Archive for the ‘Gna’ Category

Norse Goddess
Name means “Towering”

Woman on winged horse

‘The fourteenth is Gná; Frigg sends her on her errands. She has a horse that runs through the air and over the sea called Hoof-Tosser (Hofvarpnir). Once when she was riding, some Vanir saw her riding in the air and one said: “What is flying there, faring there and gliding through the air?”

She answers, “I fly not though I fare, gliding through the air, on Hófvarpnir whom Hamskerpir, gat with Garðrófva.”(1)

From Gná’s name it is said that anything that fares high in the air gnas.’ (from gnæfa, “towering above” ) (2)

 Who is Gna?

Messenger, errand girl for Frigga, what sort of lowly job is that for a Goddess? Certainly, pray to her if you need a letter to arrive quickly and safely, an email to be read and given consideration, or a package to reach you unscathed. If you’re running late, needing to get somewhere on time quickly and safely, she can help you find the best path through traffic. All good things, but do you not also want your prayers heard? Do you need an understandable answers from your Gods and Goddesses, with good “signal clarity” and minimal interference from your ego? She rules communication, both mundane and divine, and that is no small matter! Certainly, the other Handmaidens command great powers in granting love and healing, success and safety, clarity and learning. Yet when you need someone to hear you, understand and respond meaningfully, she is best. If you want her to carry a message, hand write it, pray to her, make an offering and then burn it.  (more…)

Part 9 – Looking Up From The Mud –

Calm yourself Grisella, I told myself, don’t be giving them the satisfaction of seeing you cry.

Face down in the dirt, I took a breath. I’d been so intent on ignoring Bertha that I had not seen her trying to trip me. Whatever heaven you be in Father, I prayed, please give me strength, send me help.

“Go back to your mound,” she said with scorn. “We don’t want your kind touching our food.”

I gathered the onions, avoiding eye contact with my tormentors. It had been getting worse of late, since they’d seen my mark on the Day of Bathing.

The old gods were little good to me here, and the new god was no better. Maybe I’ll try being a good Christian when born again to Midgard, I thought, then made a sour face. There be little difference between the followers of either faith, I reminded myself. No matter what I did, I’d be alone if I could not mould myself to be like them.

Brooding in misery, that was when my dark angel appeared.

She was the first in a long while to take interest. Clearly a goddess, yet she was awkward, with a haunted look in her eyes. Like me, she seemed lost, alone.

Then to my surprise she acted like lads did – the ones who found my looks pleasing. Well, this at least I understood. It was something I could give, in a place where none wanted anything to do with me.

I’d not lain with a woman as one does a man – it being a sin and all – but then none had asked. Being already as damned as I could get, there be nowhere lower for me to sink. So, I thrust my chest out and put on my best smile for the lady. Being a whore for a goddess, that be better than what I had so far. Well, until she found someone prettier, less boyish, as the lads always did.

“Perhaps we can be friends? I am Gna, messenger of Asgard, or was until recently.”

Friends? Is that what they be calling unnatural relations these days? I can do that… (more…)

Part 8: Little Friends –

I rolled out of bed and shambled to the window. Pulling the curtains, I was greeted by the sun peeking over a forested horizon. Except it was too red – had I slept through the day? Blinking a few times, I realized it was merely a painting of sunset covered with curtains. It wasn’t even on the outside wall.

“Funny, very funny,” I muttered, remembering this was my room in Helheim. Crypts did not have windows.

I ambled to the wooden water basin near the door and gave it a sniff. I was wary of what might pass for hygiene around here, but the liquid was clear and without a suspicious odor. Come to think of it, I hadn’t really noticed much in the way of smells since I’d died. After splashing water on my face to wake up, I went to find a towel, washcloth and soap.

Thoughts of the previous day brought me a smile, and I marveled at the improvement of my mood. I had to see her again, I decided. Being alone wasn’t good for me, and I’d do almost anything to avoid returning to that frozen state of Silence.

Once dressed, I stood at the mirror. My skin had more color, looking less dead than yesterday. I whistled an old wind summoning tune as I redid my braid. From there I practically flew down the stairs to the outer doors.

She was leaning against the garden fence, fidgeting with the drooping end of her belt as I stepped out, and she wore a green kirtle dress today.

“Greetings Grisella,” I said. (more…)

Part 7: Mirror, Mirror –

Ganglati provided me a room in the castle, tastefully decorated in dark burgundy and black – quite lavish actually. The canopy bed had all manner of beasts carved into its dark red wood, as did the dressers, chairs and such.

I spent quite a while flopped on that bed’s comforter, drawn into staring at the embroidered spiral of life tapestry that hung above me. I missed the one in Asgard with constellations. It always brought me comfort when I wasn’t on the road, sleeping under the stars. At least I’m still alive… sort of, I told myself, running a hand over my hair.

After the not-quite-nap, I wasted more time frowning in front of the standing mirror. I looked surprisingly good in Hela’s colors. Royal blue was best for blondes, but all-black made me look more dangerous. Better for intimidation than diplomacy, and since I was tired of being pushed around, I liked it. The job, I wasn’t so sure of.

My new linen coat – stitched in diamond patterns with silver thread – marked me as agent and messenger of Death. I glanced down at myself. Leather boots and riding breeches completed the outfit. A belt held the short knife Oathbreaker in its sheath. Syn would love my new uniform, I reflected with a faint smile; she flat out refused to wear our official white “shoot me now” tabard, as she called it. My chest tightened with the memory. I missed her.

Don’t trust them, she’d tell me if she stood by my side. Reveal nothing. Show no weakness. You’re too naïve Gna. I sighed, almost feeling her hand on my shoulder. Mordgud and Ganglati had been kind to me, welcoming in their own way, and I didn’t know when I’d be allowed to see Hoof-Tosser. Could I truly spend years in service here alone without trust or friends? Asgard had rejected me and I’d sworn myself to the tender care of other side. I’d made my own bed of thorns, and now I had to lie in it. (more…)

I’ve treated this blog as a publishing platform, assuming people just wanted the stories, not the blathering of a writer’s process that goes behind them. However, since I missed this week’s deadline I thought some of you would like to know what’s going on. If you don’t care, that’s fine too. Stories will continue appearing either way. 🙂

Chapters That Sneak In

I was all set to post Gna’s next part, Heartcleft Road’s chapter 7 this past Thursday. I’ve been trying very hard to line up chapter writing and my friend Ethan’s editing of them so I could post regularly every week. This week was supposed to be Bridge of Blades, the big exciting fight scene, but as happened a few times while posting Gefjon’s story, a whole chapter decided to insert itself before it.

No problem, I was inspired and wrote two pages of it Thursday, and in total writing frenzy another two pages Friday all the way to the conclusion of the new chapter. Then I copy-pasted something from another version, closed the file without saving and… oh crap. I hadn’t saved the two pages of Friday, and that was the document I’d closed by mistake. It was good, gripping, and… gone. In a panic, I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to recreate it from memory. Then worked some more in the evening after my client (I’m a spiritual counselor / therapist / hypnotherapist who works over Skype). Still, couldn’t recreate it. I was bummed, to say the least.

Now I strongly suspect that losing the pages was a message from Gna. It had more crying and weeping, as in previous chapters, and that was enough of that as far as she was concerned. The new version, which I still haven’t managed to finish, has an entirely different and more active emotion. (more…)

Icy river

Part 6: Deals with Death –

 

Tightening my grip on Mordgud’s hand, I steeled myself for the stench of decay, but it was the scent of ripe apples that welcomed me to Helheim. On this side of the wall, the dusty Hel-Road became moist black earth, the barren ground around us a carpet of yellowing leaves, and dead trees were replaced by fruit laden ones. It was like I’d just stepped into Vanaheim on a peaceful Fall day just before Harvest.

“Not what you expected, I gather,” she said, bemused.

“Not at all. Where are all the dead?”

“They’re here, you simply cannot see them, and few come this close to the great wall.”

Over the tree line I could make out the black glassy spires of Elvidnir, twisting their way into the sky as if to pierce it. Even at this distance, Hela’s castle was an impressive sight – made as it was of shiny obsidian rock.

(more…)

Part 5: Hilt or Blade –

Blue gambeson

Blue gambeson.

A dark foggy path stretched before us as we rode, pierced only by pinpoint stars in every direction. Grey mane in one hand, the other held the Winds, sweat beading on my forehead from the strain. I felt foreboding mixed with hope, now that we were finally making progress, and glanced nervously behind us every now and again. This had been one of the most gut wrenching days of my life, and I feared more misfortune would befall me ere I lay my head to sleep once more.

Our trail ended at a shimmering wall, distorting the stars that seemed behind it. We followed the Deer through, and I got a mouthful of heavy snowflakes as I opened it to speak. Lit by the first hint of dawn, blown by blizzard winds, flakes froze the moisture on my scalp, settled in wet masses on my golden hair, and covered my blue coat with whiteness in mere minutes. I had no power to spare to calm the storm, and it wouldn’t listen to me anyway. The winds of Niflheim were always cranky but right now they were angry with me.

Trapped us, they howled. Free the Four Elders, their hoary voices demanded, their icy breath stinging my face. (more…)

Fallow deer in field.jpg
Fallow deer in field” by Johann-Nikolaus Andreae –  Wikimedia Commons.

Part 4 : Dreams of Yggdrasil –

Cold. I was so cold, and a mere quilted coat with breeches were insufficient. My skin felt like it was nothing more than a shell over the trapped fury of the Winds inside me, clamoring to break free. I wouldn’t last much longer, the quiet of non-existence was starting to sound appealing.

Something poked me in the ribs and I opened my eyes. A stag’s antlers? What was a deer doing in the Void Between? He was magnificent, his chestnut-colored coat almost iridescent, dappled with pale spots, eyes a deeper blue than any ocean’s – and he was staring at me.

As the fog fled from his form, I noticed symbols the size of a walnut slowly orbiting around him. Their thin lines bled yellow light as if the very air had been cut, wounds leaking potential into our world. It took a moment for my nearly frozen brain to realize they were runes, just not Odin’s runes. (more…)

Pleiades_large

Part 3: The Empty –

 

Hooves pounded behind as I jumped off the Cliff of Heaven, finally free from Heimdall’s Seven. Air became solid under my feet, for I ran as only Sky Maidens can[1].

I looked back to my steed following in my escape. But sky ran out and solid air failed as I sped across the border of the Aesir world. Blue sky changed to fog and I lost my footing, only to start slowly spinning out of control. Still I could see Hoof-Tosser behind as I spun; feel him in my head and heart. But when he too crossed the boundary from blue to gray, it all went wrong.

He screamed and struggled as I saw his shape shrink and fold, the ancient curse taking hold once more. Our mind-link was painfully ripped from my chest, and without it he returned to the form in which I first found him: a wide flat drum without voice to speak words, deprived of limbs to direct his motion.

“No! You are free! Hoof-Tosser return to me,” I commanded, knowing full well he had no way to comply.

I extended my arms as far as I could, to catch the rim and re-kindle our link, but he was too far away.

The drum merely tumbled, as did I, deeper into the thickening mist. (more…)

Stratford On Avon historic map 1902 Public Domain image

Part 2: Heimdall’s Seven

 

My steed and I left no traces in the snow as we departed. Mary Arden’s dead body lay behind me; Asgard and my friends just a short ride away through the skies. My duty was clear, yet I stopped, my face hardening in anger. “It’s not fair.” I could see the bridge out of the city only a few streets away.

Hoof-Tosser stopped and let his head droop as he glanced back. “There’s nothing to be done about it Gná. Humans die, children lose their parents, we cannot save them all. They go to their afterlife no matter what.”

“Mary Arden won’t go to the afterlife, nor will her children be reunited with her when they die, will they ?” He didn’t answer. “Will they !” I pressed.

“No need to shout,” his voice said in my head, “I hear you perfectly. And no, they won’t.” (more…)