Saga, Eir, Gefjon,
Var, Vor and Synsnotra
In the array of goddesses in the Prose Edda, Saga is found next
Frigg; possibly Saga is only another name for Frigg. Her house is
Sœkkvabek; cool waves wash over her dwelling, and here Odin and
drink each day from crocks of gold. Some generations since, it was
common opinion that she was the goddess of history, “saga”; but it
certain that her name was Sága and not Saga (with a short vowel).
more reasonable explanation has been proposed than that the name
have been formed from a root found in at sjá (Gothic saihwan) and
has the meaning: she who sees — and knows — all things, in common
Odin.2 Eir is the goddess of healing, her name having originally
common noun eir, “mercy.” Gefjon, according to Snorri’s Edda, was
maiden, to whom came after death all who died maids. Odin says of
Lokasenna that she knows the fates as well as himself. It thus
seems as if
Gefjon, like Saga, corresponds to Odin’s wife Frigg. There is
having to do with a Gefjon who was one of Odin’s following. She
king Gylfi of Sweden for as much land as she could plow around in
day, and he promised her the gift. She accordingly transformed her
into oxen, put them before the plow, and with them she plowed
loose all the
land that once lay where now lies Lake Mälaren. This parcel of
drew out into the Baltic, and the land is now called Zealand;
there she made
her home, and there she was wedded to Odin’s son Scyld. Var hears
oaths of fidelity that men and women make to each other. Hence, if
be true, these promises are known as várar, and Var punishes those
who break them.
Vor is endowed with prudence; she searches into all things so that
remains hidden from her. Syn “guards the door of the hall” and
unworthy from entering; she also hinders men from bearing false
courts of law; thence, says Snorri, we get syn, “the act of
synja). Snotra is wise and decorous of manner.
Andreas Munch: Norse Mythology: Legends of Gods
and Heroes. The American-Scandinavian Foundation, New
York. 1926, pp. 28-29.
Rasmus B. Anderson (Ed.): The Elder Eddas of Saemund
Sigfusson and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson.
Norræna Society, London-New York. 1906.
Back to the main page