(A Freyja image that I love because it reminds me of her title of Blotgydia, by Relotixke on DeviantArt)
So, I’ve started a Facebook group called “Virtual Sessrumnir” for other Freyjasfolk. We’re doing introductions and I realized that my introduction and my story involving Her power in my life and the slow buildup to this new beginning I’ve found in Her was way too long for a Facebook post. Also, I won’t be able to participate in the popular Month of Devotional Writing Meme that’s been going around with a lot of Polytheists right now because I’m going to be away from wifi for the week that I’m at the Sirius Rising festival, so I thought that I’d at least throw some of the “why” of my devotion to Her.
I’ve known about Freyja and the Vanir and Aesir for much of my life; I was introduced to them through the Choose Your Own Adventure novel “Trumpet of Terror” when I was five years old. I remember asking the librarian at my school for more books about Norse mythology and dinosaurs and got all excited and escorted me to the “big kid’s library”.
After shrugging of the crippling remains of the monotheistic faith that I had been raised in (Islam) I found Pagan practice through Wicca (like you do) and was pleased that the Norse Gods were relatively popular among the Wiccans that I knew, and would work them into my rites where I could. I was vaguely aware of Asatru, and attended a few blots in Niagara Falls but the visiting Godi left me with a bad taste in my mouth and a chill – he had a very specific idea of what folks who honored those Gods were and I surely didn’t fit into it. I spent time exploring various Neopagan traditions from there.
Freyja wasn’t a huge force (as far as I know) in my life until the summer of 2009, when I encountered her through a guided meditation and experiences in Patty’s travelling ve. There was a whole web worth of people that were twined together through her that summer and it ended up changing all of our lives in the long term – we all got what we asked her for in the dark of night in our hearts in that shrine, though all of us had to do things (unknowingly) on behalf of each other before we earned it. This was also when I first had to face my gender identity issues head on – in the meditation Freyja was very straightforward and no-nonsense about it; she saw me as who I was and called me out for hiding it. My gratitude towards her has overflowed ever since and I try to express it whenever I can.
Since then my path has been steered more towards Heathenry although I can’t embrace that label personally (although it’s been applied to me many times by many folks) for personal reasons. Even the Goddess I revered as my Matron before started pushing me in this direction, though it took a while to realize it. “Go to the Gods of your childhood and Ancestors.” I had been told.
I joined ADF when I found out that you could practice Norse-style rites and that there were a lot of people involved in that culture there, and that helped me cement regular devotional practice and give me a good framework with which to begin a more serious study of and relationship with the Gods that I had loved since childhood. I had always been more interested in the Vanir than the Aesir with some exceptions (and the whole Vanatru thing is kind of appealing as a concept and label to me), and my practice represented that. I honored Freyja frequently for bringing the kind of love that I needed into my life, and for teaching me to be myself unapologetically.
Then, towards the end of last winter, I had a serious life change: I broke up with my partner (we were supposed to be married on Midsummer so it wasn’t whimsy, it was a situation that had grown toxic and dangerous) and ended up on a mattress on the floor of a converted storeroom in an apartment that I had lived in years before. I felt like I was falling from a great height with no one to catch me. I remember lying there on my bed, crying, when the light coming in the window changed quality to a rich orange-gold. It felt like it was surrounding me, embracing me, filling me. I went from feeling absolutely wretched and lost to loving myself in ways that I never had before and finding beauty in me that I’d never seen or felt. I felt Her, I knew it was Her. She cradled me in light and warmth and beauty and love. She made me feel safe when I felt that I had no one I could turn to, loved when I felt unloved, and beautiful when I felt hideous. She washed away the pain and fear and self-doubt and replaced it with all of the things I needed.
I had never felt like this before in my life. I asked Her if I could be Hers. The feeling that I got was that I already was, and that all that was left was to formalize it. (Being the sort of person that I am, I did divination and had a couple of others do it on my behalf as well. All of the results were remarkably positive). So I did, privately and personally, and my life has not been the same since.
The warmth and love and light are not the only parts of Her I’ve seen since then. She knows too well how I like avoiding looking at difficult and dangerous things. Since then she has made sure that I faced some of Her aspects that I was afraid of. She guided me to experiencing and embracing them through understanding, and I’m grateful that She was so gentle, even if it didn’t seem like it at the time. I’ve sacrificed much upon Her altar, sometimes unwillingly, but I breathed through it and trusted Her and was not disappointed for my trust. Though I’m sure that there will be more to give, and more tears (always more tears!) I’ve learned to trust where She guides me, and it feels good to give Her that trust. She’s guided me further, to reach out to my Ancestors and work with them as well, and I’d like to get to the point where I no longer need to lean on Her but can stand on my own and make Her proud.