Sif: The Goddess of Earth And Family

With her long and mesmerizing golden hair, Sif is one of the most beautiful and important Norse goddesses. Wife to …

With her long and mesmerizing golden hair, Sif is one of the most beautiful and important Norse goddesses. Wife to the great Thor, she is associated with earth, family and fertility.

Short Facts

Tribe: Aesir

Goddess of: autumn, beauty, earth, family, fertility, fidelity, harvest, marriage, passion, peace, strength, sunlight, vitality, and wheat

Wife of: Thor

Mother of: Thrud and Ullr

Other names: Sib, Sibb, Siff, Siv

Sif responsibilities

Caring for family and protecting wedlock, civil discourse, fertility of the lands, making golden wheat, peace-keeping, rich harvest and watching over the earth

Animals Associated with Sif

A pair of tundra swans

Sif weapon/domain of power

Family unity that gives strength, her calm words that bring serenity, her passion, power of the earth, her stunning beauty enhanced by her long and enthralling golden hair, and the sacred vows of marriage

The goddess with the golden locks

Sif is the goddess of autumn, earth, family and marriage. She oversees as well matters of beauty, devotion, fertility, harvest, passion, and peace. Sif is the wife of Thor, the god of thunder. Together they have a daughter named Thrud. Sif also has a son from an unnamed father, an indistinct deity by the name of Ullr. Sif’s name means ‘relation by marriage’ in Old Norse.

Apart from being the spouse of one of the most prominent Aesir gods, Sif is well known for her beauty. Her golden hair is as radiant as the sun, flowing down her back to her ankles like a dazzling drape. One of the most valuable things to the gods, Sif’s hair symbolizes farm fields full of golden wheat.

A foul cut and a fine replacement

Every day Sif would brush her astonishing golden locks with a jeweled comb and wash them in shining creeks. She would later lie down and dry her hair under the sunlight. One day, however, Sif fell asleep, and Loki, the god of mischief, came and cut off her lovely locks. Sif was devastated when she found out about this, so did the rest of the gods. Thor on the other hand was enraged. It didn’t take long though for the culprit to be found.

In no time, Loki was forced to restore the damage he had done. That led to the unofficial competition of the dwarves of Svartalfheim and the extraordinary gifts they fashioned for the Aesir. Sif got a marvelous set of hair made of pure gold, which made her more beautiful than before. Furthermore, Thor received the mighty hammer Mjolnir, and Loki was punished by having his lips sewed together.

In the old texts

In the Poetic Edda, Sif is mentioned in the poems Harbardsljod, Lokasenna, Hymiskvida and Thrymskvida.

Sif is introduced in the Prologue of the Prose Edda as Thor’s wife; the loveliest woman with hair of gold.

In the Gylfaginning book, Ullr is brought up as Sif’s son and Thor’s stepson.

In the Skaldskaparmal book, Sif appears five times, the most outstanding being when Loki cuts off her hair.


Is Sif a giantess?

There are very few sources that mention Sif as a jotunn. Most are adamant about Sif being an Aesir goddess. Perhaps Sif’s connection with the earth must have misled some of the old authors. Moreover, Sif is referred to as a rival of Jarnsaxa, a jotunn with whom Thor had Magni. This could have worked as a support for the theory of Sif as a jotunn. Yet, the vast majority of the old texts agree that Sif is a goddess and not a giantess (jotunn).

Why did Loki cut off Sif’s hair?

Loki is known for his mischievous ways. Whether out of jealousy of Sif’s remarkably beautiful golden locks or just for fun he shears her hair. The Asgardians are distraught by this wicked deed and Thor threatens Loki to make up for it. In the end, Loki compensates with a finer set of hair and also with great gifts for the gods.

Featured Image Credit: A. Chase, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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Vasilis Megas

Vasilis Megas (a.k.a. Vasil Meg) lives in Athens, Greece. He is a Greek- and Norse Mythology enthusiast. Vasilis has written and published 16 books - mostly fantasy and science fiction - and he is now working as a content writer, journalist, photographer and translator.