Näcken – The Nix

Näcken (Neck, Nicor, Nixie or Nokken) are shapeshifting water spirits in Germanic and Norse mythology and folklore. In Scandinavia usually appeared in the form of a young and pretty handsome man.

The Nix (Näcken) seduce a young woman.
The Nix (Näcken) seduce a young woman.

With his beautiful music play, usually on a viola, and wonderful singing he seduces people to come to him into the stream and drown.

Some people try to take advantage of him.
They bring him a treat of;

  • three drops of blood,
  • a black animal,
  • some “brännvin” (Scandinavian vodka) or “snus” (wet snuff).

All dropped into the water, he would then teach them his enchanting form of music.

Even though he teaches them and they can become very prominent musicians, they will somehow, sooner or later, suffer from his evil.

Common disorders include alcoholism, drug abuse, psychological illness, depression and even suicide and death.

Despite its only about nine million citizens, Sweden is world-leading in modern music. Could there be a connection?

Usually, you can swim safely in Sweden’s thousands of lakes and rivers, but you should be extra careful on Thursdays and especially on Midsummer’s Eve. Then Näcken is extra active.

If you run into him, you may try to break his spell by throwing a piece of steel in the water between him and yourself. If that does not work, you can just hope your luck that you will survive the encounter.

Brother Fabian’s Manuscript

Where by the marishes boometh the bittern,
Neckar the soulless one sits with his ghittern.
Sits inconsolable, friendless and foeless.
Waiting his destiny, Neckar the soulless.

Poem by; Sebastian Evans

In Encyclopædia Britannica they have a not so similar description of the Nix as a German (not Germanic) mythological being. Nix.

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