Tag Archive: giantress


Goddess Skaði

“The Winter Queen” by ~Jolien-Rosanne

“Skaði’s themes are protection, banishing, communications, insight and winter. Her symbols are white crystals or clothing. In Northern tradition, Skaði is the spirit of the north wind, who is blowing powerfully over the Earth now. She is the Goddess of winter and wears white fur, crystal armor, and a bow and arrow for hunting. Hers is the power of communication – of announcing new insights and perceptions as they awaken within.

In the festival of Blowing of the Midwinter Horn, which dates back two thousand years, farmers around the country take out Birchwood horns today and blow them to scare away evil influences and announce Skaði’s presence.

To encourage Her communicative powers in your own life, stand outside and breathe deeply a cool, northerly wind today, letting the air empower your speech. Or carry a pumice stone wrapped in white cloth with you throughout the day (if you can’t find one, cut out a white paper snowflake instead and write Skaði’s name on it). This keeps the Goddess with you in all your discourse.
At home, find a horn (perhaps a kazoo or noise maker). Follow the Dutch custom of blowing this once in all four cardinal directions to send protection throughout your living space. Afterward, put your four white decorations (candles, stones) close to the directional points. This welcomes Skaði’s insight and open discussions therein.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Winter Goddess of the North” by ~IndigoDesigns

Patricia Monaghan tells us that Skaði (pronounced “SKAHD-ee”) was “the Goddess for whom Scandinavia was named [who] dwelled high in the snow-covered mountains; Her favorite occupations were skiing and snowshoeing through Her domain.  But when the gods caused the death of Her father, Thjassi, Skaði armed Herself and traveled to their home at Asgard, intent on vengeance.  Even alone, She was more than a match for the gods, and they were forced to make peace with Her.

Skaði demanded two things: that they make Her laugh and that She be allowed to choose a mate from among them.  The first condition was accomplished by the trickster Loki, who tied his testicles to the beard of a billy goat.  It was a contest of screeching, until the rope snapped and Loki landed, screaming in pain, on Skaði’s knee.  She laughed.

Next, all the gods lined up, and Skaði’s eyes were masked.  She intended to select Her mate simply by examine his legs from the knees down.  When She’d found the strongest – thinking them to be the beautiful Balder’s legs  – She flung off Her mask and found She’d picked the sea god Njörðr.  So She went off to live in the god’s ocean home.

“Skadi” by ~Tygerson

She was miserable there.  ‘I couldn’t sleep a wink,’ Skaði said in a famous eddic poem, ‘on the bed of the sea, for the calling of gulls and mews.’  The couple moved to Thrymheim, Skaði’s mountain palace, but the water god was as unhappy there as Skaði had been in the water.  Thereupon they agreed on an equitable dissolution, and Skaði took a new mate, more suitable to Her lifestyle: Ullr, the god of skis” (Monaghan, p. 283); though Galina Krasskova states that there’s nothing to support Skaði and Ullr coming together as a Divine couple in lore (p. 87).

“Her name is either identical with the Old Norse common noun skaði, ‘harm,’ or comes from another Germanic root preserved in the Gothic word skadus and the Old English sceadu, both of which mean ‘shadow.’” [1]  She is associated with the rune Isa.

Isa – Ice, cold, freezing. Lack of change. Stagnation. Lack of emotion. Storing binding. Bridge across danger.

Skaði is my favorite winter Goddess to work with.  Last year, I put this video together as an offering in Her honor.  It is set to the song “Wake Skadi” by Hagalaz Runedance (I LOVE the drumming!)  Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

Krasskova, Galina. Exploring the Northern Tradition, “Skaði (Sceadu)” (p. 86 -87).

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Skadi”.

Runevisionreadingbycassandraisa.blogspot.com, “Isa – The Goddess Skadi“.

Turville-Petre. Myth and Religion of the North: the Religion of Ancient Scandinavia.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Agaliha. Mysticwicks.com, “Skadi {Goddess of the Week}“.

Andrews, Tamra. Dictionary of Nature Myths, “Njord“.

Baird, Anne. Paganpages.org, “Skadi, Goddess of Winter“.

Frostdottir, Isa. The Huntress Within: Finding Skadi.

Goddesscards.com, “Skadi – The Goddess of Winter“.

Kaldera, Raven. Northernpaganism.org, “Snow Queen: A Song for Skadi“.

Kaldera, Raven. Northernpaganism.org, “Who is Ullr?

Lindow, John. Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs.

People.tribe.net, “Skadi – Goddess of Winter“.

Sidhe, Fiana. Matrifocus.com, “Goddess in the Wheel of the Year“.

Skye, Michelle. Goddess Afoot!: Practicing Magic With Celtic and Norse Goddesses.

Swampy. Dutchie.org, “Goddess Skadi“.

Wikipedia, “Skaði“.

Goddess Nótt

“Nott” by Giovanni Caselli

“Nótt’s themes are learning, knowledge and communication. Her symbols are books, writing utensils and stars. A Teutonic Goddess of the night sky, Nótt generates artistic inspiration and knowledge. She refreshes those suffering from creative blockages and arouses new visions for any endeavor, especially when fall’s declining energies get the best of us. Myths portray Nótt as bearing the silver-studded night sky like a blanket across the dusk. Her chariot bears a frost mare, alluding to the moon.

Buchmesse is the world’s largest book fair for the publishing industry, featuring exhibitors from over ninety countries and attended by over two hundred thousand people. In this region of the world, book fairs have been around for over eight hundred years, making Germany one of the centers of world literacy.

For writers, today is the perfect time to ask for Nótt’s blessing on your efforts. Submit a poem, article, or manuscript to potential publishers. Write in your journal. Draft a meaningful ritual for improved creativity, and let Nótt’s energy guide your hand.

Alternatively, read a favorite poem or book – Nótt’s power is beneath those words – or make a book donation to the local library to honor this Goddess’s contribution to human civilization.

Finally, gather all your pens and pencils in a basket and empower them for all your writings by saying:

‘Nótt, inspire creativity
when taken to hand
then magic is free!'”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Nótt” by Peter Nicolai Arbo.

“In Norse mythology, Nótt is night personified, grandmother of Thor. In both the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Nótt is listed as the daughter of a figure by the name of Nörvi (with variant spellings) and is associated with the horse Hrímfaxi, while the Prose Edda features information about Nótt’s ancestry, including Her three marriages. Nótt’s third marriage was to the god Dellingr and this resulted in their son Dagr, the personified day (although some manuscript variations list Jörð as Dellingr’s wife and Dagr’s mother instead). As a proper noun, the word nótt appears throughout Old Norse literature.” [1]

Timelessmyths.com tells us that “Nott was the daughter of a giant named Norfi or Narfi, but two Eddaic poems called Nott’s father, Norr (not to be confused with Nór), primarily for reasons of alliteration.

Nott had three husbands, and had a child with each of Her husband. Her first husband was a giant, called Naglfari, and they had a son named Aud.

Her second husband was named Annar (Onar), who was probably also a giant, and they had a daughter, named Jörd (Earth), the mother of Thor.

Her last husband belonged to the Aesir and he was named Delling. Their son was named Day (Dag), god of day.

“Dagr” by Peter Nicolai Arbo

When the Aesir created the world, Odin gave a chariot to Her and another chariot to Her son Day. They travelled the sky, following one another, as day follow night. Her horse was called Hrimfaxi, ‘Frost-mane’, which caused dew from the horse’s bit. While Her son’s horse was called Skinfaxi, which means ‘Shining-mane’, because the mane was so radiant that it brought light to the world.” [2]

 

 

Sources:

Timelessmyths.com, “Nott“.

Wikipedia, “Nótt“.

 

Suggested Links:

Krasskova, Galina. Northernpaganism.org, “The Northern Sky: Praising Nott“.

Marks, Dominic. Lowchensaustralia.com, “Norse Goddess Names: Nott“.

Wave Maidens

“Nereidi” by Margherita Fascione

“The Wave Maidens’ themes are providence, protection (from water), charity, fertility, peace, cycles and water. Their symbols are fish and sea items.  These northern Teutonic Goddesses number nine and rule over the waves, being the joint mothers of the god Heimdel. In mythology, the Wave Maidens live at the bottom of the sea, watching over the World Mill that continually turns with the season to bring the earth and Her people fertility and harmony.

In Iceland, fishermen honor the Wave Maidens today by taking a well-deserved day off and enjoying sports, foods and dances, the proceeds from which support fishermen’s retirement homes. If you’re a fish lover, this translates into abstaining from fish today as a way of thanking the Wave Maidens for their ongoing providence.

If you live near a region where you can get to a lake or ocean, consider stopping by for a moment today and getting the Wave Maidens yourself.

Pick up a bit of sand and carry it with you to generate a better understanding of personal cycles and those of the earth. Or, gather a shell, a bit of driftwood, or a tumbled stone to promote the Wave Maidens’ flowing harmony in and around your life.

In terms of clothing, think sea-blue or green and something that’s loose, to help you physically flow as easily as the Wave Maidens through life’s circumstances.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“In Norse mythology, the Wave Maidens (also known as the Billow Maidens) are the nine daughters of Rán and Ægir, the Goddess and god of the sea.  According to Patricia Monaghan, these maidens were Scandinavian giantresses.  They were portrayed as beautiful maidens dressed in white robes and veils and always helped their father, brew the beer for the gods.  Their names are poetic terms for the many different characteristics of the ocean waves:

Their names were:
(Poetic Edda)
– Angeyja (“Sorrow-Whelmer”)
– Atla (“Fury”)
– Eistla (“Foamer”)
– Eyrgjafa (“Sand-Strewer”)
– Gjalp (“Yelper”)
– Greip ( “Griper”)
– Iarnsaxe (“Iron-Sword”)
– Imd ( “Dusk”)
– Ulfrun (“She-Wolf”)

 

Or (Prose Edda):
– Bylgja (“Billow”)
– Blodughadda (“Bloody Hair”)
– Drofn (“Foam-Fleck”, “Comber” or “Foaming Sea”)
– Dufa (“The Pitching One” or “Dipping”)
– Hefring (“Riser”)
– Himinglaeva (“That through which one can see the heaven”, or maybe something like “Heaven-Clear”)
– Hrönn (“Welling Wave”)
– Kolga (“The Cool One” poetical term for wave)
– Udr (“Frothing Wave”)

In later times they were identified with Mermaids.” [1]

“Mermaid” by Alena Lazareva

“The sailors are always eager to establish a good rapport with these beautiful maidens of the oceans because, it is said that if they succeed, they can be assured a safe and uneventful voyage with these powerful Goddesses protecting and guiding them.  On the other hand, if the sailors fail to gain their approval, they can expect gale winds and a raging tempest that will most likely cause their death at sea. And while it is true that these lovely Goddesses prefer fun and positive workings, be assured that they will not hesitate to set upon their enemies with all the fury the seas can possess.

By Odin, they were the mothers of Heimdall, who guarded the rainbow Bifröst.  According to the tale, in the course of a walk along the shoreline, Odin beheld the nine beautiful wave maidens as they slept on the white sand and he married all nine of them at once.  In time, they simultaneously gave birth to Heimdall, the White God who stood guard over the entrance of the fortress of the gods.

 

Nine Wave Maidens Lyrics

Nine wave maidens
Giant beauties
Soundly asleep on Midgard sands

Someone is walking
Hungry eyes gazing
The guard of the sky beholding their pride

Calling the waves
Playing in the shallows
What will they want
A seafarer’s heart
Come rain, come shine
The patience never breaking
Oh how they blind a traveler’s heart

Atla, Sindur, Egia, Ulfrun
Never profound
Never alone

Heimdall born was he of mother’s nine
Heimdall son is he of sisters nine

Calling the waves

Playing in the shallows
What will they want
A seafarer’s heart
Come rain, come shine
The patience unbreakable
Oh how they blind a traveler’s eye

Calling nine waves
Singing in the shadows
What else do they haunt than a lonely man’s heart” [2]

Sources:

Cybersamurai.net, “AegirsDaughters (The Billow Maidens)“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Wave Maidens”.

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “The Wave Maidens“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Northern Tradition Paganism, “Nine Sisters: Hail to the Gods of the Northern Seas!

Wikipedia, “Daughters of Ægir“.

Goddess Laufey

“Laufey’s themes are humor, playfulness and youthfulness.  Her symbols are a piece of wood and any humorous items.  On this day of pranks and foolery, look to Laufey to show you how to hone your funny bone. As the mother of the great trickster Loki, if anyone understands and can teach the value of raillery and good-intended tricks, it is She!

Spring’s upbeat theme continues into April, offsetting the rains with laughter. If it’s been a while since you really chuckled, consider renting a good comedy movie. As you watch it, light a candle and ask Laufey to join you!

Or, improve your sense of humor and draw a little luck your way by making a Laufey charm. In Teutonic tradition, Laufey’s name means ‘wooded isle’, because She furnished her son with firewood. So, to represent Her, begin with a stick no larger than the palm of your hand and a small feather (any kind). Draw an ascending spiral on the stick with a green magic marker (green is spring’s color and encourages growth). Attach the feather to the end of the stick to ‘tickle your fancy’. Energize the token, saying:

Laufey, in this stick of green
place a sense of humor ever keen
And when upon the stick I knock
bring to me a bit of luck.’

Hold the token whenever you find your humor failing; knock on the wood when you need better fortune to bring a smile back to your face.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Forest Mist” by Jonathon Earl Bowser

Laufey  is a giantess from Norse mythology, the mother of LokiEddic poetry refers to Loki by the matronym Loki Laufeyjarson rather than with a patronymic.  According to the Prose Edda, Loki is Laufey’s or Nál’s son by the giant Fárbauti, and has the brothers Býleistr and Helblindi. Some stories say that Laufey gave birth to Loki when a lightning bolt thrown by Fárbauti struck Her. Laufy apparently did not raise Loki, since Icelandic author Snorri Sturluson and others say the trickster god was a foster brother of Odin, the most powerful Norse god. This may explain why Loki, god of mischief and chaos, was such an agitating Norse god.

Despite being a giantess, Laufy was very slender and weak, which earned Her the name Nál, meaning “needle”; according to Sörla þáttr. The meaning of Laufey is less clear but is generally taken to be “full of leaves”; as Fárbauti means “dangerous hitter,” there is a possible nature mythological interpretation with lightning hitting the leaves or needles of a tree to give rise to fire. [1] [2] [3] [4]

 

 

 

 

Sources:

GodsLaidBare.com, “Laufey“.

Helium, “The History and Significance of the God: Farbauti“.

North Mythology: the dictionary of norse mythology, “Laufey“.

Wikipedia, “Laufey“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Daly, Kathleen N., Rengal, Marian. Norse Mythology A to Z.

Kaldera, Raven. Northernpaganism.org, “Laufey’s Son“.

Krasskova, Galina, Wodening, Swain. Exploring the Northern Tradition: A Guide to the Gods, Lore and Rites and Celebrations from the Norse, German and Anglo-Saxon Traditions, “Laufey“.

Lindow, John. Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals and Beliefs.

Shadowlight, “Grandmother Nal“.

Goddess Gunnlod

"Gunnlöð" by Anders Zorn

“Gunnlod – Her themes are creativity, wisdom, health, protection and fertility.
Her symbols are mead, poetry, the cauldron or cup and apples.  This Teutonic Goddess guards the mead (a honey wine often made with apples) of sagacity and the muse – a refreshment most welcome at the outset of a new year. In art, Gunnlod is depicted as a giantess; according to stories about her, she stood vigilantly by the magic cauldron of Odherie until Odin wooed her and stole much of the elixir away.

For inspiration and insight, pick out a cup that’s special to you and fill it with apple tea and a teaspoon of honey (a mock mead). Stir it clockwise, saying:
‘Gunnlod, come to me
put ingenuity in this tea.’

Drink the tea to internalize the magic. If possible, sip it quietly while enjoying a good book of heartening poetry.

Alternatively, sip some mead, quaff some apple juice or eat an apple today for health and give a little of the leftover liquid to nearby trees. In Anglo-Saxon tradition, Wassail Day marked a time to enjoy wassail, a spiced apple cider or mead with herbs. Farmers shared this beverage with the apple groves to keep them fertile. Wassail literally means ‘be well’ or ‘be whole’. Drink of the wassail cup to ensure yourself of Gunnlod’s gifts of well-being, creativity and happiness all year.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

Odin and Gunnlöd

In Norse mythology, Gunnlöð (Old Norse “war-foam”) is a giantess. Her name could be written as Gunnlod.

She is daughter of the giant Suttungr, who was set guard by her father in the cavern where he housed the mead of poetry Her grandfather was Giling. Gunnlöð was seduced by Odin, who according to the Prose Edda bargained three nights of sex for three sips of the mead and then tricked her, stealing all of it. However, the poem Hávamál of the Poetic Edda tells the story a bit differently:

Gunnlod sat me in the golden seat,
Poured me precious mead:
Ill reward she had from me for that,
For her proud and passionate heart,
Her brooding foreboding spirit.
What I won from her I have well used:
I have waxed in wisdom since I came back,
bringing to Asgard Odhroerir,
the sacred draught.
Hardly would I have come home alive
From the garth of the grim troll,
Had Gunnlod not helped me, the good woman,
Who wrapped her arms around me.

 It would seem, from this version of the tale, that Gunnlöð helped Odin willingly, and that he thought well of her in return. [1]

Click here to read Gunnlod’s tale from Elizabeth Vongisith.

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