Who is Sjofn?

Sjofn by Thorskegga. Sjofn is the goddess of affection, which is the meaning of her name. She is not specifically a goddess of romantic love like Freya; her gift is affection of all types - between partners, between children and parents and grandparents, between close friends and working colleagues, even between humans and animals. Sjofn is a frith-maker who calls in the powers of affection in order to make peace and strengthen bonds. She is especially a protector of children and their parents, and first adolescent loves. She can be called upon when those bonds are fraying or have not yet blossomed. Some folk use a rose-quartz heart on a chain as her symbol.

Linda Demissy's story about Sjofn, drawn from personal gnosis from talking to the Handmaiden Goddesses, is as follows:

Sjöfn is Goddess of affection, friendship, and protector of children. She grew up isolated, an elven princess whose parents were too busy to spend time with her, and for whom expensive toys were the only companions. Lady South Wind came secretly, the Wind of Protest, and taught her to make toys come alive. Through these animated toys given to other lonely children and adults, she came to know of her father’s wrongdoings in the kingdom. Rebelling led to her being Veiled, a magical punishment by which everyone knows to pretend that the person is not there, like a ghost. Loneliness almost drove her mad, but she somehow made a friend. Lofn sat by her on a park bench and listened each day, though unable to respond without risking the same fate, and together they eventually escaped Alfheim (see Lofn’s section). No one can live long without any friends.

Her favorite foods are bite sized and made to look pretty, the kind you might eat with toothpicks at parties while you socialize, and she is fond of sweets. She likes dolls, teddy bears, pillows — anything you can squeeze for comfort — dedicated to her, and is a sympathetic listener for those who are hurting inside, from loneliness, neglect or anger at injustice. Paper dolls holding hands can be cut out as a token in her honor. She also helps troubled children and helps communication in rocky relationships. You may have to earn forgiveness for any harm you’ve done to children before she will help you (see Lofn for that), but she might forgive you if she thinks you’re already suffering enough. Her name is pronounced “SYO-fen,” the letter “j” being pronounced as “y” in Old Icelandic (the language the Eddas were written in).

Sjöfn’s Invisibility Prayer

by Linda Demissy

So that none will notice you, and if they notice not care, imagine a white veil over your head like those that which hide the face of a bride. See everyone around you hazy, as if you were staring through this veil. Let your eyes unfocus, and like hunters of old, rely on your peripheral vision to warn you of dangers. It will stop working if you talk or interact with anyone, so try to stay out of people’s way. However, you cannot be invisible from all. One person must be chosen to be visible to and to befriend.

No one will care, no one will stare

I am no one, I am not there.

Already dead, all has been said,

Barely do I, disturb the air.

Artwork by Thorskegga Thorn.