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.

4 thoughts on “Freya the wanderer….

  1. Well- I accept that story for a few reasons…
    We don’t know much about *many* Gods, Jarnsaxa, Freyr & Freyja’s real names, the stories of her daughters, so not knowing much about Odh isn’t an anomaly. If she married him, he had to have been fabulous, don’t you think? Because she doesn’t do what she doesn’t want to, so that couldn’t have been an arranged marriage.

    That we don’t know why he left, doesn’t mean it wasn’t lost *or* that She doesn’t.

    He may have left to go to war, visiting someone, or for trade, and she looked for him when he didn’t return after a reasonable time. Myths are bad with time and details.

    Just because she shares herself freely doesn’t mean that she didn’t love him passionately and beyond reason.

    For me, dismissing it out of hand, negates my theory that like people, deities change, learn and grow. Perhaps the loss of him taught her that being unmarried was better. Perhaps there was a point in which she was more dependent and wept over him like a teen dumped on prom night. To me, that’s an acceptable place for her to have been at some point.

    In addition, I think that having lost him, to whatever and for whatever- makes her a more approachable deity overall.

    Just my thoughts.

    T

    • Hi, T. 🙂 Okay, I see your point about the lack of lore surrounding much of the Gods, this is true. And likely she wouldn’t have been married against Her will–but then again, maybe this *was* a forced marriage. Maybe that’s *why* she resisted so adamantly when Thor and Loki tried to make her a jotun’s bride. That’s some growth and character development right there.

      It’s definitely true, I think, that she can love many beings with immense passion, and love him above all others. That would be in Her character. But it’s the lack of any other kind of info that frustrates me. Sure, he has the same root as “Odin”, but the whole Odin connection is one that I’m struggling with as well, so one thing at a time in that area, IMHO. The only real way that I’ve been able to grasp the Odr part of her story up til now is to see as “ecstasy”, inspiration on a metaphoric level–She had it, now it’s gone, and She really needs to feel that high, that passionate connection, again.

      I don’t really have a hard time approaching Her; she’s always shown me unconditional love (though at this point I definitely know that’s not *all* she is). But I can see that She could be overwhelming to others; in fact, I’ve met others who do feel that way, and at their request I’m trying to help them overcome this discomfort with Her. Still, I err on the side of “Who *wouldn’t* want to work with Freya?” side of things, at least at the moment.

      I appreciate your comments. 🙂 What I often do is throw out an idea, get feedback, throw out another idea, etc., get more feedback… To me, that’s one of the main points of doing this whole blogging thing.

  2. I myself actually find solace in her crying and looking for Odr. It makes sense to me now, you are right it has to do with the intensity with wich how she loves. I see this reflected in the breakup I’m experiencing with my partner of 5 years. She is extremely poly and Im more monogamish, we loved each other with all our hearts and despite all the troubles, poverty and lack of outside help, our passion for each other drove us to such devotion that I’ve never experienced before in my life. When we finally came to the realization that we can’t live together, well it was earth shattering for us both. We wanted to cohabitate till the end of time and now all those lover’s promises are broken. Its extremely painful, even for her, even as free and untethered as she is. I had not fully understood this story until now. At times I feel like Odr, and other times Freya. It is a metaphor for her overhwelming love, its a bit obbsessive at times, and I can see her not only crying for the loss of Odr, but the loss of herself, or the confusion as to why she feels so pulled to wander after him. During her travels she may have asked the same questions of herself as you ask her. One could look at it as growth or perhaps she discovered an aspect of her personality that she hadn’t explored yet, and needed to examine it in full detail. I don’t know, Im rambling now. I just discovered your blog the other day, and I know this is an old post but I couldn’t help responding. I’ve really enjoyed reading what you’ve written so far.

    • Hi Ashley 🙂 No worries, glad you’re enjoying the blog.

      I’m sorry to hear about your break-up. I’ve gone through something similar and I know exactly how earth-shattering it can be. 😦 It can be a vehicle for growth, though; I know it was for me.

      Thank you for the insights into Odr and Freya’s relationship; I went through probably all of the stages you describe so eloquently above. And thanks for the reminder–I had been researching Odr a few days ago but got distracted. I have a feeling that’s the part of Odin that I should be focusing on next in my #90DaysofOdin project.

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