Gnosis Diary: Life as a Heathen

My personal experiences, including religious and spiritual experiences, community interaction, general heathenry, and modern life on my heathen path, which is Asatru.

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Novel Gnosis part 9: Freya

In the Fireverse, Freya’s big house Sessrumnir has the same characteristic as Frigga’s house in that both of the houses can generate whatever sort of room is needed at the moment, with whatever sort of décor and furnishings, while still having some permanent areas. Most of the cats live in the field with the warriors, but some of them live in the house.

Even though the name of Freya’s house means “many rooms” and traditionally all the dead that go to a particular god go inside the god’s house or the building set aside for them (such as Valhalla), in the Fireverse, Freya’s legion of warriors camp in the field of Folkvangr, between Freya’s house and the main road of Asgard. Freya’s army is not meant to be used at Ragnarok, but to survive Ragnarok and help build the new world. She doesn’t have her entire army train every day the way Odin’s warriors do, but some of her warriors do choose to battle each other as training. There are also combat sports contests such as jousting tournaments, occasionally. Freya’s warriors can choose to participate in such contests or not. As a nation-building army, not all the members of her army are combat oriented, even though they all died in battle just like Odin’s warriors.

There is a small outbuilding which is a women’s space for the mental and spiritual healing of dead human women who were victims of sexual violence and abuse. Late in the story, through interacting with Loki, Freya experiences the moment when feminism discovered there were men and other gendered people in need of the same services she had created as women-only safe spaces. To preserve both the dignity of these men and the integrity of the women’s asylum, Freya chose to house such patients in her main house in rooms she might otherwise have provided for her lovers.

The story of how Freya won her jewel is related to the story of her search for Odh, because the gold and amber that make up the Brisingamen came from her tears in the first place. She sensed a particularly large and powerful example of her solidified tears in Svartalfheim before the dwarves even started making the necklace, which is why she went there to trade for it. The four dwarves asked to be initiated into her magical lineage. By this point in the story, the reader has already found out about the initiations of Odin and Loki and so the reader knows that this lineage passes power through sex. Freya agrees to initiate the dwarves, and gives each of the four a different power related to a direction and element, and from that point forward they have the magical names of the four directions, Nordhri, Austri, Sudhri, and Vestri, in addition to their regular names.

Outside of the Fireverse, I have gnosis that her name Vanadis does not mean dis of the Vanir, but rather goddess of the disir. In parallel to Freyr being king of Alfheim, and therefore lord of the elves, which have a lot of overlap with male ancestral spirits, Freya is lady of the female ancestral spirits.

Image: goddess of the woods by Enrique Meseguer via Pixabay

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Erin Lale is the author of Asatru For Beginners, and the updated, longer version of her book, Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path. Erin has been a gythia since 1989. She was the editor and publisher of Berserkrgangr Magazine, and is admin/ owner of the Asatru Facebook Forum. She also writes science fiction and poetry, ran for public office, is a dyer and fiber artist, was acquisitions editor at a small press, and founded the Heathen Visibility Project.

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