Back in September of 216 I began considering the idea of personified deity. This was a big step for me because after I left the Catholic faith I swore off any form of higher being, and choose to worship divinity in the abstract. After several unusual instances, research, and some in depth tarot spreads I realized Frigg had been trying to contact me for a while.
I’ve been working and worshiping Frigg since January 2017, and it has completely changed the course of my spiritual journey. I decided to write a post on her because all the resources I found online say the same thing, and I feel like her following is small. If you worship Frigg I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
A Little Bit About The All-Mother
When most sources discuss her they start with the fact that she is the wife of Odin. While this is true, she is far more than just a wife. She is Queen of the Aesir, goddess of the sky, represents divine Sovereignty, and associated with all domestic crafts. She’s also the goddess of marriage, motherhood, the home and hearth, the unknown, destiny, and dreams.
In the time of the Norsemen (before the christianization of the area which began in the 11th century) women were the head of the home in most aspects. As the Divine Queen, Frigg has associations with giving mead and all the social implications of that action.
She’s also a goddess of frith. Now frith is a complex subject, but basically it is the maintaining of peace and social order. This was especially important in Nordic culture when blood feuds ran generations back, and it wasn’t uncommon to attack enemies in the open. It’s not very productive to have fights breaking out when trying to plan or discuss anything, and it can be worse when those involved are gods.
Hospitality was one of the core values that Norse life revolved around. It could’ve been the difference between life and death, and had a direct impact on one’s wyrd, innangard, and kinship with others. Life wouldn’t have survived without the expertise of women, and their duties were of the utmost importance. This shows how prominent Frigg would have been to the Norse culture even though little record of her worship is around.
She wove fates and is associated with intimate foreknowledge which suggests a nonlinear omniscience . This, and her cloud spinning, connect her with spinning, weaving, and all forms of fiber crafts. She also practiced Seidhr, which is closely connected to weaving as well. She’d never speak of what she knew.
A Liminal Goddess
1: of, relating to, or situated at a sensory threshold : barely perceptible or capable of eliciting a response liminal visual stimuli
2: of, relating to, or being an intermediate state, phase, or condition : in-between, transitional in the liminal state between life and death — Deborah Jowitt” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
A while back I read this wonderful article on water and the concept of liminality. It’s a bit long, but covers the subject thoroughly, and gave me some interesting insights into Frigg.
Her hall is named Fensalir, and it’s located in a marsh. Not only does the water give her dwelling a liminal aspect, but it’s also a geographical area where water and land intermingle. Its a transitory space between the two elements.
As the article states, early Germanic people placed offerings in bogs and marshes because they viewed these areas as gateways to the divine. Because of this Frigg can be seen as a gatekeeper between the two worlds. He association with keys also lends credence to the idea.
The Death of a Son
When it came to one of her sons, Baldr, she tried to change his course, but in the end her efforts failed and he was killed. She went to every single thing and made it promise to never harm her son. When she came to the mistletoe plant she thought it insignificant and moved on without it swearing to her. This caused the Gods to randomly attack Frigg’s handsome and shining son as a form of entertainment, and because of the promises no harm ever came to him.
Loki, being the trickster that he is, went to Frigg disguised as an old woman. After some questioning Frigg mentioned the mistletoe plant. Loki fashioned a dart out of it, gave it to Frigg’s other son, Hodr, who was blind, and helped him aim. The dart struck Baldr and killed him. According to other sources, the Gods were able to bring Baldur back from Helheim, the dwelling of goddess Hel and the dead. Frigg then declared mistletoe a symbol of love and vowed to plant a kiss on all those who passed beneath it.
Life with Odin
One important way of understanding your deity is to look at who they spend their time with. Frigg is the faithful companion of Odin, the All-father. Now most religions have a similar head figure, a being in charge of the rest: Zeus, Jupiter, the Abrahamic god. All of these beings are relatively similar, but Odin is an exception. He’s a weird, unusual, and dark character.
While he’s the leader of the Aesir, he often leaves his post, wanders the cosmos, and goes on self-serving journeys. He is associated with war in modern times, but he is more interested in the chaos and frenzy which often consumes the battle field. After a fight has ended Odin gathers the fallen (with help from the Valkyries) and takes them to his hall of Valhalla. Odin has been closely tied with necromancy, and this is one reason as to why that is. These warriors drink, feast, and prepare for Ragnarok.
His thirst for knowledge and wisdom led to self-mutilation when he cut out his eye and tossed it in the well of Mimir, and to self-sacrifice when he hung from the branches of Yggdrasil, pierced himself with a spear, and stared into the depths of the Well of Urd for 9 days and nights to prove himself worthy to the runes.
“Equipped with the knowledge of how to wield the runes, he became one of the mightiest and most accomplished beings in the cosmos. He learned chants that enabled him to heal emotional and bodily wounds, to bind his enemies and render their weapons worthless, to free himself from constraints, to put out fires, to expose and banish practitioners of malevolent magic, to protect his friends in battle, to wake the dead, to win and keep a lover, and to perform many other feats like these.” (Norse Mythology for Smart People; The Poetic Edda, Hávamál, stanzas 138-163)
He is known as the All-Father because he’s considered to be the father of all gods according to Snorri Sturluson. Odin is often listed as being a divine ancestor to numerous families with and without royal blood. In the The Poetic Edda, Völuspá 17-18 it describes Odin (or Othin) giving two pieces of driftwood, carved into humanoid shapes, the breath of life referred to as “sense” in the poem.
Even with all of this knowledge and power his queen is still able to outsmart and trick him. The story below is just one example of her cunning.
“The Vinils, increased in the islands of Scandinavia to such an extent that they could no longer live there together. Thus they divided themselves into three groups and drew lots. When the lots were cast and a third of the Vinils had to leave their homeland and seek new lives abroad, they were led by two brothers Ibor and Ayo, energetic young men. Their mother, whose name was Gambara, was an intelligent and clever woman, whose wise counsel they heeded in time of need. In their search for a country where they might settle they came to the region called Schoringen, and remained there several years. The Vandals, a rugged and warlike people, lived nearby. They heard of their arrival and sent messengers to them, proclaiming that the Vinils either would have to pay tribute to the Vandals or face them in battle. Ibor and Ayo sought counsel from their mother Gambara, and they all agreed that it would be better to fight for their freedom than to contaminate it with tribute, and they communicated this to the Vandals. Now the Vinils were brave and powerful warriors, but they were few in number. The Vandals approached Wodan, beseeching from him victory over the Vinils. The god answered: “I will grant victory to the first ones I see at sunrise.” Gambara, on the other hand, approached Frea, Wodan’s wife, and beseeched from her victory for the Vinils. Frea responded with the advice that the Vinil women should untie their hair and arrange it across their face like a beard, and that they should thus accompany their men in the early morning to the window from which Wodan customarily looked out. They did as they were advised, and at sunrise, Wodan, upon looking out, shouted: “Who are these Longbeards?” Frea replied: “To the ones you give a name, you must also give victory.” And thus Wodan gave them the victory, and from that time forth the Vinils have been called Longbeards (Langobards).Ultimately they founded a permanent settlement in Italy.” (Professor D. L. Ashliman, Gambara and the Longbeards)
Other versions of the story have Frigg move the bed as Odin slept in order for him to see the Vinils first.
Check out my other post talking more about her symbolism, traditions, ways to worships her, and a little bit about my interactions with her.