“Write” She whispers to me. “Write, tell my story from your heart, not from the ice cold pens of men long gone. Tell my story as a woman, as a shaman, as a devotee. Tell the words, put them to the page, let them grow.”
“The stories tell of a hidden birth, of fear and pain and death and banishment, as if I had no part, no say in my destiny. But that is the story written from the followers of others. That is the story written from those who need to follow a winner, regardless of the many faceted truth.
Yes, my birth and my brothers’ births were hidden. Ancient power was invoked when we were conceived, power that was formed from the blood of giants. When we were born, our fates were already sealed. Death had passed to the eternal and the balance was thrown. Only sacrifice, blood sacrifice, would bring the world back into balance. I will not speak of my father, his tale is well known. My mother, the daughter of warriors, magicians and seers, had the blood passed down through the ages. She knew before she ever met my father that this was Wyrd, she could not escape the tangled weave. She knew she could not keep this God, that theirs was not a life of bliss. She saw in him his wyrd and his heart and loved him all the more for the burdens he accepted without question. And she knew that her destiny was to bear 3 children who would bring the end of the world.
Do not think that she accepted this blindly. She wept and raged and tried to bargain for her love and her children. But none of us can escape the call, so when the time came, she and Loki went to the Ironwood of their ancestors and conceived, in love, us 3. And through our births, a blood sacrifice.
The tale speaks of Odin murdering my mother and kidnapping my brothers and banishing me. But its never that simple, politics, even amongst the Gods. Odin has his choices, we have ours.
They say I was a child when my mother died. I was 13, old enough to hear the call of blood and make my own choices. All my life I had heard the whispers of the dead. They had shared secrets, cried out for me. I had spent my time in silence, listening to their magic and tales. I had learned how to be as cold as the snow, as still as the Iron that ran through my veins. I had learned how to taste the shifting winds on the air and capture the light that spills through the trees as cold as ice. And my mother watched me grow and knew that the time for change had come.
She went to the halls knowing her fate, yet still a mothers heart bade her plead her case. She went to her death having seen our lives stretched out on a table. She took the form of a crow and flew to the halls to face her death. It is not only Gods who can sacrifice. It is also mothers. Her blood became my first blood and I knew.
They say I wandered out into the cold and snow and sat to wait for my mother. But that is not true. This was not a passive act but a deliberate choice. I was called to the path just as strongly as any other spirit-walker. I was called and I answered. I sat in the snow for nine moons and in that time Death came and taught me the secrets and the magic. And I knew my wyrd, red as blood in the snow. I gave of myself to become myself.
And when my father of fire came and offered to take me home, I was a woman and a Goddess and a seeress and a Shaman and I refused. I accepted my path and my mother’s blood sacrifice was not for naught and she was reborn from the blood of her kinsmen and my father. And I walked the twisting path.”
When Lady Hela first painted this tale in my head, I balked. Why had I never heard this, Lady Death walking the shaman’s path? But then I realized people are afraid of death and afraid to talk about it, discuss it, invite it in. Is Hela a goddess of shamans? I would love to have other spirit-walkers input here.