What do I mean when I say that Freya is a Goddess of Love?
First off, to me, Love encompasses Self-Love. Freya is obsessed with how much any of us love and value ourselves. And thank the Gods that She is, imho. Self-love is key; Self-Love is absolutely required. Self-Love is the goal. If we do not love ourselves, how can we attempt to love others? There’s none to share around if there’s none inside. As my program people put it—share from the Overflow, not the Mother Lode. If we try to love others without loving ourselves first–at least to a certain extent–then we get worn out pretty quickly. (And at what point does “loving” others become an unacceptable way of treating ourselves?)
She rules over Romance. All aspects of it: why you want it, how to get it, and what to do once you have it. Under this falls things like beauty (another topic in of itself), flirting, matchmaking, sexual chemistry, star-crossed lovers, friends who become lovers. First dates. Marriages, handfastingss, commitment ceremonies, vow writing, and vow renewals. Weddings. Freya, even moreso than other Love Goddesses, rules over of love lost–either through death or missed connections or mental illnesses or jealousy or infidelity or your partner up and leaving unexpectedly. And of just growing apart; because in my mind She’s also the Goddess of Mr./Ms. Right Now as much as just as Mr./Ms. Right Forever (a distinction I wish I had made before my last marriage and subsequent divorce). Luckily, She’s also the Goddess of romance novels and all sexual and romantic fantasies. (Maybe beauty fantasies as well? Hmm.) Note that though She is, by extension, the Goddess of divorce and separation, she is not the Goddess of lawyers or paperwork, or any kind of rules-lawyering, really. (Maybe Frigga’s better for this stuff? Or one of Her handmaidens.)
She is the Goddess of Sexual Ecstasy—the kind that comes as much from the emotional intimacy as from physical caresses. Two souls merging completely, body and spirit. (I’d throw “mind” in here as well, but I think that’s more of Odin’s purview.) She’s the Goddess of Romantic Highs–the high one gets when one first falls in love (NRE), or the heart-skipping hope you get when you first begin to believe that you and this other person have a chance at a life together. She’s also the Goddess of Pure Lust and Obsession. As in, you have a raging hard on and are extremely close to setting fire to everything you’ve worked so hard to build but you can’t quite remember why that’s a bad thing at the moment. (Cue Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love”.) Is this the dark side of working with Freya? One of them, yep. YMMV. (There are good reasons why I trust her completely with every part of my life except my sex life.)
Finally, to me She is also the Goddess of Falling in Love and Being in Love. She is in love with many things (possibly everything?), all the time. All. The. Time. (I don’t think I can emphasize this enough.) Through my connection with Her, I can fall in love in a snap with almost anything, animate or inanimate. (Given enough time, I could probably fall in love even with the things I hate.) This is lovely when you’re a goddess, but as a human, I’ve found it to be as much of a challenge as a benefit. But these are the blessings I believe that She gives.
I’m not saying that other deities don’t also cover these areas. They do. Or that Freya doesn’t also cover many other areas–She does. But when it comes to how I see Her as a Love Goddess, this is it.