Faces of Loki 7: Lover of Outcasts

One thing almost everyone knows about Loki is that he had children who were feared by the Aesir. We know about Fenrir and Jormungandr and their place in Ragnarok. And we know of Hela and her place caring for the dead who will also join in the battle along with Loki and the others. But there are still more children that are often forgotten about in the general public. And yes, the majority of them were also hated and feared. We know they didn’t fear Sleipnir. Then again, he was taken by Odin practically as soon as Loki gave birth to him and raised as Odin’s steed. But what would they have thought of him if that weren’t the case? Knowing he was fathered by the Jotun builder’s amazingly strong stallion, and Loki being the mother, one could imagine Sleipnir being feared had he grown up not being raised by Odin. And then there are the trolls (or witches) that Loki also gave birth to after eating the heart of Gullvieg. They too were feared and/or hated. But what about Loki? What can we learn about him in all this?

One thing that many people point out almost instantly, is the fact that Loki gave birth to some of these children. In fact, at the flyting, the one thing the Aesir kept saying to him was how unmanly he was for this and a small few other reasons. Some use this as a way to say Loki and any man who acts “unmanly” in that way is dishonorable. However, they forget the fact that Odin himself lived as a woman and “slept” as one too. And when Loki pointed that out, the conversation veered a bit from there on Odin’s part. It wasn’t really shameful. The others knew Odin did that. And yet, that was the only thing the others kept saying. So we can learn two things just from this. One thing is the fact that Loki is gender-fluid. The other thing we learn, is that even when the others kept saying it over and over and knowing Odin did it too, Loki still stood his ground saying “yea, so what” and calling out the hypocrisies of the rulers doing something that others were talked down on for or worse. This is part of why many in the LGBTQ+ community tend to be drawn to Loki. They know he understands, not only by being gender-fluid (and likely at least bisexual), but also in standing against others who speak against it. But it’s not just LGBTQ+ that Loki can relate to and understand. Remember that almost all of his children were considered monsters. This is not only the ones Loki gave birth to, but those he fathered as well, like the main three we all know from Angrboda. The Jotun as a whole were generally viewed that way.

One could argue that just about any Jotun knows what its like to be hated simply for who you are and how you were born. Many of the myths mention Thor being away on one of his trips to go bashing trolls and giants. In fact, the Prose Edda tells us that when the Aesir made the agreement with the builder of the wall, they made sure it was done on one of the occasions that Thor was away doing that because the Jotun feared being near Asgard if he was present for that very reason. And look at what happened to Fenrir, Jormungandr, and Hela. Kidnapped while still children because of who they were and what the Aesir feared they would do once they were grown. Fenrir tied and bound, Hela left in the cold beneath Niflheim to rule the dead, and Jormungandr thrown out into the sea. All because of how they were born and who they were born too. Things that they could not help. Simply who and what they are. And Loki does love his children, and he helps to lead Ragnarok almost like the final revenge for it all. Loki himself was an outcast. Yes, they did allow him in Asgard. But they also blamed everything that went wrong on him and made him go fix it. They even blamed him for the builder almost winning the wager. And yet, Loki volunteered to help at times. When Thor dressed as a bride to retrieve his stolen hammer, it was Heimdall who suggested it. But it was Loki who volunteered to go with him in case he needed help. So in some ways, rather than being a double-agent as some people suggest, Loki was really a bit of a meditator. He kept a balance. And in this way, we see that he is an ally to the outcast and those discriminated against. For that reason, many who are disabled, or minorities, or neuro-detergent will find comfort in knowing there is a deity like Loki who will stand up for them and comfort them and love them as they are, because he has been there himself. That is why so many in the Lokean community push for equality and human rights and try to be allies to so many causes. Because that is a part of who Loki is (Not to mention its just the right thing to do). So if we can take anything from all of this, let it be that Loki will accept us for who we are, and that we should also accept ourselves and each other in the same way. Embracing diversity. Hail Loki, lover of the outcasts.

That’s all I have for now. As usual, feel free to comment and discuss and I will respond as soon as I’m able. See you soon.

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