Loki is a bit of an enigma when it comes to the Northern pantheon. No god causes such turmoil among Heathens when it comes to our gods. Did Loki really exist in the pantheon? Was he worshiped? Was he a creation of Snorri? It’s almost as if the trickster intentionally caused this entire debate–which would suit him just fine. Read more of this premium content for just $1 and gain access to all my premium content.
I read a post over on Huginn’s Heathen Hof and that made me think about Rokkatru, that is, the worship of the Jotunn and other denizens which are not part of the Aesir or the Vanir. I’ve been thinking about it quite a bit, since once of my gods is the goddess Skadi, who has been included in the Rokkatru faith. For this reason, I’d like to explore the Rokkatru side of Heathenry and whether it fits in with Heathenry….READ MORE of my PREMIUM CONTENT for Just $1.
The Article and Why the Numbers Might Be Important
If anything, the article reaffirmed my belief in the big tent model when it comes to Heathenism. If the numbers are correct (and I suspect they might be), we need to treat our pagan brethren with a little more respect. The tl;dr version is that Wicca may have, by low estimates, around 2 million practitioners in the United States, making it the third largest religion in the US, after Judaism. (Atheists and agnostics make up a larger percentage than Judaism, but since they are not a religion, they aren’t factored in.) Now granted, when compared to more that 300 million people, that may not seem like many, but the reality is that 2 million votes can sway an election quite handily. Which brings us to Heathenism.
Heathenism by the Numbers
I’ve seen likes on various Heathen groups on the web, and have seen numbers in the 60K to 100K. That to me seems more likely with a guessimation of maybe 150K to 200K total Heathens in the world at the top end, when you count crossovers from Wiccans and goosestepping moron Odinist Nazis.
Why We Need to Ally Ourselves with the Wiccans, or My Big Tent Belief
So, for argument sake, let’s say we have about 100K to 200K Heathens worldwide. Personally, I think it is around 100,000, but let’s go with that bigger number, for argument sake. That means that we maybe have a tenth of the numbers Wiccans have, if Wiccans have a conservative 2 million in the United States alone. And our numbers are worldwide, not the United States, alone. So, we have 2 million people who could easily be on our side because they’re polytheistic. Granted, they worship all sorts of gods and goddesses, but the reality is that they could strengthen Heathenism if we let them.
I’ve proposed this big tent belief in an earlier post which has met with some derision from the recon segment. Wiccans are not our enemies here. In fact, you’re likely to find allies from Wiccans who worship Freyja and Freyr, or any of our other gods and goddesses. We can find more Heathens there who will help us politically when it comes to issues we have. Plus, if we’re inclusive, we have a lot more Heathens who can help shape Heathenry.
To Those Who Want to Exclude Wiccans
Why? you may ask.
Do you really want Heathenry to stay small? Do you really want it to be taken over by racists? Do you really think it’s a good idea to stay exclusive and not inclusive? Look at the Wiccans. They really don’t have a lot of dogma, and thus have big numbers. Maybe Heathenry could learn something from Wiccans. And Hels bells, I don’t even believe in magic.
I’m not a Lokean. So, when I talk about Loki, I’m probably talking bullshit. Loki, to me, is the chaos god, pure and simple. He and his children bring disorder from order. He’s also the god of fire. If you look at his parents, Laufey (Leaves) and Farbauti (Evil Striker), he’s fire from a Jotun who causes wildfires. So, we’re looking at an untamed, natural force. Also chaos.
Tyr is my main god. He brings order. He sacrificed his right hand to contain the ultimate destructive chaos: Fenrir. Even though Fenrir slays Odin in Ragnarok, Garm, slays Tyr. (For those who need UPG warning, here it is) Garm is really just another form of Fenrir. Technically Chaos will overcome Law, which is why I believe Garm=Fenrir. Tyr, incidentally, concurs.
But Back to Loki
I have heard Loki occasionally. He’s sort of a pest when he wants to be. Other times, I get the feeling he’s been a misunderstood trickster. I can see his appeal. I love the stories about Thor and Loki traveling to Jotunheim. Loki is very fun in these stories. In fact, until he tricks Hodur to kill Baldur, he’s just a trickster with some very attractive but dangerous aspects.
Of course, Tom Hiddleston of the Marvel Thor movies, probably adds to the allure as a bad boy and creates some Lokeans. That being said, I don’t see Loki as the Marvel Loki. Maybe that’s because I recognize him when he shows up to pester me no matter what form he takes? He is not a god I particularly want to antagonize, but he isn’t one I turn to for help as a rule. If I have problems with Loki getting wild, I can turn to Tyr and Thor for help. Beyond that, I really don’t have much interaction with him, except when Tyr sent him to me. (Long story, that).
Is Loki the Enemy?
Many of those in Asatru tend to think Loki is evil and an enemy. In fact, many heathens argue that Loki isn’t a god at all since he came from giant blood. But that really doesn’t make much sense. If it did, then we’d have to discount Thor, Skadi, and Tyr as gods because of their frost giant blood. I don’t think of Loki as evil and I actually do consider him a god, but he’s not my god, either. I see Loki as a necessity for the universe to work, but he can be dangerous without controls. I look at Loki as the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. If you don’t recall it from high school or college physics class, it states that energy states go toward the lowest point of energy. Basically things progress toward entropy. As a teacher once said in physics class: “Things fall apart and break, homes get messy, and students fall asleep.”
Those who dedicate themselves to Loki (who aren’t the Marvel fan girls/boys who are just worshiping an actor) need to have an understanding of what exactly they’re pledging themselves to. Loki isn’t evil, but he isn’t good either. He simply is. Misunderstood? Perhaps. Troublesome? Often. I look at Loki as a god who probably takes the name Murphy occasionally. At the same time, he can bring about tremendous good as well. It’s unexpected, but that’s his nature.
Lokeans — Or Loki’s Fan Girls/Boys
I’m friends with people who are Lokeans. Even though most Lokeans seem to be nice folk, Lokeans are sort of the peeps whom many in Asatru wish would just go away. To be honest with you, I think many of them are a lot more interesting and fun than many who follow Odin. I certainly like them better than the Odinists who pervert Heathenry into Neo-Nazism. Most of Loki’s fans are neat, creative people. Some of them claim to be Loki’s wives. As puzzling as it might be, who am I to say what that trickster is up to? Not my circus; not my monkeys. Do I believe in these things? Eh, not so much. But this is my belief and I really haven’t explored the subject. So, if you’re a Loki wife and you’re pissed, don’t be. I’m willing to at least consider it happens, but I don’t know to whom or why.
Rokkatru and Fenrir Fans
Now, whether you think that the whole Rokkatru sect is crazy for embracing Fenrir and Loki, think about why they might. I suspect it’s along the lines of what seems unfair in the writings we have. I, too, have problems with the binding of Fenrir because the wolf didn’t do anything. But maybe it’s more of a symbol how chaos must be kept in check or we lose the universe. After all, without physics, we’d be dealing with–well, something that looks remarkably like Ragnarok. So, the wolf had to be bound, but at a cost. Hence we talk about Tyr losing his right hand. What does that symbolize? Obviously a loss of power to control chaos to keep this universe from shaking apart.
My Feelings about Rokkatru
I honestly don’t care if you follow Rokkatru. We may be opposites in some ways because of your beliefs, but that doesn’t make you my enemy in this lifetime. Your words, actions, and deeds make me decide whether you’re my friend or foe. You aren’t someone I have a quarrel with unless you do something that violates my ethics. That being said, I do have some advice: be aware whose side you’ll be on whenever Ragnarok comes. In that case, you and I may be on opposite sides. I don’t have a problem with this because no matter how many lives we all have, we’re pretty much bound by the Wyrd. Just don’t cross me in this lifetime and I’m sure we’ll be okay.