I really like devotional anthologies. I like the variety of material and all the different experiences and opinions they contain. So this Yule I went ahead and brought myself a copy of Consuming Flame: A Devotional Anthology for Loki and His Family. It was edited by Galina Krasskova, published by Sanngetall Press and a new copy will cost you something like £9:46 or $13:47.
Though the title reads that it’s an anthology to Loki and His family, it’s mostly an anthology to Loki and Sigyn, with a few pieces for Narvi and Vali – which was great, because I don’t see many people writing about Those two. There are poems, prayers, UPG, research and rituals, even some recipes – all the ingredients needed for a good anthology. I also felt like all the pieces were of good quality. There’s no artwork, but that does tend to push the price up – and the front cover is nice (check out artist Arthur Rackham). I’m not sure how much of it is the collected works of Galina Krasskova – as per the blurb on the back – and how much is contributions from other devotees, as per Final Thoughts on Sigyn. Either way, it’s a good book.
I ended up learning more about Sigyn than I did Loki – I think there might actually be more pieces about Her than Him. But wow, did I learn a lot about Sigyn! I loved reading more about Her; it’s been really helpful to me. Everyone’s writing about Loki, after all. And yet, I was still able to learn brand new things about Him from reading this book too. There were some pieces I’d read in other books – like Loki and Sigyn’s First Meeting, which is also in that book called The Jotunbok that I keep banging on about – but for the most part it was all new to me. I especially liked the research article The Demonization of Loki, and many of the poems and prayers were very moving – I’m not sure which ones to pick out, because I felt like they were all valuable and helped me to understand a little bit more of the nature of These two excellent Deities. I would write a little warning here that any real conservative Heathens out there may not like one or two of the poems that mention certain aspects of the relationship between Loki and Odin…but then I realized that conservative Heathens are a) not likely to want to read a devotional anthology to Loki and His family, and b) also very unlikely to be reading my Jotun-loving blog. So I guess I don’t have to worry about it.
At the back is a Recommended Resources list of books, websites and articles, which I always like to see (though Wife is not so keen on them – my book wishlist runs to three pages now. She’s starting to worry our flat will not be big enough).
I know I seem to say this about every book I review, but…I’m gonna have to read this book a couple more times before I’ve got all the juice out of it. I’m still very much at the beginning of my walk with my family of Deities, and I have so much still to learn. This anthology was sometimes fascinating to read, sometimes inspiring, and sometimes, emotionally, very difficult. It’s not the best if you’re hoping to learn more about Angrboda, Hela, Fenrir, Jormungand or Loki’s parents, but I would definitely recommend it to anyone dedicated to Loki or Sigyn.
Finally, if anyone else has read this book, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.