** This one is something that came to me from what could be described as a meditative channeling and some creative writing combined into one.
The Old one once so strong and vibrant, leaned crouched against her once mighty staff, now reduced to a cane. She hobbled closer and peered through the flames before her, and slowly she began to speak. “Hear me young one” she says with a glare. “Heed the story that I tell for you, that others may know in a distant time, all the tales that wove together my own”.
“It was long ago, when the gods themselves were still new. Recently built were their grand seats on high. They summoned me there in my earliest form, to seek wisdom and spur the movement of the fates. There in that great hall, questioned on the littlest of things, I grew weary of their petty desires. And yet I gave them answers that they sought, knowing full well what it is that they would do. They bound me. Yes, I too suffer the rope burns from them. And many other burns too, as I will soon tell. They speared me through and bound me, and then lit a pyre beneath. There I burned, and again twice more. Coming back each time but the third. And yet here I am, and still I live, because my darling wiley one came to carry me on. He, the flame-haired lover of life and change, came storming into the hall. Too late to rescue me, and forlorn from the loss, he upon my ashes wept with despair and rage. The tears falling upon the ash washing away the soot, to reveal my still beating heart. This he took into himself and then, away into the ground beneath, he hid. And there he gave birth to me and our children, full grown, the witches of the wood. In giantland we dwelled and thrived. Though the high-one would say not so. And yet his son it is the reason why dangers we came to know. There in the Ironwood we dwelled. All our sons, great wolves, did rise. And yet the strongest of them all, my son, will reach into the skies. You see my child, even then at the dawn, the high-ones feared our broods. For they knew that like countless other cycles, in this one we’d end them too. Theirs is the way of tearing down the earth, building things unnatural and strong and fierce. But we, the giants, live off the land. With Ymir as our own, we tend. But from his body we grew and lived and built for ourselves many tribes. We are the ones who give both life and death. And that is where others’ fears reside. But this time they took their efforts too far. This time they set their sights to destroy. Not just the earth and the resources of gold, but those who keep the balance in line. They snuck into my cave and home, and dared ask me to cry for their son. In the very same cave they snuck into before when they tore away my children from my side. Tossed my daughter into a far away land where only the dark and dead can she see. Then my serpent child and his brother wolf, both cast away like the damned. Mere children they were when they were taken away, cast out and damned and bound. Aye, those high-ones love their cords. But soon those too will burn. And though they were not mine, the other two children of my beloved, I still mourn. For they were part of him whom I love, and brothers of my own children too. But their fate was even worse than ours. Those poor little ill-fated sons. Ripped apart by each other by no fault of their own, all to once again silence and the truth-speaker’s tongue. But we will all rise again you see, when their father finally breaks his chains. Then we too will all regain our strength, and our bindings drop into the fires. Then, along with those of Muspell, we will ride to the highest, and bring the cycle to and end once more. For then, just as always, new high ones will take the throne. And the high seats given another chance at balance, and we given back our homes. The tree will regrow and start anew, like does in every spring. Surtr still providing warmth and light. We still tending the wild. So do not mourn for me dear young one. Nor for my love, or our children, or more. For we are the chaotic primal source, of all balance in the twilight and beyond”.
The old one then stood up from her cane, revealing again her young form. Primal-warrior-chieftainess she reigns, mother of wolves, and mighty force. She bids me go from out of her cave, and travel far and wide. And spread the knowledge and wisdom of her people, and the truth of paths entwined. So hail to you dear mother and chief. Angrboda, queen of the Ironwood. Hail to you Loki, your children, and kin. And let your balance in ourselves be restored.