Live your life like Loki
¿Who is Loki, what is a trickster god, and how can we apply his archetype to our lives? Let´s delve into these three aspects and let´s see how the trickster mentality can be applied to our every day so that we can be a happier and better person.
Let´s start with who Loki is according to Norse mythology. Loki is in some sources the son of Fárbauti and Laufey, and the brother of Helblindi and Býleistr. By the jötunn Angrboða, Loki is the father of Hel, the wolf Fenrir, and the world serpent Jörmungandr. By his wife Sigyn, Loki is the father of Narfi and/or Nari. By the stallion Svaðilfari, Loki is the mother—giving birth in the form of a mare—to the eight-legged horse Sleipnir. Loki is a shape shifter and in separate incidents, he appears in the form of a salmon, a mare, a fly. Loki's positive relations with the godsend with his role in engineering the death of the god Baldr and Loki is eventually bound by Váli with the entrails of one of his sons.
That is Loki in a historical sense, but Loki represents an archetype that reaches beyond just Nordic mythology. The trickster god can be found in basically any culture, Anansi is the storytelling spider god from Africa, Hermes the messenger of the gods in Greek myth, Huehuecoyotl the clever coyote god in Mexican tradition. In every culture, there exists a being who likes chaos, mischief, and stories. Who is always getting into trouble and then out of it by being really clever, he does not fight with brawn but with wits. And his most important trait are his lessons, in all his apparent misguided chaotic mischievous ways, there is always an inherent and important lesson to learn from his antics.
And this is important to comprehend, the trickster deity is what should be considered the most important part of any mythology, in its tricks he shows the truth, with his antics he keeps a balance, and by bringing chaos into the mix he brings forth balance into a dogmatic world by keeping the rest of the deities in check, it does not matter how vastly powerful Thor or Odin were, they were no match for well-placed joke.
See our article on the ages of Thor and Loki.
Patten Wilson (1869-1934), ‘Punishment of Loki’, from “One for Wod and One for Lok: Or, Asgard, Midgard and Utgard” by Thomas Cartwright, 1908
¿How does the trickster persona fit into our lives? By helping us not take things too seriously and it reminds us that we can´t and should not try to control everything. Chaos is everywhere, it is the natural structure of the universe, but our nature is to be in constant strife to bring order to everything, which in turn makes us stressful and it keeps us from learning from the best teacher there is, change.
By being able to daily let things go, be silly, have fun, break away from out daily dogmatic fixed personas, even for a minute, we can learn so much about ourselves and other people, not to mention we may get a good laugh from it, and as we all know, laughter is the greatest medicine. In this world where we are expected to keep ourselves under control, our workspace, our relationships, so many things are expected and have been put in place to keep society going in a straight line, the trickster god shows us that this does not have to always be the way. Break away, deviate from the “everyday” do something unexpected, learn from it, learn from yourself in this situations, and embrace that chaos is part of life and that you can learn so much from letting go every once in a while.