Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

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One of the most interesting things I have learned about Norse mythology lately is that Loki predates the Asgardian pantheon. He was originally associated with hearthfire and believed to be one of the three beings who created the first humans. He gave them the gift of blood and, well, pretty much everything that makes us humans human. When people started regarding him as a sort of honorary Asgardian, as Odin's blood brother, this was reflected in references to "his past in Jotunheim", where he had a wife and children whom he apparently abandoned when he moved to Asgard to live among the new gods.

I'm still a little unclear on whether "hrimthurs", the word that approximately means "frost giant(s)", has anything to do with actual frost, because from what I've gathered this was indeed Loki's race and I don't know how to make sense of him being the god of hearthfire in that context. Maybe it only refers to how they were created? I don't remember that part very well. (Note to self: re-research how the frost giants came into existence.)

Another interesting thing is that as far as I can tell, modern pagans are the only people who imagine him with red hair...? At first I assumed that came from the original myths, but then I learned that Thor was often referred to as "the red-haired god" and you'd think with how often those two went on adventures together, it would have been mentioned if their hair colours matched. :P But IDK. My sources could be wrong.

Then there is this (quoted from a blog):
The rune that corresponds to Loki is the sixth rune, Kaunaz (also romanised as Kennaz, Kenaz), the rune of illumination, knowledge, and kinship. Kaunaz had both positive and negative implications, much like Loki's propensity for both mischief and aid.

Kaunaz is translated as torch, and is also associated with the hearth, as was Loki in his earlier role in mythology. It was indicative of sudden intuition and understanding, insight, cunning, and creative thinking – Loki's most prominent qualities. It also represented many aspects of Loki's personality: enthusiasm, opportunism, mischievousness, transformation, arrogance, and passion. On a more physical level, it would indicate improved health, but could also symbolise burning pain, fever, or ulcers.
That last bit is kind of hilarious to me because I am remarkably healthy in some ways while simultaneously suffering from pain and fever-like conditions. Well, that and allergies. It's just funny that this same contradiction would also exist in the meaning of an old symbol. XD

One essay I read called Loki "the spirit of paradox", which is ALSO hilarious because a few months ago I started making these jokes on Tumblr about being a living paradox. Except I was being perfectly serious at the same time, which nicely demonstrates my point. I think the way the joke evolved was, I announced that I was ALWAYS EXACTLY 50% SERIOUS and the same applied to this very statement. Then I realised that what I'd just said was some variation of the "all Cretans are liars" paradox. I meant it, though. I am totally half serious and half joking when I say that I am always half serious and half joking. :P

On Saturday I went to this Renaissance fair type thing in my town and nearly bought a pendant with the Kaunaz rune on it. It was labelled either "creativity" or "inspiration", I forget which, and that would have appealed to me even without the Loki thing. Only it was made of copper and I fucking hate the smell of that stuff, so nope. Now I want to make one of my own from polymer clay. It fits me perfectly: a mix of things that I am, things I aspire to and things I like in other people. Things I have and things I need. More contradictions. My entire life is one big contradiction.


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