Honoring Sága, the Norse Goddess of Storytelling

Honoring Sága, the Norse Goddess of Storytelling


Sága is the Norse goddess of stories, storytelling, and the sharing of memories. Learn how to honor her in your life.

The Norse goddess Frigga has 12 handmaidens, each of whom is a goddess herself. The Icelandic historian Snorri Sturluson, from whose writings in the 13th century we get most of our history of Norse mythology, mentions 12 handmaidens by name, each who helps Frigga in some way. One can learn a great deal about medieval life by studying these goddesses.

Who Is Sága?

The Norse goddess Sága is mentioned in Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda, and is talked about in “Grímnismál” in the Poetic Edda. The word “saga” simply means “story.” We know she has her own hall, called Sokkvabekk, and that she hosts the god Odin there. She and Odin drink from golden cups and are joyful together. Sokkvabekk is defined as a sinking, hollow pit, or possibly an abyss, which has led some Norse scholars to suggest that Sága was a sea goddess, although that does not seem to be the case.

Further, some claim that the similarities between Sága and Frigga are too great, and they might actually be the same goddess. Both Frigga and Sága sit with Odin on a high seat. It could be said that Frigga knows all but says nothing, while Sága knows all—she is the Norse goddess of story, after all—and speaks. Frigga has her own hall, Fensalir, which is known as a bog or deep pool of water, similar to Saga’s hall. Despite their similarities, they do seem to be distinct goddesses.

The Norse Goddess of Stories

Sága is a goddess in her own right, and potentially an important one. Her name means “story.” Consider the importance of storytelling in all human societies, both ancient and modern. Stories define us and our lives. We tell our children bedtime stories. We tell our friends stories of events that live in our memories (“Remember that time when…”), and we tell stories on social media. All of these individual stories make up our life stories. In fact, it could be said that stories are what define us as human.

Sága, the goddess of story, is the inspiration behind all forms of creativity; writing, certainly, but also creating and performing music, making art, and so on. When we tell a story, we honor Sága. We can envision her as an entertainer, an author, and a keeper of memory.

This is another important thing to remember about Sága: She knows all the stories, going all the way back to the beginning of time, and is able to relate those stories and memories to Odin when he visits Sokkvabekk. As a god who values wisdom, Odin listens to all stories and collects memories. Odin has Huginn and Muninn, his ravens who provide him with thoughts and memories, yet here, too, we see Sága, the progenitor of stories, sitting and drinking with him. Through this modern viewing of the importance of story and memory, we can see the true might of this goddess.

How to Bring Sága Into Your Life

First and foremost, tell stories. You can do this at any point in your day, for nearly any reason. To offer a story to Sága, simply mention her name in your retelling and let her know that the story is dedicated to her.

Write a story, a poem, or a song. It should be something you craft carefully, but it does not have to be a “hit.” Something heartfelt and relevant to your life at the moment is fine. Write down or print out the story, then light a candle or small fire in a fireplace. Let Sága know it is a gift for her, then burn the paper.

Gather a small group of friends and create a story together. One fun way to do this is for a person to start a story by speaking just one sentence. The person next to them adds a second sentence; this must relate back to the first, and should also move the story along. The next person speaks, and the next, until everyone has said one sentence. The final person must conclude the story. When you finish, call out “Hail Sága!” together, and take a drink of your beverage of choice.

Engage in the creative arts. Again, what you create does not have to be “perfect” or created at any kind of expert level—simply engaging in the process, then admiring what you created before offering it to Sága is what matters. This can be as simple as reading a book or listening to music. Music often brings up emotions, so if that happens, pay attention to any wisdom you may receive.

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Honoring the Norse Goddess Sága

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