You can imagine how forces of nature such as winter, snow, and ice played major roles in the tales that sprang up around the ancient hallowed deities of the far north. Living in sunny Florida all my life, such a contrasting climate always gave me pleasurable chills and a feeling of kinship with the gods and goddesses enduring such harsh but splendorous conditions. The Norse goddess of winter and the hunt, Skadi, inspired a pivotal character—Skada–in two of my Wytchfae paranormal fantasy romances, the first book of the series, Wytchfae Runes, and the most recent one, Demoness Dreams.
Skadi held a powerful place in Norse mythology. Some scholars maintain that Scandinavia itself is named after this powerful daughter of dreaded frost giants. Tales abound featuring the renowned ice bitten giantess. Who invented skiing but Skadi? The ingenious mode of travel allowed her to get from one place to another more quickly than ever before. She also had her share of confrontations and exploits. For example, she is the fierce soul who further curtailed the trickster god Loki by positioning a venomous serpent upon his bound body to help save her fellow hallowed ones.
One of my favorite stories about Skadi concerns her unusual marriage. Skadi’s father, irritated with his daughter’s rejection of numerous suitors, declared that not only must she marry post haste, but she must select a bridegroom from a lineup of gods—by inspecting only their feet! Using this odd restriction, she surveyed the row of feet supporting the males her father had assembled. Forcing her hands not to tremble through sheer force of will, Skadi could not prevent the violent churning of her stomach. After searching up and down the row of feet several times, she made her choice. When she was allowed to look upon the face and form of the man who would become her husband, her heart raced and her lips parted in an eager smile. The man’s sun kissed skin hinted at leisurely months spent in warmer climes. His eyes shone the clear blue of a summer sky. His golden hair rivaled that of Thor himself. He was, in fact, Njord, the cherished god of summer.
The couple began their marriage with passion, positive intentions, and auspicious good will from the people and their fellow gods. Before long, however, their differences gushed to the fore and could not be denied. The sad truth was that rarely had a man and woman been more incompatible than Njord and Skadi. Njord’s nature demanded proximity to sea and sun, and he insisted on dwelling in warm coastal lands. Skadi, on the other hand, longed for the frosty, snow covered mountains of her homeland. They each tried living in the favored locale of the other, but responded miserably to the drastic difference in weather and geography. Njord and Skadi eventually split and amicably agreed to live apart.
In Demoness Dreams, summer plays an important part in the form of a mandate that must occur by the deadline of Solstice Moon, the full moon just prior to Summer Solstice.
Two popular revitalizations of Skadi are the White Witch in the stories of Narnia and the iconic Snow Queen. I have always loved the latter, especially the scene where the old hermit woman writes a note on a fish to send to her sister.
Does the story of Skadi and Njord remind you of other myths, such as the Greek tale of Hades and Persephone?
I hope you have enjoyed peeking into the private life of Skadi of the old north land and seeing how she inspired Skada the sorceress in the Wytchfae books.
Cheers & Happy Reading!
Flossie Benton Rogers, Conjuring the Magic with Paranormal Fantasy Romance