Archive for July, 2013

Horsing Frigga at the Vé

Very interesting post by Juniper, a competent spirit worker from Ottawa, Ontario I see at festival every year. Frigga apparently really likes plums, I’ll have to remember that. Everyone’s experience is of course a little different, but this sort of sharing is how we get an idea of what to expect and what’s appreciated by a spirit. I also like Juniper’s method of opening the little backdoor to let them in. I may try that next time I’m the vessel, to facilitate entrance rather than passively waiting to allow it. I’m looking forward to reading part 2. Here’s the link to her post: http://walkingthehedge.net/blog/2013/07/the-hedgewitch-and-the-hurricane-pt-1/

Frigga at Her Spirit Supper

I was going to write about what a lovely impression Frigga made when she came to the spirit supper we hosted in her honor last summer, but struggled to remember who of my people was her horse. (more…)

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Part 4: The Mound of Memory

I went back to Jotunheim on foot across the snowy hills, once more in furs and brown buckskin dress for a final visit to my family – before attending the man they promised me to as baby-maker. On the way I chided myself in spite of success. I’d felt so good dancing for the crowd and seducing the king that I’d almost forgotten to claim a promise – until he asked – so caught up was I in enjoying the moment. Silly girl! You spent a year working hard for that goal, now is not the time to get distracted, I thought. This is just the beginning, and there is much yet to do before I can be a Goddess. As for Gylfi… not a bad lover. Not great, fair I suppose, but then I’m not settling down with him so it doesn’t matter. I do hope Odin doesn’t evict him when I give away the land he lives on. It certainly wouldn’t make me a very popular Goddess if I became known as a land thief. Hmm, ‘Goddess of land theft’, I smiled as I rolled the idea around in my head, kicking up snow as I went. Not the worst job a Goddess could have I guess, laying claim to territories for the Gods. ‘You! Out! Some lesser God wants your land so you’re out of luck.’  I laughed at my own wit, chuckling off and on for the rest of the day’s travels. That night I dreamed of mortals praising my name, dragging sharp tools in the ground, tracing boundaries around land given to their favorite Goddess. “No, not stolen,” I told myself softly in the morning, waking under my furs, “given. And that is my name, is it not?” The king had chosen to give me that land, though he knew not how much I could plough. (more…)

Norse Goddess
The teacher and student
Name means “Wise”

 ‘Snotra is thirteenth: she is prudent and of gentle bearing; from her name a woman or a man who is moderate is called snotr (wise, prudent).’ (1)

Nuns and Ancient Nerds

In the old days, being a scholar meant going to sit and listen to what elders had to teach. If you wanted to preserve that knowledge, you would have to compose alliterative verses to remember it. An elder might know much about her craft, but a scholar was one who knew many poems about different topics. Genealogy was preserved in this way, as were the stories and wisdom of a people. The baker would have a poem for proportions, the smith for his secrets of smelting, and some would be sung as they were spoken. Those who could write write in runes might carve the titles of poems, but never their entirety. Then came the missionaries with their books and quills. Monasteries were places of learning and study with nuns and monks as teachers. Oral traditions and the values they carried were destroyed and replaced with the writings and values of another people. Great libraries were born with the ceaseless work of monastics painstakingly copying books. At first nuns studied much as monks did, teaching young women as well as young men, and Snotra saw value in their bookish devotions despite of the old ways being lost. (more…)

Part 3: Dancing For King and Land

 Njord’s ship brought me back, once my plan was made, to the lush world of Vanaheim. He’d asked for no fee, thus making me blush, “Gift for a good cause”  he’d said on the pier. Not used to free rides, not even from kin – what I had I earned with my sweat.

There in the fields I worked over summer, to buy me a green linen gown – fit for a princess, embroidered in gold, and also I gathered some herbs. That fertile land walked I barefoot across, with my precious package in hand, till Billing’s Harbor I reached late in Fall; paid passage with work as before. Last of the harvests were ready to load; a month of toil they made for me.

One of his workers gave me a fur coat to cross Jotunheim’s snowy paths. I quite was grateful, for it took some weeks to reach Midgard’s small mountain pass. I barely fit through, which is why only small Giants are seen by humans. From there to Hleiðra[1] where king Gylfi ruled, just in time for Midwinter’s feast![2]  I made sure to wash my feet in the lake before putting on the fine dress. T’was easy to kick through a foot of ice to get to the water below, so for fun I splashed around for a while, and so washed the rest of my skin. (more…)

Part 2: The Interview

 Finally, I saw King Odin approaching. He’s easy to recognize due to the eye patch, though I suppose someone else could put a patch over an eye to make me think they were Odin. Still, I had to treat the man as if he were my new boss, whether he was or not, so I strode toward him with a big smile. Smiling is  important when you meet people. Men in green laced shirts moved in front of him with swords drawn, so I stopped and waited for the chief to come to me. I did my best to look proper and Goddess-like, but frowned upon realizing I’d forgotten to wash my feet. Too late for that now. The king came right up to me, dressed in a dark blue cloak, his gaze making me feel was peering into my very spirit.

Expressionless, he eventually spoke: “You want to be a Goddess of Asgard and swear obedience to me?”

“Yes sir, I do.”

“And what is your name, girl?” (more…)

 Part 1: Noatun

I am Gefjon, Handmaiden of Frigga, and this is my story. Naïve enough to believe, and stubborn enough to succeed, this is how I achieved dreams such that none could deny me.

Proudly I stood on the pier of Asgard’s harbor, Nóatún, at long last having attained my desired destination. Soon I too would be a Goddess alongside the mighty Aesir Gods! As I’d expected, the few clouds in sight were perfectly white and puffy, Frigga’s doing no doubt, and I smiled up at Sunna. The salty sea breeze was crisp and fresh upon my sun-darkened skin, and I delighted in tasting the landmegin: a sweet tartness like the tender shoots of spruce trees in the Spring. Spruces and firs indeed formed a forest beyond the harbor’s houses. (more…)

I suppose I should introduce myself and this blog a bit less formally.

First musings! Why I am I doing this blog? One reason is that I’ve spent over three years getting to know the Handmaidens and have been feeling an increasing sense of “We’ve given you all these stories, all these personal details about us. You said you wanted us to be better known, better loved. So why are you still sitting on all this? Get it out where people can see it! We’re not here for your entertainment, you know!” (and I can so hear Pink’s song U+UR Hand in that… this is what I get for listening to pop music with the Ladies).

I’m self-conscious about letting people see it, that’s why!  The plan is to assemble their stories into some sort of perfect book about them, but it’s never complete enough or good enough. I could spend my life on that project and it still wouldn’t be. I’m also quite sure I got some things wrong about them. Hence a blog. It’s available, but less final than a printed book. I can still edit the public version if it becomes necessary or new insights come to light. (more…)

Norse Goddess
Goddess of love, friendship and dolls.
Name means “Affection”

‘The seventh goddess is Sjöfn; she is much concerned with turning the minds of people, both men and women, to love. From her name love is called sjafni.’ UPDATED: Her name is pronounced “Sio-ven” in Icelandic (‘fn’ is sounded ‘vn’) and anglicized to Siovn or Sjofn. (1)

Sjöfn is among Love Goddesses the one most interested in children, not as a mother figure but as a companion. From them she receives love and offerings to this day, and to them she offers comfort in times of emotional need. When girls do tea parties with their dolls, it is she who receives the offered cookies and milk. At a children’s pic nics, she is Mr. Snuggle Bear, growling and demanding more cake and cuddles. When no one else is there to catch tears of loneliness, she is the ragged worn down plushy whose matted fur gets soaked. When a child clutches desperately to their toy, wondering why mommy hurts them, why daddy drinks, it is she who hugs them back and listens. (more…)

Norse Goddess
Managing people, resources and talents
Name means “Abundance”

“The fifth is Fulla: she also is a maid, and goes with loose tresses and a golden band about her head; she bears the ashe coffer of Frigg, and has charge over her foot-gear, and knows her secret counsel.” (1)

What is Fulla’s Role in Asgard?

Fulla is Lady-in-Waiting to Frigga, Queen of Asgard. A Lady-in-Waiting is not a maid or servant, rather a companion and confidante, chosen by the princess or queen from the upper nobility (such as a duchess) or from close childhood friends (usually a sister or cousin). They go where the Queen goes, having freedom of visit to the Queen’s bedchamber, help in choosing clothing for events, receive and answer messages on behalf of their mistress, keep her informed of events and gossip, supervise servants, and discreetly relay messages. They are typically proficient in etiquette, languages, dance, music making, horse riding, painting, embroidery and other queenly pastimes. In Britain, the highest titles they bear are Lady of the Bedchamber and Mistress of the Robes. (more…)