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Astrology and the Trickster God

A while back I did a series of articles that speculated on the Sun signs of Captain America, Iron Man and the rest of The Avengers. At the time I considered including the villain of that movie, Loki, but didn’t. The reason I left Loki out is because he represents something that goes beyond a human personality. Loki is an archetype.


The trickster god is a feature in many different mythologies. Loki in the Norse myths is probably the most familiar to us but Native American folk tales are loaded with the doings of the trickster. Trickster gods are the rebels of their pantheon. They use their cleverness to fool humans, sure, but they are also fond of playing tricks on their fellow gods. This often makes the trickster an outcast.


In Norse mythology, Loki was the ultimate outcast. He was always looking for ways to thwart the will and the hubris of the other gods. For this reason he was eventually chained to a rock and constantly drizzled with snake venom that burned away his skin. Ah, but Loki got the last laugh at the end of the story. His monstrous children, one a giant wolf and the other a sea serpent, destroy Asgard and kill all the other gods.


Interestingly enough, Greek mythology (the pantheon used by astrologers) does not have a trickster god. Mercury is the closest equivalent and, as messenger of the gods, he is hardly an outcast. It wasn’t until the discovery of Uranus that this gap was filled. The attributes assigned to Uranus –revolution, genius, modernity, and sudden, unpredictable changes—have little to do with ancient sky god for which it was named. Instead, Uranus has evolved into astrology’s representation of the trickster.


So, can we say that in the movie, The Avengers, Loki is a representative of Uranus? I think that would be proper and, if you put a gun to my head, I would place him in Aquarius, the Sun sign ruled by Uranus. Still, I think that the archetype represented by Loki can’t be nailed down to any single Sun sign. The trickster needs to be free.


If you are interested in reading deeper and more nuanced account of Loki, I recommend A.S. Byatt’s novel, Ragnarok and M.D. Lachlan’s Wolfangel trilogy.

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