The Norse God Loki remains controversial in modern paganism/heathenism, partly due to misunderstandings regarding his actual place in the original Nordic pantheon, and his part in modern pop culture. Granted, archaeological evidence regarding Loki is scant, yet, evidence of ancient followers is in existence (with more being uncovered in recent times). As a pop culture figure, Loki has been known in the Marvel Comics universe since the early 1960s (with an early use of him as a comic book character making an appearance in the late 1940s), and with the release of live-action movies since 2011, there has been an amazing surge in popularity.
Unfortunately, Loki is maligned by modern Nordic pagans for two reasons: 1. He is considered by some to be the Norse version of the Christian Devil, who is destined to destroy everyone and everything. 2. Modern pop culture seems to have created more Loki worshipers, leading to the idea that he is not a ‘true’ deity to be taken seriously. With misunderstandings comes ignorance, and a need to see more of the facts. Loki is a complex God, and though he is associated with dark energy, he can help one come to terms with the ‘shadowy’ side of existence. By embracing opposing energy, we can better understand what makes us whole, therefore, establishing balance. Many classic tales in ancient pantheons hold truths regarding the actual natures of deities and related figures, but much of the details are symbolic. Pop culture is merely a modern twist on classic myth and folklore; in of itself, there is no harm in association with it.
Serious fanaticism is found in many situations, including pop culture; fans can become detrimentally immersed in favorite characters, to the point of unhealthy emotions (and an inability to cope with life). Mix this with a spiritual path, and it can result in further trouble; having said that, there are also beautiful, wonderful bonds that are forged with favorite characters, and if an individual is responsible, a sense of play can safely be integrated into spiritual practice. As a shape-shifter, Loki will gladly assume a role (or more than one) to bond with a devotee, for he has a child-like quality he enjoys sharing. In my personal experience, Loki is a powerful protector, but also loving and playful.
The modern Lokean community itself is divided; no one can fully agree on what is the ‘right’ way to worship Loki. Truth be told, there does not have to be a strict set of rules (Loki himself does not use them), but whatever path an individual chooses, there should be a balance of responsibility with a sense of play. Not everyone will agree on the same subject matter, but to pass harsh judgment is unfair. I am a solitary practitioner, so I advocate individuality, but there remains a need to respect the personal beliefs of others. As a Lokean, do take care, but do not relinquish what feels right. Not everyone will understand this spiritual path, but for all the fun it can involve (in the right measure), it is indeed serious devotion.