Ski-Goddess, Daughter of Þjazi, Vengeance-seeker. Wolf-Tamer. Mountain-Dweller.
Skadi (Skaði) is an interesting figure in a plethora of ways. As one of the Jotnar, she represents just one example among many of these apparent enemies of the Aesir being incorporated into their fold. Not just adopted, but respected and given appropriate status.
Duty bound, Skadi first arrived at Asgard to avenge the death of her father, Þjazi, at the hands of the Aesir. Donned in her armour, she marched with vengeance in her heart, until a compromise and appropriate weregild was arranged: A marriage, a laugh – courtesy of Loki tying his testicles to a nanny goat - and a final flourish from Odin to put her father’s eyes into the sky as shining stars.
Suitably to the Aesir, where nothing seems entirely straightforward, Skadi was tasked with choosing her future husband from his feet alone. And so, hoping for Baldr, she picked the prettiest among them – but it wasn’t Baldr’s feet she chose, but Njörðr of the Vanir. Their marriage is ultimately short lived, with Skadi hating living at Njörðr’s abode of Noatun on the cost, and Njörðr unable to sleep for the sound of wolves in Þrymheimr (Thrymheim).
Yet, Skadi’s later attestations certainly hint that relations between her and the Aesir remain amicable. She is present during Ægir’s feast in Lokasenna and threatens to tie Loki up by his son’s entrails. When Loki is eventually bound, it is Skadi that places the venomous snake above him, finally achieving some sort of direct justice for his crucial role in her father’s death.
To her devotees, worshippers, and kin, she represents the raw power of the Jotnar. She is the wild of nature, the primal power of it. She is duty-bound with a strong moral compass. A guiding light in the dark. Someone who is utterly at home among the mountains and snow of her home. She represents justice, but also compromise. She, like many of the Nordic deities, is a being of many sides. Complex, with unfathomable depths. Not one thing, but numerous.
How do you see Skadi? What does she represent to you? How do you work with, or worship her?
Image credit: Katie Metcalfe