Old Norse: Nerthus Pronunciation: Nearth-os Alternative: Hertha
Nerthus is Njord’s sister and mother of Freyr and Freyja. Like her brother, she is strongly associated with frith (peace), fertility and fertility rites. Together, Nerthus and Njord govern the prosperity and wealth of men, fertility of the land and good harvests. The “Mother Earth” worshipped by the North Sea Germans, according to the Roman historian Tacitus (writing in the first century of the Christian era). Her worship included the springtime procession of a wagon in which her image was kept, which ended on a holy island. Still, it is said that Njord fathered Frey and Freyja on his sister, who is not named but presumed to be Nerthus ; it is most likely that the feminine and masculine Nerthus/Njord could have been a similar pair of mixed twins.