Norse Mythology Doesn’t Have Nature Gods

Okay, it does, a bit. That was clickbait. But it seems to me that the Aesir generally have a lot more to do with human concerns and the inner states of our minds than they have to do with natural phenomena. The Aesir, I think, are about how we as humans relate to the world. I don’t think that all of our gods would exist if humans didn’t exist. There are nature deities, for sure, Thor and Sif can be considered nature deities in large part, for example, and of course we have the Vanir and the jotnar who are even closer to nature.

(It hurts a little to admit this, but I always felt there was something missing from Norse mythology/religion. It wasn’t until I met Veles that I knew what that was.)

Maybe it’s just me misinterpreting things, but I don’t think we have any deities (jotnar aside) who embody natural phenomena. Skadi lives in the mountains, but she is not mountains herself. Njord lives in oceans and harbours, but he is not the ocean himself. Freyr is lord of fertility and harvest, but he is not the yield. None of them are 100% Aesir; the only one I can think of who is undeniably a nature god is Thor. Even then, he is descended from giants.

Perhaps this reflects the societies that existed when our historical records were written down. I suspect that an actual Scandinavian pagan would reflect a different worldview and a different view of the gods.

But it does strike me that our gods, as we know them from Teh Lore, are human-based; that is, how we think of them and what we know of them is all based around our existence as human beings. There aren’t any gods worth mentioning, seemingly, that exist whether or not we think of them, that don’t give a shit about us.

I don’t know where to go with this. I would love to hear other people’s thoughts.

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One thought on “Norse Mythology Doesn’t Have Nature Gods

  1. solsdottir 17. January, 2018 / 03:16

    I agree with you on this one – after all, Aegir is the god of the ocean, but Njord helps sailors and merchants. And Thor, I think isn’t so much a personfication of thunder as a protective god who has thunder as one of his powers. The whole Njord = ocean is a hangover from 19th century theories of myth.

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