A very close friend of mine once shared a beautiful dream that she had, a dream that we both felt was more than just an ordinary one. She was an immensely devout devotee of Loki. He was her sustenance, the witness to her life, her God, her Lord, her deepest love. Throughout her life, He guided and cared for her in a way that she felt palpably all the way to the end of her life. I was recently looking over some letters that she had sent me, for we often exchanged old-fashioned correspondence, yes, actually using pen, careful script, and reams of pretty stationary! I have saved each and every one. With the coming of Samhain and Winter-nights, I was struck once again by the power of this dream that she seemingly so long ago shared with me, and so I shall share it with you now and beg her indulgence for doing so. It was written at a point shortly before her death and with the approach of this winter’s season, I have been thinking about that quite a lot, mourning the passing of all those that I have loved and celebrating the time we shared together. I have been remembering this person in particular, this witness to my life, and all the many things that I learned from her about living rightly.
I shall allow my friend, here un-named as would have been her wish, to speak with her own words:
“In my dream, I was remembering my life, or rather re-experiencing it — not the incidents, so much as the emotions: my heart’s life, as it were. And Loki came behind me, took my forearms and crossed them on my chest (like statues of Pharaohs in ancient Egyptian art) and said something. The closest it can be put into words is this: “I wrap the cloak of your life around you. It can all fall in place and be quiet now – you’ve done all the joys, all the sorrows. You’re done trying. You can rest now – I wrap the cloak of your life around you.”
It was a side of Loki I’d never seen. The closest I can come to explaining is that He was Sigyn’s husband and Hela’s Father: a huge, serene, golden presence, full of both vitality and calm.
In the dream, the cloak that Loki formed by my life was large enough to cover me. I had enough ‘memories of the heart’ that they could weave themselves, or be woven by the Norns, into a cloak that fit. I am speechless with this gift. I love Him so much. If I could sing, I’d sing the Magnificat for Him. This dream was my gift and blessing.”
Who has contributed the threads? What kind of memories of the heart do we carry within our souls?
Honoring the dead is about honoring life too, that we may learn from their mistakes, celebrate their victories, reap the benefits of their care and wisdom and in doing so make our own lives, and the lives of those we touch, better: mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It’s about embracing life at its fullest and learning to live with a vibrant integrity each and every day of our lives.
I have often thought in my own devotions that I would like the totality of my life, when the time of its ending comes, to have been lived in such a way that I may hand it over to Odin as a gift and that He may find it a worthy offering. That is my goal, something I strive for each and every day. It never occurred to me that in being given the opportunity to do so, I was weaving a gift for myself as well.
We are blessed in what we do. In living and dying we are blessed. In the struggle of weaving our lives and our wyrd we are blessed. I think it’s up to us to work hard at not forgetting that.