Freyja, Cats and Angels, by Nils Blommer (1816-1853)
Freyja, (Old Norse: “Lady”), or the Frowe is most renowned of the Norse goddesses, who was the sister and female counterpart of Freyr with great prowess over seiðr-craft and especially sexual love, fertility, battle but possibly even death. Her father was Njörd, the sea god. Pigs were sacred to her, and she rode a boar with golden bristles. A chariot drawn by cats was another of her vehicles. There remains debate on Freyja’s privilege to choose one-half of the heroes slain in battle for her great hall in the Fólkvangar (the god Odin took the other half to Valhalla). She possessed a famous necklace called Brísingamen (torc or necklace), which the trickster god Loki stole and Heimdall, the gods’ watchman, recovered. Greedy and lascivious, Freyja was also credited with the evil act of teaching witchcraft to the Aesir. Freyja (ON meaning Lady) As the mistress of magic and goddess of sexual love, Freyja is the owner of Brísingamen (possibly a torc or necklace) which Loki alleges in Lokesenna that she slept with four dwarfs in order to possess it, rides a chariot pulled by two cats, keeps the boar Hildisvíni by her side, possesses a cloak of falcon feathers, and, by her husband Óðr, is the mother of two daughters, Hnoss and Gersemi. Freyja is attested as having nine additional names; Gefn, Hörn, Mardöll, Skjálf, Sýr, Thröng, Thrungva, Valfreyja, and Vanadís. Along with her brother Freyr ON "Lord", her father Njörðr, and her mother (Njörðr's sister, unnamed in sources), she is a member of the Vanir. Stemming from Old Norse Freyja, modern forms of the name include Freya, Freija, Frejya, Freyia, Fröja, Frøya, Frøjya, Freia, Freja, Frua and Freiya. If you wish to gain her attention write her a love poem or song. Her two cats are not your household pussycats but rather Norwegian Forest Cat, wild and ferrule. This off course in in contrast to the Norse goddess Frigga, also a formidable sorceress who appears at the onset wholesome and safe but this is not entirely correct.
Sörla þáttr eða Heðins saga ok Högna The Tale of Sorli or of Heðin and Hogni
Fryer austan Vanakvísl í Asía var kallat Asíaland eða Asíaheimr, en þat fólk var kallat Æsir, er þar byggðu, en höfuðborgina kölluðu þeir Ásgarð. Óðinn var þar nefndr konungr yfir. Þar var blótstaðr mikill. Njörð ok Frey setti Óðinn blótgoða. Dóttir Njarðar hét Freyja. Hún fylgdi Óðni ok var friðla hans. Menn þeir váru í Asía, er einn hét Álfrigg, annarr Dvalinn, þriði Berlingr, fjórði Grérr. Þeir áttu heima skammt frá höll konungs. Þeir váru menn svá hagir, at þeir lögðu á allt gerva hönd. Þess háttar menn, sem þeir váru, kölluðu menn dverga. Þeir byggðu einn stein. Þeir blönduðust þá meir við mannfólk en nú.
To the East of Vanakvisl in Asia was a country called Asialand or Asiaheim.Its inhabitants were called Æsir and the chief city they called Asgarth.Othin was the name of their King, and it was a great place for heathen sacrifices.Othin appointed Njörth and Frey as priests. Njörth had a daughter called Freyja who accompanied Othin and was his mistress. There were four men in Asia called Alfregg,Dvalin, Berling and Grer, who dwelt not far from the King's hall, andwho were so clever that they could turn their hands to anything. Men of this kind were called dwarfs. They dwelt in a rock, but at that time they mixed more with men than they do now.
Óðinn unni mikit Freyju, enda var hún allra kvenna fegrst í þann tíma. Hún átti sér eina skemmu. Hún var, bæði fögr ok sterk, svá at þat segja menn, at ef hurðin var aftr ok læst, at engi maðr mætti koma í skemmmuna án vilja Freyju.Þat var einn dag, er Freyju varð gengit til steinsins, hann var þá opinn. Dvergarnir váru at smíða eitt gullmen. Þat var þá mjök fullgert. Freyju leist vel á menit. Dvergunum leist ok vel á Freyju. Hún falaði menit at dvergunum, bauð í móti gull ok silfr ok aðra góða gripi. Þeir kváðust ekki féþurfi, sagðist hverr vilja sjálfr sinn part selja í meninu ok ekki annat fyrir vilja hafa en hún lægi sína nótt hjá hverjum þeira. Ok hvárt sem hún lét at þessu komast betr eða verr, þa keyptu þau þessu. Ok at liðnum fjórum náttum ok enduðum öllum skildaga, afhenda þeir Freyju menit. Fór hún heim í skemmu sína ok lét kyrrt yfir sér, sem ekki hefði í orðit.
Othin loved Freyja very much, and she was the fairest of all women in her day.She had a bower of her own which was beautiful and strong, and it was said that if the door was closed and bolted, no one could enter the bower against her will. It chanced one day that Freyja went to the rock and found it open and the dwarfs were forging a gold necklace, which was almost finished. Freyja was charmed with the necklace, and the dwarfs with Freyja. She asked them to sell it, offering gold and silver and other costly treasures in exchange for it. The dwarfs replied that they were not in need of money, but each one said that he would give up his share in the necklace.And at the end of four nights they handed it to Freyja.She went home to her bower and kept silence about it as if nothing had happened.
Ref: Sörla þáttr eða Heðins saga ok
The Sörla þáttr is a short story in the later and extended version of the Saga of Olaf Tryggvason in the manuscript of the Flateyjarbók, which was written and compiled by two Christian priests, Jon Thordson and Magnus Thorhalson, in the late 14th century.Freyja's most famous and referred to affectation is her necklace Brisingamen although it's exact design and meaning have been debated for generations.
Battle Magic does not always involve weapons of iron
It has been suggested that the Elder Norse goddess Freyja is a goddess of love or perhaps even the family. Other suggestions are that Freyja is a war goddess somewhat like the all-father Othinn. It is my contention that the Vanic goddess sexual prowess and mind bending abilities in seiδr makes her both a war goddess and a potent sorceress with great sexual abilities to win over the hearts/minds of men and gods alike. Freyja wields dark magic rather than cold steel but she certainly is not the goddess of love.
Freyja and Vanadis or Dis of the Vans
The Nordic goddess Freyja is also known by nine other additional names: Gefn, Hörn, Mardöll, Skjálf, Sýr, Thröng, Thrungva, Valfreyja, and Vanadís. Of all those names, Vanadis or the dís of the Vanir appeals to me the most in part because of its connection with newborn children, the vans but especially the fate they have to live out during their lifetime. Dis it has been argued may also refer to early Scandinavian fertility goddesses, personal guardians, but also warrior-goddessesThe term dís has been regarded as cognate with Old High German itis, Old Saxon idis and the Anglo-Saxon ides, all meaning "lady. So could it just be that Vanadis simply refers to Lady of the dísir? The disir on the other hand were quite possibly the ancestral spirits of dead women?
"I thought dead women came hither into the hall ,not poorly decked out.They wished to choose you,would've invited you quickly to their benches;I declare of no value these dísir to you."