Loki as Firebird

I’ve mentioned, here and there, that I call Loki “Mom” but I tend to leave it at that. I wave my hands and I use descriptions like “genderqueer” and “shapeshifter” to describe Loki and those are not untrue and yet. Those are terms I chose because they’re more recognizable to others who work with Loki. When my own experiences are hard to quantify, I tend to use the math offered by others.

It does make it easier to find others who might be able to offer relevant information, but the vocabulary one uses shapes the way one understands things. When I read Silence Maestas’s post about Herself this morning, I thought to myself that maybe it was doing her a disservice by using descriptions I thought would make more sense in a wider context.

My confession, if you could call it that, is that I call Loki “Mom” for a reason, and it is because I have known Loki as a goddess at least as well as I’ve known him as a god. She is hearthflame and firebird, Gullveig’s student. She knows despair as real and solid as the Worldbreaker’s madness. She is at the forge, sweet-talking the bending iron. She is sunrise, the reds and purples and oranges of the sailor’s warning. She has descended into the earth and walked the labyrinths there to learn the mysteries of life and death, long before there was a serpent hung over a stone.

I suspect that knowledge is why she shielded her children from the fate of being “known.” Almost nothing is recorded of those she birthed aside from Sleipnir, but nonetheless they are noted as monsters and held against Loki’s crimes. Given the fates of Wolf and Serpent, given how they were treated and how they continue to be spoken of, given the fates of Narvi and Vali for the mere crime of being fathered by him… well, can you blame her?

She is no less dangerous, but she is more circumspect. The hearthfire is still fire, will never not before fire. It is a kinder fire, but it is no more forgiving.

I’ve written a bit about Gullveig as a firebird teacher, but Loki taught me first. Burning and change are synonymous for the phoenix, and it was my Mother who first taught me to burn and to be consumed and to be rebuilt from ash and atoms. She taught me the art of Change.

Change is an art. Creating, making, is a kind of Change. Crafting in particular, the kind of reuse and upcycling that take the “useless” and make it “useful,” is particularly in her wheelhouse.

I finished a set of prayer beads for her today, with beads taken from old necklaces and a glass phoenix feather pendant. I’ve been trying to finish it in one form or another for months and months. I’m not quite sure why this was what it took to finish it, but nonetheless it is done now.

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