Art Post: Freyr of the Vanir

Freyr of the Vanir by EjLowell

Holy crap it’s been a while. Sorry about that, guys. Nothing bad happened this time – nothing on the order of soul-close-friends dying, anyway – I just haven’t had much to talk about. Life’s been happening and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Might update soon.

A personal (I guess??) piece for Ingvi-Frey, lord of peace and good seasons. and pants I mean plants. Whenever the sunflowers and tiger lilies start blooming I think of him, and I haven’t done an art for him in a while.

I went out for an impromptu picnic with my lovely Moose man the other day and it was just so peaceful and warm, birds were chatting and bumble bees kept checking in to say hello (and scare the crap out of me), and all I could think of was, “this is Frey. This is what he’s all about. Peace and laughter and loving moments shared with friends and family.” We sat under a tree which is actually two trees twisted up together and surrounded by a bed of clover. It was hot as heck out, as summer on the front range tends to be, but it was so… Frey. I wish I could take that feeling and distill it, stick it into a bottle, and wear it forever. Give it to those who need it more than me.

Hi, btw, for those of you who don’t know I am actually rather devoted to this particular deity. He stands for so much that I try to stand for, that I try to be. He represents a version of masculinity that I deeply admire – giving without being pushy, protective without being possessive, friendly without being obnoxious, strong without feeling the need to prove it or show it off, respectful and kind toward all people – and working on this piece for him lit me up from the moment I started sketching it. I don’t do lineless art very often; it just takes so long to do, so I tend to reserve it for special pieces. This is in thanks to him for all of the things that have been going well lately, all of the crap I’ve been trying to sort out emotionally and mentally, all of the courage I’ve found whilst digging in the depths of hopelessness, and hope that I might actually have the wherewithal to follow the paths I can’t help but stare at from a distance because I’ve been so scared of being judged for taking them.

That got a little weird but I hope someone finds some peace in the picture, at least. Peace and Good Seasons to ya’ll.

Aside: And guess what just happened while I was getting ready to post this? A friend asked for help. Spiritual help. That. Was. WHAT?! I still get flabbergasted when shit like this happens!!

Wisdom From My Mentor

Hello friends!

So, Val(you remember him, right?) gave me a wee crash course in galdr and speech-craft earlier—since that’s something I’ve always wanted to know how to do, and he was bored—and I ended up singing parts of a bunch of Wardruna songs, since some of them have rune names in them and I know the lyrics off the top of my head. We practiced galdr a little bit, I really got the hang of it on one particular song, and he told me to go take a break, do laundry, get lunch, etc.

While I was making lunch I heard this little whisper of the song in the back of my mind and went, “what the crap now it’s stuck in my head.” Val came back with, “actually, you’re hearing your own echo.” Now, I’m still a little new to everything, so I didn’t know that was possible. I asked him if I could hear other people’s echoes as well, and he said this:

“Not really, no. That’s the thing about working with wyrd, it’s like tossing pebbles into a lake, in a way. If someone like, say, Beth, decided to throw a boulder in, you might be able to pick out a few ripples, but they’d blend in with the waves in the rest of the water, because she’d be throwing it in from some other part of the lake. If you threw a pebble in, you’d see the ripples because you know where the rock landed. If you were standing next to Brandon while he was throwing a rock in, you might be able to get his echoes as well, because you’d see where he tossed the rock. But that’s the other thing, even if you’re standing very close to someone, you have to be actively watching the water to pick out the ripples.

The other side of this is that echoes are a vibration, and everyone has their own specific one. Mine is different from yours, is different from Bran’s, is different from Odin’s. So if you send something out, you’re much more like to find your own echo because you’re already tuned to your own frequency. Naturally. Bran, if he’s next to you and knows you did something, could probably attune himself to your frequency in order to look for your echo, but he wouldn’t hear it naturally.

So, with that in mind, if you think about you and Frey, or you and anybody you do magic with, it’s more like you’re playing with each other’s harmonics, rather than actually matching wavelengths. If you work well with someone, like you and he obviously do, it creates a kind of metaphysical music. A duet. If you were to try working with someone you desperately don’t get along with, like me and Odin, it would sound completely off-key and gross. If you get a bunch of people working together, as long as it’s toward a main, agreed-upon goal, even if there are a couple people who don’t harmonize well, the general tone will be sufficient and even create more harmonics out of the sympathetic vibrations. That’s what makes big, group-spells work. Everything is music.

That’s kinda of what the Hunt is doing, actually. *snicker* We’re like one bigass, badass marching band.”

So, there you have it, wisdom from one Vanic dragon. For those of you concerned, I did ask him if I could post this, since I know some spirits/Deities/etc. are a bit concerned about oversharing, but he said yes. Even reviewed it for errors. I, for one, find this kind of stuff endlessly intriguing. I think it’s the scientist in me. Val thinks I’m adorable nuts amusing.

Aright, WTF

Hello, my friends!

So, it’s been a strange week. It started off with Frey outright claiming himself as my patron(or, one of them, anyway. More on that later) and telling me all that entails, and then disappearing for a few days. Then an old friend of mine from the other side stopped by for the first time in about three years and finally told me his story, and after that Odin decided it would be a good time to remind me that I still technically had a contract with him from way back when. There’s been a slew of other stuff happening as well, but for the sake of my perceived sanity—or lack thereof—I’m not going to write about them. The weirdshit is getting really weird, and I’m not quite sure if I’m used to it yet. Or, at least, not all at once. And all this crap got dropped on me all at once, so, I want to know what the pardon my french actual fuck is going on that is making All of the Things happen at the same time.

I won’t talk much about my admittedly strange relationship with Frey because of reasons, so we’ll start with my old friend. He appeared to me after watching a show back in about my sophomore year of high school, in which there was a character that very closely resembled him in both appearance(both of them are dragons/dragon-like) and personality(to some extent). Over the years he changed from appearing to me strictly as that character, and now basically appears as he actually looks, at least to me. I’ve been calling him Val, and while that may or may not actually be his real name, he responds to it. He’s been leery of telling me his actual story for years, probably because I didn’t have the background knowledge at the time, but apparently he decided that now would be a good time to tell me. Why? I don’t know. But he apparently fought in the Aesir-Vanir war way back when—even though he looks more like a jotunn to me, he does have pointed ears under all that hair—and got nearly killed when he went up against Odin. Yes, he did. That’s where most of his scars came from. After that whole business he settled back down for a while and mentored me when I was going through my training with the Serpent tribe. After I got switched to Salmon, he got a little, shall we say, irritated, and they switched him to Wolf tribe because of his temper problems. Which, looking back, may explain why he up and disappeared in the middle/end-ish of 2012. For a vanic being, he’s very aggressive and warrior-minded, so I’m not sure if he’s full-on elf, or if he is a bit of a throwback to when the Jotnar and Vanir were the same. He seems old enough for that. I’m not quite sure why/how he’s managed to stay around this long, but, whatever. He’s taken it upon himself to be my mentor again, especially when it comes to matters of shapeshifting and sorcery. Am I a sorcerer? Who the hell knows. Maybe. At the moment, I’m not sure if he’s still living in Vanaheim, or if he moved.

Hi, Val!
Hi, Val!

As for Odin… he actually showed up with both of his eyes intact, which is not something I’ve ever seen before, and looked much younger. Black hair instead of white, although he did have touches of grey around his temples. That was the first time I’ve ever seen a younger version of him, and it was terrifying. The only reason I knew it was him was because of that creepy, intense, slightly bloodthirsty, but also grandfatherly energy he tends to carry around with him. It was even more pronounced than usual. He asked me if I remembered the agreement we’d made back when I was actually living in Norway, and of course I don’t, other than I carry around the title, “Odin’s Wolf,” for whatever reason. I remember that I had a tattoo on my left arm. but don’t remember what it was, since that’s the arm that got cut off when I died way back when. Anyway, Odin… “reminded” me of some things. I’m still not sure what it is he wants me to do exactly, but I know that it’s going to be a very strange winter for me. Someone Upstairs has some plans, and I’m not sure what they are or why they’re in place, but, Odin’s on a warpath, it seems.

August for Frey – Day 5

5. Members of the family – genealogical connections

So. I’ve not had very much interaction with most of Frey’s family, canon or otherwise, so this may be a little bit of a stumpy post.

Nerthus – Frey’s mother, Vanic earth goddess of bogs, purification, boundaries, and the arcane consequences of screwing with shtuff you don’t understand, particularly where nature and the natural order are concerned. She keeps her face veiled because to look upon it is death. I’ve never met her, and Frey doesn’t speak much of her, at least not to me.

Njord – Frey’s father, god of ships, sailing, fishing, and all sorts of other watery business! He’s more of a mediator than Aegir, who is basically all of the wild parts of the sea. He’s on good terms with pretty much any and all of the sea and river deities, being an excellent diplomat, and they tend to calm the waves for him when he sails. He was married to Skadi for a brief time, but they didn’t like where each other lived and ended up calling for a friendly divorce. I’ve only heard whispers from him, but he reminds me in some ways of my own father, who grew up in Maine and served in the coast guard for a while, and so also has links to the sea. He also writes about sailing ships in space, so, my father and Frey’s father have some things in common. I feel like I know him without having known him, you know?

Freyja – His twin sister, and sometimes wife. In my experience, she’s not his identical twin. In fact, she appears to me as brilliantly dark, Frey’s opposite, almost. She still shines with her own beauty, her eyes are like moonlight on clouds though her hair is dark, and she is terrifying. As a goddess of love, she is gentle and caring toward all things, helpful to those that need help, and kind. As a goddess of war she is driven, stoic, cold, and calculating, much like a large cat. As a Seidhkona — which was how and why she appeared to me — she is utterly dark, and utterly blinding at the same time. She knows many of the universe’s secrets, and knows the soul of the one whose eyes she looks in. And she is powerful beyond measure in her mastery and ownership of Her Self.

Sigyn – Well here’s a surprise. Njord fostered the orphaned Sigyn, which makes her Frey’s foster-sister. I’ve seen a couple of her facets, both the compassionate, even slightly innocent face and the face that I like to call, Sigyn of the Strong Arms. She seems to embody the phrase, “do no harm but take no shit.” I don’t know her story so much, but she’s a peach, and cares for Loki more than anything in the world. Even if he’s being an ungodly derp.

Gerda – The beautiful daughter of two jotunns, and Lady of the Garden. She grows herbs — both wild and domestic — where Frey grows crops. She comforts women who have had miscarriages and abortions, and doesn’t judge, having to keep herself barren to avoid having any offspring bound by the same contract that holds Frey hostage. She and Frey are even more opposite than Frey and Freyja. As gods of marriage, she and Frey bless those who are gainsaid by others, those who are ostracized because of who they love. I would call upon them both should I ever get married to my Bran, who is both my opposite and my morning star(he’s Luciferian, lulz). I’ve never met her personally, but Frey smiles whenever he talks about her, and glows a little brighter.

Hnoss and Gersemi – Freyja’s daughters, and Frey’s nieces. Not much is known about either of them.

 

August for Frey – Day 4

4. A favorite myth or myths of this deity

The most well-known of Frey’s tales is arguably when he falls in lust “love” with, and subsequently asks his servant to woo for him, Gerdr: Eddiac Version (Chapter XI.) | The Better Myths Version (“Freyr Cocks it All Up”)

August for Frey – Day 3

 

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.


Ingwaz

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.


 

Jera

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.


Gullinbursti

Little robotic piggu! Frey has affectionately  named him "Gullinbluesti." I've had him since elementary school.
Little robotic piggu! Frey has affectionately named him “Gullinbluesti.” I’ve had him since elementary school.

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.


 

Skidbladnir(sp?)

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

TWO pretty 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…


 

Horses

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!

 

August for Frey – Day 2

2. How did you become first aware of this deity?

When I was first beginning to research and deciding that I wanted to walk this path years ago, I remember being on a “Real Magick” guild in Gaia Online. Trust me, when I say years, I mean years. This was back in middle school. I’m 20 now and look back on those days with some degree of horrendous shuddering and snarling. Anyway, one of the bigwigs in the guild was one of Loki’s devotees — how things come around in the end — and I was really interested in learning more about the Norse gods after I read a thing she posted about blowing up marshmallow peeps in the microwave for him. I can attest that this keeps him amused for far longer than it should. So, I looked up the names of the Norse gods, and this was back before Wikipedia, so there wasn’t one Big Ass List of Germanic Deities that I could go to. I ended up on a site that just gave the basics on some of the gods. Off the top of my head I remember seeing Thor, Odin, Frigga, Freyja, Frey, and Tyr on that list, and probably Idunna as well but I’m not sure. I remember what the site looked like rather vividly, and I’m not sure why. At the time, though, I couldn’t for the life of me keep any of their names straight, so I ended up kinda giving up on them completely for a while and attempting contact with the Greco-Roman pantheon, which was how I learned that Poseidon and I do not get along. 😀 I hate his guts, to be honest. And he knows it.

So, I pantheon-hopped for a while, trying to make friends wherever I went. I ended up meeting Hecate and Selene at one point and getting along rather famously with them, although they kept telling me i wasn’t “theirs.” So I moved on to the Celtic pantheon. Or, tried, anyway. I couldn’t keep any of their names straight either, and still only have an acquaintance-level understanding of Ceridwen, Cernunnos, Lugh, and the Morrigan, the four that I ever actually met. Then hopped to the Egyptian pantheon and tried to make friends with Bast, only to find out that she really didn’t like me and ended up calling Set my patron for a long time. Horus actually was very curious about me during that period, probably because Red-Tailed Hawk is one of my life-long animal guides, but even Set kept his distance. He led me to the runes, and I took up researching them.

After I made my first set of runes, the Norse gods started creeping slowly into my life again. I became slightly familiar with Odin due to his connection with the runes, and from there started learning the pantheon, one name at a time. Then I watched the first Thor movie, because I thought it would be funny, and got gut-smacked with the Mjollnir of Feels at the end sequence with all the galactic clusters forming into Yggdrasil.

After that, things started happening, and I realized I found my path. My mother once asked me how I knew I was a heathen, and my answer was, “because they were the only gods who answered,” which is true. I lost my phone once, and kept saying, “Odin, please, help me find this damn thing, I actually do need it, please help,” and when I got home to tell my mom, all in tears, she started laughing and said that an elderly couple had returned the phone to the store it came from. That was the first of the Really Weird Stuff.

As for how Frey specifically got introduced… I have no idea. He just sort of… appeared? I had a bunch of Them appear to me all at the same time, while I was trying to talk to them for other people, which wasn’t fun. Tyr telling you that your friend isn’t worth it is not something anyone wants to hear, but he was right, in the end. Actually, I suspect Loki brought Frey along once when I was calling deities for a circle on Halloween my first year of college. I was so surprised when all of them actually showed up! So, I suspect that’s where I met him. Nowadays, he pops by to… um… say hello every once in a while.

Tl:dr: Basically I don’t know where Frey came from specifically, but I remember how I found the rest of the Aesier, Vanir, and Loki, so, he couldn’t have been too far behind.

August for Frey – Day 1

1. A basic introduction of the deity.

This is how Frey appears to me! Actually, this picture is rather old, but He still looks roughly the same in my mind.

Frey, or Yngvi-Frey, or Freyr, or Ingvi, or however you call him, is one of the Vanir gods of the general Norse pantheon. He’s an honorary Aesir even though he’s from Vanaheim – in fact some people consider him to be Aesir outright who haven’t heard of him before – and was one of three hostages at the end of the Aesir-Vanir war, the other two being Freyja, his sister, and Njordr, his father. he is generally considered to be a god of the harvest, good weather, and abundance, though he, like all deities, has many facets, some shown to many, others to only a few people.

He is the ruler/guardian of Ljosalfheim, since the gods gave the realm to him as a teething gift. How one can “give a realm” is beyond me, but hey! I’m not a god. Frey also rides the shining, dwarf-made boar Gullinbursti and has a ship that can be folded up and carried in a pouch when not in use. He has several servants, Skirnir, Byggvir, and Beyla, none of whom I have ever met, and thus will probably not be mentioned often. Frey is also known for his magic sword. *ahem* The one he gave away in order to win the jotunn Gerdr’s affections. Well, okay, that one too, but, he did have a magic sword at one point that would fight at the will of whomever was wise enough to command it.

Frey has always been one of the more popular gods, but with the advent of the Marvel movies, he seems to have fallen slightly out of his usual favor. Also, I’ll be perfectly honest, I thought Fandral was supposed to be Frey when I first saw the Thor movie. Frankly, in my experience, he’s a sweetheart, and is generally friendly even to those who are first starting out along the less-trodden spiritual paths and have absolutely no idea what they’re supposed to be doing, or how much propriety one should approach a deity with. *points at self* He’s peaceful, laid-back, and kind. Being an artist myself, I can see that he has an artist’s eye for beautiful things, and appreciation for wonder. To me, he seems to be less intimidating than Thor, less troubled than Tyr, and less freakishly intense than his sister, Freyja. He has a love of laughter rivaled only by Loki, and a love of things not voiced about in polite company rivaled only by…well, Loki again.

If I were to saddle him with domains and epithets, I’d call Frey a god of agriculture, harvest, natural beauty, love of all kinds, peace, and prosperity. He’s been known to help clear away a bad storm in case of emergency, so he could also be considered a bringer of good weather. Frey is also a god of sacrifice for the greater good, spilling blood and walking the cold, dark Hel-road for the bounty of the harvest to continue. In this way, he is also a sort of companion for other walkers of Helvegen, a warm face to keep them company on the long journey. At least, for part of the way.