An Introduction to Freya

(A work in progress–please feel free to add your own suggestions down below)

Introduction to Freya

Let me introduce you to my goddess.

Freya is an experience. You feel Her in your heart and in your loins, in the beat of your blood in your veins and the butterflies in your stomach. She can not be “logicked” or reasoned through. (If you’re very lucky, all she will do is smirk at you if you try.) Freya must be felt. If you don’t want to feel, or don’t know how, Her lessons may be painful.

Freya is…. anticipation, sweat, lust, and longing.

Freya is… a sweet, slow lay on a humid summer night.

Freya is… unconditional acceptance and love.

Freya is… transcendental bliss and contentment.

Freya is… butterfly kisses along your jaw and sweet nothings whispered in your ear.

Freya is… a touch that ignites what was long dead.

Freya is…. the uncontrolled passion that sweetly burns up everything you hold dear, yet you can”t bear it to stop.

Freya is… the soul-shattering despair that break your heart.

Freya is… the golden joy that weaves you back together afterwards.

Freya is… fertility of heart, mind, and spirit.

Freya is… the inspiration that always hits at the worst times, but can’t be ignored.

Freya is… a firm hand on your leash and a soft caress behind the whip.

Freya is…. mischief and war when she’s bored.

Freya is… a racing pulse before the ecstasy of the release.

Freya is…. experiencing the underlying beauty of the entire world…including yourself.

Freya is… a slow dance with the one you love.

Freya is…. an erotic striptease from the one you’ve just met.

Freya is….  a bowl of dark chocolate mousse with caramel drizzle and whipped cream on top.

Freya is…. the nectar of over-ripe peaches running down your chin.

Freya is… a cat’s contented stretch and lazy rumble purr.

Freya is… a thousand lessons a book will never teach you.

Freya is… that feeling of being helpless to stop your heart from doing whatever insane thing it wants you to do next.

Freya is… drowning in the experience and being perfectly happy (or completely terrified) to do so.

And on and on. She is as endless as a midsummer twilight and as generous as the flashing sea. What can’t She do or be?

A Heathen at Disney World

My trip to Disney a few weeks ago was eye opening. I ate too much, drank too much, and was way too hot (92F and humid every day!)  But I did have fun despite of it. One of my favorite parts of the trip (unsurprisingly) was visiting Norway at Epcot Center. I hadn’t realized that Disney had put so much effort into the authenticity of their “country” areas at the World Showcase. Needless to say, I was surprised to find a small, authentic wooden stave church (shipped directly from Norway) as well as an homage to many of our Norse Gods. Here is what Disney World has waiting for us Heathens at Epcot:


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Election Day Self-Care

Tomorrow is Election Day for the USA. Those of us in the US have been dealing with an onslaught of–to put it gently–bad policy decisions, mostly targeted at the already powerless and disenfranchised among us, and many of us would like nothing more than to vote all of the politicians out of office. It’s a stressful day, because if nothing changes with these elections, we’re stuck with 1) evidence that the majority of the active voters don’t care about the BS that’s been happening in DC, and 2) increasingly less likelihood anything will get better until the next presidential election.

If tomorrow will be anything like 2016’s election day, many of us will spend it watching the election results like a hawk. While important, this is actually not helpful and only increases everyone’s anxiety. With this in mind, I’ve made a Self-Care Plan for surviving tomorrow.

Step 1: Vote, and send up a prayer to your Gods for your chosen politicians. That’s the only thing I, personally, can do tomorrow. (If you have more directly useful actions you can do in your area–such as protecting polling places or driving people to the polls–and have the skills to do them, do them!)

Step 2: Unplug, and put the election results out of your mind.

Here’s my plan: I’m lucky in that my work gives us the day off for election day. I plan to hit the local apple orchard for lunch with my parents, grab some fresh apple donuts and cider to go, and then go to dinner and a movie with my beau. If I have time, I plan to chat with my sister in California. A great day spent with people I love!

What will you do? Need some suggestions?

How about:

  • get together with friends and loved ones
  • cook
  • play with your animals
  • make art
  • game
  • Netflix and chill
  • garden
  • bowl
  • hit a spa
  • hike

Just do it.  The world will still be there on Wednesday no matter what happens. Rest and recharge as much as you can while you wait.

Disney World Musings

This past week my  partner and I went to Disney World for our first real vacation. It was fun for the most part, though it’s not a vacation I would have chosen to go on on my own. I’m not a big Disney fan myself, but he is, and he and his friends own property at one of the resorts there, which made it a (relatively) cheap vacation. Despite the fact that I adored having a break from work and being pampered, I have to say that I spent most of the trip in deep ambivalence, mainly due to the fact that the Disney experience is so heavily consumerist. I work in public aid, and I regularly deal with people who work 2-3 jobs and can barely provide for their families, much less even consider being able to take their family to Disney. Also, though there are exceptions, the whole purpose of anything you do at Disney is to spend unnecessarily large amounts of money, which goes against pretty much every budget-shopping urge I have. If you’ve never been to any of the Disney parks, imagine having to spend movie theater prices all day long, every day, on everything you buy. As everything essentially takes place on Disney property (Disney apparently owns a large chunk of central FL), there is no way around this. Once I accepted this, though, I was able to enjoy myself.

Here’s a breakdown of our Disney experiences.

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Initiation, retrospection

I came across some of my writings from around the time of my initiation with Freya in 2013. Looking back on that whole process, it occurred to me that it was all very organic.

Me, after a random public journey:

“Hmm, Freya wants me to come visit a lot?”

<I visit every day for two weeks straight. Freya shows me X, Y, and Z insights about myself and the universe as a whole>

“Cool! Now I have to thank Her! How shall I do that?”

<Series of conversations with her telling me to have a public celebration honoring myself and Her. Which I did; it was lovely.>

Me, five years later: If someone had tried to design that entire initiatory and revelatory experience for me and I had to follow along, or if I had to wait for a specific teacher that I clicked with and trusted enough to tell me how and what I should experience and when, well…. it would not have gone nearly so well. First off, I don’t do well with people telling me what I can or can’t do. I will do what I want, thank you very much. (Yes, my pride is a known character defect that hinders much as much as it helps.) Secondly, I get in my own way so often that if even if there had been an external, clearly laid out plan, likely I would have found a way to procrastinate or talk myself out of it. Who am I but some mere human? Smart, sure; sensitive, sure; but also kind of hapless, overly idealistic and often depressed. I’m just one of billions of such people walking the earth today. This way, there were no expectations because it was, quite literally, being revealed to me bit by bit. I was given exactly what I needed as I needed it and as I was able to handle it. Despite the challenges that came later, for that alone, I’m very grateful. The process was graceful and loving, though often strenuous and painful. The experience forever changed how I interact with the world around me.

Life is painful, and growth even more so. Still, I was carried then, and I have faith that I will be carried again when the time arises. Until then–

Hail and thanks to all of the powers that are greater than ourselves–those who know us more deeply than we ever can and who love us more powerfully than we can begin to imagine. Hail to my Lady, Freya!

A firestorm of Freyas….

Todays’ Facebook fun included a long thread on naming groups of deities, along the lines of “a murder of crows” or “a gaggle of geese”. My favorite creations:

  • A firestorm of Freyas
  • A disdain of Gerds
  • A suspension of Odins
  • A harvest of Freyrs (all my other ideas were not safe for work)
  • A cascade of Skadis (Andrea)
  • A competition of Ullrs
  • A whisper of Friggas (Mary)
  • A thunderstorm of Thors
  • An observation of Heimdals
  • A racket of Ratatosks (Becky)
  • A judgement of Tyrs
  • A revelation of volvas….

30 Days of Gerd, Day 8: The Skirnismal

(Yes, I’m skipping forward a bit.)

One of the workshops I love doing is an activity called Myth Embodiment. I have an entire section of the blog dedicated to it. Essentially, it involves a group of people “embodying” or re-enacting a myth, with all of the bits being portrayed–the deities, the scenery, the named objects. During the reenactment, we stop and each “character” gets a chance to give their pov of whatever event is taking place. It sparks some great discussions and helps really fill out less-well-known or less documented deities and myths. A few years ago, the Vanic Conspiracy did a myth embodiment for the Skirnismal, (“the Journey of Skirnir/Skirnir’s Story”). At the time, it helped me address some deep-seated issues I was having in working with Freyr, because at surface value this myth shows Freyr’s servant Skirnir forcing Gerd into marriage with Freyr using extremely creatively horrible threats. Our analysis is hosted on my blog here. My longer description and analysis of the myth from several different perspectives is available on Huginn’s Heathen Hof.


30 Days of Gerd, Day 2: Basics

Gerd (Gerðr) is a beautiful jotun maiden, daughter of the jotun Gymir. She was out minding her own business when Freyr spied Her from Hlidskjalf, Odin’s High Seat from which he can view all of the worlds. She was at her father’s hall, standing out in the garden. He saw her flashing white arms, and He fell violently in love. Skirnir woos Her for Freyr, and She comes back to marry Him. (This is the short version; the long version is found in the Skirnismal, or Skirnir’s Journey, which I will discuss ad nauseum later in this series.) Here is an illustration of Skirnir “wooing” Gerd in Her father’s Hall. Though it is not my favorite depiction of Gerd, I find it amusing as it attempted to compare the “small” Skirnir, of which race we know not, and Gerd, who is of Jotun kind. As Jackson Crawford explains in many of his videos on the subject, the jotnar were never meant to be understood as a completely different species of being; they were more than likely just seen as a tribe of outsiders, and not that much different from the Aesir or Vanir.

Skirnir and Gerd