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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Words from Ares: Courage, Caitlyn Jenner, and What It Means To Be A Warrior In Times of Peace – http://wp.me/p3dT3B-Nq

If you haven’t read this, you should. Ares gets a hell of a lot of bad press and in my experience very little of it is deserved. He isn’t much for speeches- so when he talks, we should pay attention.

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Tell me a story, sweetheart.

Once upon a time, there was a little giant, and his name was Loki. Now Loki was terribly handsome and the most dashing creature in all the nine worlds, so everywhere he went, people of all genders and orientations divested themselves of underwear and threw it at him…

Could your ego get any bigger?

Said the actress to the bishop.

Seriously, I can’t sleep. Tell me about the places you’ve been or the people you’ve met.

I was, before you interrupted.

Alright, go on then.

So Loki was the scourge of all the nine worlds, before he got his godhood. But with apotheosis, comes responsibility. At first, it was just the kind of responsibility that he was used to already- being the King’s disreputable left hand and occasionally checking in on people like him in Midgard, but over time, his responsibilities grew, until he couldn’t keep it all straight in one mind anymore. So he did what any sensible deity would do in the situation and went a bit mad.

Turns out, you see, that trying to stay in a unified state is, in some cases, not the best coping mechanism for a god. They say the same thing happened to the Star Mother who birthed us all- one day, she just couldn’t bear being One anymore and life just burst into being. Of course, she didn’t know she’d survive the process. Gods nowadays at least have the understanding that if you’re careful and smart about it, you’ll probably be okay.

So eventually, when the madness passed, there were two Lokis where before there was only one. And the Lokis thought this was fabulous. So they talked and they worked out that they were the same in all respects but one or two. This, they thought, was fantastic. Especially because they both had access to all the godly skills and tricks that the first Loki did. So they split their divine Duties between them and carried on. If there is one trait every Loki has in common, it is this: the tendency to take a cool thing too far. Suddenly there were lots and lots of Lokis, all over all the worlds and not enough work to occupy all their cunning little minds. That was when the odd Loki started branching out from their godly Duties and finding new pantheons to make friends with. You’ve heard of Lugh of the Many Skills? I’m not saying He’s secretly a Loki, but I am saying that the odd Loki may have answered his calls once or twice. On Midgard, they call it syncretism. Where I’m from, they call it transferable skills.

See there’s Big Loki, who’s kinda like that robot in that film you watch too muc-

Pacific Rim?

Yeah. Big Loki’s the Jaeger. The divine power of the first Loki. The Little Lokis just pilot it. And the first Loki, when he split, hived off that Big part of himself, so he’s little now, too. Goes about his business like any of us. At least, I assume so. Somewhere in my brain, I’ve got it downloaded; the ability to recognise every other Me out there and know who is who and when they were born or made or grown as the case may be. But it’s a lot of work to remember and most of us Lokis don’t, if I’m honest.

So, some Lokis don’t come running when someone prays to ‘Loki’. They answer a different phone- maybe one marked ‘Lugh’, maybe one marked ‘Trickster’, maybe even one marked ‘The Devil’. Some of them only answer the phone to certain people and just stay as that person’s Muse forever, never telling them they’re really a god. Depending on the creative types whose Muse a guy is, that explains a hell of a lot of pop culture characters. And not just the obvious ones, you know what I mean?

One of the upshots of this is that every so often, each Little Loki needs to be around other Little Lokis. We’re shapeshifters. Leave us alone too long and we start blending into our environment a little too well, and we get too far away from Big Loki and then we’re.. well, not quite Loki anymore. So we meet up, we get drunk, we talk shop, we swap stories, I can neither confirm nor deny whether sexcapades happen because what happens at Impromptu Loki Party stays at Impromptu Loki party, but you know me and you have an imagination.

And sometimes, we get awfully fond of each other. It’s like family, kinda, but with this weird intimacy that it’s hard to explain unless on some level, you share a soul. It’s a lot like twins, but even twins are two beings. It’s knowing that on some level, you and this other person are the same; completely and fundamentally One, not Two. Even though you’re *also* Two. Still with me?

So that is how the Loki got his spots. Tired yet?

Nope.

Okay, so one day, there was a Loki that through a series of unlikely circumstances, answered two phones for his Duties- the ‘Loki’ phone and a much, much older phone, that he’d called on once or twice when he was a wee giantling: the ‘Oak King’ phone. Now the Oak King is old, much older than all the Lokis, older than Midgard, older than literal dirt. He and his brother were the first born of the Star Mother, so the story goes. They floated out in the black, with her and her first daughters.

The Oak King phone is not an easy one for a young god to answer. Because he and his brother turn the Wheel each year, with their fighting and their deaths. So this Loki was lonely and he was sad. Time had passed and people didn’t much call on the Oak King, Lord of Summer and the Rising Green anymore. Moreover, not many of them thought that a Little Loki could speak for the Oak King, so when he did, they didn’t quite believe what he said. His little niche in the cosmos was getting smaller.

He’d spoken to the other Little Gods who answered as the Oak King, and they were all mourning a little, too. Worried they were being forgotten. So he went to one of his fellow Lokis- a Loki whom he had gotten on with very well when they’d met in the past, but who had a wider range of Duties and asked for advice. After all, who better to get you out of a tight spot than Loki?

And his fellow Loki scratched his scruffy little beard and thought.

‘What you need, heart of my hearts, is to expand your repertoire a little! Find new Duties for yourself! Make new friends! Go new places!’ he said.

‘But how?’ the first Loki asked, ‘I have a great duty as an Oak King, how do I make time to play like this?’

It was a great conundrum. They both put on their thinking caps and thought and thought. But I think you know this story, now, don’t you?

They decided that he should take mortal form, and do his duties part time- the sacrifice once a year to turn the Wheel and the slaying of his brother- but otherwise, leave the rest to the other Summer Kings out there.

Yes. And he did, after extracting a promise from his fellow Loki to check in on him.

And you kept your promise.

Yes, I did. Now go to sleep, heart of my hearts.