Eir: Best of Doctors– Idunna Magazine

Norse Goddess Eir Best of Doctors- Shirl Sazynski

Lineart illustration for an essay I wrote, appearing in Idunna Magazine this spring.

Eir is the Norse Goddess of medicine, physicians and healing, associated with a magic hill or mountain. She has a number of Goddess friends who hang out together, according the wonderful courting poem Svipdagsmal (seriously, it’s one of the cutest myths ever. A hero goes on an “impossible” quest, gets lots of help first from his wise dead mom, trades questions and wisdom with a giant– who gives him impossible tasks, of course… and it turns out he doesn’t have to smite, conquer or hurt a damn thing to win his True Love, who lives on the Mountain of Healing, Lyfjaberg. It’s awesome.).

I dressed Eir in a lab coat to emphasize that she’s a physician, not just a “healer”, with all the respect, years of training, and vast knowledge that carries. Doctor’s offices are so often cold these days that I wanted something warm, homey and healing for her.

The standing stones are for a barrow door (like a hobbit house), because in Svipdagsmal, Lyfjaberg is in the Underworld. A huge tree with healing fruit is associated with the hill, which I echoed in the design of the table.

The hanging herbs are mint, mugwort, red clover, lavender and yarrow, very useful powerful for healing still used in medicine today.

Final art will be in watercolor. Eir’s not going to be blond.

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