Most important Norse goddess, one of a group of fertility deities called Vanir. Her father was the sea god Njörd, and her brother and male counterpart was Freyr. She was the goddess of battle and death as well as love and fertility. Half the heroes slain in battle went to her domain, Folkvangr, the other half to Odin's Valhalla. She taught a powerful magic to the Aesir, probably involving sexuality.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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