Gods drift through my dreams like oceanic titans swimming near to check out the source of unfamiliar vibrations. Am I food? Friend? Family? Foe? Gaia wraps me in a honeybee embrace; Ix Chel tries to kill me; Loki tries to recruit me. This time it’s Satan, toying with me as I writhe in his bed, tearing at my soft stomach with his nails until I snap at him. I’m not your whore, I growl, I’m your scribe. And you’ll treat me like it. Then he lays against my sleeping body and smooths my hair back as he murmurs secrets in my ear. I can feel his weight through the dream, the grip of his hands around my upper arms fond and possessive and overly familiar. I ask something to which he responds, “Choices.” Later, after I’ve told Satan to provide me with proof if he wishes to work together, I’m attacked in my dream by a pack of hyenas. I don’t know for sure if they’re his, but they feel linked to him somehow. I wake wondering, as always, what it all means. Am I a floundering swimmer drawing predators? A flame in the dark luring wayward moths? Or just a waystation, somewhere to rest for a little while on your journey but never the final destination?
sometimes I am the bowl
sometimes I am its absence
and sometimes I am venom
poured in secret upon visceral chains
hastening Ragnarok’s approach
Odin is dead, Odin is undead
Loki is chained, Loki is unchained
The World Serpent sheds its skin
Bleeds and writhes in death throes
Skål! Skål! Skål!
The dream takes place in what’s supposed to be one of my childhood homes, only on the inside it looks more like a museum gift shop, different displays of souvenirs and local art arranged around a large open room. I start looking for anything that would make a good offering or altar decoration for any of my gods. One tall stand holds elaborately painted cards with handmade figurines of different deities. I find one of Bast first, Her card painted in rich purples and blues and embellished with gold leaf. Searching through the others, I find a card for Inanna next and am admiring its bright reds and golds when someone comes up behind me.
“No no,” a voice says, “not that one, not right now, there’s someone else you have to look for.” I turn around to face an unfamiliar man. He has a narrow, angular face, pale skin, and short, shaggy red hair over a red mustache and goatee. I can’t quite place his accent; Germanic, perhaps, or maybe Slavic. What’s strange, though, is that although I don’t recognize the man I do sense a familiarity about him. He reminds me of Wepwawet for some reason, despite looking and sounding nothing like an Egyptian god.
The stranger leads me over to another display with a vaguely Wild West aesthetic. It seems to feature items about criminals or other infamous people, with faux wanted posters and old-timey newspaper articles. I look for another card like the first two I saw but can’t find one. Finally the man gestures to this little row of papers that are semi hidden under a shelf. They’re also like little wanted posters, a black and white portrait above a name in big block text. First I see one that says ODIN, then one beside it that says LOKI.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me,” I turn back to the stranger incredulously. “It’s Loki?” He nods with a satisfied smile, then he proceeds to tell me how Loki has been in my life for a while but the timing is just now becoming good for him to make himself known to me. He also says that if “we” set clear boundaries with Loki, he should get along with my other gods pretty well. I start to ask the man who he is, and to confirm if this really means Loki wants to work with me in an official capacity, but the dream ends abruptly before I can get any answers.
I’m woken abruptly in my dream by music blasting from a phone somewhere. I don’t recognize the song, though the band sounds like Wardruna and among the Norwegian I catch the singer saying “Loki Laufeyson” in the chorus. Stumbling through an unfamiliar house, I finally find the smartphone from which the song is erupting and shut it off. I’m so dizzy, though! Dizzy and tired like I can’t shake the sleep I was torn from so quickly. For a moment I sway where I stand, fighting to clear my head in the silence and force open heavy eyelids, then my legs give out and I fall to the floor.
“Here,” instructs a harsh voice, “eat this.” A woman stands over me, holding out a stone on which herbs have been crushed into a paste. I recognize dandelion petals, maybe the bright yellow of turmeric. That voice isn’t one to disobey lightly so I lick the paste off without question. The drowsiness lifts a bit, allowing me to sit up and look at the speaker. Though She has never shown Herself to me in full, I recognize the Morrigan immediately – I would know that tall, thin form, those high cheekbones and proud hooked nose, anywhere. Her dark eyes bore into mine as if peering through clothing, flesh, and bone to lay bare my soul within.
I try not to squirm under the goddess’s sharp gaze. She thrusts another stone at me, this one naturally curved like a shallow bowl. Water and the remains of the crushed herbs fill its small depression. “Save this,” she instructs. “Even if it tastes terrible, you need to finish it later.” Her tone is clipped with what seems like impatience so I jump up and hurry to find something in which to store the water. I only manage a small glass bowl, more ashtray-shaped than anything else and dusty with disuse, which I can tell when I bring it back is not deemed nice enough. The Morrigan scowls but allows it for now.
“You need to cut back,” She scolds instead, changing the subject. “What you consume clouds your mind, making it impossible for you to hear our messages or to channel your creativity.” She shows me a mental image of something small and triangular, like a pill. Does she mean medication is clouding my mind? Or does this symbolize something else, perhaps a detrimental habit or belief, or some player in my life whose bad influence I haven’t noticed? I think I ask the goddess if the unfamiliar force I’ve been feeling in my life lately could be a new god making themselves known to me and She says yes, perhaps. She also tells me to watch a god’s face when they speak to you, that even gods betray their emotions in their expressions and in this way you can tell if one is lying. Frustrated, I start to ask, “But what if I can’t see them?” because this new force has yet to show itself to me, but I don’t get the chance. Nor do I get the chance to ask Her who or what it was, though I’m sure She knows. The dream changes before I can say anything else and I do not see the Morrigan again.
I have dreamed twice now about Sutekh. In the first dream he led myself and a group of people out of a maze-like Egyptian tomb after I prayed to the Netjeru for help. In the second dream he was in his animal form and severely injured, though I didn’t know why. When I woke from that dream I felt like I had sensed Loki’s presence in it as well, and also Daren’s. Is this meant to confirm the connection I made between Daren and Lucifer? Certainly all three are trickster gods who can be considered the “evil” ones of their respective pantheons. Or am I reading too much into this and Sutekh is merely reaching out on his own? It doesn’t feel that simple, though. Sutekh murders his brother; Loki ushers in Ragnarok; Lucifer rebels against Heaven. Fratricide, chaos, and rebellion – Daren embodies all three as core aspects of his being. So should I see these other gods as mirrors with which to better understand him, or does the connection go even deeper?
I did a tarot reading for someone who wanted to identify any deities or other entities in their life (for which I used this spread). With their permission, I’m posting it here because I thought it was a really interesting reading, and also what felt like my easiest/clearest reading yet.
Question: The deity or spirit
Card: 8 of Swords
Interpretation: Restraint, imprisonment, feeling captured or bound. I sense this indicates a deity or spirit who is sometimes seen as a villainous/chaotic/trickster entity like Loki, Lucifer, or Set (for some reason I get a very male energy from this card). They may be the bad guy of their pantheon, or otherwise a much maligned spirit whose negative traits overshadow their positive ones.
Card: Ace of Swords
Interpretation: Power and strength in adversity, discipline, justice, the element of air, cold hard logic. Again, this makes me think of someone who is seen as a darker entity, or perhaps a trickster – in general someone or something who has experienced adversity in their own pantheon, possibly for rallying against the rules set down in that pantheon. An air element could suggest an angel, as well.
Question: Omens and signs/manifestations to look for
Card: The Devil
Interpretation: While this card could be read as relating to vices like the seven sins, I don’t get that feeling. I think it indicates the more spiritual side of the Devil, and so will appear in omens/signs like keys, locks, chains, birds, and other freedom-related imagery. This could also literally mean that this entity will appear as the Devil himself, or in a form associated with him.
Question: What they want from you
Card: 9 of Pentacles
Interpretation: This entity wants to free you from your own bondage by teaching you self-sufficiency and to focus on caring for yourself; you are probably someone who puts others first, even to your own detriment. The entity’s help should eventually lead to much success and security for you, and bring you to a place of more stable emotional health. Despite their bad reputation, they are here to help you build your confidence and flourish.
Question: Things to know
Card: 10 of Wands
Interpretation: The 10 of Wands is all about willingly taking on a heavy burden or workload that feels like more than you can bear – but you do have the strength to carry it if you keep pushing yourself. This entity, and what they want from you, might intimidate you, and that’s okay. Their road will be long and hard, and they won’t lie to you about that. However, they want you to know you’re ready for this journey and that they will help you tap into your inner strength.
Question: Things to avoid
Card: 5 of Pentacles
Interpretation: The 5 of Pentacles says you can get lost in sorrow until you are unable to see the good around you and the people who want to help you. Fight this urge and keep your head above the water. If you need help, reach out – there will be a helping hand if only you let yourself take it. Look for the little bit of light in the darkness and have faith that you will reclaim your freedom.
Overall, I concluded that this spirit or deity is here to help this person take control of their life and to become more confident and self-sufficient. I got major Lucifer vibes from the reading, though that could be my own bias showing. Either way, it sounds like they’re on the precipice of a new life journey, and I wish them luck!
(Want a reading? Just leave a comment!)