Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Skadi, Norse Goddess of Winter
Skadi is a Norse goddess and giantess of winter and hunting. She lives high in the snow covered mountains and is often depicted with her snow shoes, skis and a bow. Skadi is considered to be a dark goddess and her name means "shadow". She rules over independence, winter, wilderness and wisdom. Skadi reminds me of a winter and Norse version of the goddess Artemis. In myth it is said that Skadi taught men how to shoot and hunt with a bow.
Skadi is a giantess and daughter to the giant Thiazi. In myth it is said that Thiazi kidnapped Idun, goddess of youth. The Aesir came to rescue Idun and upon rescuing her they killed Thiazi. Skadi then goes after the Aesir to avenge the death of her father. In order to appease her, the Aesir offer Skadi marriage to any god she wanted. Although none of the gods wanted her. They devised a plan so that Skadi could choose her husband by only looking at their feet. Skadi was in love the the god Balder who is said to be the most beautiful of the gods. Assuming that Balder would have the most beautiful feet, Skadi picked the cleanest pair of feet she could see. It turned out not to be Balder but Njord, god of the sea. The two wed but their marriage eventually failed as Skadi did not want to leave her snowy mountains nor Njord his salty seas. In some myths it is said that after Skadi left Njord she ended up marrying Odin and had many children with him.
In her stories Skadi is described as being a very tall and beautiful goddess with long black hair. She is said to have worn silver armor, a white dress and snow shoes. Since she is also a goddess of the hunt she is also depicted carrying a bow and a spear. In some myths Skadi is said to be an evil troll. She is not an evil goddess though. As with most dark goddesses they are quite often villainized in later myths or interpretations of myth. Darkness is as necessary as the light. One cannot be without the other.
Call on Skadi if you are going through a dark period of your life. Or to learn how to assert yourself or to strive for more independence. Skadi can comfort us with her darkness. She can cover us with her snowy blanket until we are ready to see the light once again.
Image ~ Unknown artist