Note: I apologize for any formatting issues.
Let me begin by saying I am always amused by the level of confusion I receive when I tell someone that one of the deities I worship is Loki. The questions I get are so varied and in between, that I have decided to address some of them in a Q&A format. The “asker” category are those who usually ask me the question that follows. There are other “Loki FAQ” out there, but this one is mine. This is in whatever order it appears in.
- Loki – a Norse deity
- Germanic Pagan – one who believes in the Norse pantheon and worships at least one of the deities present within the pantheon
- Monotheist – somebody who believes in one God
- Wiccan – somebody who practices Wicca
- Hard polytheist – somebody who believes that all deities are separate entities (antonym: soft polytheist)
- Pagans – soft polytheists, hard polytheists, duotheists, reconstructionists, revivalists, eclectics, Wiccans, and more
- New Ager – one whose beliefs and practices align with the New Age movement
Question: … you worship a comic book villain?
Answer: No. A thousand times, no. The comic book villain is a poor, warped imitation of the deity, which has been around FAR LONGER than Marvel.
Question: How could you worship this Loki-thing instead of God/G-d/Allah?
Answer: Loki is a God. A very confusing God, but a God nonetheless. And just as much as it’s your right to worship your God, it’s my right to worship mine.
Asker: Germanic Pagans
Question: Why do you call Loki a God and worship him?! He’s a jotunn, not a God!
Answer: Loki, for me, is a God. He is the bloodbrother of Odin, and that in and of itself is good enough. If you were to consider the fact that the jotunn do interweave themselves into the Norse pantheon, that deities are born of jotunn and jotunn marry deities, it clearly points out they have some source of divine energy. That the Gods would call on Loki time and again for solving problems (even if he’s the one who created them most of the time) proves there is some significance to His power and rank.
Asker: Germanic Pagans
Question: Whether or not you consider Loki a God, how could you worship him, he killed Baldr and brought about Ragnarok!
Answer: If we’re following Snorri’s accounts, yes, Loki did kill Baldr and did bring about Ragnarok. However, consider this: if Baldr had not died, Hel would not set Him free at the end of Ragnarok when the world starts over to lead man as the new head of the pantheon. Consider that Loki and Odin were bloodbrothers. Consider that Odin probably knew of what was to come after Ragnarok. Consider that Hel is Loki’s daughter. Consider that it is not until Loki waltzes in on Odin’s party to bash everyone in attendance (Lokasenna) that He is truly reprimanded – not for His actions, but for His words. And when He is bound, it is not said which Gods played the hand in binding Him.
Question: Isn’t Loki evil?
Answer: Loki is not evil, He is chaotic. If you can come to grips with the difference between the two, you may be on the path to understanding Loki.
Question: If Loki’s such an ass, why would you worship Him?
Answer: He’s an honest ass. “What, Loki the Liar, honest!?” Also, His attitude is beyond tolerable if you can learn to understand Him. Understand does not mean know. But if you are able to understand Loki and the way He works, He is only an ass to play tricks for fun, to make you frustrated so that you smile, should you be wakeful enough to realize it’s His doing. For every issue Loki places before you – and you can always spot them, when things seem to spiral out of control or go beyond terrible suddenly – there is always something good to come out of it that would not have appeared if it weren’t for that terrible thing.
Question: Why would you worship a selfish God?
Answer: Selfish? Loki? Hah, hardly. Whenever He has done something to help the other Gods, He is always the one who ultimately suffers for it. No praise is bestowed upon him when He wins something for the Gods, nor when He fixes an issue – even if He’s not the one who caused it! He continually puts himself in a position where He is in pain and made fun of and laughed at, but for whose benefit? Not His own. Would you, if you are a man, tie a rope around your testicles and a goat’s beard and get into a tug of war with said goat to make a female laugh? Not for your own benefit, but the benefit of the Gods? I’d say that’s mighty selfless… and painful.
Question: So are the Eddas the holy words of Loki that he influenced someone to write?
Question: Why worship Loki? Just worship the God, as Loki is merely one of his aspects.
Answer: For you, Loki is one of the aspects of the Wiccan God. For me, though, Loki is His own entity, an entity that would not easily mix with others.
Asker: Everyone who isn’t a Germanic Pagan or hard polytheist
Question: So do you worship Mercury/Hermes/Set/Anubis/Apep/Ellegua/Coyote/Anansi/Xbalanque and Hunahpu/Li-Nezha the same way?
Answer: Good GODS no! First of all, equating Loki with any of these deities runs a risky mistake on so many levels, especially since they each play different roles. Second of all, if you feel all these deities above are the same or similar – especially throwing APEP into the mix – you should reexamine whatever sources you’ve been reading with a careful eye. A very. Careful. Eye.
Question: What is wrong with Loki? How could you worship a genderbending freak?
Answer: Hey now. Let’s get something straight here. Our understanding of the world is very weak. The concept of man and woman that we have come to accept modern day was placed upon us by monotheists in the past, and has persisted for a long time. But many pantheons have deities that are born woman who act manly, who are born man and act womanly, who were born both female and male, who were born neither female or male, or who are able to freely change their gender. Now whether or not Loki is a freak is another story altogether, but His genderbending did not make Him a freak. I do not ignore, nor do I shun, Loki’s dressing in drag to aid Thor (who was also dressed in drag) in retrieving Mjollnir. I do not ignore, nor do I shun, Loki’s turning into a mare to conceive and birth Sleipnir. I do not ignore, nor do I shun, Loki’s time as a milkmaid where he bore numerous children. It was part of who He is, and it is part of what makes Him the God I love.
Question: What do you offer to Loki?
Answer: Like numerous deities, Loki appears to appreciate prose, poetry, song, and music offered to him. In my experience, He is especially fond of riddles offered to him, or pranks done in His name where there is no intended negative outcome. As for food, I’m going to guess not snake meat. I’m also going to wager that worshiping Loki and owning a snake are a bad mix, as I do not own a snake and have no intention to do so.
Question: How do you piss off Loki?
Answer: Same way you piss off any deity: doing stupid things in their name.
Question: What is Loki’s symbol?
Answer: To my knowledge, He lacks one. I have seen people use the anarchy symbol in honor of Him, and I have seen people use the symbol of chaos in honor of Him. Out of the two, I prefer using the symbol of chaos.
Question: What does Loki look like?
Answer: Whatever He feels like. It is usually agreed that He is pleasing and agreeable in looks, though.
Question: Why do you sometimes refer to Loki as Lopt?
Answer: Same deities, different names/titles.
Asker: Wiccans, New Agers
Question: What element does Loki align with?
Answer: To wrap one element around a deity is foolish, especially since the elements often considered – the Western elements – do not necessarily apply to all deities, especially those from the East. Loki is associated with fire, partially thanks to Jacob Grimm’s theory of Loki as a deity of fire and partially thanks to the meaning of His parents’ names. Loki is also associated with air, as one of His titles, Lopt, comes from a word that means air.
Question: How do you feel about Lothurr, with regards to Loki?
Answer: I am inclined to believe they are one and the same, especially if you take into account a few things. Two speculated etymologies for Lothurr mean “shape” and “to blaze,” and Loki was known as a shapeshifter and considered a deity of fire. There is also the suspected triad present in the Eddas, as pointed out by Ursula Dronke. For me, that means I believe Loki helped play a hand in creating mankind, giving them both blood and their looks. It should be noted that in the Prose Edda, Lothurr is not mentioned, but as it is Snorri’s version is not infallible.
Asker: Everyone (okay, I mean it comes from all groups, not everyone’s dying to know)
Question: How do I become a Lokean?
Answer: Worshiping Loki is easy enough. Being a Lokean is another thing. A Lokean is one who welcomes Loki into their life, with all the chaos that comes with Him. I have not known a Lokean to be of perfectly sane mind, nor have I known a Lokean to be without a story to tell. If you wish to worship and honor Loki, realize you are welcoming Him into your life, even if a little, by doing so. Ultimately, He will decide if you are ready for Him. If you’re not ready and you invite Him, He may try to force you to be ready if He believes you two are meant for each other, which could mean a whirlwind of events happening in your life all at once seemingly out of control and beyond your grasp.