Yes, she is described by the scholars as being a dís
, a female vanr
, a goddess of love and fertility - who slept with seven dwarves to get a necklace. They will tell you that after a war between the two races of gods she was accepted amongst the æsir
("spirits"), but that she originally was of another race of gods. Some add that perhaps the vanir
were the original Scandinavian gods, testament to a matriarchal cult, which was replaced by the gods and cult of the immigrating Indo-European battle axe peoples, which replaced the European populations some thousand years ago. Or at least assimilated them. According to them, that is...
Please allow me to wake you up from this Judeo-Christian fantasy.
Every Spring our forebears arranged contests, so called ring games, that they used to select the best amongst them. The "best" was defined as (for women) the most beautiful and hard-working or (for men) the bravest, strongest, wisest and most capable. As explained in The Sacred Marriage
and The Apples of Eternal Youth
There was no "war" between different races of gods: There was only an annual May contest, intended to find "the most beautiful" amongst them; the winners of the past year's contest participated, trying to keep their titles and win the games this year as well. Only the deities (initiated men and women) could participate, and the winners were called the vanir
("beautiful"). So they were all æsir
, and the winners were called vanir
With the coming of the spiritual Black Death (alias
Judeo-Christianity) to Europe these games changed: the European man refused to let go of his heritage, even under threats of death and torture, so the May games turned into annual knight tournaments, and the selection of the "Freyja" was done with the lance; by lowering the lance towards the favoured maiden, who would tie her handkerchief to the lance if she accepted the knight as her champion. The knight would then tie her handkerchief to his sleeve, to make sure he didn't lose it (spawning the proverb: "Carry your heart on your sleeve").
I can add that these knight tournaments were practiced continuously from late Antiquity up until the XIXth
(or even the XXth
) century, the last ones I think in Saxony in Germany. I can also add that these games are still being practiced in Scandinavia, every (in Norway the 17th
of) May - only they have been reduced to just fun competitive games for children.
Freyja is not of another divine race. She is just the most beautiful female individual in the group. There was no Indo-European invasion into Europe or a conquest by some "battle axe" people; there was only migration of tribes, back and forth, and back again, and then by chance the language of one of these pretty much by then identical tribes became the most popular and widely used - and their axes became status symbols (like e.g. some cars today are). Basque, Finnish and Magyar are no less European because of that though, or more European for that sake - and as much as 40% of the Germanic vocabulary is actually proto-Scandinavian, and not Indo-European at all. Not that it matters though: both Indo-European and proto-Scandinavian are European languages.
Further, there was no change in cults in Europe. We have practiced our European religion continuously since pre-historic times, and the changes we have seen have been minuscule. Freyja has been the same always, and she still is. Her name is an honoury title given to the most beautiful divine (initiated) girls amongst us, and it means "free", "liberate" and "dove". She is the mother of the light elves, meaning that your immortality is secured through honour: only the honourable becomes light elves in the grave, waiting to be reborn.
Yet further, I will add that no: Freyja is not a goddess of "fertility". Getting pregnant was hardly a problem for women in the Ancient World (even though it is today, for many, because of our modern lifestyle and women waiting too long before they choose to have children). What was a problem was the birth itself: After the native Europeans (Neanderthals) mixed with Homo Sapiens, surviving birth became a challenge for the women. The mixing of species had left the women with a narrower and smaller pelvis, meaning the infants with big European heads often killed the mother (and themselves) when she tried to give birth to them.
European new-borns have the biggest heads in the world... and in Europe "of course" the Scandinavian new-borns are the biggest, European women also have the longest pregnancies, on average one week longer than Asian ones and two weeks longer than African ones. This is also why we see the so-called "Venus figures" (from the Stone Age), which are, my wife
has pointed out, not at all an idealization of fat women, but obviously images of women just after they have given birth: in other words women who have just survived one of the most dangerous thing they could be exposed to!
Finally, the confusing myth about her sleeping with seven dwarves to get the necklace of fire, causing her to be called a whore and a slut by the Judeo-Christians. First of all, a "dwarf" is actually the body of a dead person, resting underground, with all his most valuable possessions. Also, the necklace of fire is the bonfires along the coast, burning and lighting up the night on the Summer Solstice, when Freyja is said to be (re-)born; she ascends naked from the water, with the reflection of the many bonfires around her neck.
In order to be re-born, you first have to die, right? And if the bodies of the dead are called "dwarves", then you have to "sleep with the dwarves" in order to be re-born. This is also, as it happens, exactly how our forebears were initiated and became divine. In order to become Freyja, the girls had to enter the grave and be symbolically re-born, as goddesses. They completed this rite of passage by undressing and then rising naked from the sea (which explains why the Greeks called her Aphrodite), on the Summer Solstice, and then jump naked through the fire, to show their courage and to be cleansed by the fire.
Dwarf, Norse dvergr
, female form dyrgja
("door") and gjá
("opening in the ground"). Ergo
, dwarf is originally a name on the entrance to the burial mound: a door opening in the ground, a place where they put in the bodies of the dead.
Freyja is a goddess of love, freedom, youthful health and beauty (in mind and body). She is "just" a human being: The most beautiful of the initiated girls in your group, chosen to represent the divine principles of love, freedom, youthful health and beauty. All "worship" of her must be seen in this light.
Think better of her, and think better of your forebears and their ability to shape wonderful, beautiful and healthy societies, where the good in man and nature was cultivated like no other place. Think better of everything European in general... rip down and cast aside the sinister veil of lies put up in between you and your heritage by the Judeo-Christians.
I will hail Freyja, and present her as a much better ideal for young girls and women, than any of the women (or rather: females...) that they are encouraged to embrace today by mainstream society.
Greek: Aphrodite ("born from sea foam").
Roman: Venus ("beautiful" from the same PIE root *ven-
that is found in the Norse term vanir
) & Libera ("free, liberate"...).
Slavic: Shieba or Lada.
Hindu: Shiva ("bringer of happiness").