Friday, 26 September 2008

Goddess of the Week: Elli

After two Bad Witch's Gods of the Week, here is the first Bad Witch's Goddess of the Week: Elli.

Elli is the Norse goddess of old age. I must admit I had never heard of her until I picked her at random from my old copy of The Concise Mythological Dictionary by Peerage Books.

It only gives her a brief description, saying that she overcame Thor in a wrestling match. Now that is one tough old lady!

The description of Elli on states:

"THOR cannot believe his luck. He's been challenged to a wrestling match by an ancient giantess. After his last few contests THOR feels he could do with a pushover. After two falls and a submission it is THOR who is on the floor. The Giant Crone is the undisputed champion of all time."

This serves as a valuable lesson not to underestimate old people. We often think of the elderly as unfit, forgetful and out of touch with modern times, but they have a wealth of knowledge and can often give good advice.

They are also not necessarily as helpless as we imagine. And it reminds me of a story I heard from a colleague when I once worked in a shop. They told me about a shoplifter who had been apprehended. The manager shouted "Stop! Thief!" as the criminal ran to the door with something he had purloined. The shoplifter tried to barge past an old lady without thinking. But it turned out the pensioner had a belt in Judo. She grabbed the thief's arm, twisted it, and in an instant he was on the floor.

When I get old, I think I shall set up a little shrine to Elli - even if I am senile and in old folk's home.

The Concise Mythological Dictionary


Anonymous said...

Heh, yes. Much the same effect as the young lads who tried to mug the father of one of my friends, only to find he was a high-dan black belt in karate...

I bet Elli wears purple!

Badwitch said...

I bet she does wear purple - and a red hat, as in the poem!

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who is technically "elderly" but not old by any stretch of the imagination at 65. She just moved into a 1-room cabin on her family's farm. True to her dream, the cabin is completely off the power grid, and she has an outhouse. There is a small generator for electricity and a woodstove for heat and cooking. Now that's tough.

Her son lives on the farm, too, so he can help out and check on her if she needs anything. Her health is excellent. She's my role model!