Skadhi' s Compassion
To Stand Before An Angry God
Skadhi took a deep breath and began to walk towards the hidden rainbow bridge that was the gateway to Asgard. The Great Huntress was certain that the all- seeing, all - knowing Odin had watched her actions on Midgard, and was now very angry with her. She had disregarded his holy decree, and dishonored the All - Father by interfering with the Midgardians on their blue world. As she traveled to the golden realm Skadhi had several days to ponder what punishment Odin would deem suitable for her transgression.
As Skadhi approached the golden gates to Asgard she could barely look at Heimdall, such was her shame over what she had done. The Mountain Goddess expected the stoic watchman to give her an angry look, or even worse, turn away. For she was sure that Heimdall, with his incredible eyesight, had also witnessed her actions on Midgard. The great guardian of Asgard, however, placed his hand upon the shoulder of the Goddess, and squeezed gently. " I do not agree with what you did in Midgard, but I respect the courage it took to do what you did ! " he told her with an uncharacteristic and comforting smile. Heimdall opened the gates and allowed Skadhi to enter. The Mountain Goddess gave Heimdall a weak smile. " Thank you, my friend. " she told him as she began her walk to Odin's hall.
The Massive doors to Odin' s hall had never looked as menacing as they did to Skadhi at that very moment. Every marble step that led to the golden hall's entrance seemed to drain her strength away. She felt like a child about to be scolded by her parent, and she did not know what to say in her own defense. As she pounded on the doors, a shiver ran up her spine. Such was the fear that Mighty Odin could invoke.
When the doors to Odin's vast hall slowly opened, Skadhi was momentarily blinded by the glare that shone off of the golden interior. As her eyes became acclimated to the light she saw standing before her, in full battle dress, the Goddess Syn who guarded the doors to the great hall. Syn nodded a greeting to Skadhi, and pointed that she should come in. Once the Mountain Goddess had entered Syn closed the doors behind her, and locked them once again. " Great Odin is waiting for you on Hlidskjalf. " the guardian of the hall told her without emotion.
Skadhi walked slowly through the great hall to a side chamber. As she walked into the spacious room she saw Odin sitting on Hlidskjalf looking out over the nine worlds. Odin did not move a muscle as he spoke : " When your father Thrym was killed, we accepted you into Asgard as one of us. When your own people rose up against you, it was your brother and sister Asgardians who came to your aid. And in spite of all that we have done for you I was forced to sit here and watch as you disobeyed my orders, and broke your sacred oath that you took to me and our people ! " he said raising his voice a little with every word. Skadhi hung her chin so low that it almost rested on her chest. Skadhi was about to speak when she heard footsteps behind her.
" I do not think that my husband should be so hard on the Mountain Goddess. " came a voice from the entrance to the chamber. As Skadhi slowly turned she saw Mother Frigga, dressed in a magnificent white gown, standing majestically in the doorway. Frigga gave the Jotun - Goddess a pleasant smile, and a nod, as she passed her and walked over to Odin.
Odin looked up, and turned his head towards his wife. " Skadhi has broken a sacred oath, and must be punished for her disobedience ! " he told his wife sternly. Frigga looked down at the nine worlds, and then nodded in agreement. " Will my husband punish her with his words, or will he strike her the way the Midgardian father struck his wife and son ? " she asked with a hint of sarcasm. Frigga seldom if ever spoke to her husband in such a manner. Odin's eye widened as he stood up angrily. " A father has the right to expect his children to do what is good and just ! As a father of many myself I know this to be true. " he countered. Frigga did not shrink before her husband, but instead stood defiantly in front of her mate. " The difference my love is that you teach your children. You do not abuse them . " she replied calmly.
Odin stepped away from Hlidskjalf, and as he did the images of the nine worlds below them faded, and the marble floor again appeared. As he pointed at Skadhi he said in a lower tone : " She has violated my mandate, and not only interfered in the human's world, but had the audacity to introduce herself to a Midgardian . She must be punished for such actions. "
Skadhi remained silent with her head pointing slightly downward as Frigga continued to defend her. " And the son of this horrible human father, the boy named Hoskuld, did he deserve to be punished by a man who has no honor? " she asked with a slight smile.
Skadhi peered up at Frigga and Odin, and saw that Odin's angry scowl seemed to melt away slightly. The Mountain Goddess was not sure whether it was All - Mother's words or her wonderful smile that was calming her husband, she was simply glad for Frigga' s assistance. Skadhi was about to speak when she noticed that the Queen of Asgard was looking at her and shaking her. Skadhi took her silent advice and said nothing.
Finally, Odin took a deep breath, and spoke. " No the boy did nothing to deserve the abuses he was given . " Then Odin stroked his beard deep in thought and said : " If the father, Eldgrim I believe it was, had spent his time teaching the boy instead of torturing the youth he might have become all that the father hoped for. The father is a horrible little creature who takes out his frustration on others. I agree that what the father did was inexcusable, but what Skadhi did was also wrong ! " he reminded his wife.
Frigga walked over to her husband and held his hand. " I have watched as you Great Odin killed an evil king so that a good king could rule over Midgardian lands. " she told her husband. " Is what Skadhi did so much different than what the All- Father has done many times on Midgard in dealing with the humans ? " she asked, raising her eyebrows at him.
Odin shook his head in frustration. " I made King Geirrod fall on his own sword and allowed Agnar to rule in his place because it affected tens of thousands, and determined the succession of kings on Midgard ! " he countered. " One family....this family, was not important enough for Skadhi to break my non - interference decree ! " he added loudly.
Frigga let go of her husband's hand and circled around him, much like a lawyer would do when trying to sway a jury. Then Frigga whispered into his ear so that Skadhi could not hear. " He may not have been important before Skadhi intervened, but the tapestry woven by the Norns has now been torn apart by her actions, and the future they now weave is much different. " she told him before walking back over to stand by Skadhi' s side.
Odin's angry face turned into a curious frown, as he sat back down upon Hlidskjalf. Silently he gazed down upon the great well that is set close to Yggdrasil, and watched intently as Skuld slowly weaved the future. What he saw made his eyebrow's rise in surprise. As he watched he saw the future changing. Then slowly Skuld turned from her laborious work, and looked up as though she knew Odin was watching. To Odin's dismay she smiled at him. All - Father stood up quickly as though he had been caught doing something wrong, thereby breaking the connection with Norn.
Odin composed himself and looked over at Skadhi. All- Father then cleared his throat before he spoke : " I may be willing to overlook this one indiscretion if you promise that you will never again set foot in Midgard. " Odin told her. Surprised, Skadhi looked over at Frigga first and smiled. Frigga returned the smile and nodded her approval. Skadhi took a deep breath, stepped forward, and spoke in a clear voice. " That is a promise that I am more than willing to make ! " she told Odin.
Skadhi walked over to Odin and pulled out her knife. The Mountain Goddess placed her left hand firmly over the blade she held in her right hand, and pulled the blade out. Odin cupped his hands below hers and allowed her blood oath to drip into them. Skadhi then looked Odin directly in his eye. " With my life' s blood, and with Frigga as my witness, I vow never to again set foot in Midgard ! " she exclaimed loudly. Odin nodded his approval and smiled. " I accept your pledge token and consider this matter now ended. You may go home now . " he told her.
As Skadhi and Frigga walked out of the chamber, Odin sat back down upon Hlidskjalf. He sat there and watched for days as Skuld weaved a new future for the human boy named Hoskuld. This frail abused little boy would now one day become Odin's most prized einherjar warrior ! "Skadhi, Skuld, and even my own wife have conspired against me to help a little boy ". he thought to himself. " And yet here I sit the better for it ! " All - Father shouted loudly. Then Odin did something he rarely allowed himself to do. He laughed !
- The End
Glenn Bergen, ( Ravensheart ), © Copyright, 2015.