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Author Topic: Freyja Vs. Frigg  (Read 7894 times)
Thor
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« Topic Start: January 04, 2010, 09:35:38 pm »

I am a practicing Seax Wiccan, and I recently decided to expand my knowledge of the Norse/Germanic Gods and Goddess by reading the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda.  However, I am alittle confused.  I'm confused as to why Freyja is the Goddess in Seax Wicca instead of Frigg.  Frigg is Wodan's/Odin's wife, not Freyja.  I have viewed the God/Goddess relations like a husband and wife, do I need to adjust my view?  My confusion got worse when I looked at Wikipedia and it says that Freyja and Frigg are the same deity. 

Are there any other Saxon Wiccans that can help me sort this out?
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« Reply #1: January 04, 2010, 11:22:24 pm »

I am a practicing Seax Wiccan, and I recently decided to expand my knowledge of the Norse/Germanic Gods and Goddess by reading the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda.  However, I am alittle confused.  I'm confused as to why Freyja is the Goddess in Seax Wicca instead of Frigg.  Frigg is Wodan's/Odin's wife, not Freyja.  I have viewed the God/Goddess relations like a husband and wife, do I need to adjust my view?  My confusion got worse when I looked at Wikipedia and it says that Freyja and Frigg are the same deity.  

Are there any other Saxon Wiccans that can help me sort this out?

I would suggest this book if you are looking for information about Frigg:  Magic of the Norse Goddessses by Alice Karlsdottir.  While much of the book is about Frigg and her handmaidens, there is a section about the similarities and differences between these two goddesses.  

I would also suggest Gods and Myths of Northern Europe by H R Ellis-Davidson for her sections on Frigg and Freyja. 

Frigg I would say is the wife of Odin while Freyja would be one of his mistresses.  
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« Reply #2: January 05, 2010, 12:02:03 am »

I am a practicing Seax Wiccan, and I recently decided to expand my knowledge of the Norse/Germanic Gods and Goddess by reading the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda.  However, I am alittle confused.  I'm confused as to why Freyja is the Goddess in Seax Wicca instead of Frigg.  Frigg is Wodan's/Odin's wife, not Freyja.  I have viewed the God/Goddess relations like a husband and wife, do I need to adjust my view?  My confusion got worse when I looked at Wikipedia and it says that Freyja and Frigg are the same deity. 

Are there any other Saxon Wiccans that can help me sort this out?
I'm not Seax-Wican, so I can't tell you much about how other Seax-Wicans resolve the dilemma, but hopefully I can provide some help in sorting the contradictions.

First off, Wikipedia (not always a reliable source, since anyone can edit).  I'm not sure which page you were looking at, but looking at the pages specifically for Freyja and for Frigg, I get a different impression than you did.  Particularly, the "Etymology" section of the article on Freyja, and the "Connection between Frigg and Freyja" section of the article on Frigg, cover the relevant questions - the bottom line there is that, from a scholarly viewpoint, it really can't be determined with certainty whether or not they have a common origin.

Then there's the question of why Buckland chose Freyja, rather than Frigg, for the female deity of Seax-Wica.  The short and snarky answer would be, because early neoPagans had some fanciful and not-very-scholarly notions about history and ancient religion (as current ones often still do, frequently derived from the earlier notions), and Buckland was/is no exception.  A politer answer might be, because Freyja's attributes are closer to those of the Goddess of British Traditional Wicca than Frigg's are - remember that what Buckland was doing, first and foremost, was constructing a Wiccan/Wiccanesque system that would be accessible to a seeker who didn't have access to initiation by BTWs; it's not in any way a reconstruction of preChristian Saxon religious practices.

From a Wiccanesque viewpoint, the relevant point of the God/Goddess relationship isn't so much marital as sexual - their domestic arrangements aren't as significant as the fact that they are lovers.  If the Wiccanesque framework is spiritually important to you, and has been working for you, that might be the adjustment of viewpoint that works for you.

If, OTOH, historical accuracy is more spiritually important to you, you may find it more productive to look into Anglo-Saxon Heathenry (sometimes called Theodism), Asatru, and the other Germanic reconstructionist paths; that, in turn, might result in you moving away from Seax-Wica and into whatever Heathen Recon path speaks to you.

You might also find it useful to do some reading over at Daven's Journal - Daven is both Seax-Wican and finicky about good scholarship; there's a good chance that he's faced this conundrum himself, and may well have writings about it.

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« Reply #3: January 05, 2010, 12:18:50 am »

You might also find it useful to do some reading over at Daven's Journal - Daven is both Seax-Wican and finicky about good scholarship; there's a good chance that he's faced this conundrum himself, and may well have writings about it.
Eep, I wish I'd checked first - "history of the Germanic tribes" is clearly not Daven's strong point.  I'm still recommending him as a Seax-Wican whose writing might be helpful to you, but you'll probably want to do some double-checking.  Here, Wikipedia is quite useful; it's usually reliable for giving a fairly-sound broad picture.

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« Reply #4: January 06, 2010, 12:31:01 am »

I am a practicing Seax Wiccan, and I recently decided to expand my knowledge of the Norse/Germanic Gods and Goddess by reading the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda.  However, I am alittle confused.  I'm confused as to why Freyja is the Goddess in Seax Wicca instead of Frigg.  Frigg is Wodan's/Odin's wife, not Freyja.  I have viewed the God/Goddess relations like a husband and wife, do I need to adjust my view?  My confusion got worse when I looked at Wikipedia and it says that Freyja and Frigg are the same deity. 

Are there any other Saxon Wiccans that can help me sort this out?

I can't speak for why they're using Freya instead of Frigg, but I do know a bit about these goddesses.  Frigg is Odin's wife, mistress of marriage and most things we would call domestic. She is the only god other than Odin who is allowed to sit in his throne.
Freya is a Vanir deity, an earth-based goddess, while Frigg is Aesir, a "creative/intellectual" goddess. Freya is the twin sister of Freyr, and they are the male/female fertility pairing. She is the goddess of eroticism, beauty, and war, and as queen of the Valkyries half the slain warriors go to her halls.

Scholars suggest the similarity between them because some ancient versions of their names are the same. Also, Freya has a husband called Odr, which some claim to be an older name for Odin.
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Casey
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« Reply #5: January 06, 2010, 10:19:33 am »

I am a practicing Seax Wiccan, and I recently decided to expand my knowledge of the Norse/Germanic Gods and Goddess by reading the Prose Edda and Poetic Edda.  However, I am alittle confused.  I'm confused as to why Freyja is the Goddess in Seax Wicca instead of Frigg.  Frigg is Wodan's/Odin's wife, not Freyja.  I have viewed the God/Goddess relations like a husband and wife, do I need to adjust my view?  My confusion got worse when I looked at Wikipedia and it says that Freyja and Frigg are the same deity. 

Are there any other Saxon Wiccans that can help me sort this out?

I am not Wiccan, but I can tell you that Frigg and Freyja are two different goddesses that shared roles.  It is due to the shared roles that many falsely seem to think they are the same deity. 

Frigg is the goddess of women, marriage, and motherhood.  As already pointed out by another she is the only one other than Odin that can sit upon his throne.  It is important to note that in the older stories Frigg was very much a match for Odin in all of the "battle of minds/will" they had and always got her way.  While her patronage is different than Odin's she was very much the match he needed to keep him in line.

Osprey did a very nice description of Freyja, but Odur her lost husband to me cannot be thought of as Odin.  Freyja comes from the much older Vanir and Odin the younger Aesir.  Also there seems to be little evidence to support either theory.  The only reason I can see fro seeing Freyja as Odin's wife is that she is a goddess of war and death.  Odin is the male counterpart for these traits.
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« Reply #6: January 06, 2010, 11:46:05 am »

Thank you all for your post and insights.  It appears I am at a crossroad, I would like to continue on my Wiccan path, if nothing else it has the flexibility that I like.  I grew up in a Roman Catholic Church, and I'm tired of the dogma and structure.  I want the freedom to worship the Gods the way I want to worship them.  However, I'm beginning to wonder if by following Buckland's path, have I been worshiping them improperly.  I will continue to read the Eddas and meditate on this.

Thank you everyone.  Smiley
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« Reply #7: January 09, 2010, 08:59:50 pm »

Thank you all for your post and insights.  It appears I am at a crossroad, I would like to continue on my Wiccan path, if nothing else it has the flexibility that I like.  I grew up in a Roman Catholic Church, and I'm tired of the dogma and structure.  I want the freedom to worship the Gods the way I want to worship them.  However, I'm beginning to wonder if by following Buckland's path, have I been worshiping them improperly.  I will continue to read the Eddas and meditate on this.

While the Eddas are a must for anyone even considering anything to do with the Norse/'Germanic' gods, I would strongly agree with some secondary reading. Hilda Ellis-Davidson (as was mentioned) is a great place to start, if you really want clarification of goddesses her Northern Goddesses is wonderful, taken with a small grain of salt. It really nicely defines and clarifies Frigga and Freya.

Reading the Eddas is interesting, but it's also good to have a scholarly viewpoint to go with them. Keep context in mind, they weren't written in a vaccume, and Snorri had an agenda that wasn't simply to present pagan viewpoints.. He was also writing late, and there are things in the Eddas that he didn't understand, so some of the original meaning has been lost as he inserted guesswork in those instances. 

Also, Kathleen Herbert's Lost Gods of England is good for an Anglo-Saxon perspective.

You seem to have a good start with Frigga, if you are content working with Her, don't just write her off as a goddess of 'home, hearth, marriage, and women's issues' and switch to Freya. Cwummel pointed out that in some of the lore (the best example of isn't from the Edda's at all, it's Historia gentis Langobardorum) she is a match in wit for Odin, God of wisdom. I've just started working with her (and Odin) the last few months, and she really is amazing, and totally undervalued in neo-paganism (and recon for that matter).

For example, she's written off as a goddess of household affairs, but she wasn't managing a 2 person home, she was managing a hold or stead, think more like a castle. So she would totally be fitting as a goddess of managerial work. Her role as Queen of the Gods is underemphasized too. She's quite similar to Isis in many ways, actually. Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now  Grin   
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« Reply #8: January 11, 2010, 08:11:20 pm »

While the Eddas are a must for anyone even considering anything to do with the Norse/'Germanic' gods, I would strongly agree with some secondary reading. Hilda Ellis-Davidson (as was mentioned) is a great place to start, if you really want clarification of goddesses her Northern Goddesses is wonderful, taken with a small grain of salt. It really nicely defines and clarifies Frigga and Freya.

Reading the Eddas is interesting, but it's also good to have a scholarly viewpoint to go with them. Keep context in mind, they weren't written in a vaccume, and Snorri had an agenda that wasn't simply to present pagan viewpoints.. He was also writing late, and there are things in the Eddas that he didn't understand, so some of the original meaning has been lost as he inserted guesswork in those instances. 

Also, Kathleen Herbert's Lost Gods of England is good for an Anglo-Saxon perspective.

You seem to have a good start with Frigga, if you are content working with Her, don't just write her off as a goddess of 'home, hearth, marriage, and women's issues' and switch to Freya. Cwummel pointed out that in some of the lore (the best example of isn't from the Edda's at all, it's Historia gentis Langobardorum) she is a match in wit for Odin, God of wisdom. I've just started working with her (and Odin) the last few months, and she really is amazing, and totally undervalued in neo-paganism (and recon for that matter).

For example, she's written off as a goddess of household affairs, but she wasn't managing a 2 person home, she was managing a hold or stead, think more like a castle. So she would totally be fitting as a goddess of managerial work. Her role as Queen of the Gods is underemphasized too. She's quite similar to Isis in many ways, actually. Sorry, I'll get off my soapbox now  Grin   

 Cheesy  Wonderful soapbox!  Thank you for the new source of information as well!  Cheesy
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