Just kidding! Hope I got your attention, though.
I can’t believe I’ve spilled so little ink (pixels?) on Loki with this little journal. If you’ve been following my writing for long you’ll know what a fool I am for the cheeky bastard. But how did I come to be a Loki lover? I mean, isn’t Loki, like, a BAD DUDE?
Well first of all we need to realise that his role in Norse mythology changes over time. For much of the myths Loki is a troublesome but sympathetic Puck, the partial outsider who initiates chaos but also fixes it in marvellously inventive ways.
Loki saves the gods from all kinds of messes (admittedly sometimes messes he created) and usually in doing so brings them all kinds of advantages. There’d be no Mjollnir, Skidbladnir, Sleipnir or Gungnir if not for Loki’s mischief and ingenuity.
Likewise, without Loki’s excruciating sense of humour the gods would have been thoroughly stomped on by Skadi (surely any myth involving goats and testicles has to be celebrated as a spiritual triumph!)
Not only that but for many adventures Loki and Thor are travel-mates and complement one another very well. The hammer god and the trickster are a perfect combination of character traits when you think about it: either on their own would have a much tougher time negotiating the dangers of Utgard.
And of course Loki and Odin are blood-brothers. Some people can’t understand this but I think they are forgetting that Odin is a lot more complex than just some boring “Our Father who art in Asgard” figure. People, Odin is not Jehovah! He’s a ragged, raging, womanising poet with a mouth filled with mead and veins filled with fire.
Of course Odin’s own ancestry is giantish anyway (like so many of the Aesir actually… this business about giants and gods being implacable foes is a myopic understanding of the mythology).
In fact if you think about it…Thor is the son of Odin and Jord – so he is himself of giant stock! Go on, someone tell me I’m wrong, I dare you!
Not familiar with these stories? Oh come on folks, I’m not going to retell these bloody myths here and now. Suffice to say, there’s plenty of hard mythic evidence to justify our celebration of Loki and his irrepressible spark. Go do some reading and drop a few blinders if you feel like it, too.
Ok, sure, so things go sour with Loki and the Aesir. Then again Ragnarok leads to rebirth and new life, and in a way even this terrible disaster makes ultimately for a brighter world.
I’m not necessarily defending Loki’s actions, but given that whole business with the gods chaining him down and dripping venom on him – well its understandable that he wasn’t a happy boy after that misadventure. Can’t have been much fun for poor Sigyn either, and she didn’t even do anything wrong!
So what about my personal relationship with Loki? You know, it was a gradual, bashful introduction. I got all curious about him, I guess because I myself have a very troublesome, cheeky streak. I like to “question authority” as Mr Leary would have it.
I might live in a glass house (don’t we all) but like Loki I still can’t resist chucking the odd stone or fifty.
That’s part of why we describe Chaos Heathenism as being internally contradictory. We rather figure that every other philosophy or approach to magic and/or Heathenism has its blind spots anyway so we might as well be up front about it. By embracing the attitude of a god of deception we actually end up being more honest. I hope.
I haven’t done it yet this year but usually around March I make an offering to Loki. Invariably he throws all sorts of trouble at me and I have to learn to laugh at my misfortune. On some occasions this has produced a string of events which – just like in the myths – have left me in a much better position for his machinations.
The thing is though – you can’t use Loki. I mean, if I did these offerings with the secret intention of getting something out of it, he’d shaft me for sure. And I wouldn’t blame him either. The motivation has to be one of reverence, respect and laughter. Loki kicks the asses of spiritual misers all day, every day.
I guess I also relate to Loki because I’ve often felt like an outsider, different, weird, strange – and in Germanic mythology he seems to occupy a similar role. At times Loki gives me courage to be myself, to stick it to the stiffs, and I really appreciate that gift.
It’s hard to be me sometimes, just because I don’t seem to play well with others in lots of contexts (though I think often that says more about them than about me). Loki has similar problem.
It isn’t malevolence – it’s just that when you can’t switch off your BS detector you can start to get a bit uppity. As I get older and braver I find it harder to silently choke on my troublesome instincts.
The danger is that this posture turns into an ego trip itself. “I am the great and mighty outsider, and all you sheep are just a bunch of worthless psychic wimps”. How many times have we all heard that little head trip? Sometimes these loonies even manage to accrue followers. Imagine – an army of perfectly uniform ‘individuals’. Classic.
Well I have no desire to be the next Heathen Osho (who seemed to have the spiritual goods even if he also developed a weakness for cult compounds, drugs and dodgy sexual manipulation).
But I still need to be careful because, as you might have noticed, I SOMETIMES FLY OFF THE HANDLE AND SAY STUPID, STUPID THINGS.
Ahh, that’s better. I hope you are getting a flavour for what Loki magic can be like. If you are a little horrified by your own antics then you are on the right track. Just don’t take it too far (except for when you really feel like it).
Loki can teach you a lot about your limitations, and about the limitations of others, if you spend a little time listening to his erratic advice. He can really help those of us who are deeply introverted to bust out and be ourselves.
The hilarious thing is that once you start acting out, you realise most people are too busy navel-gazing to notice you anyway. As Loko psychonauts Beastianity put it: “you’ll screw bars all over your windows and give thanks you don’t live in a prison”. Loki is great at shattering the mental halls of mirrors that we snare ourselves within.
Look, I am anything but an expert in the Loki way. I have so much to learn. I get so damn serious at times, so damn sincere that it hurts. I get really stuck in my little porthole into reality and I become an easy butt for jokes – but thank Loki I have friends willing to stick it to me.
It’s possible that some folks reading this article really might not know what the heck I’m on about. To these I invoke Loki – get out there and have some fun my troublesome friend!
The only way you’ll ever know is by giving Laufey’s son a go. So just call on him with honest passion and curiosity and a little love. He’ll take it from there.