Cara’s Rant About Intolerance, July 2015

I’ve had several rants percolating around in my head, sparked by the asshattru idiocy against the Icelandic Asatruar last week. I always have a wide variety of rants in my head, most of which don’t make it to the computer because really, who wants to write rants all day? Not I. But this Icelanders-receiving-hate-mail thing just pushed every single one of my buttons. This lovely Heathen breaks it down quite well with words and a tone (and even the eyebrows!) that pretty much exactly match my own:

So in addition to the obvious, what this got me thinking was about how intolerant groups of any ilk successfully reposition an argument to make it about something it is not. For example– Continue reading

What would Freya do on a visit to Midgard?

So recently I’ve been pondering about what a given deity would or wouldn’t do if they had the chance to come down to the mortal plane, hop in to a human, and do whatever they wanted for a few hours. (Yes, I know this often happens during various trance possession activities.) This is not about trance so much as about the character of a given deity. What thoughts or missions in regards to humanity are foremost in His or Her minds?

I get a lot of this kind of musing from Thenea’s work on behalf of Hermes. She hammers into me (as much as Hermes apparently hammers it into her) that Hermes is a god of everyone, not just the rich or the interesting or the classy. He wants to make sure everyone is accepted and taken care of, and apparently He works His ass off to do what He can to make this happen. He has a deep love for humanity and wants to make things better for us. He’s what I could call a very “Here and Now” kind of god.

This same kind of thought came up when I read Thorn Mooney’s article on “Forcing Belief”, in which she talks about getting to know Herne by practicing archery. Essentially, her point is, if you want to understand and connect with a god, do what He or She would do. Don’t just sit a meditate about a hunting god like Herne; go out and do some hunting yourself (or do hunting-like things; I think she’s a bit unclear).

Which brings us to Freya. A lot of the discussion I have been involved in about Her with people who work with Her is what She is like (and, therefore, how to be like Her): encouraging and feeding the sides of ourselves that are open; engaging; generous; sexy; commanding; compassionate in regards to warriors and/or the dying; creative; witchy; and/or extremely sensual. So I have some good ideas about how to be “like” Freya, which makes slipping into trance for Her much easier. But, then I thought, “But what would Freya actually do if She could be down here with us and have a body of Her own at Her complete disposal?”

(Most of us who voluntarily trance a deity do so in a some kind of controlled and limited environment. For the most part (not looking at Nea), I think we do not give 100% control of our bodies to a deity and then let that deity drive, make business calls, go shopping, get on airplanes, go on job interviews; and if we do, we generally expect the deity in question to take good care of our bodies and not do anything we’d regret later.)

So, what would a deity do on this mortal plane with a body that has absolutely no limits or repercussions? If the deity could simply materialize and exist, what would He or She do? What would Freya do? My answer, surprisingly enough, is not  “round up a bunch of willing people and a plenty of food and have sex all day”. (Though I’m not saying She wouldn’t; I just don’t think that’s all She would do.)

I think Freya’s a bit like Hermes. She and Odin, both actually, as they are the Heathen Recruiters– they are very out and about, interacting with a wide variety of people and entities, and generally just getting all up in humans’ business. And that’s just on a non-corporeal level. If She could be here, working as a human?

Here is what I think She would do.

I think She would wander around. Get caught up in the beauty of sunrises, flowers, homeless people living on the street. Laugh. Cry. Interact with people; interact with people; interact with people. Get them to feel emotions and then share those emotions with Her. (Any emotions; it doesn’t matter which ones.) She would cry their tears with them, feel their joy, revel in their anger and resentment, fly on their hope. Take away their unnecessary grief, if they let Her. Help them understand they they are beautiful and valuable. Comfort them, and take them home, if it was time to go.

I think she would also spend a lot of time with the animals–big and small; pretty and ragged; friendly and aggressive; common and endangered. She would talk with those who run the animal shelter and protection organizations; with zoo keepers and breeders; with those who bait dogs and fight them against each other. Get into these peoples’ heads; make sure that they are treating the  animals with humanity.

Above all, I think She would Love. Send so much love out to us, in any way that She could. I think She loves humans just as much as Hermes does. I think that She needs us as much as we need Her.  She is a generous gift giver. All we have to do is ask.

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.

Deep thoughts: Gifting and golddigging

I had two deep thoughts today.

First, Freya gives to herself (and we do, too)

Odin sacrifices “himself to himself” for knowledge of the runes and whatnot; but Freya — Freya is a giver. Working on the Facets of Freya ritual today, I kept getting the message “I am a gift”. (Me, attempting to clarify: “Who is a gift? Me?” Freya: “YES.”  “To who?” YES.” “To you?” “YOU ARE THE GIFT.”)  sigh. So I thought, well, if Odin can sacrifice himself to himself, than I can give myself to myself. I give myself to myself; I am both the giver and the gift. Which fits in perfectly with the facet of Freya that I will be portraying–the Freya of Self-Love. (If you could only see the way She loves us…)

Second, Freya as a golddigger. Literally.

Today’s work also brought up this quote: “I am the daughter of a master navigator. There is no gold I cannot find or treasure I cannot uncover and make shine.” And I thought, Well, of course. She loves gold and beauty in all of its forms. She found the best gold/treasure the dwarves had to offer, and went after it, breaking all kinds of Asgardian rules and thoroughly pissing Odin off (depending on your pov). And She loves and is doted on by Her father, Njord, the god of Fishing,Trade, and Commerce. (Vanic gods, the both of them, so modify anything They do with the adjective “abundantly”.) Who’s to say that Her guidance won’t always bring us to richer and better things? Maybe She is a golddigger, but in a good way. I mean, She is a giver.