My Matron Jord
There I said it, she has been calling to me lately, even more so over the past couple of days, she with Freya and Skaði, Hecate/Hekate still ever present though, she guides me when I need her too. Hecate & Freya help me with my shadows.
Who is the goddess Jord?
Jörð (Old Norse: Jǫrð [ˈjɔrð]; “earth”) is the personification of earth and a goddess in Norse mythology. She is the mother of the thunder god Thor, and a sexual partner of Odin. Her name is often employed in skaldic poetry and kennings as a poetic term for land or earth.
Jord, is known all throughout different religions and practices. She has many names and many faces throughout time. You may even recognize her by some of them. Mother Earth, Fertile Mother, Nature etc.
There has always been a goddess of the earth in many cultures, or at least in the cultures which are not based in the Abrahamic beliefs. The Germanic/Norse cultures also have a goddess of the earth, of the northern land, most of the time people forget about her or do not mention her at all, but she is the mother of one of the most famous gods of the Norse pantheon, she is mother to Thor.
Jord is the Goddess of the Earth, and the living grounds beneath our feet, she gave birth to many children, she gave life to us an all living creatures, the place whence we came and were we will go back some day. She is the very symbol of fertility, however, she is not a goddess of agriculture, she is the goddess of all the place there are not under any human control, the goddess of the mountains, fields, every tree, every rock and moss on it, the verdant meadows and other lands with a pure wild spirit. She is also the mother of the Land-spirits or the Landvaettir. She reigns over all the uncivilized places.
Jord means “earth”, and she is the daughter of Nott, the goddess of night which i have already written about her in here. Her powers as you might guess, are connected with the forever fertile soils, from where life emerges and grows, the beauty of nature at it’s best. She lives in Jotunheim, and she is the spirit with great fertile powers, even more powerful than all the Vanir gods. She causes the wild fruits to grow and mature, and the seeds carried by the wind with Kari’s help, the god of winds.
She is also known as Fjorgyn and Hlodyn, although the first name is sometimes referred to a parent of Frigga, so probably she may be the daughter of Jord, or her father is somehow connected with Jord.
She gives in people, the love for natural things, the happy feeling of freedom, the beauty of all living things and the magical wild world, the love that she instills in people is also the love for our own body, how we are physically, accepting how we are, this doesn’t mean of course being in an unhealthy physical state and don’t give a damn about it, on the contrary, to love our physical self, we must take care of us, of our own body, eating healthy, exercising the body etc. that is the true love one can have for himself, taking a good care of ourselves. Most of the time Jord is seen as a large woman, physically strong, as most goddesses of the earth are seen, but once again, this doesn’t mean she is a fat figure, unhealthy and in danger to die because of all the problems obesity can bring to the body, in truth the shape of her body is naturally large because that is her physiognomy, such as a being from the Jotnar kin might be, she is a Jotun, so it’s natural to see her as a large figure because she is a Jotun of the Earth, a giant. Also she has that physical appearance as a symbol of fertility, to all pregnant women and mothers, or soon-to-be mother and nursing mother, as such, she can be called by those in need of fertility in their own body, in the family, in their livestock, in the garden or land. She can also be called for healing the land and the earth it self. She can be called by the environmentalists to help in their hard work, for the safety of the wild nature and to restore order in places that were badly damaged by us humans.
The goddess of the uncivilized, uncultivated, wild earth, Jord is little mentioned in any of the myths. Her name means simply “Earth”, and she is the daughter of Nott, the goddess of Night, and her second husband Annar, an island-giant whose name may or may not mean “Water”. One could metaphorize from here and see the daughter of Night and Water, dark and flowing, whose strongest connection is the fertile earth. In a way, Jord is the ultimate example of the earth-giantess, the being that is entirely in touch with the fertile soil. She is also not a “wifely” goddess. Jord seems to be very centered in herself and her fertility, and though she might willingly mate with a man, she would not center herself around being his partner.
Ari, a spamadhr, writes: “Ah, Jord! What can I say about her except to sing her praises? She lives in the area of Jotunheim that is the most fertile, and her very touch causes trees to fruit and seeds to sprout. In her own way she is just as much a mistress of fertility as any of the Vanir gods. 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. She is very often pregnant by her various lovers. It is probably impossible to calculate how many children she has borne. She is like the Earth itself, drawing you into her strong, soft, motherly embrace. Probably one of the most generous and giving etin-women in existence. I can see why Odin fell in love with her. I can also see why he left her — a man could get lost in her bed and never come out again to do any brave, heroic deeds. I have to wonder if Thor’s ambivalent relationships with giantesses suggest how hard it was to cut the apron strings with such a powerful mother.”
It is said that Jord was Odin’s first consort, before taking an “official” Aesir wife. Perhaps he found her lushness irresistible; perhaps he was acting out an archetypal role of sky-father mating with the Earth-mother. Their son, Thor, is certainly one of the Aesir, but he is in many ways the most giantlike of the lot of them, both in appearance and in behavior. Jord is also said to have borne a second son by Odin named Meili, but no one knows anything about him.
Alternate names for her are Fjorgyn and Hlodyn; the first name also refers to a parent of Frigga, so it is very likely that she is Jord’s daughter, regardless of whether Fjorgyn is Jord or a male consort of hers. Many of the folks who work with Jord have been told this by her. As Frigga is a dignified and maternal goddess, it is easy to see her as the more civilized daughter of the wild earth mother. This would make Frigga an older half-sister of her stepson Thor. One can also see Jord passing the young and eager Odin off to her daughter for more civilizing. Whichever it might be, if this is the case, Odin did the tribal equivalent of marrying his stepdaughter, trading the motherly but independent Jord in for her beautiful Asa daughter. Frigga, in her turn, was much more willing to assume the role of Royal Wife and Consort, making herself the mistress of Odin’s halls and realms.