Freya the wanderer….

A local multi-trad group I’m a part of just put out a call for writings on “The Goddess in her guise as the Wanderer”. Being the hard polytheist that I am, my eyes start to roll a bit anytime I see the words “The Goddess in her guise/role as…” However, I know for some people this is a very valid path. And certainly, my Lady has many different sides. So, I chose to look at this as an opportunity to try to understand my own Goddess better.

My Goddess, too, wanders. The lore tells us that her husband, Odr, left her for reasons unknown, and she has been searching for him ever since, traveling across the world, weeping as She goes. When she travels over land, her tears fall and turn to gold; popular UPG says that when she travels over water, her tears turn to amber.

This all sounds lovely and romantic, but honestly it’s the hardest part of her story for me to stomach. Sex with dwarves? Sure. Laying with her brother? Well, when in Vanaheim…. Teaching seidh magic to Odin? Fine, why not? But chasing after some guy and weeping over him–the hell? That makes no sense to me given what I know of the rest of her character. She’s independent, strong-willed, makes her own rules, partners up with whoever she wants, whenever she wants, however she wants…how could She pine so dramatically over a husband who left her for no reason? We don’t know even anything about him; how interesting could he have been? (For people who want to moralize her story–there is no evidence in the Lore for her husband leaving her because of the nights She spent with the Dwarves, so keep it in your pants. Any deity who married her would have known the nature of her character and should have been able to deal with it, in any event.)

She is passionate, yes. Her smile can ignite the coldest of hearts and her sensuality can burn through any barrier. If She loved a being enough to marry him, She would love him completely, with her whole being, through all the Nine Worlds and beyond. She likely would be devastated if he left… but to then throw away her life searching for him, crying? Sorry, I’m not convinced. Still,  she does seem to me to be a restless deity, ever traveling, ever in search of new pleasures and experiences. Perhaps she searches and gives us bits of gold as she goes, rather than “weeping” the gold into being.

For me, I know, she is a Teacher. She constantly pushes my boundaries and inspires me to try new things (or at least serves up new options with a “Why not try it?” smirk). Maybe one of the things She teaches is how to love that much, and yet still survive it when the focus of that love is taken away.

The journey is going to happen no matter what I do. I’m blessed to have Her walk alongside me as I go. Maybe She can help me avoid a few of the mistakes that She made, on the way.

Random Priestessing

My priestess flag must be showing, and apparently non-Pagans can pick up on it as well. I got a call yesterday from a friend whom I hadn’t heard from in months. Still, when her sister found some abandoned baby kittens outside and they didn’t know what to do, she called me. Of course the animal shelters were all closed for the holiday, but we were able to get them taken care of until they could be brought in this morning.

It’s not like I have a lot of shelter experience, or that I am known as a “cat lady” in this group. My friend runs in a group completely and totally separate from any of my Pagan groups; she knows nothing about my religion, my Goddess, or my dedication. Still, of all the people she could call, she called me. It’s just one of those cute little “coincidences” that pop up on a regular basis, if you pay attention to them.

(Not seeing the connection? Freya’s cart is drawn by (wait for it) cats. Cats–all kinds, everywhere– are near and dear to her heart. When a person’s cat dies in this community, we often comfort him or her by saying that the cat is now being well-loved and well taken care of up in Freya’s Hall.)

Freya and Freyr--carts, riding

Trancing Freya: The Trance Class

Trance Possession is a big topic of conversation out here in my neck of the Asatru woods. It also tends to be one of the more controversial topics–what it is; how it’s done; who has the right to do it; who’s doing right. I’m almost finished up with a local Trance Class,  and we just had our ‘Final Exam”, the Trance Party, at which I tranced (big surprise) Freya. The class pulled from Diana Paxson’s book called Trance-portation, and she will be coming out soon with a companion book regarding Trance Possession. Continue reading

Why “The Gold Thread”?

So, why is this blog, which is about Freya, called “The Gold Thread”?

Good question.

I chose the title “The Gold Thread” for a number of reasons. First, Freya = valuable = gold. Gold has always been a strong symbol in Germanic literature, as practically an entity unto itself that both lures and destroys those who lust after it. Gullveig, a goddess of the Vanir whom many Asatru identity with Freya, has a name that literally means “gold-intoxication”. The myths list Freya right up there with the most important treasures of the universe: a jotun, having Asgard in his debt, will ask for “the Sun, the Moon, and Freya” in return. (Or, just Freya, depending on the myth.) One of her roles (and those of all of the Vanir) is to help create abundance–monetary wealth in particular, for her. So, gold is one of the major symbols/colors that I, and many others, use when when dealing with Freya. The color gold is on many of the items, statues, and fabrics on my altar for Her; much of my ritual regalia incorporates the color; and, when I can, I buy gold jewelry to wear and small gold filaments to use for offerings. People who know me know that if they get stuck deciding what to get for me for any occasion, gold or gold-colored *anything* will always be appreciated. Freya is, to me, all things gold.

Second, the “gold thread” is a recurring image in my journeys with her. My most vivid memory of this showed up in the final stages of my initiation with Her. She had slowly and completely cocooned me in gold thread, which She then connected to Herself. Then She showed me all of the other gold threads that connected back to her, from Her chosen people (however they are defined).* This brought on an overwhelming sense of solidarity, peace, joyfulness, and wholeness; it gives me chills just to describe it, even now. By writing this blog/website, I hope to continue to send out her “gold threads” further into the world, and create even more connections and pathways for her Love to flow through.

*(If you’ve seen any of the X-Men movies–remember what it looked like when Professor X put on his mind helmet? Turn all of the connections gold, and you’ll get some approximation of what I was seeing.)