April 1 for Loki
For the better part of twenty-five years now, I and many other devotees of Loki have celebrated April 1 as one of His feast-days. I always forget to write anything for Him on that day, so I wanted to be sure to do so well in advance this year. I don’t usually do much more than clean His shrine (in my house, Loki and Sigyn share a shrine) and make more copious offerings than usual, but still, I like to note the day.
Loki has many by-names (epithets or heiti). Many of them refer to His relationships like Verr Sigynjar (Sigyn’s husband) or Hoenis vinr (Hoenir’s friend). Some refer to His reputed cleverness like Bölvasmiðr (Mischief maker—this one reminds me of Bölverkr…Odin’s by name that means Bale-worker), Inn Slaegi Áss (The Sly God), or Laevisi Loki(Cunning Loki). Some have a strong connection to the sky…Loptr – Skytreader, Meinkráka (Harmful Crow), and one that I haven’t explored at all but that perplexes me every time I think of it: Gammleið (Vulture). Some names focus on His position as goad and even perceived adversary to the Gods like Goða dòlgr (Adversary of Gods). Then of course there is Inn bundni Áss (the bound God) and there are dozens more. I particularly like Farmr arma Sigynjar (Burden of Sigyn’s arms). Then there’s Dumezil who referred to Him (in his monograph titled ‘Loki’) as “the unquiet thought.” It’s a very fitting by-name for a God Who never ceased to challenge. There’s a very good article by Dagulfr L. elaborating on many of these names here. I highly recommend it. Of course those who honor Loki today have given Him new by-names too. The list is probably never-ending.
Heiti are important. They highlight unique aspects of a God, doorways into deeper devotion, some facet of the God’s power or kinship or nature. They are words of power. They tell us our Gods are multi-faceted, loving but also dangerous, as everything sacred is dangerous. Their mindful utterance draws us closer into Their sphere of Being and power. I meditate on them frequently.
I like the by-names of Loki that emphasize how dangerous He can be. It’s a register shift for me that demands my full attention, my full respect, and all the protocol due a Holy Power….which is a good reminder in a relationship that has been long and emotionally intimate, that Gods remain Gods, no matter how deeply we love Them and that is a good, joyous, and holy thing.
So for those of you who honor Loki, what are your favorites of His heiti?