Saturday, 6 September 2014

The Image of Loki on the Snaptun Stone and the Gnezdovo Amulet

The two images above are extremely similar in form. The image to the left is a photograph taken from the Snaptun Stone, discovered in 1950 in Snaptun, Denmark and dating back to around 1,000 CE. It is believed that this stone was a hearth stone. The nozzle of a bellows would have been inserted into the hole at the front of the stone. Air blown through the stone would cause flames to shoot forth from the top of it. This is significant for we know that Loki is associated with fire.

"Logi, as we have seen, was a second son of  Forniotr, and the three brothers Hler, Logi, Kari on the whole seem to represent water, air and fire as elements. Now a striking narrative (Sn. 54.60) places Logi by the side of Loki, a being from the giant province beside a kinsman and companion to the gods. This is no mere play upon words, the two really signify the same thing from different points of view, Logi the natural force of fire, and Loki, with a shifting of the sound, a shifting of the sense: of the burly giant has been made a sly seducing villain. The two may be compared to the Prometheus and the Hephaestus (Vulcan) of the Greeks; Okeanos was a friend and kinsman of the former. But the two get mixed up. " (Teutonic Mythology Volume 1, Jacob Grimm)

Grimm goes on to make some comparisons between these two sets of Germanic and Greek deities which is rather convincing.

 "The name Loki, like that of the Latin Vulcanus, denotes the light or blaze of fire, and in such phrases as Locke dricker vand, Loki drinks water, described the phenomena of the sun drinking when its light streams in shafts from the cloud rifts to the earth or the waters beneath. The word thus carries us to the old verb liuhan, the Latin lucere, to shine, and to Logi as its earlier form, the modern German lohe, glow; but as the Greek tradition referred the name Oidipous......., to know and to swell, so a supposed connexion with the verb lukan, to shut or lock, substituted the name Loki for Logi, and modified his character accordingly." (The Mythology of the Aryan Nations Volume II, George William Cox)

I have noted before the etymological connection between Loki and the Celtic Lugh. The Proto-Celtic root *lug may be derived from the Proto-Indo-European *leuk, meaning to shine.

The identification of the  Snaptun Stone with Loki is also enhanced by the fact that the face on the stone has a scarred lip which we know was one of Loki`s features from the tale related in Skladskaparmal in the Younger Edda where the sons of Ivaldi stitched up Loki's lips.

The second image is of  an amulet found as part of the Gnezdovo hoard in Russia. It is commonly assumed (without any evidence) to be an amulet associated with Odin. However some feel that the deity it depicts is more likely to be Loki and when one considers the similarity in likeness between the amulet and the stone I must conclude that it is intended to be Loki which helps to weaken the assumption of most scholars that Loki had no cult!


SerpentSlayer said...

The lines between Lucifer, Woden, Loki and Lugh blur even further.
I think it is entirely possible that Woden and Loki are different aspects of the same god, do you think this could be possible?

Wotans Krieger said...

Indeed I do. I have come to this conclusion over the last year or two. Type in Loki on the Aryan Myth and Metahistory and the Celto-Germanic Culture, Myth and History blogs and you will find a number of articles on this comparision. I have referred to Him as the Shadow of Woden which is what the Eddas mean when they refer to Him as Woden's "blood brother". He is frequently th travelling companion of Odin and Thor in the Eddic myths. He may indeed by a hypostasis of Lodur.