In this series, I talk with witches from walks of different walks of life about who they are, their spiritual practices and what advice they would give to aspiring young people. Today I'm talking with my friend Alene, a Lokean diviner and wordsmith on the road to astral travel.
Hi Alene, thanks for agreeing to talk with me today! How about you start with introducing yourself and talking a little about your practice?
No problem! Thanks for asking! I'm Alene and I am a pagan witch. My craft has evolved out of my relationship with Loki and it focuses on the use of tarot and written spells with a healthy splattering of candle use and sigil work scattered throughout. It has had less of a specific destination in mind and more of an exploratory journey as I've figured out what works for me and what doesn't.
Witchcraft and divination has become one of my best tools in the self care tool box, which wasn't what I was expecting going into it!
Sometimes the journey, cliche though it sounds, is more important than the destination. What did you expect going into it? Where did you begin?
I was expecting using it to pull things towards me if that makes sense, I wanted to learn how to attract what I wanted in my life. Turns out a lot of that was already there and it ended up being a journey of self-discovery, uncovering in me what I was already there just buried. I started with tarot and my first attempts at spell work were very herbal. Cooking was something I was already comfortable so it seemed a good starting point. Boiling herbs to make cleansing sprays and things of that nature. Though most of my spell work has transitioned to using word based spells. My tarot practice hasn't changed much since the beginning, just gotten more confident. And the amount of decks I have seems to keep growing as well!
It’s always good to find your confidence through your practice!
You mentioned that you work with Loki; would you be willing to talk more about that? How did you first “meet” him?
Absolutely! I first "met" him in a dream actually. I remember waking up with just the picture of him engrained in my head, but it felt real? I wondered if it was a deity cause I was just starting to think about working with one, but kind of let it fall to the wayside for awhile and forgot about it. Eventually I did a deity identification spread and then it all clicked into place. Tarot still is the easiest way for me to communicate with him.
He shows up as the Father of Wands in my Wild Unknown Deck, its his calling card so to speak the way he usually indicates I'm here, this from me. I do a lot of 3 card spreads and he will pop up in the middle of them. I know to pay extra attention to those readings but it is also a comfort to see him pop up.
That’s fascinating! How do you use tarot to communicate with him?
Sometimes I go into a spread with a specific question or just generally looking for advice from him. The cards always read different, when I write my notes down from those spreads without thinking about it the notes read less like me writing notes down from me and reading them back the notes will read like it is advice coming from someone else. Sometimes I will get little nudges that he has something to say and I need to do a tarot reading. I was at the park once with my best friend, we were working on a writing project and I also happened to have a tarot deck with me in my bag. Well spiders kept showing up on my leg, until I finally got the hint and pulled a spread. Sure enough Loki had something to say!
And what about the Father of Wands makes you think of Loki?
Well the imagery is of a snake with a wand and the card represents a person of charisma and creativity. The snake imagery has always resonated with me when it comes to Loki, and he has always been an integral part of my magical practice as well. He's helped guide it and me to where I need to go. I find Loki to be a very charismatic deity, it has always been a card that has felt right for him and he's been using it to indicate his presence in a spread for as long as I've been practicing tarot.
As a fellow Lokean, I can see that. It's definitely very fitting, especially with the common connection people make between him and the Urnes Snake.
On a related note, I've seen spiders show up as a lot of people's UPG amongst Lokeans online. What relationship do spiders have to Loki in your belief?
Going in to working with Loki I knew of that UPG and was very adamant that I didn't want spiders to be part of working with him. The thing is because it is an already established association it is the easiest way to recognize it as a nudge from him. So we came to a compromise, spiders are okay as long as he doesn't bring them into the apartment accept for very important reasons. Leading to me getting nudged at the park, and I see them right next to the doorframe as I come home a lot. It has led me to being a bit more comfortable around them. They've become his messengers in a way I see many people talk about crows/ravens with Odin. You see one and sometimes its just a spider, but sometimes you feel the nod from them and you know who's getting your attention.
I've got a very similar reaction to spiders; I didn't want to make the connection, and it sort of happened anyway.
Do you have any other personal UPGs about Loki? Or shared ones that vibe with you!
Definitely the cinnamon and coffee associations have always rang true to me! I work as a barista and I've been working on a drink I can make at work and dedicate to him as a quick devotional act and also as a please help me ride this wild shift out. Also I couldn't explain why in the very beginning when I was still unsure if I was dealing with Loki or not I got the clear impression for the imagery of antlers curling up and under framing a full moon, so I've always associated that imagery with him.
I’d love to hear more about this drink! How is creating it going? What does Loki think of the idea? I really love unique devotionals.
So it has been leaning towards a hot drink because I associate warmth with comfort and Loki's presence is definitely that. Steamed half and half cause its creamier and richer and just feels a little indulgent. Although almond milk could replace that for anyone with lactose issues. Add in your espresso shots, dark chocolate and cinnamon and you have a Loki Latte, it might get tweaked a little bit but that's its current form!
That sounds DELICIOUS. I’m going to have to make one.
Please let me know what you think of it if you do!
Getting more general than fantastic recipes - which you should totally share with the Lokean Welcoming Committee - what role would you say Loki plays in your life and your practice? What does he bring to the table so to speak, and what is your relationship with him like?
Loki has been that of a guiding hand in my life and practice, he reminds me that my goals are achievable I just have to keep going. My relationship with him started off as more of a mentor/student relationship and it still does have that aspect to it, but now it feels very familial too. Its close and intimate but casual all at the same time and I think its just gonna keep evolving from here. But I think that's par the course with working for him, since I'm still evolving as well! And I will definitely try to remember to share that recipe later! Feel free to badger me until I do!
I personally consider Loki a god of change, so evolving with him does make sense. It sounds like a very good relationship for you.
2020 has of course been a strange year. But looking to the future, is there anything new that you’re studying right now?
I have been looking into astral traveling! I started earlier in the year, but its taken a backseat the past couple months and I am eager to start back into it! This has definitely been the most tedious undertaking, cause there is a lot of info to wade through and a lot of different ways to apply that info as well. Not to mention the safety side of things. It has been a process of taking pieces here and there and forging a new path through it all.
What drew you to it?
The idea of possibility! There's some many things to use it for, emotional healing and exploring the self as well as another way to communicate with deities. The creative in me gets really excited thinking of various ways to incorporate it into my practice.
You said that your practice is very word-based; is your approach to astral travel similar?
In a way yes? Even though my spells are word based I keep them short and they often rhyme so that I am able to hold them in my head easily and focus on them. My approach to astral traveling works the same way by finding something I can visualize and hold firmly in my mind to help me transition into a place where I can achieve what I'm aiming for.
Thank you, this has been a really enlightening conversation.
To wind up, I would love if you had any words of wisdom to share with your fellow practitioners, perhaps about working with Loki or your style of magic? What advice would you give people starting out?
My best words of advice that goes for working with a deity and for magic practice is don't be afraid to try things a different or less common way. UPG's and common practices are great but if they don't resonate with you personally you're not wrong to feel that way. Sometimes you gotta chart unknown territory and find where and how you work best. Relish that adventure!
And thank you for interviewing me! I really enjoyed it!
Alene is a practicing witch and Lokean in Southern California. She combines her creative writer side with her practice, seeing storytelling as way to look at all things especially tarot reading. You can find her at both her writing blog as well as her personal blog and is also on Discord as Alene#6971