Loki with a fishing net (per Reginsmál) as depicted on an 18th-century Icelandic manuscript (SÁM 66)

Loki

Probably the most misunderstood of the gods, many have come to view Loki as a vile being but this is probably a misconception? Loki and his followers in Asatru (known as Lokians) are huge in number. In fact, it is difficult to go to any Northern Moot today and not find somebody who is an aspirant of this “fire-etin”. Snorri Sturlusson coined the term Logi meaning 'flame' with Loki. However folk sayings arose where Loki was blamed for summer heat where sparks from a bonfire, scalded food or started fires! 19th Century etymologies were suggested for Loki being derived from logi. Without using the - ki suffix for diminutive and familiar names such as 'kraki,' produced Lokki from addressing 'Fire' (as Log-ki). Richard Wagner adapted Nordic myth for his Ring cycle translating Loki into German as Loge ('fire') and gives him fiery powers?

I have had a few personal encounters with Loki during Spæ workings during the early 90s but my experiences then with this Northern god were one of downright mischief making rather than the Ragnarök end of the worlds struggle the sagas speak of. As everyone knows his actions will ultimate help destroy the gods, but there is more to him than that. I feel that Loki is a role player in the scheme of things and he is far from being chained up as many wrongly believe that he is? In fact, Loki is a renegade and trickster without whom the courts of Asgard would be very boring indeed. Through many wrong choices, Loki has become the mischief-maker, the instigator of wrongs doings in many tales. He is also disruptive, representing the necessary questioning of authority if things are to be kept running in an optimal way. He often brought the Ǽsir into great difficulties, but then delivered them with his cunning. When Loki appears in the Eddas, it is mostly in his role of Instigator of Conflicts: because of some unfortunate circumstance he is forced to act not according to his own volition but to that of others. Most often his loyalties to the Aesir are in conflict with a promise given to the giants. 

Anna Birgitta Rooth was already formulating wide-ranging ambitions in her dissertation. Such ambitions were spelled out also in her second major work, Loki in Scandinavian Mythology (1961). In this study of “the kaleidoscopic trickster character” Loki, Rooth threw herself into debates with celebrated scholars in folkloristic, comparative religion, philology and other fields. She ends her long treatise connecting Loki to locke, a Swedish dialect word for “spider” and to such trickster figures as Anansi the Spider in African and African American traditions. Although Rooth’s book on Loki has met with a great deal of criticism, not least because of the bold leaps of faith that it requires from the reader, there can be no doubt that her reasoning is clear and logical.

Anna Birgitta Rooth was already formulating wide-ranging ambitions in her dissertation. Such ambitions were spelled out also in her second major work, Loki in Scandinavian Mythology (1961). In this study of “the kaleidoscopic trickster character” Loki, Rooth threw herself into debates with celebrated scholars in folkloristic, comparative religion, philology and other fields. She ends her long treatise connecting Loki to locke, a Swedish dialect word for “spider” and to such trickster figures as Anansi the Spider in African and African American traditions. Although Rooth’s book on Loki has met with a great deal of criticism, not least because of the bold leaps of faith that it requires from the reader, there can be no doubt that her reasoning is clear and logical. In her book, "American Heathens,"Jennifer Snook identifies what she calls "the Loki debate" as the locus of many different oppositions in contemporary heathenry, most notably that between those who demand some level of historic authenticity in a reconstructed belief system, and those who insist on their "freedom of creativity," i.e., unverified personal gnosis.

Rooth, Anna Birgitta
1961: Loki in Scandinavian Mythology, C.W.K. Gleerups Förlag, Lund
See also:
Celander, Hilding
1911: Lokes mytiska ursprung, Edv. Berlings Boktryckeri, Uppsala
de Vries, Jan
1933: The Problem of Loki, Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, Helsinki
Dumézil, George
1959: Loki, Wissenschaftlige Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt
Eddan: De nordiska guda- och hjältesångerna, translated by Erik Brate, 1990, Niloé, Uddevalla
Holtsmark, Anne
1964: Studier i Snorres mytologi, Universitetsforlaget, Oslo
Rooth, Anna Birgitta
1961: Loki in Scandinavian Mythology, C.W.K. Gleerups Förlag, Lund
Sturluson, Snorri
1978: Snorres Edda translated by Björn Collinder, Forum, Uddevalla Ström, Folke
1956: Loki- ein mythologisches Problem, Almquist & Wiksell, Göteborg
1993: Nordisk Hedendom: Tro och sed i förkristen tid Akademiförlaget, Göteborg
Turville-Petre, E.O.G
1964: Myth and Religion of the North, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London
Anderson, Philip N.
1981: "Form and Content in the Lokasenna: A Re-evaluation", Edda: Nordisk Tidskrift för Litteraturforskning, Scandinavian Journal of Literary Research, 4, Oslo

Forseti Seated in Judgment (1881) by Carl Emil Doepler

Forseti

According to Snorri Sturluson in the Prose Edda Forseti is the son of Baldr and Nanna. His home is Glitnir, its name, meaning "shining," refers to its silver ceiling and golden pillars, which radiated light that could be seen from a great distance. His is the best of courts; all those who come before him leave reconciled. This suggests skill in mediation and contrasts with his fellow god Týr, who "is not called a reconciler of men." However, as de Vries points out, the only basis for associating Forseti with justice seems to have been his name; there is no corroborating evidence in Norse mythology. 'Puts to sleep all suits' or 'stills all strifes' may have been a late addition to the strophe Snorri cites, from which he derives the information. The first element in the name Forsetlund (Old Norse Forsetalundr), a farm in the parish of Onsøy ('Odin's island'), in eastern Norway, seems to be the genitive case of Forseti, offering evidence he was worshipped there dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Curabitur pharetra dapibus pharetra. Donec interdum eros eu turpis pharetra et hendrerit est ornare. Etiam eu nulla sapien. Nullam ultricies posuere nunc, eget mollis nulla malesuada quis.