2471Re: [Asatru-U] Hello
- Sep 29, 2007Hi Ella ( and everybody else!)
I'm actually working on a paper on Loki & how he's perceived in Asatru, though I doubt it will be done any time soon. It's a very long and involved topic, so there's no way I can say everything here. But I'll do my best to summarize.
Basically, there are 3 schools of thought on Loki. He's either a troublemaker, a god of chaos and the (rather abrupt, but often positive) change that comes out of chaos, or an enemy of our gods. All of these aspects are apparent in the lore, but a lot of it comes down to: do you accept Loki as the god of the early Eddas, where he is a traveling companion and friend of the gods, or do you view him as the later Loki, who kills Odin's son and is at the head of the battle against the gods? If you view him as the latter, then invoking him during a ritual to the gods (or maybe even invoking him at all) really doesn't make much sense. Look at it this way: would you invite someone to dinner with your family if they had betrayed your family, killed a member of your family, and wished the destruction of them all? It's just really not a good idea!
However, many view Loki as the Loki in the early Eddas and ignore this later aspect of Loki. Some actually believe that these are two distinctly different characters who Snorri Sturlson either mistook to be the same character in the early tales, or chose to make the same to add drama to his tales. I tend to think that the latter Loki is more likely Utgard-Loki who is spoken of in the Eddas. Asatruars who only view him as that character, see him either as a trouble-maker or a god of chaos. I tend to dispute the god of chaos because he actually seems malicious in a number of the tales he is in. I believe gods of chaos are usually more likely to cause trouble for less malicious reasons, but I haven't studied chaos gods in depth, so I could be wrong. If you view him as a god of chaos, well then as with many Pagan religions today, some people decide to embrace chaos and worship him, and some chose to stay far away from chaos and keep him out of their devotions.
It is my understanding that the character of Loki in some form is found outside of the prose edda in places like archeological evidence (carvings or paintings or such), but that there is no evidence of him ever being worshipped by our ancestors.
I'm very interested to hear your views on Loki from an anthropological standpoint. Please share!
Su "Ratatask" Þóra
Gythja of Eplagarðr Kindred (www.eplagarthrkindred.org)
MD/VA/WV Steward, The Troth (www.thetroth.org)
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