Whether someone believes Kyne is Goddess in her own right or Kynareth by another name depends largely on the pantheon they follow. The Nords of Skyrim consider Kynareth to be a “pale shadow” when compared to their beloved Kyne, while those that follow the Nine Divines know that Kynareth transcends such things as names, and to them Kyne is but another aspect of the strongest of the sky spirits. As my readers should know by now, however, I am a hard polytheist and I routinely rail against the idea that a deity from one region is merely an aspect of a deity from another region – Aphrodite is not Venus, Set is not Typhon, and Kyne is definitely not Kynareth even though their spheres and names are similar.
(I suspect the Nord readers are cheering right now.)
Funnily enough, the debate surrounding Kyne and Kynareth is also ongoing outside Nirn, although to a lesser degree. I routinely use two online sources when researching all things Tamrielic (along with others, of course), and I find it interesting that one of those sources clearly takes the position that the two are the same, while the other disagrees. While the information from each correlates from the other, there’s nuance present that clearly defines the point-of-view the writer holds…and I’ve had to take that into account when deciding what information to use and what information to toss out. But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t admit to being biased in my own right and so I encourage my readers to take what I say with a grain of salt if you need to.
So, who is Kyne? She is the most revered of the Nordic deities and considered to be chief of the gods since her husband’s passing. Kyne is Goddess of the Storm and controls the wind and rain in all their fury…and all their gentleness. As the Mother of Men, she breathed upon the Throat of the World to birth mankind, and the Nords consider themselves to be her sons and daughters. She is the Warrior-Wife, widow of Shor the Hidden God, and favored for worship by warriors and those who do battle. Kyne is the Kiss at the End as she leads the dead to Sovngarde where her husband dwells. She gave the Thu’um (the Storm Voice) to men; before this, only the dragons could Shout. In fact, Kyne’s name (Kaan) in the dragontongue is a Word of Power and soothes the wild animals that are also considered to be her creations.
I do not worship Kyne, although I’d be tempted to do so if there weren’t other gods that fill those spaces for me. I see the allure, though – she is so many things in one deity, and it is clear that she cares for her own. We’ve entered storm season this week, and I could see Kyne in the thunderstorms that hit on Monday although, to be honest, He Who Owns My Ass is Lord of Storms and I know I’d have a difficult time balancing the two. However, just because Neb.y is the Storm doesn’t mean that Kyne isn’t also the Storm…it just means that she’s not going to be a good fit for me.
For those interested in worshiping Kyne, look to the wind and rain for clues to her nature. Ask for her aid in battle, be it physical, mental, or emotional – one can be a warrior without holding a physical weapon, and Kyne is beloved of warriors. Try perfuming yourself for her – there are several rain-inspired scents available, and I think something like Rain by Demeter or D.S. & Durga’s Pale Grey Mountain, Small Black Lake would please her.
(Both fragrances are available on The Perfumed Court as decants, by the way.)