Inauguration Day 2021: this is a day a great many of us have waited for, in the US and abroad. Freeing the White House from 45’s presence and influence is a sigh of relief after years of holding our breaths, fearing what he and his cronies would do next. This is just the first step in recovery, though. The work ahead seems almost insurmountable, but we’re up for the task.
Today, my mind is with Sigyn. Not much is presented in Norse lore about her, just the occasional reference in kennings of her status as Loki’s wife and her role in the myth about his punishment. At the end of the Lokasenna in the Poetic Edda, she remains in the cave in which Loki is imprisoned, holding a bowl over his bound form to prevent a serpent’s venom from dripping into his eyes. My own experiences with her have made it clear time and again that she chose to stay with him. She didn’t have to languish in the gloom with Loki, her arms and back aching from the Sisyphean task of holding that bowl. She did so willingly because of love. She did so because it was the right thing to do, the least she could do to keep hope alive.
Sigyn is a goddess of compassion and loyalty, of kindness and comfort. Loyalty isn’t lacking in the American people; we’ve all seen the results of extreme loyalty. What we need now is a return to compassion. So many American citizens are broken and bound, struggling to survive while acidic, burning venom drips on our flesh and spirit from above. Sigyn doesn’t just hold the bowl for Loki. She holds it for all of humanity.
So today, I think of Sigyn in her quiet duty to offer comfort and mitigate the damage and brutality of what her beloved endures. Today, I pray that my fellow citizens and fellow humans feel that spark of hope that comes with knowing we’re not alone, we’ve not been abandoned, and we have a shining example of the gentle kindness that we can extend to one another. Sigyn is often overlooked in the Norse pantheon, but her influence is magnificent and should be taken to heart by all of us.
The following is a prayer I use when leading blót (ritual/act of worship) for Sigyn, and these are the words I pray today:
Incantation-Fetter, She of the Pouring, Our Lady of the Staying Power, we call to you!
Loki’s Joy, Mother of Narvi and Vali, You of the Unconquerable Heart, we adore you!
Sigyn, you are quiet in your duty. You do what you know must be done for the sake of others without complaint, and you do so without looking for accolades. We see you, and we appreciate that you do for us what you did for Loki.
You, Grieving Mother, shoulder the weight of all humanity in its suffering. You bestow on us small acts of kindness, you give us gentle comfort, and you remind us that we are not alone as we face the struggles set before us.
North Star, may we look to you for inspiration and guidance to offer the same comfort and support to those around us who suffer, whether it be from isolation or from fear. Even the greatest warriors need your gentle touch as they recover from the battles they fight.
You are our comfort, you are our compassion, you are our quiet love and loyalty amidst the chaos.
Hail Sigyn, and hail compassionate community!