My Date With Nerthus

Nerthu Procession 2013 altar
Nerthus Altar: Photo by Shane

For weeks, months I had been dreaming, imagining and seeing white fabric, with white shapes and white stitching.  A white on white on white wall hanging, but I was having difficulty with seeing what the white shape was.  Was it a goddess, was she sitting, standing, was it an animal, was there a god and what were those horns?

It was not until I read the post on the Ravens Knolls blog about Midgard with its procession of Nerthus and seeing the pictures of the two men who draw Nerthus’s Cart, that I finally figured out who it was that has been whispering my ear for all those weeks and months.  Nerthus the matron deity of the Midgard festival, a mother earth goddess from Germanic roots 

Nerthus’s cart is traditionally pictured as being drawn by two white oxen.  As I was reading the blog post and various links about Nerthus, a vision popped into my head, or more likely placed there, of two men wearing matching white tabards with white oxen heads with white stitching.  That white on white on white that I have been dreaming and think of, it all made much more sense now.


After a few days of contemplation, further visions and whispered messages of matching white oxen tabards, I contacted the lovely Brynn, Nerthus’s gythia (High Priestess) for the Heathen Community in and around Ottawa, and put forward my idea, of sewing two matching white oxen tabards, as a gift to the Heathen and Midgard community, and to honour Nerthus and her gythia.  Yes was the resounding reply along with much love from one crafty priestess to another.  It was also decided that we would keep mum about what we were plotting until the unveiling at the procession of Nerthus at Midgard.

Nerthus tabard 003

Because we decided this I was unable to get measurements of the two men who traditionally drew Nerthus’s cart but as I was creating these tabards to honour Nerthus and her community I am sure she had a hand in sending me the ‘husband’ who was of similar size that I borrowed while I was at Made on Marion buying ribbon for the edges of the tabards. His wife was most obliging, and he was not perturbed that a strange woman in a bright green and brown coat was asking him if it was ok to measure him.  ‘Kinda normal when you are married to a seamstress’ he told me as I was taking my tape measure out of my bag.

Nerthus tabard 021

The design and tabards came together quickly after that and they sewed together like a dream.  A lot like the reoccurring dream I have been having of white on white on white.  And so it was the tabards were finished with a little bloodshed and many cups of tea, neither which fell on the fabric, and I carefully wrapped each tabard in leftover fabric and tied them with leftover ribbon, and sent them to Canada care of Brynn the gythia with a fervent pray to Nerthus that they would arrive in time for the Midgard, at Raven’s Knoll.

Nerthus tabard 045

The tabards did arrive safe and sound and well before Midgard, and Brynn was thrilled and for a second time we both shed tears of love and joy at what we were gifting the community the Nerthus. Now all we had to do was to wait until Midgard, and the Procession of Nerthus to see if the rest of the community liked what I had created, and if they fit the two men who drew Nerthus’s Cart.

Nethus Procession midguard 2013
Photo taken by Shane

And as you can see from the photos here The tabards where a hit, and they fit !! hooray most awesome.

Nerthus Procession 2013 back
Photo by Shane

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