Freyja

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Description

Freyja (sometimes anglicized as Freya), is a major goddess in Norse Paganism, a subset of Germanic Paganism. Because the documented source of this religious tradition, the Norse Mythology, was transmitted and altered by Christian medieval historians, the actual role, pagan practices, and worship of the goddess are uncertain.

In the Eddas, Freyja is portrayed as a goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. Blonde, blue-eyed, and beautiful, Freyja is described as the fairest of all goddesses, and people prayed to her for happiness in love. She was also called on to assist childbirths and prayed to for good seasons.

Freyja was also associated with war, battle, death, magic, prophecy, and wealth. She is cited as receiving half of the dead lost in battle in her hall Fólkvangr, whereas Odin would receive the other half at Valhalla. The origin of Seid was ascribed to Freyja.

Frigg and Freyja are the two principal goddesses in Norse religion, and described as the highest amongst the Asynjur. Freyja is the goddess most honoured after or along with Frigg, and her worship seems to have been even the more prevalent and important of the two. In the Droplaugarsona Saga, it is described that in a temple at Ölvusvatn, Iceland, statues of Frigg and Freyja have been seated upon higher thrones opposite those of Thor and Yngve. These statues were arrayed in drapery and ornaments of gold and silver.

In Heimskringla, Freyja is also presented as a mythological Princess of Sweden. Her father Njörðr is seen as the second mythological King of Sweden, and her twin brother Yngve is the third.Yngve’s and Freyja’s mother is Njörðr’s twin sister (who has been often linked to the ancient Germanic goddess Nerthus), as it is a custom of the Vanir and allowed by their laws.

Further in Heimskringla, it is written that many temples and statues of native pagan gods and goddesses were raided and destroyed by Olaf Tryggvason and Saint Olaf during the gradual and violent process of the Christianization of Scandinavia. During and after the extent that the process of Christianization was complete, Freyja and many things associated with her were demonized by the growing influence of Christian missionaries. After Christian influence was cemented in law, traces of belief went increasingly underground into mainly rural areas, surviving into modern times in Germanic folklore and most recently reconstructed to varying degrees in Germanic neopaganism.

Bonus Picture

Freyja

Tears of the King nuri