We have now reached one of my favorite Goddesses, Skadhi. Outside of the Triad she is the Goddess that I have the most contact with, and because of her attention I have a great affection for her. Skadhi has shown me not only her love and attention, but has invited me into her world through my dreams. I have seen her mountain fortress, Thrymheim, that she inherited from her father, and followed her on her adventures which she showed me in great detail. I have captured these " journeys " to the best of my ability in two short stories : Skadhi : The Heart of the Huntress, and Skadi : The Will of the Warrior. Skadhi is a proud, strong, and very independent female. A warrior as skilled and brave, as any of the male Gods. Skadhi is also one of the few Jotuns who has ever impressed the Gods, and gained their respect, and admiration.
We first meet Skadhi in the Eddas through another of Loki's misdeeds. Thjazi, Skadhi ' s father, forces Loki to help him kidnap the keeper of the golden apples of youth, Idunn. When the Gods realize that it was Loki who was responsible for Idunn' s disappearance they threaten him with death if he does not correct the situation. Loki then borrows Freyja' s falcon coat, flies to Thrymheim, and turns Idunn into a nut, and heads back to Asgard with Idunn in his claws. Realizing that Idunn had been snatched Thjazi then turns himself into an eagle and flies after Loki. The Gods seeing both Loki and Thjazi flying towards Asgard build a huge bonfire which burns the wings of The eagle ( Thjazi ). With his wings burned Thjazi falls to the ground, and is killed by the Gods.
Skadhi, his only kin, takes up helmet, byrnie, and all other weapons of war, and travels to Asgard seeking to avenge her father' s death. The Aesir, impressed by her bravery, offer her compensation instead of battle. She is allowed to choose a husband from among the Gods. There is a small catch, however, she must choose her spouse by looking only at his feet. When Skadhi sees a God with beautiful feet she assumes it must be Balder and chooses him. It was, however, the Vanir God Njord instead .
The marriage of Skadhi and Njord quickly becomes a disaster. Skadhi wants to live on her father' s homestead in Thrymheim, in the mountains, while Njord prefers his home at Noatun near the shore. They compromise and spend nine nights in Noatun and nine nights in Thrymheim. The result of this compromise is told to us by Njord and Skadhi themselves :
Mountains I loathed,
No longer than nine nights did I stay there.
There the howling of wolves,
seemed ugly to me,
compared with the hooping of swans.
I could not sleep,
by the shore of the sea,
for the noise of the mew,
that awakened me,
the bird that flew,
each dawn from the deep.
There is some debate as to whether Freyja and Freyr are the children of Skadhi and Njord. In Gylfaginning it states that Skadhi now lives there in her sires old home. ( Meaning of course that they were seperated because Njord stayed in Noatun. ) The next line is that " Njord of Noatun had two children after this, a son Freyr and a daughter, Freyja." this would have been impossible since they were seperated. There is a tradition that Njord took as his wife his sister, and that is how he had his son and daughter, but that is just speculation on my part.
Skadhi not only believes in justice, but also indulges in a little in vengeance as well. After the Gods captured Loki, and bound him with his son' s entrails, Skadhi places a venemous serpent above his face which continously drips venom on him causing him great pain. So much in fact that when Sigyn, his wife, has to empty the bowl that she catches the venom in so it doesn' t reach Loki' s face, Loki shakes from the pain which causes earthquakes. I believe that this act of retribution was probably due to Loki' s role in the death of her father. In Lokasenna, at Aegir' s feast, Loki boasts that he lead the way in the death of her father, so revenge is to be expected from a warrior such as Skadhi.
Skadhi is a mountain Goddess who is more at home in the cold frozen lands of her father than in the ideal conditions of Asgard, or Noatun for that matter. She is an expert tracker, and archer who travels, and hunts, on skis. Skadhi is one with nature and understands the forest and its animals. She can speak to the bears and wolves as easily as you and I speak to each other, and with less judgement. Skadhi is a loner who is bold and brave..... and she doesn' t take crap from anyone !
Go with Odin' s wisdom, Freyja's love and Thor's protection !