Monday, February 21, 2011


Sedna,the Inuit Goddess of the Sea (The 'Lost' Goddess)---About Selfish-ness.
Sedna is a very significant figure in Inuit mythology. There are a number of different versions of the myth of Sedna. I will share with you the one I prefer.
As the legend goes, Sedna was a beautiful Inuit girl who lived with her father. She was very vain and thought she was too beautiful to marry just anyone. Time and time again she turned down hunters who came to her camp wishing to marry her. Finally one day her father said to her "Sedna, we have no food and we will go hungry soon. You need a husband to take care of you, so the next hunter who comes to ask your hand in marriage, you must marry him." Sedna ignored her father and kept brushing her hair as she looked at her reflection in the water.
Soon her father saw another hunter approaching their camp. The man was dressed elegantly in furs and appeared to be well-to-do even though his face was hidden. Sedna's father spoke to the man. "If you wish to seek a wife I have a beautiful daughter . She can cook and sew and I know she will make a good wife." Under great protest, Sedna was placed aboard of the hunters kayak and journeyed to her new home. Soon they arrived at an island. Sedna looked around. She could see nothing. No sod hut, no tent, just bare rocks and a cliff. The hunter stood before Sedna and as he pulled down his hood, he let out and evil laugh. Sedna's husband was not a man as she had thought but a storm petrel in disguise (some version tells of “a raven in disguise”). She screamed and tried to run, but the bird dragged her to a clearing on the cliff. Sedna's new home was a few tufts of animal hair and feathers strewn about on the hard, cold rock. The only food she had to eat was fish. Her husband, the storm petrel, brought raw fish to her after a day of flying off in search of food.
Sedna was very unhappy and miserable. She cried and cried and called her father's name. Through the howling arctic winds Sedna's father could hear his daughter's cries. He felt guilty for what he had done as he knew she was sad. Sedna's father decided it was time to rescue his daughter. He loaded up his kayak and paddled for days through the frigid arctic waters to his Sedna's home. When he arrived Sedna was standing on the shore. Sedna hugged her father then quickly climbed into his kayak and paddled away. After many hours of travel Sedna turned and saw a black speck far off into the distance. She felt the fear well up inside of her for she knew the speck was her angry husband flying in search of her.
The big storm petrel swooped down upon the kayak bobbing on the ocean. Sedna's father took his paddle and struck at the storm petrel but missed as the bird continued to harass them. Finally the storm petrel swooped down near the kayak and flapped his wing upon the ocean. A vicious storm began to brew. The calm arctic ocean soon became a raging torrent tossing the tiny kayak to and fro. Sedna's father became very frightened. He grabbed Sedna and threw her over the side of the kayak into the ocean. "Here, he screamed, here is your precious wife, please do not hurt me, take her."
Sedna screamed and struggled as her body began go numb in the icy arctic waters. She swam to the kayak and reached up, her fingers grasping the side of the boat. Her father, terrified by the raging storm, thought only of himself as he grabbed the paddle and began to pound against Sedna's fingers. Sedna screamed for her father to stop but to no avail. Her frozen fingers cracked and fell into the ocean. Affected by her ghastly husbands powers, Sedna's fingers while sinking to the bottom, turned into seals. Sedna attempted again to swim and cling to her father's kayak. Again he grabbed the paddle and began beating at her hands (another version mentions “Sedna even got her fingers chopped off mercilessly while clinging at the boat’s rim”). Again Sedna's hands, frozen by the arctic sea again cracked off. The stumps began to drift to the bottom of the sea, this time turned into the whales and other large mammals. Sedna could fight no more and began to sink herself.
Sedna, tourmented and raging with anger for what had happened to her, did not perish. She became, and still is today, the goddess of the sea. Sedna's companions are the whales and the seals (the seals are said to be transformed from her chopped-off fingers) and they sit with her at the bottom on the ocean. Her anger and fury against man’s selfishness is what drums up the violent seas and storms . Hunters have a great respect for her. Legend has it that they must treat her with respect. Shaman's from the world above must swim down to her to comb her long black tangled hair. This calms Sedna down. Once this is done, she releases her mammals to allow the Inuit to eat from the bounty of the sea. It is for this reason in the north that after a hunter catches a seal he drops water into the mouth of the mammal, a gesture to thank Sedna for her kindness in allowing him to feed his family.

This is the legend of Sedna.
Retrieved from

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<--叉尾海燕(鸌鳥) Storm Petrel   
賽德娜在刺骨的海水中掙扎,身體漸漸失去了知覺。但她還是努力游向小船,並抓緊了船舷。但她胆小如鼠的父親為了自保,再一次將她推入水中,以船槳拍打她的手(另一傳說版本提到:就連賽德娜緊緊抓住船邊的手指也被無情地砍斷了)。賽德娜再也没有力氣堅持了,她任由自己冰冷的身體沉入海底。 賽德娜並没有消失,而是成為了海洋女神,在深深的北冰洋底,終日與鯨魚以及自己手指所化成的海豹為伴。她因為舊日面對男人自私自利之際遇而難以消散的盛怒化做了北極的巨浪和暴風。獵人因而對她又敬又怕。傳說只有當巫師游到海底為她梳理黑長糾結的頭髮的時候,風浪才會平息。然後,她會為獵人們放開那些海洋動物以示海洋的慷慨與博大。所以,即使到了現在,每當獵人捕獲一只海豹,他都會在海豹的口中滴入些水,向賽德娜的仁慈感恩。 這就是賽德娜的神話傳說。 後來,於2003年11月14日﹐在加州理工學院的邁克.佈朗、雙子天文臺的Chad Trujillo和耶魯大學的David Rabinowitz發現了一顆小行星,位於柯伊伯帶和奧爾特雲之間,就命名為塞德娜(Sedna)。這是由於「賽德娜」有着「失落之女神」外號的緣故,也就附和了太陽系中「第十大行星」的「失落 (被遺忘) 」身份。