He has many names and many faces, some more flattering than others. Firehair, Skytreader, Liesmith, Silver Tongue. Father of Monsters, Little Shit, Darling, Loki. He has many shapes, not all of which can be defined in the language we use now. Even “he” is inaccurate, in its own way, for he is not beholden to any one form or preconceived notion of gender or being or looks. But he is willing to make compromises with our mortal tongues, that we may speak of him and his deeds without fumbling over the correct verbiage—for there is no correct word for what Loki is. Even his name is inaccurate now, with the flood of connotations and images and ideas that come with his name applied to things that aren’t him, in pop culture and half-assed spiritual practices, in mean-hearted pranks and chaos without meaning. There is no way to pin him down, to define him, except as awe-inspiring and beautiful, terrible and addictive, gentle and hard. A definition in opposites working together, swirling together into one colorful, blinding mass of Loki.
Some say he is a god of fire and outcasts. Others that he is a god of trickery and pranks. Some claim he is a god of evil and chaos. Others that he is a god of promiscuity and lies. He told me once that he was a god of Nothing, because Nothing is in Everything and Everything is in Nothing, because change is dependent on Nothing, yet Nothing can change without Something. He is the riddle in his words, the not-quite-sense that yet makes perfect sense. He is not a god of things. He is a god of action and thought and emotion, of living and dying and everything in between. He is a god of trickery and chaos, but also a god of order and balance, of shoving and pulling, of supporting and releasing. He is a god of belief and doubt, of creation and destruction, of light and shadows. He is a tightrope-walking god, a trapeze artist of the highest quality, a god who set out to tame the lion of wit and the human mind.
He is not Jotun nor Aesir, not Vanir nor Dwarf nor Elf. He walks in the in-between spaces and laughs at the desire or need to categorize and box-in. He is liminal and ever-changing, never exactly as he was before or will be after, and yet there are things that remain the same. His laugh. His kiss. His whip-quick mind. He is twilight and dawn, the crossroads, the ocean surf and the mountain wind, the crackle of fire and the twinkle of starlight. He is outcast and beloved. He is neither war-monger nor peace-speaker, but plays both roles as only a master performer can.
He is the art in a lie, and the lie in the art. He is a bolster for those unable to help themselves, yet a mountain for the weak to climb. He is neither kind nor harsh, but an intoxicating mixture that leaves a mortal stunned, and begging for more. He is a drug of the most sublime kind, a hallucinogen that shows us how we can be greater than we are, how we can change the world, how we can tear down the old to make way for the new. He is a disease that will rot away the weakness inside you, burning you into the shape you were always meant to hold. He is the firebrand upon mortal skin, a mark that can never be forgotten.
He is song and dance on the long, cold night. He is reckless sex on the long, hot day. He is swimming pools and popsicles and childhood memories. He is hospital beds and death rattles and fear of the unknown. He is both sweetness and bitterness, and yet neither altogether. He is both here and away, but always moving. He has no patience for standing still, but recognizes that even backwards momentum can have its place. He is accidents and mislaid plans. He is surprises—both happy and ill.
He is a father, a lover, an adversary. He is a teacher, a jokester, a whirlwind. He is a kind hand and a sharp word. He is the drive to be better, to do better, to create better. He is the fire under the soles of your shoes, the itch in your thighs, the tingle in your palms, that forces you to move, to do, to make. He is every stroke of the paintbrush, every note in the song, every stitch in the cloth, and he is every time it falters. He is the hurricane, the earthquake, the destruction of everything you have created, everything you hold dear. And he is all this at once, if he is one of them.
He is the undefinable, defined. The unholdable, held. The unlovable, loved.
He is Loki. He is Loki. He is Loki.