Nerthus

"They (several of the celto-germanic tribes of northern Germany) have in common the worship of Nerthus, that is Mother Earth. They believe She is interested in humanity's affairs and drives about among them. On an island in the Ocean sea there is a sacred grove wherein waits a holy wagon covered by a drape. One priest only is allowed to touch it. He can feel the presence of the Goddess when She is there in Her sanctuary and accompa-nies Her with great rever-ence as She is pulled along by kine. It is a time of festive holiday-making in whatever place She deigns to honour with Her advent and stay. No one goes to war, no one takes up arms, in fact every weapon is put away: only at that time are peace and quiet known and prized until the Goddess, having had enough of the people's company, is at last restored by the same priest to her temple. After which, the wagon and the drape, and if you are like to believe me, the deity Herself are bathed in a mysterious pool..."


- from Germania (ch.40)
by Tacitus the Roman, apx 98 C.E.

"ERCE! ERCE! ERCE! MOTHER OF EARTH... HAIL TO THEE, MOTHER OF THE PEOPLE ! BE FRUITFUL IN HIS EMBRACE, FILLED WITH FOOD FOR THE USE OF THE PEOPLE... -then take every kind of meal and have a loaf baked no bigger than the palm of your hand, having kneaded it with milk and holy water, and lay it under the first turned furrow."


- from an Anglo-Saxon "Charm" MS from the 900's

Author Information

Earrach of Pittsburgh

Articles by Earrach of Pittsburgh

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