The hero Sigurd also is able to shape change and trades bodies with Gunnar to gain the hand of Brynhild as Gunnar's wife. The place that Brynhild lived in was called Hindafjall, and there was a rampart of flame around her hall. She vowed that she would only marry the man who was brave enough to ride through the flames. Gunnar's horse called Goti, would not leap through the flames, so Sigurd changed shapes with Gunnar, ( and names of course), because his horse Grani was not afraid of the flames. Grani would not let any other rider mount him so it was Sigurd in a Gunnar disguise who rode Grani through the flames, and into the fortress of the fair Brynhild. Once inside Sigurd, as Gunnar, exchanged rings with Brynhild, and then later the real Gunnar was married to her. When eventually Brynhild found out the truth there was hell to pay by everyone involved !
I am so intrigued by this shape changing by the Gods, Jotuns, and men, and wonder how they actually accomplish such a feat. Is it done by magic ? I really don't think so because there usually is not time to chant spells, or perform some ritual before the shape changing takes place. In several of the stories the individuals who are shape changing are in a death race with the thing that is chasing them, and therefore the change must be almost instantaneous. I see it more as an inherited trait that was probably first learned by the Jotuns, and then when they mixed their blood with the Gods this wonderful trait was inherited by the Gods as well. I see it as being much like the Chamelion, or the Cuttle Fish, who can in a very short time change their color to match their surroundings and hide. The Jotuns, and Gods would just have to think of the creature that they wanted to morph into and they would then become that thing.
You may very well be sitting at home reading this and saying to yourself, " Well, Glenn, these are just stories that were written by ancient writers to entertain or enlighten." Well I wholeheartedly disagree ! I have had many dreams where the Gods .....and others, morph into other creatures, to perform some task or deception. I have also seen Them speak to animals with the ease with which you and I can speak. I have had many dreams of Skadhi, and Her wolves, and Little Growler, the bear cub She adopted, and feel that the Gods have a special connection with the animal world that we could never begin to approach, or understand. They are one with nature, and can become anything, or anyone, that they so choose. They are the great shape changers ...... they can become anything !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love and Thor's protection !