The goddess Nerthus

by 5ocietyx

1905 artist’s impression of the procession of Nerthus

‘In Germania, Tacitus records that the remote Suebi tribes were united by their veneration of the goddess at his time of writing and maintained a sacred grove on an (unspecified) island and that a holy cart rests there draped with cloth, which only a priest may touch. The priests feel her presence by the cart, and, with deep reverence, attend her cart, which is drawn by heifers (virgin cows). Everywhere the goddess then deigns to visit, she is met with celebration, hospitality, and peace. All iron objects are locked away, and no one will leave for war. When the goddess has had her fill she is returned to her temple by the priests. Tacitus adds that the goddess, the cart, and the cloth are then washed by slaves in a secluded lake. The slaves are then drowned.’

In the image above the cows are shown as white, and this could possibly relate to the Chillingham cattle of Northumberland. The man on the left is wearing the caw, or band, of a full bard, or Druid of ancient Briton. He also appears to be holding a divining rod. The other men wear white robes, signifying their class of bard as ‘Ovydd (Ovate)’, or herald bard, also known as ‘Gwynvardd’ – a white bard. On their cart is the goddess, with two outstretching heads, not dissimilar to descriptions of the Ark of the Covenant.

taken  from -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerthus

Notes on ancient Britain and The Britons (1858), by William Barnes, B.D.

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