Learning with Skadi
I work with, and teach a different rune each month. Deeply connecting with the rune and associated deity.
When the month rolled around to Skadi, and the I rune Is felt reasonably comfortable.
We had already worked with Njord, and I felt this had helped me to understand the Skadi myth. And unlike some of the deities who seem hardly mentioned- Skadi has an amazing myth!
The month started with my first visit to Denmark in three years, and my first visit with all my children. Up to this point my spiritual/professional life, and my personal life, have been two very separate areas. Suddenly I felt as if these two worlds were colliding. It felt very disorientating and I messaged my "Wise friend" to express my anxiety. He reminded me that in martial terms the Is position is one of pure potential. It is before any action is taken, standing, holding a staff before a decision is made to defend, attack, or avoid. It is a position of pure potential. At this point he didn’t realise this was my month of Is...
The Norwegian rune poem for Skadi is “Ice is a broad bridge, the blind need to be led”.
On one level an iced river is a bridge with no defined starting or ending point- the potential far more than a man made bridge. Potential is a dangerous game- we can get lost in the multiplicities, never actually reaching any destination.
The beauty, and complexity, of runes is that to understand them we need to build a web of connections. Not a linear line of absolutes- but a Venn diagram of how the runes can touch each other and connect.
There is a link between Verdandi; the power of becoming in the moment, the surface tension on the top of the water. And Skadi; the rime that can form on water- solidifying, thickening, opening up this transient moment.
That solidifying of a transient moment- creating a sense of potentials- can be wonderful, but also lead to a procrastination. A confusion of possibilities that holds you trapped in indecision.
In any plan or project if you have no defined starting point, and no defined ending point- the potential can easily be lost. If you move into Verdandi- all I have is the present moment, and I am going to use it to the best of my ability- then suddenly all is focused and so much can be achieved.
Expanding potential is a beguiling concept, but all too easy to get lost within it!
Blind is a strange connection with Skadi- known for her skill of archery where having a clear line of sight is so important.
But snow and ice change the landscape, what was once so recognisable is now confusing, silent, we feel as if we are blind when our normal way markers are clothed in snow.
As a Goddess connected with winter, and winter sports Skadi is by nature connected with preparation and adapting to her surroundings. I have (oddly) used snow shoes. When I lived in Switzerland I spent a day hiking with rented snow shoes. My overwhelming memories were of the beauty, and the exhaustion. At the time I hiked a lot and considered myself pretty fit. Nothing prepared me for how exhausting snow shoes are. And how you MUST work with the landscape. Being used to skipping of paths, and finding my own way- I was given very clear instructions that not being careful could lead to a dangerous situation trekking off the path with my snow shoes. The landscape when covered in snow and ice can hide the dangers that are usually so obvious.
I started with my connection with Skadi, and I want to bring it back to that now.
This month a lot seems to have shifted for me. I feel far freer of my past than I have done for three years- definitely in part down to my Danish kith-folk, and their beautiful forest.
Yet it feels scary to have such potential, to be allowing the ice to melt.
Ice expands, preserves, holds things fast. I survived the last three years by trying to preserve the sense of family unit to create security for my children. To preserve our family unit even without their Father.
Now as I let the ice melt, as I allow myself to become more fluid, more playful, to explore other options and opportunities I feel the fear of possibility.
If I allow myself to step out of Mother and Work- who am I?