Freyja Becomes Involved
Skogul needed to get as far away from Valhalla as she could. As the Valkyrie mounted Harbinger she was barely able to maintain her conflicted emotions. One moment she was burning with anger, then a moment later she felt that she could die of shame. Underlying these fluctuating emotions of course was her deep love for Kolskegg, and the intense loneliness she felt without him.
Skogul' s horse, floated gently down upon the shore of the lake. The day was humid and without a breeze. The cool water seemed very inviting to the Valkyrie as it gently lapped against the shore. Skogul donned her swan skin, and waddled into the lake until she was in far enough to paddle her way into deeper water. For most of the morning, Skogul, in her emotionally distressed state, bobbed up and down in the gentle ripples of the lake trying desperately to decide what she should do next. She had many options, but none of them looked very promising.
Just as Sunna passed directly overhead, Skogul felt something tug at her inner being. Every Valkyrie was well aware of this urge, and could not resist it. For ir was Odin himself who was calling all of his maidens to go and collect the honored dead from a battlefield somewhere on Midgard. Skogul did not need to know exactly where she was going as she swam back to shore. Harbinger, who was becoming impatient on the lake bank, felt the same urge, and he knew instinctively how to find the battlefield where the dead lay waiting to be escorted to Valhalla.
Skogul did not want to go and retrieve the dead. She no longer wanted to serve Odin at all ! Her only thoughts were of Kolskegg, and of that wonderful night they spent together. As she slowly removed her swan skin she was suddenly filled with a great sadness. Naked and alone she sat on the shore of the lake and cried.
Harbinger would have none of Skogul's nonsense ! The great white winged horse began to stomp his hooves, and make guttural sounds from deep within his throat. When this did not get the maiden' s attention he began to nudge the Valkyrie with his nose. Finally, and after much prodding, Skogul rose up and began to dress in her armor and coat of mail. Harbinger did not wait to be kicked into action after she mounted him. The winged steed took off at once nearly throwing his rider as he flew off at great speed to Midgard. Skogul' s mood turned sour once again. " I am not to be allowed a lover, or a moments peace ! " she said out loud as she hung on for dear life.
It had been a very long time since Skogul had traveled to this part of Midgard. The battlefield appeared to be at the edge of the land named Zealand, in Denmark. The Valkyrie smiled as she remembered the stories that were told about this land. " How exactly did that story go ? " she thought to herself. " Oh, Yes ! A woman named Gefjon made an agreement with the ancient king of Sweden named Gylfi. She would please the king, and in return he would give her all the land she could plow in a day and a night using four oxen. Gefjon deceived the king and used her four Jotun sons as the oxen. The Aesir Goddess, with her sons harnessed to a mighty plow, dug up a large tract of land, and deposited it in the sound. She called this place Selund, and it became a part of Denmark. But now the place was known as Zealand. " she whispered to herself.
As she looked below at all the broken bodies that lay upon the battlefield, the story quickly lost its importance. Once again Skogul fell into a deep depression, and was lost in her own sadness. Skogul barely took notice of the warrior as she lifted him up onto her horse. She felt almost as though she were one of the walking dead that she had heard so much about. Draugr were what the Midgardians called them, and they mindlessly roamed the blue realm forever caught in between death and the afterlife.
This warrior was for Freyja, and the ride to Folkvang was a long one. Skogul began to become very tired as they left the blue world, and headed for Freyja's great hall Sessrumnir. The sleepy Valkyrie laid her head upon the neck of Harbinger and closed her eyes. She soon became lost in her dreams.
Harbinger once again became impatient ! He had landed at the steps to Sessrumnir, where he expected his rider to dismount. When she did not move at all the great steed bobbed his head up and down violently to shake her awake. " Yes ! Yes ! We are here ! " she shouted at her steed as she dismounted.
Skogul carefully removed the warrior from her saddle, and gently placed him on the steps of Freyja's great hall. When she lay him down, Skogul noticed his face for the first time. The warrior had a handsome face with pleasant features. He also had bright blue eyes which reminded her immediately of Kolskegg. Skogul gazed into his eyes for only a moment before she broke down in tears. " And you will never see him again ! " Odin's words rang through her mind over and over again, as the tears fell faster and faster.
Skogul was sobbing so hard that she did not notice when the doors of the hall opened. Nor did she become aware that Freyja hovered above her until the shadow of the Goddess appeared before her on the lower steps. Skogul expected to find and angry Goddess when she finally turned around. What she saw, however, was the most beautiful female she had ever seen smiling down on her.
" I thought I was the only one who cried here in Folkvang. " she explained to the distraught Valkyrie. Freyja reached out and gently wiped away her tears. " Why don' t you tell me Skogul what is troubling you child ! " she told Skogul as she sat down beside her on the marble steps. Before she could utter a single word Skogul threw her arms around Freyja and cried out : " I hurt so badly ! I think my heart will explode ! "
Freyja was startled by the Valkyrie's bold behavior, but she was well aware of the pain that love can cause, and so the Goddess placed her arms around Skogul to comfort her. While she was consoling the maiden Freyja chanted an ancient spell, blinked her right eye, and the warrior came back to life. " Wait inside for me ! " she commanded. The warrior nodded and went into the hall leaving the women alone. Freyja then gently pushed Skogul away, and looked into her red puffy eyes. " Now, please tell me what is troubling you child ? " Freyja asked in a whisper.
Sunna had almost crossed the sky by the time Skogul finished her sad story. She left nothing out, and told her everything, including the fight with Geirahod, and her meeting with Odin. As she explained what had happened Skogul could not help but notice that Freyja' s expression turned from sympathy to anger. When the Valkyrie finished she once again expected to be scolded by a God.
Freyja put on a false smile as she patted Skogul's cheek. " What a wonderful love story ! " she said quietly. Then the Goddess narrowed her eyes. " Odin sometimes allows his anger to get the best of him. " she explained to the Valkyrie. " I remember the time Gullveig was brought before him. He feared her magic and grew angry at what he saw as her insolence. The war that resulted from that meeting almost destroyed both of our realms ! " she exclaimed as she shook her head in disgust.
Skogul looked up at the beautiful Goddess of Seidr and raised her eyebrows in surprise. " You are not angry with me ? " she asked in a tone that reflected her confusion.
Freyja stood up and clapped her hands together. " Why would I be mad at you child ? " she asked without waiting for an answer. " Love is a beautiful experience,.... and anger has no place when it comes to love. " she told the Valkyrie with a pleasant smile.
Just as Freyja finished her sentence her golden cart, pulled by two magnificent mountain cats, arrived at the front of her hall. " I will go and speak to Odin on your behalf child. " Freyja told her as she stepped into her cart. " But you my dear are being derelict in your duties ! You must go at once, and gather up the honored souls for us ! " she commanded.
" Do not worry my dear I will sway Odin ! " Freyja shouted as her cats carried her away. As her golden cart rose high into the heavens Freyja smiled. " But first I must go and see the Norn Skuld ! " the Goddess said under her breath.
- End Chapter 8
- Next : Chapter 9 : The Favor
- Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.