Who Is Njord?

Njord1Njord is the northern god of humanity’s dealings with the waters – fishing and boating on both ocean and rivers. Unlike the sea gods Aegir, Ran, and their nine daughters who embody the wild nature of Ocean, Njord is the mediator between the waters and the people who make their living there. He is on good terms with the Sea Gods and with spirits of river, lake, and stream; he is the Divine Ship Captain and all the waters are peaceful when he passes.

Njord is one of the consorts of Nerthus, the Earth Goddess of Vanaheim, land of the Vanic Gods. With her, he brought forth the golden twins Frey and Freya. After the war with the Aesir Gods, hostages were exchanged, and Njord the traveler agreed to go as hostage with his two children to Asgard. This was done because Njord is a superb diplomat, wise in the ways of peacemaking. In little time he had forged a strong alliance with the former enemies of the Vanir, and made them dependent on Vanaheim for much of their food. Njord spends two-thirds of the year in Asgard, coming home for a third of the year to be with his wife Nerthus, but he is often on the waters in his ships. He has two halls, both named Noatun, one in each world.

At one point, the winter goddess Skadi demanded a husband of Odin in exchange for the death of her father, and the canny All-Father made her choose by looking only at the feet of the men living in Asgard. She chose Njord, and they married but later divorced amicably. Skadi disliked the ocean and Njord was not happy in the mountains; by this they became Gods to be called on for amicable and friendly divorces.

Njord can be prayed to for all fishing and travel by boat. He is the Lighthouse God, and can light the way through stormy seas, literally and figuratively. In contrast to his son Frey, who is a more "personal" light-in-darkness that lives within the single heart, Njord is the light-in-darkness for a community, the lighthouse that brings the whole ship company safely to the new shore. He can also be called upon when there is need of diplomacy in “troubled waters”. As a doting father figure – there are those who say that he not only raised Frey and Freya but fostered the orphaned Sigyn as well – he can be called upon by fathers and fathers-to-be, and those who have need of positive father figures. As the Captain’s God, he teaches responsible leadership under difficult circumstances.