She Who is All – The Goddess of Ten Thousand Names
Susan Morgaine November 1, 2018
(Image Credit: yousense.info)
The story of Sedna, the Mother and Mistress of the Sea, the Goddess of marine mammals, is, to me, one of sadness and betrayal.
In the Arctic Ocean of the Inuits, Sedna lived with her family. She was very beautiful and was wooed by many in Her community. She refused them, one and all. Her father, taking matters into his own hands, gave Her to an unknown hunter, in return for fish to keep the rest of his family fed. This unknown hunter was, in reality, a bird-spirit, and whisked Sedna away while She was asleep.
Another version states that Sedna went with the unknown hunter of Her own free will, as he promised Her a life filled with everything She could dream of – warmth, and food.
Either way, to Her dismay, Her new home was not as promised, as She found herself awakening on a high cliff, in a nest, surrounded by birds.
She got a message to Her father of Her plight. Her father, Anguta, attempted to help Her by putting Her into his kayak to return Her to their home. The birds, seeing this, flew after them, surrounded the kayak, seeking vengeance for the removal of Sedna from the nest.
To save himself, Anguta, threw his daughter overboard. She reached for the side of the kayak to save Herself and Her father cut off her fingers. As She brought her arms up to reach into the kayak, he then cut off Her arms. Sedna sank to the bottom of the sea.
(Image Credit: Hanie Mold/Pernastudios – Deviant.com)
She became the Queen and the Goddess of the Deep, Her fingers and arms becoming the seals, walruses, whales, those ocean mammals most hunted by the Intuit.
Sedna lived, then, beneath the waves, in the Kingdom of Adlivan, the Intuit Land of the Dead, in a home-made of stone and the ribs of whales. She was responsible for sending the sea creatures to the human hunters to feed their families. She took Her responsibility seriously, but She had a provision that when one of them died, their souls would stay with their bodies for three days, whereupon they would bring news to Sedna of how the people behaved. If any of Her laws were broken, She would not send the food to the hunters. This brought Her pain.
When this happened, a Shaman had to visit Her, by passing through terrifying lands and tests, to heal and soothe Her, until Her pain had passed and things were put right once more.
(Image Credit: alamy.com)
**My fingers were cut off then
I was kicked
I was hurt
I was wounded
I was lied to
I was betrayed
I was abandoned
My suffering was great
but down below in the deeps
in the heart of the ocean
where I was left to lie
I realized my powerlessness
the way my life was lived
helpless and afraid
always being done to
instead of doing
and saw what I did
As realization expanded my
fish and sea mammals
grew out of my cut fingers
I became “old food dish”
She who provided for her people
Victim no more**
**From “The Goddess Oracle by Amy Sophia Marashinsky. Image credit also goes to “The Goddess Oracle”.