Huntress, My Beloved

Huntress, My Beloved
by Danica Swanson

Beloved Skaði of the keen eye and deadly arrow,
Ten years ago
You came to me
As my heart howled with the grief of divorce.
You expertly guided me
As floods of angry tears drenched me
And shards of emotional shrapnel pierced my heart.
Beloved daughter of the iron pine-tree,
As I sorted through the wreckage of my life,
I filled Your offering bowl with nothing but floods of tears,
Crushing waves of despair,
And desperate pleas for mercy.
Even as I begged for a swift death to silence my anguish
You never deserted me in my time of need.
You accepted my white-hot burning rage.
You accepted my desire to exact vengeance.
You accepted my desire to seek weregild.
You accepted it all
With the understanding of one Who has been there.
Painstakingly, compassionately,
With the boundless patience of a Huntress
You infused me with Your strength.
You infused me with Your will.
You infused me with Your vision.
You showed me I could stand tall and proud
On my own merit.
You taught me that even if taking the right path
Must come at the cost of my marriage,
It must never come at the cost of my self-respect.
You are my greatest feminist role model.
You taught me that even after all he took from me
Against my will,
I still had something precious and beautiful inside
That remained mine and mine alone
That he could never take.
You taught me
To trust myself.
To trust Your voice.
To trust the song of Red Spruce
And the gifts of Douglas Fir.
You showed me I could not only stand alone,
But take joy in solitude.
With Your steadfast counsel
I regained my lost footing.
Now, beloved Huntress,
I stand firm,
Centered and grounded in my service to You.
If You shall deem me ready,
I shall journey with You
Among snow-encrusted spruce forests
And groves lined with moss
In the northern lands of my Swedish ancestors.
Dark Lady of winter and the sacred hunt,
Dweller in the mountains of Thrymheim,
I hear Your call.
In deepest love and gratitude,
I shall fulfill my vow to gift You with a shrine room
That others might know the glory of praising You.
Daughter of Thiazi,
Your beloved Father’s eyes watch over You from the skies with love
As my dearly departed father’s eyes watch over me.
Snowshoe-goddess,
Giant-queen of gleaming hoarfrost and icy rock,
I ask that You grant me passage to Sweden
In safety and good health.
If it be Your will,
I ask that You open doors to bring me Home
When the time is right.
May my work serve You with highest honors.
Praising You is magnificent!
Hail to Our Lady of Shadow!
Hail Skaði!

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