Idunna – Norse Goddess of the Apples

An astonishing article by Wyrd Designs about Idunna’s many praise names. I’m particularly intrigued by “sorgeyran mey (the pain alleviator maid).” My household has started honoring Her as a healing Goddess of sorts but I didn’t know there was a Heiti (by-name) that touched on that… there’s a lot here in this article that can illuminate this Goddess for readers. Hail to Idunna!

Wyrd Designs

While it may not feel like autumn yet in Texas, I always in particular venerate Idunna, an ásynjur (one of the Norse Goddesses). Her most well known story involves her abduction by a giant, which causes the gods to age thus revealing her important ties to vitality. Idunna is known within Skáldskaparmál as the God’s Lady, and indeed this is because the vitality (and therefore immortality) she provides is gifted to all of the Gods and Goddesses. While she is part of my regular praxis throughout the year, I always feel her most strongly in autumn through the winter. I decided to do an exploration into her heiti and kennings. There’s a lot to unpack here, and I feel like there’s much more that I’ll be musing upon for a long time to come too.


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About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on September 25, 2022, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. The fact that She’s a Goddess of Entertainers as well opens up things that I only previously suspected could be true of Her. I think next time I sit down with the Harlequinade deities I’m going to bring Idunna in on it.

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    • A thread I didn’t pull on yet, is among my research, someone had suggested the pairing of Loki in the tale may also tie back to leikarar.

      I’ve long had in my mind the thought he may have formed a jester like role.

      In the conclusion of the rales aftermath his performance of the goat antics, falling into skadhi’s lap as he made her laugh…

      those are thoughts for another day 🙂

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      • Oh most definitely. I won’t go into it right now because it’s a lot to talk about but Loki as the Trickster God falls into a role of a holy fool in the same vein that Gods in Greece like Hermes, Dionysus, Herakles, Priapos, etc. fall into at times. This role touches on a lot of stuff like mumming and theriomorphy and warbands and initiation and all kinds of crazy things. Idunna as a Goddess possibly tied to wassailing and leikarar would tie into these quite naturally. The treasure of life that the fool ventures forth to revitalize the world with through jest and song and dance.

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  2. I really dislike positioning Loki as a holy fool. I think while Gods may be Tricksters, and Loki definitely fits that category in some of His aspects, “holy fool” is an appellation found almost exclusively (to my knowledge at least) amongst humans in service to the Gods. The holy part comes from the Gods and Their calling of that person into such a role– It’s a role that a human may be called to fulfill. Maybe “Trickster” is the divine equivalent.

    I’m not a particular fan of the human equivalent in 8 out of 10 cases, I should point out. Too many people use their perception that they are fools — when In reality they may be doing the least bit of devotion possible — to behave like assholes. I’ve seen this A LOT with those who claim devotion to Loki–just like I’m sure you’ve seen people who claim devotion to Dionysos who can’t see anything but God of wine, and use that to do nothing but party. It’s twisting out of true what this God is about, a disgrace. They’re fools all right, just not the holy kind.

    I’m not sure I’d tie the Trickster to the war band or even mumming. Nor would I give necessarily a place for a human holy fool in such settings. I can see it in *some* initiations. it depends on the initiation, the war band, the mumming festival, and most importantly of all, the God.

    I like what you say about the arts (song and dance — I would expand that to include any art) revitalizing the world. That’s not just the purview of a holy fool or a Trickster God though.

    Tricksters and holy fools, Gods and Their fools: I think they more often show the cracks, masks, inanities, and deceits that human wear, when they should be doing better by themselves, their communities, and their Gods.

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    • I definitely see where you are coming from regarding people not doing it properly. A lot of people have a far too superficial understanding of what comedy is for in a religious context. This is primarily because most people nowadays have a sense of humor that is far too nihilistic. They love to tear things down but they don’t understand that they need to preserve and build back up too. To be a fool as a religious role you need to understand that there is such a thing as truth. The order that the Gods created matters and is to be upheld. Anyone who disagrees with that simply isn’t a fool in the sense I’m talking about. They are instead a complete fool. You are definitely right that true fools point out people’s failings. What I would add however is that there are cosmological elements to this as well. The universe (as you have taught me) has an ethical dimension and therefore any criticism of moral failings and instruction on what instead is the proper way is really a defense of the order of the cosmos itself. The fool can restore the universe back to health by fighting immorality through his tricks.

      I based what I said in my previous comment on what I’ve learned from Sannion regarding this role. I’d like to expand upon it to explain what I mean but I feel that perhaps what I should do is write an essay on my blog. I’ll get to work on that. I strongly believe you’ll appreciate what I have to say on the matter.

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