Freyja Scandinavian Love Goddess

1920px-John_Bauer-Freja Freja (1905) by John Bauer (1882–1918)

Freyja means Lady or Mistress, also known as Freya.

Freyja is the Scandinavian love goddess of fertility, lust, beauty, wealth, gold as well as being a witch skilled in magick and enchantment. She is the main goddess of the Vanir, daughter of Njörðr.

Here are a some Folklore Facts about this lofty goddess.

Freyja is not Frigg the queen of the Aesir goddeses and is married to Odin. Many scholars still debate this topic. She enjoys love and poetry and is famous for her promiscuity. Freyja worship was erotic and she is connected to several Eastern deities, like Cybele. Freyja represents the planet ‘Venus’ which is the love planet.

Freyja has a brother ‘Freyr’ who is the Norse god of harvest and bounty.
She has two large male Norse forest cats that pull her and her chariot among the clouds, named, ‘Bygul’ and ‘Trjegul’.
Freyja has a wild boar at her side his name is ‘Hildisvini,’ who once was a man. Sadly, or not, the dark elves turned him into a boar.

She is married to the god Óðr who is rarely around and she searches for him under various names such as including the thrice-burnt and thrice-reborn Gullveig/Heiðr, the goddesses Gefjon, Skaði, Þorgerðr Hölgabrúðr and Irpa, Menglöð, and the 1st century CE “Isis” of the Suebi. Freyja cries tears of gold when she can’t fine him.
She has a falcon cloak that enables her to travel throughout the nine worlds.
Freyja is known as an accomplished sorceress of the Norse nine worlds.
She is the leader of the Valkeryies, female goddesses that help her collect the fallen brave soldiers souls from the battlefield.

Odin and Freyja collect the dead souls of valiant soldiers on the battlefield and carry half of them, off to Valhalla the hall of Odin and the other half Freyja takes to her hall Sessrúmnir in Folksvang. She reigns over ‘Folksvang’ in the heavens.
Freyja has a magickal gift of Seidr, she can shapeshift and change her enviroment that surrounds her.
Odin taught her Rune wisdom and in exchange she taught Odin her spell craft.
Freyja takes pride in her amber necklace called Brísingamen. This frisky goddess bargained to attain the Necklace of Brísingamen also known as Brisings, by sleeping with four crafty dwarfs that created it.

Her most desired fruit are strawberries and her number is 13 and she is the goddess of Friday this is her good fortune day, Friday the 13th.

Source and reference:

Nãsström, Freyja, the Great goddess of The North.

 

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SuperMoon – Super Goddesses!

Exciting times are heading our way this week!

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, reports there will be…..A Supermoon, Blood moon, Blue moon and an eclipse on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018. I don’t know about you but this sounds like an ominous sign or maybe the moon goddesses all over the world have something very important to tell us? Here is the link to a great article by astronomer, Bob Berman on this amazing phenomenon, A Supermoon, Blue Moon, and Lunar Eclipse on January 31 Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse

Well, since this is a special Supermoon appearing this week, I thought it would be a nifty time to write about some of these amazing moon goddesses.

One of the most famous and well known, ancient Asia minor goddess is Hekate or Hecate.

Hekate

220px-Hecate_Chiaramonti_Inv1922

Hekate is a potent three-headed goddess of the moon. She is also known as a light bearer.

Hekate is Thee major moon Goddess of witchcraft. She is also known as Queen of the Crossroads. She can morph into a black dog, femme fatal or an old crone. Sometimes she may shift into a black cat if the circumstances are required.

Hekate rules the spirit world and manages the place between the veil and our earthly world. She is able to unlock these realms with her skeleton key. She was known to the Greeks as Persephone’s handmaiden, however, her origins may have come from the Carians of Anatolia. In Lagina Hekate had many cults revering her greatness. Hekate is a goddess of justice for women that have been violated, she is a wise and powerful ruler of wisdom, magic, life, vengeance, travel, and renewal. She witnesses every crime. Hekate also is a protector of dogs. She is a natural Herbalist that can heal with her herbs and incantations. Her gemstone is Black Agate.

Today, she is still honored by many pagans and witches, under a full moon.

Here are some more Super Moon Goddesses.

Chang’e also known as Chang′ O, Lady

The_Moon_Goddess_Chang_E_-_Unidentified_artist,_after_Tang_Yin

Chang′e is a Super moon goddess that dwells in the moon according to Chinese folklore. She lives on the moon alone. Legend dictates, that she had swallows The Elixir of immortality changing her into an immortal. This transformation made her very light in weight and shefloated all the way to the moon. Her familiars are a hare that stirs up the elixir and a three-legged toad. Her husband was Yi the Archer.

Chang′e is celebrated during China’s annual moon festival or Autumn moon festival, at this time she grants folks’ wishes. Many patrons light incense and light candles to honor this powerful moon goddess. Chang’e has been the namesake of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program.

Her gemstone is Jade.

Selene

selen moon goddess

Selene is known as a Super moon goddess. She was birthed from Titans. Her name means ‘light,’ and she is skilled in the art of magic. She is a effectual winged, moon goddess wearing her diadem. She is revered by witches, sorcerers, moon-gazers and magicians. Seleneis a stunning goddess and sometimes manifests as a cow.

Selene, rides in a chariot drawn by white horses pulling the moon across the heavens.

Every night this super goddess bathes in the ocean just before she rides her chariot int to sky. Since Selen is the moon, at times she hides from a dragon indicated by both, the new moon and the lunar eclipse. she has had many lovers and Endymion, the male version of Sleeping Beauty, the god Pan and the god Zeus. Her gemstones are moonstone and a moon rock, known as selenite. She may have had her own Minoan Moon cult.

Cerridwen

(c) The Glynn Vivian Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

According to Welsh folklore she is a Super moon Goddess that represents the dark side of the goddess. the crone. Cerridwen is the keeper of The Cauldron of Knowledge and is very prophectic and wise. She is skilled in magic, she influences luck, fertility, poetry and music.

She with her husband Tagad Foel birthed, two children, one a hideous son, Afagddu or Morfran, and a lovely daughter, Creirwy.

Welsh legend mentions, The Cycle of Myths, In the Mabinogion, is the cycle of myths found in Welsh legend, Cerridwen brews up a potion in her magical cauldron to give to her son Afagddu (Morfran).

She enlists young Gwion to guard the cauldron, unfortunately for him, three drops of the brew drip upon his finger, blessing him with the knowledge held within. Cerridwen pursues Gwion through a cycle of seasons until, in the form of a hen, she swallows Gwion, disguised as an ear of corn. Nine months later, she gives birth to the famous Welsh poet Taliesin. Her sacred feast is held on July 3rd which is called Gwyl O Ceridwen.

Her gemstones are Coral Agate and Aquamarine.

There are several other moon goddesses such as South America’s Chía. Africa’s Mawu and some well-known moon deities like Máni.

So the next time you look up to gaze at the stars and the moon, you just may spot one of your favorite lunar deities such as a glorious, Super, goddess or an old wise crone in the moon watching you.

amazing-beautiful-breathtaking-clouds.jpg

Sources & References:

  1. “HECATE : Greek goddess of witchcraft, ghosts & magic ; mythology ; pictures : HEKATE”. Theoi.co
  2. R. S. P. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek (2009), Brill, p. 399
  3. Smith, “Selene”; Kerenyi, pp. 196–197; Hammond, “SELENE” pp. 970–971; Hard, p. 46; Morford, pp. 64, 219–221.
  4. Shaughnessy, Edward L. (2014). Unearthing the Changes: Recently Discovered Manuscripts of the Yi Jing ( I Ching) and Related Texts. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 154. ISBN 0231533306.
  5. A. O. H. Jarman (ed.). Llyfr Du Caerfyrddin (University of Wales Press, 1982), 3.3.
  6. Ronald Hutton, The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy, Blackwell Publishing, 1993, p. 323
  7. The Old farmer’s Almanc online.
  8. All pictures free public domain, online at Wikipedia.

The Necklace of The Brisings

The Necklace of The Brisings or Brísingamen

Painting: Heimdall returns Brisingamen to Freyja, in an anachronistic painting centuries after the era of the myth’s popularity

Synopsis:

Brísingamen: The necklace was forged in fire by the dwarfs Alfrigg, Dvalinn, Berlingr, and Grerr.
To attain it Freyja had to begrudgingly, sleep with each of them, Loki discovered this information and told it to Odin, who requested him to snatch and hand over the necklace to him.
Next, Odin returned it to Freyja on the terms she must start an eternal battle between two kings. Freyja agreed to honor his plan.


The Legend:

The night was about to change over into dawn. The sky was a greyish green in the east, while the snowflakes were ghosting around Asgard. Only Loki sighted Freyja leave Sessrumnir. Her cats slept quietly by the warm hearth. Her chariot lay unused; in the half light she set off towards the Bifrost. Next, the Wiley Loki wrapped his cloak around himself and followed Freyja. The goddess glided over the snow, passing by the sleeping Asgard, her lips as she made her way over the rainbow that glowed all around her. The snow veils of Midgard were beaming in the rising sun. Dreaming of gold, desiring gold, Freyja crossed a barren plain, Loki scurrying after her. She found her way across a winding river silenced by ice; she passed the base of a giant glacier, chopped and bluish. Very dangerous it was. Finding her way across the snow at the end of the short hours of daylight she came to a group of huge rounded boulders, jostling under the shoulder of an overhanging cliff. Freyja discovered the thin string narrow path that led in and down. Her eyes formed tears from the cold and her tears streamed over her cheeks as a shower of gold. She continued down the rocky path until it led into a huge dank cavern. There she stood very still; listening to the water dripping into rock pools and the motion of a tiny stream pulsing over the rock. Freyja began to hear a tapping in the distance. As the goddess sauntered through the bleak cave, the sound of the tapping grew stronger and louder. Freyja moving through a narrow crevice and stepped in the middle of a sweltering smithy of four dwarfs, named Alfrigg, Dvalin, Berling, and Grerr. Suddenly, Freyja spotted the golden necklace, a choker of gold incised with a fabulous pattern. It was “breathtaking,“ so thought the goddess. She desired this beautiful necklace and decided to do what it takes to attain it. The four dwarfs stared at the goddess – she shimmered in the warm light of the forge.

The dwarfs had never seen such a brilliant goddess. Freyja smiled at the little dwarfs. “I will purchase this necklace from you, she stated.

The four swarfs looked at one another. Three shook their heads and the fourth replied, ‘It’s not for sale.’ “I want it,’ said Freyja. The dwarfs grimaced.

I’ll pay you with silver and gold – a fair price,’ said Freyja. Her voice began to rise. Freyja sauntered over to the bench where the necklace was displayed on.

‘I’ll bring you other rewards,’ replied Freyja. ‘We have plenty of silver,’ said one of the dwarfs. ‘And we have enough gold!’, shouted another dwarf.

Freyjas kept staring at the necklace desiring even more now.

Alfrigg, Dvalin, Berling, and Grerr huddled in a corner of the forge. They quietly whispered to each other so that Freyja couldn’t hear what they were saying to each other.

‘What is your price?’ asked the goddess. ‘It belongs to all of us,’ meaning each dwarf. “ so we share everything,’ claimed one of the dwarfs.

‘There is only one price that will satisfy us,’ replied said the third dwarf.

The fourth dwarf gleaned at Freyja and said ‘you!’

The goddess flushed with embarrassment. The dwarfs cornered her and said, ‘Only if you will lie one night with each of us will this necklace ever grace your lovely neck.’

Freyja was horrified by the repulsive appearance of the dwarfs large noses and stature. Especially, their deep-set greedy eyes.

Unfortunately for her, was her desire to acquire the necklace was greater than the thought of sexual relations with each dwarf.

‘As you wish,’ murmured Freyja shamelessly.

Four days and nights crept by, the goddess kept her end of the bargain. The dwarfs too kept their word too. They presented Freyja with the necklace and even helped fasten it around her pretty neck.

Quickly, Freyja shot out of the cavern and over the plains of Midgard as if her life depended upon it. She crossed over the Bifrost bridge and returned in the dark to Sessrumnir. Under her cloak, she wore the necklace of Brisings.


The Wiley one made straight for Odin’s hall. He found Odin known also as the Terrible one.’ the father of battle, relaxing alone in Valaskjalf. His ravens, Hugin and Munin perched upon his shoulders as his loyal wolves lay at his feet.

‘Well,’ said Odin.

Loki smirked.

‘I can read your face…’

‘Ah!,’ interrupted Loki, his eyes gleaming mischievously. ‘but did you see hers?’

‘Whose?’ said Odin.

‘Did it escape you? Did you not see the events unfold from Hlidskjalf?

Loki sarcastically retorted, ‘ Where were you Odin, when the goddess you love, the goddess you lust for, slept with four dwarfs?’

‘Stop!’ shouted Odin.

Loki ignoring Odin’s warning and Odin quickly were turning into the green-eyed monster.

Loki was delighted to carry on his shaming of Freyja, just to watch Odin boil over like an erupting volcano.

‘Collect the necklace for me,’ said Odin rigidly, when Loki had gleefully, returned Freyja home to Asgard. Loki laughed in a sarcastic manner.

This enraged Odin even more. ‘You love to play the vile one!’ cried, Odin.

‘You set us all at each other’s throats. Now I see you flyte at her throat: get the necklace.’

The Wiley one replied, “ You know as well as I that Freyja will enter into that hall against her wishes.’

Odin now more angry than ever raises his voice and shouts to Loki, “ Fetch the necklace’! I don’t want the sight of your shadow until you bring the Brisings necklace to me.’

Loki now realized he had pushed the Allfather too far. Loki began to sweat and feeling a bit panicky walked quickly out of Odin’s hall.

Later that evening brave for the moment Loki glided across the sparkling snow to the hall Sessrumnir. He raced up the stairs twisting the doorknob only to discover it was locked.

Loki felt the blast of the winter wind up his back and tightly gathered his cloak around his body in the dark of the frosty night.

Suddenly, Loki remembered Sif being locked n her bedchamber, her silky, shining hair, his lips grimaced with a sigh. He then quietly morphed himself into a fly.

Sessrumnir was so craftily built that Loki couldn’t find a way into the hall.

He buzzed around the doorknob and door to find a way in but there was no way in even for a tiny fly.

He luckily found a way into the hall by flying up to the roof and sliding through a small opening under the roof.

Once Loki made his way into the hall he transformed back into his own image again.

Loki sleuthed inside making sure he didn’t disturb Freyja’s daughters and servants while they slept.

He snuck into Freyja’s bedchamber to find the goddess fast asleep still wearing the necklace. the clasp of the necklace was behind her neck and he couldn’t reach it without disturbing the goddess of love.

Loki decided to shape change into a flea and enjoyed crawling around her breasts and neck. he crawled onto her cheek and gave her a ravenous bite!

Freyja tossed and turned but didn’t wake up. She turned onto her side and Loki spotted the clasp. He quickly jumped off her onto the floor Loki morphed back into his own image.

He unclasped the clasp and quietly and swiftly snuck out of the hall disappearing into the cold, dark night.


The next morning Freyja woke up after scratching the side bitten by (flea Loki) on her itchy cheek she reached for the necklace that once graced her neck last night.

Freyja instantly jumped out of bed searching for her necklace. She spotted the opened doors of Sessrumnir hall and she knew this was the handy work of crafty Loki. Freyja realized only Odin would have ordered this theft job.

Freyja hadn’t figured out the fact that Odin and Loki knew how she had attained the Brisings necklace.

Freyja now quite angry rushed to Valaskjalf and challenged Odin on the theft of her brilliant necklace.

‘Where is my necklace, Odin?’ cried Freyja.

‘You have reached pretty low if you ordered my necklace to be stolen,’ snapped Freyja.

Odin snarled, ‘Who are you to accuse me when you are the one who has lowered her standards.’

‘Give me back my necklace Odin!’ cried Freyja streaming tears of gold.

‘You will never lay eyes upon it again, unless..’ Odin stated.

‘Unless what?’ mumbled, Freyja.

Odin said, ‘You must stir up dissent, stir up war.’

Your mission is to find two kings of Midgard (Midgard is the world of people) and pit them against each other to war. They must each have the support of twenty vassal kings.

Odin continued,” You must use your feminine wiles as to breathe new life into corpses.’ ‘They must do battle, shed blood, die and repeat this action every time.’

Freyja was perturbed with Odin that he would desire the world of folks that worship him would want to harm his own followers. However, Freyja’s desire for her necklace was much stronger than the welfare of the folk.

‘This is my terms,’ replied Odin.

Freyja had quite enough drama for one day and said, ‘ I Agree with your terms and will fulfill my side of the agreement.’
‘Now hand over my necklace!’

Source and References:

Bellows, Henry Adams (Trans.) The Poetic Edda, Princeton University Press, 1936.

This short story is also known as “The Saga of Högni and Hedinn”. English translation can be found at Northvegr: Three Northern Love Stories and Other Tales.

Beannaichte Hogmanay! Celtic Traditions to Welcome The New Year.

Beannaichte Hogmanay!

Happy Hogmanay!

Happy New Year!

Hogmanaybagpipes

The Scottish celebration of Hogmanay is close at hand. Hogmanay is the Gaelic word for the last day of the year, celebrated on New Year’s eve.

This is the time of year when Celtic folks in Scotland gather together to welcome in the New Year and say Farewell or in Scot’s Gaelic, Soraidh, to the old year.

Several sources cite that Gaelic origins grew from French or Norse language or an older version of gaelic. New year ceremonies and mid-winter observance were natural in both Gaelic and Norse traditions. Hogmanay is a larger celebration in Scotland and predates the Christian Christmas. According to Scotland’s own website Scotland.org  The Word Hogmany originated from the Norman French from hoguinan (a New Year’s gift). They  also mention it’s a modification of the Gaelic og maidne (new morning), the Flemish hoog min dag (day or love) or, an Anglo Saxon haleg monath (holy month). The largest Hogmany festival is held in Edinburgh.

Historians also believe Hogmanay originated from a winter solstice festival introduced by the Vikings, for whom the passing of the shortest day was a cause for celebration, given how far north they lived. This Viking influence combined with the existing Gaelic pagan traditions to form the climactic torch parades through Edinburgh and other Scottish cities.

 First Footing:

According to Scotland.org  The ‘First Footing’ – “the ‘first foot’ in the house after midnight is still very common is Scotland. To ensure good luck, a first footer should be a dark-haired male. Fair-haired first footers were not particularly welcome after the Viking invasions of ancient times. Traditional gifts include a lump of coal to lovingly place on the host’s fire, along with shortbread, a black bun and whisky to toast to a Happy New Year.”

Remember to always bring a gift and have dark hair when first footing a home. It will bring good luck!

Redding the House:

Similar to the west’s spring cleaning rituals when a main clean-up is done to prepare the house for the New Year. Sweeping or cleaning out one’s  chimney was a paramount tradition. ‘Out with the Old and In with the New!’ Some folks are skilled in reading the ashes, similar to  tea leaf readings. This is a critical time of year when fire plays a huge vast part in celebrations, it’s only natural to bring a bit of it into the house.

The Saining of the House:

Once the house was clean, the woman of the house would carry a smoking Juniper branch. This is termed smudging or cleansing the home of negative energy or evil spirits that could cause illness.

 Fire Festivals & Bon Fires:

The Vikings may have introduced the use of fire to purify and banish evil spirits which is an ancient custom. Fire is at the center of several Hogmanay celebrations in Biggar, Comrie, Stonehaven, and the largest is at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Festival.

Hogmanay

Auld Lang Syne:

Hogmanay in Scotland includes a warm rendition of Auld Lang Syne, of this endearing poem by the Scottish national bard, Robert Burns or Rabbie Burns. The Scots link arms and hands while they sing this famous poem.

Tradition dictates that arms are only linked at the start of the final verse. Folks link hands and arms in a circle, they rush to the middle of the circle while still holding hands at the end of the song. Many other English speaking cultures now practice this tradition.

hogmanystamp

The Scottish lyrics of Auld lang Syne by Robert Burns in 1788, set to the melody of the traditional folk song Raud.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne*?

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stoup!

and surely I’ll be mine!
And we’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,

and pou’d the gowans fine;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin’ auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,

frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie’s a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak’ a right gude-willie waught,
for auld lang syne.

Here is the English Version.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne? (long, long, ago)

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup!

and surely I’ll buy mine!
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We two have run about the slopes,

and picked the daisies fine;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

We two have paddled in the stream,

from morning sun till dine;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne

And there’s a hand my trusty friend!

And give me a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

 

 

Sources & Reference:

Scotland.org website

The Concise Scots Dictionary Cambers (1985) ISBN 0-08-028491-4

“The Origins, History and Traditions of Hogmanay”, The British Newspaper Archive