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?

(large framed image by G. Palmer. The small flame haired Loki is by W. McMillan. My Loki and Sigyn shrine, but an old photo from 2017 — it was too dark by the time I finished writing this to take one tonight. the light wasn’t right.
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About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on March 30, 2022, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. For me he is ‘The Lord of Changes’

    As for ‘Gammleið (Vulture)’ he can give of a certain hungry patience when it suits him

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  2. Sagna Hrœri – Mover of Stories

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  3. Could Vulture refer to him being a companion to Odin, God of Battle? Especially since the other carrion birds like corvids are already so clearly tied to Odin? Would that make since where it appears?

    Also I vaguely recall something in Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology with mentions to vulture. (volumes 3 & 4 ?) My books are in storage so I can’t go look.

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  4. There’s also ǫðlings

    I got the following from the Skaldic Database ^_^

    Réð þría vetr
    Þundar beðju
    siklingr snarr
    ok sjautøgu,
    áðr * lofðung
    lífi at ræna
    ǫðlings kom
    einkadóttir.

    Snarr siklingr réð {beðju Þundar} þría vetr ok sjautøgu, áðr * {einkadóttir ǫðlings} kom at ræna lofðung lífi.

    The brave lord ruled {the bedmate of Þundr } [= Jǫrð (jǫrð ‘earth’)] for three and seventy years, before {the only daughter of the chieftain [Loptr] } [= Hel (hel ‘death’)] came to rob the ruler of his life.

    Cite as: Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Anonymous Poems, Nóregs konungatal 8’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 767.

    Manuscript: GKS 1005 fol (Flat)

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  5. I’m partial to Gingerman and Sky Treader.

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