Healing Through Sex and Intimacy (or, What Would You Do With A Night With Freya?)

I ran across a meme on my FB account today that really took me back to one of the many lessons of Freya. Here it is:

This is one of the best examples of Freya’s type of healing that I’ve seen. It’s the type of Her healing that I wish more people would acknowledge. In today’s society, sex work is often denigrated, and sex is the only intimacy that many people, particularly men, allow themselves. Makes for quite a conundrum, and it makes intimacy, and the intensely powerful emotional healing that it can bring, highly devalued.

If you’re new to the blog, or new to Freya, the myth of Brisingamen is the most fleshed-out one we have of Freya. In it, Freya, goddess of many things–including, but not limited to, sex, death, wealth, love, and magic–spies a beautiful necklace one day being made by four expert dwarvish craftsmen. She goes to them to gain it, and after some bartering they state that all they want is one night with her, each. Freya agrees, and the dwarves get their time with her and she gets the most beautiful necklace in the world–her key defining symbol, in fact. But what does this one night with her entail? We are left to imagine it for ourselves.

When I used to run my Brisingamen Myth Embodiment workshops, I really tried to help people to open up their ideas of “what would you do with a night with Freya?” Freya is definitely the goddess of wild hot nasty sex, sure–but She is just as much, if not more so, the goddess of emotional, transformational healing. Her method? Maybe it’s sex, and maybe it’s just transformative intimate time spent with another being.

Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of really good ideas as to what might happen. Surprisingly, when I’ve run this with mixed company, the men or male-identified individuals were the ones who come up with the most creative non-sex suggestions. (When I ran this with a female-only group, ironically, even with mixed sexual orientations, the first and most adamant suggestion was “hot nasty sex”.) Some men have suggested, that for example they spend a night being inspired by Freya to further their art medium of choice. Or, they they spend the night just being held and caressed by Freya: being made to feel treasured, or beautiful, maybe for the first time in their lives. Or, that they take advantage of Her vast knowledge of magic and spend the night in intense learning mode, gathering mystical secrets and leveling their understanding of the universe. Some of these suggestions included sex in the bargain, but not all did. I think what most of these suggestions had in common was a desire for intense intimate connection with another living being, with an end goal of being transformed at the end of it.

And, of course, some people just want or need intimacy of hard, heart-pounding sex. Whatever works, eh? That’s another part of Her magic–knowing exactly what it is that each person needs, and being able to provide it. After all, what might heal one person could end up harming another person. Healing would be no good of it were “one size fits all”. Whatever method is used, from whomever it is given, intimacy is the key.

Love notes from Freya, 3/20/15

Now is the time for all good things to have sex. Be as the bee and the flower, and get it on! Love, Freya.

And, also, an undercurrent of LOVELOVELOVE. As underlies most everything I get from Her.

Not a bad deal, sometimes. 🙂

(I know I’m not the only flower you see/but what can I do, you are a good looking bee….)

Oh, and also–Happy Ostara!

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

Creature in the Wood, by Heather Alexander

One of paths that I’ve always connected to with Freya is her seductress aspect. Personally, I see this as separate from her Lust or Sex aspects; the seductress is all about knowing your own sexual power and wielding it. (Leveraging lust as a form of power, go Freya!) There are a great many songs which portray this side of Her very well. This is one of my favorites, by filk singer Heather Alexander. (This song is actually a filk that she did of her earlier song, “Creature of the Wood”, which is told from the point of view of a satyr.)

Creature in the Wood

I am the creature in the wood

Prepared to end my spinsterhood
My song is power and is art
My song can bind a human heart
And should thou chance to hear me sing
My tree will grow our wedding ring

I shall be thy lover….

My roots run deep into the core
I am the maiden, bride and whore
I am the heart of every home
I am the siren call to roam
So fill thy nights with fleeting thrill
And live thy days out on my hill.

I shall be thy lover….

Come unto me, my handsome lad
I see thee bathing there unclad
Those roots that drift against they thighs
May be a dryad’s hands and eyes
Come pick the nuts fresh from my tree
As I have tasted the like of thee

I shall be they lover….

So deep and strong our love shall grow
Thy inner secrets I will know
Thou shall be happy and be free
To dwell forever in my tree
I’ll be thy captor and thy slave
I’ll give thee all that thou might crave

I shall be thy lover…

Lalalalalalalalalala…..

But love can wither like the leaves
No matter what the heart believes
I know the end will always come
Finest lad grows tiresome
After a century or two
I need to look for someone new…..

So take your rest upon the hill
And when the even shadows fill
I’ll take you in against the chill
And I shall eat and drink my fill
I’ll try your passion and your skill
And your endurance, hard as steel

And I shall be thy lover
Lalalalalalalala…

Prepared to end my spinsterhood
My song is power and is art
my song can bind a human heart
and should thou chance to hear me sing
my tree will grow our wedding ring

I shall be thy lover….

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.

Love notes from Freya, 7/5/14

Mine is the rhythm of the heart. Mine is the grasp of flesh to flesh and the fast rush of blood in your veins. Mine is the growing thunder in your groin and the sweet, mad high of your release. Mine is the tangled, salt-lick sweat and hot dribble down your legs, the shared breaths panting, the whispers of joy and thanks.

if you ever lose me, look for me there. Love, Freya