I’ve been a godspouse for ten years now, and in all this time, I’d seen Loki embodied four times. I’ve written about that here before, so I won’t recap those experiences, but I will say that even when they were painful and very brief, I treasured them.
It has been customary to throw a party in honor of Loki one night during EtinMoot, which I’d been doing for the last six years — since the second EtinMoot in 2007. This past weekend was no exception, although it was different from the others we’d done. I’d been told that this time, Loki wanted to attend the party Himself, and so a friend of mine was going to be possessed by Him. There was some uncertainty about whether or not the friend would be able to attend, since he suffers from a number of health issues, but on Friday evening I got a surprise text announcing that my friend and his posse were arriving that night. I was pleased, even thought I was still concerned for my friend; I had tried not to be disappointed about not being able to be around Loki in the flesh, as it were, and told myself that after waiting ten years to spend more than a few minutes at a time every few years with Him embodied, a little longer wouldn’t make a difference.
Saturday night rolled around. We had cake, bacon cheeseburgers, hot dogs, drinks of all kinds, sparklers, a small hot air balloon, fireworks and people ready to sing and tell stories and crack bad jokes. I usually run the party and make sure things keep going instead of everyone staring awkwardly around the fire at each other, but I was told beforehand that Loki expected me to “be a wife” that night, which I assumed meant not running off to emcee the festivities. So I asked a friend — another Lokean and a charming, vivacious bard and storyteller — to take my place, and I tarted myself up as best I could (monastic life as I know it doesn’t leave a lot of room for fashion), and went down to the field at the appointed time to be with my husband.
He came into the horse after we drummed to signify the official start of the party, and the first thing Loki asked for was me. I went to where He was sitting among the trees some distance from the bonfire. “You look good,” was the first thing He said to me. He had made my friend dress up and leave his hair its natural red, and although he looks somewhat different from how I normally see Loki and his own voice is quite distinct from the voice that speaks to me in my mind, I knew it was Loki right away. I could feel His familiar, beloved presence. I trust my friend’s skill and integrity about being truly possessed, but even so, I had half-expected to feel some skepticism about it — not so much because of the person doing the horsing, but because even then, I still had trouble believing that Loki would ever actually show up mainly for my sake. I didn’t believe I was important enough for that, even though I know Loki loves me very much. But when I embraced Loki in the flesh that night, all my doubt in myself went away.
He told me that although He had to be a lot of Things to a lot of people that night, because people were expecting Him to be one Thing or another, He was primarily there for me, and if there was something I needed or wanted, all I had to do was say so. But I couldn’t think of anything to ask for — just being able to touch Him and speak to Him was enough. We walked to the bonfire, His assistants coming along with a chair and other items for Loki, and He took His place at the circle around the fire. He had insisted that I sit next to Him, so I seated myself in the chair they’d placed for me. I poured Him a glass full of Irish whisky a friend had brought, in a painted glass goblet another friend and Loki’s-wife sent as a gift some years ago. When I got up to get myself food, He drew me near and kissed me, and I swore I could smell spice and woodsmoke on Him even though there was no such spice in the drink, and the smoke hadn’t been blowing our way.
At first people were shy. Nothing in our world, even if you’ve been a Pagan or a Heathen for many years, really prepares you for how to behave when a trickster god in a suit and tie strolls up and sits down at your campfire, so for some time folks kept their distance under the excuse of getting food and drink and making sure the fire got built up to His liking. I asked Loki about that. “They’re scared,” he said, not unkindly. My friend the party emcee did her best to make people at ease and keep things going, and gradually, her funny songs loosened everyone up. Other people got to spend time with Him, too, during the course of the evening, and to be in His presence at a time when He was not acting nearly as obnoxiously as He is capable of being. Even so, He was still Himself.
Loki commented loudly on whatever caught His attention. He referred to one attendee as “jester” instead of by his name, and another as “sad sack.” He demanded that certain people tell their most embarrassing stories, much to the amusement of everyone there. He bade my reticent housemate to sing “that song I like, you know which one,” so Raven got his guitar and sang Jonathan Coulton’s “Skullcrusher Mountain,” which Loki said made Him think of me. I suspect many women wouldn’t find a song about an evil mad scientist to be all that romantic, but I did. At one point, someone helpfully texted our kindred’s gydja a shocking message detailing what Loki announced to all and sundry that He wanted to do to her (and I wish I could see a picture of her face when she read that text). While Raven was singing, Loki and I danced together, and I could see the same flickering flame in His eyes that I had seen the very first time someone had horsed Him in front of me.
I suppose people were initially wary because, after all, it’s Loki, and He has been less congenially behaved on similar occasions, but the evening was free of sturm und drang, although some party attendees ended up being Loki’s footstool, and His numerous calls for people to drink more were met with at least one person getting hilariously intoxicated. I stayed by Loki’s side almost the entire time, and He often reached for my hand and squeezed it when someone said or sang or told something particularly significant to both of us. And I was happier than I’d been for a long time, I’ll admit. It was pure joy to be with Loki, to feel His touch, and to share food and drink and affection with Him without the barrier of the veil between worlds parting us.
Eventually the fire started to go out, the party wound down as people drifted off to bed, and Loki said He was getting bored and would be leaving soon. I did manage to say goodbye before He left my friend’s body, and the rest of us put out the fire and started cleaning things up, although immediately after He left, Loki let me know that He really, really wanted me to go back to my room. I know people are probably wondering, so I’ll say that I did not get intimate with Loki while He was wearing my friend — not because of who the horse was, but because circumstances would have made it tricky to have as much privacy as I’m used to when I’m with Him. Although I’m far from prudish (as anybody who’s heard my constant swearing and off-color jokes can attest), I am fairly private when it comes to that aspect of my relationship with Himself. Loki knows this and did not force the issue while He was embodied. My friend is also wheelchair-bound most of the time, and between all of Loki’s walking around, dancing, and occasionally kicking people, as well as all the drinking, smoking, and eating He did, I genuinely feared that more (ahem) vigorous activity might leave my poor friend bedridden for weeks afterward.
So after the party ended, I went back to the house and spent some more time with Him, including a long discussion based on a few things He had said seemingly in passing or to others, things which I had not considered before. I was very surprised, also, at how jittery I felt after being so close to Loki “in person” all night. As Alex pointed out in his own blog post about the event, there was a lot of energy happening as Loki’s presence basically took over the area. Once I got to my room and sat down, I felt like a junkie in withdrawal, shaking and almost gibbering as my nervous system tried to calm itself, and it took a while for me to wind down enough to even hear Him properly.
Loki spent about four hours embodied that night, the longest I’d ever seen Him possess anybody, and probably the longest possession I’d ever witnessed, period. Because of the things He said and did during and after, I now feel closer to Him than ever, and I better understand Him and what He wants of me. And in case I had the least niggle of doubt as to whether it was really Him, towards the end of the evening, Loki called me by an endearment He sometimes uses with me, and which I haven’t written about. The person horsing Him certainly didn’t know it. As I said above, I already trusted my friend who did the horsing, but hearing that particular endearment from Loki at that time was indescribable.
Was this experience worth the long wait? Yes, it was, and even if I have to wait another ten years to have an experience like that with Him again, I would endure the time happily. I hope that it was worth it for Him, too.