Concerning Loki

A recent email from a site visitor asked about Loki. The visitor wanted to know how to approach this entity. Should Loki be treated like any God? Should Loki be trusted? Given that the Marvel Universe character based on Loki is popular, these are good questions. This is how I responded.

I've encountered many different interpretations of Loki from various Asatru practitioners. Some see him much as the Christians see their devil. Others see him as an agent of change, even if those changes are unexpected or destructive. There are some who see him as a sort of secret agent working for Odin, mucking about with the direction of things when Odin doesn't want to get His hands dirty.

If you've read much of the postings on this site, you know I see our religion as a battle to maintain the dynamic balance between order (ice) and chaos (fire). The Gods know that life can only exist with those two forces forming a whole in the correct proportions.

On the other sides of that fight are the ettins, also called giants. These entities wish to push the cosmos toward their preferred extreme. Ice ettins, representing form with no energy, are typically more passive due to the lack of energy. The fire ettins are violent and more aggressive with plenty of energy. They are energy without form. Naturally, some of the ettins are more toward the middle, or they would not be able to interact with the other worlds at all.

Loki is very close to the middle, but he is still an ettin. This middling form allows him to interact more freely with the Gods than he would otherwise be able to do. At his core, though, he is a fire ettin. He desires to move things toward formless chaos. This manifests itself through all the tricks and disruption. Odin knows this and often tried to use it as well as He could.

In the Last Battle, Ragnarok, it is Loki at the head of the armies of the dead and ettins that march against the Gods. It is the children of Loki that cause the most damage to the Gods. Surt will set fire to the Worlds, but it is Loki in charge. It is likely that Loki is the only one of the ettins organized and energetic enough to wage such a war. The other fire ettins would be too disorganized to do this on their own. Without a leader, it would be more chaotic of an attack and it is likely the Gods could end it quickly.

It is up to each person how they wish to deal with Loki. Each of us is made of both order and chaos. We must maintain the balance internally before we can be effective in in the outside worlds. If you have too much order, you become stagnant, possibly listless, and accomplish nothing. Think of how many people just sit and watch television. When the balance tips toward chaos, a person expends resources and still makes no real positive motion. They tend to burn out, often strengthening the level of chaos around them. A study of Loki may be needed to see where imbalance occurs.

If you want to hold a blot for Loki, that is up to you. If you want a Loki alter, that is also your business. For me, I recognize Loki and show proper respect, as one would respect a fire. Other than that, I tend to avoid. There is enough chaos in my environment without welcoming more. You may be in a different situation. Your actions are ultimately your own.