Is it true for something to live that something else must die? To
create you must destroy, and that the hands that build up are also the
hands that tear down? If so, this is where Sedna comes in.
Sedna is a goddess of many, many names. The Great Woman at the Bottom
of the Sea, The Sea Witch, and among others "The Goddess of Victims".
I will never see Sedna as a goddess of victims. In most stories Sedna
is a girl who was considered vain and selfish because she would not
marry but then proves herself -even after great betrayal- to be the salvation
of her people. She is greatly feared and greatly respected, a
dark and fearsome goddess of an icy domain.
Before she was called Sedna, she was an Inuit maiden named Avilayoq. Avilayoq took no notice of the many young suitors who came and admired her
while she combed her long dark hair, nor had she any interest in marriage. This angered her father whose desire to care for his beautiful daughter had waned with each passing year. He resented having to find enough fish to feed himself and Avilayoq. To punish her vanity and get her out of his home for good, he arranged for her marriage to the great dog that pulled the sun across the sky each day.
Avilayoq made the best of it and even loved
her canine spouse. And when the people could find no food in their
barren environment it was she who found a solution. She went out to
sea to call up a great storm that would fill the fishermen's nets. But the oarsman of the boat became frightened of the storm and he tossed her into the raging water. She tried to climb back into the boat but he hacked away her clinging fingers and left Sedna helpless in the stormy waters.
Some say that the beautiful girl would not marry until a fulmar came
across the sea disguised as a handsome man. He charmed the girl and
she sailed home with him to become his wife. Eventually the new bride
discovered the truth about her husband and she was distraught. When her father and brother came to bring her home the fulmars swarmed the sky and flew at their little boat, screeching and attacking. Seeing that the birds were not going to let Avilayoq leave, her brother and father threw her overboard to save themselves. Terrified, she gripped the side of the
boat and begged for their help. But the men severed her determined fingers and her dark head disappeared below the surface of the frigid ocean. They left her there and paddled away.
The countless stories of Sedna vary from each other but they all agree
that when her fingers floated downward through the icy water, they
turned into whales, seals, sleeping sharks, and all the creatures of
Now Sedna lives
in her palace below the ice floes and the seals dress her glorious
hair for her because her mangled hands cannot hold a comb. The
transgressions of humanity manifest themselves as tangles and filth in
her hair and when even the seals cannot tame the snarls, she becomes enraged. But she is no longer considered selfish and vain as her loss fed her people. If anything, Sedna's many stories would seem to say she the goddess of survivors.______
I love Sedna because she had to prove herself. She overcame much
and managed to make beauty and life from the ugliness of her injuries and