Saturday, March 22, 2014

Freyja, Fairest of the Asynjur

Freyja 1
According to Norse mythology, Old Norse, the `Lady’, Freyja was a goddess related to love, beauty, fertility, gold, war and death. She was the most beautiful of all the Nordic goddesses and the northern Venus. Freyja was highly appreciated by everyone in the nine worlds for her beauty and charm. She was also the owner of the Brisingamen necklace, the boar Hildisvini, a cloak of falcon feathers and rode a chariot driven by two cats. Her husband was Odor the god of sunshine and her daughters were Hnoss and Gersemi. Her husband had left her to roam in distant land and it is said that she followed him, weeping and her teardrops changed to gold in the rocks and amber in the sea. She was the member of the Vanir, along with her brother Freyr- Old Norse the `Lord’, her father Njoror and her unnamed mother and stemming from Old Norse, her modern forms of name were Freya, Freja, Freyoa and Freia. She was unexpectedly demanded as a wife as payment by the Giant who had built the walls around Asgard and trades were also offered for her hand in marriage.

Freyja 2
She is portrayed as a goddess of love, fertility and beauty in the Eddas, beautiful with blond and blue eyes. She is described as the fairest of all goddesses and people prayed to her for happiness in love. She was often called on for assistance in childbirth and also prayed to for good seasons in their country. Besides this, she was also associated with wealth, battle, war, magic, prophecy and death. It is believed that she received half of the dead lost in battle in her hall Folkyangr while Odin, the chief god of the Aesir, received the other half at Valhalla and the origin of the Seid was given to Freyja. As the leader of the Valkyries, she rode to the battlefield in her chariot going there to claim those who died which she feasted upon in her great banqueting hall and Odin took the other half.

Freyja 3
According to some it was Freyja who had provided the golden apple to Aesir which ensured their eternal youth and power and her abduction by shape shifting storm Giant Fafner along with his brother Fasolt was very disappointing and devastating to the Aesir who began aging soon. Freyja was held captive by Fafner and his brother Fasolt, the Jotung and held as hostage in exchange for the Ring of the Nibelung. With her absence, the gods began to grow old and died fading into legend. Frigg and Freyja are the two main goddesses in Norse religion who are considered as the highest among the Asynjur and Freyja is the most honored goddess along with Frigg. Freyja is presented as a mythological Princess of Sweden according to Heimskringla and her father as the second mythological King of Sweden while her brother Freyr is the third. Freyja’s mother who was Njoror’s sister was often linked to the ancient Germanic goddess Neerthus as a custom of the Vanir, permitted by laws.

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