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Who is Loki?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 23, 2024
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Loki is one of the more famous figures in Scandinavian mythology, thanks to his mischievous nature. He is the trickster of the Norse gods, constantly upsetting the balance of the world and relations between the gods. Unfortunately for Loki, he took his pranks too far, and ended up chained to a rock until the end of the world.

Many traditional mythologies have a trickster god, who often facilitates change, as well as undertaking heroic actions to save other gods or mortals. In the beginning, this was Loki's role among the Norse gods. He is the son of two giants, Farbauti and Laufey, although he quickly tricked his way into the pantheon of Norse gods, called the Aesir. His presence was not always welcome: Loki was known to invade parties that he had not been invited to, demanding food and drink.

Loki has an assortment of children from a variety of goddesses, thanks to his three wives and wandering nature. His children include Jormungand, the Earth circling serpent, Hel, the underworld goddess, and Fenrir the giant wolf. These three children are prophesied to play an important role in the end of the world, known as Ragnarok. One of his more famous children is Sleipnir, an eight legged stallion that Loki actually gave birth to while in the form of a mare, and gave to Odin as a gift.

In addition to making trouble, Loki also sometimes assisted the gods with finding valuable tools, such as Thor's hammer. He also used his craftiness to get several members of the Aesir, including Freya, out of tight spots. The two companions most frequently seen with Loki were Odin and Thor, who often benefited from Loki's clever tricks and manipulations. Loki, of course, sometimes turned the tables on the two gods, embarrassing them in front of the other Aesir.

While living among the gods, Loki's tricks ranged from silly to sometimes cruel. In addition to being a trickster, Loki is also known as a shape shifter, and sometimes takes on the form of other animals or people in the stories told about him. His chameleon like nature allowed him to get away with a wide variety of pranks on the gods, sometimes with the unwitting assistance of other deities.

Loki took his trickster nature too far, however, when he was involved in the death of Baldur, the god of light. To punish him, the other gods chained him to a rock in the world underneath a giant serpent who continually drips venom that causes Loki to writhe in agony. According to Norse tradition, this is what causes earthquakes. When Ragnarok arrives, Loki will be set free to wreak havoc on the world once more.

CulturalWorld.org is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a CulturalWorld.org researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By anon939980 — On Mar 16, 2014

For all those being haunted with dreams of Loki: if you are a Christian/Muslim you should answer him. He is your deity to begin with, and not answering him would be impolite. If you are not Christian/Muslim, you should call upon Thor or Heimdall to get rid of the deceiver. Trying to exorcise him will not work. He is not a demon and he does not need worshippers to manifest himself like a demon does. He is what we call an elemental and is far more dangerous than all demons together.

By bridget89 — On Feb 11, 2014

For your information, Loki is a demon. He confirmed he was when I was using the Ouija board, and he is the demon of mischief. He told me, but I don't recommend you trying to contact him because I did it by accident trying to communicate with my dad.

And Loki doesn't come alone. He brings very bad demons with him, so do not contact him. He is not nor ever was a god. He told me that, but some cultures back then claimed demons as gods like the Aztecs and Mayans, but they were worshiping a demon so that's all I have to say.

By anon342116 — On Jul 17, 2013

@anon 104792: He's asking you to enter into communication with him. Ask Loki what he wants. He might be a temporary teacher or he may become a patron. He's not evil, but he will confront you with parts of you or memories you need to work on. I had lots of crap in my head but I cried through it because Loki made me analyze it all. Now I'm a better person.

By anon325008 — On Mar 13, 2013

I never imagined stuff like this would happen, but I've had dreams of a person calling himself Loki since I was a child. It's strange how much it suits his mischievous trickster nature that he apparently likes to interact with people through their dreams. I thought I was the only one.

I'm agnostic, and I don't think humans like me can ever really comprehend something as powerful as a god if they exist, but now I'm a little curious about him if I'm not the only one. It's kind of strange how many people all say the same thing about Loki using dreams to interact.

But from what I can tell, Loki isn't evil. He's apparently an ancient deity, but the weird thing is he takes many forms and aliases throughout history. Maybe there are demons, but it's funny how he has a horned helm, and plays tricks on humans like the clichè devil - horns and deceives humans.

At this rate, maybe he really does have a job and trolls all our religions with different names/shapes and uses dreams to do it. Eh, I guess my generation would know him as God of Trolling.

By anon315941 — On Jan 26, 2013

I have a friend who is infested with a bad evil spirit that I believe to be named Loki. Is there anything I can do to help my friend? I was once told using a mirror and salt could help. I'm out of my league and need advice.

By anon308804 — On Dec 12, 2012

I was looking to find out if Marvel (the comics company) has copyrighted Loki, and if it's even possible 'to' copyright a thousands of years old character, well-known throughout the almost entire world.

By ccha7931 — On Oct 15, 2012

This entity, Loki, brought me to this page. I would not recommend communication because its energy and intentions seem very -- not good, harmful. Stay away from it, have faith. Say a prayer if that is your way, focus on the positive and stay strong.

By anon297027 — On Oct 14, 2012

@Post 3: Do you have a problem with something in your life? Loki might represent someone you met or a part of you. Dreams reflect real life too. Once I was being burned alive in my dreams due to unvented anger. Try to collect some clues in your dreams and in real life.

By anon293697 — On Sep 27, 2012

How do I get rid of Loki? I've been having dreams about him, and he is doing bad things to me and he is trying to brainwash me. I see chaos too.

By anon272374 — On May 31, 2012

Ugh. I go around seeking sites about my beliefs, and unerringly, some abrahamic or another comes up trying to push their beliefs on others. Primarily Christians. I hope someday they see their own flaws in doing so.

By anon248553 — On Feb 17, 2012

I don't understand what Christian people are doing looking at Pagan and Norse sites, to be honest. Are you going to your so-called 'hell' (also taken from Norse) for spending time on here rather than reading your bible? I don't mind other religions, but unlike Christianity, Norse religions and Paganism do not shove our beliefs down the throats of others. Concentrate on yourself and leave other people alone. You're giving your religion an even worse name.

I'm so sick of coming to nice, informational sites like this to appreciate my beliefs and interests, and seeing someone else who has no life coming on here to put people down for thinking differently to them. Why would I want to worship your god if it makes me like you? What a disgrace.

By anon239149 — On Jan 07, 2012

Ignore the Christian bible thrower. Just because Christians took pagan scriptures twisted them into their bible and slaughtered the Pagan people, he thinks he has the right to call them demons. Look in the mirror for the true horror. All this war and devastation and guess what? It's caused by people like you. The original Gods were here way before your pitiful jesus. Might I remind you of Touchdown Jesus that burned to a crisp from a lightning bolt and the actor playing jesus in the Passion being struck by lightening twice?

It's obvious the Old Gods are sick of this and are finally taking back what you stole. Why read the Bible? I thought you said God gave free will if that's true why so many restrictions? It's nothing but a lie to keep people in chains.

By anon234169 — On Dec 10, 2011

For the man who said Loki is a demon, get off this page. He is a god, not a demon. Do not fear Loki; he just likes to play jokes. Anyway, if he tries speaking with you, just listen. He will eventually get his point across.

By anon183430 — On Jun 05, 2011

I fear that Loki is present in my life lately. I have had dreams of him and I have had nothing but chaos lately. Throughout my life I have had many sufferings including alcoholism. I have left a can of beer next to the nearest tree to my house last night and I hope to see him.

I am confused on how to make the offering as some say I have to make offering to Odin as well. I am very confused as to what he wants from me as I am a follower of Christ.

By anon181728 — On May 30, 2011

As far as I understand, Loki is a voodoo god, also Celtic, also Native (Coyote).

Each differs in accordance to the general people of that culture.

Celtic: More bloody.

Native: Less violent.

African: Punishing if guilty people see / use his symbol.

There's probably similar in Roman and Greek mythologies.

In Greek mythology, Zeus is the one who comes back and takes power, after his siblings where killed as they were born for fear of a takeover.

If you look at the time frame of these, the Greek is one of the more recent (ancient) accounts, and in that one Loki is crowned god of gods -- if you consider that to be the same.

By anon157217 — On Mar 01, 2011

First of all, ignore no. 5! Try to think about the stuff that's going on in your life right now. are there any choices or issues that have been troubling you?

If you can't think of anything, you might need to appeal to Loki himself to give you more information. Maybe go out into your garden and pour out some glasses of beer, one for yourself to drink and one to pour on the ground as an offering to Loki. Invite him to come and sit with you, and ask out loud what it is he wants you to decide, what he wants you to do.

Sit there a while and see if you feel anything, if any sight or sound catches your attention. Whenever you feel ready, go back inside and continue your day as normal. With luck maybe the answer will come to you, perhaps in your next dream. Good luck!

By anon139870 — On Jan 06, 2011

Anon104792: I'm assuming you're not just pranking or joking, so I'll take you seriously and give you a serious answer. These gods are real, in a sense. They're demons, and they held sway over ancient tribes and can still be found in parts of Africa (such as with the Voodoo in Niger).

If you read the ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, you'll find regular demonic activity, constant fulfillment of prophesies right and left, written down by a man who wanted to get his story right. Modern science does its best to discredit the supernatural, but it's simply the latest form of Socratic skepticism and doubt. These spirits have existed since the earth began, and you can find them in numerous old legends, epic poems, etc.

The bad news is that you could be interacting with a real spirit (or your wife may have engraved LOKI for a good joke on your pop cans). The good news is that there is one way to conquer these powers: invoking the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and turning to Him as your God.

Christ came into a world where these demons, gods, controlled the fate of entire nations, and He cast out demon after demon to "bind the strong man." After He rose from the dead, the Holy Spirit came to earth and filled the Christians and empowered them to do as Christ did, casting out evil spirits.

Your solution is to get a Bible and start reading the New Testament. --Brother Luke

By anon135942 — On Dec 21, 2010

dude lay off the mushrooms, seriously.

By anon104792 — On Aug 18, 2010

I need help. I have been plagued every night for weeks of dreams about "Loki" and tonight was the last straw. Washing up dishes, I had left four cans of coca cola in the sink that I had left in the freezer for too long. While washing, in the frost on the four cans was engraved L O K I. I even have a picture. He appears as something like a Viking in my dreams and keeps asking me to "decide".

This is now really starting to bother me and my wife, especially as it's now seeming to cross over into reality, not just my dreams. does anyone have any idea on what I may be dealing with?

By anon24355 — On Jan 11, 2009

Was Enki or Ea the god of light? Or, what was his name.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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