My friend Tanisha’s article about Loki 🙂
I resonated with her description of Loki as a god who cares for people who have been abused. I would extend that to encompass people who have been placed out the outskirts of society for any reason.
I see a lot of people who have suffered hardships at the hands of others be picked up by Loki: People who have suffered abuse and been left on the outside of “normalcy”, people who suffer from mental or chronic illness that mark them as “other”; Gay and transexual people who go against the grain of what our gendered society expects from them; People who have suffered racial segregation and discrimination. Loki takes them in, seeing beauty in all of them. But he doesn’t coddle you and tell you he’ll make everything ok. Because he loves the being you are so much, he demands that you claim who you are, take responsibility for who that is instead of apologizing for it, and make it work for you. Another modern character that resonates with the Lokean mindset is Tyrion Lannister, especially his wise words: “Never forget who you are, for surely the world won’t. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”
I think working with a god like Loki in his heightened aspect actually requires that you have a highly developed degree of empathy and compassion. To know that there are always two sides to every story; to know that just because someone has been broken doesn’t make them worthless; to know that because someone is different doesn’t make them wrong; to learn to love yourself, even when others insist you have no reason to; to learn to defend other’s rights to their own self-love. It requires a lot of compassion to allow people to be who they are and to find the value in that without trying to change them. That’s never an easy lesson, and I’ve struggled with it myself, but it’s one that Loki is very good at teaching.