Norse Goddess Names
An earth mother goddess of the Finno-Ugric and consort of Ukko, the supreme
sky god. She is also called Rauni, which is from rönn, Swedish
for rowan, her sacred tree. Her festival was celebrated on the fifteenth
Nordic war goddesses (see also Valkyries).
A maiden who dressed as a warrior to avoid being taken in marriage by
King Alf. Only when they engaged in a fight to the death (almost), and
he proved to be as strong as she, did she agree to mate with him.
She is the sun in Norse mythology. "Glory of elfs" is the meaning
of the name. Other names were also used. A chariot driven by a girl was
thought to be the sun. Two horses pulled the chariot; their names were
Arvak and Alsvid. Because she was being pursued by the wolf, Skoll, she
drove very fast. Before the world ends, she will have a daughter. Then
Skoll will eat her, and her daughter will take her place. The sun does
not give off light but gives heat. The horse's mane gave off light.
A giantess and the mate or mistress of the trickster Loki. Angrboda ("herald
of sorrow") spawned three monsters: the gigantic wolf Fenrir, the
Midgard Serpent Jormungand, and the goddess of the death Hel. The gods
abducted the children from her hall when they learned just how dangerous
The Askefruer, or "Ash Maidens," are a northern variation on
a common mythological theme: spirits, often depicted as human women, inhabiting
trees. The ash tree was particularly important to ancient northerners:
the World Tree, the axis about which the world revolved, was the ash tree
In Norse mythology, Astrild is the goddess of love.
(Asynjor, the)The name of the Norse goddesses who belong to the Aesir.
The goddess Frigg is the chief among them. Alternately, they are the female
attendants of Frigg at Vingolf, the Hall of the Goddesses. Included in
their number are sometimes the Valkyries and the Norns.
Atla is a water goddess and daughter of Ran.
The primeval cow on whose milk the Giant Ymir fed. She was created from
the melting ice at the beginning of time. She sustained herself by licking
the salt and hoar frost from the ice of Niflheim. According to the Prose
Edda 'four rivers of milk ran from her teats'.
A Lapland goddess who heralded the arrival of spring.
The daughter of Ymir (father of the giants) or of Bolthorn ('evil thorn').
She is the wife of Bor and the mother of Odin, Vili and Ve.
Servant of Freyr, wife of Byggvir. Her name is thought to be related to
a word for "cow", and she the protectress of dairy work; the
alternate suggestion is that "Beyla" is related to "bee",
so that Beyla and Byggvir might be the givers of mead and ale.
One of the Asynjor. One day Hjuki and Bil were returning from the spring
with a bucket of water when they were siezed by the moon god Mani, and
they have followed him ever since, visible from earth. This may have been
an explanation for two asteroids between earth and the moon, which have
since disappeared. It may also be the origin of the Jack & Jill nursery
She is the personification of the evening mist, or perhaps the moon, who
kills the light of day. She is the wife of Sigmund. Her myth became part
of the dynastic struggles of the Germanic classic, the Volsung Saga.
(Brynhild) A mighty female warrior, one of the Valkyries, and a heroine
from the German epics, especially in the Nibelungen saga, in which she
is a Icelandic princess. She defied Odin and in punishment he imprisoned
her within a ring of fire on earth, decreeing that there she would remain
until a brave hero rescued her. Siegfied (Sigurd) braved the fire, broke
her charmed sleep, and fell in love with her. He gave her the ring, Andvarinaut,
unaware of its curse. Eventually she kills herself when she learns that
Sigurd had betrayed her with another woman (Gudrun), not knowing he had
been bewitched into doing so by Grimhild.
One of the nine daughters of Aegir and Ran.
The name for a group of goddesses of fate and fertility in old-Scandinavian
mythology. The female members of the Aesir and the Vanir, as well as the
Valkyries, are often called Disen. The goddess Freya is referred to as
the 'Dis of the Vanir'.
("mercy") A minor Norse goddess of healing. She knew the secret
powers of herbs, with which she could even resurrect the dead. She taught
the art of healing only to women who were the physicians in ancient Scandinavia.
She is the patroness of health-care workers, called on against sickness
or injury. She is one of the goddesses on the mountain called Lyfia ("to
heal through magic"), and gives both physical and psychic means of
healing; shamanic healing, especially, falls into her realm. Eir is a
companion of the goddess Frigg.
Personified Norse goddess of old age, who overcame the mighty Thor in
a wrestling match.
After Odin and his two brothers Ve and Vili had created the universe and
the nine worlds, they walked on the beach where they came upon two logs
of wood which were washed ashore. They picked the logs up and give them
a humanoid shape. Odin breathed into them the spirit of live, Vili gave
them sharp wits and feeling hearts; and Ve bestowed upon them the senses,
expressive features and speech. Furthermore, the brothers provided them
with names and clothes. They named the male Ask ("ash") and
the female Embla ("elm"). Ask and Embla became the progenitors
of the human race, and Midgard was given to them as their residence.
(Ostara) The Maid aspect of Earth who gave her name to Easter. She may
derive from the same source as Ishtar, Astarte and other similar goddesses.
One of the Asynjor. She has been referred to as a giant, the wife of Odin;
wife or mother of Thor; and mother of Frigg (also a wife of Odin).
('Well-Beloved' Spouse, Lady') Goddess of Love, Fertility, Spring and
Childbirth; and as Queen of the Valkyries she sometimes carried a sword.
Freya ruled Odin's Valkyries and is reputed to have taught him women's
mysteries. Together with her consort-brother Frey she was ruler of the
Vanir, ancient matriarchal nature deities who pre-existed Norse patriarchy.
She is often shown riding upon the Boar Hildeswin (representing her consort/brother
Frey or her human lover Ottar) in an image suggesting sacred sexual union.
The boar as totem personified prosperity, vitality and ceremonial feasting
for both the Norse and Celts. She was the leader of the primal matriarchs
called Afliae, Powerful Ones or D'sir, Divine Grandmothers. A rainbow
was Her jeweled necklace; she rode a chariot drawn by cats. Sometimes
depicted as the Sow, "mistress" of the gods. Ruler of death,
She chose from the dead spread across battlefields, taking them to Her
palace Sessrumnir, meaning "rich in seats". She divides the
slain warriors with Odin: one half goes to her palace, while the other
half goes to Valhalla. In time they might be born once more through the
nurturance of the moist Earth, another aspect of Freya. She was also a
helpful deity to women in labor. Hopeful lovers worshipped her as she
was a goddess of sexuality and making magic with love prayers. Amber is
her gem and yew is sacred to her. The runes of Her sword signify power,
fertility, and birth. Her attributes are the precious necklace of the
Brisings, which she obtained by sleeping with four dwarfs, a cloak (or
skin) of bird feathers, which allows its wearer to change into a falcon,
and a chariot pulled by two cats. Her chambermaid is Fulla. Freya lives
in the beautiful palace Folkvang ("field of folk"), a place
where love songs are always played.
As the wife of Odin, Frigg is one of the foremost goddesses of Norse mythology.
She is the patron of marriage and motherhood, and the goddess of love
and fertility. In that aspect she shows many similarities with Freya,
of whom she possibly is a different form.
She is believed to know every person's destiny, but never unveils it.
As the mother of Balder, she tried to prevent his death by extracting
oaths from every object in nature, but forgot the mistletoe. And by a
fig made from mistletoe Balder died. Her hall in Asgard is Fensalir ("water
halls"). Frigg's messenger is Gna, who rides through the sky on the
horse Hofvarpnir. In some myths she was rumored to have had love affairs
with Odin's brothers Vhe and Vili.
(Fimila) A virgin goddess depicted with a gold ribbon in her hair. She
was later assimilated into the Asynjor.
The sister of Frigg and custodian of her magic casket and slippers. An
early mother goddess with obscure origins, she is one of the Asynjor.
("giver") Gefion is an old-Scandinavian vegetation and fertility
goddess, especially connected with the plough. She was considered the
patron of virgins and the bringer of good luck and prosperity. Every girl
who dies a virgin will become Gefion's servant. She is married to King
Skjold or Scyld, a son of Odin, and lived in Leire, Denmark, where she
had a sanctuary. The Kings of Sweden are her descendants. It is traditionally
claimed that Gefion created the island of Zealand ("Sjaelland"
in Danish) by ploughing the soil out of the central Swedish region with
the help of her sons (four Swedish oxen), creating the great Swedish lakes
in the process. In Copenhagen, Denmark, there is a large fountain showing
Gefion in the process of ploughing. Gefion may be another form of Frigg.
Gerd is a beautiful giantess, the wife of Freyr and daughter of the giant
Gymir. She is an earth goddess, the personification of the fertile soil.
She was so beautiful that the brightness of her naked arms illuminated
both air and sea. Gerd never wanted to marry Freyr and refused his proposals.
Freyr sent his messenger Skirnir to woo her, but he did not succeed in
winning her over with the eleven golden apples and the ring Draupnir he
had with him. Eventually Skirnir threatened to use Freyr's sword, which
would cover the earth in ice, and powerful magic that would doom Gerd's
life to misery and sadness. She finally agreed to meet Freyr in a wood,
nine days hence, and later became his wife.
A Teutonic water giantess, standing astride rivers and causing them to
She is listed by Snorri Sturluson as one of the divine Norse goddesses;
but appears only to be a handmaiden and messenger of Frigg. She has a
swift horse named Hofvarpnir ("Hoof-thrower"), which can run
in the air and over water.
("Goldbranch") The sorceress and seeress who had a great love
and lust for gold. She talked of nothing else when she visited the Aesir.
They listened with loathing and eventually thought the world would be
better off without her, so they hurled her into the fire. Three times
she was burned, and three times she was reborn. When the Vanir learned
about how the Aesir had treated Gullveig they became incensed with anger.
They swore vengeance and began to prepare for war. The Aesir heard about
this and moved against the Vanir. This was the first war in the world.
For a long time the battle raged to and fro, with neither sides gaining
much ground. Eventually the gods became weary of war and began to talk
of peace. Both sides swore to live side by side in peace. Gullveig is
also known under the name of Heid ("gleaming one"). She is probably
a form of the goddess Freya, who also has a great love of gold in the
(Hela) The Nordic Crone Goddess of the Afterlife whose abode was Niflheim.
As Queen of the Underworld, it was said that she received the spirits
of the dead, housing them in the elder tree until it was time for them
to be reborn. In Denmark, she was worshipped as Hyldemoer (Elder Mother).
She was also seen as the Mountain Mother, dwelling in the earth where
fire and ice meet. According to an Icelandic creation myth, in the beginning
only a great chasm called Ginnungagap existed, which was the opening to
Hel's womb in the earth. On one side were the fiery volcanoes, and on
the other side ice and waters. Her name is the root of the place-names
such as Helsinki, Holland, Holstein, Helvetia and Holderness. Numerous
alters of Nehellenia (Nether Moon) have been found in places like Cologne,
Germany (2nd century CE). In this aspect, she was thought to give safe
passage to seafarers. In Norse mythology, Hel is the ruler of Helheim,
the realm of the dead. She is the youngest child of the evil god Loki
and the giantess Angrboda. She is usually described as a horrible hag,
half alive and half dead, with a gloomy and grim expression. Her face
and body are those of a living woman, but her thighs and legs are those
of a corpse, mottled and moldering. The gods had abducted Hel and her
brothers from Angrboda's hall. They cast her in the underworld, into which
she distributes those who are send to her; the wicked and those who died
of sickness or old age. Her hall in Helheim is called Eljudnir, home of
the dead. Her manservant is Ganglati and her maidservant is Ganglot (which
both can be translated as "tardy").
A Teutonic giantess, one of the several named mothers of Thor. This confusion
may have come about as Thor, hero of popular culture, was inserted into
a more complex pantheon.
One of the Asynjor, the daughter of Frigg/Freya. She was so beautiful
that the word hnosir became the term to describe things of beauty.
(Holda, Holde) The Teutonic witch goddess of the moon. During the summer
she bathed in forest streams, and in the winter shook snowflakes down
from the trees. Her name was used as a general term for a priestess of
a lunar cult.
A North German goddess of marriage and fecundity. The expression "Hulda
is making her bed" means that it is snowing.
(Iduna) The goddess of eternal youth, married to Bragi, the god of poetry.
Idun is the custodian of the golden apples of youth. When the gods feel
old age approaching, they only have to eat of the apples to become young
again. As a goddess of fertility, youth and death, it is possible that
she was originally one of the Vanir. Idun was once abducted by the storm
giant Thiazi and in this interval the gods began to age rapidly. She was
eventually rescued by Loki who changed her into a nut and brought her
back to her hall. The gods were restored to youth soon after. Her festivals
were celebrated on the 3rd and 21st of March.
A Teutonic giantess, the first wife of Thor. By him she had two sons;
Moody ('courage') and Magni ('might').
In old-Scandinavian mythology, Jord is the personification of the primitive,
unpopulated, and uncultivated Earth. She is one of the wives of the chief
god Odin and the mother of the god Thor. She overlaps with Nerthus and
is identifiable with Frigg.
A Finno-Ugric death goddess, a daughter of Tuoni and Tuonetar.
A Valkyrie, she helped her mortal lover Helgi in battle by hovering over
him and charming his enemies with song. During one such battle, Kara was
accidentally killed by Helgi.
(Kivutar) The Finno-Ugric goddess of illness, a daughter of Tuoni and
In Norse mythology, Laga is the goddess of wells and springs. She is a
friend of Odin.
('Wooded Isle') The Teutonic mother of the trickster god Loki (originally
a fire demon). She furnished his firewood.
In Norse myth, Lofn is the goddess of forbidden love. She smiles upon
(Louhi) Finno-Ugric. The most terrible daughter of Tuoni and Tuonetar.
From her union with the Wind were born pleurisy, colic, gout, phthisis,
ulcers, scabies, canker, plague and a nameless 'fatal spirit, a creature
eaten up with envy'.
('Daughter of Nature') A Finno-Ugric creation goddess, daughter of the
air god Ilma. Weary of her lonely celestial virginity, she floated ont
he sea for seven centuries. Eventually an eagle (or a duck) nested on
her knee and laid eggs. These rolled into the abyss and became the Earth,
the heavens, the Sun, the Moon and the Stars. She gave birth to the first
human being, the bard Vainamoinen. In the Kalevala epicshe was impregnated
by the East Wind. She is also known as the Mother of the Waters, Ilmatar.
Norse Mother Goddess
In Norse mythology, the Norns are the demi-goddesses of destiny. They
control the destinies of both gods and men, as well as the unchanging
laws of the cosmos. They are represented as three sisters: Urd ("fate"),
Verdandi ("necessity") and Skuld ("being"). They live
at the base of the World Tree Yggdrasil in the realm of Asgard. Nothing
lasts forever, and even the mighty Yggdrasil is subject to decay. The
Norns try to stop this process, or at least slow it down, by pouring mud
and water from the Well of Fate over its branches. This magical liquid
stops the rotting process for the time being. In other myths, the Norns
were thought to give assistance at birth, and that each person has his
own personal Norn.
In Norse myth, Nott is the personification of night, and the daughter
of Narvi. Nott was married three times and with each husband she had one
child. Her first husband was Naglfari, and their son was Aud. Her second
husband was Annar, father of Earth. Her third husband was Delling, the
personification of twilight, father of Dagur (Day). She and her son were
given horse-drawn chariots by the gods and were placed in the sky to round
the world every two half-days. Notts chariot is pulled by the horse Hrimfaxi
("frost-maned") which covers the earth with dew early in the
Ran is the goddess of storms, and the wife of the sea god Aegir. She rules
over the realm of the dead which is situated on the bottom of the ocean.
She sinks ships and collects drowned sailors in her nets and takes them
to her hall where she tenderly ministers them (drowned persons neither
go to Valhalla nor to Helheim). With Aegir she is the mother of nine daughters
(the billows), who wore white robes and veils.
In Norse mythology, Saga is the goddess of poetry, poetic arts and history.
Every day she drinks with with her father Odin from golden goblets in
her hall Sokkuabekk. She is identified with Frigg.
The golden-haired wife of the god Thor. There is not much known about
her, except that she could originally have been a fertility goddess. Neither
does she appear often in the myths. The best know myth, however, is when
Loki the Trickster sneaked into Sif's bedroom and lopped off her hair.
Furious, Thor threatened to smash him unless Loki managed to replace the
hair. He went to a great cave, the home of the sons of Ivaldi, and told
them the reason of his journey. He then asked the dwarfs to spin gold
as fine as Sif's hair and imbue it with magic that it will grow on her
head. The dwarfs agreed and made a long wave of fine golden strands, which
Loki gave to Sif.
In Norse myth, Sjofn is the goddess who inspired human passion, she was
also a goddess concerned with causing men and women to think of love.
It was her duty to stop fights between married couples.
A giantess, called the 'snow-shoe goddess', and the embodiment of winter.
She is the wife of the god Njord. When her father Thiazi was slain by
the gods, Skadi wanted to take revenge. The gods thought it wiser to reconcile
and offered her a marriage with one of them. She was free to marry any
god, but while she made her choice she was only allowed to see the feet
of the potential candidates. She noticed a very elegant pair and, convinced
that their owner was the fair god Balder, she choose them. Unfortunately
for her, those feet belonged to the older god Njord. The marriage between
Njord and Skadi was not a happy one. She wanted to live where her father
had lived, in Thrymheim in the mountains, and Njord wanted to live in
Noatun, his palace by the sea. So they agreed to spend the first nine
days in the mountains and the following nine days by the sea. This arrangement
did not work out very well, and they separated. Eventually, Skadi left
Njord for the god Ull. Norse. (Old Norse: Skaoi)
A wise and gentle goddess. Guerber calls her the goddess of virtue and
master of all knowledge. She knew the value of self-discipline.
In Norse mythology, Sol is the sun goddess, daughter of Mundilfari. She
is married to Glen. Sol rides through the sky in a chariot pulled by the
horses Alsvid ("all swift") and Arvak ("early riser").
Below their shoulder-blades the gods inserted iron-cold bellows to keep
them cool. She is chased during the daytime by the wolf Skoll who tries
to devour her, just like her brother Mani is chased by the wolf Hati at
night. It was believed that during solar eclipses the sun was in danger
of being eaten by Skoll. Both wolves are the offspring of the giantess
Hrodvitnir who lives in the Iron Wood. Eventually, the wolf will catch
The goddess Svalin stands in front of the sun (Sol) and shields the earth
from the full intensity of its heat.
Syn was a Norse goddess invoked by defendants on trial. She was an attendant
of Frigg and guarded the door of her palace.
Daughter of the mighty god Thor. Some of the gods had promised to marry
her to the dwarf Alvis, if he would forge weapons for them. Thor, however,
did not like this arrangement and felt that a dwarf made an inappropriate
son-in-law. He therefore devised a test of knowledge to prevent this marriage.
Alvis had to prove that his great wisdom made up for his small stature.
Thor prolonged the test until sunrise and Alvis, still caught up in the
test, was touched by the rays of the sun and was turned to stone.
The Valkyries ("choosers of the slain") are beautiful young
women, mounted upon winged horses and armed with helmets and spears. Odin
needs many brave warriors for the oncoming battle of Ragnarok, and the
Valkyries scout the battlefields to choose the bravest of those who have
been slain. They escort these heroes, called the Einherjar to Valhalla,
Odin's hall. The Valkyries are also Odin's messengers and when they ride
forth on their errands, their armor causes the strange flickering light
that is called "Aurora Borealis" (Northern Lights). Old Norse:
In Norse mythology, Var is the goddess of contracts and marriage agreements,
one of the principal goddesses. She listens to the vows and compacts made
by men and woman with each other (those agreements were called varar).
She takes vengeance on those who break their vows. (aka Vor)