Freya the Goddess

Freya the Goddess

Freya, also Freia or Freyja (Old Norse “Mistress”), is the name of the Nordic goddess of love and marriage. She is considered the second goddess of the Nordic pantheon after Frigg, with whom she is often equated or confused in modern receptions. It resembles the Venus of the Roman sky and the Aphrodite of the Greek Olympus.

Name forms

Some descriptions are known from the Skalden poetry, which are interpreted as Freya-Kenningar. These are Mardöll, Menglada, Hörn, Gefn, Sýr and Vanadís. Because of her surname Gefn, she is (more speculatively) associated with the goddess Gefjon. The South Germanic Frija (Old High German Friia, Frea) refers to the goddess of Asia, Frigg.

Position, attributes

Freya is one of the Wanen, one of the two gods in Nordic mythology. Her brother is Frey (aisl. Freyr), her father the sea god Njörd, and her mother is Skadi, daughter of the giant Thiazi. Her husband is the god Óðr in the Eddian mythology. With him she had the daughters Hnoss and Gersimi (both names are synonyms and mean “preciousness”). Freya is considered the “most famous of the goddesses” (Gylfaginning, chap. 23).

She is considered the goddess of fertility and spring, happiness and love, as well as a teacher of magic (seiðr).

Freya has a collar forged by dwarves, breeze seeds, a wagon drawn by forest cats and a hawk robe that can be used to glide through the air like a falcon. According to the poem Hyndluljóð, she also rides on the Hilisvini boar. Freya also appears in Gylfaginning. Then she cries golden tears as Oðr continues. After the Grímnismál their farm is called Fólkvangr. Her hall is called Sessrúmnir. After the Ynglinga saga Snorris, she taught the Ases the magic. But her main role is to be the leader of the Valkyries on the battlefield and claim half of the fallen warriors, while Odin (the supreme god, god of war) is entitled to the other half.

The day of the week Friday (ahd. Frîatac, ae. Frīgedeag) is not strictly derived from the North Germanic “Freya”, but from “Frija”, the South Germanic name of the Germanic goddess Frigg, which depending on the reading of the (sparse!) Sources of that is to be distinguished. However, in Old Norse there were both the names Freyjudagr and Frjádagr as names for Friday, one referring to Freya and the other time referring to Frigg. (See Friday)

Development

Freya plays an important role in the Eddian texts Hyndluljóð, Lokasenna and Þrymskviða. In Grímnismál she appears as the goddess of death and in Völuspá she shimmers through the song Ods bride (Óðs mey). The sorceresses Gullveig and Heid, who sparked the war between Asen and Wanen in the stanzas before, are also thought to be hypostases of the goddess Freya. According to Snorris Gylfagynning, whenever she witnesses a fight, she receives half of the fallen and the other half falls to Odin.

Since there are no South Germanic (e.g. German or English) traditions about Freya and the South Germanic still linked the day of Venus (Friday) with Frija / Frigg, it is assumed that Freya detached the aspects of love, love magic and promiscuity from the Viking Age Frigg is forming. The following episodes are described in the Edda and Gylfaginning: The necklaces of Freya, the breeze jewelry, were made by the dwarfs Alfrigg, Dvalin, Berling and Grervier (Gerr), the price of the purchase was that the goddess was four consecutive nights with one each the dwarfs spent – at the displeasure of Odin, who, as a punishment, forced Freya to start a war among the people. Another report said that Loki insulted all those present at the drinking party organized by Aegir and accused Freya of having made friends with all the aces and albums in the room. It should be added that Loki languished in unrequited love for Freya. However, Freya’s literary designs during the Icelandic Renaissance of the 13th and 14th centuries are not authentic sources of the pagan figure of the goddess. In modern times, she completely replaced the goddess Frigg in the Icelandic processing of the old sagas. In an illumination in a 17th century paper manuscript, however, she only appears as a loyal family mother.

Source

Freya the Goddess

Well-known sources about Freya are two poems by Lieder-Edda. In Lokasenna (“Schmäheden des Loki”) the god Loki accuses her of having had intercourse with every god and every mythological figure. In the Þrymskviða (“The Song of Thrym”) she has an outburst of anger when the giant Thrymr (aisl. Þrymr) is required to marry him in order to release the Hammer Thor from the giants, which is important for the continued existence of the divine world is. Freya also appears in Gylfaginning and Grímnismál.

Places of worship

Danish and Swedish place names go back to the goddess. So z. B. Fröjel on Gotland, a Viking port and cult place of Freya (Swed. Fröja), where another Fornborg and a Troja castle (north. Trojeborg) refer to the old function of the place, which was also Thingplatz. In Denmark Frøslev in Jutland, Frøslev in Zealand and Lolland Frejlev are such places.

Origin and apartment

Freyja was born Wanin, her father is the sea god Niördr, who fathered her and her brother Freyr in his apartment Noatun. Skadi is named as the mother, the daughter of the giant Thiassi. With Snorri, her origin comes into the Huntergrund and he counts her completely among the Ases, that she is “the most wonderful of the Asins, as her brother Freyr is the most excellent of the Ases”. Her Folkwang apartment is the ninth of the Asen palaces mentioned in the Grimnismal.

While half of the fallen warriors reach Odin, Freyja takes the other half – the Valkyries – into their room, which is called Sessrumnir. However, Einherier and Valkyrie do not only live separately, because then the life of the dead would be far too boring.

Names and surnames

Snorri emphasizes Freyja’s many names. He names Mardöll, Hörn, Gefn (see Gefion) and Syr, which she received from the peoples Freya had visited after the lost Odd. Another name is Vanadis, which means “tub goddess”.

Worship

Freya is the most important goddess in Nordic mythology. In Sweden and Norway, numerous places are named after her. The linden tree was sacred to her. Thing assemblies were held under numerous Freya linden trees. The columbine is said to have been dedicated to her.

This goddess of love likes to hear the minnesong, especially in love matters she is called and is weighted to the caller. She is the patron saint of harvest and birth and the symbol of sensuality.

Freya and her brother Freyr were considered “mild powers”. Oddrun, sister of Atli, called her when Borgny, who was a nurse, gave birth to a boy and a girl (Oddrun’s complaint). The homage owed to Freya passed to the world of women, because “the name of honor derives from it that distinguished women are called women (freyjur)”.

Cattle were sacrificed to her. The Edda states that Ottar has won her favor with plenty of ox blood

Freya and Odd

Odd was another of Freya’s lovers. They have a daughter named Hnofs. When Freya cried for her lost husband, her tears turned to gold. She looked for him in many countries, from which her many names can be traced.

Freya and the giants

The giant Thrym wanted Freya and when he managed to steal Thor’s hammer Mjöllnir, he asked Freya for the bride in return. But the Ases managed to fool him. Thor borrowed Brisingamen, disguised himself as Freya and recovered the hammer.

The giant Hrungnir also wanted to own Freya and threatened to kill all the Ases except her and Sif, but managed to defeat him.

Overlaps with other goddesses

In mythology, the shape of Freyja overlaps with that of Frigg. Gullveig could be identical to Freya.

Freyja combines the powers of Frigg and Frija. For her areas of responsibility, this results in: vitality, knowledge of the fate of gods and people, fortune telling, love for freedom, love affairs, fertility, wealth, curses and shape change. The meaning of Frigg and Freyja can also be transferred as follows: Frigg is the great mother and Freyja is the freedom-loving beautiful great daughter – the everlasting, virgin daughter, spiritual wife of the gods and wizards, spiritual sister of the goddesses and “witches”. Friday bears his name after her or after the Frigg.

Freyja is the same or has features of Bertha, Hulla or Huld, as well as Frau Holle, known from the fairy tale. It also corresponds to the Venus woman of the German saga, who lives in Hörselberg and takes in the Tannhäuser.

Similar to Freyja, who mournfully sought her lost lover in many countries, the Greek goddess Demeter pervaded the world in search of her daughter Persephone.

Freya is the leader of the Valkyries and a warrior herself. The Valkyries helped brave heroes in battle on the battlefield. They also appeared to the dying on the battlefield as their loved one, accompanying them to their death and then safely bringing their souls into the other world.

Freyja is said to live in the interior of the mountain Elbrus in the Caucasus. Here soldiers of the Waffen-SS hoisted the flag with the swastika in 1942.

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