Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lady Freyja

Freyja, for some people she is just one woman in the Norse Mythology. For Others she is  the Goddess of Love and Wives. And others think she was the lover of Odin and the Goddess of War. What is true and what is not? I think that depends on the mind and heart of each person.

I came across Freyja in my studies of Wiccan. And even thought she is a very important Goddess in the Northern Beliefs and in the Pagan Society, there isn't too much historical reference about her. Almost everything we know about her is base upon Myths and Legends. 
In the Norse Pantheon the deities are divided into two groups, the Vanir and The Aesir. The Gods and Goddesses of the Vanir are connected with the earth; there fore they are more associate with people and animals of the earth. And the Gods and Goddesses of the Aesir are connected to the sky and are associated with the larger aspects of working with the Universe.

History books has told us Freyja, also know as Freya, Freja, Freyia, Frøya, Freia, Gefn, Hörn, Mardöll, Sýr, Valfreyja, and Vanadís. Is a Goddess of the Vanir; she is a Goddess who is specifically associated with love, fertility, sex and sexuality, desire, wisdom, power, magic/sorcery, war and death. Freyja is the owner of the necklace Brísingamen, rides a chariot driven by two cats, owns the boar Hildisvíni, possesses a cloak of falcon feathers, and, by her husband Óðr, is the mother of two daughters, Hnoss and Gersemi. Freyja, was also known as "The Fair One", for her attributes; many of them inherited from various personifications of the Great Goddess who far preceded the Gods of Valhalla. 

Freyja being the chief of the Valkyries; the demi-goddesses who select the noble and heroic dead and carry them to the Realm of the Gods, show us that even when she have always been describe as a Goddess of Love and Beauty, she had her fierce side too. So we should not forget she is the Goddess of war and battle as well. Some of the legends say that Freyja’s power and ability to gain what she desires is so strong that at one point she works out a deal with Odin that allows her to NOT ONLY be entitled to claiming half the souls of fallen men on the battle field, but to also have first pick of them.

Freyja’s home in Asgard, the relam of the Gods, is called Folkvang, “Field of the Folk”, and her hall is called Sessrumnir, “a space with many seats”.  Freyja’s name is Old Norse for “Lady” and she has a twin brother Freyr who’s name mean’s “Lord”.  Some who practice Norse Paganism use these two as their Lord and Lady figures in their rites, while they are connected in a bloodline sense, they were also seen as consorts and lovers in some myths, coming together to ensure the continued fertility of the earth.  Together they are sometimes seen as the Lord and Lady who unite to bring fertility back to the earth through their union at Beltane.

Freyja is the Daughter of Time, as well as the patron and protectress of the human race. On her breast she wears "the jewel whose power cannot be resisted," Brisingamen. Brising meaning fire, specifically the fire of the enlightened mind, and men meaning jewel. The Brisingamen neckalce was crafted by four dwarfs; named Alfrigg, Berling, Dvalin, and Grer, and together are known as the Brisings; They had made a necklace of such extreme beauty with such artistry that it glittered like a constellation of stars in the night sky. In ancient times the winter constellation which we today know as Orion was at that time called "Freya's Gown" by the Norse and Teutons, and the sword belt in Orion was called "Freya's Girdle."  Around Freyja's lovely neck it became an emblem of the fruits of the heavens and earth. It is said that the dwarves told her that the only thing they would accept in exchange for the necklace was the goddess herself, or rather her body, which was theirs to use for the next four nights (one night for each dwarf). Unable to refuse because of her compelling desire for the necklace, the goddess allowed them to have their twisted way with her for four days before fleeing with the necklace back to Asgard.

As part of her knowledge she was blessed with the gift of magick, known as Seidr. Seidr is often associated with shifting and changing reality. Shapeshifting is often said to be a mark of someone who has knowlege or access to Seidr and, since spell-craft is about changing and reshaping reality, it also falls under the realm of Seidr. It is said that Freyja and Odin worked together to exchange their magickal knowledge and wisdom; Freyja gave him knowledge of her magick and Odin shared with her the widsom of the runes. Some modern Norse Pagans see this as the birth of rune magick as it is sometimes practiced today.

She in her turn, produced treasures for the earth. Freyja flew over the earth, sprinkling morning dew and summer sunlight behind her. She shook spring flowers from her golden hair and whenever she cried; and Freyja wept profusely, especially during her search for her husband, Odur. When her tears fell on rock, they turned to gold. When shed at sea they turned to amber.

In the Poetic Edda, Freyja is mentioned or appears in the poems Völuspá Grímnismál, Lokasenna, Þrymskviða, Oddrúnargrátr, and Hyndluljóð.

Miscellaneous Associations

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