Tag Archive: teutonic


Goddess Hertha

"Incense Fire" by *Zingaia

“Incense Fire” by *Zingaia, based on Jean Delville’s drawing, “Parsifal”.

“Hertha’s themes are rebirth, kinship, health, longevity and tradition. Her symbols are dormant trees and snow. In ancient times, on this day people venerated Hertha, the Teutonic Goddess of fertility, domesticated animals, magic and nature. In Germanic tradition, Hertha descended through the smoke of any fire today and brought gifts, much like an early Santa Claus figure (giving Her solar associations too). Her connection to nature has survived in the name for our planet: Earth.

Yule takes its designation from a Old English word meaning ‘wheel’, representing the turning of time’s wheel back toward the sun. In early times, this festival included parties for various sun Gods and Goddesses; it eventually was translated into the celebration of Christ’s birth. Any light source or burning incense can symbolize Hertha’s presence today.

Besides this, look to the world’s traditions for magical ways of making your celebration special. For example, Swedes eat a rice pudding with one lucky almond; whoever gets the nut receives good fortune. Russians toss grain into people’s homes for providence as they carol. Armenians make a wish on the Yule log when ignited and sometimes make divinations by the cider patterns made afterward. Bohemians cut apples in half. If there’s a perfect star in the center and it has plump seeds, it portends joy and good health. Finally, kiss someone under the mistletoe for a long, happy relationship.”

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

“Nerthus” by Lisa Hunt

“Nerthus” by Lisa Hunt

According to Wikipedia, Hertha is another name for the ancient Germanic earth Goddess, Nerthus (click on Her name to be taken to that entry).  In addition to that information presented in Nerthus’ entry, Patricia Monaghan wrote that “no legends survive of the Germanic Goddess from whom we get our word for earth.  It is known, however, that She was worshiped into historic times, when plows were carried in Christian Shrovetide processions in honor of the earth’s fertility.   Hertha was also frequently invoked by medieval witches as their special patron” (p. 152).

 

 

 

 

Sources:

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

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

Encyclopedia Mythica, “Nerthus“.

GardenStone. Goddess Holle: In Search of a Germanic Goddess.

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

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

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

PaganNews.com, “Nerthus“.

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

Twilightmists.tripod.com. “Hertha, Ertha, Nerthus“.

Wikipedia, “Nerthus“.

Williamson, George S. The Longing for Myth in Germany: Religion and Aesthetic Culture from Romanticism to Nietzsche.

Goddess Iðunn

“Apples of Idhun” by ~AmaranthusCaudatus

“Iðunn’s themes are love, divination, dreams and longevity. Her symbols are apples. This Teutonic Goddess of longevity and love was born of flowers and lives in Asgard, protecting the magical apples of immortality. The wife of Bragi (Bragi is the son of Odin and Gunnlöð, conceived when Gunnlod bartered the mead of inspiration for three nights with Odin [1]), a poetic god, She joins in today’s festival, Allantide, with Her apples and Bragi’s kind words to ensure lasting love.

Follow Cornwall customs. Polish an apple today, sleep with it under your pillow, and ask Iðunn to bring you sweet dreams of love. At dawn, rise without speaking to anyone and go outside. The first person you see is said to be a future spouse (or friend, for those who are already married).

All types of apple magic are suited to this day. Peel an apple while thinking of a question and toss it over your shoulder. Whatever symbol or letter the peel forms represents your answer. Eat the apple, then try composing some love poems for that special someone in your life!

Drink apple juice first thing in the morning, blessing it in Iðunn’s name, to improve your communications with all your loved ones. Enjoy a slice of apple pie at lunch to bring sweetness to your relationships and improve self-love. Come dinner, how about a side of applesauce to keep relationships smooth and empowered by Iðunn’s staying power?”

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

“Idun and the Apples” by J. Doyle Penrose.

“Iðunn (pronounced EE-doon) is the daughter of the Duergar Ivaldi, and a Valkyrie named Hildegun (Her name means ‘battle’ or ‘war’). Hildegun was abducted by Ivaldi when She was young and later had at least two children by him (one source mentions Idunna having a brother). It is interesting that Idunna both bears the apples of inspiration and youth, and married a god of musicians and poets while being the child in part, of one of the Duergar. This is a Divine race very often associated with craftsmanship and by extension creativity.” [1]  A great combination, right?

“In the Scandinavian eddas, this Goddess performed the same function as Hebe did for the Greeks: She fed the gods magical food that kept them young and hale.  The Norse gods and Goddesses were not immortal; they relied on Iðunn’s magical apples to survive.  But once the evil Loki let Iðunn and Her apples fall into the hand of the enemies of the gods, the giants who lived in the fortress of Jötunheimr.  The diviniteies immediately began to age and weaken.  Charged with reclaiming the Goddess of youth and strength, Loki flew to Jötunheimr in the form of a falcon, turned Iðunn into a walnut, and carried Her safely home” (Monaghan, p. 160).

“There is also some scholarly speculation that Idun and Sága might be one and the same” [2] though I haven’t been able to locate the scholarly evidence to back up this claim.

 

 

Sources:

Krasskova, Galina. Northernpaganism.org, “What We Know About Iduna“.

Ladysaga.tripod.com, “Idun“.

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

 

 

Suggested Links:

Guerber, H.A. Levigilant.com, “Chapter 7. Idun. Myths of Northern Lands“.

Krasskova, Galina. Exploring the Northern Tradition, “Idunna/Iðunn” (p. 56 – 59).

She-wolf-night.blogspot.com, “Hidden Within the Norse Gods – Part I“.

Wikipedia, “Iðunn“.

Goddess Nótt

“Nott” by Giovanni Caselli

“Nótt’s themes are learning, knowledge and communication. Her symbols are books, writing utensils and stars. A Teutonic Goddess of the night sky, Nótt generates artistic inspiration and knowledge. She refreshes those suffering from creative blockages and arouses new visions for any endeavor, especially when fall’s declining energies get the best of us. Myths portray Nótt as bearing the silver-studded night sky like a blanket across the dusk. Her chariot bears a frost mare, alluding to the moon.

Buchmesse is the world’s largest book fair for the publishing industry, featuring exhibitors from over ninety countries and attended by over two hundred thousand people. In this region of the world, book fairs have been around for over eight hundred years, making Germany one of the centers of world literacy.

For writers, today is the perfect time to ask for Nótt’s blessing on your efforts. Submit a poem, article, or manuscript to potential publishers. Write in your journal. Draft a meaningful ritual for improved creativity, and let Nótt’s energy guide your hand.

Alternatively, read a favorite poem or book – Nótt’s power is beneath those words – or make a book donation to the local library to honor this Goddess’s contribution to human civilization.

Finally, gather all your pens and pencils in a basket and empower them for all your writings by saying:

‘Nótt, inspire creativity
when taken to hand
then magic is free!'”

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

“Nótt” by Peter Nicolai Arbo.

“In Norse mythology, Nótt is night personified, grandmother of Thor. In both the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources, and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Nótt is listed as the daughter of a figure by the name of Nörvi (with variant spellings) and is associated with the horse Hrímfaxi, while the Prose Edda features information about Nótt’s ancestry, including Her three marriages. Nótt’s third marriage was to the god Dellingr and this resulted in their son Dagr, the personified day (although some manuscript variations list Jörð as Dellingr’s wife and Dagr’s mother instead). As a proper noun, the word nótt appears throughout Old Norse literature.” [1]

Timelessmyths.com tells us that “Nott was the daughter of a giant named Norfi or Narfi, but two Eddaic poems called Nott’s father, Norr (not to be confused with Nór), primarily for reasons of alliteration.

Nott had three husbands, and had a child with each of Her husband. Her first husband was a giant, called Naglfari, and they had a son named Aud.

Her second husband was named Annar (Onar), who was probably also a giant, and they had a daughter, named Jörd (Earth), the mother of Thor.

Her last husband belonged to the Aesir and he was named Delling. Their son was named Day (Dag), god of day.

“Dagr” by Peter Nicolai Arbo

When the Aesir created the world, Odin gave a chariot to Her and another chariot to Her son Day. They travelled the sky, following one another, as day follow night. Her horse was called Hrimfaxi, ‘Frost-mane’, which caused dew from the horse’s bit. While Her son’s horse was called Skinfaxi, which means ‘Shining-mane’, because the mane was so radiant that it brought light to the world.” [2]

 

 

Sources:

Timelessmyths.com, “Nott“.

Wikipedia, “Nótt“.

 

Suggested Links:

Krasskova, Galina. Northernpaganism.org, “The Northern Sky: Praising Nott“.

Marks, Dominic. Lowchensaustralia.com, “Norse Goddess Names: Nott“.

Goddess Holde

“The Goddess Holda” by Carrie Kirkpatrick

“Holda’s themes are longevity, wisdom, kinship, magic, destiny and karma. Her symbols are white items and aged items. Among the Teutons, Holda is known as the White Lady, an appellation that alludes to the color of Her hair. This Goddess is the wise, ancient crone, who has learned the lessons of destiny and karma from a long, well-lived life and who bears the knowledge of magic’s deeper mysteries to us with patience and time.

In Massachusetts, the first Sunday in October is set aside to honor grandparents and their vital role in families. Customarily, grandparents (or ‘adopted’ ones) are invited for dinner and showered with attention. I think this is a lovely tradition as it stands, honoring Holda’s wisdom through the elders in our community. Go to a nearby nursing home and spend half an hour or more cheering up someone. Listen to people’s stories of days gone by, and let their insights inspire you.

To improve your own awareness of karmic law, or to increase your magical insights, wear Holda’s white (a scarf on your head would be good) or carry a white stone with you to represent Her (coral is ideal, being a stone of wisdom). Alternatively, eat some aged cheese or drink aged wine to remind yourself that ‘old’ doesn’t mean outmoded. People can become better with time and with Holda’s guidance, if we remember to appreciate the years and the people who have gone before us on this path.”

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

“Holda” by Neil Geddes-Ward

There was a ton of information on Holda to go through!  She turns out to be a very interesting and complex and all encompassing Goddess; seen as the maiden in summer sitting by a lake combing Her beautiful white hair; as mother who made the fields, animals and women fertile and protected women and children, as well as accompanying those infants who had died before they’d been named to the Other World;  and as wizened crone in the winter who was stern and despised laziness.  She also had connections with many different Goddesses, both within the Germanic and Norse pantheons and even outside: Goddesses to include Freya due to Her association with cats (appaerntly the name of the cave She lived in, Kitzkammer means ‘Cat Chamber’) and Frigga for Her associations with the household, women, spinning and children; Perchte and Berchta (which appears to be debatable to some as to whether they were the same Goddess or entirely different Beings with similar attributes); and later in post-Christian times, even Diana and Habondia as She was demonized and said to lead “a wild hunt in which She led the souls of infants who died unbaptized, witches, and heathens in general.” [1]

“Åsgårdsreien” by Peter Nicolai Arbo

In a paper written by SummerGaile, she explains that: “In Jacob Grimm’s Teutonic Mythology, Holda is spoken of as host to the Wild Hunt or ‘Wilde Heer’.  In this account She is the consort of Woden, supreme god of the Germanic tribes occupying central Europe in ancient times.   There are many variations of this story, but the themes that are most prominent are the ones that illustrate Holda leading a Wild Hunt to gather those souls that may still be lingering earth bound; and it is She who gathers them during this ride to usher them into the Other World.  Another variation of this record is that She gathers un-baptized children, or more accurately, she gathers those born and who died without having been given a birth name, and takes them safely to the Other World.” [2]  Due to Her connections with death, magic and witches, She is also sometimes associated with Hecate and Hel.

Hag by Angie (aka DeadSpider)

And of course, in the post-Christian times as we see with many independent mother Goddesses, She is transformed from Mother Holda, or “Gracious One” who helped and protected women and children into the “Goddess of the Witches” – an old ugly hag who rode a broom across the night sky; as well as many of Her symbols taking on new evil attributes: “No where is this demonization more clear than in ‘Sleeping Beauty’ where the spinning wheel and spindle are turned into symbols of evil. Many of Her other attributes were turned around as well. Her protection of the dead soul of infants was turned around to Her creeping in and stealing children from their cradles. Her image as wise old woman, instilling moral values turned to the foolish old Mother Goose who spreads wives tales.” [3]

“Alma Parens” by William Bouguereau

“Throughout German, Austrian and Swiss folktales we find this former Goddess demoted, together with Her twin Perchta, to a witch.  Frau Holle was the more pleasant of the two: sunshine streamed from Her hair when She combed it, snow covered the earth when She shook a feather comforter, and rain fell when She threw away laundry water.   She was a splendid white lady who appeared each noon to bathe in the fountain, from which children were said to be born.  She lived in a cave in the mountain or in a well, and people could visit Her by diving into it.

She rode on the wind in a wagon.  Once She had to have a broken lynchpin repaired, and the man who helped Her later found that savings of wood from the project had fumed to gold.  In addition to gold, She rewarded good people with useful gifts, such as the invention of flax and spinning.

Her feast day was celebrated on winter solstice, when She checked the quality of each spinner’s work.  A good spinner would wake to find Frau Holle had left her a single golden thread, but sloppy ones found their work tangled, their spinning wheels shattered or burnt.

The period between December 25 and January 6 – the ‘twelve days of Christmas’ – were sacred to Frau Holle during that time She traveled the world in Her wagon.  No rotary actions were allowed; sleighs were used instead of wagons, and all meal-grinding had to cease.  Her twin Perchta was, if not welcomed, at least acknowledged at the same season” (Monaghan, p. 127).

“Frigga, Goddess of Women & Wisdom” by Thorskegga

 

Correspondences
Other Names: Frau Holda, Frau Holle, Winter Goddess, White Lady, Mother Yule, Hulde
Attributes: Virtue, Motherhood, Wisdom
Season: Winter, Yule
Symbols: Spindle, Spinning Wheel, Flax, Geese, Apples, Milk, Elder Tree, Elderberry Tea
Colors: White, Ice Blue
Symbols: Snow, Snowflakes, Well      [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Eaves, Susan “Ratatask”. Eplagarthrkindred.org, “HoldaArticle“.

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Frau Holle”.

Paxson, Diana L. Hrafnar.org,”Holda“.

SummerGaile. Order of the White Moon, “The Sacred Journey and Migration of Frau Holda Into our Modern Reality“.

Zmaj, Majka. Order of the White Moon, “Holda: White Lady of Winter“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

AOR, Thorsigurd. Odinic-rite.org, “Holda“.

Finnegan, Margaret. Margaretfinnegan.blogspot.com, “Goddess of the Week: Holda“.

Fox, Selena. Beliefnet.com, “Riding with Holda“.

Dashu, Max. Suppressedhistories.net, “The Old Goddess“.

GardenStone. Goddess Holle: In Search of a Germanic Goddess.

Glaux. Afwcraft.blogspot.com, “Faces of the Golden Queen“.

Graves, Shannon. Northernpaganism.org, Who is Holda?

Motherholda.blog.com, “Holda

Linda-heathenycatmusings.blogspot.com, “H is for the goddess HOLDA – Ancient Lady of the Sacred Land, Queen of the ‘other folk’“.

Marks, Dominic. Lowchensaustralia.com, “Norse Goddess Names“.

Motz, Lotte. Winterscapes.com, “The Winter Goddess: Percht, Holda, and Related Figures“.

Theoddgods.com, “Perchta/Berchta“.

Seigfried, Karl E. H. Norsemyth.org, “THE GODS & GODDESSES, Part Two“.

Swampy. Dutchie.org, “Goddess Berchta“.

Wikipedia, “Holda“.

Goddess Matrona

“Matrona’s themes are the harvest, providence, health, abundance, autumn and love. Her symbols are Swiss cheese and water.  This Teutonic Mother Goddess is the great provider of both food and refreshment, especially freshwater. A benevolent figure, She personifies the earth’s abundance during the fall and offers to share of that wealth freely. Judging from artistic depictions of Matrona in the company of a dog, or carrying palm fronds, She may have also had a connection with the healing arts.

People in the Swiss Alps gather today to enjoy the fruits of their labors, specifically cheese that has been stored in cellars since grazing season in the summer. In many ways this is a harvest rite, rejoicing in Matrona’s ongoing providence.

Consider enjoying a Swiss fondue today, complete with sliced harvest vegetables and breads from Matrona’s storehouse. The melted cheese inspires warm, harmonious love. Matrona makes that love healthy and abundant.For physical well-being and self-love, simply add some sautéed garlic to this blend, or add other herbs known to combat any sickness with which you’re currently coping.

Other ways to enjoy this Goddess and invite her into your day – Have an omelette with cheese and harvest vegetables for breakfast, or grilled cheese and ice water at brunch.  If you own a dog, share a bit of your healthful meal with it!”

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

“Goddess Gaia – Great Mother” by ~Umina

“In Celtic mythology, Dea Matrona (‘divine mother Goddess’) was the Goddess of the river Marne in Gaul.

Terracotta relief of the Matres, from Bibracte, city of the Aedui in Gaul

In many areas She was worshipped as a triple Goddess, and known as Deae Matres (or Deae Matronae), with a wider sphere of believed influence. This triadic deity is well attested throughout northern Europe (more generally as the Matres or Matrones), not just in Celtic areas, and was similar to the FatesFuriesNorns, and other such figures.

The Gaulish theonym Mātr-on-ā is interpreted to mean ‘great mother’. The name of Welsh mythological figure Modron, mother of Mabon is derived from the same etymon. By analogy, Dea Matrona may conceivably have been the mother of the Gaulish Maponos.” [1]

“Modron” by Shanina Conway

Conerning Modron: “In Welsh mythology, Modron (‘divine mother’) was a daughter of Afallach, derived from the Gaulish Goddess Matrona. She may have been the prototype of Morgan le Fay from Arthurian legend. She was the mother of Mabon, who bears Her name as ‘Mabon ap Modron’ (‘Mabon, Son of Modron’) and who was stolen away from Her when he was three days old and later rescued by King Arthur.

In the Welsh Triads, Modron becomes impregnated by Urien and gives birth to Owain and Morvydd.

Her Gaulish counterpart Matrona is a Celtic mother Goddess and tutelary Goddess of the River Marne. She is also a fertility and harvest deity often equated with Greece’s Demeter or Ireland’s Danu. In Britain, She appears as a washerwoman, and thus there would seem to be a connection with the Morrígan.” [2]

Relief of three Goddesses, or Matres, Corinium Museum, Cirencester

Pertaining to Deae Matres, Patricia Monaghan tells us that “Their names – bestowed by scholars – may be Latin, but the Deae Matres were Celtic, the primary divine image of the continental tribes.  No legends survived of this trinity of earth Goddesses, although hundreds of inscriptions and sculptures attest to the strength of Their worship.

Their religion was apparently destroyed early in the Roman occupation, but Their names and images survived into the days of the empire.  They were were then called sorceresses of the early days, thus holding the attention and reverence of their people in ancient Gaul and Germany.

The ‘mother Goddesses’ – for this is what their Latin name means – were always shown as three robed women bearing baskets of fruit and flowers; sometimes they also carried babies.  Seated under an archway, They were depicted wearing round halolike headdresses; the central Goddess was distinguished from the others by standing while They sat or by sitting while They stood.  They were probably ancestral Goddesses, rulers of fruitfulness of humanity as well as that of the earth” (p. 99).

 

 

 

Sources:

Monaghan, Patricia. The New Book of Goddesses and Heroines, “Deae Matres”.

Wikipedia, “Dea Matrona“.

Wikipedia, “Modron“.

 

 

Suggested Links:

Celtnet.org.uk, “Modron: A Cymric, Brythonic and Gaulish Goddess, also known as Matrona: Divine Mother“.

Her Cyclopedia, “The Triple Goddess Deae-Mates“.

Joellessacredgrove.com, “Deae Matres“.

Journal of a Poet, “Morgan Le Fay“.

Spangenberg, Lisa L. Digitalmedievalist.com, “Who is the Celtic Mother Goddess?

Took, Thalia. Amusedgrace.blogspot.com, “Goddess of the Week: Morgana“.

Wikipedia, “Matres and Matrones“.

 

Wave Maidens

“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]

Sources:

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“.

Goddess Ostara

“Ostara” by Asaenath

“Ostara’s themes are fertility and rebirth.  Her symbols are eggs.  The Teutonic Goddess Ostara presides over personal renewal, fertility and fruitfulness. Now that spring is here, it’s a good time to think about renewal in your own life. Ostara represents spring’s life force and earth’s renewal. Depicted as lovely as the season itself, in earlier writings She was also the Goddess of dawn, a time of new beginnings (spring being the figurative dawn of the year). One of Ostara’s name variations, Esotara, slowly evolved into the modern name for this holiday, Easter.

All spells and foods that include eggs are appropriate today. If you’ve been ill, try an old folk spell that recommends carrying an egg for twenty-four hours, then burying it to bury the sickness.

To improve fertility of all kinds, make eggs for breakfast at dawn’s first light, the best time to invoke Ostara. As you eat, add an incantation like this one:

 ‘Ostara, bring to me fertility
With this egg now bless my fruitfulness!’

Or, if you’re feeling down and need a little extra hope, get up before the sun rises and release a symbol of your burden to the earth by dropping or burying it. Don’t look at it! Turn your back and leave it there. Turn toward the horizon as the sun rises, and harvest the first flower you see. Dry it, then carry it with you often as a charm to preserve hope in your heart.”

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

“Ostara” by Mickie Mueller

The Goddess Ostara, or Eostre, is the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, the East, Resurrection, and Rebirth, is also the Maiden aspect of the Three-fold Goddess.  She gave Her name to the Christian festival of Easter (which is an older Pagan festival appropriated by the Church), whose timing is still dictated by the Moon. Modern Pagans celebrate Her festival on the Vernal Equinox, usually around March 21, the first day of Spring.

Ostara was an important Goddess of spring to the ancient Saxons, but we know little else of Her other than this. Some have suggested that Ostara is merely an alternate name for Frigg or Freya, but neither of these Goddesses seem to have quite the same fertility function as Ostara does. Frigg, Goddess of the home, wouldn’t seem to be associated with such an earthy festival and Freya’s form of fertility is more based on eroticism than reproduction.

However, Ostara is associated, almost interchangebly, with many different Goddesses.  [Again, purely speculation] She is essentially identical to Freya, for She is the Goddess of the fertile spring, the resurrection of life after winter. She was equated with the Goddess Idunna, who bore the Apples of Eternal Youth to the Aesir, and many believe that Ostara and Idunna are the same, or represent the same principle. She is almost certainly the same as the Greek Goddess Eos, Goddess of the Dawn. (Again, following the threefold theme — Eos is the Maiden aspect of the three goddesses Eos /Dawn, Hemera /Day and Nyx/Night.) As Ostara is Goddess of the Dawn, we can understand why sunrise services have always been an important aspect of the spring resurrection/rebirth observances of other cultures.

Eggs and rabbits are sacred to Her as is the full moon  [though there is no historical record of this], since the ancients saw in its markings the image of a rabbit or the hare. Pagan Anglo-Saxons made offerings of colored eggs to Her at the Vernal Equinox. They placed them at graves especially, probably as a charm of rebirth. (Egyptians and Greeks were also known to place eggs at gravesites). The Goddess of Fertility was also the Goddess of Grain, so offerings of bread and cakes were also made to Her. Rabbits are sacred to Ostara, especially white rabbits, and She was said to be able to take the form of a rabbit.

One myth says Ostara found a bird dying from the cold. She changed it to a rabbit so it could keep warm. Maybe this is why the Easter Bunny brings eggs to children on Easter. Traditionally German children are told that it is the Easter hare that lays all the Easter eggs. [1][2]

“Ostara” by Helena Nelson-Reed

“Part of the story of the Easter bunny is excerpted below, but you can use this link to read the complete version of Easter History and Traditions, including the stories of the Goddesses, at the website: Easter History and Traditions

The Goddess Ostara and the Origin of the Easter Bunny: A Modern Neo-Pagan Tale

Ostara, the Goddess of Dawn (Saxon), who was responsible for bringing spring each year, was feeling guilty about arriving so late. To make matters worse, She arrived to find a pitiful little bird who lay dying, his wings frozen by the snow. Lovingly, Ostara cradled the shivering creature and saved his life.

Legend has it that She then made him Her pet or, in the X-rated versions, Her lover. Filled with compassion for him since he could no longer fly because of his frost-damaged wings, the Goddess Ostara turned him into a rabbit, a snow hare, and gave him the name Lepus.

She also gave him the gift of being able to run with astonishing speed so he could easily evade all the hunters.  To honor his earlier form as a bird, She also gave him the ability to lay eggs (in all the colors of the rainbow, no less), but he was only allowed to lay eggs on one day out of each year.

Eventually Ostara lost Her temper with Lepus (some say the raunchy rabbit was involved with another woman), and She flung him into the skies where he would remain for eternity as the constellation Lepus (The Hare), forever positioned under the feet of the constellation Orion (the Hunter).

But later, remembering all the good times they had once enjoyed, Ostara softened a bit and allowed the hare to return to earth once each year, but only to give away his eggs to the children attending the Ostara festivals that were held each spring.” [3]  Again, there is no historical documentation or lore that states this and I really have no idea where the tale originated from.

Variant spellings: Eostra, Eostrae, Eostre, Eástre, Austra [4]

 

 

 

Sources:

Ashliman, D.L. The University of Pittsburgh: German 1500: Germanic Myths, Legends, and Sagas,Ostara’s Home Page: The Germanic Goddess of Springtime“.

The Goddess Gift E-zine, “The Goddess Ostara and the Easter Bunny: The Art of Renewal“.

Took, Thalia. A-Muse-ing Grace Gallery, “Eostre“.

Yvonne. Earth Witchery, “Ostara or Eostre“.

 

 

 

Suggested Links:

Aloi, Peg, Witches’ Voice, “You Call It Easter, We Call It Ostara“.

The Blue Roebuck,”Eostre“.

Cavalorn. Cavalorn.livejournal.com, “Eostre: The Making of a Myth“.

Fox, Selena. Circle Sanctuary, “Ostara Meditation“.

Goddess E-zine, “The Goddess Ostara, the Easter Bunny, and Their History in Easter Tradition“.

Goddessgift.com, “Goddess Ostara: History of Easter Eggs, History of the Easter Bunny, Goddess Ishtar and the First Resurrection“.

Goddessgift.com, “Ostara (Oestre): Saxon Goddess of the Dawn and Spring“.

Love of the Goddess, “Ostara, Celebration of the Goddess of Spring.”

Revel, Anita. igoddess.com, “Eostre: walk with a ‘spring’ in your step“.

Wikipedia, “Ēostre

Goddess Nerthus

“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]

 

 

 

 

Sources:

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“.

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