My first encounter with Angrboda, the Hag of the Ironwood, was through Hela, Mistress of the Dead, in the summer of 2012 during my maiden voyage to Helheim. On my visit to Helheim Angrboda gave me a trinket, the purpose of which was unclear at the time. Since then my contact with the Mother of Monsters has been sporadic at best – an intuitive inkling here, a detoured trance journey there. Each time she introduced me to some of the mysteries and magics of the Ironwood and Jotenheim. On each encounter I really was terrified but also excited to some degree. Then slowly but surely I did a few tours in the war-torn territories of my own psyche, and suddenly her visits and trinkets and insights made gobs of sense.
Earlier this month I had a dream in which an altar space for her appeared before me. It was simply a wolf skull flanked by two red vigil candle on a plain table. The altar was nestled in a liminal space, i.e. between two other pieces of furniture. When I woke up I was confused about why she would want me to acquire a wolf skull given some of the problematic ways that they come into the market. I still have some divination to do in order to sort out the spiritual particulars of acquiring one in her name. I am up with animal rights and ethics so I have quite a bit of research to do.
Also, about a week ago I obtained an audible oracle courtesy of Angrboda via a beautiful piece of bloodstone that I’ve had for quite a while [You’re lookin’ at me like ‘audible oracle?’ I know right! When I did some digging I found out that’s a thing]. So bloodstone is now one of the gems that I connect with Angrboda because it is associated with courage, vitality, strength, and earth might. It also tends to have natural iron inclusions, hence the red flecks. From what I gather from Angrboda, iron that is magically crafted as an etin-bane is offensive to her because who wouldn’t be offended by a weapon specially designed for their demise, but iron from natural earth sources actually has an affinity with her. This thought makes me smile because the sun-hot inner core of our planet is made of an iron-nikel alloy. The other stone that I connect with Angrboda is red jasper sometimes called the blood of the earth. I keep several pieces of it for her. The last stone, moss agate, is also a powerful connection for me to the Ironwood in general. I am not really focused on gems and stones in my practice but when pieces speak to me on behalf of particular power I try to listen. I’ve decided to add the stones above to my work with her, and maybe to an altar space.
Each time Angrboda and I have had contact, she appears warrior-strong, spiritually resilient, ferocious, and wild. She wears furs and skins, has long dark red hair, and well-won scars including what appears to be tribal scarring grace her face. And when she smiles at me she always has far too many teeth (always sharp) and intense, hungry eyes. I am under no delusions; she is a primordial power and consequently my time with her has to be measured, both for my sanity and for my physical wellness. We are of different Natures but she has a tremendous amount to teach, and I will continue to learn from her with respect for who and what she is.