Heathens of Yorkshire
-by Dan Coultas, July 2018
Idunna is an Aesir Goddess, and the wife of Bragi, the great Skald of the Gods. 'Her dwelling is in Brunnakr, and she is the other goddess the giants always seek to kidnap'.
Idunna 'tends the youth-giving apples the Gods must always eat in order to remain alive and young'. The idea that the Gods require these golden apples to remain youthful is a key tenant of heathenry. Unlike in many other belief systems, our Gods are not immortal. They are not permanent. Whilst they age much more slowly than us, they do age, and without Idunna's apples, old age would take them.
The apples of immortality are therefore arguably the most valuable items the Gods possess, and therefore highly desirable to other beings. 'Loki insulted a giant named Thazi and swore to get Idunna and her apples out of Asgard in order to free himself from Thiazi's vengeance. When the Gods found out, they were furious, and also began to age. Loki was then charged to bring her back again, and he did so in the shape of a bird, with Idunna transformed into a nut and held in his claws. Thiazi gave chase in the form of an eagle, and was burned to death by the Gods as he flew over Asgard's gates'. Idunna and her apples were back with the Gods, and therefore they could continue to fight the effects of aging, however Thazi's daughter Skadhi would soon arrive, seeking justice for her fathers death.
Unfortunately there is little more that is known about Idunna, which is strange given how important her apples are for the preservation of the Gods.
Ellis Davidson, HR, Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, Penguin Lafayllve, PM, A Practical Heathen's Guide to Asatru, Llewellyn Skallagrimsson, W, Heathenry, A Study Of Asatru in the Modern World