“She conquered her demons and wore her scars like wings.”
—Atticus Poetry, Love Her Wild
From Skye Alexander’s Your Goddess Year Book
Dates For Inviting Her: January 8–14
This week we honor Skadi, the Norse goddess of winter. Scandinavia means “Skadi’s Isle.” Like many other winter goddesses, Skadi is associated with darkness and death, for now the barren earth slumbers beneath a blanket of snow. Despite the bitter conditions, this goddess’s strength and determination enable her to cope with challenges, as we all must do during hard times.
Some sources suggest Skadi may have hunted with wolves, or perhaps dogs from the north country, such as Siberian huskies. Snowy owls, who symbolize wisdom as well as predatory skills, may also have accompanied her on her hunting expeditions.
Folklore describes Skadi as a giantess with pale blonde hair and blue eyes who lived in Thrymheim, her father’s court, high in the snow-covered mountains where winter reigned year-round. One day her father, the frost god Thiazi, decided to abduct a beautiful young goddess named Idun. For his crime, the top Norse god Odin killed Thiazi. Skadi then strapped on her skis, gathered up her bow and arrows—she was an excellent archer and hunter, like the Roman goddess Diana (August 7–13)—and set out to avenge her father’s murder.
When Skadi reached Asgard, where Odin and his fellow deities lived, the gods tried to appease the angry goddess and avoid further conflict. Odin invited her to marry one of his tribe, known as the Vanir, and become a member of his court.
Infatuated with the handsome god Baldur, Skadi agreed, hoping he’d become her husband. There was a catch, however. Skadi had to choose her husband sight unseen from a group of gods—she could only look at their shoes to make her decision. Unfortunately, she picked the sea god Njord, who not only was old and ugly; he also hated the mountains that were Skadi’s home. After only two weeks, the marriage dissolved. Legends vary about what followed. Some say Skadi eventually married Odin, with whom she had a son who became the king of Norway. Others suggest she hooked up with Ullr, the god of winter.
Perhaps she chose to remain independent and solitary on her mountaintop, where she continues to ski and hunt alone.
This mountain goddess speaks to us from the high peaks, where winter’s winds howl constantly and the snow never melts. If you live in the north, you’ll find many icy-cold places at this time of year to seek her counsel. Otherwise, go to an isolated, barren spot and sit in quiet contemplation—in the dark of night, if you feel safe doing so—and listen to Skadi’s words of wisdom.
Skadi personifies the darkness and hardships we all endure, symbolized by the cold, bleak, seemingly endless Scandinavian winter and her isolation in the mountains. Despite the harshness of her environment, however, she remains true to herself. Although she’s willing to entertain a compromise with Odin and the other Vanir gods, and gives marriage a try, she refuses to relinquish the life she loves to please her husband or his kin.
Do you feel someone has wronged you, or that you’ve been treated unfairly? Do you long to see justice done? The culprit punished? Are you seeking vindication or restitution? If so, Skadi can lend you her courage and fervor to stand up to an adversary. She’ll teach you how to fight for what’s rightfully yours and to trust your inner strength. This athletic goddess can also champion people who enjoy winter sports, especially skiing and snowshoeing.
How To Invite Her
This practice lets you symbolically melt a hardship, obstacle, or difficulty in your life so that beneficial energy can flow and you can move forward.
Snow, natural ice, or ice cubes
A glass bowl
1. On the first day of the week, place a handful of snow or ice into the glass bowl.
2. Assign the snow or ice a problem or obstacle you are facing and want to eliminate. Put a drop of food coloring on the snow or ice. The color should represent the problem; for example, green for money issues, red for anger.
3. Place the bowl in a warm spot and watch the snow/ice melt. As it does, feel Skadi helping you to dissolve the problem.
4. Then pour the water down the drain.
5. Repeat each day of this week. You may choose to melt a different obstacle each day or continue working on the same one until you feel you’ve completely eliminated it. You can use this practice to solicit Skadi’s aid in the future, if you wish.