Sedna – Goddess of Sea and Marine Animals (Inuit Mythology)   53 comments


Sedna – Goddess of Sea and Marine Animals (Inuit Mythology)



sedna2Inuit mythology tells of Sedna the goddess of the sea and marine animals, Sedna known also as the “Mother/ Mistress of the Sea,” is the star of what is essentially creation mythology, and the tale of the events that led to her becoming the mighty ruler of the Inuit underworld – Adlivun.

The mythology of Sedna exists in several different forms but they all contain common factors.

Sedna the daughter of Anguta, a creation god, takes the form of a giant, who under the influence of an insatiable hunger attack her parents in a misguided attempt to assuage her raging appetite.

An alternative version alleges that she was so frustrated and unhappy with her father’s choice of men for her to potentially marry that she chooses instead to marry a dog!

783224_5f90_625x1000Still more versions of Sedna mythology portray her as a beautiful young woman living in a village of hunters, and whom despite receiving many eager proposals of marriage from the village’s male hunters, rejects them all. Consequently her disillusioned father hands her over to a new and previously unknown hunter as his wife in exchange for a plentiful supply of fresh fish. Unfortunately for Sedna her newly betrothed hunter-husband proves in reality, to be a mighty bird spirit who resides in a large cliff top nest. He is filled with a great wrath which ultimately leads to his vengeful stirring up of a huge storm designed to destroy both Sedna and her father when Sedna’s remorse-ridden father tries his best to rescue her from the plight he has unwittingly plunged her into.

In another version again, Sedna is the abducted and imprisoned on a floating ice island by a different bird like being. In its absence her father sails valiantly to her rescue in a kayak. Consumed by furious outrage at her escape the bird being, calls up a great sea spirit to assist him in wreaking terrible revenge on Sedna and her father, seeking to drown them both in mighty and violent waves of the like that had never before been seen.

Although the exact nature of the assortment of myths regarding Sedna are many and varied, they all have in common three important points:

1.  Her father tossing her out of the kayak and into the ocean waves.

2. Her father chopping off her fingers when she fights to climb back into it, so that she sinks to the ocean depths, down to the sea bed itself.

20029144_4f3f_625x1000As she does so, what had been her fingers undergo a miraculous transformation into the sea animals that the Inuit regularly hunt – Walruses, Seals and Whales. She is sometimes said to have had her head chopped off or to have grown a tail before her descent to the sea bed.

3. She becomes a mighty sea goddess who commands every mammal of the sea.

Sedna considered a vengeful goddess, is the “Mistress of Life and Death” to the Inuit people because she is their provider. Consequently she is worshiped and prayed to by the hunters who seek to please her so that she will liberate the sea and marine life they rely on for their food supply.

She does so happily if she is treated with due respect and concern. But she also expects that one person be willing to undertake the dangerous journey to her home to relieve the torturous pain she experiences in her hands when she is not respected. If this does not happen, and as a result of her pain and suffering, she in turn punishes the people with a combination of storms, starvation and sickness.

There are many great riches to be found if we are but willing to take a risk and venture deep into the dark, cold places each one of us harbours, and that we fear the most. No matter what illnesses and disabilities we may have the misfortune to experience, or the stupid and thoughtless mistakes we may make in life, we are still worthy of love and respect and have every right to expect, and even demand, that others treat us well.


53 responses to “Sedna – Goddess of Sea and Marine Animals (Inuit Mythology)

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Sedna rang bells with me, Icewolf. I thought the name had a connection to the stars as well, so I refreshed my memory (ie Googled!) and found that it was at one one time the furthest most object in the Solar System to be discovered, a planetoid. I thought there was a constellation with the same name, but I must be mistaken. They’re usually named after Gods and Goddesses anyway, so its no surprise. Of course, I could also have been thinking of Segway, which is neither a Goddess or planetary object… and I have more chance of getting on Sedna (the planetoid, obviously, not the Goddess!) than a Segway.
    Oops. I waffle… tis time for the land of nod! Interesting fact-filled post once again!

    • Ssshhhhh!!! I wondered if someone might pick up on the astronomical body Sedna! Had to be somebody suitably inquisitive! You are right of course, and I had thought to combine the two Sednas in one post…but I figured I’d better give everyone a break from the cosmic posts for a few days anyway! Anyway it wasn’t directly Sedna I had in mind but Sedna does get a mention…it would be nice if I could find the planned post thinking about it 😉 It’s not where I thought I’d left it, in Live Writer and I could have sworn it was therefore in my Documents folder…the question is, what on Europa did I save it under!! It lacks pictures as I recall so no clues there either! Very annoying 😀 It’s not in the Mansion is it? I hope it’s not out in the Grinds!!!!

      • Try the last place… it’s always in the last place you look….


      • You’re right! It was there 🙂 I found it…totally different title to what I thought I was looking for and definitely not where I would have thought to look for it! I have however, still not had time to do a thing with it!

  2. How beautiful and fascinating!

    • It struck me that this tale echoes nature in more ways than one…although there are qualities such as you mention there is also a certain brutality about it…beauty and brutality…we see that many times in nature do we not? Both beneath the sea and on the land. Fascinating parallels when you delve a little deeper!

  3. That’s a fascinating tale. I’d never heard of Sedna before.
    She must be very wise because dogs make excellent company!

  4. Einen lieben Gruß eine schöne Geschichte habe noch nie was davon gehört aber toll.Ich wünsche dir ein gutes und sonniges Wochenende lieber Gruß Gislinde

    • Sonne Grüße aus UK Gislinde 🙂
      Diese Geschichte war mir neu zu …
      Ich entdeckte es während der Erforschung der Zwergplaneten Sedna
      weit draußen im Raum, jenseits von Pluto!
      Ich wünsche Ihnen eine schöne neue Woche in Köln
      und ich hoffe, es wird eine sehr glückliche Woche für Sie mein Freund .
      Wolfie Umarmung 🙂

  5. Enjoyed this Wolfie

  6. nice..tho marrying a dog i hope thts not true!

  7. Thank you for adding yet another exciting mythology posting Icywolfy,
    I hope that you are planning on some more of these soon, and that maybe
    you will be changing your background to something darker 🙂 How do you
    mean why? Well because I find it difficult reading your postings on this one
    so now you know 🙂 lol Yes I am still the cheeky Vampy but at least I have
    mentioned it without bringing the zombies round for a clean up session 🙂

    Hey you, have a wicked and wonderful
    Tuesday and I will see you again soon 🙂

    Andro xxxx

    • Dearest Andro 🙂 You have been spending too much time in the dark again haven’t you? lol… you are being blinded by the light and need to purchase a pair of snow goggles or sunglasses in order to see my blog properly 😉 Alternatively it could simply be the rarity of your fly-bys these Wolfie days! (or Vampy nights lol) Try flying through a little more regularly, preferably having worked on the correct landing procedures when alighting on the washing line 😉 prior to arrival…trying to read my blog whilst hanging upside down by your big toe probably isn’t the recommended approach to reading my posts with any great level of success 😀 I think your eyes will adjust quite happily to the world of ice and light if you apply these remedies!!! 🙂
      Icewolfie hugs xxx

      • I see that you haven’t lost your cheek Icywolfy of the Icy Realm 🙂 lol
        And where have you been all this time also? Probably chasing wolves
        and hoping for a wicked night of naughtiness to develop, but then you
        have always been a wicked Icywolfy so nothing new there then 😉 lol

        I am getting back into posting gradually, after all I have to perfect those
        washing line landings and not get straddled in the wrong position, your
        guidance could come in handy one of these nights but don’t be getting
        too cheeky of I won’t share my chocolate lollipops with you, oh go on then
        seeing as it is you and that you have a craving for sucking lollipops 🙂 lol

        Right I will slid on the lid until later and then call round for a bit 😉 lmao

        Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and be good, just like me…

        Andro xxxx

      • I have been right here on W/P where I’m supposed to be 😉 … unlike someone I could mention!! lol…however if you mean re your own blog, well I did stop by today and leave a comment but I’m not going to if you never answer your comments and I don’t know whether you’ve even seen them…:) it’s very ghoulishly dark and scary in your blog! My Icewolfie paws get covered in zombie slime and consequently I’m in danger of slipping unceremoniously straight into the pits of hell residing within the Dark Realms! 😀 So you see I do like to be sure my visits, fraught with dark and untold dangers lol are actually worth my risking life and Icewolfie limb for!!! And what did you do with the like button?? How can I “like” the chance to satisfy my “craving for sucking lollipops” lol if there’s no button to do so with?!! 😀

        On the other paw if you’re prepared to share your chocolate lollipops with me, as you suggest 😉 then I might be tempted to slink by….assuming I don’t get eaten by a Zombie, accosted by the mighty blooded swords of the Knights of the Dark Realm or thrown into the raging pits of hell by the Realm’s gruesome ghouls!!! 🙂

        If I’m to be good like you then there is definitely no hope for me! lol 😉 After all your naughtiness knows no bounds…as we both know very well!! 😀 xxxx

      • Icywolfy what a darkly weave of wickedness you speaketh, but not to worry thou art safe under my cloak of naughtiness, and another thing, don’t forget to bring some marshmallows for the fires of hell, we can’t be wicked without something scrumptious to toast and I have a couple of forks waiting for that wonderful feast 🙂

        My chocolate lollipops are awaiting your immediate attention, just get ready to enjoy the succulence of each lollipop, I know you are never satisfied with just the one so I have a nice selection waiting for your wicked tastes. There are even some éclairs with extra cream topping so don’t forget to bring along your Wolfy napkin, just in case any cream is spilt, we don’t want you looking like you have devoured the whole plate full, even if you had 🙂 lol

        Okay time for me to swoop back to my realm, and make sure that I have enough Champagne on ice, I hate warm Champagne, though these dungeons barely get above freezing these days, too many lazy Zombies not stoking the fires enough, but never mind I will make sure that you are hot enough, so no problem, jus don’t forget those marshmallows 🙂 Or else? 😉 lol

        Andro xxxx

      • I will be popping over shortly with the fires of hell marshmallows in tow 🙂 Be sure to have that cloak of naughtiness endowing that fine Vampy figure of yours…you know how much I like to see you cloaked in wickedness 😉 lol …. I hope your chocolate lollipops haven’t melted in the heat from the fires of hell roasting our marshmallows! My tastes are very, very wicked and roasted chocolate lollipops are unlikely to meet my dark desires!!! And please check the extra cream topped eclairs are cooling nicely in the fridge ok? lol No…not the fridge freezer at the heart of the pits of hell…it doesn’t work if you recall…it over-heated and burned to a frazzle if I remember rightly 😉 And I don’t like sour cream!! The one in the dungeons will do…so long as the Zombies haven’t had their rancid fingers in there!!! 🙂 😀 xxx

      • Have you noticed that my typo’s are even worse than before? 😉 lol

        Andro xxxx

      • Yes, well, dearest Andro… that’s just one more indication that you really do need to “get your act together!!!!” lol 😉 and get your Vampy backside back onto W/P and stop messing around!!! 😉 😀 So jump to it Sir Ando of the decidedly questionable Cape!!! lol xxxx 🙂

      • I am doing just that, getting my butt back into WP and calling in here to be as cheeky as I like, similarly, I see that you have not lost your Icywolfy naughtiness either, so I will no doubt be seeing you very soon and as we raise a glass of the vintage Champagne we can reminisce over the years that we have known each other, of course I will expect a nice steak meal (as Delboy always says) and some awesome desserts to go with it 😉 lol

        Andro xxxx

      • Glad to hear it! About time! lol 😉 I have a glass of the Vintage Champagne at the ready for this momentous occasion 😉 lol 🙂

  8. Jag gillar ditt nya inlägg Wolfie du gör bra och intressanta bloggar tycker jag.. Nu önskar jag dig en lång och skön helg och hoppas du inte har det för varmt massor av kramar från Nicki

    • Tack Nicki!
      Mytologi är faktiskt inte mitt favoritämne
      men det verkar som det ska vara!
      Dessa artiklar är mycket populära
      jämfört med mina andra kära …
      Jag tror att mina astronomi inlägg ska vara lika populärt
      men ingen annan verkar hålla!!
      Ha en härlig helg och en stor Wolfie kram!
      Kram Wolfie 🙂

  9. Hi! In recognition of your wonderful blog, I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. You can pick up your award here:
    (sorry that I can’t provide an actual link)

  10. What an interesting story – thank you for bringing this to us, Wolfie 🙂

  11. Cool! 🙂

    • Oh Kev!!! I’ve just found your comment…in the spam box!!!! That was very naughty of the spam people wasn’t it? But not to worry I un-spammed you as soon as I realised 🙂

      • I’ve been having the same problem with some of my people who even regularly comment on my blog… Good thing I check my spam before deleting it! What’s going on?
        Idk. Thanks. 🙂

      • It took some time to get round to checking my spam folder…not usually much in it! Was more than surprised when I saw you there 🙂

      • Never know when or where I’m gonna pop up hey? lol Me neither!

  12. Hi Wolfie… Really cool stuff; I love learning new, well, anything… but, especially mythology and astronomy…. and, yes, I do know the exclamatory phrase dates me well back into the sixties… I DID live through them, relatively intact…. SIGH, Plus, I like your stuff, even though I DO feel as if I need a jacket when I read here for long…. the ice part gets to me after a while….. o_O

    It was nice, as well, to see you over at my site. I hope all is well in Wolfie-world…. Take care, & Blessed Be, milady… Oh, and don’t forget…. you’ll find that document in the last place you look… so maybe try the last place you looked?…. 🙄

    See ya

    gigoid, the dubious


    • I have a nice warm winter jacket complete with thermal undies on the side of the blog page, ready for your next visit ok?!! Oh and a cosy little electric fire should you need some extra home comforts! Now….where was the last place I looked??!!! 😉

  13. Reblogged this on Teacher as Transformer and commented:
    I enjoy indigenous myths and legends. They connect humans in the world they live in and attempt to make sense of the natural phenomena occurring around us. Science is not able to provide full explanations and good scientists acknowledge this. Sedna was a story I shared with students when I taught. It provided considerable food for thought, particularly for those students who held science as being absolute. Stories are the human way of making sense of the world and its natural phenomena.

    • Thank you so much for the reblog! We never covered anything interesting like myths and legends at school so I only learned about Sedna when I diverted slightly from the scientific Sedna 🙂 Good to know there are those teachers out there who do see fit to include such topics in the education of their students 🙂

      • I was in the same situation when I went to school, but we had many books at home which made a difference. I knew how much I enjoyed reading those legends and myths so was confident given a chance the students would too.

        You are welcome and thank you.

  14. Have a great weekend wolfie..hugs kisses love always Nicki

  15. Merhaba benim tatlı arkadaşıma Buz. 🙂
    senin harika yorumların için teşekkür ederim
    ben arkadaşıma hoş bir hafta diliyorum
    her zaman sevgi ile kal 🙂

    • Merhaba benim güzel arkadaşım Seçil 🙂
      Burada yorumlarınızı görmek her zaman harika
      Teşekkür ederim!
      Yakında yine hafta sonu olacak
      Büyük sarılarak ve sevgi…Buz 🙂

  16. She sounds a bit sadistic if she gets crossed Wolfie.. .. I had not heard of Sedna the Goddess of the sea.. but I expect she will be well remembered if you should displease her..
    Love the pictures you have here too….
    I hope your Laptop survived from being thrown… Mine seems better today.. I thought maybe someone was moving the satellites around LOL as even my phone and my daughters net work which is different to mine were both experiencing problems… They wouldn’t say if it was a solar flare.. would they.. Raining this afternoon here today Wolfie.. the allotments are very thirsty, and it will save on our arms carrying watering cans to water tonight.. 🙂 I hate to think how many miles hubbies walks back and forth watering… I don’t carry half as many .. 🙂 I have been freezing in the kitchen this morning and enjoying my days off this week until the weekend.. 🙂
    Much love and Hugs to you xox
    Sue xox

    • I hadn’t heard of Sedna in this context either…it’s surprising what astronomy can teach you!! Considering what she experienced it’s kind of understandable if she harbours a certain degree of sadism!
      Yes…the laptop did survive lol it’s made of hardy stuff 😉 I guess solar flares could have been influencing the situation but sometimes it’s just a really, really poor internet service to blame. I haven’t been able to get a signal for the internet all day on my phone today. Very frustrating. I am seeing nothing but “Can’t connect to the server” every time I try being optimistic!
      Very appropriate the hubbie should be carrying many more watering cans than you! 🙂 I’m sure the exercise will be very good and healthy for him!! You get enough already don’t you? lol 😉 Love and hugs…Wolfie xx

  17. Ville bara ge dig en kram Wolfie och ett litet hej 🙂

  18. Hej Wolfie..
    ja det var ett fint bröllop och dom får det säkert fint i Turkiet även om jag nu efter flera veckor med över 30 + inte skulle vilja byta till 35+ nu vill jag ha lite kallt och idag har vi bara 27+ känns bra.. Önskar dig nu en fin helg Wolfie.. Kram Nicki

  19. I had no clue about this Goddess …I am a huge fan of Mythology (Greek one, in particular)… So I most appreciate this interesting and informative post!.
    Best wishes to you, Aquileana 😀

  20. Enchanting ! Happy thanksgiving 🙂

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: