Deep thoughts: the Thrymskvida

So, in the Thrymskvida (that one myth where Thor dresses up as a bride), Thor and Loki’s first thought upon learning that the Hammer had been stolen by a jotun and would only be returned if Freya became his bride was to make Freya marry him. You know, for the good of all and all that. Her response?

Freya snorted with fierce rage,
The hall shook and shuddered about them,
Broken to bits was the Brising Necklace:
‘In the eyes of the gods a whore I should seem,
If I journeyed with you to Gianthome.’ 🙂 That’s my Lady.

And so Thor ended up dressing up as Freya-the-Bride and fooling the jotun instead, which, while uncomfortable for Thor, worked out well for everyone in the end. The point I would like to make here is that Thor and Loki (and all of the rest) did not attempt to figure out a way for Freya to avoid marrying the jotun or otherwise try to protect her from having to deal with this situation. Instead, the dynamic duo that is Thor and Loki demanded that She Do This Thing, and were stumped when She said no. Plan B did not come about until after Freya had shut them down, unequivocally, all on her own. (And, to their credit, none of the Aesir attempted to argue with Her or change Her mind about it. Instead, they brainstormed a new solution.) And anyway, did they honestly think She would have said yes?

It makes me wonder, though. Would the Gods have acted the same way had it been Sif, or Idunna, or Frigga on the line? Or maybe one of Frigga’s handmaidens? Was it just because Freya was (effectively) single that they thought they could demand this of Her? Or maybe it just made for a better story? Who knows. All I know is that this small but key part for this myth is one of the main sources of information that we have about Freya’s personality. So, regardless of the reason that it is included in the story, I’m glad somebody wrote it down.

What to write (March 2015 version)

So I realized I haven’t posted a lot of personal content recently. Part of that is due to the fact that I’m a lot busier at work, and so, after work, I’m a lot less interested in spending hours at the computer doing more typing. Also, I have a number of blog posts which are in process but each requires a lot more time and effort to finish than I currently have available.

Current blog posts in progress:

  • The differences between Wicca and Heathenry (aka: Wiccan privilege, and how to avoid venting at unsuspecting Wiccans who really don’t know anything about Heathenry)
  • Why Athelstan is my favorite character on Vikings (it’s relevant, really! I have deep thoughts about it. And not just because George Blagden is quite possibly the most adorable person currently residing in Midgard)
  • Reworking my fylgia article to include info from the latest Idunna
  • My experience participating in my first public ADF ritual (this year’s Ostara)
  • Typing up a review/overview of the Ladyofthelabyrinth’s “Hidden Knowledge in Old Norse Myths” youtube series

If anyone has a preference as to which post gets finished first, let me know. It’ll help me focus my energies and actually get one of these done 🙂

“Portals” album project, from Sharon Knight et al.–Indiegogo fundraiser ending soon!

Sharon Knight and her partner Winter are running an Indiegogo campaign to help fund a professional music video! From their Indiegogo page:

Imagine, if you willAn otherworldly carnival, traveling in and out of mystery, magic, the unexplained. You feel the hair raise on the back of your neck as a motley band of skillful and possibly dangerous musicians brandish their bows, their voices, their tambourines, and open portals to the realms of the fantastical! You thrill to the charms of seductive sirens, pixie pirates, steampunk sailors, metal warriors, witches and wanderlings, as a mighty cast of characters wield their mightiest mojo in a Theatre of Enchantment crafted to delight and awe!

Sharon Knight Portals

If they raise their full total, they will be putting together a stellar crew of cool and interesting artistic compatriots (including Morpheus Ravenna and Shauna Aura Knight) for what looks to be a really neat, innovative creation process. I can’t wait to see it!

Her Indiegogo campaign is wrapping up on March 30th, of if you can, donate before then. Even a small donation helps–and is essentially the same as pre-ordering the album. Not a bad deal, imho. But I’m a tad biased 🙂

If you haven’t heard of or seen her, let me tell you– Sharon Knight is an awesome Bay Area local pagan/musician. She and T. Thorn Coyle have put out several albums of chants for various Gods and Goddesses. Our “Facets of Freya” ritual used the “Freya” half of their “Frey and Freya” (Songs for the Strengthening Sun) chant in the Blot section:

Love notes from Freya, 3/27/15

Be patient. Things are being prepared even as we speak. Just because you cannot see it doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. Love, Freya.

That all sounds very spring-ish and Ingwaz to me. As The Book of Rune Secrets says, “(This is the) rune of isolation or separation in order to create a space or place where the process of transformation into higher states of being can occur. Rune of gestation and internal growth.” In other words, the bread is still baking; don’t open the oven.

Prayer for Light: A prayer for Frey, by Joshua Tenpenny

I went looking for poetry devoted to Freyr, and I came across this beautiful, heartfelt prayer on NothernPaganism.org.

Prayer for Light, by Joshua Tenpenny

Hail Frey, my Fulltrui, god of my heart,
You are with me now,
as you always have been,
and always will be,
in times of need, and of plenty,
in times of folly, and of wisdom,
in times of sorrow, and of joy.

Help me to remember
that the spark of your light
which resides in my heart
can be kindled into a bright flame,
of love, and of hope, and of joy,
if only I will it,
no matter how bleak the circumstances.

Help me to remember
that Love is an infinite resource,
an inexhaustible supply,
which does not need to be saved
for some special occasion,
or measured out by the teaspoonful,
given only when earned.

Help me to remember,
that I can share this light with others,
without passing judgment on them,
and that withholding it harms me
far more than it harms them.

Help me find the strength
to release anger, fear, and despair,
and choose joy.
In your name, may I always choose joy.

Why I blog… (reason #1)

(EDITED: On a somewhat related note, I just ran across a pretty cool site dedicated to Freya on Tumblr: http://rosesandlovewithfreyja.tumblr.com/, which has great pics and poetry. I’ve successfully avoided Tumblr up until this point, but I may need to actually start poking around and see what’s there.)

But unfortunately, there’s also bad, inaccurate, and poorly researched data about Freya readily available on the internet. Case in point: http://www.valkyrietower.com/freyja.html. If I was a newbie who knew nothing of Freya or Heathenry or Norse scholarship, I would look at this site and go, “Whoa! She quotes stuff. With page numbers and everything. From a variety of sources. This must be legit!” It should be mentioned that I of all people recently (given my Facets of Freya ritual) know that She’s a complex Goddess with a lot going on. But at some point, you have to call “bullshit”.

Why is this site bad? Look at who she’s quoting. Ed Fitch is not a great resource on Norse mythology (or runes, for that matter.) Nor does a book called Magical Pantheons have well-researched info (Freya is a triple goddess, did ya know?) Or the Rune Vision Card Deck, which tells us that the first aett in the Elder Futhark is Freyaj’s Aett (does Freyr know this, I wonder.) And, according to Silver Ravenwolf (The Rune Mysteries), Freya is associated with the extinct Caspian tiger and “wanders at night accompanied by silver-gray hares”. The Lost Beliefs of Northern Europe does seem to have good information, but the only other source on this website that even looks vaguely familiar is Freya Aswynn’s Northern Mysteries, and Aswynn’s stuff needs to be taken with a grain of salt and a good dose of knowledge of the myths and how modern people have experienced Her.

There is probably good info in all of these sources if I look hard enough, but if I didn’t have a firm foundation in the source material and the Heathen community as a whole, I would have no idea who Freya actually was based on these sources. There probably is a goddess who runs with silver-gray hares, but unless She has laid down some pretty idiosyncratic UPG, that’s not actually Freya with whom you are talking. Also, there are goddesses who can legitimately be called “Triple Goddesses”; Freya is not one of them. Freya has facets; Freya took many names as She traveled; and it can be argued that several of the other Goddesses/characters are actually Freya (Gullveig; Horn, Mardoll, etc)–but an actual tripartite goddess She is not.

So, why do I blog? This is why I blog.  I do it because I care about my Goddess and want other people to have a chance to learn about Her, not some hybridized neo-Celtic mishmash of goddess attributes. Freya has Her own identity. She deserves to be known and honored as such.

Love notes from Freya, 3/20/15

Now is the time for all good things to have sex. Be as the bee and the flower, and get it on! Love, Freya.

And, also, an undercurrent of LOVELOVELOVE. As underlies most everything I get from Her.

Not a bad deal, sometimes. 🙂

(I know I’m not the only flower you see/but what can I do, you are a good looking bee….)

Oh, and also–Happy Ostara!