Worship and Fandom: my View

You go about your life, like every day, every week, every month. And suddenly, this wonderful thing happens. You realise that a lot of your creative processes have become centered around that thing; that you think about that thing all day long; that you fantasise about that thing. That that thing has become a source of meaning, of energy. In a word, that you have fallen in love. Then, you realise that there are other people who’re equally in love with that thing, and instead of causing jealousy and envy, that thing becomes a source of community. You end up wanting to talk about that thing, and actually talking about that thing, nonstop. You might even end up making life-altering decisions due to that thing, you most certainly do end up making life-shaping decisions.

Sound familiar? I bet it does.

I experienced it when I fell head-first into Harry Potter fandom (“let’s face it, the books are all about Severus Snape!”) ten years ago. Before—minus the community aspect—I had felt it multiple times, as well as after that. About King Arthur’s legend, and especially Lancelot. About Robin Hood. About Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. About Disney’s “the Lion King”. About Nintendo’s “Super Mario”. About Star Trek, and Mister Spock, and Jean-Luc Picard. About Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher. About the Lord of the Rings. About Doctor Who, Torchwood, Pirates of the Caribbean, German National Football coach Jogi Löw. Doctor Who again. The Aven—

—hold that frame.

I’m not going to state any disclaimers, since you are going to believe what you’re going to believe anyway.

—gers.

The point of listing all those fandoms is to illustrate that I have a history with fandom. I have a history, as I pointed out here, with diving headfirst into things—with all the radical changes to myself, my outlook, my activities, that that may entail.

Fast forward a couple of… well, days really, I start falling in love all over again. And this time—

—hold that frame again.

Instead of a disclaimer, I’m putting a claimer here, and I dare you to challenge it. I fell in love with a God. A God, Who happened to have caught my attention through fandom, and that other character with the same name. Other than the name, there is little similarity though. I’m not going to go into theological issues with respect to the pop culture aspect in this post. As far as theology and the notion of Divinity is concerned, I’m on the hard polytheism end of the spectrum, but that’s only marginally relevant to the story of how I fell in love with Loki.

—and this time, I fell hard. Even by my standards.

The story of how Loki came into my life doesn’t read like all that much of an adventure. At least not if one gives credit to all those other stories one gets to read. There are a lot of commonalities, and one of those that turned up in my story was that everybody around me was moving so damn fast. And in the beginning, I tried to keep up. Then, people started to write about how they got married to Him, to developed abilities to channel Him; about conceiving and even begetting children by Him. It all sounded so easy, and quite frankly, I began to wonder about the apparent ease, and the validity of the foundation upon which these life-changing decisions were made. I cannot say what part Loki has had in any of those events, nor can I say what He thinks of it. But what I saw was people who made vows, life-oaths, or “just” oaths in general, with no outward sign of hesitation or doubt. After knowing Him no longer than I did. Oh, of course, there were numerous claims to past-lives-early-childhood-imaginary-friend-was-Loki-all-along-and-so-on-<insert-reason-why-this-is-not-completely-insane-here>. But in this life, consciously? None of the people I knew then, knew Him for more than a year.

A couple of people from that time I still hear from (some of whom I consider good friends). But most of them, I have no contact with anymore. There’s a reason for that, namely for the most part that I left.

Because the longer I watched the spectacle unfold, the more I became aware that it would never, ever work that way for me. I knew that before I swore any oaths, or made any vows, or even made just a “formal commitment” of any sorts (a term with which I connected nothing at that point, but that has changed), before I proactively did anything that would bind me irrevocably, I needed to be absolutely sure.

I needed to be sure that this wasn’t just a phase, just a fad that everybody else was following, too. To this day, I have an impressive collection of indicators that this is something more, something completely Other than what I was familiar with, and yet still I haven’t bound myself. What I dared to do was to undergo an initiation on His request, and under His guidance. There are of course strings attached to that. It was an initiation, after all—the end of something, the beginning of something of a different nature. There were no witnesses. There certainly were no elders or priests or… thingamajig. The purpose of the ritual, of the initiation was something I proposed to Loki when He asked me for a commitment, and something He added to and modified from that initial proposal. It’s complicated and personal, and most people would probably think it wasn’t a big deal at all. They’re entitled their opinions.

The point is: before anything “really serious” happens, I need to be sure this is not one of my fandom things. And one way to do this, is to take it slow. I cannot stress enough the importance taking it slow has for me, in my relationship to Loki. I was worried at first: even the people who thought they were moving slowly, were moving faster than me by orders of magnitude. I was worried that Loki might not agree to that and force me to make a decision. My worries were misplaced. I spoke with Him, over the course of many, many hours of prayer, and explained why I was asking for that, and He agreed. I am moving slow, so that I may be sure in the end, that fandom is not what this is. I have had so many fandom things, and durability is certainly one major criterion by which to discriminate.

Most of my so-called fandom things lasted less than a year. Harry Potter lasted a little less than 3. The Mozart thing has stuck, I’m still a great fan btw… but that doesn’t count. For my own sake, and nothing else, I do not engage in any kind of fandom at the moment, except some SPN on the side. For my own sake, not because I think I would look stupid or be judged, or not taken seriously.

My life is currently the arena of an experiment of what happens if religious amounts of devotion are given to an actual God. It is also the arena of a show called “discernment is a long-term thing”.

And it is the arena of the story of an agnostic atheist who became a theist and fell for Loki of the Norse God fame. At least, that is what I hope with all my heart.

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About Myriad

Myriad Hallaug Lokadís
This entry was posted in About me, Comments on Community, Devotional Practice, Loki. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Worship and Fandom: my View

  1. That’s one thing I want to make sure of for myself too, to show that my decision is not influenced by being swept up in the tidal wave of fandom and/or going through an obsessive phase. I have found that this is not the case because my fixations come and go, but Loki remains consistent. For one thing, He is the God of change, and you can never get bored of or outgrow that.

    • Myriad says:

      That sounds good! Or, well, it sounds similar to what I’m experiencing. I’m glad you were able to figure yourself out with respect to this. I think it’s really important, for people who tend to do “obsessive phases” of any kind—fandom really is just the example I’m most familiar with.

      “[…] but Loki remains consistent.”
      made me chuckle. Consistently inconsistent you mean *wink*

      • Yes, consistently inconsistent, is SO true! My biggest lesson has been to expect the unexpected. Perfection in IMperfection. He is the God of contrasts and opposites.

  2. Alexis Solvey Viorsdottir says:

    wundervoller Beitrag!! :) Ich finds schön, dass du so persönlich darüber schreiben kannst.

    • Myriad says:

      Vielen Dank meine Liebe! Freue mich über dein Kompliment sehr. Ich musste das loswerden, da gestern vormittag mein Kopf voller nerviger und völlig überflüssiger innerer Dialoge zum Thema fandom war. Wegschreiben hilft manchmal, und über den Sinn von Langsamkeit wollte ich ohnehin schon seit längerer Zeit schreiben ;-)

  3. Iðasfóstri says:

    I feel similarly about not being able to participate (so much) in fandom! For me, it’s an attention thing – I think a lot of my desire to dive into loving a thing in community with a bunch of other fans (Star Wars, Harry Potter, Supernatural, Iron Man, whatever) was desire to have that big meaningful set of metaphors and worldview and heart-fueling thing in my life, and a religious life is sitting in that seat right now, and seems to always take precedence. It feels a lot like the difference between dating-on-its-own and dating-on-the-side-of-a-marriage.

    • Myriad says:

      Oh, love that comparison! Besides the aspect of marriage being more long-lasting (ideally), you make another important point: with simple dating, you can walk away at any time, and call it quits. If all goes well, you’ll have some fond memories and mementoes to stay with you after that. Dating on the side of a marriage? Might just seriously mess up your marriage. [Yep, had that talk. It was very brief. Points were made and taken. Metaphorical marriage saved.]

  4. Darkamber says:

    I’ve had several fandom obsessions, too, which is how I saw that Loki was not just an obsession, but a real thing.
    I was an agnostic, then I invited Loki into my life back in November 2010, and He appeared. I went almost overnight from agnostic to hard polytheist, to the bemusement of my family and friends. When a God starts appearing and keeps on appearing in your dreams, and even holds you in His embrace when you half-awake in the morning, it’s hard not to believe. I wasn’t able to interact with Loki while awake, like so many others can, but the dream visitations were powerful.
    I was swept off my feet, and when Loki told me He wanted us to get married after only two and a half month, I didn’t hesitate in saying yes. I never had any childhood-imaginary-companion or past-life thing either. Still, I trusted Loki, so I married Him at the end of June in 2011. It didn’t occur to me to take it slowly or wait longer – I haven’t really regretted it.
    Loki is taking it very slowly with me, after the marriage, though.

    • Myriad says:

      Agnostic to hard polytheist in a matter of weeks—sounds familiar ;-) I’m happy that you made the right decision regarding Loki. So why have I chosen to stay on the slow path? I think it’s one part common sense, one part worryyyy, five parts knowing myself. The common sense part is obvious; the worrying? Us Germans, if we have elevated one thing to an artform, it’s worrying about the future. And the rest was due to more than fandom. It was due to my nature and past record of changing (my mind, my ways, my voice, my speech, my handwriting, my hobbies, even my propensities for certain activities—yes it’s possible to change that, and be completely convinced this is “the real me”. To actually be that.). It’s not really a question of lacking belief on my part: I believe alright, I just want the background noise filtered away as thoroughly as possible.

      I’m pretty sure I’m making the right moves right now, in my relationship with Loki… but I’m definitely not excluding that for someone else, those “right moves” may look a lot different.

      To be honest, sometimes I feel bad for being so distrustful—like, when I read your comment, I feel like getting defensive over the trust issue. (That’s not because of anything you said, but because I’m a bit anxious about this point myself). But Loki has never, ever given me any indication that He resents how slowly my trust in Him is growing. I am almost certain that observing it pleases Him. And as long as that’s the case, I don’t think I should feel bad about this. [eh, mostly rambling to myself right now].

      As for dreaming…. my dreams are a messy swirl of colourful plot points, some of which involve strangers, but most of which involve people I know… or rather, people looking like people I know. I seldom ever dream in anything resembling coherent plot—and the only way for me to know whether Loki is visiting me is His presence, and the lingering feeling that brings when I wake up… (with the odd exception of some, eh, disembodied… touches). So, all in all, my dreams? Not such a good medium over which to communicate :) I sometimes envy you guys with the dreams that make sense, and the Lokis that are physically there, talking sense to you. ;-)

      • Darkamber says:

        Oh, dear! I didn’t in any way intend to criticise your trust in Loki!
        I began to struggle with trust and abandonment issues _after_ I had vowed (oathed?) myself to Loki, because nothing more was happening. I thought that things would begin to change after I held the wedding ceremony – I had no idea that I was terribly blocked, and began to wonder if Loki really wanted me after all. I got that cleared up, though, after some months and finding other Lokeans with a god-phone to talk to, but it took a long time to build up my trust in Him again.
        I’m still not able to hear Loki while awake, and currently things are at a sort of a time-out, while I recover from having been ill.

  5. ironbanana says:

    Lovely description of it. I cannot see how the energy & love generated by fandom is gonna be disdained by any god.

    The taking it slow is just what I am doing. I’m just taking the desire out and examining it like a jewel in my pocket lately. I’m trying not to be too literal about gods,because I always felt polytheism to be embarrassing; yet something’s cracking my heart open…

    • Myriad says:

      I tend to look at it like this: if you’re going to marry someone, you’re not going to do that because you’re in love with them. You’re going to do that because of more lasting reasons than that: because you love them and you’ve lived through good times and hard times with them, maybe, is more like; because that’s the only thing that makes sense. Mind, I’m not talking God marriage here, just plain mortal marriage!

      But basically the same mechanism should work with commitment to a Deity of any kind. It’s best not made as a spur-of-the-moment decision, and—compared to the timescales we’re talking about (how about, all this life, and beyond?): being in love with a Deity is momentary.

      However, this is just my opinion, and other people (like Darkamber, see comments above) will handle the situation differently. For me, it’s just too risky. Yeah, sure, “romantic” as fuck. But no. I need to be pragmatic about it.

      As for the Gods not disdaining love—I completely agree. As long as that love is for Them, it doesn’t matter what kickstarted it. At all. And please don’t ever let yourself be told differently. Just be sure the love you have is for Them, and you’ll be fine, and They’ll appreciate it.

      I don’t know about what you’re saying re:polytheism. What do you mean by “embarrassing”? It’s true, especially in monotheistic cultures, polytheism is often depicted as an immature precursor to “the right way”—i.e., the monotheistic way. Your embarrassment with it might stem from that sort of programming, maybe?

      Myself, I’m literal about the Gods, and in no way embarrassed. It’s complicated due to different reasons (like, when you’re German and a heathen and say so, there’s a high probability you’re going to get lumped with the nazis). But I don’t think polytheism per se is embarrassing. Also, being literal about the Gods doesn’t preclude reading the myths on various levels. You can of course read them as stories with Gods as characters. But you won’t find a myth that doesn’t have deeper meanings than that; on the metaphorical level, it’s pretty amazing what knowledge is transported by myth… and reading myths metaphorically doesn’t mean you’re a softer polytheist. It just means you’re trying to understand the Gods on a deeper level than just as “characters of mythological tales”. Give it a try, maybe?

  6. solarbaby34 says:

    I know I’m a little late (I just found your blog today) But I have kind of a weird story. I actually found Them (the Gods) before I got involved with any fandoms. And really, those fandoms I entered were because of directions They wanted me to go. But then again, I was eleven. Thank you internet for your connection abilities. (I know this is short but it’s really all that needs to be told)

    • Myriad says:

      oh wow, eleven! That’s pretty young to get involved, and it means you’re looking at a long history together. Which, I admit I’m liable to be a little envious about; but then again, my story so far is the best thing that could have happened at the time it did. I understand that you’d have a completely different outlook on fandom with regards to worship than I do. I guess for you, the two have nothing whatsoever to do with one another, and that’s perfectly fine! I’m leery about people telling other people what they can and cannot do, and that includes fandom stuff, of course…

      Me, I only got tapped a year ago (has it already been that long?! Oh my, where did the time go!?), so I’m a little cautious still. :)

      • solarbaby34 says:

        Oh, I’m not saying they have nothing to do with each other. Quite the opposite. Let’s use SPN as an example, considering it’s the only fandom I’m actually active in atm. I was attracted to SPN because of my experiences. Sure, the Gods aren’t big players in SPN but when one is me a lot of similarities come about. So I was sort of pushed, as were a couple of my friends, into SPN by the Gods. My worship at the moment includes rping my Matron goddess in the fandom. So all very interesting, yes yes.

  7. Justastranger says:

    Myriad, i’ve been reading your blog for a while, and I haven’t had enough courage to comment… until now. Because this topic really touched me. This has been the question I asked myself: is it another fandom, like those before? Rock stars, film stars, the insane and passionate love to “that thing”, which led to changes in appearance, behavior and everything else? But this time – a God! So strange. But will it be still so significant in the future? Or will it end, just like other obsessions (one of them lasted for 10 years:)?
    When it all started, I was bold enough to just call Loki in my mind, and wait what would happen – whether He would answer. And He did. Then I asked Him to be my patron and promised to fulfill His tasks, with all my respect, love and admiration. What happened next – is a story too long to write here in comments. What I want to say is: I’ve been talking to Loki like to a friend, an older and wiser friend. (It’s just a manner of our communication). So I asked Him about this a few days ago: what if I just got into another fandom? What’s Your opinion? And His answer was easy and complicated at the same time. Maybe the things I’ll tell next will be interesting to the readers of this blog.
    And so, He answered – He said “yes, it is”. (It’s not a quote, i’ll try to express the meaning, I don’t remember the whole 2 hours talk perfectly, of course). “That IS just a matter of another fandom. But have you thought of what a religion is to others? The orthodox Christians? The Muslims? That’s a fandom either. And it commands the ways a person behaves just like any ‘movie’ fandom does. Because it is LOVE.”
    “So what will happen when it all ends? Love is not a permanent thing”- said I. – “I don’t want to lose a connection to You and switch to another obsession. I’m tired if those shifts. I want a constant personality”. And the next reply was what all this long post is about. He said: “The difference is, when you find a God (if you call me so) to be your guide, you can let him enter inside your soul and become a part of yourself. You can’t do it with any rock star or a movie star – they are different personalities, they exist in just the same world as you do. But Gods can be in everyone and remain themselves at the sane time. So – I am you, and you are me, if you decide so. Don’t praise me – praise yourself like you do it to me – and you’ll find harmony. And you’ll learn to love yourself and never will enter any fandom again, but your own. The reasons you’ve chosen me are those qualities that correspond with what you already have in your soul. So don’t think of me as of an idol – just become myself and see the world with my eyes. And you’ll find integrity, you won’t fall in pieces again. And when you feel strong enough to stop communicating with me – I’ll take that as the greatest gift of yours and I will accept your main task completed”.
    I’m sorry that this post turned out to be so long. But I’m really interested in what you think. His advice is harder to fulfill than it seems. But I’m trying by small steps. I’m really interested in your opinions, guys and girls. Does it connect to you in any way? Have you ever felt the same?

    • Myriad says:

      Hello Justastranger,

      first of all, wow. Thank you for the long comment, and especially for letting me know that this post resonated with you. I’ll try to address what you’ve said, but let me just say that for me, it was all about this difference you mention

      Yes, fandom is love, obsession, all that — and then it dissipates. It doesn’t deepen, it doesn’t develop, it just ends slowly. And that’s what makes all the difference to me, too. Permeation. The Gods… and specifically Loki (because that’s Who we’re talking about ;-) ), will do that to a person: They will start to permeate them, and make things happen. Enter, make Themselves at home. The obsession becomes more than just that; I think, in Their hands, human infatuation/obssession is such a powerful tool.

      So far, I would agree with what you’ve written. The part I feel unsure about is the one about “becoming Him”; I can sort of see what could be behind this kind of phrasing — yet I feel uncomfortable about it. To my ears, it sounds a lot like apotheosis. Imagine what these words can do in a person who feels they’re *entitled* to be treated as a God. That’s a scary thought right there.

      But if I read what you’ve said not so much as “become a God” but rather “manifest a God” — then we can begin to talk, indeed.

      I do not tend to see my mystic relationship with Loki to be primarily about my “empowerment” — I don’t know how to put it without sounding like some of the people I dislike strongly for this kind of statement… but here goes: I think it’s primarily about Him and about the effect He has in this world through the actions/interactions of His worshippers. Me, you, each and every one of them. And in a way, I can see such an “empowerment” happen in this context, but it’s not at the forefront in my perception. Not, to my understanding, the primary goal.

      Oh, I can see it happen — I can also see how it would be “a gift”. Because what is there better for Him than to have a hand in making that human strong enough to carry on? It’s not so much even about explicitly saying His name (although in my experience He likes that a lot), but to a greater degree, it’s about the simple truth that loving a God is a powerful, powerful thing that *makes a difference*….

      Well, I hope you understand what I’m trying to say… thank you again for your comment! It was very thought-provoking :) I hope I’ll hear from you again!

      M.

      • Justastranger says:

        Myriad, thanks a lot for your answer! I appreciate your advertency very much. I don’t have a lot of experience in communicating with Him yet.
        Frankly speaking, when I addressed Him for the first time, I asked “please give me power, fame, beauty and people’s admiration, just like yours, because my life sucks!” :)) Yes, that was selfish. During the next few days many things happened, my dog bit me for the first time in my life, I quarreled with my friends very hard (for the first time, too), and other things like that. But I began to look much better you know:) I wanted to let Him rule my life and lead me towards my egoistic goals. I promised to give almost anything in return and to be His adept. I was craving for change and chaos, willing to let all these things into my life, as well as the wisdom.
        What I want is some kind of empowerment, that’s true. And I’m not talking about “being a God” myself – no way! That was metaphorical, I was just saying about adopting some traits that I admire about Him, and thus become stronger and more independent. That’s what in main world religions they call “feel God’s presence in your soul”. And I’m ready to do what He asks, almost everything.
        My friends kept warning me – “He’s dangerous. He can ruin your life and bring you loneliness and insanity”. But I don’t mind, and I trust Him. He’s not cruel or malicious (like people around me think), and even not arrogant, I find him just the opposite. But only to those who respect and worship Him, or at least understand Him a bit.

    • Myriad says:

      I would like to add: just because I do not feel *exactly* the same way as you have experienced, and might not ever (who knows?) — that doesn’t mean I can’t see it. I can see it, but my perspective is different, from what I’ve understood.

      But then, your path is yours (and yours alone), just the same as my path is mine… so, something that Loki says to you has a different effect in *you* than it would have in me…

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