A swan maiden?

*Edited to add: And in a somewhat confounding journey a month ago, I was given the heart of a swan. Again, *headdesk**

Eswan maiden valkyrie

Of course I have a pair of white wings. Duh. I’m a swan maiden. *headdesk* An older version of a swan maiden, not the märchen (Grimm’s fairy tales) version, granted, but still–a swan maiden. The kind that overlap in form and function with the early version of the Norn-esque valkyries. There is, ironically, even a swan maiden/valkyrie in the Lore who who has my name:

In Hromundars saga Greipssonar, the valkyrie Kara appears in swan shape flying above a battle, shapechanged by the wearing of a alftarham (swan-shift). (Viking Answer Lady, “Valkyries, Wish-Maidens, and Swan-Maids”)

(Note: The VAL’s article here is relatively useful, but I disagree with her on Freya being “the first Valkyrie”–an etymological distinction that, honestly, she should have been aware of. Also, she’s not up to date on the recent re-analyses of burial mounds which contain women with full fighting accouterment.) In any event, this would help explain my fascination with selkie and swan maiden tales, and the white winged aspect of my journeying and interactions with Freya recently.

10 thoughts on “A swan maiden?

  1. Selkies! Ahem…sorry, having been accused of having a selkie’s smile before I’m rather fond of those tales as well. Never noticed how similar some parts of the swan maiden stories are to parts of typical selkie tales, but then I pay more attention when selkies get mentioned so that could explain it. Being that fast in the water would be awesome…but then so would having wings.

  2. So do you think that Kara from the mythology and you are similar? Because from what I’ve read and stuff Valkyries and Swan Maidens are different. So I just curious if there were similarities between the groups (besides wings).

    • Yep, there’s definitely crossover between Valkyries, swan wives, dis it, and fylgia. I’m not home ATM but Kveldf Gundarsson has a book called “Trolls, Elves, and Wights” ( or something similar) that goes into depth into these different categories of spirit beings. TL; DR version is that they overlap in form and function depending on the time and the story.
      Kara is actually, because of her about to shift into swan form, also seen as being an example of a fylgia. She is the second (iirc) of the reincarnated Helgi’s spirit wives.

      • Ahh cool. I’ll try to find that book it looks pretty neat. And that makes sense they would overlap like that. Thanks for the input 😀 d

      • (I’m gonna be THAT person…) Third. Svava, Sigrun, Kara, in that order are Helgi’s reincarnated wives/lovers. And wouldn’t you know, it’s Kara we have the least lore on. : (

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