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A Bard's Tale: Part V - Loki
Just like Heimdallr the quick-witted Loki has bewildered the so-called experts on Norse mythology for centuries. He has been identified as a Scandinavian Hephaistos, the limp smith of the Olympian gods, but his name has not yet to be successfully translated by any of them. Strangely enough.
Loki translates as "lock", "lid" and "end", from the Indo-European root *LUK (="to close something"). Although this makes sense, because Loki is the reason the world ends in a yearly Ragnarok, this is not a complete translation. The Indo-European *LUK can also mean "lightning" and "to light", and this makes even more sense considering the fact that Loki is always chased by Þórr ("thunder"). Loki is further a god of wind and fire, and he is the smith of the gods.
In relation to Heimdallr he is the exact opposite; Heimdallr is a mediator between Heaven and Earth, while Loki causes the war between Heaven and Earth. Heimdallr is the blessing, while Loki is the corruption. Heimdallr opens up the worlds, while Loki ends and closes them. Heimdallr's rainbow proclaims the mercy of the gods, while Loki's flame sneaks around quietly, cunningly and full of betrayal, until it finally breaks out in an all-consuming fire, as lightning strikes the Earth. Heimdallr brings the gifts from the dead (=light elves), while Loki brings the gifts from the dwarves (=dark elves). Heimdallr is the white, pure and calm peace in the chest of mankind, the alert guardian of Heaven, while Loki is the wild affections that gather and break out in the consuming flame of passion. Heimdallr is a simple-minded god, while Loki is probably the brightest of them all. Heimdallr is loyal and reliable, while Loki is disloyal and completely untrustworthy. Loki steals the necklace of Freyja, while Heimdallr gets it back to her.
From the mythology we learn that Heimdallr sank down to the guardian of the Hel-bridge, when he was sent to rescue Iðunn, but it is actually Loki who rescues her. Heimdallr, as Hermóðr, on the other hand is sent to rescue Baldr (a.k.a. Bragi), the husband of Nanna (a.k.a. Iðunn). This might confuse some, but the fact is that Heimdallr and Loki are one god. They simply represent the opposite forces in the same god!
Loki is a god, but still he rescues Iðunn, a task that we know (from the Greek mythology) should be reserved for Iris (=Freyja), the female counterpart of Hermes (=Óðinn), or for a goddess (or priestess) impersonating Iris. Hermes follows the dead men to Hades (=Hel), but the dead women are Iris' responsibility.
Loki does this in the Scandinavian mythology. He also gives birth to Sleipnir, the horse needed as transport to Hel, and at least on one occasion he dresses up as a woman. Being the opposite of the bearded Heimdallr it is not unlikely that Loki originally was a goddess, and it seems the Heimdallr-Loki deity might be the Scandinavian Hermaphrodite (the androgynous child of Hermes and Aphrodite), and Loki represents the feminine part.
In Ragnarok Heimdallr and Loki kill each other: the white god (Belobog) kills the black god (Czernybog) and vice versa, as the opposite forces reconcile at the end of each Solar year, in order to begin a new year from scratch.
Heimdallr created man, but he is also our Loki (here: "end"), because he is Cronos ("time"), and man cannot outlive time.
Varg "the Grey" Vikernes
("Tame Your passion")