Freya is a complex goddess with many different aspects. She is a goddess of wealth and riches (gold!); magic (seidh); sex; those slain in battle; love (usually the ecstatic romantic love, not the comfortable, content relationship love); and beauty. The aspects of her that I get the strongest are her Love and Beauty aspects. (Truth be told, I had hoped for something a bit more bad-ass, but Love and Beauty is what I got. Suits my temperament better, anyhow.)
As PantheaCon (a yearly international pagan convention held in San Jose, CA) always falls on President’s Day weekend, it often includes Valentine’s Day. This year, Valentine’s Day fell on the Friday (Freya’s Day) of the Con. This also happened to be the day that I was leading a blot for Freya. Surely, I thought, this was the perfect opportunity to honor my goddess and share my love for her with new people.
And, falling on the Love/Beauty end of the Freya spectrum as I do, one of the many services I decided to do for my Goddess at Con this year (2014) was a new project I called “Love Notes from Freya”.
I had been feeling strongly pushed to somehow share her love with others, but I had no real clue how to do so. So, on the way home from an event, I decided to ask her. (Yes, I did this while driving; no, I don’t recommend it.) Our conversation went something like this:
“Hey Freya, what kind of things do you want me to do for you at Con this year?”
(Images of sparkly gold love being sent out to lots of people; the word “messages” being repeated over and over)
“Um, okay…. how should I go about doing that? Have anything particular in mind?”
(Images of me and others handing them out)
“Okay, what should they say? What is the purpose behind them?”
(barrage of words/feelings such as love, beauty, acceptance, joy, intense passion, sweet nothings, etc.)
Okay, then. That’s about all that I had to go on.
Being a former teacher, I have a lot of practice translating inspiration into something tangible, practical, and able to be mass-produced. I knew it had to be something relatively inexpensive and, given that it was only a few weeks before Con and I had a billion other things to do, wouldn’t take a huge amount of time and effort to prepare. But still, it had to be a spiritual gift–a Gift from Freya–something directly from her to the people, not just some hokey knickknack that people would toss as soon as Con was over.
Still having no idea how to meet all of these criteria, I stopped at a Walgreens on the way home. I was in Walgreens for a full of 5 seconds before my eyes landed on a huge stack of cheap elementary-school valentines. Of course! Valentines!
I went through several iterations on this theme, connected with a bunch of other Freyaspeople, and got to work.
First, actual store-bought Valentines (even the Mad-Lib ones I bought) were seen as being too hokey. One Freyasgythia dug up a bunch of beautiful scrap-booking paper. I supplied the metallic markers, stickers, and misc. crafty bits, and hosted the event. Another priestess who works with many love goddesses, but was unable to attend Con that year, channeled Freya and created and sent some of her own Valentines, infused with some kind of amber perfume. Then the other Freyasgythia and I sat down with some hard cider and my trademark raspberry-honey liqueur and got in touch with our Lady. Some of the messages we received from her were sweet, along the lines of “You’re gorgeous, honey! Feel that beauty all the way down to your toes!”; straightforward–“You deserve to get laid by someone who worships you. Go out and find him.”; serious–“I know you feel insecure about relationships. I know that you’ve been hurt in the past by love. Know that if you trust yourself, and let yourself believe again, a better relationship than you can even imagine right now will come to you”; short–“Here’s a kiss from Freya!”; and direct–“Freyr has a message for you. Talk to him or one of his priests.”
Many cool things came from this experience, from my perspective. First, as I was trying to round up all of my Freyasgythias and love-goddess priestesses, I go to know each of them a bit better. And when we were channeling/creating the Love Notes, we had a blast. (There was some drinking and much cackling.) Then, there was the handing out of the notes at Con–during my blot to Freya and also afterwards. I spent much of the weekend walking around with a bag on my arm, going up to both people I knew and complete strangers and offering them homemade Love Notes from Freya. I had no idea how it would fly; I just hoped a few people would be open to it.
As it turned out, 95% of the people who I approached loved it. For many, the messages they received were eerily spot on. For others, it really was as if Freya had given them exactly the message they needed to hear: I really was her representative her in the mundane world. When that happened, it was both a bit cool and kind of unnerving to be treated as if I was the Goddess. That’s when it hit me that this project really was service work, not just some cutesy thing I had decided to do. Perhaps even more interesting were the three or four people who, when offered a Love Note, looked suspiciously at me and at the bag, slowly shook their head, and edged away uncomfortably–often while the rest of their group enthusiastically chose their love notes.
The really cool thing about this whole project was that we, the priestesses, did not get decide who got what note. That was kind of the point–they would choose the one they needed to hear most. My favorite story around this is that a friend who happens to be very close to Freyr got a message that said something like, “Love is a game with no rules. Go out and play it!” (Which, to me, is the perfect card for a Freyrsman in his 20s, because, well, that’s what they’re doing anyway.)
All in all, the project was a success. People received their bits of love from Freya, as per Her request, and I received a lot of practice being a gythia and a stand-in for Freya for random people whose messages hit really close to home. Very satisfying and rewarding, and it’ll definitely be on the books for next year’s Con.