Loki's "Roads"

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Loki's "Roads"

Post by Darkamber on Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:56 am

An interesting article about the different aspects of Loki, by Dagulf Loptson:

http://polytheist.com/orgrandr-lokean/2016/03/03/lokis-roads/

It isn’t uncommon in polytheistic traditions for deities to possess many different aspects or epithets to describe different parts of their nature. Each individual deity can almost be thought of as possessing an entire pantheon within themselves, and in many traditions different aspects of that god or goddess is called upon for different things. In Santería, these different aspects of certain Orishas are called “caminos” or “roads”, and while all roads are understood as still being the Orisha in question, they can seem very different from one another.

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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by Lokakisa on Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:55 am

That's pretty cool.
I can't figure out which one I identify with the most, since I've really tried to understand all aspects of Him.
Honestly He encapsulates all these roads to me except for "vengeful god of destruction." It really depends on the day or the moment and what I'm focusing on at that time. I am quite fond of the Loptr name though.
Of course you all know I equate Him quite a bit with cats. Also the Hanged Man of the tarot, as Someone who turns things upside-down for a new perspective.

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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by journeyintoinsanity on Thu Mar 10, 2016 9:43 pm

I'm not sure which one I identify with, either. I get Him as very cunning, able to sweet-talk His way into or out of something with ease. If I need to be careful with my words, He's the one I ask for help. Especially if I have to be somewhat diplomatic and dance around the truth so it doesn't hurt someone. But He also likes to pull little pranks on me. Honestly, sometimes I'm not sure if it's Him or the pixies doing it. XD
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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by Moon Rouge on Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:14 am

I cannot see Loki in the Vulture’s Path; Loki in the aspect of the fire of cremation. I had strong objections to this while ago when, Dagulf Loptson brought this theory up in Place for Loki essay.

This, and actually separation of the aspects as they are. In my vision of Loki, they flow together, nearly all always present, only at different time one is more prevalent, for a reason of the moment.
Anyhow, I think it all is very much depend on the individual on the receiving end.

It is always good to read about Loki in positive light, so yes, it is good article!
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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by Lokakisa on Fri Mar 11, 2016 10:30 am

Yeah. The cremation fire is the theory I least agree with. That's a big leap from talking about a vulture's path, and honestly I've always though that was more in line with the Loptr aspect, or flying through the air in a winged-cloak. Both hawks and vultures tend to kind of soar lazily around unlike the speedy flitting of other birds. Also there's those mysterious "sky-shoes" (I can't remember which poem mentions them) ... plenty of references to playing among the clouds or soaring above or something. The cremation fire is a big stretch to me. Even the sacrificial fire is a stretch also, if not for later traditions of tossing things in the fire to Loki. I do think though that Dagulf takes a lot of things and runs with it, using Hinduism to try to string it together (as the closest Indo-European tradition).
And I know what you mean about separating them, I too think they all just flow together.
But it makes sense when trying to understand a deity; all deities seem to have different roles and aspects, it's great to have them all explained.
And you do have people who'll say that they experience one "face" of Loki more than others. It seems here though that most of us don't really get Him in such a singular way. Maybe it has to do with what people expect, or what people need at the time. With us we've gone deeper in devotion and it seems like He's revealed Himself as more multi-faceted.
But say I wanted to talk to Thor or Odin, I probably wouldn't get that deeply involved to understand all Their sides, so I'd probably only get one "face."

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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by Moon Rouge on Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:01 am

With Odin, I don't get the face, I get monkey wrench thrown into the gear!

To be fair, once, recently I asked Odin for help, and He relieved what was ailing me instantly! (without showing any face, using abrakadabra magic wand I guess)

The sky shoes were mentioned in the version of the myth of sewing Loki's mouth. In one version He ran off on His sky shoes and Thor went to catch Him. In other version He had no shoes (mentioned)and did not run.

I think many Old Norse people did not cremate, they buried people in mounds, and gods didn't really die.

Hawks and falcons glide but they dive like a bullet for the prey at the right time. Right timing is significant in any type of tricks. Vulture: not so much Loki in my book.

I lately found my head is one big jumble of info I forgot where it belongs or is coming from! Chaos of my very own, so take I remember 50%?
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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by Lokakisa on Fri Mar 11, 2016 11:32 am

Yeah I don't see Loki as the carrion-eater, but I have just noticed the majestic glide of both the hawks and vultures. If you don't look closely, you can't tell them apart!
Ah yes, duh I should've remembered it was that story, but yeah I think it only has one mention and comes from Snorri. So who knows if it's just an embellishment.
Hm I think cremation was the norm until Christians came along and made them start burying the bodies, I could be wrong though. Still the bones don't burn I don't think, so you have burials with skeletons and ships and gold and all that.
Important people seem to have the mound burials, I mean I know there was a big thing about ancestors and spending time on mounds and the Draugr and the like.
The Balder story is confusing because it sounds so Christian-like, but there are many who feel that He was meant to go be with Hela ... I think also Freyr is associated with a yearly sacrifice but He comes back.
Honestly there's just so little to piece together that it gets confusing. All we have are theories, and whatever the gods tell us individually.
Has anyone asked Loki about His sky-shoes?
I asked about the sword Laevateinn, and I feel like He does have this, but at the same time I feel like I WANT it to be so, that He's just not telling me no either way. ;p

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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by Darkamber on Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:55 pm

I thought Loki forged Laevateinn for Surtr? In one of the old stories Sinmara, Surtr's wife keeps in in a chest with many locks.

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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by njm on Fri Mar 11, 2016 6:20 pm

I've been so busy this month with my new releases etc. I've not had chance to read this in full, but I bookmarked the link and look forward to reading it properly in the next couple of weeks once these books are published. It sounds like it's going to be an interesting piece.

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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by journeyintoinsanity on Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:07 pm

Didn't the old Norse put the bodies of their dead in boats, send them out onto the water, set on fire? Or is that a Hollywood thing?
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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by njm on Sun Mar 13, 2016 6:55 pm

That's more of a Hollywood thing I believe, from my own reading and a TV documentary on the Vikings I saw last year.

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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by Corannhena on Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:08 pm

Didn't the lore mention the gods doing that for Baldur though?
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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by Darkamber on Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:38 am

Corannhena wrote:Didn't the lore mention the gods doing that for Baldur though?

Yes, they did that for Baldur.

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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by Lokakisa on Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:51 am

I looked this up in the book "The Viking World." There is a specific chapter on Viking Age mortuary behavior. Granted I haven't read the whole book and there could be more scattered throughout.
Basically we have to consider that Scandinavia was not one unified place, there was a lot of individuality and diversity in social customs. And then you've got the various burial types from the places they immigrated/traveled to, which might be mixed with local tradition.
Depending on your social status, you may or may not have gotten a grave at all. With little to no record-keeping, and if a wood marker was used instead of stone, it means a lot of people are "missing" from the archaeological record.
Cremation was pretty common. A mound may have been built around the ashes and bones and grave goods.
Burials did happen before Christianity, some high-status folk were even put in underground chambers.
Of course the most famous graves are those of the boat burials, with bodies and sacrificial animals and rich grave goods.

I am not sure how well evidence would survive for a burning boat pyre in water, but this chapter doesn't mention it at all. Perhaps it is from the tale of Balder that we get that image. Also Snorri describes Odin's law of burning the dead on a pyre and scattering the ashes in water or burying in a mound.

I appreciate Dagulf trying to build up Loki's image, but it seems like he is adding a lot more to Him than really applies.

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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by Darkamber on Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:44 pm

I've always connected Loki to the hearth fire and the forge fire.
I'm sceptical to the connections to the sacral fire and the funeral fire.

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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by Lokakisa on Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:42 pm

*nod nod* I'm open to the idea of the hearth-fire. There are folktales of "Lokke" and other spellings that may or may not be the same as the divinity.
At any rate I'm sure Loki enjoys a nice celebration or family time around the fire, and that He appreciate any offerings given to the fire.
Giving Him those really "sacred" connotations doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of Him. I doubt Loki was invoked at funerals, but there's little surviving evidence of funerary rituals, and even that would vary from village to village. I mean, wouldn't He be associated with the Uppsala temple at that rate?

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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by journeyintoinsanity on Mon Mar 14, 2016 8:33 pm

I guess it all boils down to the fact that we have no clue, really, how it used to be done. Hints and examples, sure. But unless someone uncovers an ancient text about "What To Do With Your Deceased Viking," I guess we'll never know. I mean, what if they did a Weekend At Bernie's and took their dead relatives out for one last drunken huzzah?
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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by Lokakisa on Mon Mar 14, 2016 11:01 pm

LOLOL
Well apparently there were some travelers/writers who described what they saw, and then whatever archaeologists can piece together from the graves ... but yeah, not much. Not when it didn't have the standardization of say, Egypt.

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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by erinlale on Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:22 pm

On the subject of ancient funerary customs: I recommend the book The Road to Hel.

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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by Moon Rouge on Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:42 pm

erinlale wrote:On the subject of ancient funerary customs: I recommend the book The Road to Hel.
by Hilda Roederick Ellis?
Ha! I have it, pdf found somewhere some time ago. Shame on me, I did not read it yet.
It moved up on my (dreadfully long as reading comes) to do list.! Thanks for saying!
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Re: Loki's "Roads"

Post by erinlale on Tue Mar 29, 2016 12:33 pm

You're welcome! Yes, that's the one. An excellent and thorough paper.

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