Monday, December 22, 2014

Tricksters: Loki and Maui - Chapter 2



Loki - Trickster God of Asgard

Let's just get this out of the way. Loki was an asshole. He comes across as one of the creative forces of the universe but also as an evil force bent on harm. He is the father of some of the most malevolent creatures in all of Norse mythology: the horrible goddess Hel, the monstrous wolf Fenrir, the world serpent Jormundgand. When the most beautiful of the Norse Gods, Baldr, had a vision of his own death, Frigg the Queen of Asgard made every living thing in all the realms promise not to harm him. Somehow, mistletoe was overlooked. Loki, finding this out, and jealous of Baldr, arranged for a sprig of mistletoe to pierce Baldr's heart. When Odin commanded that all creatures in the all the realms weep and mourn Baldr, only Loki refused to do so. This refusal created the inevitable Ragnarok, the end of all things.



Maui - The Polynesian Trickster Demi-god 

Unlike Loki, Maui (for whom the island is named) is for the most part good. His tricks seemed to be all in the arena of helping the people be all that they could be. Maui tricked the goddess of fire into revealing the secrets of her element. He tricked the sun into slowing down (I guess it was just whizzing around way too fast) so folks could have enough light to get things done. He also used his penis to stop a tidal wave that threatened to destroy the islands - which tells you something about the Polynesian culture. Maui is credited with the actual raising of the Hawaiian islands. He even died to save the people from a horrible she-monster, (he was killed by her vagina; cut in half no less) but in doing so brought death (I guess until then folks were immortal) in the world. Bummer.

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