"Help", "Mercy." A name of a minor Norse goddess who is, according to Snorri Sturluson, "the best physician." In the eddic poem Fjölsvinnsmál, Eir is one of nine handmaidens who sit at Menglöð's knees on Lyfjaberg, a hill or mountain with healing properties. The other maidens are Hlíf, Hlífþrasa, Þjóðvarta, Björt, Blíð, Blíðr, Fríð, and Aurboða. They protect those who give offerings (blóta) to them:
- Every summer
- in which men offer to them,
- at the holy place,
- no pestilence so great shall come
- to the sons of men,
- but they will free each from peril.
- Fjölsvinnsmál, 38-41.
- Gylfaginning, 35.