Freya Queen Of The Northern Gods
Source: A Book Of Myths
“Friday’s bairn is loving and giving,” says the old rhyme that sets forth the special qualities of the children born on each day of the week, and to the superstitious who regard Friday as a day of evil omen, it seems strange that Friday’s bairn should be so blessed. But they forget that before Christianity swept paganism before it, and taught those who worshipped the northern gods the story of that first black “Good Friday,” the tragedy in which all humanity was involved, Friday was the day of Freya, “The Beloved,” gentle protectress, and most generous giver of all joys, delights, and pleasures. From her, in medićval times, the high-born women who acted as dispensers to their lords first took the title Frouwa (=Frau), and when, in its transition stage, the old heathenism had evolved into a religion of strong nature worship, overshadowed by fatalism, only thinly veneered by Christianity, the minds of the Christian converts of Scandinavia, like those of puzzled children, transferred to the Virgin Mary the attributes that had formerly been those of their “Lady”—Freya, the goddess of Love.
Long before the Madonna was worshipped, Freya gave her name to plants, to flowers, and even to insects, and the child who says to the beautiful little insect, that he finds on a leaf, “Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home,” is commemorating the name of the Lady, Freya, to whom his ancestors offered their prayers.
In her home in the Hall of Mists, Freya (or Frigga), wife of Odin the All Father, sat with her golden distaff spinning the clouds. Orion’s Belt was known as “Frigga’s spindle” by the Norsemen, and the men on the earth, as they watched the great cumulous masses of snowy-white, golden or silver edged, the fleecy cloudlets of grey, soft as the feathers on the breast of a dove, or the angry banks of black and purple, portending a storm, had constant proof of the diligence of their goddess. She was the protectress of those who sailed the seas, and the care of children as they came into the world was also hers. Hers, too, was the happy task of bringing together after death, lovers whom Death had parted, and to her belonged the glorious task of going down to the fields of battle where the slain lay strewn like leaves in autumn and leading to Valhalla the half of the warriors who, as heroes, had died. Her vision enabled her to look over all the earth, and she could see into the Future, but she held her knowledge as a profound secret that none could prevail upon her to betray.
“Of me the gods are sprung;
And all that is to come I know, but lock
In my own breast, and have to none reveal’d.”
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