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Gefion

by Micha F. Lindemans
Gefion ("giver") is an old-Scandinavian vegetation and fertility goddess, especially connected with the plough. She was considered the patron of virgins and the bringer of good luck and prosperity. Every girl who dies a virgin will become Gefion's servant. She is married to King Skjold or Scyld ¹ a son of Odin, and lived in Leire, Denmark, where she had a sanctuary. The Swedish kings are supposed to be her descendants.

It is traditionally claimed that Gefion created the island of Zealand ("Sjaelland" in Danish) by ploughing the soil out of the central Swedish region with the help of her sons (four Swedish oxen), creating the great Swedish lakes in the process. In Copenhagen, Denmark, there is a large fountain showing Gefion in the process of ploughing.

Gefion could be another form of Frigg who is also known under that name.

¹ This Scyld is the same person whom the Beowulf poet alludes to at the beginning of that poem.


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  • Also known as:
    Gefjon

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