Who is Huldra?

by Raven Kaldera

GleaningThere are a lot of conflicting accounts in the various primary sources about how many Handmaidens Frigga actually has. Some accounts have ten, or eleven, or twelve, or thirteen. Most practitioners go with twelve because it's a nice round number, but some work with thirteen, the number of the Moon. The folks in the latter group add in the account of a handmaiden named Huldra. Some scholars assume that she is actually a form of Holda, but I prefer not to conflate deities at this time. At any rate, she shares none of the sinister aspects of Holda, and is spoken of as a goddess of hard labor, who strengthens the backs of those who work. It may be that there are twelve "main" handmaidens and Huldra is an "extra" who steps in from time to time - who knows? At any rate, we do honor her here with a place at the table, if only part-time.