Freya – the Norse Goddess
Freya is the Goddess of love, passion and fertility in Norse mythology and she rules over life and death, battle and justice, childbirth and magic. Freya is the great goddess of seidr – a kind of old Norse magic – and she teaches this art of divination to Odin. She travels in her carriage, pulled by two cats. Like Freya, the cat is impossible to tame, someone who goes her own way. Who fights and loves with the same passionate fervor. The falcon is strongly connected with Freya and she can take ”animal form” in the shape of this mighty bird of prey. In the shape of a falcon, she flies over the mythological worlds of the Vikings. She also has a wild boar as a companion named Hildisvin. Freya is the owner of the powerful necklace Brísingamen that has strong protective forces.
Freya belongs to the god family Vaner. Vaner is a group of gods associated with fertility, wisdom and divination. They are said to come from Vanaheim. Freya is daughter of Njord and twin sister to the fertility god Frey.
Freya and her Brisingamen
Brísingamen (Old Norse brisinga = fire and men = jewelry), is in Norse mythology the goddess Freya’s necklace. It is the most beautiful jewelry in the world and was forged by the four dwarves: Alfrik, Berling, Dvalin and Grer in the dwarf kingdom Svartalfheim.
Freya was completely amazed by the necklace and wanted to buy it with gold and silver. However, the dwarves did not care about the treasures she offered, but they promised that she would get the necklace if she spent a night with each of them. Freya accepted the offer and thus acquired Brísingamen. The Brísingamen carried protective forces, something Freya could not get too much of. She chose not to tell anyone about the necklace and how she got it.
But everything has its consequences, so even in this case. Somehow Loki discovered that Freya had received the Brísingamen, and also how she paid for it. The insidious and deceitful Loki – who likes unclean games, lies and thefts – gossiped to Odin about how Freya paid for the necklace. According to old myths, Odin and Freya had some kind of love affair. And what happened then? Well, Odin got furious and decided to punish Freya. It can be assumed that there was a lot of emotion involved here from Odin’s side towards Freya.
Odin therefore forces Freya to start a war between two earthly kings. These two kings fought all day and at night the dead kings turned to stone, only to wake up in the morning and continue fighting. These battles would not end until Ragnarök. The only thing that could break this curse is if a warrior is baptized. Fighters killed by a baptized warrior cannot be revived.
The trickster Loki, decides to steal the Brísingamen from Freya. Many nights he guarded Freya’s house Folkvang, hoping that she would forget to lock the gate. But Freya was not so careless. So it took a little imagination to figure out how Loki would manage to get into Freya’s home. Loki found a small crack in the gate and turned into a fly. That way he could easily crawl through it. Unaware of the intrusion of the fly, Freya lay inside sleeping with the jewelry around her neck. The necklace lay with the buckle facing down, which meant that Loki could not unbutton it without risking waking Freya. But Loki was smart so he turned into a flea and bit Freya in the cheek so that she woke up and turned around. In this way, Loki could then easily unbutton the buckle and steal the necklace from Freya.
Loki hid Freya’s necklace at a skerry called Singasten. There he took ”animal form” in the shape of a seal, and lay down to guard it. When Heimdall heard about the theft, he immediately understood that it was Loki who stole the necklace. He too turned into a seal, and went to Singasten. It was a wild fight between the two seals (Loki and Heimdall) but Heimdall won in the end and gave the Brísingamen back to Freya. Heimdall is an enigmatic god who is connected to the world tree Yggdrasil. An interpretation of his name is ”He who shines over the world”. And then it’s understandable that Freya’s Brísingamen glowed a little extra when Heimdall returned this magical necklace to its real owner Freya.
Freya – the original that was found in Hagebyhöga, Sweden.
The picture belongs to the Historical Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.
Our wooden lamp is based on an archaeological find of the Freya pendant from the 10th century that was found in a silver treasure in Östergötland (Hagebyhöga), Sweden. In this silver treasure was a silver pendant that shows a sitting woman with a wide necklace around her neck. This type of necklace was used only by the most prominent women during the Viking Age and interpretations have therefore been made that it is Freya and her powerful and glowing necklace Brísingamen that is depicted.
Interpretations of this find tell us about the Norse Goddess Freya with her precious necklace Brísingamen, which was the most beautiful piece of jewelry in the world, and many wanted to possess it. She holds her arms around her pregnant belly, which would symbolize that she is a fertility goddess and protector of all life. As a circle around Freya, we see her powerful necklace Brísingamen, which brings the interpretations to strong protection. Further interpretations tell us that Freya wears a characteristic suit, consisting of a wide coat and a long skirt underneath, which, just like the suit sleeves, is adorned with pearl edges. At the “back button buckle” near the neck, she is adorned with several pearl jewelry. On her head, Freya wears a tiara-like headdress. Her posture is majestic and there is calm resting over her where she sits and is one with life growing inside her belly.