Njord as a Feminine God

Imagine this: So the original worshipers of the Aesir meet and interact with the original worshipers of the Vanir. Njord the sea-king and his children Freyja and Freyr find a niche in the religious lives of the Aesir-worshippers, but to others this causes a difficulty – why those Gods and not others? Is this a challenge to the sovereignty of the Sky-king God? So they characterize the exchange as a clan-war, followed by a truce, followed by exchange of hostages. The hostages recieved by the Aesir are the popular Vanir Gods.

But imagine this: the prototypical hostages exchanged in the lives of those worshipers were brides, called frith (peace) weavers. Njord is king-in-exile, a powerless state, bound by laws of loyalty and allegiance to two different (and sometimes conflicting) kin-groups, as married women would be. When his religious popularity is described, he is called the ruler of “many high-timbered temples” – the hospitality-hall being the prototypical space of women’s sovereignty. Even his home in the sky-realm of Asgard is Noatun “Harbor”, an enclosing and protecting place.

When Loki starts breaking friendships and throwing insults, he insults Njord with the claim that he opened his mouth to drink giantesses’ urine – a image that casts him as ‘receiving’ fluids from beings typified by their sexual aggressiveness. (And if I haven’t pointed it out here, the gender split in this society was not male/female but powerful/powerless i.e. males and exceptional females vs ergi (passive-receptive) males and average females)

When his marriage occurs, he is passive: seated behind a screen with the other bachelors of Asgard, he is chosen by Skathi who has come to the Aesir, as a man would, to formally end her feud (for Loki killed her Giant father Thiazi) with Asgard by marriage. Was Njord chosen by Skathi not only because of his feet but because the myth-writers needed to complete the hostage-bride analogy?

When his marriage ends he is passive, too. So many words are dedicated to the ergi status of Odin and Loki (and sometimes Skathi) but I’ve never seen any about this guy.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s