Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Worship Of Njord In Sweden And Norway

The Worship Of Njord In Sweden And Norway Cover The worship of Njord in Sweden and Norway is implied in the fact that places named after him are found in certain parts of these countries. When he is mentioned in the Icelandic writings, it is usually in conjunction with Frey. The practice of drinking the second toast to Njord and Frey 'for peace and plenty' has been already mentioned. In the old heathen form of oath, taken by suitors and others at the legal assemblies, the deities invoked were 'Frey and Njord and the Almighty God' (probably Thor). The two names are also combined by Egil in a verse (of 934) in which he prays that Frey and Njord may be angry with King Eirik, while in one of his poems (about 962) he refers to them as the givers of wealth. With this may be compared the proverbial expression 'as rich as Njord,' which occurs in old Icelandic. In one of Hallfred's verses (of 996) Frey and Njord, Odin, Thor, and Freyja, are all mentioned together in contrast with God and Christ: in another (of the same time) the poet says, 'I am forced away from Njord's offspring and made to pray to Christ.' These passages are sufficient to show that the cult of Njord was closely connected with that of Frey, and make it probable that he was a deity of some importance even in the popular religion, but at best he remains a somewhat vague figure among the Scandinavian gods.

Of the remaining gods known to us from the mythology there are only the faintest traces in the historical sources. Even the original war-god Ty was so completely supplanted by Odin, that no distinct evidence is to be found for his worship in any part of Scandinavia, although Snorri describes him as 'the bravest and stoutest-hearted of the gods,' who had a great share in deciding the victory in battle; 'on him it is good for men of valour to call.' His name was, however, retained in poetic appellations of men (sometimes even of Odin), and was used in the epithets ty-hraustr for a very brave man, and ty-spakr for a clever one.

Recommended reading (pdf e-books):

Aleister Crowley - Liber 888 The Gospel According To St Bernard Shaw
Aldous Huxley - The Doors Of Perception And Heaven And Hell