Summer Solstice for Loki

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Loki is the Deity that we choose to honor at our annual Midsummer gathering. Filled with a bit of irony and a whole lot of sense, this has turned into the largest in-person Loki-centered gathering in the country.

Why do we honor Loki at Midsummer?

Traditionally, Baldr or Sunna would be honored at a Midsummer event. That is where the irony comes in: Loki plays the largest part in Baldr’s death. However, Midsummer is also during Pride month, a month dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and the immense struggles the community has faced and continues to face. On many levels, Loki is well suited for pride month.

Loki is considered an LGBT Deity. While I refer to Loki with the He/Him pronouns, many use They/Them or even He/She. Loki is both a mother and a father. Mothering Slepnir, Odin’s 8-legged steed as well as fathering at least 5 named figures within the lore. He is known as the mother of witches, the father of outcasts and the parent of the forgotten. On a deeper level however, Loki, and most Jotnar’s written experiences matches the struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community closely.

Loki is of Jotun blood, a race nearly always deemed inferior within the Poetic and Prose Eddas, the main body of writing which American Heathens hold to. I have written about it a few times, so to summarize… The Jotun are deemed bad due to a prophesy that, eventually, the Jotun will go to war with the Gods of Asgard — the Aesir. Because of this, there is extreme distain for the Jotun among the Aesir to the point of random oppression and murder of members of this race. (Sounds a bit like United States history, right?)

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Loki’s Jotun children are abducted, removed from their parents’ custody out of fear of an assumed future event. They are treated with distain… at best. Even Loki’s Aesir children are not given the same treatment, in what scraps of lore exist about them, as other Aesir children. When it comes to written lore, the Gods of Asgard have very little against Loki except for his Jotun blood and him not assimilating to their cultural norms. Yes, this is a simplified explanation, yes there is a racist problem within Heathenry, and yes, I believe the two are related.

We honor Loki by throwing a big freaking party for the LGBTQIA+ community. We put up pride flags, have lots of activities and freebies, run classes and workshops, have food and end it all with a big blot to Loki himself. Our event is attended primarily by LGBT youth from local organizations. What better way to honor Loki than to shine brightly in defiance of this newest wave of anti-trans legislation? When religious fascist try to tighten their grip on the country, try to scare countless back into the closet and gain control over the masses with ideas of made up boogeyqueens, we gather together in brilliant celebration of those very things. We fundraise year-round to ensure that our event is free so that all financial abilities can enjoy it. We drum, we sing, we dance, we play games, we eat food, we wave flags. We laugh… we cry tears of joy…. All in honor of Loki. And really, truly… what better way to honor him?

We will continue to hold Midsummer Pride year after year here in North Eastern Pennsylvania and I for one really enjoy the privilege and honor of making that sacred space.