Beach Day with Njord


Njord or Njordr (Old Norse Njörðr) is one of the Vanir and the god of wind, fertile land along the seacoast, as well as seamanship, sailing and fishing, he has the power to calm the sea or fire. Njord is the god of the wind and of the sea and its riches. He was married to Skadi, a Giantess. The marriage failed because Njord preferred to live by the sea, while Skadi was happier in her father’s mountain dwelling place. He was the father of Freyr and Freyja by his own sister, Nerthus, who was his first wife. Their mother was Njord's own sister and lover. Apparently the Vanir, unlike the Æsir, had the custom of marriage of your sibling. His dwelling is said to be Noatún ('Ship-town').
There were two main clans of gods, the Aesir as lead by Odin, and the Vanir, lead by Njord. Njord and his kin were recognized as the gods of agriculture and fertility, whilst the Aesir were known to be the gods of warfare and of power. With two distinct areas of worship, Njord was considered to be the chief power behind a calm and productive sea, and prayers were raised to him for a fruitful fishing expedition, or a safe voyage.
The Aesir and Vanir were unable to live side by side in peace, and eventually the two clans went to war in the Aesir-Vanir War. A long drawn out war, ended in stalemate, with neither side having a decisive victory, although the Aesir were considered to have a slight advantage. To end the war though it was decided that the two sides would exchange hostages to avert future hostilities. Thus a deal was made by which Njord went to live with the Aesir and in return the Aesir sent Honir and Mimir to Vanaheim, the home of the Vanir. It was not a fair exchange because Njord was far more valuable and superior to the Vanir hostages.
Njord went to live in Asgard and took with him his twin children, Frey and Freya. Njord’s first wife and the mother of the twins was Nerthus, Njord’s sister and Earth Goddess. As the Aesir did not approve of marriage between brother and sister, Njord had to leave Nerthus behind. He placed her in charge of the Vanirs.  Njord and his children were well treated and became central figures in the Aesir, Njord in particular being given a role in supervising sacrifices.
Njord’s second wife was Skadi, a Giantess then later a goddess. When Skadi’s father was killed by the Aesir (namely Thor) she was granted the choice of a husband from among the gods of Aesir. The catch was though that she had to pick her new husband based only on the appearance of his feet. She chose the most beautiful feet she saw, thinking they belonged to the handsome Baldur. Instead, they were the feet of Njord. Apparently Baldur might have some ugly feet.
Skadi was used to living in the icy mountains, and Njord was used to living by the sea. Njord and Skadi could not agree on where to live. Njord’s home was Noatún, a bustling shipyard, noisy with the sound of the wind and the sea and the seabirds. Skadi and Njord could not live happily together, for Skadi hated the cheerful shipyard, while Njord felt unhappy at Skadi’s grim, cold mountain home. After spending nine nights together in each other’s lands, the two decided to live apart. Skadi eventually married Ullr, the winter-god. Njord has his fun with drunken sailors and whores.
Norse mythology is different to many ancient mythologies as it tells of the demise of many of the leading gods at Ragnarok. Ragnarok was known as the doom of the gods and men. It is a battle that would cause the destruction of the nine worlds. Njord was one of the gods that managed to survive and he returned unscathed to Vanaheim (home of the Vanir) with Freya and maybe Frey.

Go to the beach and the water


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