1: a psychoneurosis marked by emotional excitability and disturbances of the psychic, sensory, vasomotor, and visceral functions
2: behavior exhibiting overwhelming or unmanageable fear or emotional excess
– Merriam-Webster Online (http://east.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/)
The biggest lesson that most people learn in dealing with Loki, is that even if you lie constantly to other people, He will not allow you to lie to yourself. Nor will you be allowed to deny or ignore any part of yourself that stands in the way of you becoming who you really are. Know yourself truly at all times under whatever mask you wear is the thing He has spent the last ten years teaching me, and after all this time and many tears and curses, I think I’m finally starting to understand. It has not been easy. It’s never easy to admit to madness.
I was born in February, a typical Aquarian child who liked to read and spent many hours playing elaborate games alone or with imaginary friends. I was made aware that I was smart early on and that became the main thing upon which I based my identity, since I didn’t feel I was “pretty” or “athletic” or any of the other labels adults place on kids and kids learn to place on themselves and each other. I dreamed of the future and developed an early taste for science fiction. I very much lived in my head and in a world that seemed entirely separate from what went on around me. This was largely a defense mechanism.
One of my parents had serious mental and emotional problems which impacted my life in ways that would take decades for me to undo. Without going into detail, mostly it had the effect of making me afraid to show love to other people and afraid of expressing my feelings in general (particularly anger). My family moved around a lot so I was always the new kid at school, and as soon as I made friends, it seemed, my parents would announce that we were moving yet again. I was also rather quiet and homely, so I encountered my share of bullying and taunting. I managed to adapt to all this by retreating further into the little world I inhabited and by learning that I could make people laugh with my sharp wit and thus avoid having them bother me. In my mind, replete with a hundred interesting but useless facts about whatever I was reading at the time and peopled by strange characters and fancies, nobody could hurt me or call me names. I suppose I was lonely, but it was preferable to feeling bad all the time.
When I was eleven my parents split up, and after that I spent most of the time with the parent who had mental health issues. My home life became even more unbearable. As a smart, nerdy, overweight teenager, I learned to further conceal my feelings by cloaking them under a mask of cool cynicism. Being an adolescent often encourages this attitude – it’s expected of teenagers in our society, as annoying as it may be to everyone else – but rather than serving as an opportunity to figure out for myself who I really was, the attitude merely made it easier for me to distance myself from the anger, frustration, unhappiness and depression that simmered underneath the surface. Sometimes when I was alone in my room I would give in to a crying jag, after a particularly rough day at school or a fight with my custodial parent, but I tried very hard not to let anybody know about it.
Most people thought I was a well-adjusted if somewhat dorky and shy person. My teachers all adored me because I was an A student and well-behaved, at least until my last year of school when I whimsically decided to rebel because I knew that no matter what, I was going to college. I know now that my non-custodial parent and most of my family had no idea of the agony I endured at the hands of my other parent, but at the time I felt that my other relatives wouldn’t understand, or worse, that they knew how miserable I was and didn’t care. So I wasn’t about to seek help or admit to anybody how much just being alive hurt, and I pretended it didn’t matter.
It did, though. It mattered to my parents, who were hurt and upset because I wouldn’t show any sign that I cared about them at all. It mattered to my younger brother, with whom I had once been close and whom I effectively abandoned when I left for college. When my mother and brother got into a car accident which scared and upset them, I shrugged and laughed. When my father would tell me how proud he was of me, I would ignore it, telling myself later that he didn’t really mean it. To this day my brother and I aren’t close and although he’s had a lot to contend with in his life, I know that the beginnings of that distance lie at my door, in my youthful and arrogant refusal to let the world see that I gave a damn.
When I left home and went off to college, I finally made what were the first real friends I’d ever had – people who I eventually trusted enough to let see past the blasé surface pose I affected. Still, I was far from an emotionally healthy person. I didn’t date; I had no idea how to go about it, and spent most of my post-college years much as I had spent my childhood and adolescence: living in a world inside my head. I ignored the fact that I was still lonely. I ignored the fact that deep down I felt as if no one would ever love or desire me. I ignored the fact that my friends were often hurt by my coldness and selfishness and how bewildered they were when I pretended nothing was wrong, when they knew damn good and well that wasn’t the case. The time bomb of my repressed emotions was ticking and would one day explode, although I didn’t know it.
In my late twenties I entered a disastrous relationship with a former college friend who had developed a serious drinking problem. It lasted three and a half years and was one of the most painful experiences of my life. Although I was not in love, I had to watch someone I cared about destroy themselves. My inability to remain unaffected by what went on around me became severely compromised, and I could no longer meet my friends’ knowing eyes when I made excuses for my partner, whose appalling behavior was in no way limited to our home. The lesson that was driven home through all this was that I could never hope to help anybody who didn’t truly want to be helped – a valuable lesson for a future gydja, but a painful and excruciating one nonetheless. I left that relationship with whatever self-esteem I’d ever had ground into dust, and spent close to a year going mindlessly to work and staring at the wall of my studio apartment in the evenings. But instead of getting therapy, instead of talking it out with the friends who offered me their shoulders and kind words, I bottled it up and stored it away where I believed it could never touch me again, and went on with my life.
That’s who I was ten years ago: a sarcastic, often kind but usually selfish, morally ambiguous skeptical Pagan who could easily get people to laugh, but who had trouble empathizing with others – not because I didn’t care, but because I feared what would be unleashed if I allowed myself to feel for other people. I didn’t date again. I kept in touch with my old friends and had a life which was monotonous but free of emotional entanglements, good or bad. Sometimes I despaired of ever having someone love me for myself, when I let myself think about it, but for the most part, I pretended that all was well and that I was happy – no matter what my parents, my friends, or the world thought of the fact that I’d dropped out of grad school and moved halfway across the country to work a low-paying, dead-end job, coming home anxious and stressed from work every day.
On April 1 of 2003, Loki claimed me outright, after hanging around in the background of my life for a while before that. It would become the single most devastating event of my life, even though it has also been the best thing to happen to me. One of the first things He did was to set about unlocking all of the emotional baggage I’d been keeping shut down for so many years: my rage and hurt about the way I’d been raised, my sadness at not having had what I thought was a “proper” childhood and young adulthood, my jealousy and resentment of all the other people who had things I desperately wanted, like love and a sense of purpose, and my shame and humiliation at having willingly remained in a relationship that destroyed my self-worth and enabled someone to do themselves further harm. It was all there, waiting to be acknowledged.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t a sudden process by any means – Loki can be subtle when He wants to be. He seduced me with His charm and beauty and I rapidly fell in love with Him. Eventually He asked me to swear a marriage-oath to Him. Being claimed by Loki swept me away in the best possible way. I felt adored and for the first time ever, I knew what it was like to want someone who wanted me too, my romantic life up until then having been mostly a series of unrequited desires. But even so, I feared the strength of my feelings for Him. For months, even though I engaged in a number of intimate acts with Loki, I would not allow Him to show me much in the way of simple affection – our relationship was all about sexual energy, I told myself. He could not possibly want love from me. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to give it to Him – I did, however loath I was to admit it. But the idea of being emotionally intimate with someone, let alone a god, terrified me.
I remember at one point asking Him to promise that He would never hurt me, at least no more than I was capable of hurting myself. His response was neither amused nor sarcastic. Only later did I recognize His tone as being one of sadness. I could never do that. It won’t be me who drives you insane.
The first time I realized what He meant was when I began to have fits of rage for no good reason at all. Sometimes it was connected to my hormone cycle, but not always. I would catch myself yelling at people for little things or if I was alone, hurling things around my apartment. I would lie in bed and somehow my train of thought would escalate until I was ready to go out and curb-stomp everyone who’d ever offended me in the slightest. These fits of uncontrollable anger started alternating with worrying blackouts – periods of time when I would lose all memory of what I’d been doing or where I’d gone. Once I even put my fist through a neighbor’s car window for reasons that seemed incredible to me later when I found myself having to explain it to the cops.
I began to be unable to get out of bed. I’d constantly arrive late for work and my bosses would yell at me, and although I’d always been good at organizing and arranging details, I started to screw up scheduling and billing tasks, too. I became depressed and spent my weekends dreading Monday morning when I’d have to return to my job. The bouts of rage began turning into days-long fits of weeping where anything and everything would make me despondent. I began chronicling my interactions with Loki around this time, and sad to say, many of these early journal entries were long rants about what a fucked-up human being I was and how I couldn’t deal with it all. I felt incredibly sorry for myself and ignored the blessings that regularly fell into my lap or walked into my life. Some part of me understood this, but I felt powerless to change what was becoming a rapid slide into madness.
Finally Loki told me to quit my job, which I did – just before a busy weekend and without giving any notice. I felt guilty about this and for months afterward woke up after a nightmare that I’d been forced to go back to work there. Leaving the job should have alleviated my stress, although now I was faced with having to find new employment. But somehow, despite the hundred of resumes I sent out, I got very few calls, and none of them went anywhere. Meanwhile I was rapidly alienating many of my friends and relatives, and my life dwindled to the size of my apartment, where I would hole up for days, sleeping until 3 or 4 PM and only rousing myself to go out at night and get groceries from the 24 hour supermarket or takeout from the taco stand across the street. I spent a lot of time online trying to find people like me, but all I encountered at first was disbelief and hostility from the Asatru community and useless platitudes from the Neo-Pagan community.
So there I was, someone who not only believed in the literal existence of the Norse gods but who had Them talking to me, someone who was having sexual escapades with Loki, to whom I was actually married, someone whose life had become more like a fantasy novel than anything else, save for the fact that fantasy novels don’t generally include countless, weeks-long bouts of misery culminating in suicidal ideation. I now had not only one but two gods interfering in my life. Loki’s daughter Hela, the Norse goddess of the underworld, had made it clear to me that while I belonged to Loki, She had a claim on the work I did in this world, and it wasn’t ever going to be about holding a regular 9 to 5 job again. This made me unhappy, as I had always been very proud of “not needing anybody,” however fallacious that was turning out to be. I’d been reduced to living on family money like an invalid or more fittingly, the weird cousin up in the attic about whom no one talks. Loki did not explain any of this or attempt to reassure me, except by showing me more affection and love. Though I never truly felt He was inattentive or uncaring, He did not hold my hand or try to mitigate things for me. I suspect there is nothing that even the gods can do when a person has to do battle with herself. He simply waited, watching as I fell apart and all my long-denied feelings came out, first in a trickle and then in an ever-increasing flood that I became less and less able to hide or control.
It never occurred to me that part of my problem might be an inherited tendency towards chemical depression, even though I had plenty of evidence from observing certain family members that this might be the case. I had been raised with the notion that “normal” people are happy all the time and if you aren’t, it’s due to laziness or selfishness. I had also not been encouraged to express any negative feelings when I was a child, even when they were entirely justified, and my fears and concerns were often dismissed as trivial and unimportant. I was not used to allowing myself to feel sad, angry, jealous, or hurt, nor did I know how to deal with those feelings in a healthy, mature way. So, like beasts which have been starved in a cage for a long time, once I could no longer control them these things leaped out to devour me.
It was painful for my close friends, who by then knew about my interactions with Loki, to watch me destroy myself from the inside out. Some of them had to listen as I ranted about things I can’t even remember now. It was certainly painful for my parents, with whom I was on bad terms for a while after I left my job, largely because they had no idea what was going on and I was afraid to tell them, well aware of how crazy it would all sound. It was also, without a doubt, painful for Loki, who had to stand by as I descended time and again into a place of such darkness and pain that He could not reach me at all, no matter how much He tried. Somehow, I didn’t end up killing myself accidentally despite the memory lapses and reckless, unwise behavior. But I was angry that this was happening to me and as unable to deal with that anger as anything else. I blamed Loki. I blamed Hela. I blamed “shaman sickness” (which is a real condition, just not one I happened to have) and the influence of the dead whom I tried to help and whose pain and grief often left me weeping. I blamed my lack of health care. I blamed my parents for doing such a bad job raising me. But by then, I had been an adult for a long time, and I had no one to blame but myself.
Loki came to me one day as I was puttering around in my room. Come here, He said, and when I sat down on my bed, suddenly He reached into my chest and pulled out a piece of my heart. I felt it tear off, but there was no pain. He put the piece of pulsing, glowing, bloody heart to His lips and swallowed it whole, giving me that evil grin afterward. Then He reached into His chest, removed a piece of His own heart and held it out to me. Take it, He said encouragingly when I hesitated. I opened my mouth and let Him feed it to me, and I felt it sink into my chest and merge with the remainder of my own heart, filling the gap that had been there moments before. He didn’t explain anything and I didn’t ask. Later, I would find out exactly what it means to carry a piece of a god’s heart, but for the moment I merely thought it was a sign of love and devotion.
When Loki told me I had to move, this time to an area of the country I had never lived in before but which was home to a number of people I knew, I was very taken aback. I had lived where I was for six years, the longest I had ever resided in one place, and it had become home in a way no other place had. I didn’t want to leave, even though everyone I knew there was moving away, coincidentally. But Loki and Hela are persistent and moreover, They are gods and I am but a mortal in Their service, so off I went after an acquaintance serendipitously found herself in need of a roommate in the area where I was headed. I remember crying as I drove my little U-Haul away, the gray rain obscuring the Rocky Mountains behind me in the rearview mirrors. Don’t look back, Loki said, not unkindly. Never look back. I tried to focus on the road ahead of me instead.
I thought that I’d managed to put all of my baggage behind me after three long years of mostly isolated struggle with what some of my spiritworker friends had come to call “the madness road,” as opposed to the more traditional “death road” that those who are called to serve the spirits often walk. I thought I had my shit together well enough to start a new life and do what Loki and Hela wanted of me, which I was certain was going to be something great and world-changing. I was totally wrong and full of the worst kind of pride, and the only thing that can correct it is the hard experience that leads people to avoid that sort of thing in the first place.
Hela had informed me that there was a Job She wanted me to do, a very important one, and at that point I was convinced that it made me special. I badly wanted to feel important, not so much because I wanted other people to admire me but because I wanted a reason to feel better about things. I felt that I was lacking in every way and did not deserve to be one of Loki’s beloved consorts, and that I could never deserve it unless I did something which would make people acknowledge that I wasn’t the worthless being I thought I was. I also had a friend whose true worth I did not see until much, much later, and next to her unwavering love for our mutual god, I felt as if nothing I could ever do would measure up to the strength of her faith.
So I did something that, in hindsight, horrifies me in its sheer idiocy. I took it upon myself to use one of the tools intended for my Job and descend to a place few sane people want to see and where nobody in their wrong mind should go. I knew I could reach it, having done journey work in the past, and I had a burning desire to prove I was worthy of my role as a godwife, shame that I couldn’t give as much to Loki as others could, and fear that He would one day realize I wasn’t worth His time, and thus would abandon me. I decided to go to Loki as He is in the cavern where He is bound with Sigyn watching over Him, and absorb some of His madness so that maybe, He would feel it less. In return, I hoped I would feel as if I deserved a few of the blessings I’d gotten and be able to look my friends in the eye.
That experience almost killed me. That is no metaphor. I woke from it feeling as if I was being pulled in two, and after a disastrous phone conversation, a friend ended up having to deal with my subsequent psychotic break and the awakened and very pissed off sacred object that I had used to do this ridiculous thing. I will never speak of what I saw and experienced in those brief moments when I stood near Him, but I will say this: the madness of a god was too much for me to take on alone, even for a moment. Please do not attempt this yourself. Do not think that you can succeed where I did not; it is not possible. You can observe, you can mourn, but you cannot carry the burden of Loki’s madness. Nobody can. We can alleviate some of the gods’ sorrow, suffering and anger with our acts of love and devotion, but the spirits that rule madness bow to no one, not even the gods. To try to meddle with what they have brokered with a deity is exceedingly unwise. Yet I had done just that, and I had to pay for it.
The immediate consequences were painful. I lost the friendship of someone very dear to me and almost lost the friendship of several others. The story of my folly made its way around the circle of spiritworkers I was acquainted with, and my estimation among them fell. My roommate decided that I was a liability and asked me to leave, so I had to find another place to live only a couple of months after moving in. I was slapped with a taboo never to touch that kind of sacred object again, which meant that I had to give up a hobby I enjoyed, as a result. I was told by Hela, as well as by another deity, that instead of doing this Job, I was going to do something less public and less likely to lead to admiration or acknowledgement from anyone. Worst of all, I had disappointed Hela and Loki both.
But even all of that wasn’t as bad as what happened afterward. By now I had no emotional armor left, no way of hiding myself from myself, and no internal censor to regulate my outbursts. I moved in with some friends and almost immediately started to freak out at the least opportunity, in a way that I had never done before. Some tiny, disapproving part of my brain would watch, dispassionately, as I threw fits and burst into tears and raged far into the night, and that part would berate me endlessly when I came to my senses. When my friend sent the letter that severed our friendship, I lost all hope and decided to let the spirits of madness take me, reasoning that if I gave myself to them, my suffering would end sooner. I began actively planning my own death, certain that there was no other option at this point and that it would be best for everyone if I was gone. I began saving money for the trip and giving away my things, putting my affairs in order, and deciding what I was going to say in the letter I would leave for my poor parents, who had come to accept the strange turn my life had taken with the gods. I didn’t care whether or not I hurt anyone else, and I doubted that anybody would really miss me.
A friend of mine who also belongs to Loki was the only one who guessed what I was going to do. Later, he informed me that it was because Loki told him about my plans. That made me pause, if only briefly. I didn’t expect Him to actually care that much. I thought He felt the same disgust and contempt for me that I believed everyone else did. I had no illusions about what would happen once I died; the arrangement I have with Hela puts me in Her service until She releases me, and She had definitely done no such thing. I didn’t even care about that; it was a risk I was willing to take, and if I had to do it all over again – without Loki – next time around, and harder, that was only what I deserved.
That was really the rock bottom point of my life, the place from where I finally realized that hiding from the things I felt had never helped, no matter how much I thought so at the time. Not caring had not turned out to be the refuge I’d believed it to be. Rather, it was a hollow, empty place as barren and lifeless as the surface of the moon, and much more cold. Around that time, I had a vision of Loki and Odin and the twisted, tangled wyrd the two of Them share, which has given Them a terrible understanding of each other’s actions and a shared experience in a barren place of the heart much like the one I was inhabiting at the time.
And yes, it hurts. There is nothing that can remedy that. It hurts more knowing that another shares that with me, just as it hurt more knowing that another shared my imprisonment, Loki said to me once, referring to his time in the cave with Sigyn. But one has to go on. Do you understand? That’s what life is about, whether you’re a god, a mortal, or a fish in a pond. One goes on until She comes along and offers Her fleshly hand, and you take it and lay down the burden at last.
I’d love to say that after this pivotal moment of understanding, everything changed – that I became a wholly new person and fought back the madness enough to have a functional life of emotional maturity. Well…not exactly. Obviously, I didn’t kill myself. I finally worked up the nerve to go seek medical help for what I had come to realize was not “shaman sickness” or an inability to get my shit together, but a real problem with my brain chemistry. I started acknowledging when I was angry or upset without letting it overwhelm me or drive me to do stupid things. I began consciously seeking out people and things that made me happy and avoiding those that didn’t. I made an effort to be honest instead of pretending I was untouchable.
That was about six years ago. Since then, it has not always been easy for me or for those around me. I still struggle not to go off on people, to set appropriate boundaries for myself and respect those set by others. I try very hard to be mindful of my feelings without getting mired in them. And I’m trying hardest of all to show that I care about other people with my actions, even if not in so many words. But words are the stock and trade of people like me — poets and writers and Lokean con artists — and I can’t always avoid them. However, all of this easier than being an ice queen, and much easier than letting my feelings overwhelm me, like a tidal wave that breaks on the shore and leaves nothing behind. And that is why I’m writing this. Someone out there already knows what I’m talking about and needs to hear that they aren’t alone, either.
As it so happens, my Job is not to do something which will make me a Big Name Pagan or cause me to receive loads of fan mail from admirers or hold sway over a community of eager acolytes – or even make me feel more deserving of the love and blessings I’ve received. I’m just a nun and a mystic. I belong to Loki and serve Hela, and I do this as a solitary without benefit of a community of like-minded monastics, in a home I share with others who aren’t obligated to observe the constraints I have. It’s not something that will invest me with vast amounts of magical power or get me dozens of clients seeking my expertise. It often involves days of relative monotony, not unlike the last office job I held (except that my Bosses don’t shriek at me when I get up late.) But it’s important to me and to Loki because my main task, however trivial or unimportant or self-serving it seems to others, is simply to love Him. I have given up my independence, my home, my sexual freedom and my career for His sake. Love is my sacred work, and although it is one that I welcome fiercely and to which I want to give myself completely, it is also the hardest thing I’ve ever done.
I will be honest: it’s sometimes hard to see any point to my work. Monastic life is neither a glamorous nor romantic endeavor, and this is what I’ll be doing for the rest of my days. Rather than see this as a punishment, however, I see it as a re-fitting of the person I made myself into, through my actions wise and unwise: someone who can serve the gods I love in the best way possible. So what if it has included madness? You have to crack the coconut to get at the juice, after all.
Loving Loki the way that I love Him means expressing my feelings in ways I’d prefer to keep to myself, but which lose some of their meaning if hidden away. Although much of my life with Him is and will remain private, I have written devotional, often explicit poetry for Loki, and spoken publicly online and in real life about my relationship with Him. I have counseled others who have been claimed by Flame-hair, some of whom are also His consorts. I have learned that, as Loki himself once said, the fact that He loves others doesn’t mean He loves me any less. I’m learning to accept and to offer the affection and respect that is the mark of real love. I have let Him see into my heart, all the way down to where the scary things live. Contrary to my fears, Loki has not recoiled or rejected me because of them. He loves me in spite of, or perhaps even because of the dark maelstrom that sometimes swirls inside me, even if He would prefer that it never come between us again.
In return, I have been privileged to experience His love – not just for myself, but a taste of what He feels for others, for my friends who love Him too and for Those of whom it is a matter of record. His fierce, primal love for Angrboda, His tender adoration for Sigyn, His bittersweet, protective love for His children, and most of all, His deep and complex tie with Odin – all of these things I have felt through the means that Loki afforded me when He gifted me with a portion of His own heart. Those who paint Loki merely as a malevolent trickster do Him a great disservice, for of all the gods, Loki knows what it is to not only sacrifice His own happiness, but the happiness and even the lives of those He loves, for the greater good. No mere selfish prankster could ever do that, and as I am beginning to realize, no heartless, self-consciously cynical hipster could do what He has asked me to do, or what I have determined to do for Him, that which He has not asked for but welcomes anyway.
Still, despite my overfamiliarity, I never forget that Loki is a god and I am but a mortal, so while there is no hiding anything on my end, I’ve had to resign myself to the fact that I will mostly likely never know all of Him — and that might even be for the best. For while I strive to love every face He wears, from the most engaging to the most annoying to the most terrifying, my experience with trying to shoulder the madness of the Breaker of Worlds has taught me that, while being open to our own feelings is healthier than denying them, sometimes we might be better off not knowing too much about those whom we love. Even the gods need and deserve some privacy of the heart and mind.
Still, there are times when I wish I could go back to being as I was before, because naked emotions trouble me and make my life difficult, even when they’re controlled. I don’t like being at the mercy of my feelings or showing others that they govern me. I don’t like having to expose myself that way – it is far easier for me to talk about perverted sexual kinks or my occasional sick impulses towards mayhem, for instance, than it is to discuss the depth of my love for Himself. I prefer being viewed as a flaky, distant, absent-minded type instead of a weak-willed basket case of spooky foo and unmanageable hysteria. Whether or not either perception is entirely accurate isn’t the point; that’s the sacrifice I’ve had to make, the loss of whatever respect certain people might have for me ever since I’ve acknowledged that whatever I was before, I am now officially “mental” and will have to deal with that for the rest of my days. I’m not saying that being crazy is the only way to learn to love a god (although some might argue that you’d have to be crazy to put up with Loki’s antics for very long.) But this is where the road of madness has led me.
And while my devotion to Loki is based on a number of things – romantic and mystical love, religious awe, formal obligation and a marriage-oath, among others – there is yet another which binds me tightly to Him: the knowledge that no matter how uncontrolled I feel, how many times my brain breaks or my soul has to grapple with the spirits of madness, He understands. Loki knows what it’s like to be insane. No other god or goddess in the Northern pantheon, and few elsewhere, has had to wrestle with madness so closely and so heart-wrenchingly. Loki is often portrayed in modern days as the patron of troublemakers, dissidents and sexual deviants. To these I would add that He is also the patron of the insane, functional or otherwise, who are also often unwelcome among so-called “normal” people. But we are here, and while we must battle to keep our madness from breaking us or harming others, I also believe we should not pretend we are other than what we are, for our own sakes or anyone else’s. If Loki has anything to say about it, we won’t be able to for long, anyway.
When I feel at loose ends and find myself falling into that dark and terrible place where no light reaches, I know that Loki feels my suffering, just as I have felt His. Although He will not permit there to be any lies between us, there is never blame or judgment. For someone who has spent almost her whole life deeming herself unworthy and later, feeling deep shame for bearing the label of “crazy,” this is perhaps the best gift He could ever give me. That, and the love which I am learning to absorb and to reflect around me. I am crazy for Loki, in all senses of the word, and perhaps He is crazy for me, too.
(This was first published in one or another of Raven’s books. I don’t remember which one. Edited from the original.)