Frejya, Norse Goddess of Love and War

Freyja, Norse goddess of love and war. Reproduction of the original by John Bauer.

Freyja is the Norse goddess of love and war. The name Freyja means lady. She is famous as a lover, for her beauty, and for her fine possessions.

Her husband, the god Odin, is often away and Freyja takes lovers. The god Loki tries to use this against her, but she deftly turns the other gods against him.

The god Thor loses his hammer to the giant Thrymr, who agrees to return it only if Freyja will marry him. Freyja spurns Thrymr, sending Thor dressed as her to the wedding. Thrymr is shocked at her appetite for food and mead and revolted at her eyes when he attempts a kiss.

Freyja is a völva, a practitioner of siedr, powerful Norse magic for discerning fate and weaving events into being. She can control and manipulate desires, health, and prosperity. It is a power put to any imaginable use. She is know to travel between towns, performing seidr in exchange for lodging, food, and other compensations. She is by turns exalted, feared, longed for, propitiated, celebrated, and scorned.

Freyja’s abode is Fólkvangr, Field of the People, where she claims half of the weapon-dead, those who die in battle. The other half go to Odin’s hall, Valhalla. Fólkvangr is only known a great and fair hall with many seats. It is unclear what criteria are used to determine who goes there. One poem speaks of a world-weary woman who declares she will never taste food again until she dines with Freya; suicide seems one route to Fólkvangr.

There are many variants of the name, Frejya. The land of Frisia is no doubt named for her.


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