Indeed, this is a complex image of a person and not a symbol. Given his tendency to build all sorts of machinations, at enmity with the gods, and scoff at them, there is reason to consider him the embodiment of evil, dark spot in the bright Asgard. Especially since it was Loki's true murderer of Baldur the beautiful and virtuous, putting in place a blind dart Kheda branch of mistletoe - the only weapon in the world, capable of killing Baldur. Moreover, the same gods, Loki prevented Balder back from the realm of the dead.
And yet to compare with the forces of evil Loki, in the form of a Norse (Icelandic) incarnation of a fallen angel, Lucifer, it would be obvious oversimplification. First of all, the ancient Germans were quite far from the Christian moral categories and aspirations sharply distinguish between good and evil. Absolute moral criteria were alien to them as any abstraction at all. They even lord of the gods one is perfect.
he is credited with the invention of the network, with which he caught the dwarf Andvari floating in the shape of a pike. Dwarf forced to give his gold, was among the treasures of the ring, to which the dwarf laid a curse. Since then, the gold brought misfortune to all its owners (the theme was played up in the legend of the Nibelungen hoard)
Thus, there is no reason to believe an evil spirit Loki. Rather, it embodied a flurry of activity, cunning, resourcefulness, insight (he knows a lot of things that no one knows aces), ingenuity, immorality, and at the same time the conscience. Nevertheless, it sometimes helps out aces out of trouble and helps return the hammer of Thor, returns Idunn makes blacksmiths dwarfs made from pure gold, new hair for Sif. But the main thing is not Loki is not only arrogance but also the courage to denounce the gods.
Loki is not opposed to the gods, but rather complements them more fully disclose their quality - the advantages and disadvantages.
Thanks Bragi, we have songs about the deeds of the gods. Thanks Loki know much about gods from the fact that they were not told what sometimes forget themselves, or tried not to remember. Without Loki, the gods would have been more impersonal, and their world - a gray, monotonous and boring.
Re: Opinions On Loki
By: Personified Moderator / Knowledgeable May 23, 2012
Post # 6
This might be a little long so I apologize in advance.
I completely agree with your view on Loki, Cviss. I think he is horribly misunderstood and often just lumped into the "bad" category when people do not really know all there is to know about him. Many people brush aside the "good" acts that he did, and forget to give him credit as you said). Several times they come to him, asking for his help, and several times he gives them help. He fixes problems for them. He travels with them as a companion. All sorts of things! He helped get Thor his hammer back. He distracted the wall-builder, Hrim-thurs, and thus saved the sun, moon and Freya. On top of that, at one point in time, he brings Freyr a magick ship, Odin a spear, and Thor a hammer. But for some reason, these things tend to get brushed aside.
I'll admit that he takes some dishonorable actions, but like you said again, he isn't the only one. It's just that his seem to be the more noted. (Personally, I blame a lot of the negative views on his actions on the translators, specifically Snorri's interpretation of him). Yes, he did kill Baldr. But I've heard a very good arguement on it. If you think of it, Loki is almost a personification of chaos and mischief. He does serve a purpose. Baldr had become invincible, essentially, and thus had disrupted the natural order of things. So Loki set things in motion by killing him. A lot of people viewed that as a bad thing. But if you really think about it, it says Baldr comes back after Ragnarok and helps take over and lead. So was it really that awful? Loki was fulfilling his purpose, and his part, in my opinion. Doing what needed to be done.
From a personal standpoint, I think the other Gods share a little in the blame of some of Loki's negative workings. Constantly, he is being accused of things (I refer to things he actually didnt do but was accused of regardless), being threatened and forced to fix things, treated differently, etc. I think people forget that Loki and Odin were blood-brothers (from when they swore the blood oath together)- yet he is not treated as highly as I think he should have been. " 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 hes the one who created them most of the time) proves there is some significance to his power and rank ."
That may have a part to play due to the negative associations people attach to the Jotun, but thats a battle for another day. Keep in mind it was the other Gods who took his own children from him, and locked them away, just because they were intimidated by them. I could understand a little bitterness. Even they way they bind him is brutal.
Many of Lokis deeds are strange: they tend to involve a problem that was created by Loki, or some petty annoyance to the Gods, but in making reparation, he tends to bring benefits and good things to the other Gods. Yes, some of his tricks and behaviors can be seen as annoying: but Loki isn't an easy one to understand. His tricks, for the most part, are just him being who he is and showing off his cleverness. This is why I tend to see Loki as neither good nor bad, but a mix of two, and the necessary chaos that the world needs. This is my favorite quote about him: Loki has been a god of fast, drastic, uncomfortable change. Its not the change you want, its the change you need. . So like I said. I think he is a nessecity, and he plays a very important and specific role- and that does not make him "evil".
Re: Opinions On Loki
By: Personified Moderator / Knowledgeable May 23, 2012
Post # 7
Something I found that, to me, explains Loki and his morality, purpose, etc:
"The relationship between Odin and Loki is a deep one. Loki is Odin's partner in crime. He is Odin's hatchet-man. He's the one who does the things that are best done in the dark, in secrecy, things Odin cannot afford to be seen doing himself. Also like Odin (but even more so) Loki's honor is generally considered a questionable thing. In general it would be safe to say that Loki is much like all the darkest, most extreme elements of Odin's nature. And so walking Loki's path is much like walking Odin's, only more intense in some ways, a little more limited in others.
Loki is most holy, and is a necessary part of the pantheon. This is a great mystery, and needs much study to understand it. Loki is a trickster, and often betrays his friends. But actually reading his myths, every time he does things, things work out in such a way that it is ultimately to the benefit of gods and men both. This is Loki's nature. He also gets his friends out of as much trouble as he gets them into. He is the chaos and destruction necessary to preserve creation any length of time. A created thing must inevitably be destroyed, ended by the very same law that gave it form.
So it can be seen that Loki does have his honor, even though it is certainly not a traditional kind. Nearly every action of his is taken to the ultimate benefit of others. (Though I am sure this is not always a matter of conscious intention, it is nevertheless a part of his constitution.) And he always pays for his transgressions. No matter that he gets his lips sewn shut, or that his life is regularly threatened, or that Thor beats him up. No matter that he went into the whole Baldur affair knowing its outcome (Odin had foreseen it with his necromancy *read the Volsupa tale*). He always sticks around, stays the course. He sees there are consequences for his actions, and he pays them. He might transgress society's bounds, but he pays for it. And knowing that payment is coming and yet acting anyways, this makes his payment voluntary. This is a form of honor."
Re: Opinions On Loki
By: WhiteRav3n / Knowledgeable May 23, 2012
Post # 8
I was just about to post that link from Uppsala =)
I believe Loki is a god of neutral nature that should be approached with caution due to his chaotic tendencies. I don't think he's for everyone, but definitely shouldn't be shunned in the Norse pantheon. He works for himself, no one else but like any deity may favor those who respect him and show him honor. He gets things done the way he wants to, not necessarily the way you would want, so I feel he should only be called on in dire need when all other avenues have been exhausted. He's fine to work with as long as you also work with his brother, Odin. I feel that the two together create a balance, and working with both allows that balance to be retained in yourself and your magick.
I believe Loki has deep seated pathological issues which would untimately lead to his bipolar and perhaps often seemingly ADHD personality. Although, perhaps not the latter in many cases. The aggression some interpret in his actions are a defence and chances are he probably doesn't even know he is doing it half the time.
He probably remembers stuff from his childhood before he met Odin that would ultimately curb his behaviour, and we can't exactly exclude the way he was treated and regarded by the rest of Odin's family.
I agree that many of the things he has said and done do not seem to be the behaviour of a 'good' person, but really, good and bad are relative and there are many - often hidden - factors that dictate these situations. There very well may have been emotive or other motivations behind the things he has done. Yes, he has a particuarly negative personality but that doesn't make him a bad person.
There are psychological and behavioural traits that make it clear he has withdrawn into his own world and has the tendancy to move to the beat of his own drum. Loki has drive for perhaps reasons that aren't immediately obvious, like acceptance, which would explain his constant need for making jokes and keeping people laughing. However, he does have an underlying sense of aggression which seems to be built from a sense of alienation and many other things besides. Either way, his nature to be set back from the majority means he can see the truth, what is really happening, even if he doesn't see much point in mentioning anything - as though he is waiting for everyone else to figure it out for themselves.
Loki is the black sheep. Often misunderstood.