·· Minerva Maharet ·· (chianagirl) wrote in the_goddesses,
·· Minerva Maharet ··

Skadi (also Skaoi)

Skadi is a Norse goddess and giantess, also the embodiment of winter who dwells high in Scandinavia’s snow-covered mountains. She is a huntress and dark magician, ruling particularly over damage, independence, justice, knowledge, mountains, revenge, and wilderness. It’s said that she gave hunters the gift of the bow, as well as the skill to use it. Sacred to her are the scythe, wolves, and venomous snakes.

In one legend, Skadi’s father, the giant Thiazi, kidnapped the goddess of youth. He was killed by the Aesir (the collective name for the the principal race of Norse gods) when came to rescue her. When she found that her father had been slain, she wanted revenge and went after the Aesir at Asgard. Even alone, she was more than a match for them, and the gods decided that it was wiser to reconciliate, offering her marriage as appeasement. She was free to marry any god. However, none wanted her. Odin declared that she must choose a husband anyway, but was only allowed to make her choice by looking at their feet. Skadi was secretly in love with the most handsome of all the gods- Baldur. Thinking that he would have the most beautiful feet, she chose a very elegant pair, convinced that they belonged to the fair Baldur. Unfortunately for Skadi, these were the feet of the older Njord, the homely god of the sea. Their marriage was not a happy one. She desired to live where her father had lived- in Thrymheim, in the mountains. Njord, however, wanted to live in Noatun, his seaside palace. They agreed to spend the first nine days in the mountains, and the following hine days by the sea. Their arrangement didn’t work out very well, and they parted ways.

After the separation, Skadi had several sons with Odin. She also had close ties with the trickster god, Loki. As part of her agreement with the Aesir, they promised to make her laugh, as she had not laughed since her father’s death. They charged Loki with this task. In an effort to amuse her, Loki tied one end of a rope to the beard of a goat, and the other end to his own testicles. As the goat attempted to escape this predicament, both he and Loki shrieked in pain, making Skadi laugh. The still bleeding Loki fell onto Skadi’s lap, his blood fertilised her. She eventually paired with Ull, the god of justice and agriculture.

When Loki aided in the murder of Baldur, Skadi was sent to punish him. Thor bound Loki to a rock, and Skadi placed a poisonous snake on his head. The snake’s venom dripped onto Loki’s face, forever torturing and burning him.

In the more negative legends of Skadi, she was called Mornir- the troll woman. She castrated and collected the penises of heroes. It is said that offerings of the blood of men were made to Skadi, symbolising the blood of Loki that had fertilised her. Priestesses of Skadi were also said to have bathed in blood, in preparation for rituals.

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