(Yes, I know–falcons don’t “flock”. But it was too great of an alliteration to pass up.)
I’m back in the Bay after 3+ months away. The first day I’m back? It rains! I drove by the Oakland hills yesterday, and they were green–several shades of soft, lush green! It’s been ages since I’ve seen that. I think the plane ride was actually a portal to an alternate reality in which there are actual raindrops falling from the sky in CA. 🙂
One of the first things (and probably the most blog-relevant) I’ve done since landing has been to rehearse the Facts of Freya ritual with the Freyja’s Aett gang–five Freyaswomen, each representing a different Facet of Freya, held in check by a lone Freyrsperson (and a really big antler, covered in bells). Much discussion was had as well as much showing off of the amber hoards and of costuming/priestess-wear bits.
It was fascinating to see how our facets stood apart from the others in some ways and overlapped in others. One of the ways each facet overlapped was the theme of “love”–self-love, being the focus of others’ love, how love is not “safe”, love for one’s people and respecting one’s self, love that inspires warriors into battle and takes them back home again. I think the facet that each one of us chose to portray was reflective of which “path” of Freya that we work with, and which sides of Her we connect with strongest within ourselves. I get to portray the Freya of Self-Love; though this is not ned essay a historical or lore-based aspect, it is one of the most common sides of Freya for us modern worshippers to come into contact with. Freya LOVES US ALL AND THINKS WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL AND AMAZING. I’m not necessarily as secure in my lovability factor as Freya seems to think I should be, but hey, maybe that’s why I get this aspect of her so strongly. /shrug But it’s interesting to see who we are and which one we portray. For example, the Freyaswoman who is portraying the “Chooser of the Slain” will be sending her own son off to boot camp today; talk about interesting timing. And the Freyaswoman who is portraying “Freya as Vanadis” is in the process of creating her own Heathen tradition. So I like to think that this whole ritual was not just me getting my rocks off, but has been a pertinent and valuable experience for the other Freyaswomen involved as well 🙂
The rehearsal was also a great example of how in Heathenry (and other religions as well, for that matter) our understanding of Freya, and the lore itself, is very idiosyncratic. There are commonalities, definitely, or else we’d end up being in different spiritual traditions entirely; but we each have our own spin, or experiences and bits of understanding that Freya has gifted to us. No one’s understanding of any given deity or spiritual entity will ever exactly match another person’s, not even in those religions that have the One Book with all of the guidelines in it. And in a recovering tradition, one that is being reanimated and re-fleshed and otherwise pieced back together in the modern world, well–it’s likely to be even more varied than we’ll expect. Who knows which Facet of Freya will show up next?