“Nerthus” by Lisa Hunt

“Nerthus’ themes are spring, cycles, health, energy, peace and prosperity.  Her symbols are fire, chariots and soil.  This Germanic earth Goddess welcomes the season with Her presence. She was so important in Danish regions that no weapons or iron tools could be left out during Her festivals, because that was thought to invoke Her displeasure. During spring rites, Her statue was covered on a chariot until the priest determined She had arrive to oversee the festival.

Traditionally, Buergsonndeg is a day spent before a bonfire that greets the sun and banishes the last vestiges of winter. So, take down your heavy winter curtains, and let some light into the house! This restores Nerthus’s positive energy and expels any lingering sicknesses. If it’s cloudy out, turn on some lights, don dazzling-colored clothing, and find ways to brighten up your living space with flowers and decorations that speak of earth (Nerthus) and spring’s beauty.

Another customary activity is turning the soil, mixing it with an offering of milk, flower and water. Even if you don’t have a garden, turn a little dirt near your apartment or home and leave a similar gift. This action rejoices in Nerthus’s awakening and draws the Goddess’s peace and prosperity to your residence. Take a little of that same blessing with you, just collect a bit of the soil-milk mixture in a container and put it wherever you need peace or prosperity the most.”

(Patricia Telesco, “365 Goddess: a daily guide to the magic and inspiration of the goddess”.)

“Nerthus” by MarisVision

Nerthus was an ancient Germanic earth Goddess. She was known since the time of the Roman Empire. Tacitus, the Roman historian in 1st-2nd century AD, identified Nerthus with the Roman Goddess Terra Mater. Nerthus was a popular Goddess since She was worshipped by seven Germanic tribes – Reudigni, Aviones, Anglii (Angles), Varini, Eudoses, Suarines and the Huitones.  She was worshipped in a sacred groove on an island in the North Sea or the Baltic Sea (possible Sjaeland), but the center of Her worship was in Denmark.  She can be found dwelling in the hidden realms underground. Like the strong earth-dweller She is, Her symbol is also the boar.

“Nerthus” by Thorskegga

Tacitus described Her as living in a holy birch grove.  He recorded that each year there was a festival where the Goddess would supposedly travel in a chariot pulled by two white heifers, escorted by the priest, bringing prosperity and good harvest.  It was good luck for those settlements She visited in Her journey and doors were opened in hospitality.  No one was allowed to take up war or bear arms during the festivities that accompanied Her; even iron tools were locked up during the Goddess’ journey.

“Nerthus” by ErebusOdora

When the priest discerned that the Goddess grew tired of human company, the priest would guide the chariot to a sacred lake, where Nerthus would bathe. Her chariot would be covered with a cloth. After the selected slaves bathed the Goddess in the lake, the slaves were then drowned, as sacrifices to Nerthus.

Nerthus’ attributes also resembled that of the ancient Celtic counterpart, Matres or Matrone, the group of mother Goddesses that was popular around the Rhine River.

Though the worship of Nerthus seemed to have ended in the 5th or 6th century, the later tradition says that She had been identified with Norse god, Njörd (Njord), the Vanir god of the wind and sea. Njörd was the male form of Nerthus. How had Nerthus undergone a change of sex, still baffles modern scholars.

Nerthus may well have been the unnamed sister and wife of Njörd, in the Norse myths, who became the mother of Freyr and Freyja. Though none of the Norse authors ever gave a name to Njörd’s sister. Or She may well be the ancient form of Freyja Herself. Since the Norse writers believed that the Vanir deities were older than the Aesir, then that Teutonic Nerthus became the Norse Freyja is more than likely true.” [1][2][3][4]






Asatru Religion, “Goddess Nerthus Or Eartha Or Jordh“.

Encyclopedia Mythica, “Nerthus“.

Monaghan, Patricia. Encyclopedia of Goddesses and Heroines, “Nerthus” at p. 488.

Mystic Wicks, “Nerthus {Goddess of the Week}“.



Suggested Links:

Krasskova, Galina . Northern Tradition Paganism, “Who is Nerthus?

PaganNews.com, “Nerthus“.

Reaves, William P. Boudicca’s Bard, “Nerthus: Toward an Identification“.

Wandering Woman Wondering, “The Goddess Nerthus“.