Musings on the Goddesses of the Jotnar, Angerboda and Iron Wood Magic

Despite the more obvious practices of Seidhr, spells, enchantments, divination and shapeshifting, there is another powerful magic in the Iron Wood: the women Themselves.

The women are the fiercer, more powerful sex among the Jotnar – think of Angerboda and Skadi, of Groa and Gerda. But this strength isn’t just physical, and nor is it purely ‘magical’. Their true power lies in Their personal power, Their Sovreignty, Their sacred expression of Their Selves. They are empowered women, the ones who stand up for Their needs and desires, standing Their ground, asserting Their boundaries.

To the writers of the time these powerful, self-assured women must have been seen as a real threat to the ‘way of the world’. These are independent Goddesses who know Their needs and magics and are respected for it. How much of the ‘terrible and terrifying’ description of Them is really true, and how much is the filter of the writer?

While these amazingly strong Goddesses can be fierce and awe-inspiring, is there a chance They have been somewhat misrepresented? How much of Their true nature has been rewritten or lost? Just as Sigyn is reduced to the long-suffering wife of Loki in the Eddas, with the gift of her magic as galdr fetter hinted at in one epithet, how much of the Jotnar and Iron Wood has been lost?

In being drawn back to the ways of nature, the Earth and the crystal, plant and animal kingdoms I feel  my inner ‘wild woman’ calling. This is part of me I have been too afraid to claim, but now I’m tentatively curious. Whereas Angerboda used to terrify me I can now be in Her presence with a great deal of respect for Her power. I know She values physical strength, but She also values strength of will and heart.
Beside Her more obvious Iron Wood connections, to me She is a Goddess of empowerment. Part of Her gift is bringing us into our own power. While this manifests differently in each of us – due to different personalities, abilities and paths to follow – She is the embodied Powerful Feminine.
Although Hers can be a tough love, She does love… and fiercely. She is loyal and true to Her Self and to those She loves. She doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

 

Set-beast investigation #1: Saiga Antelope

There are many theories about whether the Set-beast is based on a real animal, whether it is a compilation of creatures (like Ammit), or a completely mythological being.
While watching the ‘Grasslands’ episode of Sir David Attenborough’s ‘Planet Earth II’ I came face to face with an Ice Age relic: the Saiga Antelope. Just look at that nose! How can you not see a resemblance to the Egyptian God Set when you look at it?

By Vladimir Yu. Arkhipov, Arkhivov – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8955913

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Samhain 2016 -Finding the seed of light in the darkness

Samhain 2016 -Finding the seed of light in the darkness

It is a very human trait to fear death and the darkness, but many ancient and indigenous cultures understand that there is a greater cycle to life. In doing so they respect these forces and understand their place in the world, and in the universe(s) we live in.
Many Deities and Spirits have an element of darkness within them, like the Tao symbol, with Yin and Yang each having a seed of the other within. Some are darker than others, some are more of the light, but each have elements of both that can teach us.
For what is life if not day and night, light and shade?  Even those destructive moments strip away the old to leave the potential for a new way of life. As the moon shines in the night it lights our way through the darkness of the nocturnal hours, just as those who are darker in nature can teach us to find and follow our own pathway – ‘to thine own self be true’. Many of these so-called darker Deities have protective aspects, and can teach triumph through adversity. often they embody our own worst fears, ones we must ultimately face, or else how can we truly enjoy life in all its aspects?
Give the dark the respect it is due, and you may just find the seed of light – the moon – to guide you through it. Continue reading

Friday Finds – October 2016

This month, in a change from the usual format, I’m looking at ouroboros items. All can be found on Etsy. Click on the link below the picture to be taken to the product page.

ouroboros_orioncarvings
by OrionCarvings in Chile – Product Link

ouroboros_frostferrumforge
by FrostFerrumForge in Finland – Product Link

ouroboros_treeterracom
by TreeTerracom in Canada – Product Link

ouroboros_vocisconnesse
by Vocisconnesse in Italy – Product Link

ouroboros_artifactorystore
by ArtifactoryStore in Russia – Product Link

ouroboros_modestbirdy
by ModestBirdy in Hungary – Product Link

ouroboros_seespotrunfindings
by SeeSpotRunFindings in USA – Product Link

ouroboros_extase
by extase in Canada – Product Link

ouroboros_ayeshajones
by AyeshaJones in Wales, UK – Product Link

ouroboros_debaunfineceramics
by DeBaunFineCeramics in USA – Product Link

ouroboros_dwarvesong
by Dwarvesong in USA – Product Link

ouroboros_fogliaviola
by FogliaViola in Italy – Product Link

Skeleton found in well confirms Viking Saga – The Archaeology News Network

Excavations of a well in Trondheim, Norway, have revealed the skeleton of a man. Archaeologists say this may be evidence that the saga of King Sverre is actually based on historical events.

https://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/skeleton-found-in-well-confirms-viking.html?m=1#Hxe5PSI1srWWOwLv.97

Friday Focus: The Norse-inspired Artwork of Paige Carpenter

Friday Focus: The Norse-inspired Artwork of Paige Carpenter

Paige Carpenter is an illustrator from Texas, USA, who takes her inspiration from a variety of sources. On her website it says: “She loves Norse mythology, reading, gardening, and of course, creating art.” The works that I love the most are her depictions of the Norse deities. She has a soft style to her pencil and charcoal pieces, which is particularly lovely in her beautiful depiction of Laufey holding baby Loki. Her watercolor pieces are vibrant, but have an almost velvety texture.
I cannot tell you how ridiculously excited I was when I found her depictions not only of Loki, but also Laufey and Helblindi. These two, along with Farbauti and Loki’s other siblings are so rarely depicted, and when they are they usually have a Marvel influence. It’s really refreshing to see a traditional-style illustrator showing us her view of them.

Paige’s Website: www.paigecarpenter.com

(Click on the images to be taken to the image page)

kissed-by-fire

Kissed by Fire

the-unquiet-thought

The Unquiet Thought

loki-casting-fire

Loki Casting Fire

baldrs-murderer

Baldr’s Murderer

laufey

Laufey

helblindi

Helblindi

angrboda

Angrboda

thunder-and-fire

Thunder and Fire

thor-sketch

Thor sketch

freyr

Freyr

freya

Freya

ivaldis-youngest-daughter

Ivaldi’s Youngest Daughter

jewel-glad-menglod

Jewel-Glad

Friday Finds 06

Today I am introducing PantheonSkulptur. Stina lives in Sweden and makes resin statues of the Norse Gods and goddesses, which she then gilds with brass leaf.

The Freya, Frigga, Thor, Skadi and Jord/Gerd statues have already sold, but maybe if you messaged Stina she would be able to make another.

Edit: Hella statue is now mine. Channelling Gollum: come to me my preciousss.

Freya_02Frey

FriggaOdin

ThorTyr

Jord-GerdSkadi

LokiLoki_03

HelHella