Why Lokean Poetry?
"In the past 20 years or so there's so many untapped areas of study that aren't getting any attention. In particular a critical period of the development of internet folklore is going virtually undocumented -," - headspace-hotel, via tumblr.
Loki worship as a practice is by and large in its infancy - and Lokeanism as a doctrine even moreso. As such, our documentation of it's praxis is scattered like shreds of paper across virtual domains. If you've ever tried searching for a specific resource and found yourself digging through three blogs, four facebook posts, and your google docs just to come up empty, you know how difficult this knowledge is to assemble, despite it's apparent availability.
So much for the information age when searching for modern mystic writings feels a lot more like decoding the Discord posts of Nicholas Flamel.
Though the gods have been around for since the heat birth of the universe (or longer), the current incarnation of Norse deity worship is a strange and multitudinous beast which reaches widespread corners of the internet, the only place we can all gather to discuss our alchemical findings, so to speak.
I recall the parable of the blind men and the elephant.
Having never encountered an elephant before, the blind men learn and imagine what an elephant is like by touching it. Each man feels a different part of the elephant's body and when they use their limited experience to describe the elephant to each other, they find vast disparities. How can the same beast which one describes by it's tusks be the same as the one described by its legs?
Exploring Loki worship via internet platforms is to be a blind man with an elephant.
In a community that is spread by physical distance, internet platform usage, and virtual anonymity, there is but one common thread which binds us together; Loki alone.
In that sense, Loki is our elephant.
And here we are, blind men, feeling out a god based on intuition, divination, and the ever-shifting mystic landscape that parallels our realities. We are brought together by our love of the god alone, but ah! How do we find each other now? How do we share our experiences?
"How do you document real life when real life's getting more like fiction each day?" - Jonathan Larson, RENT (1996)
The truth is that nothing the blind men describe about the elephant is untrue. The elephant DOES have long, smooth tusks. It does have leathery, wrinkled legs. It has a back, a tail, a tummy. Our task is not to defend the part of the elephant we've touched as either its or our sole reality, but guide our fellow mystics to the mouth of the elephant, as they guide us to it's soft, warm ears.
This is where poetry steps in.
Our task is to describe. Not only so that we may learn more about the god, but so that we may learn more about each other. I said the sole thread that links us together is Loki, but that wasn't true, either. By writing, reading, and engaging with poetry, we are connected to the tradition of Norse poetry that binds us to the Skalds, to Odroerir, to the Eddas, and to the oral tradition. This is how we and the people like us described their mythic reality.
"Where do we diverge?" is an important question when considering the experiences of other mystics, both ancient and modern, old and new.
Likewise, and an even more important question to me, is "Where do we come together?"
I have never felt more connected to a community than in reading the work of other Lokeans nor have I felt more inspired to pursue aspects of his personhood than after finding pieces of myself in someone else's poem.
Before Lokahjarta, finding the personal writings of other mystics was a matter of going to that individual's blog or website and sifting through what may be hundreds if not thousands of other posts to find what you're looking for. Those of us using tumblr will know that although we have a tagging system, posts get lost - often.
As for published books on the topic of Lokean poetry, we have but one, which is wonderful! But not all of us are interested in publishing our work. The vast majority of Lokean writers post on individual blogs on a poem by poem basis.
This is where Lokahjarta steps in.
The purpose of this website is to document Lokean poetry. It is the heartbeat of our community.
"Poem that opened you - The opposite of a wound. Didn't the world Come pouring through?" - Gregory Orr, "Poem that opened you -", How Beautiful the Beloved (Copper Canyon Press, 2009)
I remember the poem that opened me. I knew Loki and Odin and the folk of my imagination as purely characters in folklore that I had a "normal" amount of interest in. This poem had nothing to do with them. It was neither about them, nor to them, nor for them. It was not even I poem I read. It was one I heard a girl at my high school recite. She giggled a little when she was done and I understood.
In the desert I saw a creature, naked, bestial, Who, squatting upon the ground, Held his heart in his hands, And ate of it. I said, "Is it good, friend?" "It is bitter - bitter," he answered; "But I like it "Because it is bitter, "And because it is my heart." - Stephen Crane, In the Desert
Its simplicity struck me; its honesty. I felt it in me as though I had wrote it. It felt true. It felt like it had happened to me.
It wasn't until 9 or 10 years later that I shared this poem with the gods - not as characters or figments of imagination, but as living beings just as impacted as words by I am and was. I shared it with Them as though, it too, was a heart. As though it was my heart, as though it was Theirs.
This is the power poetry has. This is the power that yours, mine, and all us writers have. The power to pour the world through.
We will not let our work be lost to time - it is too important. This is our mission with Lokahjarta - describe to me an elephant.