"Idise" (1905) by Emil Doepler

Chapter XIV. Dísir


1. There are twelve Æsir whose nature is divine. The Dísir are no less sacred, nor are they less powerful. Those of the Æsir are called Ásynjur, those of the Vanir are called Vanadísir. Frigga- Jörð is the highest of the Dísir. She would become Óðinn’s wife.1

2. A second Dís is Sága-Iðunn. She lives at Sökkvabekkr, which is a large dwelling, identical to the moon.2

3.A third is Eir, the best of physicians.

4. A fourth is Urðr. She is a maiden, and women who die as virgins serve her.3

5. A fifth is Fulla. She too is a virgin, and she goes about with her hair loose and a gold band around her head. She carries Frigga’s casket, looks after her footwear, and shares secrets with her. She is Frigga’s sister.4

6. Freyja, along with Frigga, is the most noble. She married the man called Óðr. Their daughter, Hnoss, is so beautiful that from her name comes the word for a treasure that is exceptionally handsome and valuable. Their other daughter is Gersemi. Óðr went traveling on distant paths while Freyja remained behind, crying tears of red-gold. Freyja has many names, because she gave herself different names as she traveled among unknown peoples searching for Óðr. She is called Mardöll and Hörn and Gefn and Sýr. Freyja owns Brísingamen. She is called Vanadís, Þrungva, and Skjalf.5

7. The seventh Dís, Sjöfn, is deeply committed to turning the thoughts of both men and women o love. The word for lover, sjafni, is derived from her name.

8. The eighth Dís is Lofn. She is so gentle and so good to invoke that she has permission from Alföðr-Óðinn or Frigga to arrange unions between men and women, even if earlier offers have been refused and unions have been banned. From her name comes the word lof, meaning permission as well as high praise.

9.The ninth is Vár. She listens to the oaths and private agreements that are made between men and women. For this reason, such agreements are called várar. She takes vengeance on those who break trust.

10. The tenth, Vör, is so knowledgeable and inquires so deeply that nothing can be hidden from her. Hence, the expression that a woman becomes vör (“aware”) of what she learns.

11. The eleventh is Syn. She guards the doors in the hall and locks out those who ought not to enter. She is also appointed to defend cases that she wants to see refuted in the garðar. From this situation comes the expression that a syn (“denial”) is advanced when something is refused.

12. The twelfth, Hlín, is appointed to guard over people whom Frigga wishes to protect from danger. From her name comes the expression that he who escapes finds hleinir (“peace and quiet”).

13. The thirteenth, Snotra, is wise and courtly. From her name comes the custom of calling a clever woman or man snótr.

14. The fourteenth is Gná. Frigga sends her to different worlds on errands. She has the horse named Hófvarpnir, which rides through the air and on the sea. Once some Vanir saw her path as she rode through the air, and one of them said:

15. “What flies there? What fares thereor moves through the air?

16. She replied: “ I fly not,though I fareand move through the airon Hófvarpnir,the one whom Hamskerpir begot with Garðrofa.”

17. From Gná’s name comes the custom of saying that something gnæfir (looms) when it rises up high.

18. Sól and Nátt6, whose natures have already been described, are counted among the Dísir.7

19. Rindr, the mother of Váli, is counted among the Dísir.8

20. Other Dísir are Gróa, Hlíf, Hlífþrasa, Þjóðvarta, Bjartr, Blik, Blíðr, Friðr, Sigyn, Sunna, Nanna, Sif, Skaði, Móðguðr, Böðvildr, Alveig, Auða, Sinmara, Röskva, Þrúðr, Gerðr, Hlín, and Ilmr.9

21. There also those lesser dísir who watch overmen, whose natures will be described further on.10

-The Asatru Edda

Footnotes:

1 Gylfaginning 20, 35.2 Gylfaginning 35, cp. Investigations into Germanic Mythology vol. 1ch. 121.3 Gylfaginning 35, Gefjun is a name of Urðr in Hrafnagaldr Óðins 12, it can be demonstrated that the dead go to Urðr, and women are in her service, cp. Investigations into Germanic Mythology vol. 1 ch. 63-4.4 Gylfaginning 35, the Second Merseburg charm.5 Gylfaginning 35, Skáldskaparmál 75.6 Gylfaginning 35, here “Nátt” replaces “Bil” (Iðunn), who will be described later.7 Gylfaginning 35.8 Gylfaginning 36.9 Collected from various sources.10 Cp. Fáfnismál 13, Atlamál in Grœnlenzku 26.

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