Today Belongs to Freyja, Friday’s Namesake, Goddess of Abundance, Fertility and War

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Today Belongs to Freyja, Friday’s Namesake,

Goddess of Abundance, Fertility and War

Freya was the sister of the god Freyr, and was one of the Vanir, the Norse deities of earth and water that lived in Asgard. Venerated by women, heroes and rulers alike, she was the Scandinavian goddess of fertility and abundance. Freyja could be called upon for assistance in childbirth and conception, to aid with marital problems, or to bestow fruitfulness upon the land and sea.

In some traditions, she is known not only as Freyr’s sister but his wife as well.

Like Freyr, she is associated with material wealth. She was known to wear a magnificent necklace called Brisingamen, which represents the fire of the sun, and was said to weep tears of gold. In the Norse Eddas, Freyja is not only a goddess of fertility and wealth, but also of war and battle. In fact, she is the lady of the hall of the battle-fallen in Valhalla. While some have theorized that she was the leader of the Valkyries, the Eddas don’t specifically identify her as such. She also has connections to magic and divination.

Freyja was similar to Frigg, the chief goddess of the Aesir, which was the Norse race of sky deities.

Both were connected with childrearing, and could take on the aspect of a bird. Freyja owned a magical cloak of hawk’s feathers, which allowed her to transform at will. This cloak is given to Frigg in some of the Eddas.

Author

Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

 

Calendar of the Sun for October 15th

Calendar of the Sun

15 Winterfyllith

Winter Nights: Day of the Freya and the Disir

Color: Grey
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of grey place the last sheaf of grain harvested for the year, and the last vegetables pulled from the ground. Place there also many tankards of mead.
Offerings: Food to the Ancestors. Also divination.
Daily Meal: Porridge and root vegetables.

Winter Nights Invocation

(One stands forth and pours out the first tankard of mead as a libation, and says:)

Hail to the Disir!
Hail to the mothers, the grandmothers,
The great-grandmothers, and their mothers,
The ancestral wombs from whence we all came!
Hail to those wise eyes that watch our families!
The red line of blood extends back into the mists,
Umbilical to umbilical, we all came through
That line of doors, as will those who come
After us into the world.

(One stands forth and pours out the second tankard of mead, and says:)

Hail to Freya the Vanadis!
Lady of the Vanir whose soul
Is bound to the Earth, the seeds that grow
And yet stretches forth into the mists!
In the winter we hail you as Lady of Love,
Warming our cold nights with your smile.
In the spring we hail you as Earth-Awakener,
Breaking open the seed that sprouts.
In the summer we hail you as Gatherer of Warriors,
Taking those to your breast who catch your eye.
In the autumn we now hail you as Lady of Seidh,
Wise sorceress who speaks with spirits.
Open the veil of vision for us, wise Vanadis,
And may our sight penetrate down the line of blood to the future.

(All come forth one at a time and kneel to the Disir, and then arise and pour out a tankard of mead for their own grandmothers. Then divination shall be done, in Freya’s name, for any questions that may have arisen during the past weeks.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for September 18th

Calendar of the Sun

18 Halegmonath

Vanaheim Day

Colors: Green and Gold
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of green and gold set sheaves of grain, many woven corn dollies and straw ornaments, three green candles, a chalice of beer, harvest fruits, and a knife.
Offerings: Fruits of the harvest.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian

Vanaheim Invocation

Hail to the Green World of the Vanir!
Hail to the Realm of Growth, of Earth
Sacred and fed with blood, springing forth
Abundance and plenty to feed many worlds!
Hail to the spring flowers that bloom,
Hail to the summer fruits that globe on tree and vine,
Hail to the golden grain ripening in the fields,
Hail to the winter of peaceful slumber
And preparation for the next perfect spring!
Hail to the devouring earth that is Nerthus,
Lady of the blood-soaked soil!
Hail to the teeming seas that wash the shore,
Sailed by fine Njord of the salt winds,
Domain of Aegir and Ran of the great waves
And their nine sharp-nailed daughters!
Hail to the spring fields where flowers
Bloom in Freyja’s bare footsteps!
Hail to the grain that is cut with the sickle
As Frey’s blood nourishes the soil!
Hail to the Gods of Abundance, of green,
Of lust and death, of the mysteries of the cycle,
And may they bless us with joy and understanding
In equal measure.

(All cry out, “Hail Vanaheim!” The beer is poured out as a libation, and the grain and fruits are set outside as an offering.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for September 18

Calendar of the Sun

18 Halegmonath

Vanaheim Day

Colors: Green and Gold
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of green and gold set sheaves of grain, many woven corn dollies and straw ornaments, three green candles, a chalice of beer, harvest fruits, and a knife.
Offerings: Fruits of the harvest.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian

Vanaheim Invocation

Hail to the Green World of the Vanir!
Hail to the Realm of Growth, of Earth
Sacred and fed with blood, springing forth
Abundance and plenty to feed many worlds!
Hail to the spring flowers that bloom,
Hail to the summer fruits that globe on tree and vine,
Hail to the golden grain ripening in the fields,
Hail to the winter of peaceful slumber
And preparation for the next perfect spring!
Hail to the devouring earth that is Nerthus,
Lady of the blood-soaked soil!
Hail to the teeming seas that wash the shore,
Sailed by fine Njord of the salt winds,
Domain of Aegir and Ran of the great waves
And their nine sharp-nailed daughters!
Hail to the spring fields where flowers
Bloom in Freyja’s bare footsteps!
Hail to the grain that is cut with the sickle
As Frey’s blood nourishes the soil!
Hail to the Gods of Abundance, of green,
Of lust and death, of the mysteries of the cycle,
And may they bless us with joy and understanding
In equal measure.

(All cry out, “Hail Vanaheim!” The beer is poured out as a libation, and the grain and fruits are set outside as an offering.)

 

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for August 31

Calendar of the Sun

31 Weodmonath

Frey’s Blot

Colors: Green and golden
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of green and gold set a sheaf of grain, a golden cup of mead, a plate of bread and honey, the figure of a carved phallus, the figure of a boar, and an empty sheath.
Offerings: Mead. Those who partake in ritual sex should do so tonight, in his honor.
Daily Meal: Mead. Bread and cheese. Vegetables from the garden.

Invocation to Frey

Hail Frey, Lord of the fields!
Lord of the Vanir,
Golden of hair as the fields of wheat,
Bringing riches of heart and hearth
To noble and common folk alike,
We hail you with the corn that springs forth
And falls again to nourish us.
We hail you, mighty boar in flight,
Lord of the phallus that gives life,
Lord of Love that is bound to land,
Love that is bound with commitment,
Love that does not come easily,
As one must toil for the harvest.
Teach us that love is worth working for,
And that work is worth loving,
And that neither lives long without the other.
Lord Frey, Corn God,
Husband of Gerda the etin-bride,
You who can warm the cold heart,
Warrior without a weapon
Who gave your sword for love,
You who make the grain spring forth,
Show us faith in every springtime.

Song: Frey’s Gold

(Pass the mead around, and pour the remainder out as a libation. Those who wish to honor Frey with ritual sex may do so during the first work-hour, or later in the evening if the Hesperis ritual is not inappropriate.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Monday, April 24th – Necklaces & Nature

The Wicca Book of Days for April 24th

Necklaces and Nature

Necklaces are among the most important attributes of many fertility Goddesses, most notably Venus, the Roman Goddess for who today’s ruling planet was named and Freyja, the beautiful Vanir, or spirit of feminine fertility, of Norse mythology. It is told that Freyja was so entranced by the magickal necklace name the Brisingamen, which maximized the wearer’s sexual allure and powers of fertility, that when Loki stole it from her, she was beside herself with grief at its loss, causing all vegetation on earth to shrivel up and remain dead until it was returned to her possession.

Amber and Jet

Pay tribute to the Goddess’s gift of fecundity by wearing a necklace today. If possible, wear bear or a pendant fashioned from amber or jet both organic materials sacred to the goddess through these long entombment in the Earth.

Asatru: We Are Not Racists

Asatru: We Are Not Racists

by Gamlinginn

 

Ásatrú is not a racist religion. Anyone who wants to be in Ásatrú should be in Ásatrú. And the word “anyone” means just that: anyone – regardless of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, language, sexual orientation, or other divisive criteria. Today, we live in a multi-ethnic nation (not to mention a multi-ethnic world). As Ásatrú advances, it will inevitably become more and more a multi-ethnic religion.

But, unfortunately, some people seem to think that Ásatrú is a racist religion. Why? Probably because there have been some people in Ásatrú who were racists and some of these have tried to use Ásatrú as a front for their racist views, claiming that it was somehow an exclusively “Nordic” religion, only open to those of “pure Aryan” descent. However, the existence of a few racists does not make Ásatrú a racist religion. Almost every religion has had some racists in it at one time or another. In Sri Lanka, for example, there are some Buddhists who are so racist that they have recently been killing the ethnic-minority Tamils in their country, but that does not make Buddhism a racist religion.

Another reason some might think that Ásatrú is a racist religion is confusion and misunderstanding about the “Scandinavian Connection” of Ásatrú. The truth about this is simply that the Aesir and the Vanir were followed longer in northern Europe than elsewhere, and thus we know about them from there. That is the reason why we use the Old Norse names for the Deities and other terms, and are so interested in pre-Christian Scandinavia. It is fine for those of northern European descent to seek out their cultural roots, but no single ethnic group “owns” the Gods of Asgard.

Some people have suggested that the ancient inhabitants of northern Europe believed in racial exclusivity, in other words that they were racists. I do not believe this. However – even if it was true – it does not matter. Just because a person’s remote ancestors might have been racists is no reason for that person to be a racist today. If one’s great-grandfather was an arsonist, one need not and should not follow in his footsteps. (Those interested in the racial attitudes of the Viking-age Scandinavians should read the article “Race, Religion, and Ásatrú Today,” by Kveldulfr Gundarsson that appeared in Mountain ThunderNumber 5, Summer 1992. This article shows that European descent is not necessary for full participation in modern Ásatrú.)

The characteristics we admire so greatly in the Vikings came about because the Vikings followed the Aesir and the Vanir – not because they had blue eyes or blond hair. These same characteristics are available today to anyone who wants to develop them by following the way of Ásatrú. It is important to remember that admiration for these attributes is not Eurocentric, it is universal. Every culture that has ever existed in the world has inherently esteemed the virtues esteemed by Ásatrú, including: courage, honor, hospitality, independence (and liberty), individuality (with self-reliance, and responsibility), industriousness (and perseverance), justice (including an innate sense of fairness and respect for others), loyalty (to family, friends, and the society of which one is a part), truthfulness, and a willingness to stand up for what is right.

What makes the Ásatrú way of life different from that of other religions, is that the Ásatrú “Code of Conduct” supports and encourages these virtues far more strongly than do other religions – some of which actually discourage several of these ideals. People who have the characteristics we admire acquired them because their culturecontains values similar to those of Ásatrú (in some cases because their culture was rooted in Ásatrú). Conversely, people who have characteristics we dislike come from backgrounds that lack those values because they are no longer taught. This is a social problem, not a racial one. It has to do with the breakdown of the family, and the resultant crumbling of all cultural values. It has nothing to do with eye shape, or hair texture, or skin color.

Ásatrú is a multi-ethnic religion – not because that might be “politically correct” at this point in time, but because multi-ethnicity is fundamental to the theology of Ásatrú. Asgard, home of the Gods, is multi-ethnic. For example, Magni and Modhi, the sons of Thorr, are also the sons of their mother, Jarnsaxa, who is a Jotunn. Who will tell Thorr that his sons should not participate in something because they are not of “pure” descent? And what of the Vanir? Since the Gods of Asgard do not worry over these things, the Ásatrú people of Midgard certainly have no need to do so.

In the Prose Edda there is a passage about the many names of Odhinn that says:

Tha segir Harr: “Mikil skynsemi er at rifiaa that vandliga upp, en thó er thér that skjótast at segja, at flest heiti hafa verit gefin af peim atburdh, at svá margar sem eru greinir tungnanna í veröldinni, thá thykkjast allar Thjódhir thurfa at breyta nafni hans til sinnar tungu til ákalls ok baena fyrir sjálfum sér.” (Snorra Edda, Gylfaginning, XXXII)

Then said High One: “It would take a vast amount of knowledge to cover them all, but it is swiftest to say, that most of these names have been given (to him) because, the many different nations speaking different tongues in the world, all wanted to change his name into their own tongue in order to address and pray (to him) for themselves.”

As for the so-called “ethnic descriptions” of the Deities sometimes encountered in the literature, these resulted from people trying to visualize the unvisualizable. Those who, for example, wrote about the red beard of Thorr did so because they knew men who had red beards. Does a God have a beard of any color? (Theologically speaking, the answer is “yes” but only if and when the God wants a beard, and it would then be any color the God desired. A God does not have human ethnicity of any kind, and is far more different from any particular human than is that human from any other human on earth.) A comparison can be made with the “Asian faces” on Japanese statues of Buddha, who was an Indian, or the blue-eyed paintings of Christ that were so popular in the European middle ages.

All humans, we believe, descend ultimately from Ask and Embla, who were created by the Gods. What color were Ask’s eyes? What color was Embla’s hair? Such questions are ridiculous. Since all humans are related to each other by blood, all humans have the same inherent source-potentials – and the same instinctive longing for the Gods of Asgard who watch over allthe peoples of Midgard, not just some small group of them. Any thinking person, whether or not an Ásatrú believer, can logically see that there is no place for racism of any kind in Ásatrú. Nor has there ever been.

Racism comes from two sources:

  1. A psychological fear of anyone who is “different” in any way.
  2. A psychological need to find someone to blame (a “scapegoat”) for whatever misfortunes happen to occur.

Neither of these attitudes is logical. In the Old Stone Age, little groups of 20 to 30 inbred humans lived their lives separated by vast distances from all others of their species. On the rare occasions when humans from another group happened to be seen, they looked different, and the reaction was to kill them, or at least to drive them away. Times have changed. We no longer shave with stone axes. But for some people the Paleolithic mentality lingers on.

In the Modern Age, racists will become more and more isolated from mainstream society (and reality), living lonely, bitter, and paranoid lives.

Those of us who have spent our lives fighting both alongside and against many of this world’s diverse ethnic groups learned to appreciate the essential similarities of all humans, and to ignore the superficial differences. Every life is filled with combat situations; physical, mental, and spiritual. When facing combat, it is always better to pick allies who share with you the Viking values of Ásatrú than those who share with you only your skin color.