From Iceland — Gods Of Iceland: Jörð, The Biracial Earth Mother

Gods Of Iceland: Jörð, The Biracial Earth Mother

Published December 28, 2020

Gods Of Iceland: Jörð, The Biracial Earth Mother
Photo by
Hjart—Wikimedia Commons

Strengths: She’s Odin’s daughter.

Weaknesses: She’s also his wife. (Or one of them anyway).

Modern Analogy: Is unschooling her children on a homestead. It’s going really well.

Jörð doesn’t play a very active role in the tales of Norse mythology, and she’s hardly mentioned in the Poetic and Prose Eddas, but that doesn’t mean she isn’t important. She’s literally the personification of the Earth, in the same way that Sól is the personification of the sun, and Máni is the the personification of the moon. Jörð is also Thor’s mother, which explains where he gets his powers from. I mean, it seems highly unlikely he got it all from Odin.

Some sources suggest that Jörð was a giantess, which isn’t uncommon for women in Norse Mythology in general, or for wives of Odin, for that matter. Unusually, she is both a giantess as well as being an Æsir goddess. In the Gylfaginning, it is also revealed that Jörð was born of Nótt (or Night, a jötun who is the personification of the nighttime). Nótt is described as being ‘black and dark in accordance with her ancestry’, meaning that Jörð is biracial and officially a NGOC (Norse God of Colour). And of course, by extension, so is Thor, which is pretty cool. Racial diversity isn’t what first comes to mind when once thinks of Norse Mythology, but Jörð is here to prove otherwise.

Fjörgyn is another name that Jörð is sometimes referred to with, which is also used in the masculine form Fjörgynn, which would suggest that Jörð is a god who continues to blur binary boundaries where ever they find them. Confusingly (or actually, as we should have expected, since we’re dealing with gods here) Fjörgynn is recorded as the father of Frigg, who is also married to Odin. This means that Odin married Jörð (his own daughter) and then went on, in turn, to marry his Frigg (his own granddaughter). TLDR: just about everyone in Norse mythology is married to each other/screwing each other/also somehow related to each other.

Since Jörð isn’t mentioned as being involved in much Edda action, it might seem like the fact that she is Thor’s mother is her biggest accomplishment. After all, Thor is one of the biggest names in Norse Mythology. However, being the personification of the Earth itself is a heavy occupation to hold. Perhaps the reason Jörð is less present when it comes to the squabbling and skirmishes of her fellow divine beings, is because she’s busy embodying everything that we see around us (and also representing a big fuck you to all the white supremacists who appropriate Norse Mythology for their racist agenda).

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