Meet the Gods: Loki
With the renewed interest in Norse mythology, Loki has gained popularity. Today he is typically portrayed as mischievous and self-serving, yet charming and lovable. While he’s sometimes an antagonist, he’s rarely a bad guy. In Norse mythology, he is all that and more; he is know as the cunning trickster god, sometimes getting the Æsir (gods of the principal Norse pantheon including Odin, Frigg, Höðr, Thor, and Bald) in trouble, other times getting them out.
The son of the giant Farbauti and brother to Thor, Loki is most often in male form, but does not follow gender norms and changes both his sex and his shape. Although he fathers most of his children, in one story, he turns himself into a white mare and births the eight-legged shamanic horse who became Odin’s steed, Sleipnir. Stories tell of him also taking the shape of a fly, a falcon, and a salmon, and perhaps an elderly woman. Loki is also the father of the goddess of death, Hel; the serpent that surrounds the world, Jormungand; and the wolf, Fenrir.
In addition to the God of Mischief, Loki is considered a god of fire. Unlike other gods, there are no towns or temples named after him. No traces of worship are known either, no doubt due to his lack of concern of others.
According to the website Norse Mythology for Smart People, “In the tales. Loki is portrayed as a scheming coward who cares only for shallow pleasures and self-preservation. He’s by turns playful, malicious, and helpful, but he’s always irreverent and nihilistic. … Loki ultimately comes to the aid of the gods, but only to rectify a calamity for which he himself is responsible.”
The Otherworldly Oracle lists magical correspondences for Loki. They include his days as Friday the 13th, the 13th of every month, Mabon, Samhain, and Yule; obsidian, black tourmaline, black onyx, and garnet stones; and herbs mistletoe, mint, patchouli, tobacco, cinnamon, clove, holly, and cedar. Sirius is said to be Loki’s torch.
The new interest in Nordic traditions have individuals again working with Loki.
Honor him by working with fire such as lighting candles, cooking on an open fire, or fire scrying. Weave the number thirteen into magick, rituals, offerings, and routines of daily living. Light thirteen candles. Chant his name thirteen times. Place thirteen black crystals around depiction of him. Pull thirteen runes.
Just one of the many paradoxes that is Loki is his combinations of the profane within the sacred. For instance, he likes hard alcohol, but in the form of bad whiskey. It is also said he likes cinnamon-flavored liqueur, spicy rums, and mulled wine, though he is reportedly getting bored with mead, the old pagan standby. A heartier brew is also fine, especially autumn-themed or flavored beers, such as pumpkin ale, the blood-red AleSmith Evil Dead Red, or Rogue’s Hazelnut Brown Nectar.
In her article, “Offerings to Loki,” Del Tashlin states, “Overly sweet or strong incense would be good examples for this as well. The secrete here is to make the act both profane and sacred, or profanely sacred.” The article also noted that a red candle and dragons blood incense were pleasing to Loki. In addition, it was suggested that when making offerings, the more elaborate the ritual associated with it, the more powerful the offering will be.
Food to consider offering Loki include sweets bordering on sickeningly sweet; caramel apples; any red food; and candy such as Atomic Fireballs, Pez, and Pixie Sticks.
Devotees have also presented him with cheap plastic toys that multiple sources say he loves.
If you wish to work with Loki, another way to get his attention might be placing a miniature of one of the sacred animals associated with him— fox, salmon, snake, spider, wolf, falcon, fly, flea, vulture, horse — on your altar.
Loki’s grandson is Krampus, widely known as the Christmas Devil. Eating Krampus cookies while watching Krampus movies would please Loki.
The more frequent offerings are made, the stronger the bond will be with Loki. He is known to help those he likes.
There are groups that refer to their members as Lokean, for working with or worshipping Loki as their main deity. Those walking that path will do well to face their shadows and follow their passions.
Del Tashlin also states, “Lokeans are practically forbidden from taking themselves too seriously.”
As a shapeshifter and gender-fluid deity, Loki is popular among LGBTQ+ pagans worldwide. It is said there are more trans individuals who identify as Lokean than any other Pagan community.
Finally, for those wondering if the god Loki is similar to Marvel’s Loki, the Skald’s Keep: Norse Pagan Heathenry website states, “Not as similar as they seem at first glance. Stan Lee, the creator of the Thor comics, took many liberties with his characterization of the Norse gods and wasn’t trying to capture a culturally Heathen understanding of them by any means. Most of his inspiration came from Arthurian Legend rather than the Norse stories themselves…
“The deity Loki doesn’t have the motivations or insecurities seen in Marvel’s Loki; characters like Jack Sparrow, Betelgeuse, and Bugs Bunny personally remind me more of the god Loki than Marvel’s Loki does. Nevertheless, plenty of Lokeans enjoy both the god and the character, if for different reasons.”
About the Author:
All my life I have known magic was real. As a child, I played with the fae, established relationships with trees and “just knew things.” In my maiden years I discovered witchcraft and dabbled in the black-candles-and-cemeteries-at-midnight-on-a-fullmoon magick just enough to realize I did not understand its power. I went on to explore many practices including Zen, astrology, color therapy, native traditions, tarot, herbs, candle magic, gems, and, as I moved into my mother years, Buddhism, the Kabbalah and Reiki. The first man I dated after my divorce was a witch who reintroduced me to the Craft, this time by way of the Goddess. For 11 years I was in a coven, but with retirement, I have returned to an eclectic solitary practice. When accepting the mantle of crone, I pledged to serve and teach. This is what I do from my skoolie – a 30-year-old school bus converted into a tiny house on wheels that I am driving around the country, following 72-degree weather, emerging myself into nature, and sharing magic with those I meet. Find me at thewitchonwheels.com, Facebook and Instagram.