( Art by Ivana Stojakovich)
The hedonist likely believes that their lifestyle is benign, that really we are making too big of a deal about this and we should not criticize them for their behavior. For this we must examine the paradigm of Loki. He began his campaign in Asgard as a benevolent deity, a light-hearted prankster who won the hearts of the Gods with his humor and wit. Who can forget the episode when he tied his testicles to a nanny-goat to make Skadi laugh? He was especially loved by Thor and Odin, becoming the latter's blood-brother and joining both of them often on their many excursions. From the first day Loki displayed his hedonistic, bisexual tendencies, which gradually grew worse and worse the longer he stayed in Asgard. In fact, Loki's temperament parallels the turning of the wheel, as the ages pass and the corruption of the worlds develops. At first, in the Golden Age, he is completely benevolent and his sexual pursuits are viewed as merely a part of his jovial nature. Then, as each age passes his inflamed passions become more cruel and sadistic. At first, he starts sabotaging the Gods only slightly, small infractions that the Gods demand he make recompense for. As his career continues he grows more and more corrupted, his innate desires fully taking over. Eventually he surrenders completely to them and begins outright committing crimes against the Gods, in secret to begin with, then blatantly. He becomes the ultimate enemy of divinity and creation, the leader of the forces of entropy at Ragnarok.
In this sense, Loki represents the internal struggle within us all. We all have our demons, we all have base desires to be cruel or even savage, but we are given by the Gods the strength to overcome these desires and live for something better. Before the Silver Age it is believed that such an internal struggle did not even exist within our folk, that it was Gullveig who planted these seeds within our hearts with her evil Seidr. We have to be strong enough to do what is right, to live with honor and integrity, and to work for the divine order. The weak will surrender, will give in to whatever their hearts desire and live only for their own pleasure and their own happiness, rarely for that of others.
Right now hedonism and selfishness are primarily viewed as games children play while the adults are busy running the world, but there is a real danger here. We are constantly inundated with messages from a corrupt media that we should embrace a lifestyle of instant gratification and irresponsibility. As more and more succumb to superficiality, to a plastic existence devoid of the things that really matter, we will see corruption become more and more widespread, and this will lead to our downfall. It is inevitable.
So what can you do about this? First, you must win. You must be victorious over the Seidr, which today is the allure of pop-culture and hedonism, and reject selfish tendencies that will lead you towards entropy. The battle always begins within your own heart. Accept higher love within yourself and devote your time to something greater than you. Family is the most important thing to devote yourself to, but it can also be your community, your nation, or your planet (in that order of importance). After this, you must get others involved and see to it that our work is continued for future generations. We can push Ragnarok back for eons if we work together, and isn't it worth it to do so? Aren't our children worth it?
When our people were created their elements were brought together by the powers of convergence, and the Gods representing those elements, namely Odin (Air/Spirit), Hoenir (Water), and Lodur (Fire) became our creators according to the lore. When Ragnarok come the same elements will be represented by the forces of entropy, namely Gullveig (Ice, Water), Loki (Fire), and the Spirits of death and disease. Gullveig is the daughter of Imd ('Embers'=Fire) and Hrimnir ('Rime'=Ice), and is called úrsvöl—'primeval cold,' for when she is burned her heart it so cold it cannot be touched by the flames. She is also called Aurboda— 'Gold-Liquor' and Rán, wife of Aegir-Gymir who pulls sailors into the sea, thus she represents the elements of Ice/Water.
Loki, whose name means 'Fire,' was born of a lightning strike when his father Farbauti (Air/Wind) struck his mother Laufey ('Leaf-Isle,' a tree=Earth), and he consumed Gullveig's heart after she was burnt to become pregnant (fire and ice=creation). Their children represent these elements as well, for Fenrir=Fire (which he breathes onto his foes at Ragnarok), Jormungand, the great sea-serpent=Water, and Leikin, queen of Niflhel=the diseased Spirit. They are the harbingers of the final destruction and of the downfall of the heart of man. They represent what happens when the internal struggle is lost, when we give up and embrace selfishness and entropy.