I don’t think I’ve ever explained why I feel so drawn to Loki, aside from the fact that he’s a lot of fun, of course. The first time I really felt drawn to him was the first time I read the Lokasenna (a.k.a. Lokabrenna). Sure, he’s crashing a party and insulting everyone, but the reason he’s crashing the party is because he didn’t receive an invite – an insult of its own. I can’t really blame him for taking offense. But in the Lokasenna, Loki wields the truth as his weapon and gets accused of being a liar. I think this is mostly because Gods and humans alike don’t like having their dirty laundry aired in public – Loki has no qualms about airing it for them.
The draw though, was that he was telling the truth and being called a liar. That is something that I can relate to incredibly well, and I have a few memorable stories to illustrate that fact. When I was young – around 9 or 10, me and my sister were horsing around, and she kicked a ceiling tile loose above the top bunk of our bunk bed. I was honest with my mother, but my sister had lied and said I did it, and then I ended up getting in trouble for lying.
As a child, I used to sprain my ankle a lot, but I’ve never been one that cries when I’m in pain. I used to get called a liar a lot for that. Just to illustrate my level of pain tolerance – I have two metal rods in my right leg from a car accident from ~ten years ago. I was told that I screamed when I got pulled out of the vehicle, but I didn’t cry at all. I did go into shock (thus the not remembering the screaming).
The worst experience I had with being called a liar – I was 22 (about 6 years ago now), and I had gallstones. One night, I was in terrible pain, and I took two Vicodin (then prescribed for the metal rods in my leg) hoping they would help. They didn’t. I sat up all night, unable to sleep. In the morning, when my roommate woke up, I asked her to take me to the hospital. She refused, and it was fairly clear that she didn’t believe I was in as much pain as I said I was. I gave up trying to get her to take me, and I drove myself to the hospital. When I got there, the doctor who saw me rushed me into surgery right away – I had to have my gallbladder removed.
So, I have had quite a few experiences in life where I’ve been accused of lying even when I’ve told the truth. To say I never lie would, of course, be a lie, but I don’t go out of my way to lie. For the most part, I am honest. I’m not even a fan of white lies. Luckily, I’m not often asked for fashion advice, so I don’t have to worry about the “Do I look fat in this?” type of questions. Plus, people generally don’t ask those types of questions anyway.
So, I found myself drawn to Loki because I felt we both had experiences with telling the truth yet being called a liar, and we kind of instantly clicked. I mean, he likes to “steal” my socks (he always gives them back), and that’s not something that anyone but a friend would do. That doesn’t mean Loki lets me get away with lying to myself, though – I think he detests self-deceit more than the other Gods do.
What I find kind of ironic, however, is that I have a natural dislike of boundaries. I hate being told what I can and cannot do. Usually, if someone tells me I can’t do something, I find myself wanting to prove them wrong. That has gotten me into trouble over the years, but it has also gotten me out of some tight spots. The ironic part of this is that I am very good at designing boundaries. I can set rules and create systems that work astonishingly well because I am very, very good at finding the loopholes. Granted, I have trouble making myself abide by the systems that I create, but I have seen first-hand how effective they are with other people (I ran a guild on World of Warcraft for awhile, and I am currently the President of the Global Students Club at my school).
In this way, I feel that I emulate Loki. Because Loki doesn’t have a problem with rules – he just doesn’t obey them. In fact, I think the slogan “Rules were made to be broken” may have originally been a Lokean saying. There are some areas, though, where even Loki won’t break the rules. Except I think that it’s more that he doesn’t see a need to break the rules in those areas than a desire to abide by them. I have areas like that too – I will abide by certain rules until I see a need to break them. Or until the rules start to feel stifling.
I think it’s because of how similar our temperaments are, in some respects, that I find it much easier to relate to Loki than I do some of the other Gods. Loki is also much more actively involved in the human realm – I think he enjoys the human world.
Anyway, that’s my take on Loki, telling the truth, and the irony of limits. I hope I didn’t ramble too much and that all of this made sense! If it didn’t, let me know, and I will be more than willing to clarify.
2 thoughts on “Loki and Limits”
So how does being a friend of Loki relate to your relationship with other gods? I mean, assuming the Lokasenna “actually happened” so to speak, does that mean that Freyja for instance is forever on the outs with Loki and therefore you can’t worship them both?
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That’s actually a really good question, and you’re the first person to ask it.
Loki and Freya don’t like each other at all, but They do respect each other.
The relationship I have with Loki developed before the one I have with Freyja, and something occurred where I ended up asking Loki for advice when it came to magic. His response was to send me to Freyja.
There’s a grudging respect between Loki and Freyja, but They tolerate each other more than anything else. Neither one begrudge me my relationship with the other (and it wouldn’t make sense if They did, all things considered).
As for the Lokasenna and the events within it actually happening, I can’t say. It’s definitely within the realm of possibility, considering the personalities of the Gods I am familiar with, but I think that assuming that those events created a permanent rift between the Gods is too human.
I’ve discussed before how Gods and humans are very different beings and thus operate on different levels, and there is a lot of history between the Gods that is hinted at in the Lokasenna but never really discussed outright.
None of the Gods that I’ve worked with have ever asked me to give up my relationship with any of the other Gods I work with – even if there is animosity between them.
Granted, I might have a different experience if I worked with more of the Gods that Loki had a problem with – like Heimdall and Balder, for example.
I don’t work with Heimdall or Balder, however, because Their paths aren’t mean for me. Heimdall’s path is probably best described as the path of excruciating detail, and I’m naturally resistant to that – I see concepts, but I struggle to apply the details within a conceptual framework. Balder’s path is probably the most peaceful of the Norse pantheon, and I am not a peaceful person.
As another example, I don’t work with Frigg because Her path is very mothering and nurturing, and I’m not the kind of person – I never experienced that from my own mother, so trying to walk a path so foreign from my own experience makes no sense to me.
I’ve talked before about how the Norse Gods found me, rather than the other way around, so I tend to take the stories in the lore as sources to figure out the personalities of the Gods and Goddesses featured within the lore, rather than as the place that my practices are derived from.
Because of that, the relationships I have with the Norse pantheon are mostly derived from my practices and would be considered more gnosis-based than lore-based.
I’ve discussed this before as well, but I am highly sensitive to other realms, and I trance too easily (a friend once handed me a gemstone that he just wanted to show me, and I fell into a trance as soon as I touched it – it can be rather inconvenient), so I am able to use the stories in the lore as a focal point for trance-work, and I have gotten to know the Gods and Goddesses mostly through those techniques.
In my experience, the Gods and Goddesses don’t care who I interact with, in terms of other divine beings, as long as I pay the respects I owe to those Gods and Goddesses whose paths I walk.
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