Goddess Idunn  

Posted by Stella Clark

Goddess Idunn Image
"IIDUNN" IS THE NORSE GODDESS OF ETERNAL YOUTH. HER NAME MEANS "THE REJUVENATING ONE." IN SCANDINAVIA, SHE IS THE GODDESS OF THE GOLDEN APPLES HAT MAINTAINS THE ETERNAL YOUTHFULNESS OF THE GODS. IDUNN IS THE WIFE OF BRAGI, THE POET GOD. WHEN SHE FIRST APPEARED IN ASGARD WITH BRAGI, THE GODS WARMLY WELCOMED HER, AND TO WIN THEIR AFFECTIONS, SHE PROMISED THEM A DAILY TASTE OF HER PRECIOUS APPLES WHICH SHE TREASURED AND KEPT IN A MAGICAL CASKET. IN FACT, NO MATTER HOW MANY SHE DREW OUT, ALWAYS THE SAME NUMBER REMAINED.

SHE IS THE PERSONIFICATION OF SPRING OR IMMORTAL YOUTH, WHO, ACCORDING TO SOME MYTHOLOGIES, HAD NO BIRTH AND WOULD NEVER KNOW DEATH.

THERE IS ONE MYTH THAT TELLS OF HER BEING THE BRUNT OF A TRICK BY LOKI, THE TRICKSTER. IT SEEMS THAT HE LED HER TO THE HALL OF A GREAT GIANT WHO IMPRISONED HER WHERE, ALTHOUGH SHE GREW SAD AND PALE, CONTINUED TO REFUSE HIM THE SMALLEST BITE OF A MAGIC APPLE. TIME PASSED BY AND THE GODS BEGAN TO GROW OLD AND STIFF AS THEIR YOUTH AND BEAUTY DISAPPEARED. THE GODS, REALIZING NOW THAT LOKI HAD BEEN BEHIND HER DISAPPEARANCE, SENT FOR HIM AND DEMANDED THAT HE BRING THE GODDESS BACK. LOKI, KNOWING THAT HIS LIFE DEPENDED ON IT, AGREED TO MAKE THE JOURNEY TO BRING BACK THE GODDESS AND HER APPLES. USING A HAWK TO FLY, HE TRAVELED TO THE TO THE CASTLE, AND SAYING SOME MAGIC WORDS, TURNED IDUNN INTO A NUT. HE GRASPED THE NUT BETWEEN HIS CLAWS AND FLEW BACK TO ASGARD. LOKI THEN THREW OFF THE HAWK SKIN, PICKED UP THE NUT, AND SAID THE MAGIC WORDS. IDUNN SPRANG FORTH AMONG THE AGING GODS AND GODDESSES AND OFFERED THEM THE APPLES THAT RESTORED THEIR YOUTH AND BEAUTY.

"THIS MYTH IS OBVIOUSLY DESCRIBED THE CHANGING OF THE SEASONS--WINTER AND SUMMER. IDUNN IS LURED AWAY DURING THE AUTUMN AND THE COLD, WINTRY WIND, THE GREAT GIANT, IMPRISONS HER IN THE FROZEN, BARREN NORTH WHERE SHE CANNOT THRIVE. THEN, LOKI, THE SOUTH WIND BRINGS BACK THE SEED (NUT), THE PRECURSOR OF THE RETURNING SPRING. THE RESTORATION OF THE YOUTH AND BEAUTY OF THE DEITY IS SYMBOLIC OF NATURE'S RESTORATION IN SPRING AFTER THE LONG WINTER'S SLEEP. "

THERE IS ANOTHER NORSE TALE WHICH DESCRIBES IDUNN AS SITTING UPON THE WORLD TREE, YGGDRASILL, AND FALLING OFF HER BRANCH, LANDING INTO THE REALMS OF HEL. SHE FINDS HERSELF UNABLE TO GET BACK UP BECAUSE SHE HAS BECOME VIOLENTLY ILL. BRAGI SEES WHAT HAS HAPPENED AND ATTEMPTS TO RESCUE HIS WIFE, BUT WHEN HE FINDS HER TOO ILL TO BE MOVED, HE WRAPS HER IN A WOLF SKIN AND STAYS WITH HER THROUGHOUT THE MONTHS UNTIL SHE IS WELL ENOUGH TO RETURN.

"IN THIS MYTH, HER FALL FROM THE TREE IS SYMBOLIC OF THE AUTUMN LEAVES AS THEY FALL, LYING LIMP AND HELPLESS ON THE GROUND...EVENTUALLY TO BE COVERED WITH THE SNOW (WOLFSKIN)."

I FIND IT FASCINATING THE WAYS OUR ANCESTORS DESCRIBED THE NATURAL WORLD, THE SEASONS, THE CHANGES OF LIFE...IN WAYS THAT THEY COULD UNDERSTAND AND MAKE SENSE OF WHAT WAS GOING ON AROUND THEM.

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This entry was posted on 21 March 2010 at Sunday, March 21, 2010 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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