3. Symbols and icons of this deity
Hoo boy. Here we go. I’m not going to go too in-depth with these because if I do I’ll be here all day, and I’ve got jobs to do, but here’s some of his symbols. I apologize in advance for any bastardizations of words and names due to having an English keyboard and no clue.
Ing among the East-Danes was first / beheld by men, until that later time when to the east / he made his departure over the waves, followed by his chariot / that was the name those stern warriors gave the hero. – Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem
Named for Frey, or Ingvi, it is a rune of doorways, and power. It is the build-up and release of power, and the acceptance of necessary sacrifices and deaths. Frey, one who necessarily sacrifices himself every year to ensure fertility to the land, which ties him to this rune by more than name alone.
Good harvest is the profit of all men, / and a good summer, / and a ripened field. – Old Icelandic Rune Poem
I see Frey as a god of the harvest, among other things, and so the rune of the harvest is always in my mind associated with him. It’s an orderly rune, a rune that rewards hard work. The Wheel still turns and things must be done in order. Frey has that kind of “natural order” energy about him, and he is certain one to reward hard work of any sort, especially if done in his name, or having asked for his help.
The Self-Wielding Sword
Frey had a sword that would fight for its wielder on its own, if said wielder was wise enough to use it. I’ve always pictured it as a flaming sword, akin to Lugh’s spear, or Archangel Michael’s claymore (yes, he does have a flaming claymore). Swords are an air symbol, logic and communication, piercing words and sharp minds. Adding the fire to it makes it a symbol of the mind in action, thoughts producing effect. Enlightenment, if you will, and power beyond the physical. Frey gave this up for his wife Gerdr, which is almost a perfect metaphor for being mad with love.
Mister Pig! Gullinbursti is a golden-bristled, dwarf-made boar (how anyone can make a boar is beyond me, but hey! I’m not a dwarf) that acts as Frey’s noble steed. Boars are symbols of protection and defense, because gawdamn! Dem tusks! As well as wild abandon. Play, love, run, and dream, and don’t be afraid to get a little dirty in the process, teaches the Boar. No comments from the vanic peanut gallery on that one.
Frey’s amazing, self-driving ship that folds up on itself so that it can be carried around in a satchel. Now, I’m not gonna say it, but…
Antlers and Elk
While Frey isn’t technically a horned god, like Cernunnos or Herne, he is a fertility god, so it makes sense that one of his symbols would be an antler. According to the Voluspa, at Ragnarok, Frey will have a final stand against Beli and Surtr, and slays the former with an antler, before getting killed by Surtr. Now. Even if Ragnarok is actually A Thing — which I have a hard time believing — I have, to this day, never seen Frey carrying an antler around. I have, however, had the blessing of seeing many, many elk on my most recent trip up the mountains, so I still associate them with Him. Also Cernunnos, but there aren’t any rules against sharing sacred animals, right? Loki and Ceridwen share Salmon. Speaking of which…
I used to love horses. I grew up with horses around the block from my house. I still visit them on occasion. Okay, I still love horses. They’re powerful, majestic, and symbols of freedom when taken in their wild context. Breeds with golden color to them in particular seem like more classically beautiful versions of Gullenbursti to me, so of course I associate them with Frey. There’s also the phrase, “hung like a horse,” but… let’s not go there.
Anyone have any additions to the list? Leave them in the comments!