Who is Snotra?

Snotra by Thorskegga

In ancient northern Europe, people were often crowded into cold and drafty halls all winter for their survival. In order to keep fights from breaking out and ill will from creating trouble, rules of courtesy had to be followed. Snotra is the goddess who reminds us of courtesy and consideration. She can be called upon to help a mixed group of people follow the rules of etiquette during an event, and also to help someone entering a space where people use customs that are unfamiliar. She can ease the way through well-meaning missteps, helping everyone to move through other people's space with grace. Snotra always knows the right thing to do, and is a model of noblesse oblige, encouraging us all to set an example for others.

Some also consider her a goddess of hard work and labor. Her name comes originally from the Old Norse word snot, meaning a bride or lady, but the word came to mean a person of wisdom and grace.

Linda Demissy says: Snotra is Goddess of learning, wisdom, patience and hospitality. She is sacrificer to the Goddesses, pouring out offerings and words of praise to elevate the Gods and the ancestors. She also inspires people to be their best, paying attention to even the smallest noble impulse she sees in them, speaking well of it and encouraging them to improve. She likes to read and learn from many elders, to increase her own knowledge and wisdom. It’s not that she can’t see people’s darkness, rather, it’s that blaming them for their darkness does no good. It is better to brighten the light, to be kind and patient.

You can honor her by pouring offerings in praise, even if it’s to someone else, and is pleased by those who honor their ancestors. As Goddess of elevation, her shrines are made by piling rocks, even small stones and gravel will do, as an offering mound or cairn which can be built anew each time. A cue card or page of inspirational quotes may serve as her symbol. Favorite food offerings are those that remind you of loved ones or your ancestry, but offer some to your patron deity first if you have one. Disrespecting teachers, damaging books, or letting someone go hungry may earn her displeasure. Her names means “wise” or “prudent,” and is pronounced “SNOW-trah” with a rolled “r.”

Snotra's Prudence Prayer

by Linda Demissy

For self-control of tongue and angry deeds that would only bring you trouble, forcefully clasp your hands together while you pray. Release them at the end, take a deep breath and shake them out as you exhale until your lungs are empty. Repeat as needed.

Prudence I pledge, Snotra I seek

Safety in my prison bleak.

May my words — be measured,

My temper — kept in check.

No matter how — worthy they be

Of choking — by my hands

I shall let them — live one more day,

In wisdom — keep the peace.

Artwork by Thorskegga Thorn.