Running Up the World Tree : Gefjon’s Story part 7

Posted: October 1, 2013 in Aesir & Asynjur, Deities & Wights, Frigga, Gefjon, Jotnar, Stories, Vanir
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Part 7: Lady of Dance

The initiation done and my divinity revealed, I inspected myself in the tall mirror of my new chambers. My skin was now a perfectly smooth and soft alabaster white, barely contrasting with the white dress I wore. I saw the rosy tint of my cheeks, lips red as raspberries, and hair golden as the ripened wheat. Gone was my earth brown wavy tangly hair, and gone was my dark skin. My rough Giantess beauty had been replaced by the refined facial features of an Aesir maiden. I daintily brought a hand to caress my necklace – each bead beckoning me to a different dance of power – shocked speechless by my transformation. Even my fingers were delicate, as were my nails, such hands that had never seen hard work. I looked like every story princess awaiting her prince.

The room around me was blurry with shifting colors and shapes, Dwarven built out of spelled stones that were attempting to reflect my nature. At first it looked like a dark and musty cave, but now it had the seeming of nearly white limestone walls, seats and furniture with a sunny window. The air felt light and barely scented, as if made of the purest morning, though it kept wavering between that and the smell of moist clay.

Frigga said: “Now Gefjon, you are truly transformed by your ascension. You are a Goddess of the Aesir and a lady of power. You command the souls of unmarried women, and that is no small thing. We have decided, my husband and I, that you should also be Goddess of dancing, due to the… nature of the way you acquired land for us. You and your ladies will be celestial role models for the refined Aesir arts. You will be dancers upon the clouds I spin!”

I stared at her, still unable to speak. “Come now, I know you are choked by emotion,” she said, her own eyes moist with joy, “but you are certainly worthy of this honor. Speak, child.”

I looked back at my reflection, gasping to form words, and finally managed to squeak out: “This must be a dream. Someone will wake me any moment now.”

She smiled and said with a comforting hand on my arm: “No, I assure you this is no dream. You are an Aesir Goddess now, one of the Asynjur, and this is to be your true form forever more. Rejoice my dear!”

With tightened lips I swatted her hand away, balling my tiny fists in fury before hissing: “This is a bloody nightmare! What have you done to me you hag?”

Frigga raised her hands defensively and took a step back, clearly confused. “What do you mean? I’ve given you what you’ve always dreamed of!”

I snarled and said: “This is not my dream! I dreamed of being a Goddess, yes, but this,” pointing at the mirror, “is not me. You used unholy Aesir sorcery to strip me of everything that made me who I was; my strength, my scars, my very face, and turned me into this… this… delicate girl child who could not possibly do an honest day’s work.”

Forehead crinkling, she asked: “Why would you ever want to return to the work you did before? You have new responsibilities – in hearing and answering the prayers of mortals, in being the spirit of dance that moves them and lightens their hearts. Surely you couldn’t believe we’d let you get your hands dirty with field work as a Goddess? That’s good enough for the Vanir perhaps, but that is not our way.”

“Because,” said a new lady from the doorway, “she loves the land. I told you this would not turn out the way you planned.” Like the rest of the Goddesses assembled for my ascension, she was dressed in white, but her beauty far surpassed my own. Her golden hair was even more luminous than mine, and a sweet floral scent of Spring blossoms wafted into my room. Frigga looked like she had bitten a sour apple when she replied: “Freya, your counsel is not needed here.” Freya shrugged, and that simple gesture sent a warm tingle through my body. She has that effect even when wasn’t trying.

“Out! Out! Everyone out of my chambers!” I shouted. Freya left right away, but Frigga retreated unwillingly. She started to speak some stern words, but then thought better of it.

“Clearly you need time to adjust. I will leave you be for now,” my Queen said through pursed lips.

 

I sat brooding over my situation, cooling my posterior on a white stone bench in Freya’s gardens, surrounded by flowers whose beauty I could not appreciate in this enclosure of eternal Spring. One of the women I’d brought to Asgard wandered by, still wearing the tattered green gown she’d had in the death lands.

“Pardon me,” she said, “but I am looking for Lady Gefjon. Have you any idea where she might be?” I was not in any mood to be disturbed, and her lack of recognition angered me further, just proving how much I’d lost myself.

I glowed in godly wrath and boomed: “Go away mortal! I am not to be disturbed so do not anger me further!” She shielded her eyes with her hands as she retreated a few steps, pushed back by the force of my divine presence.

Through clenched teeth she spoke: “My Lady Gefjon warned us that Aesir Gods were not as… approachable to their people. My apologies, I shall not disturb you again great… Goddess.” That last word she spat like one would a piece of rotting meat.

The way she glared before turning away stole my breath and made my cheeks burn with shame. I had become exactly the kind of deity my people despised and accused the Aesir of being: Superior, arrogant, self-important and too involved in their own problems to care about anyone else. “Wait!” I cried out, “I’m… sorry. Please come back.” My glow was gone, and I was sure my cheeks were about to burst into flame at any moment while my heart thudded.

“Yes, Goddess?” she asked cautiously, from a safe distance on the flagstone path.

“I… your Lady Gefjon… she is not well at the moment, and would not be good company. Her ascension has caused her… difficulties.” Cautiously the woman approached. “I am Brynja, and I would like to assist my Lady if I can.”

I looked upon her, seeing only honesty and kindness in her eyes. I closed my own to take a deep breath. “I do not know how you could possibly help her. Ascension completely transformed her. She does not even recognize herself and is having a very hard time adjusting.” I looked into her eyes, wringing my hands. “You could be staring at her right now and not even recognize her. Even her manners and moods are not her own. I fear she is…” I choked a bit, my throat dry, “lost to us forever.” My eyes were getting wet, and I didn’t know how long I could hold back from crying. I couldn’t tell her the small woman before her was Gefjon, I just couldn’t. I didn’t even feel like I was the one who took their oath. I was this strange new Goddess who somehow had Gefjon’s memories, memories which only brought me shame. I caught myself wondering if I could somehow forget who I used to be. It would be so much easier to be this delicate Goddess of dance if I forgot who I had been before. I chuckled through tears, as I told myself: This is what you wanted, you’re a Goddess now. So why do I hate myself? Why do I feel disgust when I look in the mirror? Can godhood be undone, or do I have to live with this self-loathing eating away at my soul? Maybe Freya can help me forget with her seidh magic…

Will Gefjon be undone by achieving her dreams?
Find out how it ends in part 7!

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Comments
  1. Teka Lynn says:

    I have to say, I didn’t see this plot twist. I wouldn’t be too happy myself if someone stripped me of my body and past without a by-your-leave.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lofnbard says:

      It’s like the song by Pink: “L.A. told me, you’ll be a rock star, all you have to change, is everything you are.” Getting what you want isn’t always what you expect it to be, and sometimes the price is higher than you could imagine.
      I appreciate your comment, it’s a sucky turn for Gefjon.

      Like

    • sonyjalerulv says:

      No kidding!! When I read the description of her ‘new looks’ I was thinking ‘Oh oh…. she won’t be pleased, at all.’

      Like

      • lofnbard says:

        This is every girl’s fantasy, or so we’re told, to become the pretty princess. Except it’s fake. Gefjon turns that trope on its head. Lesser women would lose their soul and buy into the glamour.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. “This is a bloody nightmare! What have you done to me you hag?”

    That’s what I want to know!

    Also… amusing to read through this story and notice how several of my sensabilites are more like those of Jotuns and less like Aesir, while like Gefjon I’m drawn to the Aesir and their way of commanding influence.

    Like

    • lofnbard says:

      The Aesir are not all of Odin’s line, they come from every other tribe, a sort of cherry picked dream team to rule the worlds. But there’s the issue of drinking the Cool-Aid and betraying your roots. Tyr had that problem, and it cost him dearly to keep his membership.

      Like

  3. lofnbard says:

    Jotuns are sensible, but the Aesir are so shiny! Everyone wants to hang out with the cool kids . 😉

    Like

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