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Submitted on
June 15, 2009
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Goddess - Nerthus by Ravenari Goddess - Nerthus by Ravenari
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Nerthus

A goddess who is often forgotten, and who shouldn't be. Who is perhaps bets known for representing valour, holiness and fertility. Shown veiled or masked. And also represented by boars, birch forests, swamps and wetlands among other things.

I'm not actually a practicioner of Northern traditions, but I do know a lot of people who are, and some of them are champs.

Anyway, this is the cover art for a devotional being written by Nicanthiel, for Nerthus. The book will be Boar, Birch and Bog: Prayers to Nerthus, from Gullinbursti Press.

You can see Nicanthiel's website here: [link]
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:iconthorskegga:
Thorskegga Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful work! And such a rare goddess to see in art.
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you so much. It was an honour to be asked to illustrate Nerthus, and a profound experience.
Reply
:iconcarneous-cacoffiny:
carneous-cacoffiny Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is wonderful, definitely a :+fav:! Merry yule btw!
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :) Blessed Yule / Solstice! :)
Reply
:iconmoenanda:
Moenanda Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2011  Hobbyist Filmographer
speechless... just say.. wow!!
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconlizkidvicious:
lizkidvicious Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2009
this is sick!
I love love love love it!<3<3
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I'm glad you do. Thank you. :)
Reply
:iconbluenephelim:
BlueNephelim Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is lovely, and it has sort of a haunting feeling to it. I love the scene of the birch forest under her arm.
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
*nods* I find her a haunting Goddess as well.
Reply
:iconbluenephelim:
BlueNephelim Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
*sigh* Sometimes I miss the mysticism of the old deities...call me wacky.
Reply
:iconwhisperinghearts:
whisperinghearts Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
Spectacular representation here. It is very mystical and powerful, yet silent (if you can understand what I mean ^^; ).
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you very much. :)
Reply
:iconwhisperinghearts:
whisperinghearts Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
My pleasure. :)
Reply
:iconnibblekat:
NibbleKat Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is a really fascinating goddess... and just a phenomenal piece. I really hope you do more deity art, I do.
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I would very much love to do more deity art, I have way too many projects. Lol.
Reply
:iconmarya666:
MaryA666 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009
really great!
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
thank you. :)
Reply
:iconpirhan:
pirhan Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009
So beautiful. I didn't catch the birch trees at first. I love how you combined them into Nerthus. Very beautiful piece.
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
thank you. :D
Reply
:iconmandarinmoon:
MandarinMoon Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Very beautiful and mysterious :)
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
thank you. :D
Reply
:iconghost-eye:
ghost-eye Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009
The whole image looks so gentle, but I get a sense of quiet power as well.
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
*nods* This is how I feel about the Goddess. That and she's a little spooky.
Reply
:iconmrsgraves:
MrsGraves Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009
Wonderful piece!
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconmargot87:
Margot87 Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009
It's beautiful. I haven't heard of this goddess before but the drawing fits perfectly to the description. And I love the colors :)
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you. :)
Reply
:iconsocrahcat:
Socrahcat Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009
:clap:
really interesting and beautiful picture!
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks!
Reply
:iconsocrahcat:
Socrahcat Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009
you are welcome :aww:
it's a good work...
Reply
:iconjustinraven:
JustinRaven Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009  Professional
You know, I am of this persuasion and I have never really found a satisfactory description of the runes and the beliefs I hold. You have just given me a link to something that has solved that problem for me. Thank you so much. You have no idea how much this person's site rings true for me. I owe you more than you know. I honour and respect your work and the spirit(s) behind it. Thanks again, and also, this image is wonderful. I love this piece. It has to be one of my favourates.
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
*hugs* Thank you. Also, if you ever want to chat runes / rune-castings, flick me an email at ophelias.diary@gmail.com - I'm a rune caster myself. :) As for the sites, these people are good, dedicated, wonderful people with awesome hearts. :D
Reply
:iconjustinraven:
JustinRaven Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009  Professional
That would be great. I started to think about doing them again after reading that site. I used to carve them and cast them, but I stopped because it started to freak me out a little. I decided I liked leaving things up to chance a bit more :P I liked not knowing what was going to happen, but I am interested in doing it again. I made my own Norse Runes, but I think I will make my own set of Anglo Saxon runes. These seem to speak more to my heart. I loved this site. Only instead of clay, I may make them out of stone or wood. Maybe found stones.
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Found stones work really well (that's what my set is made out of), and I tend to only do castings for myself once a year - same for others - but then I cast onto a proper mat, and I find that the answers are more 'far-reaching' than immediate.

They are an amazing (and as you say, a bit spooky) medium!
Reply
:iconjustinraven:
JustinRaven Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Professional
how did you carve them?
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I didn't, I painted them with a mixture of acrylic and a small amount of my own blood. And then applied a thin layer of varnish over the top. Even being pushed into each other, shuffled and thrown, only two have had the paint chip over the years. The stone I used though, was semi-porous, smoothed found river stone. I think the porousness helped.
Reply
:iconjustinraven:
JustinRaven Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Professional
You're probably right. I should pay attention to where I get my stones. I'll do a little research before I start that project. I think trees would be a good source, but I am not going to cut any down for this purpose. If I use them it will be from fallen branches or bark. Both are porous enough, i think. Bark may be cool. The skin of a tree, sloughed off or rubbed off to become carved with runes of wisdom. very symbolic, I think. But I like the idea of stones. I am much more in tune with the earth. Hey, who says they all have to be one thing? Maybe some are stone, some bark. It may be an interesting experiment to find an appropriate surface for each rune. This would be very good and a lesson in patience, as I will more than likely take a long time to find them all. A good life quest. Then each rune can speak to me when it is ready. In the mean time I can use the ones I have or make another set from a single material. I like the ones I have, but I really love the idea of your blood being a part of the paint. That is very appropriate I think, and personal. I think I will be making that a part of my next set.
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Stones actually aren't always thought to be great, because there used to be a Ston rune. On the other hand, wood can be biased - i.e. there is a 'birch' rune, an 'ash' rune, and so on. Which is why it's best to use whatever you like! Polymer clay works really well - can be carved, baked in an oven and so on.

The blotting / using of blood was something that worked for me. I didn't use much - only a drop or two - it was the spirit of the offering I think that made it worthwhile. Though it's about time I offered some more of my 'life-force' to them, because they've been really good to me (and my clients).
Reply
(1 Reply)
:iconluusan:
Luusan Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009
I love this.. She is so beautiful.. Serene and a little eerie.. I love the colors.. they feel like dusk, and caves, and bog-lights..
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Wow, thank you. :)
Reply
:iconsnowmask:
snowmask Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
It's wonderfully refreshing to see a change of subject in your paintings, and very educative nonetheless :)

Your technique in conveying fur always wows me :heart:
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! And I'm glad for the change in subject myself. :)
Reply
:icontiger1526:
tiger1526 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009
beautiful. I love how you fit all the symbolism together and still have a wonderful color theme. bravo! :clap:
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you! :)
Reply
:icontiger1526:
tiger1526 Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2009
no prob :D
Reply
:iconvfirefalcon:
VFireFalcon Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009   General Artist
Beautiful. So mysterious, and I love the mask.
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you. :)
Reply
:iconbaby-snakes:
baby-snakes Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2009  Professional General Artist
omg this literally gave me chills. all the way down my legs. > <
Reply
:iconravenari:
Ravenari Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Wow, awesome.
Reply
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