Goddess of the Month - Frigga


Frigga Expecting by Abigail Larson
Frigga Expecting by Abigail Larson

Frigga is the foremost Lady amongst the Goddesses according to Norse/Germanic cultures. She is Goddess of marriage, medical arts, the domestic arts, and weather, amongst other things. She was said to weave the clouds, and also to weave people's destinies. She was called upon to watch over women in childbed, and a plant known as Frigg's Grass by the Norse and Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum) in modern times was used by midwives to aid women during labor. Some of Her titles include:

Fjorgyn's maer - Daughter of Fjorgyn
Frigg - Beloved One
Nyckel Vaktaren - Key-Keeper
Fripwebba - Peaceweaver

Cultural Ties

Frigga was worshipped all over northern Europe, and signs of Her are everywhere. She is part of the common lexicon since Friday is named after Her. The original is "Frigga's Day". Many place names in Europe have ties to Her, including Friggeraker in Sweden and Friden in Derbyshire, England - which was originally named Frigedune or "Valley of Frig" in maps dating from the 10th century CE. She had no main center of worship since the large temples of places like Greece and Rome were not part of the cultural landscape of the Norse and Germanic peoples. Like their neighbors the Slavs, they worshipped their Gods in the land and in their homes and all places were fitting for the celebration of these Rites. Thus references to Frigga come to us from words and place names as well as carvings and the tales handed down in the Eddas and other works of poetry.

Frigga is a Goddess of beginnings. The Norse New Year was observed on the Winter Solstice, and that night was holy to Frigga. Known as "Mother Night", it was when Frigga was supposed to have labored through the birthing of Her son Baldur, the Norse god of light and the sun. The blessing of Frigga was invoked by and on behalf of birthing women through burning a white candle which had last burned during the winter solstice. This was considered a charm to ensure a safe delivery.

Frigg Spinning the Clouds by J C Dollman
Frigg Spinning the Clouds by J C Dollman (1851-1934) available from Art.com

Noble Queen and Lady

Frigga is Queen of the Gods, which is interesting since Odin is not typically described as King, where She is definitely given the title Queen in many sources. She was considered to be Odin's wife and helpmeet, but Hers was not the same kind of lot in marriage as Hera, due to the very different status of women in Norse cultures, which was much more independent and equal. She was a noble lady whose example taught women the arts of the home, which included - especially for noble wives - keeping the peace and advising her husband in important matters. Frigga helped to maintain the orderliness of life by giving to women all the skills needed to be well-rounded keepers of the Frith. The skills She gave include: agriculture and cooking; spinning and weaving; the growing of herbs and crafting of medicines; management of money for the home and for the community; child-rearing and midwifery; writing and mathematics; and the maintaining of the extended relationships of not only the local community but the larger world. Without Frigga and Her blessings, life for the Germanic/Nordic people would have been impossible.

Frigga had many helpers, called The Handmaiden's of Frigga, to assist Her in maintaining the Frith of Asgard and Midgard. Their functions give us even deeper insight into Figga's central role in life. These Handmaidens include:

Var - Goddess of Love-vows, whose name is invoked in marriage ceremonies to witness the promises that those joining in loving partnership make to one another. She is one of several who witness various types of oaths and punish oath-breakers
Sjofn - Goddess of Love and Relationships, She gives the pleasures of sex as well as love and helps lovers get past arguments. She rules the passions and is the only one who could intercede for lovers whose relationships were disallowed by family or custom. She also governs familial love and the love between friends and companions
Syn - Goddess of the Threshhold, whose name means Truth. She guards the door of Frigga's palace and also presides over all trials and tribunals. She also wards all boundaries, and Her name is the ultimate No, when invoked it is an utter denial of whatever is stated or sought
Gna - messenger of Frigga, considered the personification of the refreshing breeze as She traveled the realms on Her swift steed. She is the eyes and ears of Frigga, passing along messages and reporting to Frigga all She sees and hears on Her travels
Saga - Goddess of Memory. She lives in the crystal hall Sokvabek and drinks daily from the River of Time. The songs of history are named for Her, and She maintains the memory of all that is, was, or shall be. She is also matron of all who use the written word for communication and recording of history - both cultural and familial, poetry if it is about those subjects, and the creation and telling of stories that enrich life and weave the history into something with daily relevance
Eir - Goddess of Healing and Medicine, whose name means Mercy. She is a stern but compassionate Goddess who is said to travel about as an itinerant healer helping those in need
Gefion - Goddess of Agriculture and Fertility. She is invoked at the plowing of fields and sowing of crops and when couples wish to have children since human fertility also falls under Her domain. Guardian of maidens, She protects women who die unwed, and She is also called upon to witness certain types of oaths
Fulla - Frigga's Sister who carries the coffer of life and death. She is considered Keeper of Women's Mysteries since She holds the Key to Frigga's coffer and knows all Her secrets
Lofn - Goddess of passionate love and forbidden love, Her name means Permission, and She was invoked to protect lovers whose love was outside common custom. There are many who say that in modern times when few heterosexual unions are prohibited or looked on with disfavor, that She has become an especial guardian of LGBTQ lovers and can be invoked by them in overcoming prejudice and bigotry
Vor - Goddess who witnesses all oaths and punishes oath-breakers. She is also the power of intuition and inner-sight, the work of the Seidh is sacred to Her
Hlin - Goddess of Compassion. She kisses the tears of mourners and comforts those who grieve. She is sometimes sent by Frigga to save those in danger. She gives succor to those in need and fights for those threatened or oppressed
Snotra - Goddess of Women's Wisdom and Good Manners. She is the grease the helps smooth relationships - an absolute necessity in a culture where people can be cooped up together for months at a time. Her rules govern both simple daily politeness as well as etiquette and hospitality.

Call to Frigg, the Silent Knower - Winifred Hodge

Lady Frigg, in your misty halls at Fensalir,
On far-seeing Hlidskjalf,
From the deepest wells of knowledge,
Share with us the silent wonder of the world!
All-knowing Frigg, norn-wise,
You know there is no tongue in which to tell
Of all that is and that shall be;
To sort the spinning strands of possibility
Into a span of words.
Yet with your spindle and your well-strung loom
You weave the airy clouds
And send the winds to shape them,
Writing your wordless wisdom-runes
In the ever-changing valleys of the sky.
Teach us, Lady, to heed
The wisdom that lies beyond all words.

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