Goddess Skadi  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Skadi Image
"SKADI" IS THE WINTER GODDESS OF SCANDINAVIA, OF THE FIERCE WINTER WINDS, THE SNOW, SNOWSHOES, AND HUNTING. SHE IS SYMBOLIC OF DEATH AND HARM, A GODDESS OF THE DARK CRUEL NORTH WHO RULES OVER THE COLD WINTER MONTHS AND AREAS OF THE WORLD WHICH ARE COVERED WITH SNOW AND ICE. SHE BESTOWS JUSTICE AND VENGEANCE ON THE WICKED. SHE IS A BREATHTAKINGLY BEAUTIFUL GIANTESS, THE DAUGHTER OF "THJAZI". SNOW COVERED MOUNTAINS ARE HER HOME. HER SACRED ANIMALS WERE THE SERPENT AND THE WOLF.

AFTER HER FATHER WAS KILLED BY "THOR" AND "LOKI", SKADI "CAME TO THE GATES OF "ASGARD" AND CHALLENGED THE GODS. "ODIN" OFFERED A COMPROMISE AND REQUESTED THAT SHE FORGET ABOUT HER REVENGE. SHE AGREED TO DO SO ONLY IF ONE OF THE GODS COULD MAKE HER LAUGH AND THAT SHE WOULD BE FREE TO CHOOSE A HUSBAND. AS THE STORY GOES," LOKI "APPEARED TO HER AS A GOAT AND DANCED AND THIS MADE HER LAUGH.

THEY BLINDFOLDED SO THAT SHE COULD SEE ONLY THE FEET OF THE GODS STANDING IN A CIRCLE AROUND HER, SHE CHOSE HER HUSBAND BY SEARCHING THE ONE WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FEET. HER GAZE FELL UPON A PAIR OF BEAUTIFULLY FORMED FEET, AND SHE WAS SURE THEY MUST BELONG TO THE GOD OF LIGHT, "BALDER", WHO WAS THE GOD THAT SHE HAD WANTED. HOWEVER, WHEN THE BLINDFOLD WAS REMOVED, SHE FOUND THAT SHE HAD INSTEAD CHOSEN "NJORD", THE GOD OF NAVIGATION.

DESPITE HER DISAPPOINTMENT, SHE SPENT A HAPPY HONEYMOON ON "ASGARD", BUT BOTH KNEW THE MARRIAGE WOULD NEVER WORK. HE LOVED THE SEA AND SHE WAS A CREATURE OF THE MOUNTAINS; THEREFORE, THEY AGREED TO STAY AT THE HOMES OF EACH OTHER EVERY NINE DAYS, AND FOR SOME TIME, "NJORD" (THE PERSONIFICATION OF SUMMER) AND "SKADI" (THE PERSONIFICATION OF WINTER) ALTERNATED THUS, BUT EVENTUALLY THE PAIR DECIDED IT WAS NEVER GOING TO WORK SO THEY PARTED FOREVER AND RETURNED TO THEIR RESPECTIVE HOMES.

THE LEGEND OF SKADI


Through the leaves of the Edda there rustles a tale
Of Skadi, the daughter of torrent and gale.
Who, leaving her snow-summits, breezy and free,
Went down to be wedded to Njord of the sea. Though bright was the ocean as now, in the day When Vanir held nature in sway,
Of gods though her bridegroom was reckoned the third,
In Skadi's new mansion a murmur was heard.
"O Njord, I am homesick! the gull's tiresome note,
The moan of the breakers, the tide's endless rote,
They hold my eyes sleepless; I never can stay
By the wide-staring ocean. Come, let us away! "Away to my mountains, my home in the height, To the glens and the gorges, the summits of light!"
And Njord could but listen and go with his bride;
But there for his sea-haunts he drearily sighed.
"O Skadi, come back to the warm, sunny surf!
The beach-sand is smoother than frost-bitten turf;
I like not, at midnight, the wolf's hungry howl,
The bear's stealthy footstep, the shriek of the owl. "Nine sunsets, my Skadi, from sole love of thee, I will give to the mountains, if only for three
With me thou wilt linger the blue wave beside;
The billows shall lull thee, my wild one, my bride!
"
"THEN DOWN THE STEEP GORGES WENT SKADI AND NJORD; "
"LIKE WIND THROUGH THE PINE-WOODS THEY SWEPT TO THE FIORD! "
"AND BACK IN THREE MORNINGS THEY HURRIED AGAIN, "
"BEARING UP TO THE HILL-TOPS THE SIGH OF THE MAIN. "SO HITHER AND THITHER AWHILE SWAYED THE PAIR: "
"BUT NJORD SICKENED SOON OF THE FRESH INLAND AIR; "
"AND ONCE, AS HE SCENTED AFAR THE SALT SEA, "
"NO MORE OF THE MOUNTAINS," HE SHOUTED, "FOR ME!
"I AM NINE TIMES TOO WEARY OF CAVERN AND CLIFF! "
"ALL THE PINE-GROVES OF NORWAY I'D GIVE FOR MY SKIFF. "
"THE TWILIGHT, THAT BURIES THE WHITE, SOLEMN HILLS, "
"MY BLOOD, LIKE THE COMING OF RAGNAROK CHILLS. THREE DAYS AND THREE NIGHTS ARE TOO MANY FOR ME "
"TO WASTE ON THE OCEAN, O DULL NJORD, AND THEE!
"AND SKADI HAS BUCKLED HER SNOW-SANDALS ON, "
"AND BACK TO HER MOUNTAINS ALONE SHE HAS GONE. "
"THE RED, CLIMBING SUNRISE, THE ROSY-FRINGED MIST, "
"STEALING UP FROM THE VALLEY, HER CLEAR CHEEK HAVE KISSED; "
"AND OVER THE HILL-TOPS THE FROSTY BLUE SKY "
"WITH THE JOY OF ITS WELCOME REKINDLES HER EYE. "SHE TIGHTENS HER BOWSTRING, SHE BOUNDS FROM THE ROCK; "
"THE ELVES IN THEIR CAVERNS HER MERRY VOICE MOCK; "
"THE WATERFALL'S RUSH TO THE TARN BY THE CRAG, "
"AND THE LEAP OF THE REINDEER, BEHIND HER BOTH LAG. "
"BUT STILL, AS SHE CHASES THE WOLF AND THE BOAR, "
"BY SOUNDS SHE IS STARTLED LIKE SURF ON THE SHORE, "
"THAT SURGE THROUGH THE FOREST, AND WHISPER, AND RAVE; "
"'TIS NJORD, WHO IS CALLING HER BACK TO THE WAVE. "AND NJORD HEARS A HILL-NOTE BORNE IN ON THE TIDE. "
"WHEN SOFT THROUGH THE SUNSET THE LAZY WAVES GLIDE. "
"OR TRANCED IN THE MOONLIGHT THE WEIRD WATER SHINES; "
"TIS SKADI, WHOSE SINGING FLOATS DOWN FROM HER PINES. "
He calls, but she leaves not her rock-ranges free;
"SHE CHANTS FROM HER WOODLANDS, HE STAYS BY THE SEA: "
"A WAIL THRILLS THE HARP-STRINGS OF HEART LOST TO HEART, "
"NEITHER HAPPY TOGETHER, NOR JOYOUS APART. "OF SEA-GOD AND HILL-MAID REMAINS NOT A SIGN, "

SAVE THE MARRIAGE OF MUSIC IN BILLOW AND PINE:


"STILL SOUND THE NORSE MOUNTAINS, THE TIDE IN THE FIORD",
"WITH THE SINGING OF SKADI, THE ECHO OF NJORD. "

LUCY LARCOM



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