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Sunday, 27 April 2014

Goddess Sif

Goddess Sif

Today we examine a little-known goddess but one who played an important role among the Norse gods, the goddess Sif.

It was the year 949 C.E. This was the year that King Olaf Trygvesson, after having brutalized King Ethelred's forces in England off the coast of Kent, and while waiting for the gold and silver payments that was Ethelred's payoff to stop the fighting, decided to go to a local fortune teller he had heard about. This particular fortune teller was said to possess the gift of prophecy.

According to the book The Last Apocalypse - Europe at the Year 1000 A.D. by James Reston, Jr.: "Rowing off in a sea buck to the hermit's rocky retreat, Olaf asked if the prophet could foresee Olaf's future. Would the [then] prince be successful in battle? Would he regain power in the north?"

"The prophet replied that Olaf would be a great king and to prove that his vision was correct the prophet told Olaf that there would be mutiny among his men and in the ensuing battle he would be wounded and carried to his ship on his own shield. After seven days, he would recover and thereafter would allow himself to be baptized a Christian."

It happened just as the 'seer' said it would. Prior to 994 C.E. Europe was mostly pagan and after Olaf converted to the religion with the wooden cross he ruthlessly went about converting everyone else along the way to becoming king. In time the old gods and goddesses that had been worshiped were forgotten but because of the psychic energy given to them by way of meditation, invocation and incantations of their names before warriors went into battle they are not gone but merely waiting to be called forth again to help humanity.

Who is Sif?

The Rites of Odin by Ed Fitch, published in 1990 by Llewellyn, has this to say: "The Goddess who was consort to Thor, and who was famed for her long, beautiful golden hair with which she preferred to work her magic and her enchantments. She is patroness of harvests and the comfortable wealth that comes from them."

The Cassell Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend by Andy Orchard has this description: "Mother of the archer-god Ull and (apparently later) wife to the god Thor and mother of Thrud.”

Despite her evident closeness to the gods, there is a notable omission from the lists of of goddesses or Asynjur given by the 13th Century Icelander Snorri Sturluson. Sif appears in numerous poetic periphrases or kennings, usually with reference to either Thor or Ull. Or in the mentioning of 'Sif's hair', evidently compared to that of gold. Snorri alone explains the comparison at first glance little more than a compliment to a famous beauty. In literal terms, relating a tale of mischief by Loki, combined with the ingenuity of the Black Elves:

“Loki Laufeyarson was Sif's personal servant, a jealous and malicious one I must say. One night under cover of darkness he sneaked into Sif's bedroom whilst she slept and cut off all of her hair, and when Thor heard of it, he grabbed Loki and was about to break every bone in his body like one would kindling for a fire, until Loki promised he would have the black elves make a head of hair for Sif from gold, one that would grow like real hair.”

The emotionally charged triangle of Sif, Loki and Thor is all the more evident in the epic poem Lokasenna, when Sif tries to placate Loki in the midst of his malicious wrangling: "Then Sif approached, offered Loki mead from a crystal cup and said: 'Hail now, Loki, accept this crystal cup, full of an ancient drink called mead. Better find one woman, among the Asir's sons, who is without fault.'

He accepted the horn and drank it down: 'You'd be the one, if only you were wary and cautious with men', Loki said; 'But I know someone, it seems to me, who made you unfaithful to Thor, and that one was crafty-wise Loki,' Loki grinned.

And finally Northern Mysteries and Magick by Freya Aswynn and published in 1998 by Llewellyn has this to say about Sif:

Sif, the second wife of Thor, is the lady with the corn-gold hair. Some sources state that she has the gift of prophecy, although this is not mentioned in the Eddas. From older Germanic sources it has been stated that Sif is a swan maiden and can assume this form. Having been married once to Orvandil, she can also be seen as one of the Elder race of gods. Sif signifies summer, fertility, and corn, hence Loki's cutting of her hair is interpreted as a fire destroying a corn field.

Sif's name is cognate with the German “sippe,” meaning "kith and kin." From this we may assume that, like Frigga, Sif is a goddess associated with peace and friendship in a happy family, and with conjugal fidelity. Runes compatible with Sif are Berkana and Inguz.

What She May have Looked Like

Here are two sample images of what she may have looked like. I don't have the title of the images but they can be found on Google Search. 

My only desire here is to re-introduce her to those who seek the knowledge, to help lift the veil between this world and the world of the unseen, past, present and future. I want to help those people seeking knowledge of the ancient ones that helped mankind in the beginning of the world, and be a source of material as best as I can bring it to you.

The goddess Sif wants it to be known that she and the other gods and goddesses are still entwined with the energy between worlds, and would like to play a bigger part in the course of future human events by helping those that seek her out in prayer and meditation but most important, not to be forgotten again in the next millennium.

Research by Cynthia
Thank you dear friends and followers for your interest

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