30 Days of Loki: Day 7

VII. Names and epithets

Let’s go with “canon” and “non-canon” again.

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CANON

Loki: Of unknown etymology, but possibly related to the Old Norse word luka, meaning “close” (as in “close the door”; in Modern Icelandic, the phrase “close the door” is “loka hurðinni“).  In High Eshnesk (the oldest form of Eshnesk, the Vanic tongue; remember what I said yesterday about Laufey being from “Old Eshnahaliel”, the unified Vanir-Jotun realm prior to the Vanir and Jotun split into two separate races), the name Loka’a means “wildfire”, from the words lo’u (wild, primal, untamed) and ka’a (fire).

Loptr: From the Old Norse lopt, meaning “air”.  A connection between Loki and the wind.

Hveðrungr: “Roarer”.

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POSSIBLY CANON, POSSIBLY NOT

Lóðurr: With Odin and Hoenir, animated the first humans (Ask and Embla) in Norse mythology. Supporting the claim of Loki as Lóðurr is that Odin, Hœnir and Loki occur as a trio in Haustlöng, in the prose prologue to Reginsmál and also in the Loka Táttur, a Faroese ballad which is a rare example of the occurrence of Norse gods in folklore. The Odin-kenning “Lóðurr’s friend” furthermore appears to parallel the kenning “Loptr’s friend” and Loki is similarly referred to as “Hœnir’s friend” in Haustlöng, strengthening the trio connection.  The name is etymologically related to the Old Norse words lóð, “fruit, land”, ljóðar, “people” and laða, “to attract”; the Gothic words liudan, “to grow” and laudi, “shape”, as well as the German word lodern, “to blaze”, have also been mentioned in this context.

Both Swedish Lördag and Finnish Lauantai possibly etymologize from Lóður Dag, meaning “Saturday”.

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NON-CANON

Low Key Lyesmith: A character in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.  I have used this name to refer to Dad before, somewhat tongue-in-cheek.

Mr. Saturday: Because Odin is Mr. Wednesday.  Also: “Hey bb, whatchoo doin’ Saturday night?”

Lokadoke: Pet name.

Juggaloki: Because of his love of Insane Clown Posse.

Pippi Loptstocking: What D called Loki the time we saw him with braids.

El Pollo Loki: A riff off the “El Pollo Loco” chain of chicken restaurants, which I saw everywhere when I lived in southern California.  Loki has this thing with chickens.  Not really sure why.  (On the other hand, Loki does seem to like taking cat form, so.)

Loco Suave: A riff off the “Rico Suave” song by Gerardo (that was popular when I was, like, ten; if anyone else remembers that song I will scream).  My pet name for Loki when he is trying to be sexy, especially if I’m having to godphone for him while he’s feeling that way, because what is my life.

The Loke Ness Monster: “It’s in my pants”.  thanks, Dad

Loptsicle: What happens when Loki is out in the snow.  (“that’s in my pants too.  *starts singing “Lollipop” by Lil’ Wayne*”  HALP)

Loki Charms: When we want to troll Loki AND Clarence at the same time.

That Asshole: Several gods’ way of referring to him, especially Asmodai’s.

Hey You: Yep.

How to demons: Vassago

This is yet another in a series on demons I’ve been asked about and who have agreed to let me post about them.

Obligatory disclaimer: while there is some lore info here, the majority of this article is UPG. Your UPG may be different from mine. My experiences and perception being different does not necessarily invalidate yours, and vice versa.

Also, this article may sound somewhat repetitive if you’ve read my articles on Paimon, Naberius, and Astaroth. Anything that’s getting repeated is for the sake of people who are brand new to the blog and haven’t read other articles, so that way they don’t have to read a bunch of other things for context.

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Who Is Vassago?

As with Astaroth, Vassago is another demon listed in demonology lore as male, but for whom I use female pronouns she/her because she told me she’s female, and I know other people who know Vassago who also experience her as female.  That being said, Vassago is fairly androgynous and seems a bit gender-fluid, so an experience of male Vassago or agender Vassago is not wrong.

Vassago is the third Goetic demon described in the Lesser Key of Solomon.  She holds the rank of Prince (again, this is a somewhat-inaccurate human translation of the demon rank system).  She is said to be “of a good nature” and “of the same nature as Agares”.

In my UPG, Vassago is the daughter of Agares.  Naamah is her mother.  Naamah is also, in my UPG, the mother of Asmodai, which makes Vassago and Asmodai half-siblings, and Asmodai refers to Vassago as his sister, and Vassago has encouraged me to call her “Aunt”.  I also found out awhile back that Agares is one of the exiles from Vanaheim about 9000-10,000 years ago during a time of war and strife (remember when I said that Lucifer’s realm has a lot of immigrants from elsewhere, who join the Kingdom – this is one of them), which makes Vassago half-Vanir, half-infernal.  I am writing this essay with a bias strongly in Vassago’s favor, as I’ve dealt with her quite a bit and I like her very much.

Agares is said in lore to be one of two primary assistants of Lucifuge Rofocale; in my doxa, Vassago is the other (also going by the name Margas).  She and Agares are both powerful demons in their own right – Vassago is said to rule/command twenty-six legions of spirits (a demonic legion is 5000, 5000 x 26 = 130,000).  But she and Agares are both sworn to Rofocale’s service and are directly in his employ, and are extremely loyal to him.  (Thus, Vassago has her own House, but her House is a branch/extension of Rofocale’s House.)  Vassago also sits on The Eleven, Lucifer’s High Council.  She is known for voting however Rofocale votes, and is one of his major voices of support on the Council.

Vassago can tell magicians of past and future events, and locates lost objects.  She is said to be “just and true in all doings”, with the power of helping the magician find a suitable partner, and revealing hidden treasures.  She can also guard treasure. As someone who can reveal and guard “treasure”, I classify her with the “prosperity demons”.  As a member of Rofocale’s House, Vassago can do a lot of the same stuff Rofocale does, like provide wealth, but without the requirement of selling your soul, so if you are potentially interested in working with Rofocale, I would actually suggest going to Vassago first – much of the same benefits, less of the baggage.

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How To Make Nice With Vassago

The first thing is to establish what you want to call Vassago for.  For the most part, demons are very business-oriented.  Which doesn’t mean it’s impossible to have a personal relationship with them (see myself, and several people who regularly comment here), but it does mean that when you’re first meeting someone from the infernal pantheon, it’s a good idea to have an actual reason to call them over.  Demons are busy.

With that said, Vassago is very, very helpful.  She likes being useful.  So calling her is not as much of a bother as it might be for other demons (like her employer).

Vassago is particularly skilled at giving financial and business help.  She can help “open the doors” to push wyrd along if you’d like to find a partner, bringing the right person into your life.  (She REALLY likes playing matchmaker and I strongly suspect she may have been “in” on the plot to bring me and D together.) She can help locate lost objects, as well as help with things like getting organized so you’re less likely to lose things.  Vassago is very good at giving advice, though it may be advice that you don’t want to hear.  (I will elaborate on this below.)

Like with other demons, Vassago likes to be paid for her time.  I suggest making a temporary altar laid out with a combination of special candles, incense, and a cup of very strong coffee.  You do not have to go all out with gifts the first time – that will suffice.

If you go on to build a working relationship with Vassago, making an altar space for her is a good idea.  Her favorite colors are blue and green, though she also likes black, grey, and silver.  She likes crystals A LOT.  What kind of crystals?  ALL THE CRYSTALS.  If you go to a gem faire with the intent of finding a gift for Vassago, you may want to bring a bit of money with you.  Vassago really, really, really likes shiny things.  (This is a trope with House Rofocale: I joke around that their motto is “ours is the money” but it could equally be “ours is the shiny”.)  Vassago likes jewelry, though she’s more inclined towards unisex pieces.  Vassago also, for some reason, really likes steampunk-type stuff, and other things that look kind of Victorian.  And she collects china, like her brother Asmodai does.

Prior to invoking Vassago you want to make sure you’re properly prepared.

Pick a time to do this when you’re not going to be disturbed.  If you can wait for timing, the best time to start working relationships with demons is on the new or full moons, though I would recommend NOT invoking her on the first of the month because it is her busiest time.  Your house should be clean or reasonably tidy.  Most demons like a clean space.  I would also recommend making things fresh for Vassago.  Burning incense or having something nicely scented is a good idea.  Vassago, for some reason, is more sensitive than most demons are to clutter as well as stench, and not likely to want to be in a place that she considers dirty or smelly.  When in doubt, lavender, lemon, and mint are all smells she tends to find pleasant.

In addition to the gifts on the table, Vassago’s seal should be displayed.  Her seal can be found here.  As I keep mentioning on this blog, the seals are important.  They are a form of the entity’s signature of their title-name in the infernal language, and when you draw the seal, you are establishing an energetic link directly to them, which ensures you’re getting that demon or at least a representative of their house (such as a personal assistant).

Ideally, you would want to draw the seal on parchment, in black or red ink, or something like silver or gold leaf pen. Barring that, white paper and a black ink pen (or Sharpie) will do.  If you REALLY want to add some energetic oomph to the seal, I suggest anointing the seal with a little dab of oil.  It so happens that I started making perfume oils in my shop for various demons, which can be used for this purpose as well as others.  I have an oil formulated specifically for Vassago here.  (You can also buy a 1/4 dram sample bottle.)

Because of The Thing that demons have with cleanliness, I would recommend bathing prior to your first invocation, or at least be reasonably fresh (having bathed within the last six hours or so, and not having sweated excessively). What you wear is not necessarily important – Vassago is more concerned with who you are and what you want from her – though I would recommend “dress to impress” at least the first time.  However, don’t overdo it.  Vassago will be able to tell if you’re uncomfortable, and will remark on it and that you shouldn’t have gone to that type of trouble.

When you are ready to call her, I would light a candle and the incense.  I would strongly recommend drawing her seal in the air with a wand, visualizing the symbols glowing in red or violet light – this step is not mandatory, but further gets her attention (kind of like the infernal equivalent of The Bat Signal).  You want to say something to the effect of “O Vassago, I [whatever name you feel comfortable using] call you to this space, to [name your purpose].”

Once you’ve declared your purpose, Vassago will show up.

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What To Expect

The first thing is, if you’re new to working with spirits, they do not incarnate into a meat human body and strut into the room.  You may seem them as another person in the room with you, and you may even be able to get some tangible feelings from them, but when a spirit comes by, we are not talking about flesh-and-blood solid as you or me. They’re in an etheric form.

If you have the Sight, you can usually “see” spirits as a sort of projected mental image (like someone walking into the room or sitting in the room with you), or “in your mind’s eye” if you think about it and a visual comes to mind.  However, it’s worth noting that not everyone can see spirits, and this is OK.

As a rule, I dislike the pressure within the polytheist community to corroborate UPG on what an entity looks like, because a number of entities use glamour, and just because an entity looks differently to two different people doesn’t mean that one perception is right and the other wrong.  However, because some might find this interesting – Vassago is very tall, approximately six-two or six-three.  She appears to me with nape-length curly brown hair, slightly pointed ears, an olive complexion, and grey-green eyes that shift color with her mood.  While she’s got a very serious facial expression by default, she has adorable dimples when she smiles.  She strongly resembles someone else I know (no, I’m not saying who), which has made me do a double take more than once with the two of them in the same room.  Vassago is slim and flat-chested, and tends to wear Court robes, usually in darker shades of blue or grey, when she’s on duty – when she’s “off duty” (such as coming by for a social call), she is fond of Victorian gentlemen’s wear (think Oscar Wilde).  She’s got a deep voice, and is soft-spoken.  She carries a very large bastard sword, and knows how to use it.

Vassago is of a kindly disposition, but she’s also no-nonsense.  She doesn’t talk much, and she also tends to damn with faint praise.  (My first encounter with her was sometime in February 2014 when Asmodai was planning on adopting me, and Vassago summed me up with two words: “You’ll do.”)  She has a tendency to be somewhat critical when she gives advice – if you want a deity who will tell you everything you want to hear, she’s not it.  Vassago is a lot like Asmodai in that regard, more likely to criticize than compliment.  But when she does compliment, she means it. And when she does criticize, she’s doing it to be helpful.  Vassago is very much Auntie, wanting to polish you up and make you shine.

Vassago tends to be formal and a bit business-like upon first meeting but may warm up given time.  If she likes you, she will be very, very loyal to you, and will go the extra mile in helping you.  She can get protective of her charges, and may show up randomly To The Rescue if you are under attack from a magician or a malevolent entity.  She is compassionate, and a champion of the oppressed and downtrodden.  As much as she might seem initially cold and reserved, she has a very good heart.  When she does relax, she’s a good listener, gives good hugs, and enjoys unwinding by doing completely mundane things.

She really, really, really likes coffee.

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What Not To Do

If you work with Vassago, she will hold you to a similar standard of conduct that Asmodai does.  She prefers to deal with people who are honest, who keep their word, and who deal fairly with others.  She does not like bullying, especially attacking people for things they can’t help.  As a genderqueer person, Vassago is a strong ally of genderfluid, transgender, agender, and non-binary people, so if you are transphobic in any way, Vassago will not like you.

Vassago says she is asexual.  She has a son (see below) but unlike much of the infernal pantheon she is fairly chaste and not much interested in sex.  (She also jokes that her brother Asmodai gets around enough for five people.) Vassago is thus also an ally of asexual people and ace-shaming or ace-negative language is something she frowns on. She is also equally opposed to slut-shaming, as she feels consenting adults should do as they wish.

If you work with Vassago, say what you mean and mean what you say.  She does not like passive-aggressive behavior.

Vassago likes manners, and especially old-school manners such as holding the door open for people, and “Boy Scout” things like offering an elderly or infirm person help with carrying groceries and such.  This does not mean that you have to overextend yourself for everyone, especially if you are not entirely able-bodied or you are short on time, but random acts of kindness are pleasing to her.

Vassago does not like false flattery.

Do NOT insult Lucifuge Rofocale or otherwise speak ill of him in her presence.  This could be considered something of an unpardonable sin in her book.  Do NOT insult Lucifer or otherwise speak ill of him in her presence.  But you can pick on Asmodai in front of her as much as you want (and she might join in).

Vassago likes being appreciated and being gifted for her time and trouble, but also gets embarrassed by big flowery shows of appreciation.  Gifts are nice and expensive gifts aren’t necessarily unwelcome, but if you break the bank to commission a 1000-dollar necklace for her, much as you might make me happy, she might be uncomfortable with it.

Vassago really likes coffee.  If you’re giving her food/drink items, she will take coffee more than anything else.  The stronger her coffee, the better.  She will be offended by weak and watery coffee (though can be appeased with stronger coffee in copious quantities).

There are some demons who Vassago does not like (which I’m about to get to), and where an alliance between you and one of them may potentially (but not necessarily) negatively impact dealings with her.

Don’t kneel, bow, or otherwise prostrate yourself before demons.  Manners are good, but don’t overdo it.

Vassago is one of the most approachable demons and one of the demons most likely to forgive an honest mistake or a faux pas.  If there is a misunderstanding between you and her, provided that it wasn’t you behaving like a total douchebag (like abusing someone else) or speaking ill of her employers, she is likely to at least be willing to listen and accept some sort of penance on your part, usually some sort of service (like volunteer work).

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Vassago & Politics

Vassago and Astaroth do not like each other, a lot of it having to do with the fact that Astaroth and Rofocale do not like each other, and Vassago is very loyal to Rofocale.  If you are very close to Astaroth, it’s not impossible to get along with Vassago, but I would advise not having Astaroth and Vassago in the same room at the same time.

Vassago and Asmodai have a friendly sibling rivalry.  Vassago will pick on him, but she draws the line at outright acts of disrespect and perceived betrayal.  If you don’t like Asmodai and don’t get along with Asmodai, you may not want to work with Vassago.

Because Vassago is a major employee of Rofocale and very loyal to him, his enemies are her enemies, which is about half the Kingdom.  However, Vassago is also of a kind enough disposition and enough of a class act that a lot of the animosity directed at her, personally, is more covert and mostly limited to people talking shit.

Vassago does not like Malphas (few do), or most of the other demons holding President rank.

She and Buer have a rather mortal animosity between them due to Buer being an open enemy of Asmodai.

She gets along well with Agares (obviously), Paimon, Purson, Naberius, Ronové, and Bifrons.  She claims Leraje is her son and they also get along quite well – Leraje sometimes helps her with “debt collection”.

Vassago often works with Andromalius on a professional level but is curt with him on a personal level.  Vassago does not like Belial on a professional level (in terms of his job, which is “necessary evil”) but does like him on a personal level.

She does not like Raum and she absolutely loathes Glasya-Labolas (she calls him “Glasya-Useless”).

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When Your Work Is Finished

When your session with Vassago is finished, I suggest thanking her for her time.  She may decide the session is over, before you do.  I suggest giving her some sort of gift when she first arrives, and another gift when she’s about to leave.  She really likes coffee, I cannot emphasize that enough.

If you decide to start a working relationship with Vassago, it may be easiest to create a shrine space for her, including making having a seal that can be permanently displayed on her altar.  I recommend having the seal around even if you otherwise don’t do formal invocations after that first time, just to make sure it’s Vassago you’re getting on the line.

Vassago may decide on her behalf that you’re not a good candidate for working with her.  If she dislikes you, she will tell you outright.  Vassago does not do passive-aggressive.  If she dislikes you and doesn’t want to work with you again, she’ll leave it at that, so don’t worry about her sending the goon squad after you.

If you yourself decide that you and Vassago don’t really mesh well, it’s also not the end of the world, just tell her so politely.  You’re not obligated to call her back.

Vassago prefers to work by appointment.  While she’s flexible as far as days and times, the first of the month is often a bad time for her because it is the busiest time of month for Rofocale’s assistants, especially as she and Agares are often out having to track down people who are trying to avoid being found for debt collection.  Vassago is also something of a stickler about time and punctuality.  If you say four, don’t call her over at 4:05.  If you are habitually late, she may decide to terminate a working relationship with you.  If you blow her off, unless it was an emergency or you got sick, or someone in your immediate family got sick, she’s not going to be amused.

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More demons, coming soon!

How to demons: Astaroth

This is yet another in a series on demons I’ve been asked about and who have agreed to let me post about them.

Obligatory disclaimer: while there is some lore info here, the majority of this article is UPG. Your UPG may be different from mine. My experiences and perception being different does not necessarily invalidate yours, and vice versa.

Also, this article may sound somewhat repetitive if you’ve read my articles on Paimon and Naberius. Anything that’s getting repeated is for the sake of people who are brand new to the blog and haven’t read other articles, so that way they don’t have to read a bunch of other things for context.

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Who Is Astaroth?

Astaroth is number 29 in the list of 72 Goetic demons (note: not all demons are Goetic), and in demonology lore is given the rank of Duke.  The word “Duke” is a human-filter translation of the ranking system in Lucifer’s realm, which does not really neatly correspond to the ranks of Kings, Dukes, Presidents, etc as we understand them in terms of Earth governments.  “Duke” is ranked below a Prince, but above a Marquis.  All the 72 named Goetic demons could be considered high-ranking by virtue of the fact that they have names and titles in lore, but the Duke rank is considered an important rank.

In this article, and on the brief occasions where I might mention Astaroth elsewhere, I refer to Astaroth as she/her. There are others who perceive Astaroth as male.  The Goetia lists demons as being all male.  In a corroborated gnosis with several other people who work closely with demons, Lucifer’s realm is about 85% male due to some quirk of infernal biology (which no, I don’t understand, I’m a loremaster, not a biologist), however the 15% that is female tends to get into important positions in the realm.  In my experience and perception and that of a few others I’ve known, Astaroth is female.  However, your perception and experience of Astaroth may be different.  And there are demons who can shift gender at will (especially if they know the human they’re dealing with will respond a certain way to a particular gender), or are otherwise gender-bendy or genderqueer.  A perception of male Astaroth is not wrong, necessarily – Astaroth’s gender is basically whatever guise the entity feels like taking at that time.  Because I have only dealt with a female Astaroth, and most of the people I’ve known who’ve dealt with Astaroth also get a female Astaroth, I use female pronouns for this article.  (Note: now is not the time to have a discussion about spirit gender and if spirits even have gender.)

Astaroth is said to be a demon of “the First Hierarchy”.  In my doxa, Astaroth is one of The Eleven, who sits on Lucifer’s High Council.  She is the vice-treasurer of Lucifer’s realm (we will revisit that in the Politics section, because it’s actually kind of important).  In demonology lore, Astaroth is said to “teach mathematical sciences and handicrafts, can make men invisible and lead them to hidden treasures, and answers every question”.  As vice-treasurer of Hell and one who “leads to hidden treasures”, Astaroth is one of the “prosperity demons”, as I’m fond of calling that particular class of entities.  “Leads to hidden treasures” can mean ideas, tips and insights on making money, and in the teaching of handicrafts, she is a good deity to ask for help if you’re making a living out of arts and crafts.  Astaroth is, in my UPG, a patron of the trade of luxury goods (clothing, jewelry and other accessories, beauty products), etc.

Also in my UPG, Astaroth is Astarte.  Remember how, in the Lilith post, I mentioned that YHWH tried to recruit from surrounding pantheons, and Lucifer did also when he left YHWH’s realm?  Astarte decided to join Lucifer’s side when he asked.  To make things super-complicated, she will answer to Astarte, but you get a decidedly different flavor of her as Astarte.  Astaroth is more business-like, cool, and “professional”, but also quite a bit less temperamental (Astarte can be intense and moody).

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How To Make Nice With Astaroth

The first thing is to establish what you want to call Astaroth for.  For the most part, demons are very business-oriented.  Which doesn’t mean it’s impossible to have a personal relationship with them (see myself, and several people who regularly comment here), but it does mean that when you’re first meeting someone from the infernal pantheon, it’s a good idea to have an actual reason to call them over.  Demons are busy.

I consider Astaroth to be a good ally for creative people because of the mention of teaching handicrafts, and especially for those who want to make a living from said work.  As she is said to “seduce men towards vanity”, she might be able to help give people a case of Ooh Shiny Syndrome with regards to your work.

Astaroth likes to be paid for her time, not just because demons tend to like something for their trouble to begin with, but she does not feel that the concept of “something for nothing” is helpful to the person asking for help, either (and it’s not).  I suggest making a temporary altar laid out with a combination of special candles, incense, a glass of wine or cup of flower tea (such as jasmine or hibiscus), and some sort of token of appreciation.  She likes crystals and she likes jewelry.  She also likes flowers.  As far as colors, she prefers warmer colors and earth tones; as far as jewelry goes, same, but she also likes pearls.

If you go on to build a working relationship with Astaroth, making an altar space for her is a good idea.  You may want to keep her altar regularly stocked with fresh flowers, and occasional tokens of appreciation such as crystals, pieces of jewelry, coins, etc.  She also likes ornate glasswork and enamel items, such as trinket boxes and glass sculptures.

Prior to invoking Astaroth you want to make sure you’re properly prepared.

Pick a time to do this when you’re not going to be disturbed.  If you can wait for timing, the best time to start working relationships with demons is on the new or full moons.  Your house should be clean or reasonably tidy.  Most demons like a clean space.  I would also recommend making things pretty for Astaroth if possible, like if you were having an honored guest come over – at least your first time or first couple of times.

In addition to the gifts on the table, Astaroth’s seal should be displayed.  Her seal can be found here.  As I keep mentioning on this blog, the seals are important.  They are a form of the entity’s signature of their title-name in the infernal language, and when you draw the seal, you are establishing an energetic link directly to them, which ensures you’re getting that demon or at least a representative of their house (such as a personal assistant).

Ideally, you would want to draw the seal on parchment, in black or red ink, or something like silver or gold leaf pen. Barring that, white paper and a black ink pen (or Sharpie) will do.  If you REALLY want to add some energetic oomph to the seal, I suggest anointing the seal with a little dab of oil.  It so happens that I started making perfume oils in my shop for various demons, which can be used for this purpose as well as others.  I have an oil formulated specifically for Astaroth here.  (You can also buy a 1/4 dram sample bottle.)

Because of The Thing that demons have with cleanliness, I would recommend bathing prior to your first invocation, or at least be reasonably fresh (having bathed within the last six hours or so, and not having sweated excessively). What you wear is not necessarily important – Astaroth is more concerned with who you are and what you want from her – though I would recommend “dress to impress” at least the first time.

When you are ready to call her, I would light a candle and the incense.  I would strongly recommend drawing his seal in the air with a wand, visualizing the symbols glowing in red or violet light – this step is not mandatory, but further gets her attention (kind of like the infernal equivalent of The Bat Signal).  You want to say something to the effect of “O Astaroth, I [whatever name you feel comfortable using] call you to this space, to [name your purpose].”

Once you’ve declared your purpose, Astaroth will show up.

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What To Expect

The first thing is, if you’re new to working with spirits, they do not incarnate into a meat human body and strut into the room.  You may seem them as another person in the room with you, and you may even be able to get some tangible feelings from them, but when a spirit comes by, we are not talking about flesh-and-blood solid as you or me. They’re in an etheric form.

If you have the Sight, you can usually “see” spirits as a sort of projected mental image (like someone walking into the room or sitting in the room with you), or “in your mind’s eye” if you think about it and a visual comes to mind.  However, it’s worth noting that not everyone can see spirits, and this is OK.

As a rule, I dislike the pressure within the polytheist community to corroborate UPG on what an entity looks like, because a number of entities use glamour, and just because an entity looks differently to two different people doesn’t mean that one perception is right and the other wrong.  However, because some might find this interesting – Astaroth tends to appear to me as looking Arabic, with olive or tan skin, long dark hair, and brown eyes.  She’s about average height, very pretty, and prefers to dress in red or earth tones.  She often wears a crown.  She likes jewelry a lot, and I’ve seen her with a red-and-black lace fan more than once, as an accessory.

Astaroth is, in my experience (yours may be different), straightforward and to the point.  She likes to get down to business.  She can warm up over time, but like Paimon, she tends to be professional even then.  She tends to be a bit aloof, and can come across as “cold” even to people who have a good working relationship with her.  If Astaroth doesn’t like you, she may not be the kind to say it outright, but you will pick up on it through tone of voice, body language, and keeping her dealings with you as brief as possible (it’s the sort of thing where you’ll just know, beyond it being brainweasels).  I do know one person (a friend) who was on the receiving end of Astaroth being directly hostile, and a lot of that had to do with demon politics (extant alliances).  Even if Astaroth doesn’t like you on a personal level she may be still willing to help you, provided you make it worth her time.

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What Not To Do

Astaroth prefers cleanliness and order.  She can overlook this if you are in a situation where you live with someone else who’s messy, or you have some sort of chronic thing where spoons are low, but a good general rule of thumb for demons is to try to make things neat for them.  Asmodai (who is an architect among other things) is fond of pointing out that clutter creates structural weaknesses in wards and attracts miasma, which can create a sort of energetic “noise” to demons akin to nails on a chalkboard.  Anyway, if Astaroth is coming by, try to clean up a little.  Try to avoid things like littering in front of her.

Astaroth likes manners.  Please and thank you.  Do not expect anything for free with her, even if she likes you.  She may not necessarily require hard physical items every time she helps you – she is one of the demons who likes service contracts, doing things in her name (for example, the aforementioned asking Astaroth for help with getting your handicrafts business off the ground, she may want some input as far as what goes in the shop [which may further her agenda in some ways] or giving credit to her for help can glorify her name, etc).  But she does expect you to understand that her time is worth something, and that the time of other people is worth something, also.  If you are the kind of person who doesn’t tip service people, for example, she isn’t going to like you very much.

Astaroth can detect false flattery.  Complimenting her is good, so long as it’s sincere.  Astaroth likes having her ego stroked.  But there is a point to where it becomes a bit much, and don’t say things you don’t mean in front of her.

Astaroth does not like uncouth behavior.  Try to avoid things like scratching your balls, picking your teeth, etc, in front of her.

There are some demons who Astaroth does not like (which I’m about to get to), and where an alliance between you and one of them may potentially (but not necessarily) negatively impact dealings with her.

Don’t kneel, bow, or otherwise prostrate yourself before demons.  Manners are good, but don’t overdo it.

If you do mess up in front of Astaroth, she is one of the demons most likely to hold a grudge.  This is not to say that it is impossible to make up with her, but it will depend seriously on what you did.  An apology will go farther with some sort of gift.  If you do severely fuck up in a way that the relationship is irreparable, Astaroth is more likely to forget you exist than send the goon squad after you, but bets are off if you’re allied to Someone she doesn’t like.  Which brings me to…

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Astaroth & Politics

So as mentioned above, Astaroth is one of The Eleven who sits on Lucifer’s High Council.  Her official job title within Lucifer’s realm is vice-treasurer.

In my post Some misconceptions about demons, I point out that not all demons get along.

One of the unique facets of Lucifer’s realm is that every single Hat/House has at least ONE Hat/House that serves as an “adversary”.  When Lucifer left YHWH’s realm and started his own, he decided to implement this rule.  And while it does create a fair amount of conflict and tension in the realm, he figured it would cause even more to NOT have this sort of thing out in the open.  There’s still a fair amount of secret plots and nastiness that goes on, but far less than there would be if there was not so much open antagonism.

To further clarify this, because Lucifer started off as YHWH’s adversary – questioning what YHWH did, and keeping YHWH in check – and YHWH didn’t care for that too much, Lucifer decided that in his realm, every single high-ranking noble would have an “adversary” or a person who keeps them in check.

So with that bit of background info: Lucifuge Rofocale is not just the Prime Minister of Hell, but also its treasurer.  In a way this makes good common sense – the dude who carries out a lot of the important decisions about the realm (with input from the other ten members of The Eleven, and Lucifer himself), also gets to control how the realm spends its money.  He also breaks kneecaps collects debts to the Kingdom on the first of the month, every month.  (To Game of Thrones fans: if Lucifuge Rofocale was in GOT, he would be the Iron Bank of Braavos.  Which is its own entity, pretty much.)

Astaroth is vice-treasurer.  As you might infer from the above, a big part of her job is to be a pain in Rofocale’s ass, by questioning (and often criticizing) what he does, how, and why. When you have a job where it is your job to find fault with how that person does things, or where someone has been hired to find fault with you, it’s hard for that dislike to not turn personal after awhile.  To say Astaroth and Rofocale don’t like each other is putting it mildly.  This is not to say that you can’t have positive working relationships with both of them, it’s not necessarily impossible, but it is something to keep in mind and it would be a good idea to proceed with caution if you’re allied with one and decide to work with the other (and in my truly honest opinion as a diplomat to Lucifer’s realm, if you work with one, I would avoid the other; this essay and the swag for her in my shop is a gesture of good will on my part but I’ve otherwise not dealt with Astaroth since I left Oregon).  I would at the very least not invite both of them over to tea.  I will also say that the tensions between them threw gasoline on the fire of a WTF situation I was in last year, and I don’t want to elaborate on this (beyond what I’ve said above, and to note that it didn’t cause the situation, it just exacerbated it) so don’t ask me about it, just know that they’re not BFFs and it is literally their job to not like each other, because her role keeps his in check (and likewise, he supervises her work and has taken her to task more than once).

Also – and this is REALLY important – of the two, Astaroth is the more “beginner-friendly” demon (in the dick quotes because there is no such thing as a truly safe demon, or truly safe entity of any kind) – if you have need of financial help and you’re new to the demon thing, you’re better off going to Astaroth first, or really any other money-connected or business-connected demon, before you try to deal with Rofocale, because you can get in way, way over your head.  (I have been asked to do a post about Mr. Lucifuge and he’s still weighing whether or not I will have permission to make said post, but the short version is that thing I said about the Iron Bank of Braavos wasn’t for ha-has.)

Vassago (also known as Margas) and Agares are Rofocale’s two primary assistants (note: I will be doing a post about Vassago soon), and also fairly friendly with him on a personal level (they’re sort of related).  Vassago and Astaroth have a mutual “hmph” reaction around each other, while Agares and Astaroth will be coldly polite to each other (Agares is a gentleman).  I wouldn’t recommend having Vassago and Agares over for tea with Astaroth, either.

Astaroth gets along well with Eligos, Paimon, Purson, Ipos, Dantalion, Seir, and Zagan.  She has a friendly rivalry with Asmodai (they are fond of oneupmanship, particularly with trying to outswag each other; they also sometimes answer the other’s phone for the lulz).  She does not like Raum, and the feeling is mutual.  She really does not like Malphas (hardly anyone does, except the other Presidents). Andromalius and Naberius are aloof but polite and for the most part have a “let’s not cross paths” attitude.

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When Your Work Is Finished

When your session with Astaroth is finished, I suggest thanking her for her time.  She may decide the session is over, before you do.  I suggest giving her some sort of gift when she first arrives, and another gift when she’s about to leave.

If you decide to start a working relationship with Astaroth, it may be easiest to create a shrine space for her, including making having a seal that can be permanently displayed on her altar.  I recommend having the seal around even if you otherwise don’t do formal invocations after that first time, just to make sure it’s Astaroth you’re getting on the line.

Astaroth may decide on her behalf that you’re not a good candidate for working with her.  She is likely to just state, very directly, “This isn’t going to work,” or something of that nature, or as I mentioned above, you may get the general vibe from her that she doesn’t like you.

If you yourself decide that you and Astaroth don’t really mesh well, it’s also not the end of the world, just tell her so politely.  You’re not obligated to call her back.

Astaroth can be flexible as far as whether you work on a schedule with her or not.  She does tend to prefer schedules but she can make the exception depending on your situation.  Given time she may relax a bit and be up for having a cup of tea with you or something of that nature, prior to doing the work together.  She also may want to hover if you are doing something artsy, to quietly observe or maybe give occasional input (like “those stones would look better”).

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More demons, coming soon!

30 Days of Loki: Day 6

VI. Other related deities and entities associated with this deity

While a lot of the deities I talked about in yesterday’s post weren’t blood relations of Loki and could have thus gone in this entry, I wanted to keep this entry in the series focused on Loki’s relationships with other deities within the Norse pantheon, as well as some friends and enemies from outside the Norse pantheon.

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WITHIN THE NORSE PANTHEON

Frigga: A wife of Odin, mother of Baldur.  Frigga’s relationship with Loki seems to be fairly complicated.  On the one hand, she’s shown him hospitality and good will (Hel told me that Frigga taught Loki how to knit).  On the other hand, Loki was directly responsible for the death of Baldur (and yes, I will get into that later into this series; now is not the place to discuss that, as it’s getting its own post), and he also was quite rude at an event that Aegir had. There is a corroborated gnosis that Frigga does not care too much for Loki.  However, Frigga also does not like bad manners, and someone who is rude to Loki or Lokeans for bullshit reasons will not find her very sympathetic.

Heimdall: Guardian of the Bifrost bridge, a rainbow bridge between Midgard and Asgard.  Heimdall is a sort of “divine traffic cop”, overseeing who gets into and out of Asgard.  There is a corroborated gnosis that Heimdall doesn’t really like Loki too much and the feeling is mutual; on Heimdall’s part it has a lot to do with the mischief that Loki regularly gets into (and possibly due to Loki’s role as a politician and diplomat, which requires him to regularly travel and make deals out of Heimdall’s sight).

Tyr: The Lawspeaker of the Aesir, said to be originally of Jotun descent.  Tyr seems to not like Loki very much on a personal level, but also doesn’t like Lokeans being bullied by Nokeans, either.

Freyja: Freyja and Loki have a pretty interesting and complicated relationship.  There are times when Freyja seems to like Loki very much and times when she doesn’t like him.  He seems to enjoy pranking her and from what I hear Frey puts him up to it some of the time.  Freyja can also be moody and temperamental so there’s that.

Frey: Frey and Loki are quite friendly.  According to both gentlemen, they occasionally get it on (and also seem to be fond of threesomes where they’re both involved, thanks for sharing! nothing says “awkward” quite like hearing about your ex-husband getting it on with your dad.  D: “Next Jerry Springer…” LMAO).

Sif: Wife of Thor.  Loki cut off her hair and replaced it with a wig of pure gold.  In old-timey times, adulteresses had their hair shorn, and between that and Sif trying to make nice with Loki during his flyting of the Aesir (and Loki’s response), it is probable that Sif and Loki had an affair.

Skadhi: While Loki made Skadhi laugh by tying his balls to a goat, things did not end on a pleasant note between them.  They seem to have gotten it on, and then when Loki confessed that it was he who killed her father Thjazi, she was less than amused with him.  There is a considerable amount of animosity on Skadhi’s part towards Loki.  She will work with Lokeans (she has ALWAYS been friendly towards me), but tends to not want to be in the same place with Loki at the same time.

Ullr: Ullr seems to not really give any fucks about Loki one way or the other.  Ullr seems to not really give any fucks, period – he does his thing in the forest and tries to stay uninvolved with politics as much as possible.

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IN OTHER PANTHEONS

Asmodai: Does not like Loki, both on a professional level (Asmodai is the Law; Loki is Chaos) and on a personal level (from what I understand, Loki was directly responsible for the death of a few of Asmodai’s children).  In my opinion and observation, Asmodai and Loki both have more in common than they care to admit to (besides red hair, goofy-ass noses, and sluttiness) and this just fuels the fire.  I had to ask both of them, early into my working relationship with Asmodai, to try to at least tolerate each other when they were mutually in my presence, so they conceded to that, but they still don’t like each other.  One time, Asmodai, Loki, Lucifer, D, and Clarence all smoked with me, and Dai and Loki started saying shit like “I LOVE YOU, MAN” to each other and hugged, while high.  They have mutually disavowed this incident.  I joke around that they should fuck and get it over with (mainly so I can watch them both cringe at the suggestion).  Asmodai is married to one of Loki’s kids (Clarence) and is one of my two adopted fathers, and I’m quite a bit like Loki myself, so.

Astaroth: Does not like Loki, and the feeling is mutual.

Vassago: “*sniff* Hrmph.”

Raum: Has mutually schemed with Loki.

Andromalius: DOES NOT LIKE LOKI.

Brighid: From what Rabbie tells me, Brighid doesn’t like Loki very much.

Aine: From what Rabbie tells me, Aine does like Loki.

Set: A couple of people have observed that Set and Loki don’t really like each other too much and Set will actually physically attack Loki if he sees him.  This might seem WTF considering that Set is a trickster god himself, but Set helps the Netjer battle “The Poop”, and his brand of chaos seems a little different from Loki’s brand of chaos.

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If you work with Someone in another pantheon Who has an opinion about Loki (especially if that opinion has been based on that deity having direct interaction with Loki), feel free to share that here, as that might be of useful reference to people as far as inter-pantheon politics goes.

30 Days of Loki: Day 5

V. Members of the family – genealogical connections

I’m going to split this up into two sections: “canon” (entities confirmed as Loki’s kin by lore) and “non-canon” (not mentioned in lore but A Thing in terms of my doxa).  Note: the Canon section includes some of my UPG/doxa on the canonical family members, so we are not strictly going by lore (you will not see anything about tribes in the Eddas, for example).

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CANON

Laufey: His mother.  In my doxa, at the time of Loki’s birth, Laufey lived in “Old Eshnahaliel”, which was the combined Vanaheim-Jotunheim realm before the Vanir and Jotnar split into two species and two separate realms (I also believe several of the Aesir have a similar point of origin).  (The Vanir kept the name “Eshnahai” for their people and “Eshnahaliel” for their realm; the Jotnar became the “Rokharu”.)  Laufey often strikes people as being more like an elf than a “traditional” Jotun, which would further confirm this bit of doxa.

Farbauti: His father, chieftain of the Eagle tribe of Jotunheim.  (Jotunheim has a few animal tribes, but just a few [unlike the twenty-four tribes of Vanaheim], and also unlike Vanaheim, not every Jotun has a tribal affiliation – most don’t.)  Farbauti has a reputation as a fearsome warrior with a very, very bad temper.  He really likes killing.  D once referred to him as “the Glasya-Labolas of Jotunheim”.

Odin: Loki’s blood-brother.  Beth is doing a 30 days of Odin series over at her blog, if you want to learn more about him.

Glut: Loki’s first wife, a Jotuness (Jotynja).  From what Loki told me, this was an arranged marriage.  He fathered two daughters by her, but otherwise didn’t stick around.  Not much is known about her.

Eisa: One of Loki’s daughters by Glut.  Not much is known about her.

Einmyrja: The other of Loki’s daughters by Glut.  Not much is known about her.

Angrboda: Loki’s second wife. Hagia of the Iron Wood, Chieftess of the Wolf tribe of Jotunheim.  A witch and warrior, Angrboda initiated the much-younger Loki and wound up developing a relationship with him.  In my own personal experience of Angrboda, she has quite the harem so Loki having other spouses doesn’t bother her that much, and she has a tendency to go “mother wolf” on Loki’s incarnate children (she’s been loving towards me, but hasn’t been afraid to give me the occasional kick in the ass if I need it).

Jormundgand: The World Serpent, one of Loki’s three children by Angrboda.  Chieftain of the Serpent tribe of Jotunheim.  Maintains a very friendly relationship with the Serpent tribe of Vanaheim.  Has an antagonistic relationship with Thor (though a bit less so than what mainstream Heathens would believe, it’s more like Jormundgand deliberately trolls Thor, especially when Thor goes fishing).  Makes really good casserole.  Is kind of a mopey goth.  Doesn’t talk much – does a lot of communication via mental images – but when he talks, has something important to say, so listen.  Has a bit of a dry, snarky sense of humor.

Fenrir: Twin of Hel, and one of Loki’s three children by Angrboda.  A wolf-shifter.  The Big Wolf was chained by Tyr, and in my personal gnosis he sharded during this period of time, so you have a more humanoid wolf-shifter roaming around who has of late started taking devotees and consorts.  Fenrir tends to be a bit protective of people he cares about.

Hel: Twin of Fenrir, and one of Loki’s three children by Angrboda.  Goddess of “the straw death” (death by natural causes) and host of an underworld realm containing some of the dead.  (I say “an underworld realm” because hers is not the only one – Hades has another, for example.  The Underworld is a sort of “Black Building” and multiple underworld/death gods have an alliance or at least an understanding that allows people to visit their loved ones in different realms before re-entering the wheel of incarnation.)  There is a gnosis I have, corroborated by several other people, that Baldur is Hel’s consort (she calls him Valraven), and the two of them have a sacred marriage that keeps the Underworld a place of peace and rest.

Sleipnir: Loki’s eight-legged horse son, sired by the stallion Svaðilfari while Loki was in mare form.  “The best of horses”.

Sigyn: One of Loki’s wives.  Believed to have married Loki when she was quite young, just come of age.  Corroborated gnosis says that Sigyn is a foster-daughter of Njord and may be of elven blood.  Stayed with Loki during his time being bound in the Serpent caves of Vanaheim (yeah) following his flyting of the Aesir, catching snake venom in a bowl to keep it from dripping into Loki’s face and hurting him.  There is a corroborated gnosis that Loki was eventually freed from his binding.  There seems to be two distinct faces of Sigyn – an innocent “younger face” who likes pink and pastel colors, lace, dolls, and stuffed animals, and a harsher “older face” who, for lack of a better way of putting it, is a Domme, wears black (often leather), and has more gothic tastes.  I tend to think of the latter, “older” face of her as having been hardened through Loki’s binding and being a bit more of a hardass to keep the Breaker of Worlds (Loki’s face developed during that particular trauma) in check.

Narvi: One of Loki’s two sons by Sigyn.  Killed by his brother Vali following the flyting of the Aesir.

Vali: One of Loki’s two sons by Sigyn.  A wolf-shifter who was “mentally hijacked” and forced through magick to kill his brother, following Loki’s flyting of the Aesir (this action is popularly believed to be in retaliation for the death of Baldur, so I have reason to believe Odin was NOT the one who did this to Vali, but it was Someone else, I don’t know who).  This action left Vali traumatized and he has not been right since then.  He is a recluse, living in the Iron Wood of Jotunheim; Angrboda and Fenrir check in on him periodically.  A few humans who have encountered him (myself included) describe him as “quite mad”.  He tried to horse me once (I resisted, and he was only allowed a partial connection), and the amount of pain I felt coming from him was worse than anything I have ever felt from a spirit before or since.

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NON-CANON

Njord: Loki’s other blood-brother, Lord of Noatun (major seaport, sees lots of inter-realm traffic) in Vanaheim; son of Frodi and Holda, father of Frey and Freya.

Thor: While Thor and Loki are said to be travelling companions, Loki regards Thor as being like a brother to him (and has recently encouraged me to get to know Uncle Thor better).

Heith: The chapter “Firebird” in Voices of Vanaheim is Gullveig’s story in her own words.  Her burning by the Aesir was traumatic enough that she wound up splitting or sharding for lack of a better way of putting it.  Gullveig taught Loki some magick and they wound up grudgefucking, and following the split/shard, the part of Gullveig that became Heith took up with Loki.

Baldur: Loki’s son-in-law, consort of Hel.  “The Black Sun”, Lord of Helheim.  (And the not-twin of Yanlin, consort of the current Queen of Vanaheim.)

Lucifer: Loki’s other-other blood-brother.  Some people ship Loki/Lucifer, and I can tell you that this ship is legit because I’ve seen them occasionally flirting with each other (and alluding to stuff I dun wanna know about) but ALSO because…

Ekaiteralaina: My elf-mother, former Chieftess of the Cat tribe of Vanaheim.  Since deceased.  Was an “emanation” of Lucifer in Vanaheim.  (Kind of like a clone, carrying his energy and agenda, but still her own person.  He was aware of her, but she was not aware she was a part of him.  Also, her name means “Morning Star” in Eshnesk.  She was a workaholic and a caffeine addict.  She also looked a lot like a female Lucifer, now that I think about it.)  Taught Loki some Cat magick, and they got involved and made a Clarence and a Nono (important note: she never married Loki, she refused to marry anyone because she was married to her job, pretty much).  A story about her and Loki will be in the (eventually) forthcoming Voices of Vanaheim 2 (because clearly I haven’t been trolled enough with Loki-TMI, now I have to hear about him and my mom).

Clarence: My twin brother, one of Loki’s kids.

Me: one of Loki’s kids.

D: My husband, thus Loki’s son-in-law.  Acts a lot like him, except when he doesn’t (I have described him as “what would happen if Asmodai and Loki had a son”, which makes all three of them cringe).

Rob and Lily: My kids with Clarence; Loki’s grandkids.

Aisling and Awen: My kids with D; Loki’s grandkids.

Viewers Like You: A disproportionately high number of my readers are connected to Loki in some way: spouses, children, friends, devotees, etc.  Hello.  *waves*

Random bits

The older two of my spirit-children (and the two with Clarence), Rob and Lily, are going to be three on the 6th. Recently, this conversation happened:

Me (to Rob and Lily): Your birthday’s coming up soon. You’ll be three.
Lily: Does that mean I can drink Talisker now?
Me: *glares at Clarence* What the actual hell are you teaching our kids.
Clarence: How to be awesome!
Me: You mean, how to be alcoholics?
Rob: What’s alcoholics?
Me: It’s the country your father is from.
Clarence: FFFFFFFFFFFFF *motorboat noises* IT’S ALBA.
Rob: ABBA?
D: *poker face, “Dancing Queen” starts playing on the mp3 random playlist*
Clarence: I am so fookin’ done.

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This morning I was chitchatting with my mom, and the TV was on in the background.  A commercial for NoNo, the hair removal device (or as Clarence put it, “the ShamWow of razors”), came on.

Commercial: “You can use NoNo all over your body, even on your face!”

D turned pink into his ears and started shaking with silent laughter.  I gave him A Look and he lost his shit, gigglesnorting.

(At home, my spirits do not call me Nono, but by my actual name, Sebastian [or Seb], however They are aware of my Craft name, and D often calls me NootNoot, or just Noot.)

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I recently made myself some swag, including redoing my collar (for what will hopefully be the last time) as well as a necklace I have that [D’s title]’s seal is on as a pendant.  Except:

Me: *fiddling with the necklace with D’s seal on it* This is too long.

D: …well, that is kind of appropriate, since it represents me, and all.

Me: *facepalm x 900,000*

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