Skadi - Norse Giantess- Huntress & Goddess Associated w/ Winter

Skadi is a jötunn (giantess) and goddess from Norse mythology. It is said that Skadi lives high in the mountains of the frozen Scandinavian lands. Skadi lives so far up the mountain tops, that she is in the coldest of cold, where the snow never melts. For this reason she is associated with the long and brutal winter season. She is known to all as a warrior huntress, being that her attire of snowshoes, skis, and bow are mentioned in Norse literature. Her father was a giant who was called Thiazi. A famous story of Nordic mythology explains that one day, Thiazi kidnapped Idunn. Idunn the goddess associated with youth, the keeper of the golden apples was taken in an instant by the mischievous Thiazi. (If you haven't read this tale - you should). The gods were infuriated by this action and decided to kill Thiazi for what he had done, as they needed Idunn and her apples to keep their youthful and immortal glow. 

In anger and rage, Skadi went after the Aesir and was determined to get revenge for her father's death. The gods tried to appease Skadi, and instead of a fight - they offered her a husband. The catch was that she had to choose a husband by only looking at their feet! She chose the most handsome feet (assuming they belonged to the beloved Baldr - which they did not!), and those feet belonged to Njord. They were married after, but eventually went their separate ways. Njord just really couldn't handle living in the freezing cold. He's more of a seafaring guy. ;-) 

Skadi who is believed to be a descendant of frost giants by some, also was not necessarily labeled as a terrible being in Norse mythology and history. It may seem a bit shocking considering jötunn (giants) were not generally viewed in such a positive light. In fact there have been indications that Skadi was held very high; some believe that at some point Skadi could have also been a masculine figure, and/or in someway related to Ullr. One of my favorite things to mention is that she had close ties with Odin and Loki. It can't get any better than that! 
The magic, beauty and mystery of Skadi just reminds me of winter. Today I couldn't help but think of her, as the snow has fallen or is approaching for many of us. Happy Winter Solstice! 

Artist: Unknown - If you know the artist please shoot me a message so I can give credit where it's due!