FREYJA

FREYJA

German goddess of love, fertility, beauty, gold, magic, war and death. She originated from the Vans and was considered to be the daughter of Njörđr and his unnamed wife as well as Freyr’s twin sister. She was married to Óđr and had two daughters Hnoss i Gersemi with him. She owned Fólkvangr, the field prepared for the warriors killed in battles. Freyja means ‘Lady’ in Proto – Germanic.

ABOUT GODDESS

Freyja and her brother were probably one of the oldest deities connected with fertility. Freyja appears in many legends, most importantly in Poetic Edda where she argues with Loki who accuses women of infidelity, she borrows her feather cloak to Thor searching for his stolen hammer Mjöllnir and she helps Ottar to find his lost genealogical tree) and in Prose Edda (the Younger Edda) where her palace Sessrúmnir is mentioned as being situated on the Fólkvangr field. She is also said to pour more beer to the chalice of already drunk and lost in Asgard jötunn (giant) Hrungnir and it is revealed that the goddess is very fond of love song and the bouquets of flowers. She is also briefly mentioned in the saga of Heimskringl and in others.

Freyja was an object of desire of male creatures of all kinds: gods, giants, dwarves and people. When jötunn Ţrymr stole Thor’s hammer, he promised to give it back but he demanded Freyja to become his wife in return. When Thor and Loki suggested goddess agree to this offer, Freyja became so furious that the walls of her palace shook and the gods had to leave with their tails between their legs. Loki advised to resolve the problem with a trick: he dressed Thor up as Freyja and solemnly wed to Ţrymr as his ‘wife’ and when the clothes fell down, a very surprised giant had no choice but to give Mjöllnir back. In the Younger Edda a story about building Valhalla is told. It is said that an unknown builder came to the gods and offered to make a fortification so strong that no-one from  Midgard would be able to trespass it. In return he demanded the sun, the moon and Freyja to become his wife. Gods agreed but when the work was done, they discovered it was a giant in disguise and he was eventually killed by Thor.

Freyja was married to Óđr the god of summer sun who bears some resemblance to Odin, however he disappeared soon after the wedding. Everyone thought that he was killed by gods  for disobeying their rules but even though Freyja was crying the tears of gold because of his sudden vanishing, she refused to give up. She put her magical cloak made of falcon feathers on and went to search for him under various aliases  (the most common are Gefn, Hörn, Mardöll, Skjálf, Sýr, Thröng,  Thrungva, Valfreyja and Vanadís). She was right. Óđr did not die, but was lost on the sea and exhausted. He was starting to take the shape of a terrifying sea serpent but it did not scare Freyja away, she stayed with him and was comforting her husband and when he died, she got so furious that she threatened to kill gods if they do not make Óđr come back. They had no chance but to agree and even though Óđr did not die in a battle, he was allowed to live in Valhalla and Frejya got the right to visit him so in fact they remained together (this legend is one of many motifs linking Freyja with the Hellenic goddess Aphrodite).

Freyja is particularly associated with gold. Her daughters were so pretty that the expressions concerning wealth originated from their names (‘hnossir’ meaning treasure comes from Hoss, Gersemi means ‘gem’). One of the most famous stories about Freyja is the one about her necklace called Brísingamen (‘Fire Jewellery’). One day when Freyja was coming back to her palace after dark, she got lost in a blizzard but luckily she met four dwarves Dvalinn, Alfrik, Berling and Grer (their names probably meant North, South, East and West) who took her to their house. Goddess wanted to pay for their hospitality but when the dwarves suggested spending the night with each of them, she steadfastly refused. However when she saw the necklace they have just created, she found it so delightful that she decided to get it. She offered them to pay any price for the jewel, however the owners wanted exactly the same thing as before so Freyja agreed. She came back to her palace with the necklace but did not say anyone how she got it.  However, Loki found the way to uncover her secret and informed Odin about the case. Odin told him to steal the necklace so clever god changed into the fly and took the gem from Freyja’s room. Goddess went to Odin to tell him about the theft and he promised to return it to her on the condition that she would create two kings Högni and Heđinn who were supposed to fight each other until they are released from the curse by a christened warrior (this story comes from The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason).  Brísingamen was said to be decorated with rubies and ambers and it had the magical power to enhance Freyja’s natural beauty so much that no one could resist her.

In another myth Freyja helped Óttar, her devoted worshipper and supposed lover, to get the information about his genealogy. Both flattering and threathening shaman (völva) Hyndla with death in fire she convinced her to recite the list of Óttar’s ancestors. They both came to Valhalla, Freyja was riding her boar called Hildisvíni (which was Óttar in disguise) and Hyndla appeared on a wolf and there Hyndla revealed Óttar’s pedigree. Freyja was praising the warrior for building her an altar and make her offerings (this story comes from an Old – Norse poem called Hyndluljóđ). Freyja is also believed to teach magic to the Æsir, especially seiđr.

Freyja was leading the Valkyries and it was generally believed that half of the warriors killed in a battle went to live after death on the Fólkvangr field while the other half belonged to Odin. Freyja and the Valkyries were taking them from the battlefield to her palace and the goddess also invited their wives or lovers there. When the suite was moving through the sky, their armours were sparkling as aurora borealis.

As a goddess of vegetation she was protecting the nature thus many plants were named for her sake: the Common Milkwort (Polygala Vulgaris) was known as Freyja’s hair, another plant was called Freyja’s tears etc. Although these names were changed into the ones connected with the Virgin Mary after christianity was introduced in Scandinavia, the names of towns which originated from Freyja’s name were preserved in Norse and Swedish (Frřihov, Frövi). It is also common in the Germanic languages to call the day attributed to the goddess with her name (German: Freitag, English: Friday etc). Other random facts concerning Freyja include her name appearing in the Danish anthem and the chemical element of vanadium being named after her nickname Vanadis.

There is also a hypothesis that because of many resemblances Freyja and Frigg,  Odin’s wife, are in fact either the same goddess or they originate from the same goddess.

IMAGES, SYMBOLS AND ANIMALS

Freyja is traditionally depicted as a blue – eyed blonde riding a golden chariot and wearing Brísingamen and a cloak of falcon feathers.

Freyja is mostly associated with cats and a boar called Hildisvíni which she rides when she is not using a chariot. According to some versions Hildisvini is Óttar in disguise which makes Loki call her a wanton and sneers that she rides her lover in public.

Cats appeared in Freyja’s household somehow by an accident. One day Thor woke her up unintentionally when he was getting ready to go fishing (to be more precise in his case it was a sea serpent). When Thor was on his way, he heard some sweet and calming sounds which immediately made him feel sleepy. He started to search for the author of a lullaby and came across a blue cat singing to his little kittens. God started to grumble loudly about being put to sleep while heading to hunt but the cat explained that his life as a single father is not easy and asked him if he knew a good woman who would take care of them. Thor offered to take them to Freyja and the goddess was delighted. Kittens soon became her favourite animals and when they grew up, they were harnessed to her chariot.

Both Freyja and her twin brother were associated with falcons. Freyja owned a cloak of falcon feathers which could transform magically into the bird and was said to borrow it to other gods in critical situations (to Thor when his hammer was stolen, to Loki when he was searching for the kidnapped goddess Idunn, etc).

DIVINATION MEANING

Person

Person showed by this card is powerful, emotional, feminine and sensual. She achieves what she wants, she is popular among men and whatever she wears she catches attention. She is quick-tempered, generous, spontaneous and falls in love easily. Because she is impulsive and does what she wants, she may have a bad reputation. A woman who is always romantic inside even if she leads an active sex life with multiple partners. Archetype of the woman facing male discrimination and harassement. In negative aspect this card shows a person using outside appearance to reach the target or someone who wants to reach the target by all means. A person who is pretty but empty.

Advice

Cease the day, take care of yourself and be assertive. Take a risk and do not be afraid to take an action. Only those who do nothing avoid making mistakes. Introduce changes in your life and reach out for what you really want. Do not pay attention to what others think. Be powerful because in this situation you will gain more thanks to being persistent than being nice. Visit a beauty or hair saloon or buy yourself a small thing which will make you happy. You can achieve your goal using an unsual method.

Love

If you’re in the relationship: possible separation from your partner. Romance. Passion. Cheating. Having an argument with your partner. Do not let yourself be a trophy whom your partner will be boasting off as if you were a luxurious house or a new car.

If you are single: beware, you are attracting a person who only pays attention to your appearance or does not intend anything more than a romance. Do not let yourself being exploited. If you want to have sex, make sure it is on your terms. Do not do it just because you are afraid to say ‘no’.

Finances

A profitable transaction. Gaining sth valuable at a low cost. Profit gained thanks to enthusiasm. Getting your own house or flat. Use your charm in negociations .

Your bosses may try to convince you to do sth you do not accept. Do not agree on their conditions.

Health

Be careful because this card predicts accidents and injuries. Check the level of hormones. Beware of urinary tract infections and stones in the kidneys.However, this card also generally indicates a good health. Contraception&protection against sexually transmitted diseases.Endangered parts of the body: face, neck, parathyroid, throat, kidneys, bladder, adrenals, sex hormones, the reproductive system.

CARDS

Freyja in Goddesses of the New Light by Pamela Matthews

Freya in Oracle of the Goddess by Anna Franklin&Paul Mason

Freya in Oracle of the Goddess by Anna Franklin&Paul Mason

Freyja in Goddess Guidance Oracle Cards by Doreen Virtue

Freyja in The Oracle of the Goddess by Gayan Sylvie Winter&Jo Dosé

Freyja in Goddess Card Pack by Juni Parkhurst

Freyja in The Goddess Oracle by Hrana Janto&Amy Sophia Marashinsky

Freyja in The Goddess Oracle Deck by Thalia Took

Freyja in Goddesses&Sirens by Stacey Demarco&Jimmy Manton

Freya in Goddess: A New Guide to Feminine Wisdom by River Huston&Patricia Languedoc

Freya in Goddess: A New Guide to Feminine Wisdom by River Huston&Patricia Languedoc

Freyja in The Goddess Power Pack by Cordelia Brabbs

Freyja is also included in the Goddess Tarot by Kris Waldherr but by no means I can agree with assigning her to the Major Arcane of Emperor because she definitely represents female energy. I think the card of Chariot may be more adequate.

and in Goddess Inspiration Oracle by the same author

Freya as High Priestess in Tarot of Northern Shadows by Howard Rodway&Silivia Gainsford (this assignement is also arguable); the picture taken from http://www.valkyrietower.com/freyja.html

Freyja is also associated with rune Fehu in Rune Vision Cards by Silvia Gainsford, the picture taken from http://www.valkyrietower.com/freyja.html

Based on an English Wikipedia and the following pages http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-myths/goddess-freya.htm , http://www.goddess-guide.com/freya.html and http://www.goddessfreya.info/about_freya.htm .

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One response to “FREYJA

  1. Pingback: EOSTRE (OSTARA) | Land of Goddesses

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