A Prayer to Ingvi
Because I could not kiss your lips
I kissed my lover instead;
Because he never danced with me
I dance with you instead,
here on the far side of midnight
where sun hides
and moon cannot be jealous.
--from "An Unapologetic Look at Romance" by Dominique Jones
This is one of the wisest essays I have read, on love or anything else (click on it, please), and it drives home several points about Freyr:
We stereotype the peoples of Northern Europe as aggressive, looting, sea-faring warriors, hauling back pillaged booty or trade goods from abroad. We stereotype Odin (blame Wagner and his Victorian romanticism for this) as the stern, grim king: father of war. Thor as big-hearted, lustily drinking smiter of evil. While attitudes have recently begun changing, portraying the Vikings' "softer side", that aggressive image sticks-- both inside and outside of Heathenry....
Americans still haven't celebrated our secular harvest holiday yet (Thanksgiving)-- which marks the unofficial change from autumn to winter, even if the official shift falls on the Solstice. So I think it's still appropriate to honor Freyr, especially at lower latitudes.
Offerings that you've grown or made yourself work best; if you can't grow flowers, potted ones that you can plant later are appreciated. To dedicate an offering, you can simply place it on an altar or private place outdoors and say, "I dedicate this offering of [x] to [x]."...
Hail Freyr, golden King
Lord of green and growing things!
He who gives us rain and sun,
life and peace for everyone
Son of Njordh and Nerthus, too
Gerda's love, we welcome you!
The Lord is not my shepherd.
He teaches not submission but resilience.
In the face of the impossible, there are no guarantees. Not even for Him.
But victory was never born without valor. Even love has a sacred price:
nothing worth striving for is easily won.
Trickster, sage, lover, father, brother, husband, nephew, son;
warrior and peace-maker, hunter and grower, slayer and slain:
Wise-one, show me the way
Not to follow but to be inspired
To both grow in worthiness and to recognize the abundant worth in others.
I am not a sheep, nor was I bred for docility:
I am a falcon, a hart, a wolf.
Freyr is literally one of the words for 'Lord' in old Norse. In other words, it's not just a well-known God's name but his title. One of Odin's many heiti (by-names and titles) is Herran-- also another word for 'Lord' with a warrior connotation. While both Gods are associated with kingship in Scandinavia, Freyr is mythically attributed inYnglinga Saga as the ancestor of the royal house of Sweden (much as Egyptian pharoahs claimed descent from or symbolic right to rule as inherited from Osiris-- which also means 'Sire')....
I’ve been quiet this month, but I’ve had a lot of offline goings ons – I am teaching regularly at the Raven Faerie, and I have a class Saturday, August 31st from 10-12 on making your own rune set. We also have a psychic fair coming up on September 7th as well. Do ALL the physical work! during Pop’s month is not a huge surprise to me, given that the Vanir are about hard work leading to prosperity. The other pleasant surprise I got was that Mom came around – Gerda.
I have strong feelings about Gerda and Her lessons – she’s an Etin Woman among the Vanir, a stern Queen, and a keeper of healthy boundaries. She’s not a cuddly Mother, but She is fiercely protective of those She loves. I have more in common with Her than just Pop, and having an opportunity to reconnect with Her is a delight, like finding a long-lost relative. Truth be told, when I picked my nom de pagan, I considered the notion of using Heather Gerdasdottir, because not many use their mother's name for the surname *cough* Laufeyson *cough* and because I adore Her. Pop as a surname won out because He has pointed out, rightly, that I do much better with Disir ancestor work than I do with my Alfar.
And I know some find the courtship of Freyr and Gerda problematic, especially in light of Freyr’s general characterization – He Who has never made a woman cry goes and curses a woman into marrying Him? What? It goes against both our notions of Them as Deities – the notion of subjugating Gerda amuses me; if you meet Her, She is not a shy, pliant maiden. Maria Kvilhaug of Freyja, Lady of Labyrinth has a fascinating take on this in her essay on Freyr and Gerda:...
I was gonna kick off my month for Pop with a more general post on how awesome He is, but I came across this on the blogosphere, and I wanted to quote it, because the blog it's from is about health at any size.
"When I started out, I felt like I should post every comment that wasn’t just overt spam. I believed that it was somehow cowardly to not post hater comments. I have since changed my mind – I work hard to put out good information on this blog and develop a readership and I don’t have to hand that forum over to a hater to prove anything. People are allowed to behave like idiots but I’m under no obligation to give them a place to do so."
I talk a lot about the self-work I do with Loki, but Pop is the flip side of that work - Loki does a lot for my mental health, but Pop is all about me taking care of, and taking pride in my physical body, and in showing me how my attitudes toward the physical affect the spiritual. When I did my shadow work (ha ha like that's EVER done) on my body, the kind of words I came up about were things like, "polluted. defiled. weak. debased. dirty."...