A local multi-trad group I’m a part of just put out a call for writings on “The Goddess in her guise as the Wanderer”. Being the hard polytheist that I am, my eyes start to roll a bit anytime I see the words “The Goddess in her guise/role as…” However, I know for some people this is a very valid path. And certainly, my Lady has many different sides. So, I chose to look at this as an opportunity to try to understand my own Goddess better.
My Goddess, too, wanders. The lore tells us that her husband, Odr, left her for reasons unknown, and she has been searching for him ever since, traveling across the world, weeping as She goes. When she travels over land, her tears fall and turn to gold; popular UPG says that when she travels over water, her tears turn to amber.
This all sounds lovely and romantic, but honestly it’s the hardest part of her story for me to stomach. Sex with dwarves? Sure. Laying with her brother? Well, when in Vanaheim…. Teaching seidh magic to Odin? Fine, why not? But chasing after some guy and weeping over him–the hell? That makes no sense to me given what I know of the rest of her character. She’s independent, strong-willed, makes her own rules, partners up with whoever she wants, whenever she wants, however she wants…how could She pine so dramatically over a husband who left her for no reason? We don’t know even anything about him; how interesting could he have been? (For people who want to moralize her story–there is no evidence in the Lore for her husband leaving her because of the nights She spent with the Dwarves, so keep it in your pants. Any deity who married her would have known the nature of her character and should have been able to deal with it, in any event.)
She is passionate, yes. Her smile can ignite the coldest of hearts and her sensuality can burn through any barrier. If She loved a being enough to marry him, She would love him completely, with her whole being, through all the Nine Worlds and beyond. She likely would be devastated if he left… but to then throw away her life searching for him, crying? Sorry, I’m not convinced. Still, she does seem to me to be a restless deity, ever traveling, ever in search of new pleasures and experiences. Perhaps she searches and gives us bits of gold as she goes, rather than “weeping” the gold into being.
For me, I know, she is a Teacher. She constantly pushes my boundaries and inspires me to try new things (or at least serves up new options with a “Why not try it?” smirk). Maybe one of the things She teaches is how to love that much, and yet still survive it when the focus of that love is taken away.
The journey is going to happen no matter what I do. I’m blessed to have Her walk alongside me as I go. Maybe She can help me avoid a few of the mistakes that She made, on the way.