About Me

 Post-ritual pic

Who runs this blog? I do!

Hi, I’m Cara, a priestess of Freya working primarily within a Norse Reconstructionist/Heathen perspective. I’ve been active in the Heathen community for about 15 years, both in Kentucky and California. I’m a devotional polytheist, and I draw my understanding of Freya and of Heathenry as a whole from the Lore (the Sagas and the Eddas), relevant archaeological finds, and my own peer-checked UPGs. Though at heart I’m a Norse Recon girl, I’ve recently been drafted by the Hellenic deities, so I’ve begun getting involved with a few Greek Recon groups as well.  I like to balance my Recon book knowledge with a huge dose of pragmatism, so I enrich my spiritual practice with skills and techniques from various Wiccan traditions, shamanic practices, and Western astrology. As a good friend and fellow priestess puts it, “If it works, use it.” On the mundane side, I work in the tech industry and what little free time I have is spent cuddling with my two cats, cooking, hiking, and indulging in a good sci-fi/fantasy book.

About this Blog:

In April of 2014, I finished up a Dedication process to my Lady, Freya. For those of you unfamiliar with her, Freya is the Norse goddess of Sex, Money, the Battleslain, Magic (specifically all things seidh), Gold, Love, and Beauty. She’s a member of the Vanir tribe of deities (as opposed to the Aesir deities, such as Odin and Thor).

As part of my Dedication process, she has asked me to create a blog to honor Her and share information about Her, the Vanir, and Heathenry as a whole with people far and wide. It will include “Love Notes” from Freya (part of her original mandate); random acts of priestessing; resources for connecting with and honoring Her (and all of the Vanir); and my thoughts and musings about being Her priestess in the Heathen community and the pagan community as a while.

I call this blog a “diary” because it is as much of a processing tool for me as it is a resource for others. I consider myself a priestess-in-progress and I am always expanding my understanding of what it means to be a priestess of Freya and a modern devotional polytheist, and my posts on the blog reflect this.

The Many Facets of Freya

As with many pre-Christian deities, Freya is very complex and rules over many aspects of life. For me, she is a goddess of Beauty, Love, Power, Gold, boundaries, and self-respect. Others experience her darker side as the Chooser of the Slain–walking the battlefield and taking first choice of those dead warriors up to Her hall, Sessrumnir, in Vanaheim. Yet others see her as the Gythia, priestess and seeress, wild and wise in the magic of seidh that Odin coveted. She can also be seen in the embodiment of the green and gold fruitful earth, working with Her brother Freyr to keep the animals fertile and as He keeps the land fruitful. She is also the wife of the lost one, Odr; as She searches for him, she weeps; her tears turning to gold when they reach the earth. Those who connect with this side of her understand the loss of love, whatever form it takes, and know that She mourns with them.

She is the wild, sweet lust of a summer night; the raucous, passionate, unexpected fling; the rush of falling headlong into love; all love and relationships that are forbidden or taboo.  She is the Goddess of unabashed New Relationship Energy (NRE). She will help you start a relationship, but not necessarily make it last; look to Her ecstasy, but not necessarily commitment. (If you are looking for contentment within a long-term relationship, you might be better served in appealing to Odin’s wife, Frigga.)

To me, She is also The Queen; separated from her beloved husband Odr, She rules her Hall and her body completely, and does what She pleases, when she pleases, and with whom she pleases. She is not beholden to anyone–not a husband, not her tribe, not the Aesir or jotuns. In this facet, she can be seen as the Strife-Stirrer (as opposed to Frigga’s and Freyr’s roles as community frithweavers). She is the most beautiful of the Norse goddesses, coveted by Gods, jotuns, and humans alike, and fights are often waged for Her hand in marriage–but She never lets Herself be tied down against Her will. Thor Himself dressed as Freya to trick a jotun rather than to try to force her to be married against Her will.

As with many complex deities, Freya has both a light and the dark side of Her nature; which side you experience depends quite a bit on what lens you have to look through. She can be dangerous in that She can (though not necessarily “will”) bring out the negative aspects of power and goldlust in those people who work closely with Her. Her energy, if filtered through your own issues in these areas, can inspire power struggles, selfishness, greed, jealousy, obsession, stinginess, and materialism. As with any other powerful goddess, people who work with her can be drawn to that darkness and obsession rather than try to share her light with others. The choice is yours; but know that the Norse gods are very present, and, in my opinion, not very subtle in letting you know Their opinion.

 

Why is your lovely blog called “The Gold Thread“?

I chose the title “The Gold Thread” for a number of reasons. First, golden threads are a recurring image in my journeys with her. My most memorable experience of this occurred in the final stages of my initiation with Her. She slowly and thoroughly cocooned me in pure golden thread, which She connected back to Herself. Then She showed me all of the other gold threads that connected back to her, from Her chosen people. (If you’ve seen any of the X-Men movies–remember what it looked like when the Professor put on his helmet and saw all of the mutants all over the world? Imagine that, but with golden threads connecting everyone.) I felt, as usual in my interactions with Her, an overwhelming sense of love, completeness, and connection. In writing this blog/website, I hope to continue to send her “gold threads” out further into the world, and create even more pathways for Her love to flow through.

Second, Freya = valuable = gold. One of her roles (and those of all of the Vanir) is to help create abundance–for Her, this shows itself in monetary wealth, love, and sex. Gold has always been a strong symbol in Germanic literature, an entity unto itself that both lures and destroys those who lust after it. Gullveig, a goddess of the Vanir whom many Asatru identity with Freya, has a name that literally means “gold-intoxication”. Also, the myths list Freya with the most important treasures of the universe: a jotun, having Asgard in his debt, will ask for “the Sun, the Moon, and Freya” in return. (Or, just Freya, depending on the myth.) So, gold is one of the major symbols and colors that I, and many others, use when when dealing with Freya. I can guarantee that anything gold or gold-colored will be appreciated by Her. 🙂

20 thoughts on “About Me

  1. I am working on a book about the seasons in human life. Now I am working on the mythology chapter. Norse tales record few stories about the origin and cycles of the seasons, except for their preoccupation with Ragnarok, which comes on the heels of Fimbulwinter. So I am interested in Freyr and Freya, who are nominally fertility deities, even though I can find no tales that evoke this role. With most fertility deities, especially pairs like Astarte and Adonis, Isis and Osiris, Inanna and Dumuzi, and of course Demeter and Persephone, there are stories that evoke the seasonal cycle, but not with Freyr and Freya. This may have to do with the great climate shift in Scandinavia around 850 to 650 BC, when things got so much colder, and agriculture and viniculture both declined. The Norse attention shifted to Fimbulwinter and the end of the world. Have you ever read or heard older tales, some not recorded in the Edda and other well-known sources, that tell stories of Freyr and Freya?

    • Great questions! You’re right, there isn’t much linking Freya, at least, to the fertility of the earth or the changing of the seasons; in my opinion, she isn’t a fertility or a mother deity at all. In modern Asatru, we often see Freyr as being the one who reflects the changing of the seasons and responsible for the fertility of the land, tied to the myth of his wooing of the ice jotun Gerd. I’ll send you over to embervoices for more information on this as she’s done more work in that area.

      • Actually Freyja is more connected with the fertility of animals than the plants or land. That’s evoked in Her titles as Syr and Mare of the Vanir and such.

        Part of the problem is that the ways in which the Vanir are agricultural deities is reflected more in how They were worshipped than in the stories told about Them. As far as I can tell, the stories served very different purposes than the actual practices. The stories were as much to pass the time during long cold winters as to educate.

        You may find more of what you’re looking for in the Sagas, discussing how ordinary folk invoked various gods in the process of their agricultural year.

        -E-

  2. One blogger posits a connection between a silver statue believed to represent Freyja in a circle, a Christmas bread, and the concept of a god in a wheel: http://www.gangleri.nl/articles/69/freya-or-brisingamen/. The Gangleri Articles author says the circle in the Freyja statue may be related to Freyja being a fertility Goddess and the circle of the crops and seasons of the year.

    The article has a lot of speculation, including suggesting that the large circle in the statue is Freyja’s Brisingamen. I am not convinced the circle in the silver Freyja statue represents the necklace… she also appears (to my eyes) to have strands of beads on her chest, but that may be patterning on her clothing. Not having seen the statue in person, and without good angles, it is hard for me to say.

    I have looked at many different photographs of the Freyja silver statue, e.g.: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Freyja_in_silver.jpg and various modern interpreted replicas (such as: http://www.goddessgift.net/images/freya-SS-NFR-1.jpg, http://www.jelldragon.com/images2/sn_freya_silver.jpg, and http://thumbs2.ebaystatic.com/d/l225/m/m_l0vVb2XgeUYNQIk5HxQjA.jpg). Each leads to a different interpretation of the circles, grooves, and indentations, so I leave this as a topic for further research.

    Nevertheless, I found the similarity between the statue and the Christmas bread with the human/god in a ring to be intriguing. It reminded me of Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man and derivatives thereof, such as the female Vitruvian #15 on the following site: http://acidcow.com/pics/6732-da-vincis-vitruvian-man-18-pics.html.

    I once saw a picture of a woman or Madonna seated upon and enveloped by an oval chair. It reminded me of the Freyja circle statue and led me to wonder if the circle in the Freyja statue might represent some kind of birthing chair.

    Shiva Nataraja the Lord of Dance is also shown in a circle, interpreted on the following blog as the “great wheel of samsara filled with the infinite cycle of births and rebirths”: http://www.bronzecreative.com/shiva-hindu-god-statue-nataraja-lord-siva.htm.

    Further research of statues and other representations of Freyja and other gods/goddesses may shed light on connections between Freyja and fertility of the earth and seasons. One must keep in mind, however, that such representations are subject to interpretation. As usual, it would be helpful to find corroborating evidence.

    As EmberVoices pointed out, worship of the fertility gods and goddesses varies from the stories in the mythology. It would be an interesting to study to see if statues and other physical representations reflect more the stories or worship practice.

    Food for thought…

  3. Thanks for your input, Freybjorg. 🙂 Yep, I’ve seen this pendant around and have always been kind of curious about it. I’m not even sure how certain we are that it *is* Freya, honestly. I think you’re right in that if we want to find any real evidence connecting Freya to the fertility of the land (or, honestly, to human fertility, other than sex and a few mentions in charms for childbirth), we’ll need to look at the archaeological record rather than the Lore. Coming from a folklorist standpoint, I’d say one thing we can be pretty sure of is that what people actually did in their practice is likely to be closer to what we find in the archaeological record rather than what is seen in the myths; I think the disconnect between The Mythology and what people actually do can be pretty big.

    As for the gangleri article, yeah, I think it’s kind of a stretch, but it’s interesting to ponder.

  4. I’ve spent a lot of time since my original query with the lore, particularly the Sagas. The problem is that the references to the gods are scant and anecdotal. Many of the sagas run by the cycle of the seasons: winter is for resting, spring into summer the time of Viking, and autumn the time of feasts. One finds references to sacrificial feasts for the summer, though no particular deity is mentioned. Elsewhere ‘a sacrifice was being made to the disir . . .’ (Egil’s Saga) There are winter feasts and autumn feasts, though again, they are not ascribed to this god or that. Odin is evoked often, usually in reference to poetry. Freya is mentioned one time so far, again in Egil’s saga, when Egil’s daughter finds him ill and says she will die with him, to join Freya. What I have learned is that Norse theology has been more grossly simplified than most ancient belief systems. Of course all ‘pagan’ systems are simplified in classroom lessons, becoming little more than a series of ‘just-so’ stories. I am surprised to learn (as I always am) how much more rich and nuanced a theology it is. I just wish the sources were clearer, or more abundant. I think it likely that it served the purposes of the the Icelandic scholars who recorded these stories to undermine the extent to which the gods filled a place in people’s daily lives.

    • Well, that’s part of it, and part of it is that the daily life stuff was more about the Ancestors and the spirits of the land. Arguably the Gods were effectively very BIG ancestors to whom you owed respect and who could be petitioned for help in the event that one’s more personal ancestors weren’t able to help enough.

      It’s also simply possible that Northern religious life didn’t look like Southern religious life enough that they’re directly comparable in this particular way.
      -E-

  5. I just wanted to write that I very much enjoy your blog. It is truly written from the heart. My own focus is on Forseti, and it is a pleasure to read about your journeys with Freya. Our Gods are good Gods. Be well, and best wishes to you.

    • Why, thank you! 🙂 I figure one of the things I can do here in Midgard is to share what I’m going through as honestly as I can. I know that’s the type of writing that I appreciate the most, myself.

      Best wishes to you, as well. It’s always really enheartening to me hear that the other lesser-well-known Gods are being worked with and honored as well. Thanks!

  6. Hello, I found your blog through Rhyd Wildermuth’s. Always good to meet other polytheist bloggers. I’m also trying to learn more about devotional poetry from other cultures as although we have ancient myths there isn’t much in Saxon / Norse / Brythonic / Gaelic cultures. Currently reading Mira Bai.

    Oh, and I can add to your Gold Threads 🙂 There was a famous Gold Threads Works in Preston, Lancashire in Northern England that inspired a story and picture trail by Claire Massey http://preston3twenty.co.uk/claire-massey-gold-threads-photo-trail/

    • Hail and well met 🙂 I’m not sure that we (the Norse) have a lot of devotional poetry, as you said. I think the focus back in the day was on the ancestors, and which ever deity one’s family was associated with (if any), so maybe that’s we lack that kind of devotional poetry for deities. The monotheistic mystics really nail it, though. I should read them more often 🙂

      One of the many reasons I have a poetry section on my blog is to gather modern-day devotional poetry, because although the ancients might not have focused as heavily on the deities, we certainly do now, and I believe that the Gods are almost desperate to have that connection with us now. Speaking of which, I saw the blurb Rhyd posted about your book on his blog. I’m looking forward to reading it! I have no active spiritual connection with the Welsh (at the moment), but I did live there for a few months, and the country and culture is near and dear to my heart. It makes me so happy to see you and Rhyd (and hopefully others) working for the Welsh deities!

      And thanks for the Gold Thread 😉

  7. Hi I’m really sorry to bother you. I found this blog as you are a priestess of freyja and I had a few..personal questions regarding this. How can I get into contact with you? Thank you in advance!

  8. When I came to Paganism at seventeen, Freyja was the first goddess to call to me. I am hoping this blog will help me learn more about her through the eyes of a devotee. 🙂

  9. Hello! I’m worshipping Freyja myself and I’m very interested about being a priestess to Her. Is there a way I can contact you?

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