What is life like when you have direct experience with the Goddess? How does your life change when you are contacted by Isis or Freyja or Artemis? Goddess Encounters explores the world through a mystic's eyes.
This Samhain season, I've been reflecting back to this past Candlemas and to the changes that season brought me. For sometime immediately around Imbolc is when I was first contacted by Freyja.
It was a chill, sunny weekend, and a close friend and I were cooking together in her kitchen. The bare branches of trees outside scraped the cool sky, up and down, up and down. Lentils were cooking, with garlic and onions, possibly some tomatoes softening, some cheese melting. We were most likely talking of cooking or an anonymous reading she'd recently done or the latest celebrity scandal-- when she suddenly began channeling a message to me. Although we don't speak anymore, she was one of the nearest to my heart and soul. We oftentimes had interwoven dreams. She is a practicing medium, with one of the most direct lines to Spirit I've ever witnessed.
My friend saw a circle of women, tall like giants, the extreme stature usually denoting divinity or ascended status to me. The details have faded a bit now, but I believe They may have been tending a cauldron. One, in particular, stepped forward to speak. Strength of character emanated from Her. She was described as having lush, golden-orange hair and a long cape, possibly wings. There may have been armor or breastplate or a lance. There were big cats around Her, as in snow leopards or a cat easily misidentified with wolves because of its wildness and ferocity. A very strong voice spoke that I needed to stop excluding myself from Her circle of Women, that They were not above me but that I was part of it, just on a different part of the journey. She acknowledged I had traveled far and learned much and that the past few years had been very difficult for me. "Within the next 2-3 years, you will receive everything you desire. There will still be some difficulties and losses to come, but there will be joys and immense success and love as well. By the end of the 3 year period, you will have transformed so utterly, like a pupa into a butterfly, that you will barely recognize yourself or your previous life when you recall them."
Although many people might be trepidatious about such intense change, I welcome it. Since the Autumn of 2010, there has been much chaos in my life. I've recently been thinking of making a list of all these disruptive, distressing occurrences, in order to free myself from carrying it around continually in my head, my heart, and in my aura. Perhaps sharing them with the community here will bring me some peace and resolution. But that is for another post.
Now as I begin to process what Her message to me entails, I am realizing that I've held on to struggle for too long. Many of the things that have caused such incredible suffering over the past couple years for me have been things out of my control, which is part of the intense frustration and pain of it all. Yet finally, I can control my response, having come out of the worst of it and begun to recover. (During the darkest times, I could not control my reaction... part and parcel of PTSD.) Nevertheless, it has taken the months since this message for me to accept Her directive. Within the past few weeks I've realized that what She offered me, or what lies ahead, is big "capital-A" Abundance. The abundance that comes with knowing your dreams still can come true, that struggle is not everything and will not remain constant forever, that I can receive even the newest and highest vision of my life, with all the love, honor, and success I desire and deserve.
A Facebook friend-- American Witch, Annie Finch-- posted this quote from the author, Martha Beck, the other day which has greatly influenced how I'm trying to relate to life nowadays.
"Today, look upon your life, your bank account, your family, each person you meet, as a wild horse. If a problem looks difficult, relax. If it looks impossible, relax even more. Then begin encouraging small changes, putting just enough pressure on yourself to move one turtle step forward. Then rest, savor, celebrate. Then step again. You’ll find that slow is fast, gentle is powerful, and stillness moves mountains."
This appeals to me, natal Fish that I am, as one whose progressed Sun has recently gone into Taurus. But how to relax when your pulse starts jumping or your nerves scream out? How to rest when certain foundations of your life crumble and you can only hold up so many supports to the roof which keeps the downpour from drowning you? I am finding that when I focus more on my Gods, when I actively pray or ask for help or create a spell to help myself, that the weight of the world rests more lightly on my shoulders. I find that the more I call on Isis and now Freyja, the easier it is to dial down my own panic and stress, actually accomplish something, then rest. Perhaps I have not been delineating enough space-time in my life to the spiritual and to the magickal.
The funny thing is I've never been called to the Norse pantheon. Freyja was quite a surprise. I'd read various myths like any enthusiastic reader or Pagan might. But when my friend first described Her to me, and tried to describe the feeling that accompanied Her presence--which I was able to feel as well--our first assumption was that She must be Bríd/Brighid, although the closest thing to a name we were given for Her was the instruction to just call Her-- Lady.
Bríd had previously come to me years before, when I was actively studying mediumship. She had presented Herself as my master guide, one of the traditional five spiritual guides acknowledged in certain Spiritualist circles. Bríd, as my master guide, was therefore concerned with my overall soul's journey and evolution. She appeared back then with an energy very similar to Freyja, with such brightness and strength and connection to women and the Feminine. A day or two after the channeled message had occurred, however, I "accidentally" found information on Freyja (serendipity!) and found such incredible artwork, such as the painting above by Laura Daligan, representing Her and matching the feeling I had about "the She who had come"-- that I knew we had been mistaken. The message to me had in fact been from Freyja, with whom I was barely familiar (at least consciously). Here is what I found.
Her name means "Lady" in Old Norse. She is Abundance, Love, Success, Fertility, while still Warrior. She has a connection with the Underworld, with Her role as leader of the Valkyrie, and serves as psychopompos in Her culture. My chthonic and psychopomp leanings are strong and a vital part of my experience as witch and Pagan. Finally, Her connection with cats sealed the deal, as it were, for me, as I've always felt called to serve the Cat Kingdom. I must help cats wherever I can and feel my heart breaking when it's not emotionally, physically, or financially possible. Some of my friends call me the Cat Whisperer. The strange thing is that I've never felt a kinship with Bast. With Isis as my matron and Great Goddess and previous communications with Thoth and another lesser known Egyptian God, it was strange to me to never feel any kind of spiritual connection with Bast. I enjoy her iconography-- art, statues, friezes, etc.-- but with Freyja, I have found my cat Goddess connection. (Another time, I'll tell you the story of how Isis came to me as specifically cheetah.)
So where does this leave me now? I suppose in search of a deeper connection with Her and of understanding as to what She may want from me. Pantheons from very different cultural backgrounds operate differently from each other, and my experience has been most heavily with a syncretic Graeco-Egyptian pantheon. Our relationships have been ones of just that-- relating to one another. It can be conversational, spiritual, philosophical, mystical, magickal, or practical. I have not felt pulled to necessarily "worship," though, or make sacrifices as perhaps some Goddesses and Gods may require. As a librarian, my first inclination is to research and read, read, read whatever I can find on others' experiences with Freyja. But of course, what matters is my own experience, and to be sure, She ain't exactly been subtle so far. :-) We will see where this leads!
Are you a devotee of Freyja, or have you had a special connection with Her? I'd love to hear from you.
Photo of Kalyca for blog by Tolley Photo.
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