I talk about Loki a lot, which makes sense, considering I serve him as a priest. But I also think it’s important to talk about Sigyn, as she is often overlooked and/or wrongly portrayed. She is one of the fiercest deities I know, and she’s not someone I’d want as an enemy.
It always astonishes me how easily she accepts the numerous godspouses that Loki collects. I asked her about it once – why she so easily accepted that her husband was always off gallivanting with other women. Her straightforward and nonchalant reply surprised me, but I must admit, it makes a lot of sense.
She told me, “It doesn’t matter how many women Loki sleeps with, at the end of the day, I have all of his heart.” She went on to explain that she knew exactly what she was getting into when she agreed to marry him. That she’d never try to change him, as she loves him for the person he is, not the person others want him to be. Her loyalty is very real, and very strong, but it isn’t founded in idealism. She isn’t waiting for Loki to get tired of sleeping with other women.
Sigyn knows that Loki will always have trysts, will always have more godspouses than he can handle. But she also knows that Loki will never trust them with everything he trusts her with. She is devotion incarnate. She gives him the room he needs to be himself, and, in turn, Loki’s devotion to her is unquestionable.
The reason people misunderstand the relationship the two of them share is that we tend to judge gods by the standards of human morality. Loki and Sigyn – neither of them view monogamy as a way to measure the loyalty they share. Loki sees Sigyn’s devotion, and he responds to it by giving her what he gives no one else – the full knowledge of who he is.
That is a profound gift, as trickster deities are masters of illusion. They morph from shape to shape, barely allowing us to grasp the understanding of one of their forms before moving on. Loki is no different. He shows us one aspect, then flows into another, and we are not capable of mastering an understanding of any one of his aspects. We may come close, but we don’t have the capacity – as human beings, we are limited in our capabilities to understand the gods.
I understand enough to know that I understand very little about the gods. That is why theology so fascinates me. The gods, to me, are the great unknown. To have a relationship with even one of them is a great gift; to have made friends with so many is an honor so great words cannot ever do it justice.
That is why it makes me so angry when I see the way Sigyn is portrayed by others as weak-willed and misguided in her loyalty. People judge her by human standards, and they fail to see the strength she exudes. The little we know about her from the myths only tell us that she never left Loki’s side when he was forced to endure an agonizing punishment. She stayed by him, never wavering in her loyalty to him, and there is a fierceness in that act that few people can see.
Sigyn is not a deity to be trifled with, and she’s not above teaching people better manners. I went to a restaurant with a couple friends, and the waiter we had was the most atrocious server I’ve ever seen. The restaurant was basically dead. The waiter handed us our menus, then came back every two minutes to ask if we were ready to order after we’d told him we hadn’t decided on what to get. He also only provided two menus (for three people), and he forgot to give us straws at all (we had to ask for them). He never came to ask us if we needed refills, and his general attitude was one of “I really don’t want to be here.”
Now, as someone who has experience working in the food industry, I know that there are circumstances that can put a person off their game. A busy restaurant, too many tables, too many people at a table – potentially even a bad day for personal reasons. If someone is bringing their personal problems to work, however, that’s unprofessional, and I dislike it when people act unprofessionally when they are at work.
I am typically the type of person to leave a tip, no matter how bad the service is. When I started to put the tip down on the table, however, I got a direct sense of Sigyn telling me not to do it, followed by the message, “We don’t reward bad behavior.” So, I didn’t leave a tip. I figured it was better to insult the waiter by not leaving a tip – especially as his service sucked – than it was to insult Sigyn by refusing to ignore her advice.
Sigyn, unlike Loki, isn’t constantly present in my life. She has a lot of meaning to me, and I highly respect her, but we don’t have conversations as often as I do with other deities. We do talk, on occasion, and that’s been enough for us. In this moment, however, I felt it was important to provide a different perspective on Sigyn than the one I usually find myself reading. She is a strong deity with a strong presence, and she deserves so much more respect than she gets.