Question: Are there any mundane practices associated with Loki?
The practices that I associate with Loki are generally spiritual in nature, as he is a god that acts as the guardian of ritual sacrifice and protects and ensures the existence of the connection we have with the gods. He is a divine builder of bridges, and part of me wonders if he didn’t have a hand in the construction of the Bifrost.
That translates into the mundane world, as any sort of community building falls under his domain. Creating connections between people and forging stronger bonds – this is technically a type of mundane work. It can also be viewed as sacred work; it is in the eye of the beholder.
In addition, any type of ceremony that is meant to mark the transition from one phase of life to another also belongs to Loki, as he is a god of the liminal and transitions are necessarily liminal. The rites of passage within our society can thus be viewed as mundane practices that belong to Loki.
The transition from childhood to adolescence, from adolescence to adulthood – these are often societally celebrated. In adolescence, a person learns to drive and acquires a license, moving from dependent to independent movement. In adulthood, a person gradually acquires the right to indulge in vices like smoking and the consumption of alcohol, and they are also granted the right to risk their lives in war if they choose. They also move from being financially dependent to financially independent, which is perhaps the most difficult transition to complete.
There are other rights of passage as well – there is the transition from single life to partnered life, unmarried life to married life if a person feels so inclined. There is a more permanent acceptance of the identities a person holds, from the sexuality they express to the religion they choose to follow (or not follow).
There is also the transition that occurs when people move in and out of our lives, and the transition that occurs when we move to a new place and leave the old one behind. As we grow into our lives, we gradually begin to accept the inevitable nature of change.
Loki is, in one of his aspects, the embodiment of change, the force that always pushes action and requires the world to keep moving. He is, in some ways, an unseen mover, and so all motion can be attributed to him. There is a lot in the mundane world that is constantly in motion, constantly in transition, and Loki is one of the gods responsible for driving that ceaseless motion.
The changes and transitions we go through in life are not something we often think about as practices, as they are intangible and not something we often have control over. That is reflected in the macrocosm, as liminality is intangible and not something Loki always has control over either – the liminal, by its very nature, is not a force that can be easily manipulated.
Like a river, the currents of liminality ebb and flow, and we have to step into the right current to find the path to the life we desire. Loki is a god of the liminal because he sees more of the path and can thus more readily determine the one that will get him to where he desires to go. We do not see as much as Loki does, and so we often see paths that look good but lead us nowhere.
It is difficult to talk about the liminal spaces in the world as being mundane, as they are necessarily sacred – transitions have a sacred, otherworldly feel to them. So, in that sense, there are no mundane transitions, yet we celebrate those transitions with mundane rights of passage. Those rites of passage, then, are the closest thing we have to a mundane practice that can be associated with Loki.