Sedna. Goddess of the sea underworld and abundance in Inuit mythology.
The legend of how Sedna became a sea goddess is told throughout the Arctic. The story varies from one region to the next. My favorite version of the legend is one where she is dissatisfied with men found for her by her father and so marries a dog. Her father is so angry at this that he throws her into the sea and when she tries to climb back into the boat he cuts off her fingers. Her fingers become the first seals and she becomes a mighty sea goddess. Although this is just one version of the story in all of the versions a young woman becomes the mother of all sea creatures. As the sea goddess Sedna has dominion over her creatures and controls the availability of seal walrus fish whale and other sea animals.
Far back in time in case of impending hunger the Arctic shamans often traveled across the sea and went into trance to come down to Adlivun Sedna’s underwater home and the Inuit underworld to negotiate with the goddess and plead with her for food for people. Sometimes Sedna was angry denied their requests and sent them back to the surface.
Next time when she was in a good mood she promised that hunters would have food for their families during the harsh winter seasons.
Sedna’s themes are are thankfulness providence nature and abundance. Her symbols are water an eye and fish. The mother of the sea which is sometimes called the ‘eating place’ in northern climates Sedna is a very important figure in Inuit mythology as the provider of nourishment for both the body and soul.