Tag Archive: giants


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“.

Goddess Gaia

“Magic Mountain” by Hans-Peter Kolb

“Gaia’s themes are abundance, providence, thankfulness, nature, divination, promises and the earth. Her symbols are harvested foods (especially fruit and grains) and soil. In Greek tradition, Gaia stretched out at the beginning of time, becoming the earth’s land. In this form, She continues to give life and sustenance to all things that dwell in and on the planet, even when the cold weather tries to steal away that life. So sacred are Gaia’s soils that any promise made with one hand on the earth is irrevocable. The oracle at Delphi belonged to Gaia before Apollo took over, giving Her the additional attribute of prophesy.

The Thanksgiving theme among Canadians is much the same as in the United States; it’s a time of expressing gratitude to the earth and the heavens for their ongoing providence.  Enjoy a robust feast of harvested edibles today to internalize Gaia’s blessings and foresight. Remember to give thanks to the creatrix of your feast before eating!  Also consider following Greek custom by leaving Gaia an offering of barley, honey, or cakes in an opening in the earth. This show of gratitude inspires Gaia’s fertility in the coming months and years.

To help keep yourself true to a promise, carry a few pinches of soil with you in a sealed container today. If you sense your resolve waning, release a little back to Gaia. This invokes Her strength and sense of duty.”

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

“Breath of Gaia” by Josephine Wall

“In the beginning, the Greeks said, there was only formless chaos: light and dark, sea and land, blended in a shapeless pudding.  Then chaos settled into form, and that form was the huge Gaia, the deep-breasted one, the earth.  She existed before time began, for Time was one of Her children.  In the timeless spans before creation, She existed, to Herself and of Herself alone.

“Giants of Gaia” by Diana Elizabeth Stanley

But finally Gaia desired love, and for this purpose She made Herself a son: Uranus, the heaven, who arched over his Mother and satisfied Her desire.  Their mating released Gaia’s creative force, both marvelous and monstrous.  Uranus hated and envied Gaia’s other children, so the primeval Mother kept them hidden from his destructiveness.

Eventually, however, Her dark and crowded womb grew too heavy to endure.  So Gaia created a new element: gray adamant.  And from it She fashioned a new tool, never known before: a jagged-toothed sickle. With this Gaia armed Her son Cronos (Time), who took the weapon from his Mother’s hand and hid himself.

“The Mutiliation of Uranus by Saturn” by Giorgio Vasari & Cristofano Gherardi

Soon, Uranus came, drawing a dark sky-blanket over himself as he approached to mount his Mother-Lover. Then his brother-son Cronos sprang into action, grasping Uranus’ genitals and sawing them off with the rough blade. Blood fell in a heavenly rain on Mother Gaia.  So fertile was that even the blood of the mutilated sky impregnated Her.  The Erinyes sprang up; so did the Giants; and so did the ash-tree nymphs, the Meliae, humanity’s ancestors (and, in some stories, by throwing Uranus’ testicles into the sea, they caused the sea to foam and out of that white foam rose Aphrodite, the Goddess of love and beauty).

This was the familiar creation story that the ancient Greeks told their children.  Even after the earth mother had been supplanted as the primary divinity by invading Olympians, the Greeks worshiped Gaia’s power with barley and honey cakes placed at sacred openings in Her surface.  At such fissures, too, gifted people would read the will of the Great Mother, for She was through all ages the “primeval prophet” who inspired the oracles at Delphi, Dodona, and elsewhere.  And it was to Gaia – even in the days when Zeus ruled the pantheon – that the Greeks swore their most sacred oaths, thus recognizing Her ancient theological sovereignty” (Monaghan, p. 131).

“Her equivalent in the Roman pantheon was Tellus.

Many Neopagans worship Gaia. Beliefs regarding Gaia vary, ranging from the belief that Gaia is the Earth to the belief that She is the spiritual embodiment of the earth, or the Goddess of the Earth.

“Spring I – Gaia” by ~SargonX

Gaia’s name was revived in 1979 by James Lovelock, in Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth; his Gaia Hypothesis was supported by Lynn Margulis. The hypothesis proposes that living organisms and inorganic material are part of a dynamic system that shapes the Earth’s biosphere, and maintains the Earth as a fit environment for life. In some Gaia theory approaches the Earth itself is viewed as an organism with self-regulatory functions. Further books by Lovelock and others popularized the Gaia Hypothesis, which was widely embraced and passed into common usage as part of the heightened awareness of environmental concerns of the 1990s.” [1]

Here’s a quote that I’d love to leave you with by Sir James Lovelock from Ages of Gaia:

“What if Mary is another name for Gaia?
Then her capacity for virgin birth is no miracle,
it is a role of Gaia since life began.
She is of this Universe and, conceivably,
a part of God. On Earth, she is the source
of life everlasting and is alive now;
she gave birth to humankind
and we are part of her.”

 

 

 

Sources:

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

Wikipedia, “Gaia (mythology)“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Auralia. Orderwhitemoon.org, “Gaia“.

Goddessgift.com, “Mother Gaia’s Healing Chicken Soup” – for the kitchen witches out there 😉

Greekmedicine.net, “Greek Mythology: Gaia – Mother Earth, Mother Nature“.

Green-agenda.com, “Home“. (* This site actually seems to state that the modern green movement has some type of nefarious agenda of sorts, but it lists some awesome quotes that I wanted to share.)

Lash, John Lamb. Metahistory.org, “TAKE BACK THE PLANET: A Review of James Cameron’s Avatar (2009)“. (A movie I thoroughly enjoyed!)

Livingstone, Glenys. Matrifocus.com, “Beltane/Samhain @ EarthGaia“.

Mythagora.com, “Gaia

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Gaia: dose up on mama love“.

Sozaeva, Katy. Voices.yahoo.com, “Gaia – Goddess Worship and Understanding Our World from a Feminine Perspective“.

Theoi.com, “Gaia“.

Took, Thalia. Thaliatook.com, “Gaea“.

 

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