Sunday, February 20, 2011
Book Review: Freyja, Lady Vanadis
The Goddess Freyja, is one of my favorites, and is part of my personal pantheon. There aren't too many books on this complex Goddess, so when I found Freyja, Lady Vanadis by Patricia Lafayllve, I was so excited!
As far as Norse Gods and Goddesses go , there isnt an overwhelming amount of information about them. Most information comes from the Poetic and Prose Edda's which is a series of poems telling the myths and legends of Norse mythology. So authors, historians and mythological researchers have dissected these poems to find their hidden meanings, to better understand the Norse myths. Patricia Lafayllve does an excellent job describing Freyja, warrior Goddess of love and sex.
In the first part of this book she goes into detail describing all the myths associated with Freyja, and tries to understand why she has been given the labels she currently has. She debates the reason for saying that Freyja is a Goddess of love and sex, because she explains, "there isnt much evidence to support Freyja as being a Goddess of love and sex". There are myths which describe Freyja's promiscuity and she is rumored to be a lover of Odin. But in the ancient Norse world, sex wasnt seen as such a "taboo" subject. And considering that the Poetic and Prose Edda's were written in the 13th century most likely by a Christian society.....well I imagine you can guess where Im going with this. Even though, there is still much valuable information in both of these great works.
She also goes on to discuss Freyja's association with the Valkryies, which she also doesn't necessarily agree with. She also points out that Freyja was a practitioner of seidr, which is a very similar practice to that of shamanism. Magic, shape shifting and divination are all part of seidr. In one of her myths it is said that Freyja has a magical cloak made of falcon feathers, which allows her to change shape and fly in the sky as a bird. Quite obviously representing her shape shifting abilities .It is also said that Freyja taught the practice of seidr to Odin along with other Gods.
In the back of the book she gives some rituals to Freyja along with chants and altar associations.
All in all this book is a great introduction to the Goddess Freyja. I really enjoyed reading it and refer back to it often. If you have any interest in Freyja at all read this book! Enjoy!
Posted by Tara at 9:01 AM