Sunday, August 28, 2016


Nerthus (Hertha) is Mother Earth and a Goddess of the Sea and of Rivers. The "Mother Earth" worshipped by the North Sea Germans, according to the Roman historian Tacitus (writing in the first century of the Christian era). Her worship included the springtime procession of a wagon in which her image was kept, which ended on a holy island.

The ancient people of the Norse had close ties with the Earth, and it’s seasons.  Their lives circled around the seasons as much as the seasons circle around the year.  The changing seasons affected not only the weather but also the day to day survival of the Norse.  It dictated what they ate, where they lived and how they lived.

And this is just a snippet of what can be found in, 'Who Are Your Divine Friends?'.



Altar: outside upon cloth place pots of Earth in which has been drawn the runes Feoh, and Berkana, and Jera, and seeds to be planted, and a wooden tray of small cakes marked with the runes Sigil, and Tyr, and Ansuz, and a horn of mead, and a pitcher of rain or snow water

Color: brown, green, blue

Day: Monday

Incense: jasmine, juniper, lotus

Offerings: planting seeds, doing something to clean the earth or air.

Plant: birch, fir, hawthorn, loosestrife, mint, mugwort, rose, willow

Pronunciation: 'Nearth-os' (Nerthus)

Rulership: fertility, groves, peace, purification, sea, Spring, wealth, witchcraft

Runes: Berkana, Dagaz, Ehwaz, Laguz, Raidho, Wunjo

Stone: copper, crystal, quartz, smoky topaz

Symbol: groves, sea, earth, water



I am the springtime, young and yet old.
I am of mountains, mighty and cold.
I am the fertile fields and the scum.
I´m the eternal Die and Become.
I am as gentle as I can be wild.
I am the mother, and you are my child.

~ Michaela Macha


Hail Nerthus

Hail Nerthus,
Hail the dirt teeming with life.
Hail the bog, life’s ancient terminus.
Hail the pig, the fowl, the cow
and all animals and growing things
that feel the gift of Your blessing.
May we be inspired, Great Goddess.
May we be inspired in our devotion to You,
today and every day.
Hail, Nerthus.

~ Galina Krasskova 


Goddess of Earth

Goddess of Earth's gracious gifts.
Bounties that tease in blessed bloom.
Nerthus do stay and sever the sorrow.
For joy frames fertile fields
and harks health hale and hallow.

~ Salena Levy


A Harvest-Time Prayer to Nerthus

Fruitful Mother, Devouring Mother
I hail You.
Eldest of all, Veiled and Mighty
I sing Your praise.

Terrifying and trembling,
awash in adoration,
I will lay my treasures before You.
With head bowed low
upon the earth that is Your gift
(and our obligation),
I whisper my prayers
Thinking of You
and of Your holy groves.

You sent Your family forth,
gifting the world of man
with the arts of civilization.
These things You and Yours have given.
These things we have received:

The skill of drawing sustenance from the sea
The skill of tilling the soil
Of planting
of bringing forth crops
the gift of the harvest
The crafts of the earth and clay: of throwing a pot and working a kiln
Of building
Of reading the weather
The yoking of animals
Stewardship of the land
Burial of the dead
The merit of sacrifice
The terror of mystery

For these things, we are grateful.
For these things we shall always remember:

Prayers to You, oh Nerthus,
Ancient and wise.
Prayers to the Mother.
Be Thou always honored.

~ Kira R


In addition to having influence over fertility, she holds other divine offices that are not stated by Tacitus.  Beyond Tacitus, we have archeological evidence of bog contents including bent iron weapons, grand strings of amber, domestic animals, and human sacrifices; that some scholars believe are consistent with what we know of Nerthus’ worship.

In surviving Anglo-Saxon writings, there is a ritual of blessing the fields prior to plowing and planting.  During Charming of the Plough, which usually occurs around Imbloc, a 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.  She can also be befriended by providing aid to farmers and cleaning up the Earth.




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