By in Spirituality

Thor's Day

Did you know that the days of the week are (mostly) named after deities from the Norse pantheon? Thursday comes to us from an Old English word that means, “Thor's Day.” Thor was the Germanic equivalent of the Greek god Zeus or the Roman god Jupiter. Another name he went by was “Thunor,” which more closely hints at his connection with thunder and lightning.

Thor was a great, hammer-wielding deity who set the standard for an honourable and fierce warrior. All human warriors of the time strove to be as formidable and courageous as Thor. But the god was also known for protecting and giving comfort to people, and for hallowing places, things or events like weddings. He was the defender of order in Norse society, and also played a role in ensuring the fertility of the land.

Thor's cognate deity, Jupiter, has given his name to other words for this day: the French jeudi , the Spanish jueves , and the Italian giovedi are all linked to Jupiter.

Thor's wife Sif is less known to us today. She was a goddess of the earth, whose golden hair is sometimes said to represent fields of wheat. She is also associated with protection, as is Thor. The rowan tree, which was sacred to her, is associated with protection and with driving away evil spirits and predators who hunt at night.



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Image credit: Rowan berries © Kyla Matton Osborne

Sources:

Douglas Harper, “ Thursday ” (Online Etymology Dictionary)

Raven Kaldera, “ Sif and the Rowan Tree ” (Northern Tradition Paganism)

Dan McCoy, “ Thor ” (Norse Mythology for Smart People)


Image Credit » Kyla Matton Osborne

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Comments

Kasman wrote on October 16, 2014, 2:43 PM

Interesting - and I believe the months of the year were all derived from words used by the Romans.

momathome wrote on October 16, 2014, 2:47 PM

I knew this (even about Sif) but I'm always surprised when I run into someone who doesn't, of course I was interested in myth and legends when I was a kid so I read everything I could get my hands on about the topic.

momathome wrote on October 16, 2014, 2:49 PM

Kasman Yes, they were latin and many of them are named after feasts or gods/goddess.

AliCanary wrote on October 16, 2014, 4:07 PM

Oh, now I would have thought Jupiter/Zeus related to Odin, as father of the gods, but I can see the correlation in those other languages. I've learned some things! I guess they had to make Sif a dark-haired beauty in the movies so as not to compete with Thor's own golden locks ;)

AliCanary wrote on October 16, 2014, 4:09 PM

As a Wonder Woman fan, my area of concentration was Greek and Roman gods--I only knew bare-bones stuff about Norse mythology.

Feisty56 wrote on October 16, 2014, 5:21 PM

I didn't know any of this as I cannot recall having learned or read much about Norse mythology at all. Interesting though. I'll have to ask one of my grandsons about it as he had an early interest in mythology.

momathome wrote on October 16, 2014, 5:35 PM

AliCanary I was just fascinated by the entirety of it and so I read about them all: greek, norse, roman, aztec, american indian, Inca, etc.

JanetJenson wrote on October 16, 2014, 7:36 PM

Yes I used to tell that to the students in an art history class, as most of them had never thought about it before. I did not tell them that I was born on Thor's day, however, nor how much I love thunder and lightning.

imphavok wrote on October 16, 2014, 8:26 PM

Happy Thor's Day to you :) Thor is my husband's Patron Deity, so we work with the Norse Gods a fair amount (I'm a Pan gal myself) :)

paigea wrote on October 16, 2014, 11:08 PM

Now that I read this, I think I did learn about this at one time and completely forgotten

idyll wrote on October 17, 2014, 5:14 AM

it is interesting..never heard about it, the day are named after deities from the Norse pantheon. thanks for sharing information.

LoudMan wrote on October 17, 2014, 8:13 AM

All hail Odin the All-Father! :) I LOVED THIS! Thank you for giving a non-xian a voice.

LoudMan wrote on October 17, 2014, 8:15 AM

Actually, all of the pre-judaism religions pointed to one primary deity, just in different languages and styles. I've found these things to be amazing and there is much to human history which has been covered up and destroyed by the gawdbot monsters.

Yeah. I said it. No shame, either.

BarbRad wrote on October 17, 2014, 1:40 PM

I knew that. WE studied that way back in my early school years, though I'm not sure which one. Whenever I hear wonder, I remember Thor.