One of the most controversial characters in
Asatru, this is the god with the worst reputation. Some people
would even deny him god-status, on account of him being of giant stock. But who then are the parents of
Odin? The thing that Loki is best known for, is his trickery. He is the one who gets the gods and
goddesses into trouble, but also the one who gets them out of it again.
First and foremost, Loki is the Lord of Change.
According to Alice Karlsdottir, one of the more
wellknown worshippers of Loki, the change he brings is a 'particularly drastic, uncomfortable change
which is nevertheless usually ultimately beneficial; and deflating the stuffy and pretentious'. In my own
experience, however, I have found that the change he brings can be gentle. Once I knew a change was
coming and that it was necessary, but I was scared of it. So I called out to Loki and asked him to help me
through this change. And he did, in a very loving and gentle way. The change came at a very unexpected
time and place, however; he always wants to have a bit of fun.
Humour is another one of the aspects of Loki.
He was the only one able to make Skadi laugh when she
demanded this as part of her wergild. Most of the time, Loki's humor is seen as sarcasm or laughing over
other people's misfortune. This is indeed one of his more unpleasant sides. However, even his teasing and
sarcasm can be used in a positive manner: the pulling out of everything that is stuck within. Loki's humour
is also the humour of the absurd, the wyrd situations that people get into. Loki's humour is sacrificing a
peanutbutter sandwich to him. But it is also laughing through your tears, or laughing instead of crying.
And it is the childlike joy, the playfullness that many of us adults have lost (in this aspect, we gave him
the name 'Lord of Laughing Love').
The connection of Loki to fire, however disputed,
is a good one. Fire is everchanging, and it changes
everything it touches. Also, fire is the most important element for shamans, and I for one think that Loki
is the greatest shaman there is. In Lakota-tradition he would be a heyoka, a contrary. They were the
mirrors of the people.
Loki can also be seen as the Mirror. As such,
he bears a striking resemblance to the folktale figure 'Tijl
Uilenspiegel' (who's last name translates as 'Owlsmirror'), which was known for his playing tricks on
people, through which he confronted them with their own stupidity. Loki also will confront people with
the sides of themselves they're not willing to see. Loki's been called the 'shadowside' of Odin more than
once; I think that he just shows everyone there own shadowside. The only problem is, that people (and
gods!) are not willing to see there own darker side, and therefore throw it all on the one who shows it to
them (or in some cases, smash the mirror). The 'Lokasenna' is a good example of Loki in his mirroring
Loki is known for stealing the Brisingamen.
The Brisingamen is Freya's necklace, a necklace made of
amber. Most of the time this necklace is portraied as consisting of concentric circles, all joined at one
point. As such, the Brisingamen can be seen as the greater and lesser cycles as they appear throughout the
universe. But Loki himself, being eternal change, is equal to these cycles. Therefore, Loki and the
Brisingamen are one. In working with Loki, he once told us that he stole the Brisingamen, because Freya
did not understand the nature of it.
Perhaps the worst thing that Loki can be held
responsible for is getting Balder killed. But how could he
not? First of all, Loki is Change. By making sure Balder could not get killed, Balder became static,
unchangeable. So, he had to do something about it; it would have been against his nature not to! And
secondly, and this is the part mostly overlooked by people: Balder will now be able to return after the
Ragnarok. Would he have been able to do so if he hadn't been killed?