Freyja, the Shining Lady of the Vanir
Submitted by: swampy
“She-Falcon! The moon sails through the trees.
Freyja! I call the weeper of gold!
Lady of Sorcery! I stand before you unafraid.
Keeper of the Brisingamen! Reveal to me secrets of knot and braid.
Freyja! Moon Goddess! Queen of the Valkyries!
Give me the key to deep magicks.” (from “Moon Magick” by D.J. Conway)
Freyja (also spelled Freya) is the most beautiful and propitious of the Norse goddesses. She is the patron goddess of crops and birth, the symbol of sensuality and was called upon at matters of love. She is also is the Norse Goddess of sex, love, beauty, fertility, war, death and wealth. She loves music, spring and flowers, and is particularly fond of the fey (elves & faeries).
Freyja is the daughter of the god Njord, a fertility or sea god, and Her mother is the unnamed sister of Njord (possibly Nerthus). Freyja was originally a goddess of the Vanir. In Norse myth, the Vanir, who lived in Vanaheim, were a group of wild nature and fertility gods and goddesses. The Vanir were the sworn enemies of the warrior gods of the Aesir. The Aesir and the Vanir had been at war for a long time when they decided to make peace. To ensure this peace they traded hostages and the Vanir sent their most renowned gods, the wealthy Njord and his children: Freyja and her sister Freyr. Thus Freyja went to live with the Aesir in Asgard, and the Vanir were ‘assimilated’ into the Aesir.
Freyja ended up married to the mysterious god Od (also called Odr). He disappeared and when Freyja mourned for Her lost husband, She wept tears of gold which turned into amber when they fell into the sea. Her daughters, by Od, are named Hnoss, who is so beautiful that whatever is valuable and lovely is named “treasure” after her, and Gersemi. Freyja resides in the celestial and beautiful palace Folkvang (“field of folk”), where it is Her privilege to receive half of all the warriors slain in battle and take their souls to Her hall, ‘Sessrumnir’; the god Odin receives the other half at Valhalla. Women who die also go to Freyja’s hall. Living with Freyja at Sessrumnir is Hildesvini (“battle boar”) who is actually Her human lover Ottar in disguise. Her chambermaid is named Fulla.
Freyja rides about in a chariot drawn by male cats (their names are never stated) and She owns the precious Brisings’ necklace, which the Norse still refer to as the Milky Way. She is quite accommodating in sexual matters – in fact it is said that She traded sexual favors by sleeping with the four dwarves who had fashioned the necklace – to possess the necklace of the Brisings. When the necklace was taken from Her by Loki, She started a war of retaliation.
Freyja is the leader of the Valkyries and is a shapeshifter. She owns a feather coat which She can use to change into a falcon and to fly between the worlds. After Freyja went to live with the Aesir as a hostage, She taught them – including Odin – ‘Seidr’. Seidr is a form of magickal ability which utilizes trance and divination, and Freyja is often credited with the origin of runic divination.
Freyja’s colors are green, red, and black. All animals are sacred to Freyja, but the horse, falcon and cat hold special affinity for Her – in fact She is often known as Mistress of Cats. Her number is 13 and Her day of the week is Friday. She is associated most often with the full moons of September – which is often called The Harvest Moon – and October – called the Blood Moon. Celebrations in her honor are celebrated on January 10th as The Day of Freyja, and on the full moon of October as The Disirblot. Freyja is a good Goddess to call on in magick concerning love, beauty, sexual activity, childbirth, enchantments, trance, runes, personal power, protection and courage.