadays is an insult to this unique and holy energy that essentially is the Goddess and should be revered accordingly.

“In ancient times women were regarded as the mediators between the Goddess and her children (humanity) and they were thought to be able to access the power of the Goddess more easily than men, because they could more easily identify with Her. Later, when the masculine force became imbalanced by the male desire for power and control, men relegated women to a lower class, caused in part by their fear of women’s “magic” — particularly the ability to give birth and their intuitive gifts. Violence against women increased as men who felt powerless resorted to rape.

Nowadays many men are stuck playing tough roles, because they have unlearnt how to connect to their emotions, while many women learned that submission and passivity are their tickets to survival. Domesticated females often seek power through pleasing (or manipulating) men and bind them by baring children. One of the female dramas is the need for protection and security that leads to the need to bind and possess. The male drama is being trapped in their urge to protect, procreate and their greed for power. Sexual energy is not intended as a tool for power or gratifying one’s own pleasure, nor for senseless reproduction. It is a sacred energy. It brings us in touch with our feelings and on a higher level, sexual energy or Kundalini, is a quest for wholeness – the unity of the male and female inside of ourselves.

Only few women and men use this energy with reverence and responsibility in your world. And not all women are meant to be mothers. The sacred females of the past, daughters of the Great Goddess, acted as priestesses, sorceresses, prophets, wise women, and healers before they were pursued, degraded and often killed.” ~Anait

Anait also offered me the gift of equality by healing the broken feminine part within me that had been abused and corrupted (by men) and was therefore unable to trust the masculine energy. Up until then my feminine side had been feeling exceedingly weak and powerless … and I could very much relate to those female “dramas”. Being equal is not about being treated the same way or acting the way men do, neither is it about pushing one’s opinion or being tough. Equality is all about self-respect and self-love, something Loki has been ardently teaching me. Anait conveyed all that to me through the beautiful story of Ninlin and Enlil.

The story of Ninlin and Enlil

“It is said that the young God Enlil set eyes on the maiden Ninlil, and burnt with desire for her. And Ninlil liked to be courted by Enlil, the proudest of all gods, but she did not know how to value herself. Both of them were inexperienced and Enlil, being impetuous, forced himself upon her and planted his seed in her womb against her will. Ninlil, hurt beyond measure by the violence she had been subjected to, took Enlil to trial in front of the assembled Great Gods to demanded his punishment. Enlil was condemned to descend into the lower realms, but Ninlil who was bound to him by her love, descended after him to bring him back. They meet three times. Each time Enlil, who had not approached her as a tender lover, begs for her affection and learns to control himself and court her respectfully. While Ninlil, as his hardest judge, learns to see the healed man beyond the conceited young God. Love and responsibilty go hand in hand – even though Ninlil’s dream of her tender lover had been destroyed, through her descent she takes responsibility for her own incapability to value herself. On their journey through the lower realms, they learn to value and accept not only each other, but themselves and thus both rise to a new form of lovers. They will stand the hardest trials to be together as equals in the end.”

Anait also asked me to “clear” my energy residues of past romantic relationships and referred to a technique I already knew as “recapitulation” (a Toltec shaman technique). Through physical relationships we entangle our own energies with those of the other person, in this way we can be bound to each other even after the relationship has ended. Recapitulation is a good way to clear these entanglements.

The Goddess Anait is a priestess, a shaman, a sorceress, and overall an independent and incredibly strong woman. Even though She chose to appear to me in the form of Anait or Anat, an ancient Goddess of Fertility and War, I really believe Her to be the Vanir Goddess Freya who is the Norse Goddess of Beauty, Fertility and War, and leader of the Valkyries.

Jotunheim (Realm of Giants)

The air was cool and full of life. Invigorating. Gigantic trees with trunks the size of small houses reached their branches skywards, the lush foliage forming a dense canopy of leaves high above her head. She looked around and noticed a gap between the trees, where the rock extended out like a platform. Her feet had taken her towards it before she had time to think and as Ella stepped out between the shelter of the trees, her mouth dropped open in awe of the view that lay before her. The flat rock surface she stood on protruded out over a large valley. High up, wisps of clouds gathered around snow capped mountain peaks that towered above a lush green forest, a wild river meandering its way through the valley underneath. Everything here was gigantic. Gigantic, wild and powerful.

Claiming back power

Jotunheim is magnificent and powerful. Nature here is very different to Vanaheim – it is raw, wild and awe inspiring (a bit like Loki). The teacher I met here is a fearless and fierce warrior, a shaman, an independent woman, a loving mother and a strong leader and she is feared by many. Angrboda is the “Chiefess of the Nine Clans”, the tribes that live in a place called the Iron Wood. She is also the Leader and Mother of the Clan of the Wolves. While She is independent and somewhat wild, Angrboda is also a mother who loves Her children like only a mother could – unconditional – no matter how ugly, terrifying or beautiful they are and she would defend them with her life without hesitation. To me She represents the raw, primordial and fierce aspect of female energy that is deeply engrained in human beings and reveals itself as our instincts. Angrboda can help us accept and control this energy.

While the Wolf-Warrior-Goddess is sometimes dismissed as “Loki’s wife in Jotunheim”, I would probably describe Loki as Her consort, because She seems to wear the pants in their relationship (sorry, Loki). Well, I know this is not quite true either, because from what I gathered, Angrboda essentially is the wild primordial energy that Loki wields and works with. One cannot compare it to any human relationship because they are more intrinsically connected with each other than we could ever understand. Loki sent me to Angrboda to learn detachment, independence … and also to lighten Angrboda’s grief – or rather, Her heart.

The girl looked up, facing a tall, muscular woman clad in wolfskin. Her red hair was partly braided and fell down to her hips, she had a harsh, yet beautiful face and carried a half-moon shaped knife. The Goddess’ hard grey eyes pierced Ella as she rose gracefully to her feet and gave a deep bow, somewhat awestruck by this warrior Goddess who without doubt deserved her respect and reverence. The sorceress was frightening and at the same time, Ella felt strengthened and protected by her presence.

“I am Angrboda, chieftess of the nine clans of the Iron Woods. I have awaited your arrival. You come to be free from the bondage of attachment and tread the path of the warrior. What is it you will offer me in return?” Ella was taken aback. This kind of welcome was not quite what she had expected, but she recognised a teacher when she stood in front of one and the voice inside her heart knew that she had come to learn exactly what Angrboda offered. “For as long as I am here, I shall serve your people,” Ella said, “I can use bow and arrow, yield a knife and shall offer my service in hunting and defending the clan.” “Will you defend it with your life?” “With my life and my blood.” Ella heard herself say as she slipped the knife from her belt and sliced her hand, made a fist and squeezed it so that her blood dripped on the dusty soil. Angroboda seemed satisfied and nodded. The chieftess was about to turn away when Ella asked, “Will you allow me to leave when my task here is done?” Grey eyes narrowed and glared at her before the grim Goddess nodded again. Then she turned and disappeared between the huts. Fanrea, the young girl who had escorted Ella, gave her a comforting smile. “You did well”, she said, “You have her respect.”

Angrobda looks straight into your being and if She finds sincerity and courage within you, She will embrace you as Her own. Angrboda is deadly and fearsome, but she also has a motherly and somewhat “growly” affectionate side as I call it. I learnt to love Her with all my heart. 

The Warrior-Goddess conveyed to me the importance of independence and interdependence – wolves are fiercely independent individuals, while at the same time they value family and are excellent team-players. She taught me fearlessness when it comes to facing our own power and that all female creatures carry a “blade” within them, which is the power to defend themselves or their children – which can be ruthless and deadly.

Angrboda, like Loki, is one who leads us to see beyond moral concepts and human attachments. While Anait revealed to me that sexual energy is sacred, Angrboda warned me of the danger and pitfalls when it is misused.

“The desire of the flesh can bind you. Its power can consume you if you let it run loose, because it is aggressive by nature, making you greedily wish for more to satisfy your desires. But you will never find satisfaction. Greed of it will destroy you, as it is an abuse of your magic. You need to go beyond the flesh and severe the ties that bind you.” ~Angrboda

I respect and love Her deeply.

Helheim (Realm of the Dead)

A dusky sky stretched out over the apple trees she lay under. The silent breeze tore some leaves off the branches. An apple soundlessly dropped into the grass next to her. Autumn. She had forgotten it was autumn. Forgotten. Slowly the girl sat up and the first thing she noticed was that there was no sound. It was silent. It was peaceful. The meadow she had rested on stretched over a soft hill down to a river, but even though she saw the water flowing, there was no happy murmuring. And even though a breeze was gently blowing, everything was completely still.

Selfless Love and Detachment

The last realm I visited was Helheim, the realm of the dead. Beautiful in its own way, silent and tranquil, yet in some places also full of suffering. My teacher there was the Keeper of Helheim, a gracious and merciful woman – Loki’s daughter, the Goddess Hel.

Hel taught me about love. She made me see that we are creations of Eternity and all suffering is self-created and of our own choice – whether this choice is conscious or not. Detached, selfless love, and devotion to selfless action can alleviate our suffering and free us eventually. If we love without attachment, we love divinely. Divine love comes directly from the Goddess and has to flow through us freely in order to be offered properly. Love is the essence of everything. It should never be possessed, because as soon as we try to hold onto it we loose it. Love with attachment is an illusion. We need to realise that it is not ours to give and that we are merely instruments who pass it on so that it can spread. If we love with this awareness, then Love has the potential to bring life (light) into dead matter. Love can illumine and change the world.

Hel taught me about detachment, devoted service and that by acting without egotistical desire and surrendering all acts to God/Goddess we open ourself to the flow of Divine Grace.

All these were not new concepts to me, but it seemed that I finally started to internalise them.

Khaalida’s (Ella)  eyes went wide at the sight of countless bodies writhing in agony, snakes wriggling between them, oozing poison from their sleek bodies that burnt their victims skins. Something in Khaalida’s chest contracted in pain, before it expanded with indescribable compassion.

“They are here on their own accord?” she asked and the pale lady next to her nodded.

“The doors are always open. Nobody is condemned to stay. Know that you cannot help them, as they choose to stay in their suffering.”

A vast, never-ending field of corpses stretched out in front of her. Vultures circled above it, swooping down to land on the corpses and peck at their insides. They would squirm in agony, some of them were screaming. Khaalida was terrified by the noise and despondency.

“You can help me if you go and drive away the vultures.”

Khaalida’s gaze swept over the endless field of bodies. Her heart sank, but then she remembered the love the lady had for them and she nodded, wordlessly marching out onto the field, terrified by screams of pain all around her. She scared away the vultures by waving her arms and yelling at them. They scratched her with their sharp claws and pecked at her eyes. Khaalida ripped a piece of fabric from her dress and blindfolded her eyes to protect them. She learned to listen and feel while she walked around the corpses, cautious not to step on them. She could hear the wings of the giant birds soaring and sensed them when they approached, and she knew by the blood curdling screams where they had landed. Living in eternal darkness without sight, Khaalida lost track of her existence. She kept fulfilling her task, her arms bloody and in pain from fending off the vultures with their sharp beaks, and over time the girl started to be lost in the despondency of the endless suffering of the dead around her. She felt lonely and utterly forgotten. Her lady had given her a task that she did not have the strength to fulfil, one that she could not bear to do anymore. As the screams around her grew louder, she pressed her hands on her ears and sank onto her knees, tears dripping down her face. Why was there so much suffering? Would it never end? They were all free to leave. Why were they all so consumed in their own suffering? She could not do this anymore. The girl sank on the ground between the dead and wept until she was completely empty. That was when She surrendered herself to the Lady Hel.

“I am willing to do it. Please, I cannot do this myself. I need you,” she whispered and felt a breeze brushing over her skin.

Slowly she scrambled to her feet and pulled off the blindfold. There on the field of corpses stood the fair lady of the dead, gazing at her silently. Khaalida stumbled towards her. The lady reached out a hand and touched the girl’s cheek, her eyes empty, as she leaned forward and placed a kiss on Khaalida’s lips. Hel’s lips were cold, the kiss eternal and empty of everything. It felt like floating into a void, loosing – everything. Letting go of anything that ever seemed of importance. When their lips parted, Khaalida felt stronger. Hel beheld her. The girls clothes had long withered, and she stood naked, her body smeared with blood and dust of the field of the dead. The only thing she carried was a golden flower around her neck. Hel touched it lightly and then the lady of the dead embraced her.

Even though most of my experience in Helheim was with the Goddess Hel, it was here that I experienced Loki in a different form – He was the dead matter brought to life by the loving touch of the Goddess and He was the Goddess’ consort, embracing Her on a field of corpses, surrounded by shrieking vultures. He was Her consort beyond Time and Space, even beyond creation. I later discovered this to be a form of the Hindu God Shiva who, in this particular aspect, is known by the name “Mahakala”, the Lord of Time, who is the consort of Mahakali.

My visit to Helheim may have been the most unusual of all experiences, because even as I was writing it down, I felt strangely detached from myself as if I had forgotten who I was. As surreal and dark as it was, I was never afraid. And all I have for Hel is love and reverence. Whoever comes to Her realm will find Her beyond judgement and all-accepting. I call Her “the compassionate mother of souls”.

Encountering these aspects of the Goddess was important for me so that I could shed the fear of my own feminine energy – my sexual energy, creative-energy, life-energy, Kundalini or whatever you may call Her. I dearly love these Goddesses that agreed to teach me and carry a deep respect for all of them. I am aware that they really are part of me, and that I can trust them and call upon them should I ever need to.

It took several months to absorb these experiences, even more to realise their value and also, that ever since Loki had entered my life, so had undeniably the Goddess. She has revealed many of her forms to me since then and I am deeply grateful for Her Grace.

Loki, Kundalini and the Yoga of Tantra

The darkness was hidden in darkness.
And all was fluid and formless.
Therein, in the void,
By the fire of fervor arose One.
And in the One arose love.
Love, the first seed of the soul.
Rig Veda, X.129

One thing that became clear early on in my friendship with Loki was that He is intimately connected to the Divine Feminine and, as far as I perceive it, He plays an active part in raising the consciousness of the Goddess here on earth. It is as though Loki’s force destroys the old, rigid structure that has been in power for a very long time (well, at least for human standards) to clear the way for the new consciousness to blossom. And it is the feminine energy that is re-awakening and which will bring balance, because the new consciousness is one of unity and oneness.

According to the ancient Indian scriptures, the feminine power is the cosmic energy that runs through all of creation. It can be intense, powerful and fierce, yet at the same time it also embodies compassion, softness, sweetness and peace. In Hindu culture She is known as Shakti, the Great Mother Goddess, and her consort is Shiva who reveres Her in all Her fierce and gentle manifestations. Similar to Loki, who is the consort of Angrboda, Glut and Sigyn – each embodying certain aspects of the Divine Feminine.

The power of Shakti is also known as the Kundalini energy, and it is Shiva who can balance the fierceness of Her dynamic force by uniting with Her. Shakti is seen as energy and Shiva as consciousness, but unless energy is united with consciousness it is ignorant, disordered, aimless and “blind”.

The serpent is often used as a symbol for Loki, so it was no surprise to me to discover that Loki, like Shiva, is a wielder of the “Serpent Power” – the Kundalini, our creative, life-giving energy. Kundalini literally translates as “coiled-up energy” or “power that dwells in a cave” – revealing its intrinsic feminine nature. She is referred to as serpent power, because She is compared to a snake that lies coiled up at the base of the spine while sleeping. When awakened the “snake” travels up through the energy centres or chakras, opening each one in the process until it reaches the highest where it connects with the universal mind – in Shaktism this is called the union of Shakti and Shiva – symbolised by the Goddess who travels from the root chakra at the base of the spine to unite with Her Beloved consort in the Crown Chakra.

Kundalini is a dynamic force, sacred and incredibly powerful. When used with wisdom, She can be channeled into creativity and dynamism, when awakened prematurely or abused, this energy can do great damage on all levels. Once the Kundalini is awakened and flows through the chakras, we can acquire occult powers. She is the essence of magic. Occult powers, like reading people’s mind, making ourselves invisible, heal any disease or travel to other realms may  seem”miraculous” and special, yet they are limited as long as they still bind us to our ego. And when one longs for the ultimate Truth, they can stand in our way because of that very reason. Because to become one with the Infinite, acquire absolute peace within, act without attachment unperturbed by outer circumstances and encounter life with the serenity of a child who knows that somebody looks after him/her is much more difficult to achieve than the gain of occult powers. The ultimate Truth and Freedom lies beyond magical powers, and at the same time it is the real magic.

Kundalini Yoga has gained popularity in the Western World, yet it is seldom properly understood. According to Dr David Frawley, the traditional role of Kundalini is different to what it is viewed as today – especially in the Western world, which is to regard it as a mere force to control or harness. In truth, this sacred energy is a form of the Goddess and should be worshipped as Her power. It is not energy to be aroused, but energy to be revered. Efforts to manipulate it through certain disciplines and practices are not only dangerous but fail to recognise the reality of the Goddess. The Kundalini is the Goddess in form of a dynamic, creative and life-giving force, pulsing through everything in creation – She is in wind, water, earth in animals and insects – everything that moves, lives or even exists could not do so without Her.

On more than one occasion Loki has warned me of the dangers of the abuse of this sacred energy, because Kundalini is an energy that can be dangerous to awaken when one is unprepared. The fire of it rises through the subtle as well as the physical nervous system can burn it and cause great damage if the lower energy centres, which hold our primordial needs and urges, are not properly purified. The emotions and desires stirred up by this powerful energy can literally let you go insane or one can overindulge and get lost in pleasure which in turn can enslave you to forces that keep you in a lower vibrational state. That is why the path of Kundalini Yoga is a path of great purity and discipline.

All this said, the Kundalini is our creative life-force and when we guide it with the love and devotion that dwells inside our heart, it manifests as art, music, dance and many other beautiful things. According to Tantric texts the “natural” arousing of the Kundalini can occur through intense devotion or deep meditation and does not require the use of specific techniques. 

Loki is a sensual deity who tends to stir up issues of suppressed desire and urges that lie hidden deep within us, issues that arise once the lower energy centres start opening. This side of Him made me wary at first, yet over time I came to understand that He knows exactly how to deal with these issues, and can lead us through the somewhat chaotic world of primordial needs – if we are willing to. Since Loki is a wielder of magic, He works with the Kundalini, the sacred fire of the Goddess that burns within us and, inevitably, He wanted me to understand this energy of the Goddess, explore it and learn about the yogic tradition that is closely connected to Her – the Yoga of Tantra.

Traditional Hindu Tantra is a complex system of spiritual knowledge and the philosophy of Tantra is to accept life and turn all ordinary activities, even menial tasks such as eating, breathing and sleeping, into sacred actions or rituals, into acts of devotion.

There is a misconception in the Western World about Tantra, as people usually connect it with sexual practices and books like the Kama Sutra. Being a Westerner myself I have to admit that I too held this very limited belief and was guarded when venturing into the “Tantric world”. When Loki opened my mind to the wisdom within the Tantric scriptures, I admit that I was embarrassed by my own ignorance in this matter.

Like all yogic traditions Tantra is centered mainly around meditation and mantras. Many Tantric texts contain no references at all to any sexual practices, while others mention them as only one line of approach, and still others regard them as mere metaphors. And although Tantra does contain sexual Yogas, it does not promote them for ordinary gratification of the senses and the Tantric philosophy is certainly not characterised by them.

Tantra literally means “book”.

There are three major lines of spiritual teachings in Hindu culture that stem from ancient and not so ancient scriptures – the oldest one being the Vedas, followed by the Puranic scriptures and the Tantric texts.

The philosophy of “Vedanta” is one of the world’s oldest spiritual philosophies, which is based on the Vedas, while Tantra is one the youngest of the yogic teachings. All spiritual teachings (yogas) lead to one goal – liberation from the illusion of existence (basically from our own limiting beliefs) and realisation of our True Self. To become one with our Highest Part. The different scriptures explain everything from the creation of the universe down to spiritual rituals and practices that help one achieve the ultimate goal of Yoga (which essentially means union with God).

The path of Tantra is unique as it has a very universal approach that uses all available methods and rejects nothing, it even includes methods that are rejected in other teachings for being unspiritual.

Even though it is not one of the main aspects, Tantra emphasises the worship of the Goddess and gives Her a special place. According to Frawley, Tantric texts provide verily a spiritual science of worship of the Mother, not merely a set of dogmas or beliefs, but a practical way of developing our higher awareness with the help of Her Wisdom and Grace. For those seeking to understand the Divine Mother, the Great Goddess, following the path of Tantra may be the key.

In contrast to traditional spiritual teachings Tantra affirms emotions but does not encourage mere emotional expression, which would only lead to a stronger attachment to these and to the outer (material) world. Tantra rather regards emotions as trapped energy and seeks the release of that energy, seeks to experience the emotion subside like a wave in the sea of awareness. To help connect with the meaning of emotions, which essentially is just a movement of nature, Tantric Yoga works with different forms of Gods and Goddesses – some peaceful others wrathful deities. Recognising the Divine energy inherent in emotions leads us to discover them as a means of relating to the Divine within us. Through genuine devotion to the Divine, human emotions can be transformed into Divine energy.

Loki is a God who works on an emotional level and also embodies a rich diversity of emotions Himself. Over time He has taught me the importance of releasing trapped emotions and sharing whatever arises inside me with Him – be it anger, hurt, fear or whatever else. No emotion is “bad”, but it is unhealthy to suppress them. He made me aware of the damaging affect suppressed emotions have on us and that guilt and shame block us very powerfully.

One of the Tantric paths, the left handed path, includes certain forbidden practices to overcome and transcend the feelings of shame and guilt – but these practices can be harmful to those who indulge in them rather than taking them as a means of transformation. Yet not even the most ascetic yogic practices encourage to suppress or deny emotion as this will never lead to liberation or realisation, and no yogic practices reject sexual energy as evil, bad or shameful. In ascetic yoga, for example, celibacy is recommended only along with spiritual practices to transmute this energy. Without meditation the practice of celibacy could even be harmful because when sexual energy stagnates it can cause various physical and emotional problems. Yet it is said that without control of sexual energy, there will not be the power necessary to do higher meditation practices.

“Yoga does not encourage to suppress anything that is natural to us, but discover our true nature in which we can naturally let go of all attachments and dependencies. … It is the ego that Yoga seeks to negate, which deludes us to selfishness and therefore to abuse the energies given to us.”

~Dr D. Frawley, Tantric Yoga

There are three major paths in Tantra:

  • The right-handed path
  • The left-handed path
  • The direct path

The right-handed path could be seen as orthodox as it focuses on meditation and spiritual disciplines and requires a high level of purity in conduct and action. It is said to be the path for those of devotional nature.

The left-handed path includes various sexual practices and the use of meat and intoxicants, which are not approved of on the right-handed path. It is said to be the path of those of heroic nature – referring to the class of warriors.

While the right-handed path follows the rules of social dharma* and strict conduct for yogic practices, the left-handed path may include practices that are not part of Hindu social dharma and the rules of yogic practices. On the other hand, the left-handed path may not involve unorthodox practices at all and may only refer to an emphasis of the Goddess, who manifests in the left side of the deity.

*(the Hindu code of life; cosmic law underlying right behaviour and social order)

“… the left-handed path is said to be the way of ecstasy and the right-handed path the way of peace. Along the way of ecstasy we may be inclined to certain extreme actions as we break through preconceptions and as deep internal energies are released. Yet it is only peace that is lasting.”

~Dr D. Frawley, Tantric Yoga

There is a third Tantric path, which is called the direct path and it is regarded as a higher part of the other two approaches. On this path any outer form of ritualistic worship is given up, and even inner forms like chanting mantras are relinquished, as these practices can keep the mind attached to the material world. The yogi turns inward and only through exploration of his own nature, goes beyond the ego – or the small “i” – and eventually becomes one with Brahman (the highest principle, God), which is unattached and beyond the limitations of time and space. This path of Self-Enquiry is the highest Tantric as well as the highest Vedantic path.

I follow a path of yoga and relate to the spiritual philosophies of Hindu culture, yet it was only when Loki entered my life that the wisdom of the ancient scriptures became “accessible” to me, because He somehow opens my mind to grasp it. Loki seems to enjoy my fervent hunger to learn. Over the past year He has directed me to immerse myself in the ancient Indian scriptures and the knowledge I have been blessed with is remarkable, yet I am aware that this is only on a mental level. The real magic starts to happen when we realise it, feel it and live it. Loki never ceases to amaze me with His guidance and as so often I am left in complete awe of this profound, ancient and mysterious being called Loki who I so blithely call my friend.

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 (Love) 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 everything that Love manifests as – She is Innocence, Sweetness, Acceptance, Forgiveness, Compassion, Faith, Loyalty, Peace, Strength, Courage, 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, as She is not mentioned much in mythology and 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.

It makes me wonder, how anyone could possibly consider Sigyn to be weak after the ordeal in the cave? Sigyn’s story is one of remarkable inner strength, because 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 to me.

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 Her Love for Loki. (They have an interdependent relationship, which means that Loki needs Sigyn just as much as She needs Him.) While Sigyn could turn away and leave Him, because there is nothing that Loki can offer Her to ease Her suffering, while She could even blame Him for Her misfortune, She chooses to stay with Him. Sigyn does not blame. She does not complain. She takes responsibility. Even under the most difficult circumstances She is true to Her Heart, Her Love, Her Self. 

Sigyn and Loki are part and parcel of each other. To me their relationship in the cave 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 – we need to transcend our bondage-chains.

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)

Loki and the Dark Goddess

The Great Mother Goddess is the dark primordial womb that brought forth all creation.

Loki is intimately connected to the Divine Feminine. He is the keeper and wielder of sexual energy or Kundalini – the creative force of the universe – and embodies compassion and love like only a mother could. Another aspect that connects Him closely to the Hindu God Shiva.

I believe Loki to be a God of Fire and terrifying natural forces like Storms, yet I would often see and feel water when meditating on Him. The Divine Feminine is represented by water, lakes and rivers and her guardians are serpents (in Indian culture these serpent beings are called Nagas, in Maori culture the spirits associated with water are giant serpents called Taniwha). Loki is part of the Goddess as  much as She is part of Him and, like Rudra is said to bless the land with rain, or the sacred river Ganga springs from Lord Shiva’s head, Loki has a deep connection with water because it represents the divine feminine, the Great Goddess.

The Goddess of pure power is called Shakti, the universal life force that flows through all of creation. She is a dynamic force that is at once terrifying, destructive, creative, life-giving and life-saving. She is the Kundalini, the Mother Power and Shiva/Loki is the wielder of this power. Kundalini is sexual energy, very potent life-energy and in many cultures this force is also referred to as Serpent power. Loki is a Master of the Kundalini, one who can direct it so that its fire does not destroy us. He can help us to grow a tree within us to ground ourselves into earth as well as heaven, and let the fire nourish and illumine the tree so that the snake can travel. Thus it is Loki who is able to free us from our primitive urges and transform them into something higher.

The love between the Dark Goddess and Loki is deep, because they really are part of each other and I feel that Loki has suffered greatly from the imbalance of energies on earth. For a long time the masculine energy has dominated humanity, now, at the beginning of a new cycle, the sacred feminine is returning and with it comes creativity, arts, oneness, love and compassion. Loki will be able to reunite fully with His beloved Goddess, the Goddess who is the Mother of all creation.

The Divine Feminine embraces both Light and Darkness. And in a time where a wrathful bachelor God rules the Western World, it is not surprising that Loki is finding  many supporters and devotees, because in a way He represents the Divine Feminine more than any other God (in the Western world). Maybe that is why Loki has been slandered by Christianity? Like the treacherous serpent that persuades Eve to taste the forbidden fruit? Hmm. Loki awakens our own power and teaches us compassion (both aspects of the Goddess) towards ourselves and others. He has a loving, tender-hearted nature, as well as a fierce and fiery one. The Great Mother Goddess, Adi Shakti, represents the fiercest force in the universe – in many stories of Hindu mythology it is the force of Shakti that time and again rescues the Gods by slaying the demons who threaten them. Add Shakti is the energy that is the very essence of our being. It is the dark and light, the beautiful and the ugly, the tender and the fierce, the powerful and the compassionate. In western religious culture the ideal woman is seen as pure, virtuous, sweet, beautiful (and weak) – while the Truth is that the Feminine Force in this universe is much more complex. Softness, sweetness, mildness, compassion are all desirable feminine qualities, when they are realised as something powerful and beautiful instead of something weak that fosters our (female) need for protection. We (females) need to remember that we bear abundant power within us and have no need to manipulate men, nor possess anyone or be possessed by them. We need to find ways to claim back our power. Loki definitely comes to aid here.

In ancient times women were thought to be able to access the power of the Goddess more easily than men because they could more easily identify with Her. Long ago women were regarded as the mediators between the Goddess and her children. Later, when the masculine force became imbalanced by the male desire for power and control, men relegated women to a lower class, caused in part by their fear of women’s “magic” — particularly the ability to give birth, the blood, and intuitive gifts. Violence against women increased as men who felt powerless resorted to rape. Nowadays many men are stuck playing tough roles and many women learned that submission and passivity are their tickets to survival. Domesticated females often seek power through pleasing (manipulating) men and baring children. One of the female dramas is the need to be needed paired with the need to be protected. While the male urge is to protect and procreate. Sexual energy is not intended as a tool for power, pleasure or simply reproduction. It is a sacred energy. On a higher level, sexual energy or Kundalini is a quest for wholeness – unity of the male and female inside of ourselves.

Not all women were (and are) meant to be mothers. The sacred females (or sacred virgins) of the past, daughters of the Great Goddess, acted as priestesses, sorceresses, prophets, and healers before they were pursued and often killed. Interestingly enough the original meaning of the word “virgin” is essentially “a woman who claims ownership of herself”, while harlots (or whores) were priestesses of the Goddess who offered their bodies in the holy act of a sacred marriage. Tantric traditions today are revering the Kundalini’s sacredness and the union of the the Divine female and male (Shakti and Shiva).

The masculine and feminine aspect of creation need to be in balance and as long as one of them is overpowering, they both suffer. Neither of them is inferior or superior.

Loki came to me as a teacher and a healer, and while I thought He came to heal the feminine side of my nature, I now understand that He also heals the unbalanced masculine. He embodies both aspects. In my experience of Him, He can be extremely compassionate and loving, even indulging in his affections for me like a parent, yet at times He also plays out a dominant and possessive side. Whatever needs healing inside me, Loki represents. He is duality and union at once. Sometimes I feel Him not even as a separate entity but as part of me, clearly looking at aspects of myself that need attention. The more I learn to trust Him and love Him, the deeper the healing goes.

I believe that Loki heals trauma and thus he helps the feminine and masculine energy of this planet to heal. So maybe this is the reason why there is such a large amount of Loki’s “spouses” out there in the blogger-world? In my experience Loki meets us on the level we are on – and he has a tendency to stir up all those beliefs we hold, that have to do with shame and guilt, dark, forbidden desires  – which, I guess, has brought Him a bit of a “bad boy” reputation. Everything that gets suppressed in our longing to be “good”, every belief of “unworthiness” and anything we cannot accept as our own, Loki finds and brings to the surface. He also satisfies our need to feel loved and sheltered – and He can actually fulfil all these needs. In my opinion, Loki is out there, wreaking havoc in the blogger world (yes, I am including my humble self here) – yet I do agree with Lokeans (and I do not claim to be one, even though Loki has touched my life in a most profound way) that simply fantasising about this God does not make one a Lokean.

And then … it is Loki we are talking about. Unbound. Free. And beyond mental or moral concepts.