Friday, June 10, 2011

Today's Goddess Card - Sedna

Today's Goddess Card
Sedna (Victim)

Today's Goddess Oracle card is that of the Inuit Sea Goddess Sedna. Sedna has a story that resonates with many other Goddesses in other traditions; she is the beautiful girl with a lonely and widowed father who wishes to marry her off but she is unimpressed with any of the suitors that she meets.  That is until one day when a man comes along and promises to take her away to a life of privilege and luxury at his palace where she will have servants and all the food and conveniences she could ever want.  Sedna impulsively elopes with the man and goes with him to his home.

Much to Sedna's horror she discovers that the this palace is a filthy bird's nest and the man was actually a bird, a fulmar (a norther sea bird), dressed in disguise. Sedna is treated like a slave and forced to live in poverty, giving in to the whims and desires of her new husband. 

Sedna becomes distraught and asks her father to come and rescue her and take her back home.  He agrees to do it and comes in the night and helps her escape.  They begin to make their way home over the sea but a large flock of flumars suddenly appear overhead. Their wing flapping causes a huge storm to rise up, tossing their little boat all over the water's surface.  Sedna's father begins to fear for his life and in an effort to appease the birds and save himself he tosses Sedna over the side of the boat.  As she tries to climb back in he cuts off her fingers. She tries again with her mangled fingers and this time he cuts off her hands.  Sedna and her severed hands and fingers and thrown into the icy waters and her father escapes. 

As she descends into the depths of the sea she watches as her fingers and hands turned into whales, dolphins, fish, sea lions, and other ocean creatures.  Sedna falls to the bottom of the sea where she must stay since she has no way to pull herself up to the surface.

This is how she became the Inuit Goddess of the Oceans.  Sedna is charged with make sure the hunters are able to catch enough fish and other sea creatures to feed their people.  It is said that there are Shamanic customs among the arctic people to keep Sedna happy.  If she becomes sad or angry she'll stop sending up the fish and the people will starve, so when the hunts aren't successful the Shaman will transform into a fish and swim to the bottom of the sea and untangle Sedna's long hair, bushing it and putting it into braids.  This makes her hum and smile with pleasure, presumably because she can't do this for herself anymore since she has not hands. Once this is done the Goddess returns to providing for the people knowing that she is loved and appreciated.

The story of Sedna is one about being a victim.  She was victimized, in a way, by her father twice; first by trying to force her to be married and then the second time in the boat.  She was victimized by her husband by forcing her to live like a slave.  And in a way she was fated to be the ultimate victim, trapped at the bottom of the sea with no hands to help her return to the surface, forced to stay in this place under the water. 

Sedna's message is about finding when and where you allow yourself to be victimized.  She knew when she reconciled her fate that she had to find a way to survive it and she did so by seeing that she could be a source of food and livelihood for those at the surface.  She saw that even though she was a victim to some horrible situations she was able to rise above them and still be an important part of society.  Sedna come here with her story to remind us that when we allow ourselves to be a victim once and we remain stuck on the idea of "why" we are never able to see a way out and the cycle continues.  Don't focus on "why did this happen" and instead focus on what you can gain from it; is there a lesson here or a new path for you to follow as a result of these events?  Have you gained a special insight into life and the world around you as a result of your circumstance? Can you take that knowledge and use it to teach and help others? 

Remember that when you realize you've bee a victim in something you can always turn it around into a positive experience or you can let this be the start of a new pattern of behavior where you get to play the victim through the rest of your life.  It's up to you to decide if you're willing to bring together the strength and resources to move on or if you are too stuck to do anything by "play the victim".