Welcome to Skadi's Winter Wonderland
As we move toward the cold darkness of winter, we enter the dark Goddess Skadi’s realm. Skadi is the Viking Goddess of winter. Her name is said to mean shadow or shade. She is the Queen of the shades.
She is a huntress, a dark magician, a giantess Goddess, ruling especially over mountains, wilderness, winter, revenge, knowledge, damage, justice, and independence. It is said that she gifted hunters with the bow and the skill to use it. The scythe, wolves and venomous snakes are sacred to her. Also sacred to her are skates, skis and snowshoes. She often did her hunting while on skis. All of Scandinavia is named after the Goddess Skadi, and she is said to dwell in the high snow-covered mountains there.
Skadi is the daughter of the giant Thiazi. Her father Thiazi kidnapped the Idunn, Goddess of youth, and then was killed by the Aesir who came to rescue the Youth Goddess.
At the news of his death, Skadi was full of rage. She put on her shining armor and her weapons and strode across Bifrost to Asgard, the home of the Aesir. Skadi then went after the Aesir to get revenge for the death of her father.
The gods were at peace, glad to feel young again now that Idunn was back with her magic apples of youth. They asked Skadi if she would take gold in payment for her father’s death, for such was the custom of the Norse.
Skadi scornfully replied that she had all the gold she needed. When Olvaldi had died, he had left much gold to his sons, Thjazzi, Gang, and Idi, and now she had Thjazzi’s entire share. Instead, she demanded a husband from among the gods.
The gods conferred and agreed it would be wise to let the icy giantess have her way. There was one condition: Skadi must choose her husband by the look of his feet, not by his face. Skadi agreed, but she, too, had a condition. The gods must make her laugh, for she was full of rage and her heart was cold.
The strange bargain was struck, and the gods stood barefoot behind a curtain that hid all but their feet. One pair of feet at once struck Skadi as more beautiful than the rest. They must belong to the beautiful god Balder, she thought. She announced her choice.
Out stepped Njord, the Vanir God of the Seas and of Seafarers, and the father of Frey and Freya. Skadi was disappointed apparently Balder is one of type of people who have a handsome face but ugly feet.
Bitterly, she asked the gods to make her laugh. Loki, the trickster god who had been partially responsible for Thjazzi’s death, had to set his quick mind to work as soon as he had heard Skadi’s requests. Now he led forward one of Thor’s rambunctious goats, and the two played such lively and hilarious antics that Skadi and all the gods laughed until their sides ached.
As a wedding present for Skadi, Odin took Thjazzi’s eyes from his pouch and hurled them into the heavens, where they shone brightly as twin stars. Njord took his new wife to his home, Noatun, by the seashore. Skadi did not like the sunshine, the sea, the sound of the waves, or those damn gulls. Njord then went with Skadi to Thrymheim, her sunless, freezing mountain home, but Njord did not like the howling of the wolves, the cold wind, the bare mountains, or the terrible cold.
The two tried to divide their time between the two homes: nine days in Njord’s Noatun and nine in Skadi’s Thrymheim.
So she left. When she was out hunting with her wolves one day, she ran into Ulle, the Aesir god of Winter, Archery and Skiers. They fell in love and were soon married.Skadi spent more and more time in the cold mountains, a dark shape speeding over the snow in her snowshoes, bringing death to wolves and bears from her quiver full of arrows. She is the Goddess of Skiers and Hunters.
Worshipers of the Goddess Skadi