Balladeer’s Blog’s previous looks at neglected deities from the Norse pantheon of gods have been pretty popular, so here’s another one.
GEFJUN – This fertility deity is one of the most misunderstood goddesses from Norse myths and that’s saying something. Gefjun is sometimes referred to as a virgin, but her four sons might disagree with that notion. (Most likely it’s another misunderstanding about how ancient goddesses were often called “virgins” simply because they weren’t married, not because they were celibate.) Those sons were the product of Gefjun mating with Jotuns (Giants).
In the same way that the Korean goddess Halmang was a localized “Mother Earth” for just Jeju Island, Gefjun filled a similar role for Zealand, the largest island in Denmark. By one account Gefjun convinced (or tricked) the Swedish King Gylfi into granting her as much land as she could plow and cultivate for herself. Continue reading