Friday, June 05, 2009

The Tragedy of Heid and Loki

The story of Loki and Gullveig is a great tragedy. These two were greatly loved amongst the Gods, who had great hopes for the both of them. Many questioned Odin's judgement in bringing them in, but who would gainsay the All-Father's decision when the young jesterish jotunn had been the only one who was able to make him laugh when Lodur had fallen? And who could deny that Heid was incredibly bright? It seemed she was able to see further ahead than most, and had a grasp of fate that was astounding, although she always feared ill, but the hope was that Freya could cure her of that in time.

The Rolling Stones wrote a song, Sympathy for the Devil. If you're not capable of sympathy for these two bright, wondrous, and tragic figures, you've probably got too many fundamentalist bones in your body. Your humanity should allow you to experience great love, just with appropriate boundaries. They went too far. Way too far.

But not because they were "evil" by nature, but because they were too bright, too cynical, too unable to believe in the good being created. Good sometimes takes a long time to take root. It's not as easy as ill, and it takes a lot of trial and error. It takes faith. The Gods hoped they could teach these two, and who knows --- maybe it is not too late yet. After all, the future is not written. All we have are prophecies. But you know, Wyrd has a way in working in --- well, you know, in weird ways. I won't say it's likely. I wouldn't put a lot of money in the bank that Gullveig and Loki will turn their werewolf army in the midst of the battles onto the giants themselves, and then turn and protect Sol from Surt, but it could happen. It's just highly unlikely, because wyrd has a way of accumulating and laying down really strong pathways. But those with sympathy, you might collect your prayers and tears, and see what might be turned.

I'll tell you what. When people stop being thralls to adultery, lust for money, status, possessions, and materialism, selfish deceit, etc., you let me know, and then I'll know that Heid and Loki have begun to turn. Because that will be the sign. You might say I pray for impossibilities.

Our ancestors, way too alive and mature, would not give us one-dimensional villains. These are great protagonists of tragedy. Odin likes to shake things up a bit, haven't you figured? And didn't you listen to Depeche Mode when they told you that God's got a "sick sense of humor"? Thus Loki in Asgard. They just gambled their love against their cynicism. But the sad truth is ... some cannot be reached, even with love. That fact must have saddened Freya. And Odin. But eventually, it turned from sadness to anger, and grim determination to protect all that is lovable and good from those who had given in to their cynicism.

But remember ... Odin was best friends with Loki ... He is a friend to rebels, outcast souls, those who know something is terribly wrong and want to make fun of it all. Odin has a place in his heart for these souls. He just says, ok, play with it, make art out of it, and don't let it consume you --- or your world.

Just as Freya loved Heid. Remember, she calls her "sister" in Hyndluljod, and Freya means it. Freya as a Goddess of Love well understands Desire, after all, she is the Disir of Desire (Vanadis),a nd thus, she understands a love for well-crafted art and beautiful things. She says, ok, go with that, but find the art in it, find your inner artist ... Thus she taught Heid the Art. Heid was good at seeing far, but not seeing deep. She was able to see many things to come, but she took them rather literally, just as she came to grasp for gold but not the artistry with which the gold was crafted.

So don't be fooled and think our Gods hate all the tendencies which Loki and Gullveig represent. They just stand opposed to those tendencies gone out of control and turned against all of the good qualities the Gods ward. That's an important point, and in fact, of great alchemical import. Simple souls need black and white, very clear boundaries of right and wrong, because they can't draw the nuances themselves. They need a story where God is on one side, and the Devil is clearly on the other. But the idea that the Gods would consort with the Devils, would welcome them in, would play with them ... I mean, that seems blasphemous! Not to mention foolish! Well, foolish in hindsight, sure, and indeed, there were many, including the elves who always disliked the idea of these two in the Big House, but you better bet that if the Gods took a gamble with them, it was because their potential, had things been different, had something gone just a hairline to the right or left, was astounding beyond belief.

That's evident when we consider their children, who represent the three greatest disasters to have ever happened on earth. So great an ill does not happen without the equal potential for great good. Loki's other child did, after all, become Odin's great steed.

So please don't forget that our Gods are complex, and have deep, compassionate, loving hearts that were willing to take a risk on two orphans even when it gambled with the world itself. And though the results have been bad, our Gods are greater for their mistakes. They are deeper-hearted and more human, in the best and most Roddenberryian sense of that word.

"Deep-hearted and compassionate Gods? The Viking Gods? Those grim warriors?"

Wouldn't you get grim if your greatest hopes had disappointed you beyond reckon and showed you up as fools? Fool me once, shame on you ; fool me twice, shame on me. There comes a time when you get serious, where the big experiments are over, and it's time to protect the world, and cleave to what has worth.

But there was a time ... a time whose potential can only be captured by the extent of the tragedy. Weep tears. They might turn just yet. Not holding my breath, but ...


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