Why Not Jörðadis?

I have been giving a great deal of thought to personal mythology. What survives, what is handed down? That sort of thing. I reposted a pair of older articles of mine while I took a brainbreak from Esoterica to continue the adventures of Agent Rick, which will likely resume shortly. Expect a new cameo from Charles III the Hobbit King. Anyway. The realisation that I had nearly missed the Equinox settled itself upon me, which lent me over to considering a number of things. One of which being my personal, probably unorthodox devotion to Nerthus, Erce, Eartha – whatever you should like to call her. I had read a few articles from a few different sources linking the celebration of Winterfinding, as it is called by some stripes of Asatru, to Mabon, and ultimately to the Earth Goddess whom our principal I think is to feed.

Now in the past I have been guilty of a trap I tend to believe is set for men, in which one assumes intellectual posturing in their spiritual trajectory. One thinks themselves to be clever by clinging to a respectable, cerebral air and distancing themselves from the ‘ecstatic’ mumblings of believers. It is a snobby air, I confess. I have tried not to be guilty of it, have actively opposed the influenced of nihilism I my life. But the tricky thing about it, is that nihilism works because it sneaks up on you. If everything you think is a conceptual framework just begging to be revised for accuracy’s sake, with no emotional depth, nor transformative quality, well, than you might have found nihilism masquerading as enthusiasm.

In the months leading up to the birth of my son, and the years following his birth, my tune has changed. Dry academia is not enough. Spirituality is not a mere question of moving assets and measuring effects. For that matter, neither is culture. Both are active, living organisms. So follows is a kind of mangled internal realisation. It may not seem outwardly coherent but for to a select few, but, I don’t write these futile little exercises for anything other than my own benefit in reorganising my own grey matter and reckoning that what I go through, might benefit others. Maybe.

As a boy, my mother spoke at length of banshees and fairies. It was not at length, nor in great detail. The depth to which her hermeneutic went was that if one strayed unaccounted for into the forest, than the banshees would take you, and their shrieks would be the last you heard before your flesh was peeled from your bones. I did not believe this was true, and opted to venture into the forest anyway. There was then the notion that attending every tree was a fairy, and that under each stone, by every brook and in every gulch might you find one.

Mabon. It is fashionable to heed the ascendancy of the Celt in necromantic affairs because of the perceived living vibrancy of their tradition. Which I do not begrudge them. But I come from English stock. What have I then to do with fairies and banshees? I had a long discussion with my wife who has recently begun the conversion process from Christianity into Asatru. (Woot.) I think these things are all connected. What follows is idle conjecture based on hunches and gut instinct. But I have filled my guts with a great many books now which I think lend some weight to my hunches. But bear in mind my warning that I have no Gospel, and if I had, this would not be among them.

Odin is the Necromancer’s God. He frequently drags Volvar from their graves to interrogate them. He possesses the head of Mimir, embalmed, which whispers secrets to him. Can he do these things on account of his having learned Seidr from the Vanir, Earth Goddesses and Gods whom the Sky Father and his Sky Gods seem to have won over in the War in Heaven? Seidr is reckoned the shamanism of the North, perhaps taken from the Saami and attributed to the Vanir. I myself believe the Vanir are the landbridge to the ancient Paleoliths, a notion which I base on the attributions of Yngvi-Freyr. In the Heimskringla it is Frey who defends mound burial against the Danes and their Odinic fire pyres. Frey in the Eddas is given Alfheim as a tooth-cutting gift.

Alfheim gives forth the Alfar, who were notable ancestor spirits before being given gnome hats by I prefer to imagine well-meaning Victorian prudes. They were, evidently, a specie of Vaettir. Vaettir becomes Wight in today’s English, as in land spirit. According to the anthropologist and linguist, Grønbech, a specie of vaettir was Fey. Fey and Fae, I tend to believe, are related. And so this brings me back. The “Irish” fairy shares a similar function, as well as form, to the vaettir of the North, the Wight, therefore, of the English. Now consider that faerie or fairy seems to be an afterthought of, you guessed it, well-meaning prudes. The fairies seem once to have simply been Sidhe. Now consider this word, and recall the tone of Seidr. Allfather Odin is said to have learned Seidr in the most intimate of ways from Freyja, Dis of the Vans. In turn, she got Galdr from the Allfather. Now understand, that the Æsir are said to have regarded the Vanir with suspicion, disliked magic, and actively driven their arts underground, as it were. Hence perhaps why in Heimskringla it is precisely her brother, Frey, who defends the Old Ways against the Danes who seem to have brought their warlike Æsir into Sweden – according to Snorri.

Seidr is held to be a forbidden craft. Craft being a word once synonymous with “power.” It was because we mistakenly attribute Odin’s deeds to ALL the Æsir, which is false. Odin was a contrarian God whose sight was long. Thor, for example, abhorred witchcraft, did not abide Jotnar nor deal with Dvergar. Odin and his antithesis Loki did all these things because of their pragmatism. Now let us return to the Irish Question. The Irish did not invent the Sidhe. A cursory glance at their Book of Invasions would suggest that it is with the arrival of the Gaels that the Tuatha De Danaan were driven underground where they became the Sidhe. Morrigna the Phantom Queen whose multivariate person comes to embody forbidden, ecstatic witchcraft seems to typify the masculine Irish-Gaelic attitude toward the old, old ways. Are the Sidhe then related to practitioners of Seidr? Might they in the same way Freyr’s race and their Art were suppressed by the Æsir, have been suppressed by the Gaels? The Gaels were a warrior race, much in the way the Danes were when they marched abroad.

In this way, I think Odin’s connection to necromancy becomes all the richer, with the connections between Mabon and Winterfinding similarly enriched. It is unlikely that the Communion with the Dead was the grim affair that Lore has it. After all, it would behove Christian meddlers to pervert the Allfather into a grim, foreboding devilish man who perverted nature at every turn. But even their petty meddling does not truly change his pragmatism in seeking wisdom in the most ancient of days. Which brings me back to Nerthus, the presumptive patroness of the Harvest Festival. Among Odin’s most treasured wives is Jörð, or Nerthus. The Mother of Thor – the most treasured God.

Elsewhere I have stressed that Odinic mythology betrays a timeless saga which existed everywhere in Europe and well beyond, from times before reckoning. A saga which culminates, if regroups, in the Grail Mythology, the Hagia Sophia, and many other fonts of wisdom where the survival of ancient lore hid in droves from Christian Witchspotters. Throw a rock in my archives, and you’ll no doubt hit any of my theories regarding them. And do investigate the works of other authors and authoresses such as Jean Markale or Annie Dieu-Le-Veut whose name I struggle to spell but whose meditations have proven very helpful on a personal level, my own theories beside.

So in a way, something of an exceedingly ancient pulse had reached its way to me, through the English Isles into America, where nearly did, it was dropped at my feet as if by a cat having mauled a trophy. If banshees and faeries was all that was left, given what I have contrived, it was the tip of a very substantial iceberg. Now, I will spare you my small litany of personal experiences which had shaken my faith in atheism. They would mean nothing to you unless you had them and are easily explained away by one with the motive to do so, or supported by one who wishes to believe. Subjectivity is useless. But the sufficiency to say is this; I believe the iceberg’s tip leads us to a Shakespeare quote about reality having much thicker hips than your books would suggest. Or something like that. I’ve never actually read Shakespeare.

For shame, Seax.

For long ages I have felt a powerful draw to Mother Earth. And no, not just because I can make the Phat Earth jokes at Her expense. I have no logical reason. Do I blame Captain Planet, or do I come to recognise that in my own Gene Pool lurks this most obvious and yet most hidden Goddess? Erce, Nerthus, it was She who sustained the English Race long after Wōden had given leave to the pretender Haelend under Drihte which became Jesu “son” of “Jove.” Please. It was God’s own Wife who was fattened till the harvest festival, where heavily pregnant, she would give forth the birth of her blessings unto all the peasants. This named God was most assuredly not Jove. Nor was his wife Tsekina. Again. Please. She has been with us, and we have never been able to let Her go. But the phrase “verehrt und angespien” is terribly applicable. So what do we do? How can we muster to bring her back?

My skin and bones call for her return, and my every ounce of blood in every blue-tipped vein tells me She must come home. Else where might we find peace? 2,000 years has been allotted to the prince of peace and this pretender has done no more than the other ‘religion of peace,’ or by the snivelling Jews, to bring us closer to a world with meaning. Well, sure, meaning for some. But not for all. Clearly not for the English who preferred the company of God’s Wife than to the stale harmonies of a(n often imported) man in a dress who diddled other men’s wives and or children and led to the Pope decreeing as punishment no priest could marry. Imagine: we did not appreciate imported foreigners fucking our wives and replacing our Goddesses. Thanks, jeebus. It’s been real. It remains that the English, more than any other race, has remained in conflict with the Papists to whom it was our pleasure to say “No.” Mind you, Christianity works for whom it does, but increasingly are those of us for whom it does not. Where shall we turn? Fake Buddhism? Edgy Satanism? Please. The Massachusetts politician once said of the Bay State: “yeeou hahve ohnlee one Muththah.” There is a queen of heaven, but She is much closer to Earth. She gives us the best of our ancestral religions and ties all together, the end all weaver of Frith.

Whatever.

So, some of those thoughts ran through my mind as I wrote my little faerietale about Her wagon. Nerthus, whose feet ought scarce touch the Earth which is her throne, has cast her chariot far and wide. One can find her themes in Greece and Rome, the votive practises of the Celts. Jörðadis is a Goddess of unparalleled girth, magnitude, power, whatever, whose reach is the world over. And why not? I suppose I’ve come to an end of this thought. Maybe. There’s a chimney I need to go sweep, anyway. Perhaps this thought continues, perhaps it does not.

It does!

People change. So do myths. A common critique of Asatru is that it is a thing which no longer resembles the world in which its myths were told. Certainly. I have come to fail to see why this is a problem. The Myth extends from the People. Are we precisely the same People as they who wrote the myths? Yes and no. We are culled from their stock, and the appearance has changed. So, then, should the myths not also? They should grow, learn, evolve with their host. Should the Great Goddess keep her tongue behind her teeth and withhold all she might say simply because scholarship has determined She is a Goddess out of time? Pish posh, and humbug to that. Jörðadis, I maintain, is as relevant now as She ever was. Probably moreso. After all, in the halcyon days she was a background character on the very Planet which is the Throne that receives Her bulk.

She is that which the masculine archetypes tend, the glue which hold them together. Heavens know, the masculine archetypes have been rolled up and then destroyed. Even as the feminine have. But here I can confidently say, that the masculine mind needs a cause to fight for in order to truly thrive. Without struggle, something to protect or annihilate, he withers on the vine and blows away in the faintest wind. Any man worth his honesty that reads this, shall know that I have written no lie in this assessment. The man without principle has never struggled, and never won his ethos – he is not a man. Just an organism. A thing.

Jörðadis stands between Odin and Thor. The archetypes of the Odinsman and the Thorsman have come to loggerheads oft before, archetypically, and with insufferable frequency. The grug versus the nibba. The thinker versus the doer. The philosopher versus the labourer. What a pallid and sickly false dichotomy we have here. Why should we be so limited? Neverminding my belief that Harbard the Ferryman disguised a great favour in Thor’s Flyting to save the God his pride, that one remembers what they have in common. Thor’s mother, of course, is Odin’s wife. The dark God of the Thinker, embodying the Philosopher-King, softens to the touch of Earth. So too does Thor, the defender, the protector embodying the Countryman. It is for the future of those like Eorthe that Wōden strives to enrich the kingdom of the mind, and it is for her honour that Thunor calls his chosen to strengthen the kingdom of the body.

As one understands that Her body is inseparable from the Planet bearing Her name, than it follows we understand in the past Her health and investment was dictated by the Harvest – itself a symbol of the Planet’s health. To serve Earth is to ensure Her diet is bountiful and clean, Her kingdom kept tidy and pure. Such a burgeoning belief would inculcate a stewardship over and bond with Nature – as at least some of our fathers had. One would have to consider waste and wantonness in their assent to Her Throne. You cannot despoil Earth without shaming Jörð. Honouring Earth is blessing Jörð. Simple, I’d think. 

It would be through Her that we connect to what other Gods there be. For one to engage Mabon or Winterfinding would require their tending to Earth. It was through Earth that the God of the Necromancers summoned the dead. Earth is the median between Heaven and Hell, in short. Midgard, Middangeard – this is us. This is her throne. The Middlemost Garden, one could call it in a way that is understood. One follows in Odin’s example by coming to the dead through Her. Could one expect to develop a spriritual sense if not through their environment? If the spirits speak, than how else could it be than from where their audience dwells? And should the intended hearer be deaf to the song of the Earth, how then should they expect to hear the call of the Ancestors?

Worship through Earth is likely the oldest form. The Ancestral Spirits were anchoured to their families through Earth, the reigning Goddess of Middle Earth. Vaettir and Faerie alike are therefore in Her ward, it would seem to me then that it would be She whom Margaret Murray informs us was called the Queen of Elfhame – the Goddess of the Witches whom the Christians used as kindling for their bonfire of the vanities. Perhaps Jörð is a title taken by the Goddesses in their turn, for one might imagine that Frija or Freyja would be an excellent candidate for what can only be the English answer to Alfheim.

This should appeal rather handily to anyone who appreciates not just Huge Tracts of Land, as it were, for paleolithic enthusiasts as myself, or more who hearken to Blut und Boden – Blood and Soil – as do also. What is the one without the other? Blut und boden call to Lebensraum, without which one could scarcely imagine Mother Earth could expand her Huge Tracts of Land. If one, as Grønbech shows, comes to understand their Folksoul as being rooted to the land where their fathers are buried than it adds preciousness to the dirt beneath your feet. To understand that the colony which your family establishes by virtue of the blood fed the Earth Goddess, is made a part of an Oversoul which in turn births your future clan…

I fail to see how one can lose esteem by trying to work Jörðadis back into the fabric of their worship. In fact, I maintain that by bringing gifts to Her altar and feeding Her, believing souls would be all the richer for Her blessings, as we once were. Not merely in England where Her cult was so sublimely pronounced, but elsewhere as well. The Greeklings had their Gaia. The Romans their Terra. I assume that the Celtic Nations had their answer to the Goddess. I recall having read that the name Eriu (Erin) is an archaism which refers to Fat [of the land] which might position her as a kind of Earth Goddess, she very clearly holds the sovereignty of the Irish as her waveringly full figure on banners symbolising Ireland attests. I have no doubt that the other European Peoples have their answers to Earth Goddesses, I have read about some in passing, but lack the confidence to discuss them to any length.

So those are a few of the thoughts which have held my mind since the Winterfinding, the Equinox fires and the cleaning of the chimneys and fireplaces. Perhaps you have some great Equinox Custom you entertain, or perhaps you had some meditation of your own. If so, I would be glad to hear of them. If not, than wæs þū hāl!

 

 

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13 thoughts on “Why Not Jörðadis?

  1. Excellent timing! I’m just reading H.L. Mencken’s TREATISE ON THE GODS. Mencken devotes significant thought to Mother Earth and similar topics. I’ll post anything good I find through this read.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a lot of catching up to do in reading your posts! I’m not on WordPress all that often.
    However, do you mean to say “Equinox” in this post? The Solstices are in June and December.
    I used to get them mixed up frequently, so I’ve learned from my own mistakes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Probably, /thanks, to be frank it’s my first year really trying to get it done. I almost missed it, but some friends were celebrating. I’ve never been a big holiday guy, but am trying to get into the spirit.

      I’ll do better next time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Right. I had that thought myself. We have just passed the fall equinox (from the Latin, “equal night”), when days and nights are of equal length (in some latitudes).

      The solstices are in summer and winter.

      Otherwise, this was an inspiring tribute to the Earth goddesses. Joro is a name I might be able to pronounce. The other folk lore is unfamiliar to me, although I am a willing student.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A great book is Kathleen Herbert’s “Looking for the Lost Gods of England, ” which as a point of fact has more to do with Mother Eartha than lost Gods who no doubt play a role. That’s my kneejerk for a good starting place. She’s put out by Anglo-Saxon Books, I believe.

        One cannot throw a rock in a Pagan community and miss someone suggesting Tacitus’ Germania. In that is Nerðus, another Earth Mother in waiting. It’s a good read, which I think for political purposes is as valid and worthwhile now as then, as the allegories between the Fall of Rome and the Decline of the West are similarly inescapable (hence my stressing Tribalism and Localism as opposed to blunt Nationalism – which I don’t denounce! – or whatever ism.)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. We follow nothing in particular but the custom of turning the beds before winter is something I got from my mother. As I grew up in Asia I missed out a lot of the European customs but I think we adopted others which are now family lore. Fire is a big thing in the autumn and tidying up, freeing up from summer. Remembering the departed and celebrating their lives, call it what you will. The year ends and we prepare for the darkness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s cool. I put the wife in charge of research customs while I was at work, and she turned up that apparently it used to be a ritual to clean the fireplaces and light candles, give thanks and make offerings above and beyond the Ancestral components I mentioned in the post.

      I also seem to recall that my grandmother’s family kept a vacant seat at dinner tables for the ghosts of the departed to sit and be with their descendants. Even the church rectories still did it as of her childhood.

      Like

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