World Myth Round-Up: Fool Me Once (Loki)

Introduction

In Norse Myth, Loki was a trickster God. This archetype has been seen across different world religions and mythologies, in such characters as Coyote in Native American myth and Hermes (Mercury) in Greek Mythology. His father is a giant named Farbauti (meaning “Cruel Striker” in Old Norse), and Loki’s mother is Laufey (unknown meaning). Loki has several children by a giantess named Angrboda, including Hel, Goddess of the Underworld; Jormungand, the serpent prophesized to kill Thor during Ragnarok; and Fenrir, a wolf who bites off Odin’s hands during Ragnarok. Loki has little concern for the safety of the other Norse Gods.

Loki And Natural Laws

As with many other trickster archetypes, Loki disobeys and/or disregards the laws of nature. In one story, he was the mother of Odin’s horse Sleipnir, which had prophetic powers. He accomplished this by shape-shifting into a Mare and mating with a stallion. Loki helps both the Gods and their enemies, the Giants, depending on which motives suit him best at a given moment. One of the most famous tales tells of Loki’s role in the death of another god, Baldur.

World Myth Round-Up Loki

One of the most famous tales tells of Loki’s role in the death of another god, Baldur. After a prophecy stated that Baldur would die, his mother Frigg obtained a promise from every living thing to never harm her son. However, the mistletoe was ignored because it was thought to be too small to harm Baldur. Loki carved a spear from Misletoe and misled the blind god Hod into throwing it at Baldur, thus impaling the latter.

However, the mistletoe was ignored because it was thought to be too small to harm Baldur. Loki carved a spear from Misletoe and misled the blind god Hod into throwing it at Baldur, thus impaling the latter. A god named Hermod asked Hel to release Baldur, and she agreed to if every living thing would weep for him. Every living thing did so, save for a giantess named Tokk that was thought to be Loki in disguise. Thus, Baldur remained in the underworld.

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