Loki Norse God: 13 Ways to Work With His Paradoxical Energy
Truthfully, I’ve just started working with Loki. But he’s prompting me to write this. To sort of help set the record straight and encourage others to work with his energy. Admittedly, when he first came to me…I was scared. With all of the bad stories I’ve heard, and the chaos he’s caused the Aesir, I was remiss to allow him into my life and practice. But the small amount of time I’ve spent with him has already changed my mind. So, without further adieu, here’s a different take on the god Loki and ways to work with his paradoxical (and FREEing) energy. Hail, Loki!
Who is Loki Norse God of Mischief?
Loki is a god in Norse and Germanic mythology whose very name stirs debate in the pagan community. Maybe you’ve seen his character in the Marvel movies. Maybe you’ve even seen people online saying how destructive or deceitful he is. Honestly, my experience with him has been the opposite. Is he mischievous? YES. Will he play pranks to get your attention? YES. But I feel there are deep reasons for this. Mainly because it takes something powerful to get most people’s true attention. Secondly, because he is a god of mischief and destruction…yet through the destruction he brings creation, enlightenment, and love. Like a fire that ravages a forest. Feared yet necessary. It brings a purging, clearing, then exuberant new life.
According to the Eddas written by Snorri Sturluson, Loki is a god that will cause a war known as Ragnarok between the Norse gods. Basically, he is the cause of the end of the world. Throughout Norse mythology, we see Loki being a friend, and in the same breath, a trickster and sometimes-foe of the Aesir gods. He frequently causes problems with the gods, stirs sh*t up, and then comes back to save the day. But why? Loki is the epitome of the Divine Paradox. He is…and he isn’t. He’s male, then he’s female. Then he’s an animal. He’s foe, then friend. Interestingly, he’s also credited as the reason the Aesir gods are gifted with powerful weapons and magical tools. Odin’s magical spear Gungnir and Thor’s hammer Mjolnir, for example.
Loki is much more than a trickster. He’s much more than the god of mischief. Writing him off as this ONE thing is a big mistake on our part. Keep in mind, Odin calls Loki his brother, calling him blood of his own blood. And Thor needs Loki as a traveling companion for reasons we can only try to comprehend. He may also be a creator god….one who was there during the creation of man. In another guise – Lodur. Doesn’t it make sense that a destructive god would also be a creator god? There’s that divine paradox.
Loki: Origin Theories
If we explore the origins of gods, we are taken back to a time before gods were gods. In the most ancient of times, they were noble ancestors, elementals, land guardians, spirits of the hearth, river nymphs, and dryads (to name a few). Over time, as people evolved from tribal societies into larger villages and nations, these local elemental spirits were elevated to a more godly status. How many land and hearth spirits have been forgotten over time, I wonder? Well, not Loki. One theory is that Loki was originally a hearth spirit. More specifically, a fire elemental that was worshiped at the hearth in Northern Europe. From my experience, this theory fits him.
How did Loki go from a fire elemental hearthside, to Norse god, to demonized villain in modern times? We look to the rise of Christianity. My belief is that his worship was once widespread, and while we don’t have written evidence of this, there are archaeological signs. And because the Church had to turn the people away from their pagan ways, they demonized Loki. He was and still is equated with the Christian super-villain “Satan”. We’ve lost a lot of Loki’s original lore, and I also believe the redeeming stories have been forgotten and therefore erased. By design.
Maybe you’re thinking but the Eddas and Sagas show his true qualities. Yes, but the Eddas and Sagas were written mostly by Snorri Sturluson. Who was raised Christian. And, not to throw too much judgment around, but this religion has a track record of erasing and bending stories to fit their agenda. Remember, the person who could read and write had all the power in those days. Sturluson could have completely changed the myths to fit his Christian outlook. And here we have people today taking his word as THE word. We have to look deeper than surface level.
Loki’s Magical Associations
- Colors: black, yellow, green, gold, red, orange, violet
- Days: Friday the 13th, the 13th of each month, Autumn Equinox, Samhain, Yule
- Animals: snake, falcon, spider, horse, fly, flea, salmon, vulture, wolf, fox
- Stones: obsidian, black tourmaline, black onyx, garnet, citrine, serpentine, carnelian
- God/Goddess Consorts / Allies: Hel, Angrboda, Sigyn, Thor, Odin, Sleipnir, Fenrir, Jormungandr, Krampus
- Other pantheon’s deities similar to Loki: Pan, Cernunnos, Dionysus, Bacchus, Anansi, Lugh, Hermes, Mercury, Elegua, Eshu, Prometheus, Veles, Coyote and Crow
- Herbs: mistletoe, mint, patchouli, tobacco, cinnamon, clove, holly, cedar, juniper, elder
- Magical Domains: chaos, destruction, creation and creativity, fire, shapeshifting, blacksmithing, cooking, discovery, trickery, protection, paradox, taboo, shadow work, catalyst, cunning, seduction, passion, primal instinct, healing, self empowerment
- Star: Sirius “Loki’s Torch”
- Symbols: infinity snake and ouroboros, number 8, chaos star, runes that spell out his name: Laguz, Othala, Kenaz, Isa as well as the rune Hagalaz
13 Ways to Work With Loki
You will know, undoubtedly, if Loki is calling you. He’s not subtle in sending signs. And, truthfully, he uses the element of his origin – fire. And it may be a bit frightening. It may jolt you awake. But you’ll know it’s him. If you’re not sure, ask him to confirm. He will.
1. Read, Research and Study
The best way to start getting to know Loki is to do your research. Read his mythos, lore, and any historical or archaeological bits related to him. As I said before, keep in mind Loki’s redeeming stories are almost non-existent. Unless you look at his mythos through the lens of symbolism and see passed surface-level narrative. Read all you can find about him. One book I recommend is Dagulf Loptson’s “Loki: Trickster and Transformer”. But don’t forget the Eddas and Sagas like the Lokasenna and Voluspa.
2. Set Up Altar Space
Set up sacred space for Loki, if you so choose. Currently, my space for him is in my kitchen – hearth-side. Because he is a fire deity and has origins as a hearth elemental, I feel it’s appropriate to honor him in the kitchen. However, I also plan to make space for him on my traditional Norse altar. If you decide to put him with other gods/spirits on your altar, I recommend it be with gods like Odin and Thor. His brother and travel companion. Rather than with a pantheon that may be completely adverse to Loki or vice versa.
Loki was born when a lightning bolt struck a birch tree. He is known as a “hot” deity and indeed manifests as fire. So, what better way to honor him and get to know him than with fire? This could take many forms: cooking on open fire, lighting candles as offering, fire poi (if you’re so brave), fire scrying, etc. Just remember to be on the safe side when working with this particularly capricious element.
4. Shadow Work
When working with Loki, you’ll notice he likes to dredge up those pesky shadows we tend to ignore. In fact, I see this as an inherent ability he uses time and time again with the gods themselves. His trickster spirit takes things away, only to return them in a new form OR to allow for something new entirely to take their place. When Loki steals things from the gods, he forces them to face their shadows. To re-examine the value of the things they hold dear. He tends to do the same to his devotees and friends.
Loki Guides Us To Do Inner Child Work
Once Loki came to me in a dream. I was in a large place filled with a maze or labyrinthine streams of water. The water was pitch black and deep. Loki kept throwing babies into the water. I kept diving after them and pulling them up from the depths. I was fearful of him and yet knew he was on my side somehow. But the dream scared me. Why would he do such a thing? Later I discovered this was his way of showing me he would be beside me while I dive to the deepest parts of me to retrieve the inner child I had lost. To retrieve the pieces of myself I lost in childhood.
5. Shapeshifting Rituals
Nearly all trickster gods and spirits have the ability to shapeshift. Of course Loki is no different. In one tale, Loki shapeshifts into the form of a white mare, gets pregnant and gives birth to Sleipnir (Odin’s beloved eight-legged steed). In another, Loki disguises himself as a woman. And in others, he becomes a falcon. If you work with Loki, it’s wise to explore the world of shapeshifting. This can be done in ritual through trance, and/or in dream time through astral projection and lucid dreaming.
6. Number 13
Wouldn’t you know that Loki’s number is 13? Makes perfect sense to me. Consider implementing the number thirteen into your rituals, offerings, magick, and daily life in honor of the Trickster God. Examples: draw thirteen runes (if you’re adept to the runes), light thirteen candles (keep an eye on those bad boys!), hail his name thirteen times, etc.
7. Offerings for Loki, Norse God of Transformation
What you choose to give to Loki and when you choose to give it is completely up to you. However, we recommend regular weekly offerings for any deity you develop a relationship with. Loki enjoys alcohol, candy, hot peppers, spicy foods, meat, and some folks even give him toys. According to Loptson, “many Lokeans experience a side of Loki that is whimsical and even childlike, though that certainly doesn’t mean he isn’t a god that can be serious or shouldn’t be taken seriously.” Hanging mistletoe at Yuletide is an offering for Loki, as well.
8. Exploring Paradox
What is paradox? Paradox is defined as “a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.” Loki embodies the Divine Paradox – he is a walking, godly contradiction in many facets. He often appears as a man, yet he is also gender fluid and can appear as a woman or any other gender he likes. He’s a god, then animal. Then back again. He’s good. And yet he’s bad. And yet neither. By exploring your personal paradox, you connect further with Loki’s true essence.
9. Playing Pranks (Harmless Ones)
I don’t know if you’re naturally mischievous. Some folks are. Most aren’t. I enjoy playing harmless pranks on my immediate family members. Things that might scare them for a moment or jolt them…give them a wake up call. For example, my teen is scared of dolls. So I hide an antique doll in my teen’s room from time to time. She opens a drawer and sees Raggedy Ann staring up at her. Playing harmless pranks when the mood strikes is a fun way to evoke Loki’s spirit…and gives your family memories for years to come. Remember though, there’s a right place, time, and person for this.
10. Examining Bias
I believe Loki called to me for a few reasons. One being to help me identify and resolve unconscious biases of my own. If you have personal biases that you haven’t addressed, Loki will be the catalyst to this change. Let it happen naturally. Or ask him for assistance if you feel the process needs to begin sooner.
11. Yule and Krampus
Krampus is widely known as the Christmas Devil. His cloven hooves are beginning to travel all over the world. Moreover, his popularity during the Christmas season may already have you wondering how to include him in your holiday festivities. Here’s a few ways: attending a Krampus parade, baking Krampus cookies, and watching Krampus movies. How does Krampus relate to Loki? Krampus is Hel’s son. Which makes him Loki’s grandson. In addition, some scholars believe Krampus is yet another incarnation of the norse god Loki himself.
12. Follow Your Passion
With Loki in your life comes a fiery passion. This passion might be for a skill, talent, relationship, nearly anything is possible. But Loki will come to wake up that inner fire that you’ve been neglecting. That you thought had almost completely died out. From the embers comes a roaring fire…he urges you to follow your passion. And explore different passions.
13. Animal Stewardship
As with most other gods, Loki is associated with certain sacred animals. Those animals include the fox, snake, spider, wolf, salmon, falcon, fly, flea, vulture, and horse. Implement these animals’ energies into your life and practice. If you have a nearby animal rescue and can volunteer your time or resources, do so in Loki’s name. Obviously you won’t find a fly rescue but you might find a fox, bird, wolf or horse rescue. Add these figurines or likenesses to Loki’s altar.
14. The Snake Trance
Loki comes to me often in dreams to guide me and teach me lessons. Once he told me the snake venom that drips onto his head is actually not a torment for him. In fact, the poison acts more of a toxin and intoxicates him just enough to put him into trance. Knowing this, learning how to go into a trance-state to contact and communicate with Loki is helpful in your relationship with him. You will learn many things in trance with this Norse god of transformation.
CaoimheSeptember 13, 2022 at 11:11 am
This is an absolutely fantastic piece of writing and info well done and thank you
AzureAugust 10, 2022 at 5:11 pm
Thank you for this. I’ve been trying to find some decent information online about Loki and wading through it all is a headache, but ultimately worth it. Loki came to me through a prank he pulled. I’d been trying to make a connection with Odin for the longest time and just when I felt like I hit a breakthrough, all the signs pointed to Loki. Truth be told, I was a little annoyed. A trickster god? Working with *me*? No thank you. But the more I read about him (through here and other books I have), the more I realized, this might just work out for both of us.
kitty fieldsAugust 13, 2022 at 10:09 am
Just a little known secret and a theory of mine, I believe Loki MAY be an aspect of Odin anyway. 🙂
AlaskaJuly 27, 2022 at 1:54 am
This has been very informative, I appreciate the help. Ever since I showed even a slight interest in Norse mythology I was BOMBARDED with signs and calls from who I believe is Loki. And while researching and semi acknowledging him out loud ( I talk to myself a lot), the signs just got more and more prevalent. This information actually made me realize he had been trying to get my attention for a long long while. One time there was a BIG and I mean BIG HUGE KNARLY spider in my doorway to my room and I was like… “oKAY aRE yOU kIDDInG mE rIGHT nOW?” and MF’er was huge but I don’t like killing bugs that don’t piss me off/ gross me out so I put him in a cup with a piece of paper and CHUCKED THAT BIH out the back door and then said, “okay I HEAR YOU, CAN YOU MAKE THE SPIDERS SMALL PLEASE?” all of the spiders since then have been within my comfort level…so that’s nice 🙂
long schpeel short…. mans would not and will not hold back :))
TessJuly 2, 2022 at 7:52 am
When I was 9 I was in the library hiding from bullies. A book fell off the shelf and opened to Loki, my first meeting with him.
Not too long ago someone gave me a “message” from him
I asked h why he didn’t just talk to me himself. I swear I heard a exasperated loud voice “cause you don’t listen so well!”
MelJune 14, 2022 at 8:11 pm
I think Loki has been practically bashing my door down to get my attention. Life has been chaotic, and that’s an understatement. I have literally millions of spiders in the laundry who seem friendly toward me. And my cooking skills have levelled up phenomenally this year.
AnonymousMay 5, 2022 at 9:44 pm
This was such a good read! i just gave my first offering to him and i feel obligated to go deeper into researching him and how to become more involved in this practice! i even volunteer at a ranch and i feel his presence there! i’m so excited to work with him!
NatalieMarch 14, 2022 at 4:27 pm
This article/post was so informative and well-written, it echoed in me deeply and made me understand and realize everything that was going on. It helped me connect the dots. I am quite sure you wrote this post with a little help from Loki himself, I can almost feel it. Thank you very very much for this important post.
BrigDecember 28, 2021 at 6:15 pm
You’re right when you say he isn’t subtle with signs, i knew he likes to send spiders but i don’t see much spiders, on the other hand i see a lot of mice with clearly an unusual behavior, i first thought it was a hint for Ganesha but no, could it be from Loki? 🤔 We own a bakery so having mice in the bakery is kind of a prank to me, i might ask him too but I just reconnected to my pagan nature, thanks for the blog it helped a lot 🥰