(revised and updated from my original post in May 2014)
The Love Notes project started out as a marching order from Freya right before PantheaCon of 2014. After the Con, I had a few Notes left over, and couldn’t decide what to do with them, so I started posting them on the blog. After a week or so, they ran out, and at Her encouragement, I decided to check in with Freya each day to see if She had more words to share with others. Here’s the full story of how it went down.
Freya is a complex goddess with many different aspects. The aspects of her that I consistently 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. Last year, Valentine’s Day fell on the Friday (Freya’s Day) of the Con. That 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 that were the “Love Notes from Freya” project.
This was right after my initiation, and right before my official public dedication to Her. I had been feeling strongly pushed to somehow share her love with others, but I had no real clue how to do so. So, driving home from an event at Hrafnar one night, I decided to ask her. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: Hey Freya, what kind of things do you want me to do for you at Con this year?
Freya: (Images of sparkly gold love being sent out to lots of people; the word “messages” being repeated over and over)
Me: Um, okay…. how should I go about doing that? Have anything particular in mind?
Her: (Images of me and others handing them out)
Me: Okay, what should they say? What is the purpose behind them?
Her: (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.
(Perhaps unsurprisingly, she was not nearly as verbal and detailed as I usually get Her nowadays. Looking back…. maybe this was just her way of teaching me to channel. And probably ten million other things, too; She’s quite the multi-tasker.)
Being a former teacher, I’ve had a lot of practice translating inspiration into something tangible, practical, and easily mass-produced. I knew whatever it was 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 it still 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 the store for a full of 2 seconds before my eyes landed on a huge stack of cheap elementary-school valentines. Of course! Valentines! Eureka!
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, so one Freyasgythia dug up a bunch of beautiful scrap-booking paper and chopped it up for us. 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 some of her own Valentines, infused with 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.” We had a fabulous time channeling and ended up with 100 or so unique Notes.
I had a cute little Valentine bag on my arm and I spent much of the weekend going up to both people I knew and complete strangers and offering them their choice of 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 some, it really was as if Freya had given them exactly the message they needed to hear: I was her representative her in the mundane world. When that happened, it was both cool, because yay! it worked! and kind of unnerving to be treated as if I was Her and get to listen to their private stories and concerns. That’s when it hit me that this project really was priestessing work, not just some cutesy thing I had decided to do. I really was being of service and being there and offering help to those who didn’t interact with Freya or with another divine being in quite this concrete of a way. Very, very cool. Exhausting, but cool. My favorite story around this is that a good 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.)
(Perhaps even more interesting (to me) were the three or four people who, when offered a Love Note, looked suspiciously at me and then at the bag, and, slowly shaking their heads, edged away uncomfortably–often while the rest of the people in their group enthusiastically chose their own love notes.)
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.