Deity of the Day for September 14th – Njord, Norse God of the Sea

Deity of the Day

Njord

Norse God of the Sea

 

In Norse Paganism, Njörðr is a god among the Vanir. Njörðr, father of the deities Freyr and Freyja by his unnamed Vanir sister, was in an ill-fated marriage with the goddess Skaði, lives in Nóatún and is associated with sea, seafaring, wind, fishing, wealth, and crop fertility.

Njörðr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, in euhemerized form as a beloved mythological early king of Sweden in Heimskringla, also written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century, as one of three gods invoked in the 14th century Hauksbók ring oath, and in numerous Scandinavian place names. Veneration of Njörðr survived into 18th or 19th century Norwegian folk practice, where the god is recorded as Njor and thanked for a bountiful catch of fish.

Njörðr has been the subject of an amount of scholarly discourse and theory, often connecting him with the figure of the much earlier attested Germanic goddess Nerthus, the hero Hadingus, and theorizing on his formerly more prominent place in Norse paganism due to the appearance of his name in numerous place names. Njörðr is sometimes modernly anglicized as Njord, Njoerd, or Njorth.

The name Njörðr corresponds to that of the older Germanic fertility goddess Nerthus, and both derive from the Proto-Germanic *Nerþuz. The original meaning of the name is contested, but it may be related to the Irish word nert which means “force” and “power”. It has been suggested that the change of sex from the female Nerthus to the male Njörðr is due to the fact that feminine nouns with u-stems disappeared early in Germanic language while the masculine nouns with u-stems prevailed. However, other scholars hold the change to be based not on grammatical gender but on the evolution of religious beliefs; that *Nerþuz and Njörðr appear as different genders because they are to be considered separate beings. The name Njörðr may be related to the name of the Norse goddess Njörun.

Njörðr’s name appears in various place names in Scandinavia, such as Nærdhæwi (now Nalavi), Njærdhavi (now Mjärdevi), Nærdhælunda (now Närlunda), Nierdhatunum (now Närtuna) in Sweden, Njarðvík in southwest Iceland, Njarðarlög and Njarðey (now Nærøy) in Norway. Njörðr’s name appears in a word for sponge; Njarðarvöttr (Old Norse “Njörðr’s glove”). Additionally, in Old Icelandic translations of Classical mythology the Roman god Saturn’s name is glossed as “Njörðr.

 

Theories about Njord

Nerthus

Njörðr is often identified with the goddess Nerthus, whose reverence by various Germanic tribes is described by Roman historian Tacitus in his 1st CE century work Germania. The connection between the two is due to the linguistic relationship between Njörðr and the reconstructed *Nerþuz“Nerthus” being the feminine, Latinized form of what Njörðr would have looked like around 1 CE. This has led to theories about the relation of the two, including that Njörðr may have once been a hermaphroditic god or, generally considered more likely, that the name may indicate an otherwise unattested divine brother and sister pair such as Freyr and Freyja. Consequently, Nerthus has been identified with Njörðr’s unnamed sister with whom he had Freyja and Freyr, which is mentioned in Lokasenna.

Bieka-Galles

In Saami mythology, Bieka-Galles (or Biega-, Biegga-Galles, depending on dialect; “The Old Man of the Winds”) is a deity who rules over rain and wind, and is the subject of boat and wooden shovel (or, rather, oar) offerings. Due to similarities in between descriptions of Njörðr in Gylfaginning and descriptions of Bieka-Galles in 18th century missionary reports, Axel Olrik identified this deity as the result of influence from the seafaring North Germanic peoples on the landbound Saami.

Hadingus

Parallels have been pointed out between Njörðr and the figure of Hadingus, attested in book I of Saxo Grammaticus’ 13th century work Gesta Danorum. Some of these similarities include that, in parallel to Skaði and Njörðr in Skáldskaparmál, Hadingus is chosen by his wife Regnhild after selecting him from other men at a banquet by his lower legs, and, in parallel to Skaði and Njörðr in Gylfaginning, Hadingus complains in verse of his displeasure at his life away from the sea and how he is disturbed by the howls of wolves, while his wife Regnhild complains of life at the shore and states her annoyance at the screeching sea birds. Georges Dumézil theorized that in the tale Hadingus passes through all three functions of his trifunctional hypothesis, before ending as an Odinic hero, paralleling Njörðr’s passing from the Vanir to the Æsir in the Æsir-Vanir War.

Svafrþorinn

In stanza 8 of the poem Fjölsvinnsmál, Svafrþorinn is stated as the father of Menglöð by an unnamed mother, who the hero Svipdagr seeks. Menglöð has often been theorized as the goddess Freyja, and according to this theory, Svafrþorinn would therefore be Njörðr. The theory is complicated by the etymology of the name Svafrþorinn (þorinn meaning “brave” and svafr means “gossip”) (or possibly connects to sofa “sleep”), which Rudolf Simek says makes little sense when attempting to connect it to Njörðr.

 

Source:
Wikipedia

Calendar of the Sun for October 7th

Calendar of the Sun

7 Winterfyllith

Njord’s Blot

Color: Sea-blue
Element: Water
Altar: Upon cloth of sea-blue set a Scandinavian ship, a net, a basket of fish-shaped cakes, and a metal tankard of mead.
Offerings: Give aid to a sailor. The House should, together, send a package to one who sails the seas and has need of succor.
Daily Meal: Fish.

Invocation to Njord

Hail, Njord, Lord of the Surface of the Sea!
Hail, Sailor’s Watcher,
Lord of Ships upon the waters.
Blessed you are in the prow,
Where you lead us forward to our goals.
Blessed you are in the stern,
Where you guard our wake
From the monsters of the Deep.
Blessed you are on the port,
Where your keen eyes search the horizon.
Blessed you are on the starboard,
Where you guide us by the stars.
Blessed you are on the high mast,
Where you stand tall with far vision.
Blessed you are in the sails,
Which you fill with billowing winds.
Blessed you are at the rudder,
Where you skillfully outrun all storms.
Blessed you are at the nets,
Where the fish come by the thousands into our hands.
Blessed you are belowdecks,
Where you rock us gently to sleep
On the waves of certainty,
Knowing that the farthest shore
Will soon be under our feet.
Hail Njord, Lord of Ships,
Guide our souls safely across the waters.

(All pass and bless the package, and see it safely gone. The mead is poured out as libation.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for October 3rd

Calendar of the Sun

3 Winterfyllith

Njord’s Blot

Color: Sea-blue
Element: Water
Altar: Upon cloth of sea-blue set a Scandinavian ship, a net, a basket of fish-shaped cakes, and a metal tankard of mead.
Offerings: Give aid to a sailor. The House should, together, send a package to one who sails the seas and has need of succor.
Daily Meal: Fish.

Invocation to Njord

Hail, Njord, Lord of the Surface of the Sea!
Hail, Sailor’s Watcher,
Lord of Ships upon the waters.
Blessed you are in the prow,
Where you lead us forward to our goals.
Blessed you are in the stern,
Where you guard our wake
From the monsters of the Deep.
Blessed you are on the port,
Where your keen eyes search the horizon.
Blessed you are on the starboard,
Where you guide us by the stars.
Blessed you are on the high mast,
Where you stand tall with far vision.
Blessed you are in the sails,
Which you fill with billowing winds.
Blessed you are at the rudder,
Where you skillfully outrun all storms.
Blessed you are at the nets,
Where the fish come by the thousands into our hands.
Blessed you are belowdecks,
Where you rock us gently to sleep
On the waves of certainty,
Knowing that the farthest shore
Will soon be under our feet.
Hail Njord, Lord of Ships,
Guide our souls safely across the waters.

(All pass and bless the package, and see it safely gone. The mead is poured out as libation.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for September 18th

Calendar of the Sun

18 Halegmonath

Vanaheim Day

Colors: Green and Gold
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of green and gold set sheaves of grain, many woven corn dollies and straw ornaments, three green candles, a chalice of beer, harvest fruits, and a knife.
Offerings: Fruits of the harvest.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian

Vanaheim Invocation

Hail to the Green World of the Vanir!
Hail to the Realm of Growth, of Earth
Sacred and fed with blood, springing forth
Abundance and plenty to feed many worlds!
Hail to the spring flowers that bloom,
Hail to the summer fruits that globe on tree and vine,
Hail to the golden grain ripening in the fields,
Hail to the winter of peaceful slumber
And preparation for the next perfect spring!
Hail to the devouring earth that is Nerthus,
Lady of the blood-soaked soil!
Hail to the teeming seas that wash the shore,
Sailed by fine Njord of the salt winds,
Domain of Aegir and Ran of the great waves
And their nine sharp-nailed daughters!
Hail to the spring fields where flowers
Bloom in Freyja’s bare footsteps!
Hail to the grain that is cut with the sickle
As Frey’s blood nourishes the soil!
Hail to the Gods of Abundance, of green,
Of lust and death, of the mysteries of the cycle,
And may they bless us with joy and understanding
In equal measure.

(All cry out, “Hail Vanaheim!” The beer is poured out as a libation, and the grain and fruits are set outside as an offering.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for September 18

Calendar of the Sun

18 Halegmonath

Vanaheim Day

Colors: Green and Gold
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of green and gold set sheaves of grain, many woven corn dollies and straw ornaments, three green candles, a chalice of beer, harvest fruits, and a knife.
Offerings: Fruits of the harvest.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian

Vanaheim Invocation

Hail to the Green World of the Vanir!
Hail to the Realm of Growth, of Earth
Sacred and fed with blood, springing forth
Abundance and plenty to feed many worlds!
Hail to the spring flowers that bloom,
Hail to the summer fruits that globe on tree and vine,
Hail to the golden grain ripening in the fields,
Hail to the winter of peaceful slumber
And preparation for the next perfect spring!
Hail to the devouring earth that is Nerthus,
Lady of the blood-soaked soil!
Hail to the teeming seas that wash the shore,
Sailed by fine Njord of the salt winds,
Domain of Aegir and Ran of the great waves
And their nine sharp-nailed daughters!
Hail to the spring fields where flowers
Bloom in Freyja’s bare footsteps!
Hail to the grain that is cut with the sickle
As Frey’s blood nourishes the soil!
Hail to the Gods of Abundance, of green,
Of lust and death, of the mysteries of the cycle,
And may they bless us with joy and understanding
In equal measure.

(All cry out, “Hail Vanaheim!” The beer is poured out as a libation, and the grain and fruits are set outside as an offering.)

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for August 31

Calendar of the Sun

31 Weodmonath

Frey’s Blot

Colors: Green and golden
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of green and gold set a sheaf of grain, a golden cup of mead, a plate of bread and honey, the figure of a carved phallus, the figure of a boar, and an empty sheath.
Offerings: Mead. Those who partake in ritual sex should do so tonight, in his honor.
Daily Meal: Mead. Bread and cheese. Vegetables from the garden.

Invocation to Frey

Hail Frey, Lord of the fields!
Lord of the Vanir,
Golden of hair as the fields of wheat,
Bringing riches of heart and hearth
To noble and common folk alike,
We hail you with the corn that springs forth
And falls again to nourish us.
We hail you, mighty boar in flight,
Lord of the phallus that gives life,
Lord of Love that is bound to land,
Love that is bound with commitment,
Love that does not come easily,
As one must toil for the harvest.
Teach us that love is worth working for,
And that work is worth loving,
And that neither lives long without the other.
Lord Frey, Corn God,
Husband of Gerda the etin-bride,
You who can warm the cold heart,
Warrior without a weapon
Who gave your sword for love,
You who make the grain spring forth,
Show us faith in every springtime.

Song: Frey’s Gold

(Pass the mead around, and pour the remainder out as a libation. Those who wish to honor Frey with ritual sex may do so during the first work-hour, or later in the evening if the Hesperis ritual is not inappropriate.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Deity of the Day for March 29th – FREYA

FREYA

Also known as FREYJA

 

Goddess of Love, Fertility and Sexual Desire. She’s also a feisty warrior and Queen of the VALKYRIES.

The daughter of NJORD, and the beautiful twin sister of FREYR, she is — to put it in modern vernacular — a bit of a goer. She did marry a God called OD, causing much confusion amongst academics and historians who have confused him with ODIN leading to further confusion by confusing her with FRIGG. (This is why you need Godchecker.) But OD was a bit of a goer himself and nipped out one day for pastures new.

 

This caused much weeping of golden tears, but as usual FREYA made the best of a bad job and really went off the rails. She ran wild with Gods, mortals, giants and dwarves.

The stories and allegations of how she gained possession of Brisingamen, the golden amber necklace of desire, are scandalous. Especially the one about her bedding four dwarves in turn before they would give it to her. But this sort of thing is just titillation. In any case, the necklace was stolen by LOKI and — although it was rescued by HEIMDALL — we don’t think she got it back.

Being a strong-willed warrior maiden, she joined and then led the VALKYRIES — so that she could have first pick of the slain battlefield warriors. Most of the slain go to VALHALLA, but the good-looking heroes go straight to her palace for rest and recuperation.

But FREYA does have a softer side — she loves romantic music and bunches of flowers. Her daughters are the beautiful HNOSS and the equally beautiful GERSEMI.