Ancestors, family and friends are such big things to the Norse people and in Heathenry that I thought it only fitting that I learn about Odin’s family and friends as well. In doing so, I thought I’d share what I learn here as a sort of series. ❤
It is my belief that there is more to Loki than the traditional “god of trickery, mischief and chaos”, but as someone who hasn’t worked with Him a lot, I can’t really speak of those other parts. It is as the “God of Chaos” that He likes to present Himself to me.
I don’t view Chaos as a bad thing though. Chaos is needed in order evoke change and move things along. In fact, a bit of Chaos to me is a good thing. So while some may view Loki (as God of Chaos) as a bad/evil being, I don’t. I actually welcome Him with a glass of mead.
That’s not to say that each time Loki did something it was good. Having gotten Idun stolen along with Her apples didn’t exactly bode well for the Gods, other than maybe to reinforce how important Idun and Her apples are. Likewise, it wasn’t the best move that Loki gambled with Freyja in order to get Asgard’s wall built. Though that did result in Him fathering (or in this case, mothering, since Loki had turned Himself into a mare) Sleipnir–Odin’s eight legged horse.
Loki is also father to Jormungand, the serpent that encircles Midgard; the wolf that will kill Odin in Ragnarok, Fenrir; and the half-dead half-alive goddess, Hel. He also has two sons, Vali and Narvi by His wife, the loyal and dedicated Sigyn.
The fact that Loki is considered a god kind of surprises me. His parents are Farbauti and Laufey–both jotuns (giants), which makes Loki a jotun. Gods and Jotuns don’t exactly get along. In fact, they are enemies. Yet somehow Loki found Himself regularly in the company of Odin and Thor, and it’s said that Odin at some point made Loki His blood-brother (though I have so far been unable to locate a myth that shows this happening). I’ve also seen it said by Odin that Odin Himself will not drink unless a drink is also offered to Loki.
This is, of course, before Loki organized the Mistletoe-laced dart that killed Odin’s son Baldr. After that the Gods got together and decided that He should be tied up in the center of the earth with a poisonous snake hanging over Him. Should that venom touch Him, it would cause Him terrible pain. His loyal wife Sigyn, however, sentences Herself to exile by deciding to stay with Loki and hold a bowl over Her husband so the snake’s venom never touches Him. When she goes to empty the bowl, though, a bit of the poison reaches Loki and it is said that this is where earthquakes come from–when Loki writes in pain from the venom.