A Heathen's Path, Asatru, brisingamen, chooser of the slain, Death, fertility, folkvangr, Freyja, Freyr, Frigg, Frigga, Goddesses, Gods, Heathen, Heathenism, Hel, Life, Magic, Norse, Odin, Pagan, Pagan Blog Project, Paganism, Religion, Runes, seid, seith, sessrumnir, vanadis, vanaheim, vanic, vanir
She rides across the fields, chariot drawn by twin cats, their paws silent upon the sky. Golden hair flows behind her, and weapons flash about her person. Her eyes are piercing, judging, and they see what many would have hidden. She is beautiful, to the point there are not words in all the tongues of the world to describe her, and she wears the necklace Brísingamen. Her grace is the grace of the seductress, and the warrior beyond peer who seems to dance the dances of death and blood and steel. She is the Vanic Goddess, Keeper of the Fields of both Life and Death, and she reaps her crops of produce and of men. To her goes the first pick of the slain, which she takes to her field Fólkvangr and her hall Sessrumnir. She and her brother Freyr reside in Asgard, though born of Vanaheim, for they led the war between two realms and remained there afterwards as an accord of the peace.
She is the Vanadis, the Chooser of the Slain, the Mistress of Seith Magic. She is the Goddess Freyja.
When I started the blog, I said that the three Norse Gods I was closest to were Thor, Hel, and Freyja. As of late, I can’t say that I’ve felt that close to Freyja, but still I couldn’t pass up this chance to talk about her, because if I could I think I would like to be close to her, though perhaps not for the obvious reasons.
I am close to Thor because I’m a lot like him, middle wise and more willing to solve my problems with action and force than with cunning and trickery. I am close to Hel because I am dark, know the value of death, and like to think of myself as something of an inevitable, unstoppable, unrelenting force. The reason I would like to be close to Freyja is because she embodies things that I would dearly love to truly be, gifted beyond measure in the arts of love, seduction, magic, and war. While I am not unskilled in these things, or at least not lacking in potential, when I am honest with myself I admit I am no where near what I would love to be in those area.
Still, Freyja is probably one of the Norse Gods I would be most careful around. Though many would be blinded by her beauty and think her naught but a sex kitten or seductress, too familiar are they with Greek Aphrodite or Roman Venus, for though Freyja is a Vanic Goddess rather than an Asgardian, still she is amongst the most deadly of all the Gods and Goddesses of Any Pantheon. She may equal Aphrodite in the talents of sex and sexuality, but she is well the equal of Ares, Odin, Mars, Tyr, or any other God of War when it comes to battle (Word is still out on Kratos). It says something about my ancestors that it was a Woman, not a Man, that was seen as highest of the War Gods and who got first pick of the slain warriors that would fight at Ragnarok.
It also suggests there were at least two main “War Cults” among the Norse, one dedicated to the “Frenzy” of Odin, the other to Freyja. We can only guess what those dedicated to the path of Freyja were like, but no doubt they were as much a sight to behold on the battle field as the fearsome Berserkers. I wonder if they were as graceful in granting death as the Berserkers were fearsome.
But just as there was more than sensuality, there is more than slaughter. Freyja is the Goddess of fertility and this is both of lands and people. Many a plant bears here name in the Norselands, and/or were sacred to her. Of these Rye is a sacred grain, the flower Polygala vulgaris bears the name Freyja’s Hair, and the Birch Tree was sacred to her (I almost got a birch wand because of this, but more on wands in another post). An offering of Rye will not do you poorly, and I have heard through UPG from others that she has a great love of strawberries. She is also the Goddess of young women seeking love, sex, and children, and watches over them.
She is also the only God besides Odin who has two of the Eldar Futhark Runes dedicated to her. The first is Fehu (she shares it with Odin’s wife Frigga), which is the Rune of Cattle and Wealth, as well as success. The Second is Berkana, the Birch Goddess, which represents the feminine, birth, and fertility.
Ultimately, Freyja is a Goddess who has no problems using any and all of her talents to achieve her ends. She will use magic, sex, or violence as easily as each other to obtain her desires, and she is truly gifted in each to the point where few can stand against her. Indeed, in terms of power both raw and refined she is equaled only by Odin, Frigga, Thor, and Hel. Even then, I am not sure that she is surpassed by any but Thor, who is said to be strongest of all the gods. But if he passes her in strength, he is passed in other areas by her. Such is the balance of life.
Hail unto Freyja, most beautiful, most deadly, most gracious, and most cruel! Glory to thy name, Warriors to thy hall, and Honor to thine person! Hail, Goddess of my people!
It’s worth noting that Aphrodite also has warlike aspects and is not nearly the fluffy sex/love goddess many people picture. The gods are rarely as simple as they are often portrayed, and even in Greek mythology where most of us are familiar with a simplified function, there’s usually much more to them once you actually dig into the myths. In particular, I usually think of Freyja and Aphrodite as both having the same function as older near eastern goddesses Ishtar and Inanna, who were also goddesses of fertility and sexuality as well as war. The saying “all’s fair in love and war” comes to mind for me – we can be most warlike around the people we love.
I enjoyed this post. I’m not as familiar with Freyja as I am with some other gods. I enjoy reading and learning about her, but have never really tried to actively worship her and learn more on a personal level. The one time I planned to perform a ritual focused on her, a lot of things went wrong so that it kept getting pushed back until I finally gave up. I learned a lot from this post, and I’m glad you shared more about her. Thanks!
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