You know what’s funny to me? The idea of Loki the Liar. The Liesmith. Of all the Kennings (Heiti) – why the Liar, specifically? Where DOES that one come from?
Looking back through the Eddas – oh he’s the Sly One all right, too clever with words by half. For instance, in promising the Dwarves his head. Of course he didn’t promise his neck, did he? Yes, he DID lie regarding Iðunn; to save his ass. But Odin himself has done no less – to gain the Mead, for instance, lying about having feelings for the poor gal to gain access to the Mead. Loki is most certainly tricky. Tricking the stallion into thinking he’s a mare….
But perhaps he earned the moniker when he lied about being a woman to get Thor’s hammer back, when the Giant Thrym had stolen it? Well, I mean, Thor lied about being a bride. Loki accompanied him, and of necessity, he spoke for Thor to preserve the ruse. Which was lies. Of course. Haven’t we ALL lied, to preserve something pleasant perhaps, or to spare someone from hurt, maybe called in sick? Frankly, we can’t dismiss the idea that perhaps it’s a Christian transposition, here.
Loki the Liar. Hm. Well, in my experience, it’s quite the opposite. It’s almost – truth to the point of painful honesty. Truth despite the costs. And I am much like that. So honest, to a fault, that when I do twist the truth it’s usually accepted without batting an eye because it’s known I don’t lie. Generally I don’t need to, and I hate it when I’m put in the position where it’s necessary to tell a lie. Further, rather than lies, Loki is one to speak the truth, even to power – e.g. the Lokasenna. And he paid the price. Speaking truth to power is NOT easy, by the way. Not by a long shot. But sometimes, it IS absolutely necessary; sometimes no one else has the guts to do it. And when one person finally does – suddenly everyone sees it for what it is, and changes are made.
Loki is, rather, one to strip away falsehoods; the lies we tell ourselves, in order to force us to accept ourselves AS WE ARE. Flaws and all. KNOW who you are. Face the flaws, for who among us is perfect? The mirror doesn’t lie. It may not show us everything, but it does reflect our image. And what it shows us is us, and we but put our own perception and reactions on it. Others, too, only see us but in reflection – and they color that reflection with their own perceptions, experiences, and their own biases. What matters – is you, to you. Thus we begin to see the question is, who are you, without those judgments and perceptions? What is YOUR truth? It can be hard to tell, and sometimes, what is truth now may not be in the future for us. It evolves and changes. But we know it for what it is. It’s accepting that change. Being willing to say “This is no longer who I am.” “This no longer fits me, my life.” And letting go. It’s when we delude ourselves, try to hold on, because it’s less painful that we find out the price paid for holding on to a lie isn’t less painful at all. In fact, it just prolongs the pain entirely.
Smoke and mirrors. The lies we tell ourselves and the truth behind it all. The truth can be hard. It can hurt. It can come with a cost. But for me – I prefer it over living a lie. The price of myself is harder, far, to pay – something I think Loki knows, all too well. The one thing I find the hardest in calling him a Patron, thus, isn’t lies. It’s the truth – and being honest, I find I expect it in everyone else. And that, of course, was entirely a lie. But – perhaps as an exchange – I have found I can tell that someone is lying almost before it leaves someone’s lips, these days, whether they admit it or no, and I’ve learned to trust that instinct. What about you? Have you found similar in your experiences on your path? Do you hide behind the smoke – or face the mirrors?