Today, I honor Loki as the Lord of Chaos, and his loyal wife Sigyn.
Loki is considered a trickster god, known for being neither fully good nor evil since his main aim was always to create chaos. Despite his father being a giant, he is still counted a member of the Aesir—a tribe of deities including Odin, Frigg, Tyr, and Thor. Loki’s relation with the gods varies by source; Loki sometimes assists the gods and sometimes behaves maliciously towards them. Loki is a shape shifter and in separate incidents appears in the form of a salmon, a mare, a fly, and possibly an elderly woman named Þökk (Old Norse ‘thanks’).
In Norse mythology, Sigyn (Old Norse “victorious girl-friend” is a deity from Norse mythology. While the name Sigyn is found as a female personal name in Old Norse sources (Old Norse sigr meaning ‘victory’ and vina meaning ‘girl-friend’), and though in surviving sources she is largely restricted to a single role, she appears in the 9th century skaldic poem Haustlöng from pagan times, written by the skald Þjóðólfr of Hvinir. Due to this early connection with Loki, Sigyn has been theorized as a god dating back to an older form of Germanic paganism.(1)
I would recommend either finding one candle to represent the Yule season or a candle holder that can hold 12 candles (one for each day of Yule), and light the candle/s before making your prayer.
This year I have personally lit a single candle for each day, while I say the prayer at the altar and then snuff it out around 30 minutes to an hour later. You could allow the candle just to burn until finished. Then the next day light another candle and so on, until you have 12 burning candles on the final day!
Please remember you are free to change the Gods I suggest to ones that you venerate or would like to venerate during this time. These prayers are guidelines and can be expanded or replaced as you see fit.
Hail Loki, lord of misrule, trickster, shape-shifter, you who turn the world upside down. May you bless me this Yule with your gifts of laughter and adaptability, knowing that I invite you as a friend to my feast.
Hail Sigyn, loyal wife of Loki, lady of victory. May you balance Loki’s unpredictability in my life with your constancy. May you grant me the strength to face any unexpected turn in the coming year with your hopefulness and tenacity.
Animal guising seems to have been a part of European Yule traditions. According to Constantine Porphyrogenitus in his book De cerimonii aulae Byzantiae, the Goths of his Varangian Guard performed a dance for him on the 9th day of Christmas, where two of the Goth’s dressed in masks and animal skins shouting Toúl, Toúl! (possibly related to the word jól/yule?).
During the day, make an animal mask that represents an attribute you would like to have more of in the coming year.
Here are some examples of animals that were significant to the European ancestors:
– Bear: Some associate bear with Thor, strength, power, might, connection to the earth
– Wolf: Sacred to Odin and Loki, family, fierceness, loyalty, working together
– Fox: Sacred to Loki (according to many modern worshippers), cunning, trickster, problem-solving
– Mink: Playfulness, adaptability, quick thinking
– Seal: Mysteries of the waters, joy, feminine magic and shapeshifting (selkies)
– Boar: Sacred to Freyja and Freyr, war, power, wealth
– Horse: Cooperation, travel, adventure, support
– Rabbit: Caution, fertility, swiftness, abundance
– Cat: Sacred to Freyja, independence, silence, beauty, ferocity
– Snake/Dragon: Secret knowledge, underworld mysteries, transformation
– Deer: Freyr as sacrificial king, authority, defense, self-sacrifice
– Raven: Odin’s messengers, magic, communication, devours the dead and unneeded
– Falcon: Sacred to Freyja and Frigg, spiritual messenger, travel, perception
– Goat: Sacred to Thor, hearty, persistent, ambitious, lusty
In the evening, have a party or feast while wearing your animal masks. “You could even elect a Lord of Misrule to represent Loki and officiate the event.”