Tag Archive: scandinavian


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 Minne

“Minne’s themes are protection, love, luck, devotion and unity. Her symbols are the linden tree, cups, and beer.  Minne is a German Goddess of love and fertility. Her name – meaning ‘remembrance’ – was applied to a special cup for lovers in this part of the world. The cup was filled with specially prepared beer and raised between two people wishing to deepen their love. This gives Minne a strong association with devotion, unit and fidelity.

During the second weekend in July, people in Geisenheim, Germany, celebrate Lindenfest by gathering around an ancient linden tree (six hundred-plus years old) and celebrate the year’s new wine. All aspects of the festival take place beneath the linden’s branches, which in magic terms represent safety and good fortune. The linden flowers portray Minne’s spirit, having been used in all manner of love magic! To protect a relationship, two lovers should carry dried linden flowers with them always.

When making a promise to each other, a couple may drink a wooden goblet of beer today, linking their destinies. Raise the glass to the sky first saying, ‘Minne’s love upon our lips, devotion in each sip.’

Drink while looking deeply into each other’s eyes. Or, exchange pieces of linden wood as a magical bonding that invokes Minne’s blessing. If linden isn’t native to your area, other trees and bushes that promote Minne’s loving qualities include avens, elm, lemon, orange, peach, primrose, rose and willow.”

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

I really couldn’t find anything on the Goddess Minne.  I thought I had found a reference in the glossary of The Elder Edda of Saemund Sigfusson, “MUNINN, mind; memory, recollection; G. minne, love” [1], but upon further research, Muninn turned out to be one in a pair of ravens who, along with Huginn (‘thought’), flew all over the world and brought the god Odin information. [2]

I found Minne defined as “An ancient Pagan Goddess who is said to have granted women and men permission to engage in lovemaking. Her name was a synonym for ‘love’, and She was often called Lofn (‘Goddess of Love’). In medieval times, Minne (like Melusine) was worshipped as a mermaid tailed Aphrodite by followers known as Minnesinger and Minstrels.” [3]

“Miranda” by David Delamare

Researching the mermaid aspect, I found this description, “Literally Virgin of the Sea, the mermaid was an image of fish-tailed Aphrodite, the medieval Minne, Maerin, Mari, or Marina. Her Death-Goddess aspect, sometimes named Rán, received the souls of those put to sea in funeral boats.” [4]

While researching Her mermaid aspect, I ran across this information and thought was pretty interesting: “The legends of mermaids may have evolved from snake Goddesses such as the ones found at Knossos in Crete, the largest of the Greek islands. Thousands of years ago, the snake was sacred for its ability to transform in the shedding of its skin and to explore the light of day and the darkness of the earth. The mermaid is a fish-tailed Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love who represents the power of creativity inspired by love. She brings visions to the surface and inspires dreams and desires. She is able to move from the receptive watery depths to the focus of firm land.” [5]  I never really thought about the snake/scale/mermaid connection before, but it makes sense.

“Lofn, Goddess of Love” by Thorskegga

Back to the reference to Lofn, Patricia Monaghan tells us that Lofn, “the Scandinavian Goddess of love had a special purpose: She was charged with smoothing over love’s difficulties.  Lofn (‘mild’) received prayers of those separated from their lovers and was empowered to bring together those She favored” (p. 198).

“Psyche” by Granger

I also found that “Lofn (pronounced LAW-ven) is the Norse Goddess of forbidden love. She is one of Frigg’s handmaidens, and serves Frigg (who is the Goddess of marriage) by removing the obstacles that lovers face. She also presides over the marriage of the two that She has brought together. Lofn’s name, which means ‘praise,’ is also seen as Lofna, Lofe, and Lofua.” [4]

This all seems a little scattered to me, though I can make some connections.  Minne is a Germanic/Norse Goddess of love.  Aphrodite was also a Goddess of love associated with the ocean.  Considering how the Wave Maidens came to be identified with mermaids in Norse mythology, I certainly don’t see any issues preventing the identification of Minne with mermaids either.

 

 

 

Sources:

Iliana’s Faery Realm, “Celtic, Roman, Greek, Norse, & Other Goddesses of Europe: Minne“.

Like a Cat Jewelry and Crafts, “Mermaid-Small“.

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

Moore, Mary Ann. Flying Mermaid Studio, “circles, workshops & retreats; flying mermaids writing circles & retreats“.

Sabrina. Goddess A Day, “Lofn“.

Wikipedia, “Huginn and Muninn“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Chalquist, Craig. Terrapsych.com, “Glossary of Norse and German Mythology – Lofn“.

Paxson, Diana L. Hrafnar.org, “Beloved“.

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