Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow at last

Coincidence or not, it's amusing to think that by the time my thoughts turn to Skadi, it finally starts snowing.

Lately, I've been on a Freyja kick--who is she? What does she really stand for? What kind of person would she be if mortal? These kinds of questions turned me to a website called, which offers a very complete (albeit from one person's point of view) look of Freyja, the lore concerning Her, and even comments on many pictures/drawings/likenesses of Her.

It's very nice to find a new source of information and to read the thoughts of others; I was even lucky enough to get a glimpse of Freyja as described by this godhi: he equates her name with Berchta (thought by some to be a seperate Germanic/Continental goddess), which means "Bright" or "Shining", and so our Lady of beauty brings people together through love with Her light shining upon all. She is seen in those who prevent strife, who appear lovely to all, and even those of us who set up our friends on dates in the knowledge that they'll hit it off (and everyone but those two know it!). She seeks out passion above all; according to the information on FreyjaFirst, the names Odhin and Odr are both translated as "Passion", though in slightly different forms. Freyja seeks out those who live at the forefront of all things and dive into every activity fully aware of that moment. This shows that we can also learn to live in the now and (cliche as it sounds) live each moment as though it were our last.

However, I disagree somewhat on one point. When it comes to Freyja's modern image as a battle-goddess (and subsequent comparisons to, say, Ishtar), the author of FreyjaFirst sees this as wholly wrong, as She works to bring people together through goodwill and love. As for my views, I have read the posts online of others who saw (very generally) the Aesir as more battle-oriented gods while the Vanir tend to fight only in defense of them and theirs. As I found this view first, I've had much time to think it over and see how it seems to "fit" with what I've discovered. Even now it makes sense: the boar is a powerful symbol of Freyr and Freyja, and was worn on helms to protect the wearer in battle. More animal symbolism can be seen in Her associations with/aspects of hawk (or falcon) and cat: both are hunters, and a mother cat will fight to the death to protect her kittens.
Another sense of this could be seen in the Aesir-Vanir war; I can imagine that Freyja, known for seidhr-sorcery, could get a glimpse of what those on the other side were up to. (Seidhr, or "seething", is thought to be closely related to shamanic practices as the practitioner went into a trance in order to see how future events might turn and what might be done to change them.)

In any case, let it be said that while I have discovered a new source of information through another person's knowledge and experience, I do disagree with the author on Freyja's status as a goddess of battle. Rather than seeing Her as a total pacifist or as leader of the Valkyries, I tend to see her as a protectress, giving Her loved ones strength and guidance when they most need it.

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