Heathens of Yorkshire
-by Kristian Lewin-Petrov, June 2018
Jörð, a Vanir Goddess, is also known as Mother Earth and the main God to which I relate. It is through my love of Mother Earth that I was first attracted to Heathenry. In the first part of the Prose Edda she is referred to as one of Óðinn’s lovers, possibly even his first before taking a wife, and mother to Þórr (Thor), the God of Thunder. It is also said that Jörð and Óðinn had a second son called Meili however nothing is known about him.
Very little is known about Jörð as she plays no active part in the tales of old Norse whatsoever. Jörð, the daughter of Nott (Night) and Anarr (Another or Water) is believed to be referred to with several different names; Fjörgyn, Hlóðynn, Fold, and Grund; however this can’t be verified. It is thought that as the Old Norse peoples never systematised their sacred tales, simply referring to Þórr’s Mother as Earth was enough.
While Jörð was referred to as a fertile Goddess, she wouldn’t necessarily have been a ‘wifey’ Goddess, thought to take several lovers as opposed to a husband, she would have probably given birth to many children. Being a Giantess, it is said she would have resided in the most fertile area of Jotunheim. It is also said that her very touch would have caused trees to blossom and plants to grow. NorthernPaganism.org states “Long hair and eyes the chocolate of rich, turned earth, skin darker than that of most Jotnar. Nothing small about her — belly of billowing female flesh, breasts that could drown a man, hips broad enough to spill forth triplets with ease.” It is this description of Jörð which, in my opinion at least, explains Óðinn’s desire for her. One of Jörð’s names, Fjörgyn, would also suggest that she is the Mother of Frigga, making Óðinn’s wife, Þórr’s half sister and step-mother.
Whatever the truth about Jörð, she is not only a Goddess but our home. She provides us with life and must be cared for.
Hail Óðinn, Hail Þórr, Hail Jörð!