Loki

As the father of Hela, Fenrir and lormungand, and the blood brother of Odin, Loki represents the true embodiment of the Four, PARADOX.

Loki is the child of the giant Farbauti (Cruel Striker) and the giantess Laufrey (Wooded Isle). He was conceived when his father struck Laufrey with a lightning bolt. The bolt would have set the ‘wooded isle’ alight, and so Loki is fire, born from fire. His character and nature are shaped by the genes of his Jotun parents and his method of conception: right from his birth he displays the fiery character that eventually brings about the destruction of the world. Fire is both a friend and foe; it is an aid to humankind and yet it has the inherent potential to destroy all.

Primarily Loki was a fire god. The name of the fire god Lodge being indicative of Loki – in the times of animism, but as the mythology of the Aesir developed be acquired new status and new roles. He became the blood brother of Odin and was counted within the Aesir despite his Jotun blood, although the Aesir are themselves of Jotun stock, Odin being the son of the giant Bor – and accumulated more tales and myths than even Odin or the mighty Thor.

Loki is described as being handsome, dashing and attracted to the goddesses of Asgard, the feeling being mutual. He is quick witted, hot of temper, and spiteful, although not necessarily malicious. Loki gives the impression of an exuberant youth; he rarely contemplates the results of his actions, but when cornered he is able to escape relatively unscathed. As the blood brother of Odin, he is safe from the respite of the other gods and gives the impression of a spoilt child.

While the gods and goddesses of Asgard are sombre and purposeful, knowing the fate that awaits them, Loki is the court Jester, leaving a smile on the face of every god. Often however, the humour is at the expense of others; in “Lokasenna” (Loki’s Mocking) from the Elder Edda, he insults every one of the Aesir. He called Odin a transvestite who dabbled in magick and awarded victory to cowards; accused Freya of sleeping with all of the gods, an accusation that is not far from the truth – and boasted of seducing Sif, the wife of Thor and Skadi the wife of Njord. It is interesting to note in reference to Skadi that when her father the frost giant Thiazzi, was killed by the Aesir (instigated by Loki) she threatened the gods into giving her a husband and making her laugh. Her heart was cold and full of rage and it was only Loki coveting with one of Thor’s goats that made her, and the rest of the gods, laugh till their sides ached. Skadi was however responsible for causing Loki the most pain when he was bound by the gods.

Loki’s remarks about the sexuality of Odin are perhaps a self-conscious reference to himself, for Loki has the most peculiar sexual exploits of all the gods. Not only does he sire Hela, Fenrir and lormungand, a wolf and a serpent no less, but he is also a transsexual and bisexual. When Asgard is being built by the giant Hrimthurs, Loki transformed into a pretty mare and lured the giant’s horse Svadilfari away so that the building could not be completed. From this equine coupling Loki gave birth to the eight-legged horse Sleipnir which he gave to Odin. At Ragnarok Odin rode Sleipnir into battle and so, as Fenrir killed the All-Father it may be presumed that he killed his horse half-brother also.

Furthermore, Loki has no aversion to transvestism, transforming into the form of the coalhearted giantess Thokk, who would not weep for Balder.*

The Child

The sexuality of Loki is an expression of his freedom – unhampered by moral paradigms, and his gender paradox: he is bound inextricably to the Prima Mater, both literally and symbolically. Loki bears the surname Laufeyson, a reference to his mother, not his father, showing wherein his power lies: the feminine. Likewise his rune Kaunaz has a female polarity. He is a part of the Primer Mater: there is a method to his madness, an order to his chaos; while his action often seem sporadic and unplanned they are in fact an expression of the Prima Mater. As his daughter Hela is the Dark, Left-hand soul of Nature’, so Loki is the Light, Right-hand side of her. He is the child that is not afraid to dream, the irresponsibility without which the world, the Aesir, are stagnant and reflective. He is laughter, the snigger in the corner, the witty aside, the remark that stings and induces discovery. He shows both the gods and the humanity that we, as children of Prima Mater, cannot afford to take ourselves seriously all the time.

The lnstigator

As with all of the Four, Loki embodies dramatic and destructive change, however the difference lies in his role as the instigator of this change.

The first major act of change is the creation of the means to destroy the Aesir; his fathering of Hela, Iormungand and Fenrir. The giantess Angrboda was an apt choice to mother his Jotun children. She was his ‘Outlander’ wife, while the faithful Sigyn was his wife in Asgard. Angrboda later became a giant spy in Asgard, posing as Freyja’s maid. She may also be the mother of Gerda, the wife of Frey. Sigyn has two sons by Loki, Vali and Navri.

The birth of the Three sets in motion events that ensure the inevitability of Ragnarok. It is the first stage in the defining of a new cycle of Wyrd.

The second stage occurs with the death of Balder, Loki’s Light aspect. The shining son of Odin and Frigg was predicted to die, and so his mother sent messengers throughout the world extracting oaths from every living thing that they would not harm Balder. But the mistletoe plant was not asked to vow because it seemed so small and frail and unable to be of any threat. With nothing being able to harm Balder, the gods used to throw things at the Shining God and watch them glance off him with no harm. However, Loki, disguised as a crone, was able to learn from Frigg that the mistletoe had not taken the vow, and brought a sprig to where the gods where playing. He gave it to the blind god Hodur (Balder’s brother) and offered to guide his hand; the mistletoe struck Balder and be fell dead. Hodur was killed by Odin’s new-born son Vali, The Avenger, and Balder went to Helheim where he sat on the right hand of Hela until after Ragnarok when he returned with Hodur.

The third stage encompasses the binding of all the Four. Note that the events of stages do not necessarily occur concurrently: Hela is given the domain of the Underworld, lormungand is thrown into the Sea of Midgard, Fenrir is chained to the Gulf of Black Grief, and Loki is chained beneath the earth.

The gods having been angered by Loki’s mocking (The Lokasenna} and with the death of Balder still fresh in their minds, set out to punish him. Odin, from his seat, was able to see where Loki hid in the form of a salmon, and sent a group of gods to capture him. Caught by Thor, he was dragged into a dark cave by the gods, who brought his two sons Vali and Navri also. They turned Vali into a wolf and he killed his brother. With Navri’s intestines they bound Loki to a rock, and turned the binds, once tight, to iron. Skadi placed a serpent above the bound Loki that dropped venom on his face, making him writhe with pain. Loyal Sigyn sat by him holding a bowl to catch the venom, but whenever she emptied with bowl a few drops would fall on him, making him shake the earth as an earthquake.

The fourth stage is the unleashing of the Dark Forces, particularly Fenrir and Loki, for the feminine powers (Hela and Iormungand) already have a degree of freedom. Fenrir, empowered by Wyrd, breaks the bonds of Gleipnir, and Loki likewise breaks the bonds that bind him, and Ragnarok ensues. Each of the four stages is a direct result of the actions of Loki and every action incurs change. Every action enforces the cycle of Wyrd, every stage being a separate Wyrdic cycle within a greater one.

The Proud

Loki is fiercely proud and self-assured None of the Aesir, Vanir or Jotun can compare to his self-possesion. If vanity was a crime he would be guilty. Essentially, Loki’s nature in this respect is Faustian/Luciferian/Promethean. He is the man who would, and will be, god. Coming of pure Jotun stock he works his way up to achieving the godhood of the Aesir the divinity offered by Asgard.

His is the fiery spirit of Homo Galactica. lf one were to rename that spark inherent in Western Civilisation, that desires to reach the stars, one could call it LOKIAN. As the possessor of this spark, he also gives it to others; he is the Light-bearer who ignites the divinity within, shaking the sullied mind into action.

Like Iormungand, Loki is a universal archetype found throughout cultures of the world; in fact he is several archetypes. He is the Bound Titan – Prometheus, Azazel; The Trickster – Coyote, Hermes; The Shapeshifter – Taliesin; The Light-bearer – Lucifer, Prometheus. He is the closest, of all the Dark Four, to human-kind because of his humanity. More than any of the others his characteristics are inherently and obviously human.

By Abaaner A° Incendium

Editorial note: This article appeared in “The Flaming Sword”, No 6 (May 1995).

* Editorial comment: Within this article the author use the labels of “transvestism”, “transsexual” and “bisexual” in reference to Loki. What the author does in this case, is to use modern labels of sexuality, (different forms of perversions), and applying them on mythology (which presumably is due to the authors obsession with this subject). It is obvious that Loki holds the ability to shapeshift and holds both a feminine and masculine side. His nature is to deceive. In the story of seducing Svadilfari, Loki became a mare, not simply disguising as such, but he had the ability to transform and to give birth to a child, Sleipnir. A transsexual could never carry a child, since it is only a man appearing as a woman and taking sexual pleasure in it (and this is a human limitation). Instead, and in this case, it is a God becoming a mare, with the ability to even become pregnant. It is not a reflection of human behaviour. The moral conduct and the laws of man does not apply to the gods, neither does the sexual terms of the 20th and 21th Century.