For today’s post I would like to take a look at the Love Goddess of the Norse Pantheon. Freya was a goddess of both love and war. She was in this way associated with both life and death, and even had a hall of warrior’s souls (just like Odin did), and she got first choice of souls before Odin himself! She was associated with witchcraft and magic, as well as women’s mysteries. Although both Freya and her twin lived in Asgard among the Aesir, they were in fact originally hearth deities born in Vanaheim, as members of the Vanir.
Her totems included a magical necklace, that according to legend she slept with the dwarves who made it in order to obtain it. She also had a falcon feather cloak, and a chariot led by cats! Cats were a sacred animal to this goddess, as were boars (this is something shared with her twin brother Freyr, who also a had a battle swine). Many of her tales show her empowerment of divine sexuality, and of her love of beauty. The sacred day for Freya is Friday, most especially Friday the 13th! Originally Friday the 13th was not a day of ill omens at all, but instead a day of the goddess!
She rebelled against being used as a bargaining chip in deals made between the Gods and other races. This sometimes led to funny circumstances in the myths. Most notably when Thor dressed up as Freya, and Loki as a handmaiden to fake a marriage contract!
It must be noted that Freya is the most well known of Norse goddesses, but she is often conflated with Frigg. Frigg was the wife of Odin in Norse myth. Now there are some versions of the myths that state that Freya and Frigg are either the same goddess, or aspects of the same goddess. This may be true, even more evidence of this possibility is that Freya is known to have had a husband, Odr who was often away. It is thought that this husband is a representation of Odin in his form of the Wanderer, and their names are obviously similar. No matter whether Freya and Frigg are one in the same or separate deities, they are both truly important goddesses in Norse myth.
In the modern age Freya has appeared as a character in the great Witches of East End novels by Melissa de la Cruz! Those same books were made into an, unfortunately, short lived television adaptation. In both cases we get to see Freya as a badass witchy goddess! In the books we even get to see her with the ability to change into a cat (this is given to the character Wendy in the series)!
I have so much more I would love to discuss about this incredible goddess, however if I keep going on this post is going to be insanely long! So I will end here and say that I will definitely write more about her in the future (I do love to discuss my favorite goddesses). I hope that you have enjoyed getting to learn a little bit about Freya. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Note on Image: The image at the top of the post is a lovely painting of Freya by Renee Lavoie. I found the image on pixels.com.
- Mythology by Edith Hamilton
- Bulfinch’s Mythology by Thomas Bulfinch
- Fire Jewel: A Devotional For Freyja compiled by Gefion Vanirdottir
- Freyja, Lady, Vanadis by Patricia M. Lafayllve
- The Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz
- The Witches of East End (2013-2014)