“Nereidi” by Margherita Fascione

“The Wave Maidens’ themes are providence, protection (from water), charity, fertility, peace, cycles and water. Their symbols are fish and sea items.  These northern Teutonic Goddesses number nine and rule over the waves, being the joint mothers of the god Heimdel. In mythology, the Wave Maidens live at the bottom of the sea, watching over the World Mill that continually turns with the season to bring the earth and Her people fertility and harmony.

In Iceland, fishermen honor the Wave Maidens today by taking a well-deserved day off and enjoying sports, foods and dances, the proceeds from which support fishermen’s retirement homes. If you’re a fish lover, this translates into abstaining from fish today as a way of thanking the Wave Maidens for their ongoing providence.

If you live near a region where you can get to a lake or ocean, consider stopping by for a moment today and getting the Wave Maidens yourself.

Pick up a bit of sand and carry it with you to generate a better understanding of personal cycles and those of the earth. Or, gather a shell, a bit of driftwood, or a tumbled stone to promote the Wave Maidens’ flowing harmony in and around your life.

In terms of clothing, think sea-blue or green and something that’s loose, to help you physically flow as easily as the Wave Maidens through life’s circumstances.”

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

“In Norse mythology, the Wave Maidens (also known as the Billow Maidens) are the nine daughters of Rán and Ægir, the Goddess and god of the sea.  According to Patricia Monaghan, these maidens were Scandinavian giantresses.  They were portrayed as beautiful maidens dressed in white robes and veils and always helped their father, brew the beer for the gods.  Their names are poetic terms for the many different characteristics of the ocean waves:

Their names were:
(Poetic Edda)
– Angeyja (“Sorrow-Whelmer”)
– Atla (“Fury”)
– Eistla (“Foamer”)
– Eyrgjafa (“Sand-Strewer”)
– Gjalp (“Yelper”)
– Greip ( “Griper”)
– Iarnsaxe (“Iron-Sword”)
– Imd ( “Dusk”)
– Ulfrun (“She-Wolf”)


Or (Prose Edda):
– Bylgja (“Billow”)
– Blodughadda (“Bloody Hair”)
– Drofn (“Foam-Fleck”, “Comber” or “Foaming Sea”)
– Dufa (“The Pitching One” or “Dipping”)
– Hefring (“Riser”)
– Himinglaeva (“That through which one can see the heaven”, or maybe something like “Heaven-Clear”)
– Hrönn (“Welling Wave”)
– Kolga (“The Cool One” poetical term for wave)
– Udr (“Frothing Wave”)

In later times they were identified with Mermaids.” [1]

“Mermaid” by Alena Lazareva

“The sailors are always eager to establish a good rapport with these beautiful maidens of the oceans because, it is said that if they succeed, they can be assured a safe and uneventful voyage with these powerful Goddesses protecting and guiding them.  On the other hand, if the sailors fail to gain their approval, they can expect gale winds and a raging tempest that will most likely cause their death at sea. And while it is true that these lovely Goddesses prefer fun and positive workings, be assured that they will not hesitate to set upon their enemies with all the fury the seas can possess.

By Odin, they were the mothers of Heimdall, who guarded the rainbow Bifröst.  According to the tale, in the course of a walk along the shoreline, Odin beheld the nine beautiful wave maidens as they slept on the white sand and he married all nine of them at once.  In time, they simultaneously gave birth to Heimdall, the White God who stood guard over the entrance of the fortress of the gods.


Nine Wave Maidens Lyrics

Nine wave maidens
Giant beauties
Soundly asleep on Midgard sands

Someone is walking
Hungry eyes gazing
The guard of the sky beholding their pride

Calling the waves
Playing in the shallows
What will they want
A seafarer’s heart
Come rain, come shine
The patience never breaking
Oh how they blind a traveler’s heart

Atla, Sindur, Egia, Ulfrun
Never profound
Never alone

Heimdall born was he of mother’s nine
Heimdall son is he of sisters nine

Calling the waves

Playing in the shallows
What will they want
A seafarer’s heart
Come rain, come shine
The patience unbreakable
Oh how they blind a traveler’s eye

Calling nine waves
Singing in the shadows
What else do they haunt than a lonely man’s heart” [2]


Cybersamurai.net, “AegirsDaughters (The Billow Maidens)“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Wave Maidens”.

MXTODIS123. An Inner Journey: The Moon, Mythology, and You, “The Wave Maidens“.



Suggested Links:

Northern Tradition Paganism, “Nine Sisters: Hail to the Gods of the Northern Seas!

Wikipedia, “Daughters of Ægir“.