“After All”, by Dar Williams

Dar Williams is one of my favorite artists, starting  back when I first saw her perform my freshman year of college. She’s witty and vulnerable; a sensitive soul guided by beauty and hounded by depression. When I’m empty, I fight the same fight; but when I take care of myself, I remember that neither emotion nor beauty are my adversary; there doesn’t need to be a fight.

Go ahead push your luck
Find out how much love the world can hold
Once upon a time I had control and reined my soul in tight

Well the whole truth
Is like the story of a wave unfurled
But I held the evil of the world
So I stopped the tide
Froze it up from inside

Love notes from Freya, 5/6/15

The secret to beauty is… that beauty lies beneath the skin. Until you remove that shell–until you get to the heart of what is in front of you–you will never know what the true blessing is that you have been given. Love, Freya

(The eve of my trip to the homeland seemed an opportune time to reconnect with my Lady and get the channel flowing again. So there was this, plus a bunch of advice on how to interact with what I will find over there.)

On Beauty, Sex, Sexuality, and Romance in Old Norse society

I was digging through some old files the other day and came across a presentation I had created for a Runes ‘n Lore class my old kindred used to run. I had chosen Sex, Beauty, and Romance because, well, I’m a Freyaswoman and it seemed the kind of thing that I should be know about. I’ve revised it and added more information. Most of the material here is drawn from  Women in Old Norse Society, by Jenny Jochens. Dr. Jochens draws her data from the Eddas, the Sagas, and contemporary laws. She takes an interdisciplinary approach and processes this information through the lens of linguistics, history, and modern gender analysis. Together with her book Old Norse Images of Women, and Women in the Viking Age, by Judith Jesch, we now know quite a bit about what it was like to be a woman in the Viking Age. I highly recommend all three books.

The article also contains all of the euphemisms you could ever want to know for sex and otherwise getting it on in Old Norse. 😉

on-beauty-sex-sexuality-and-romance-in-old-norse-society

Freya as Goddess of Love

What do I mean when I say that Freya is a Goddess of Love?

First off, to me, Love encompasses Self-Love. Freya is obsessed with how much any of us love and value ourselves. And thank the Gods that She is, imho. Self-love is key; Self-Love is absolutely required. Self-Love is the goal. If we do not love ourselves, how can we attempt to love others? There’s none to share around if there’s none inside. As my program people put it—share from the Overflow, not the Mother Lode. If we try to love others without loving ourselves first–at least to a certain extent–then we get worn out pretty quickly. (And at what point does “loving” others become an unacceptable way of treating ourselves?)

She rules over Romance. All aspects of it: why you want it, how to get it, and what to do once you have it. Under this falls things like beauty (another topic in of itself), flirting, matchmaking, sexual chemistry, star-crossed lovers, friends who become lovers. First dates. Marriages, handfastingss, commitment ceremonies, vow writing, and vow renewals. Weddings. Freya, even moreso than other Love Goddesses, rules over of love lost–either through death or missed connections or mental illnesses or jealousy or infidelity or your partner up and leaving unexpectedly. And of just growing apart; because in my mind She’s also the Goddess of Mr./Ms. Right Now as much as just as Mr./Ms. Right Forever (a distinction I wish I had made before my last marriage and subsequent divorce). Luckily, She’s also the Goddess of romance novels and all sexual and romantic fantasies. (Maybe beauty fantasies as well? Hmm.) Note that though She is, by extension, the Goddess of divorce and separation, she is not the Goddess of lawyers or paperwork, or any kind of rules-lawyering, really. (Maybe Frigga’s better for this stuff? Or one of Her handmaidens.)

She is the Goddess of Sexual Ecstasy—the kind that comes as much from the emotional intimacy as from physical caresses. Two souls merging completely, body and spirit. (I’d throw “mind” in here as well, but I think that’s more of Odin’s purview.) She’s the Goddess of Romantic Highs–the high one gets when one first falls in love (NRE), or the heart-skipping hope you get when you first begin to believe that you and this other person have a chance at a life together. She’s also the Goddess of Pure Lust and Obsession. As in, you have a raging hard on and are extremely close to setting fire to everything you’ve worked so hard to build but you can’t quite remember why that’s a bad thing at the moment. (Cue Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love”.) Is this the dark side of working with Freya? One of them, yep. YMMV. (There are good reasons why I trust her completely with every part of my life except my sex life.)

Finally, to me She is also the Goddess of Falling in Love and Being in Love. She is in love with many things (possibly everything?), all the time. All. The. Time. (I don’t think I can emphasize this enough.) Through my connection with Her, I can fall in love in a snap with almost anything, animate or inanimate. (Given enough time, I could probably fall in love even with the things I hate.) This is lovely when you’re a goddess, but as a human, I’ve found it to be as much of a challenge as a benefit. But these are the blessings I believe that She gives.

I’m not saying that other deities don’t also cover these areas. They do. Or that Freya doesn’t also cover many other areas–She does. But when it comes to how I see Her as a Love Goddess, this is it.