Question: What are Loki’s aspects and/or regional forms and variations?
Loki has many, many aspects – as he has many names – and it is not possible for one person to ever know them all, or to work with them all. These are the aspects of Loki that I have personally witnessed and/or worked with at various times, so they are the ones I feel most comfortable discussing.
First, he has the aspect of the trickster, which may be the most liminal of all of his aspects. Tricksters are almost always unfailingly honest, although they may not be completely forthcoming. Generally, trickster spirits use your own reasoning against you in order to make you see the truth of a situation. I would say that this is probably the aspect of Loki that people work with most often, as it is the one that essentially forces you to examine your life and work towards the acquisition of self-knowledge.
Then, there is his aspect of Lodur, the god who gave humans flesh and spirit. He is, perhaps, the oldest of all of Loki’s aspects, and is a creative, generative force. This is the aspect that, from my perspective, holds all of Lodur’s ancient knowledge. There is a lot to be learned from working with this aspect, but it is definitely a heavier and less light-hearted aspect.
Loptr, or Skytreader, is the aspect of Loki that is most free. He takes to the skies and rules over the motion of the body – here is the aspect that rules dance and the restlessness of the mind. Here, Loki is most himself in the element of air, which often gets neglected as so many only see him as a god of fire (which he also is). Loptr is the Loki that can quickly travel from one world to another – in some ways, this is Loki at his most shamanistic.
Then there is Loki in his guise as Mother of Monsters, where he is incredibly maternal (and paternal). He is the fierce protector of children of all types here, and it is from this aspect that I have grown to understand that Loki holds a fierce loyalty towards all of those who can call him father or mother. His loyalty to his family is eternal, and it is his grief at what happens to two of his sons that brings us to the last aspect I will discuss today.
That aspect is the Worldbreaker, aka the Destroyer of Worlds. This is Loki in his most violent, angry aspect, and in it, he will stop at nothing to exact revenge for the wrong that has been done to him through the harm that was inflicted on his children. He will end the world to see his revenge through, a telling parallel for the old Norse society that viewed revenge as crucial to the maintenance of strong family ties.