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?

Facets of Freya monologues

Here are the monologues from Freyja’s Aett’s first “Facets of Freya” ritual, PCon 2015. The specific facets that we covered were Freya in her Warrior/Chooser of the Slain aspect; Freya as the Bearer of Brisingamen; Freya as the Queen of Vanaheim;  Freya who is the embodiment of Desire; and Freya as the one who sees the value and beauty in all things and shares that gift with us.

1. Ember: Vanadis

2. Freybjorg: Brisingamen’s Bearer

3. Meredith: Chooser of the Slain

4. Bella: Lady of Desire

5. Cara: Generous Giver

The basic script for the ritual is available here. Enjoy!

PantheaCon 2016

Here’s my PantheaCon schedule this year:

Things I am in (note the “all late night, all trancey” theme, for the most part)

  • Friday 11PM “All Acts of Love and Pleasure”, Cedar/Pine
  • Saturday 11am “Njord Blot”, Heathen Hospitality Suite, 2nd floor 
  • Saturday 11pm “Facets of Freya”, San Jose/Santa Clara
  • Sunday 9pm: “Matronae Oracular Devotional”, Oak

The All Acts of Love and Pleasure ritual, run by Yeshe Rabbit Matthews’ CAYA group, is meant as a substitute for the usual Friday night Pomba Gira ritual. The structure is “person presents her or his goddess, followed by a danceable song”. There’s about 7 or 8 of us presenting various love and sex deities (Ishtar, Oshun, Venus, etc.). I’m presenting Freya, and, knowing Her, I will most likely be carrying Her throughout the ritual. I didn’t realize at the time that I was asked that this was supposed to be the replacement for Pomba, else I might have been a bit more hesitant to accept a part. Still, when I asked Freya about it, She was pleased. “I shall come down glowing and golden!” She said–or something to that effect, anyway. So the facet of Freya which will show up here will probably be along the lines of Brisingamen Freya or Self-Love Freya.

The Njord Blot is a last-minute addition to the Heathen Hospitality Hall schedule, as He has been poking at me quite strongly recently and I thought He should have a blot. It’ll be informal and, depending on how many people show up, short.

The Facets of Freya ritual is our follow-up to last year’s Facets ritual, which I have saved on the blog (tagline facets of freya). It will follow essentially the same format as the one from last year, but the facets which will be presented are different this year. This year’s facets will draw from the darker sides of Freya–the seidhkona (“witch”); the blot gythia (“leader of the sacrifices”); the survivor (Gullveig, and Freya post-Ragnarok); Mardoll (“She who weeps for Her lover”); and the ever-popular Chooser of the Slain (valkyrie Freya!). Our tagline is, as ever: “Five Freyas, no waiting”.

The last one I’m officially in this year is River Devora and Rynn Fox’s Matronae Oracular Devotional. I’m only on the warding staff, so I’m not as familiar with how this will be set up this year. However, I was on River’s test crew when she was originally hammering out this bit of ritual tech, so I have some idea what to expect. As a side note, I think “the Matronae” as such are making a comeback, as it seems like many European goddesses (Germanic and Celtic ones, in particular) may have gone through a phase in which they were worshipped as part of the Matronae (or maybe an earlier version of the goddesses were part of the Matronae) and so, in a sense, parts of the Matronae have been worshipped more and more frequently over the last 30 years or so. Perhaps the “collective” Matronae entity is finally waking up now. It’s fun stuff to experience/ponder, though I’m happy I’m not trancing in this ritual!)

Things I would like to attend (but let’s be honest, I usually end up wherever the Gods throw me):
Too numerous to list, honestly. Ideally (in no particular order): anything about Heathenry; anything about the Greeks; anything about trance; anything about folklore; anything about horned gods; anything about love goddesses; anything by Shauna Aura KnightJohn Beckett, Hrafnar (Diana Paxon’s kindred), the Vanic Conspiracy, Pandemos, or ADF; and anything else put on by anybody I know. (If the event is before 11AM, it’s unlikely I’ll make it; see the aforementioned all late-night trance rituals this year.) Every year, I spend so much time plotting out all of the rituals and workshops I’d like to attend, but I rarely end up at a quarter of them. I try to let it go and not stress about it. C’est la vie.

Nov 2015 misc

(Grabbing the rare opportunity to do some personal blogging.)

A Miscellany:

–One of the best things about having a Hela-dedicated boyfriend is that he is very tolerant of my whims. For example, while we were perusing the post-Halloween sale the other day, I found a random Nerf Thor’s Hammer. I carried it around with me through the store and occasionally smote him with it, yelling “Jotun!” While neither he nor Loki were amused, he tolerated it. I did get a lot of eye rolls, though. (I thought it was hilarious. Yay Heathen humor!)

–Speaking of my guy, he’s started a #30DaysofHela project on his blog, here.

–I”f you build it, they will come.” It’s been almost a year since I landed here, but now I finally have Heathens coming out of the woodwork. Here’s hoping they decide to stay and help form a local Heathen community.

–I had a nice short chat with my Lady this evening at a local park. I usually stop and sit by the river, but tonight I felt drawn to go into the extensive rose garden, which, like the rest of the park, is open 24/7. I don’t know why I was surprised to find Her there–it is a very popular location, with thousands of beautiful rose bushes of all different varieties, surrounding a picturesque wedding location–but there She was. She was in full Garden mode, a side to Her that I hadn’t seen previously but which makes perfect sense. (I get the feeling that the Midwest is really not Her natural habitat, not the way that it is Thor’s, for example. It kind of feels like She’s “just visiting”, or only loosely anchored here. I have no problems finding Her in California, though.)

She said:

Look for me in the roses.
Look for me in the thorn
and the prick;
In blood spilt and tears wept.
Look for me in the dark desires
seething in your soul
Which will never see the light of day.

Look for me in the garden.

I also asked Her about Her and Freyr’s obsession with pork, and She answered that pigs/boars were the most fertile and fruitful of animals, hence the connection. (She didn’t mention the tastiness factor, but I think that was assumed.)

–PantheaCon: The Facets of Freya ritual has been accepted again for next year’s Con. We’ll be late Saturday night, opposite a host of other sex- or death- related rituals and workshops, unfortunately. We’ll likely have a slight shake up in the specific Facets being presented and in the people in the ritual. Also, on one of the other nights at Con, I’ll be in EmberVoices’ Thrones of Vanaheim ritual, part TBD. I’m not yet sure how similar/different the Thrones ritual is going to be from the Facets ritual, aside from focusing on the four main Vanir instead of just Freya, but Freyr’s been heavy on my mind lately and I’ve been wanting to participate in a ritual for Him.

–SPOILER ALERT: I finally read the first Rick Riordan book in his Magnus Chase (Norse Mythology) series. I like it! He portrays the Norse gods with less superficiality than he did the Greeks. Granted, the age of the title character is much older than Percy was when the first Percy Jackson series started. And OMG was I excited when I found out who Magnus’ deific father was!!! Not a hard choice, I tell you. 😉 Given Riordan’s general dislike of the popular jock/warrior types, though, I guess it’s not too surprising. Also, he portrayed Freya in a much more positive light than he did Aphrodite (which honestly, I had been a tad worried about). And Loki is his complex, fabulous self throughout the whole book, doing classic Loki things. (Though how Riordan could ever have passed up a chance to utilize Loki to his fullest extent, I’ll never know–it’s like Loki was tailor-made for Riordan’s writing style. I guess this isn’t too surprising given that Riordan has stated that his original love was Norse mythology, not Greek mythology, and that he’s been wanting to write a Norse series for years.) My only real complaints so far are that this series is only set up to be a trilogy, like his Egypt series, and he’s sticking to his usual hero-plus-two-sidekicks vs a righteous-yet-misguided-compatriot formula. I’d have liked to have seen him use a larger central group with more deities represented. Ah, well. And the family connection to the Greek books via Annabeth Chase was really unnecessary and seems a bit forced. Every single thing that Riordan writes does not need to be tied so closely to the Percy Jackson universe. Also, Ratatosk will forevermore be known as The Squirrel, 🙂 It’s eerie, in many places Riordan describes a given god or other entity using pretty much exactly the same words as I would: for example, Ratatosk is “that shit-talking squirrel”, whom Riordan uses to great effect.

Who is Queen here, anyway?

Also known as, everything looks better the day after.

Ever have that experience where the Gods put you in situations just to get a reaction out of you? (Granted, the reaction they are going for may be “growth”, but still. Poke the bear until they finally do what you want them to.)

Since posting about the “irreconcilable differences” between Freya, Loki, myself, and my guy, I’ve gotten a lot of feedback. It’s been great to hear other peoples’ stories of having gone through something similar with their gods, or who have seen similar issues between Freya and Loki in the past. It was kind of unusual, actually, that I posted about the drama on the blog. Normally I would have bitched about it to a few close friends and left it at that. But I gut checked before I posted, and got a green light, so… I posted. And like I said, I got quite a bit out of support and knowledge in doing so. (The Gods work in a multiplicity of ways; I can’t say for certain, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this reaction was one of their side goals from this incident.)

In any event, I can now say with some certainly that I know what Freya’s goal was for me out of all of this. I had to accept my role as Queen.

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Boundaries

Today in River Devora’s Polytheism class we were discussing communities: what types of spiritual or religious based groups there are; how they are structured; problems we’ve seen in our various polytheist communities; and groups and practices that worked really well. In the process, we discussed how hard it is for many pagan groups to practice defending boundaries: deciding who should be in a group, and when/how to kick somebody out of the group/community if that person was destroying the community. And it brought to mind the incident I had at the Facets of Freya ritual at PCon this year.

The Facets ritual was a communal project by Freyja’s Aett, a group I formed for this purpose. It an intense, high-energy, high-woo ritual that had five of us Freyaswomen trancing Her various facets simultaneously and doing a version of seidh for all of the participants. We had all worked on it for months, and I was very proud to be able to give this offering of love to and on behalf of my goddess.

And so it happened that on the night of the ritual, 11pm Sunday evening, near the end of the line for our ritual was Bathrobe Man. (If you’ve been to PCON, you may have seen him–he wears a short bathrobe–purple satin, iirc–with nothing under it, and wears it around Con all weekend. Every year.) I had remembered seeing him at the Dionysus ritual earlier that evening, which was designed to be a party as well as a devotional. And while our ritual was also designed to be powerful and ecstatic, it was not a free-flowing kind of party type of ritual where an enterprising guy might be able to “accidentally” loose his bathrobe belt and go leer at younger women. (Yeah. He had that energy.)

In any event, one of the Con staff assigned to our ritual went in an grabbed me when she saw him in line and asked me what I wanted to do. Technically, he shouldn’t have been allowed into any Con events as he wasn’t really dressed–but this is a large Pagan convention and, as we discussed in class, Pagans (many of whom have ourselves been the victims of discrimination and hated) generally have a hard time themselves excluding others from their events. The staff member was trying to help me avoid having to lay down a boundary and deal with the resultant confrontation right before my ritual, but Freya is nothing if not the Goddess of boundaries, so that was not going to happen. So I went over to him myself, pulled him out of the line, and told him that he wasn’t properly dressed for this ritual. His response?

“I can’t wear this, even this late at night? Really?”

And that pretty much did it. Some creepy dude with bad boundaries is not going to come into my ritual and disrespect my goddess and Her priestesses and the people who were there to seek some healing and a connection with Her. NOT ON MY WATCH.

So, despite the fact that I was set to channel Freya’s “Generous Giver/Self-Love” facet five minutes later, I gently but firmly kicked a guy out of our ritual.

And I felt bad about it for about five minutes. But then I let it go.

“I am Freya”, by Thenea

(As channeled by my dear friend Thenea, here.) This whole poem: Yes, and yes, and yes.

I am Freya

I am War. I am Love.

To me, all is beauty: I behold the terrible majesty of all creation.

I am all beauty: The majesty of the world returns my adoration

I stand before you without judgment.

Holy is the blood of death – beautiful in its completeness

Holy is the blood of birth – beautiful in its potential

Mine is the dance of battle, danced to the beat of harsh-clanging metal

Mine is the dance of sex, danced out rhythmic and sweet, to a song voiced by lovers.

This is who I am.

I am all love, and love all.

Doubt not that I love you, also

The meager of heart have naught but hollow threats to defend their place

The frightened and childish shall storm up and take their baubles home when challenged.

But I am no frail and bitter tyrant, hoarding power without purpose;

I am no voiceless coward who stands before iniquity in silence.

I am Life. I am Death. I am the magic between.

I am Freya

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.