Freya, Norse Goddess of Love and War. She Who Shines Over the Sea. Leader of Witches. Lady of Beauty, Fertility and Death. Hers is a name that has gained popularity in modern times, yet in ancient times was widespread as well. The Church tried desperately to erase her name from the people’s minds. But with no success. Learn more about Freya Goddess of Love and how to work with her in 15 sacred ways.
Freya’s is an Old Norse and Germanic goddess whose worship was widespread over Northern Europe in older times. She appears as a strong, golden woman in a chariot drawn by cats. Her boar Hildisvini accompanies her, and she wears a cloak made of falcon feathers. This goddess is a shapeshifter, so don’t expect her to look the same every time you see her. Freya’s name translates to Lady, and she is well known for being a goddess of love.
Freya was born to the god Njörðr and his sister, who remains unknown. Some speculate her mother may have been the ancient Germanic fertility goddess Nerthus, whose cult was widespread in the first and second centuries AD. Freya is a member of the Norse god pantheon called the Vanir, divine elves that live in Vanaheim, one of the nine Norse realms of existence. After the war between the Vanir and the Aesir gods, Freya becomes a part of the Aesir pantheon and marries Odr. Note – some people consider the Vanir the same as the Alfar, another race of Elven beings. The Alfar being ancestors to us in ancient times. Learn more about the Alfar here.
According to the Ynglinga Saga, Freya actually taught magic to Odin the Allfather. She was the first to teach the Aesir gods the magic of Seidr, a form of Norse magic that involves prophesying, casting spells, incantations, and shapeshifting. Apparently, the Vanir (elves) knew how to cast powerful spells and see into the future, a mythological motif that’s influenced our modern imagination.
“Njord’s daughter Freya was priestess of the sacrifices, and first taught the Asaland people the magic art, as it was in use and fashion among the Vanaland people.”Snorri Sturluson, Ynglinga Saga
After the Church starting converting pagans, Freya became the Queen of Witches and even led the witches on their sabbatic fly across the sky on Walpurgisnacht (Witches’ Night) in Germany. Sadly, in the Dark Ages, if the church found anyone who was still devoted to Freya, they were automatically hunted down and accused of witchcraft. To her children today, Freya is the Divine Witch, the Volva, and Seidrkona.
Freya is a passionate, beautiful deity who rules over all aspects of love. And yet, love and beauty don’t fully define her. Freya Goddess of Love also has dominion over war and death. If you’ve read any of our other goddess articles, a pattern emerges: the strongest goddesses embody sacred polarity. They are goddesses that straddle the line between good and bad, dark and light, love and war, birth and death, etc. Freya is another example of the depths of a Goddess’s divinity and therefore of a woman’s. She is depicted as a beautiful, nude woman emerging bloody and triumphant on the battlefield.
When Freya calls to you, it is wise to answer her call. Not that she would be angry, necessarily, but you would miss out on an amazing opportunity. She is no goddess to ignore or forget. How do you know if she’s calling to you? Here are a few signs you might receive:
Freya and Frigg’s names are often used interchangeably in modern times. However, they are not technically the same goddess. Frigg is the wife of Odin, the All-Mother if you will, who was considered a separate deity from Freya in the Old Norse religion. The confusion begins perhaps with the tribes that inhabited Northern Germany. It seems Freya and Frigg were similar in their eyes and slowly merged as one. But if you ask someone who works intimately with Frigg if she’s the same as Freya, you’ll undoubtedly hear no. She is not. Might Freya be an aspect of Frigg similar to Nemain being an aspect of The Morrigan? It’s possible. But there are sagas and stories in which Freya and Frigg appear in the same scene as separate deities.
Witches and magical practitioners today are drawn to Freya goddess for many reasons. She is a fierce goddess who teaches witchcraft (including herbalism), divination, medicine, feminine independence, and more to her children. In addition to teaching, Freya brings abundant blessings of love, fertility, protection and acts as a guide in childbirth and death.
The best way to start getting to know a deity is to read about them. Freya is a goddess with a rich history and mythology, so you won’t run out of reading material for a long time. She is featured in the Poetic Edda, Prose Edda, and numerous Norse sagas. In addition, there are books on the Norse pantheon, blogs, fictional novels featuring Freya, and much more. Get reading!
Set up and dedicate altar space for Freya. Candles, incense, offering bowls, cups and runes are appropriate. Add a picture or representation of Freya as the focal point. Images of cats, boars, birds, rabbits, and the moon are also appropriate. Freya loves flowers, so keep a vase of flowers on her altar.
Leave offerings for Freya on her altar. Traditional offerings include honey, mead, flowers (especially primrose), mugwort, bird berry, bedstraw, flax, jewelry, perfume, ale, barley, pork and apples. Any act of love is an offering to Freya, as is strong feminine energy and independence. She adores love songs, dancing, divination, weaponry and more.
Freya is a master of the Elder futhark runes, a Norse/Germanic alphabet and divination system. The runes Berkano and Ehwaz are sacred to Freya. Learn the runes and use them to communicate directly with her. You can also use runes in your rituals and daily life. Draw Freya’s runes on your body using roll-on perfumes and oils.
Freya is a goddess of magic and mystery and taught her people a practice called seiðr, which is a magical system of soothsaying, sorcery, shapeshifting, and more. To honor Freya and dive deep into her magical lessons, learn and practice seiðr.
This Norse Goddess of Love and War is also a deity of the moon. Connect with the moon and its phases, and work your magick on the appropriate moon phase. By dedicating your moon magick to Freya, you honor her immensely. Learn more about lunar magic here.
Honey is a sacred substance to the goddess Freya. Honey comes from honeybees, therefore honeybees are also hallowed in her eyes. If you have the guts and the outside space, consider a hobby of bee-keeping. You can harvest your own honey to use in rituals and as offerings to Freya.
Consider growing some of Freya’s holy plants: primrose, mugwort, holly, hemp, or flax. As you grow them, dedicate them in Freya’s name. When you harvest, thank Freya for her blessings. Then use these plants in your charms, spells, rituals and more. I particularly enjoy making oils using herbs associated with that deity and then using that oil on their candles and in rituals in which I invoke their presence.
Interestingly, the word Friday translates to Freya’s day. So naturally, the best day of the week to work with her is on Friday. In addition, when a Friday the 13th rolls around, it will be a powerful time to connect and honor the Norse Goddess of Love and War. Freya’s sacred number is 13 for the 13 lunar cycles in a year.
Freya’s followers threw massive dinner parties in her name. Make a dinner and invite your magical friends, and set a spot at the table for Freya. Include dishes with apples, honey, pork, and barley. Serve glasses of mead and ale.
Freya’s chariot is pulled by two gray cats. By adopting a cat (if you don’t already have one), you uplift Freya’s sacred animal. And if you can’t adopt a cat, consider donating cat food, toys, etc. to a local rescue or shelter. OR volunteer. Doing these things in Freya’s name brings her great joy.
Freya lived for the magic. So invoke her when you’re performing ritual or casting spells. She will be there to protect you, guide you, and teach magic to you. If you’re specifically curious about seidr magic and becoming a volva, Freya is the goddess to invoke.
Shamanic journeying is a form of meditation where the practitioner goes into a light trance and “journeys” into the other realms. Meet and talk to Freya face-to-face through a journeying meditation. You might learn more than you ever thought possible!
It comes as no shock that Freya is well-versed in the art of shapeshifting. She possesses magical falcon plumes that allow her, or anyone who holds them, to turn into a falcon. By studying and practicing shapeshifting rituals, you tune into the essence of this goddess of seidr.
The Vanir are gods yes, but they are also elves. Study the Vanir, and also elves, from Norse and Germanic mythology and folklore. Your studies will help you grow closer to understanding Freya. Plus, learning about elves is just plain fun. Interestingly, elves are known to have healing powers, but in the same breath can cause illness too. There’s a lot of paradox within the elven realm that lends its energy to this intriguing goddess. Celebrate some of the festivals dedicated to the Alfar and Disir…Alfablot, for example.
Study Freya’s potential other guises or manifestations including the Norse Giantess Witch Angrboda. The being who couples with Loki to birth three children who will bring the end of the world: Jormungand the serpent, Fenrir the wolf, and Hel the ruler of the dead. Angrboda is also believed to be Gullveig and Heid.
Fire burns and protects. The fire element is one of the fiercest and yet required …September 16, 2023