Skadi Forum
 

Welcome to Skadi Forum, the largest Germanic online community forum where you can join over 45,000 members from around the world discussing all things of concern to you. To gain full access to Skadi Forum you must register for a free account. As a registered member you will be able to:
  • Participate in over 100 topic forums and browse from over 800,000 posts.
  • Communicate privately with other members from around the world.
  • Post your own images and documents or access from over 70,000 files.
  • Gain access to special insider forums not available to guests.
All this and much more is available to you absolutely free when you register for an account, so sign up today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact support. If you have questions about the permissible content, please read the Skadi Forum disclaimer and the Skadi Forum rules.

Go Back   Skadi Forum > > Germanic Heathenry > Cosmology & Mythology
Register FAQ Rules Donate Arcade Members List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Cosmology & Mythology Discussion of philosophy in regards to the revival of our ancient tribal folkway and worldview from a Folkish Heathen perspective, including the following: morals, ethics, metagenetics, blood mysticism, psychology, Jungian archetypes, and so forth.

Nerthus in the North - Woden Further South?

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old Friday, October 24th, 2008   #1
Carl
Senior Member
 
Carl's Avatar
 
Last Seen: Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Join Date: Oct 2007
Ethnicity: Anglo - Saxon.
Ancestry: English
Subrace: Nordid
Country: England
State: Wessex
Location: south
Gender: Male
Occupation: [Psychologist]
Politics: Patriotic
Religion: Pagan
Posts: 2,011
Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.

Nerthus in the North - Woden Further South?

Wodenaz & Tiwaz were more in the central part of Germania in Roman times (?) but in the north was the cult of Nerthus to be found. This according to the witness of Tacitus.


Tacitus, Germania (40)

"The fortunate lot of the Semnones strengthens this belief; a hundred cantons are in their occupation, and the vastness of their community makes them regard themselves as the head of the Suevic tribal peoples.


40. To the Langobardi, on the contrary, their scanty numbers are a distinction. Though surrounded by a host of most powerful tribes, they are safe, not by submitting, but by daring the perils of war.

Next come the Reudigni, the Aviones, the Anglii, the Varini, the Eudoses, the Suardones, and Nuithones who are fenced in by rivers or forests. None of these tribes have any noteworthy feature, except their common worship of Ertha ( ie. Nerthus) , or mother-Earth, and their belief that she interposes in human affairs, and visits the nations in her Wagon . On an island of the ocean there is a sacred grove, and within it a consecrated chariot, covered over with a garment. Only one priest is permitted to touch it. He can perceive the presence of the goddess in this sacred recess, and walks by her side with the utmost reverence as she is drawn along by heifers. It is a season of rejoicing, and festivity reigns wherever she deigns to go and be received. They do not go to battle or wear arms; every weapon is under lock; peace and quiet are known and welcomed only at these times, till the goddess, weary of human intercourse, is at length restored by the same priest to her temple. Afterwards the Wagon, the vestments, and, if you like to believe it, the divinity herself, are purified in a secret lake. Slaves perform the rite, who are instantly swallowed up by its waters. Hence arises a mysterious terror and a pious ignorance concerning the nature of that which is seen only by men doomed to die.".



Here is a map to locate the principal tribes in this complex. The Anglii at this point do not appear to have migrated into Jutland ( north central) . I cannot say if this is accurate! The date is not available but parts of the map , at least, look to be early .




On which Island might Nerthus's Wagon have been kept - in the Baltic Sea I assume? Could this cult have then extended as far as the Danish Islands? It almost certainly did later anyway.


In view of later developments - the fact that the Nerthus regions are so far in the north is very significant. The Earth mother was to be joined by the northward migration of the Woden cult.... whilst Nerthus was to take to sea in a boat, reappearing in Scandinavia as NIORD of the Vanir, having undergone a gender reassignment.


Discuss .

Last edited by Carl : Saturday, October 25th, 2008 at 12:22 PM.
Carl is offline Quote this post in a PM   Reply With Quote
The Following 8 Users Say Thank You to Carl For This Useful Post:
Old Friday, October 24th, 2008   #2
Athalwulf
Funding Member
„Friend of Germanics”
Skadi Funding Member
 
Athalwulf's Avatar
 
Last Seen: Saturday, January 7th, 2012
Join Date: Oct 2008
Status: Available
Ethnicity: Celtogermanic
Ancestry: Heruskoz
Country: Vinland
State: California
Gender: Male
Age: 26
Family: Single adult
Occupation: Aspiring Author
Politics: Tycho Brahe Party
Religion: Psychonautics and Cosmic Law
Posts: 261
Athalwulf 's opinion is sought out by learned men.Athalwulf 's opinion is sought out by learned men.Athalwulf 's opinion is sought out by learned men.

I read that there was a shrine to Nerthus in Rugaland (modern day Rügen). I can't find any other information other than the quote you have already given.

Rugaland seems closest to the mainland where all of the mentioned tribes lived, so perhaps we should launch a Skadi investigation there, unless we can find more proof.
Athalwulf is offline Quote this post in a PM   Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Athalwulf For This Useful Post:
Old Friday, October 24th, 2008   #3
Sigurd
Moderator
Herþra
„Friend of Germanics”
Skadi Funding Member
 
Sigurd's Avatar
 
Last Seen: 2 Weeks Ago
Join Date: Oct 2005
Status: Available
Ethnicity: German
Ancestry: Bavarii, Saxones, Suebi, Alamanni
Subrace: Borreby + Atlantonordoid
Country: Germany
Location: Einöde in den Alpen
Gender: Male
Age: 28
Zodiac Sign: Libra
Family: In a steady relationship
Politics: Natural Order.
Religion: Odinist
Posts: 9,029
Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.

Skadi Award: Being the most prestigious award on Skadi Forum, the Skadi Award is bestowed upon those who, being outstanding contributors of particular importance, have been long standing supporters of Skadi Forum and its community, in good and in bad times. - Issue reason: Excellent, original and thought-provoking contributions over a period of several years; outstanding performance as a moderator and active participation in the Staff Forum; repeated defense of Skadi and its staff on Skadi Forum and on other sites. 
On Nerthus and Frigg probably being the same characters, I may point towards an excellent article by William P. Reaves - "Nerthus: Towards an identification."

On the fact that Holda is probably to be seen as the same person as Frigg, with Holda/Perchta being the goddess of that position in the Southern Germanic areas (including Central and South Germany, Switzerland and Austria), I would like to point towards my very own article, "Holda", which I have posted on here a while back.

As such, that Odin's wife should have been worshipped greatly, would not surprise me in the slightest. Chances are this also happened to similar extent in other areas, but obviously it would not be as noteworthy: There is no doubt that "Viking" Sweden also held most of the Æsir in high reverence, but the noteworthy feature in terms of worship is of course their increased worship of a fertility deity, of Vanir genus, it being Freyr.
__________________
-In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
-Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
-Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

(Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)
Sigurd is offline Quote this post in a PM   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Sigurd For This Useful Post:
Old Saturday, October 25th, 2008   #4
Carl
Senior Member
 
Carl's Avatar
 
Last Seen: Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Join Date: Oct 2007
Ethnicity: Anglo - Saxon.
Ancestry: English
Subrace: Nordid
Country: England
State: Wessex
Location: south
Gender: Male
Occupation: [Psychologist]
Politics: Patriotic
Religion: Pagan
Posts: 2,011
Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VinlandViking View Post
I read that there was a shrine to Nerthus in Rugaland (modern day Rügen). I can't find any other information other than the quote you have already given.

Rugaland seems closest to the mainland where all of the mentioned tribes lived, so perhaps we should launch a Skadi investigation there, unless we can find more proof.
Yes , well Rugaland is certainly a possibility for this island in the Ocean where the Earth Mother's sacred Wagon was parked out of holy season. Who knows if a Skadi expedition would even find the Island! It would certainly be a lot nearer than one of the Danish Islands to the north.

As it is, I have put a new and slightly improved map ( c. 150 CE ??) in the first post , centred more on the northern region. Behind my question was really the extent to which this Nerthus cult was also in the various parts of 'Denmark' in the Roman period. I assume it was a long time before the Vanir appeared in full strength in the North ( especially in Sweden).


Tacitus's point is that north 'Germania' was then more preoccupied with Nerthus rather than Woden (Mercury plus). Yes Sigurd, we really do have a problem sorting out her husbands.... the trouble is the mythological Earth seems so big . She has different divine Husbands in different places. Viking era lore, as we have it, distinguishes Njord [ a sea god!] ( perhaps with Nerthus herself ?) and Odin ( with Jord (earth)_ .... and also with Frigga - as 'separate' goddesses (?)... or not?) Maybe however the antiquity does indeed become somewhat blurred.
Carl is offline Quote this post in a PM   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Carl For This Useful Post:
Old Saturday, October 25th, 2008   #5
Sigurd
Moderator
Herþra
„Friend of Germanics”
Skadi Funding Member
 
Sigurd's Avatar
 
Last Seen: 2 Weeks Ago
Join Date: Oct 2005
Status: Available
Ethnicity: German
Ancestry: Bavarii, Saxones, Suebi, Alamanni
Subrace: Borreby + Atlantonordoid
Country: Germany
Location: Einöde in den Alpen
Gender: Male
Age: 28
Zodiac Sign: Libra
Family: In a steady relationship
Politics: Natural Order.
Religion: Odinist
Posts: 9,029
Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.Sigurd is a deity.

Skadi Award: Being the most prestigious award on Skadi Forum, the Skadi Award is bestowed upon those who, being outstanding contributors of particular importance, have been long standing supporters of Skadi Forum and its community, in good and in bad times. - Issue reason: Excellent, original and thought-provoking contributions over a period of several years; outstanding performance as a moderator and active participation in the Staff Forum; repeated defense of Skadi and its staff on Skadi Forum and on other sites. 
Well, yet another point that I see as an indication that Holda/Nerthus/Frigg are one and the same: One point of the lore mentions that Odin and the Earth begat Thor, another mentions a woman called "Hlodyn" (see how the etymology seems to be related to Holda?) as his mother --- but can we rule out Frigga as Odin's wife as his mother. Well, easy answer if they are all the same.

Another thing that could point towards their correlation which is not mentioned in my "Holda" article is the consideration: Nerthus/Ertha ... well, is it just me or do the words Earth and Hearth are so similar?

Sure, in modern English this is no longer the case, but if we look at even modern German: Erde and Herd are too similar sounding ... it could of course be a coincidence - but let us assume that Holda/Nerthus/Frigg are indeed the same goddess, then as a motherly figure (H)Ertha would surely have been the goddess of the family hearth.

Another indicator mayhaps?
__________________
-In kalte Schatten versunken... /Germaniens Volk erstarrt / Gefroren von Lügen / In denen die Welt verharrt-
-Die alte Seele trauernd und verlassen / Verblassend in einer erklärbaren Welt / Schwebend in einem Dunst der Wehmut / Ein Schrei der nur unmerklich gellt-
-Auch ich verspüre Demut / Vor dem alten Geiste der Ahnen / Wird es mir vergönnt sein / Gen Walhalla aufzufahren?-

(Heimdalls Wacht, In kalte Schatten versunken, stanzas 4-6)
Sigurd is offline Quote this post in a PM   Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Sigurd For This Useful Post:
Old Saturday, October 25th, 2008   #6
Oswiu
Account Inactive
 
Last Seen: Saturday, June 11th, 2016
Join Date: Jan 2006
Ethnicity: English
Subrace: CM-Atlantidish
Country: England
State: Lancashire
Location: Mamvcivm
Gender: Male
Age: 37
Politics: Nationalist
Religion: British
Posts: 3,619
Oswiu is a deity.Oswiu is a deity.Oswiu is a deity.Oswiu is a deity.Oswiu is a deity.Oswiu is a deity.Oswiu is a deity.Oswiu is a deity.Oswiu is a deity.Oswiu is a deity.Oswiu is a deity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl View Post
Here is a map to locate the principal tribes in this complex. The Anglii at this point do not appear to have migrated into Jutland ( north central) . I cannot say if this is accurate! The date is not available but parts of the map , at least, look to be early .
Ah, this rubbishy old map! Don't pay too much attention to it - it's a 20th Century synthesis sort of thing. I believe there's a bit of a quarrel between Plinius and Tacitus about where a lot of Suevi should really be placed - not too surprising given that this is the edge of the Classical writers' known world.

I favour the theory that has the Angles take their name from their geography, so wouldn't suppose them existing elsewhere earlier under that same name.

If you look at the map, you'll find the Saxons in possession of Schleswig Holstein, which probably never happened, and which is probably the result of the author knowing that the 'English' came from that area but not overly straining his grey cells about the who, where and when of it all. The Saxons being there AT ALL at the same time as the existence of the Boii and so on shows it all to be an anachronical sort of thing. Nice map - would make a good jigsaw, and is nice to look at, but don't conclude anything serious from where it puts everyone.

The position of the Langobards is also a little peculiar.
Oswiu is offline Quote this post in a PM   Reply With Quote
The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Oswiu For This Useful Post:
Old Saturday, October 25th, 2008   #7
Carl
Senior Member
 
Carl's Avatar
 
Last Seen: Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Join Date: Oct 2007
Ethnicity: Anglo - Saxon.
Ancestry: English
Subrace: Nordid
Country: England
State: Wessex
Location: south
Gender: Male
Occupation: [Psychologist]
Politics: Patriotic
Religion: Pagan
Posts: 2,011
Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.

Ok - thats a fair comment (?) and perhaps thats why I made a point of asking you about it. Lets put the Anglii northwest of the given location where we think they probably were.

Mythology remains. I wonder if there is anything further to be found on the subject of Nerthus and her divine husband in the Roman period. Unless I am mistaken, when Woden arrives in England (5thC onwards), the husband is Frigga.... although in these earliest times, yet unclarified, the name is often confused with Freyja! In the early period anyway, these two goddesses were not yet clearly differentiated*.

(*well I noticed that some of this is also already covered in Sigurd's detailed post on Holda (2007) :

http://forums.skadi.net/showthread.php?t=92524 )

It remains a fact however that the Vikings did keep them separate as very different beings. It is interesting that the Lore on the Vanadis Freyja appears to be far, far more extensive than that associated with Frigga ( - possibly because she knows much but stays silent ). One way around this observation is to argue that all the feminine goddesses have the same source-identity . Interesting certainly.... but the implications would indeed generate much confusion within the literature available.

Last edited by Carl : Saturday, October 25th, 2008 at 07:23 PM.
Carl is offline Quote this post in a PM   Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Carl For This Useful Post:
Old Wednesday, October 29th, 2008   #8
Anfang
Senior Member
 
Anfang's Avatar
 
Last Seen: Sunday, April 12th, 2009
Join Date: Oct 2008
Ethnicity: German
Ancestry: Niedersachsen , gijon
Subrace: Nordic amd Ibero-Celtic
Country: Vinland
State: New York
Location: New York USA
Gender: Male
Family: not happy to be divorced
Occupation: All ways working
Politics: Community Volkisch
Religion: Old Religion - European
Posts: 897
Anfang is considered wise by the elders.Anfang is considered wise by the elders.Anfang is considered wise by the elders.Anfang is considered wise by the elders.Anfang is considered wise by the elders.Anfang is considered wise by the elders.Anfang is considered wise by the elders.

Nerthus and the Vanir

I believe that as the interaction with the foreign non Germanic people became more pronounced, the true memory of Nerthus and the more powerful female Goddesses became more marginalized.

Nerthus was an ancient Germanic earth goddess. She was known to historians 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.

Tacitus recorded that each year there was festival where the goddess would supposedly travelled in a chariot pulled by two white heifers, escorted by the priest. No one was allowed to take up war or bear arms during the festivities. Even iron tools were locked up during the goddess' journey. It was good luck for those settlements she visited in her journey.

At the end of the festival, 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.

.......
Anfang is offline Quote this post in a PM   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Anfang For This Useful Post:
Old Thursday, October 30th, 2008   #9
Carl
Senior Member
 
Carl's Avatar
 
Last Seen: Thursday, March 29th, 2012
Join Date: Oct 2007
Ethnicity: Anglo - Saxon.
Ancestry: English
Subrace: Nordid
Country: England
State: Wessex
Location: south
Gender: Male
Occupation: [Psychologist]
Politics: Patriotic
Religion: Pagan
Posts: 2,011
Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.Carl is considered wise by the elders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerGregor View Post
I believe that as the interaction with the foreign non Germanic people became more pronounced, the true memory of Nerthus and the more powerful female Goddesses became more marginalized.

Nerthus was an ancient Germanic earth goddess. She was known to historians 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.

At the end of the festival, 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.
.......
Yes, this restates the Tacitus claim. But he makes the point fairly heavily that in the centre and south of Germania , Woden (Mercury) and Tiwaz - and others beside - were more prominent. The German tribes were much on the move within Germania at the time of Roman wars in Gaul. The Suebi had moved a long way to the south and at one point confronted them across the Rhine. It seems increasingly to be the begining of much ferment.

We know the outcome. Woden took the lead increasingly -in one form or another- until the northern tribes were largely headed up this complex God ( and his earthborn son). This was the pantheon at the time of the migration into England - that is clear from our records - and by then, it must have been the case that Jutland and the Danish islands were also increasingly 'Wodanized' - or 'Odinized'. Indeed are sites sacred to Odin found increasingly across the north.

And Nerthus? -- somehow this particular earthmother cult, so much centred it appears in the north west and west Denmark, was increasingly displaced. Njord emerges in the north, as a sea god not an earth mother. But in the same period it appears Woden-Odin-Gwodan increasingly acquires his own consort, a new Earth mother, Frea (Frigga). At the same time, the seeming consort of old Nerthus , Njord, appears in the north as the father of quite separate family of the Vana Gods, notably the twins Frey and Freyja. It is this duality which enters into the pagan theology of later Scandinavia. The Danish Islands and Southern Sweden must be thought of as something of a unity at this stage. Jutland meanwhile , after the migration, became noticeably depopulated (this was recorded later).


But there is also the strong suggestion that from the older Germanic triple division of the various peoples as stemming from the three (?) sons of Mannus - and in particular the northern sea-folk , the Ingvaeones , might themselves have become, collectively, the peoples of Ingvi. This would mean that these northern areas, identified in part by the Roman as the lands of Nerthus (primarily), might also have been the lands of the later northern God Ingvi-Frey... a God of central importance in the later history of Sweden right up to and including the great Temple of Uppsala. And once again , of course, Nerthus would here appear to be the old mother of Frey. The earth is, of course, very large .



Map: cultural groupings at the early Roman Iron Age.

blue : northern germanic.
green: north sea group
red: elbe germans.

It might be useful if we knew something more about the dates at which Njord, as sea god, appeared. I don't think it would be very early.
Carl is offline Quote this post in a PM   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Carl For This Useful Post:
Old Thursday, October 30th, 2008   #10
Morning Angel
Member
 
Morning Angel's Avatar
 
Last Seen: Saturday, November 8th, 2008
Join Date: Oct 2008
Ethnicity: pale
Country: United States
State: Kansas
Location: Wichita
Gender: Female
Family: Married to a God
Religion: Heathen
Posts: 15
Morning Angel shows some promise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl View Post
And Nerthus? -- somehow this particular earthmother cult, so much centred it appears in the north west and west Denmark, was increasingly displaced. Njord emerges in the north, as a sea god not an earth mother.
I see this bit of information repeated a lot, though I've yet to understand how the connection is made. Is there a transitional name, something to point to an etymological relationship? Is it from archaeology? From literature?

Curious.
Morning Angel is offline Quote this post in a PM   Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Morning Angel For This Useful Post:
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Secessionists unite from North and South SineNomine The United States 11 Saturday, July 16th, 2011 05:57 PM
North and South: A Linguistic Divide? Glenlivet England 2 Tuesday, October 10th, 2006 12:04 PM
North/South Genetic Divide in Europe Polak Population Genetics 32 Monday, July 31st, 2006 01:45 AM
Origins of North and South Ossetians Frans_Jozef Population Genetics 1 Tuesday, July 18th, 2006 10:37 AM



All times are GMT. The time now is 02:36 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.12
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Skadi.net.
Except where otherwise noted, all content on this site is licensed.
[ Disclaimer ] [ Contact Us ] [ Privacy Statement ]

Powered by Skadi.net  Creative Commons License

Page generated in 0.74463 seconds with 14 queries