So, I am dedicated to Freya. It’s probably the biggest commitment I’ve ever made. Already she’s outlasted both of my husbands and at least three of my cats. At this point, the Dedication is merely a formalization of what already exists. But if I’ve learned nothing else from Her, it’s that just when I feel like I’ve got this, I end up right back at the beginning. And so it was in October 2013 when this whole process started up again.
I say again, because in looking at past emails and diary entries, I find that I was thinking about becoming dedicated to Her back in 2006, right before I started dating my (now ex-) husband. At that point I had been involved in the Heathen community for seven or eight years, was a member of a kindred, had taught several years’ worth of public rune classes with that kindred, and had given intro-level presentations on Freya and various other topics. I felt like I knew what I was doing with Heathenry and with Freya and was ready to pledge my life to Her.
Apparently I was not ready to dedicate to Her in 2006, however. At that point She sent me through what I see as the relationship version of bootcamp, an extremely painful and phoenix-like, but ultimately liberating, experience. Among the many other things I gained from that time in my life was a membership in the 12- Step program that I’m in today; apparently Freya needed a priestess with addiction and recovery experience, too. (As it turns out, my program work dovetails really well with my work with Freya. I’ve found that these two spiritual programs support and enrich each other, and continue to help make me a better person and a better priestess. )
Thinking even further beyond that, however, I remember the first year I found out that Paganism existed, outside of fantasy novels. I was 18 and in my first year away at college, and I had joined the only group available–an Eclectic Wiccan group. I did a tarot reading, like everyone else, so I would find out who my Patron deities were.
I pulled out two cards: the Queen of Swords and the King of Wands. I looked at the Queen of Swords card and went, “Yay! That’s Freya”, all the while having no clue who Freya was or how I knew her name. I didn’t know much then about anything other than Celtic and Native American mythology. (And honestly, at that point I was planning on becoming a Druid.) To this day, I’m not sure how a stern, forbidding woman in a dark blue dress, carrying a big sword, translated as “Freya”. But then again, it might not have mattered which card I pulled; I was going to get Freya anyway.
As for the King of Wands… Anyone who knows anything about both the tarot would probably look at the man in that card, glowing red and full of physical strength, and see Ares or Thor. However, my brain translated that picture as, “Odin! Wait… who the hell is Odin?” And once I found out who Odin was, I decided that I didn’t really need a patron god. (I was Wiccan, after all; we focused on the Goddesses. 😉 But as with many Gods—you can run, but they’ll catch up to you eventually. Odin caught up to me right around the time that my dedication process to Freya really began.