This is my shrine at The Hermitage for Skaði, the bold, strong-willed and enigmatic Jötunn, mountain-dweller, Öndurdís, goddess of winter and the primal hunt. Maria Kvilhaug calls Her “the giantess of the underworld.” Lee Hollander calls Her “dweller among the rocks.”
The altar cloth is silver-grey crushed velvet. Draped over the front are two iridescent scarves – one white, and one purple and black. Laid on top of the purple scarf is a strand of crystal beads.
In the small black cauldron in the front is an offering to Her – in this case, white tea leaves. The tea I chose for Her is called Snowflakes, which I thought was just perfect.
To the left of the photo there is a small round box which I use for written prayers, and behind that a blue candle with snowflake imprints. In the center is a silver serving plate shaped like a star, with a snowflake etched into the center. To the right of the photo there are two white candles, one shaped like a snowflake and surrounded with clear stones. (Although you can’t see it in this photo, the candle in the back has a beaded bracelet that I made for Her wrapped around it.) Immediately to the right of the white candles is framed artwork of wolves in moonlit snow.
In the center is an artist’s interpretation of Her, in a frame wrapped in silver crushed velvet. Above that is a small arched mirror framed in black stone. To either side of the mirror are silver wall sconces, through which I draped more iridescent fringed scarves. The background is holographic snowflake-print wrapping paper attached to the wall. It reflects light nicely, giving a lovely rainbow effect.
I discovered that the pictures accompanying one of the first shrines I made for Skaði – at the LiveJournal pimp_my_altar community – have gone missing, so I will re-post them here eventually.
Danica Swanson is a freelance writer, dark ambient music nerd, dark fusion dancer, and amateur polytheist nun. She is CEO (Creative Endarkenment Overseer) of The Black Stone Hermitage and co-founder of the Polytheist Monasticism discussion forum. Her first forays into paganism began in 1995; she has been a devotee of Skaði and other Holy Powers of Yggdrasil since 2004. She also writes under the name D. JoAnne Swanson for her other main project, The Anticareerist (formerly known as Rethinking the Job Culture; originally known as whywork.org). Her life of contemplative solitude is made possible only by a web of thriving community relationships, human and non-human. She lives by the hands of the deities and spirits in all of her endeavors.