I was going to do a post on whether Frigg and Freyja are the same goddess, but it seems that this is a much-rehashed controversy. So I decided to provide links to some of the more interesting pages I found, and let readers see for themselves. I’ve added some links on Friday and folklore to keep up the alliteration and for interest.
Are Frigg and Freyja the same goddess?
Wikipedia on the common origin hypothesis (as they grandly call it)
Norse Mythology for Smart People
Brit-Marie Näsström – sees them as originally identical
Stephen Grundy – says no given current evidence
Ingunn Ásdísardottir (pdf) also says no, and like Grundy thinks they may have merged over time
Fuck Yeah Norse Mythology
What Frigg Knew – paper by Judy Quinn notes that Freyja reveals what she knows, as a seidkona, but Frigg does not speak about her knowledge of the future
Schmoop on Frigg: points out that the Baldr myth is specific to Frigg.
Frigg and Friday
Online Etymological Dictionary
Jacob Grimm also says Frigg, although he thinks that Frigg and Freyja were the same goddess, under different names
LiveScience makes no commitments on the Frigg/Freyja issue
Days of the Week in German – for the modern version
Early Germanic Names for the Days
Frigg and Folklore
Orion’s Belt called Frigg’s Distaff (although sometimes called Freyja’s Girdle)
Galium verum or Lady’s Bedstraw associated with Frigg. Apparently it was used as a sedative in childbirth. (The Eddic poem Oddrunargratur or Oddrun’s Lament features a prayer to Frigg and Freyja for help in childbirth.)
Frigg was the Queen of Heaven, but she had many other goddesses around her, including several who functioned as her ladies-in-waiting. Fulla carried her casket and kept her secrets, Lofn sought her permission for unlawful lovers, and Hlin protected those that Frigg wanted to save.
The Germanic goddess Frigg comes across as the ideal wife and mother in most accounts – Norse myth focuses on her grief for Baldr and her wfely strategems for getting Odin to favour her side in disputes. However, there are two stories that show Frigg in a very different light – were they attempts by Christian writers to discredit her, or is there more to the story?
Unfortunately, life got in the way of my second post on Frigg, but here’s something on the *other* queen of the Britons, Cartimandua. She doesn’t get as good of a press as Boudicca, but she should be better known.
The times of the Roman invasion of Britain are shrouded in mystery, and only accessible from Roman accounts or archaeology. From the little we know, Cartimandua was Queen of Brigantia, the area that is today Yorkshire, and allied with the Romans, growing rich as a client state.
For more, click here.
The image of Malham in Yorkshire is by Tim Hill, from Pixabay.
This is the first of a series of posts on Frigg, the wife of Odin and the mother of Baldr. Unlike her husband, she plays very little part in the tales, and unlike Freyja no Eddic poem commemorates her deeds. Later medieval writers made Frigg and Odin into a kind of northern Jupiter and Juno (Simek: 94), and while Odin and Jupiter have little in common, the two queenly goddesses certainly resemble each other.
We all know the Norse creation myth. In the beginning was ice and fire, then the fire thawed the ice enough to form a place where beings could emerge and life begins to form. Eventually some of the younger generation, led by the god Odin, killed the very first being, the giant Ymir, and made the world from his body.
Since my last post on the Norse giant Ymir, I’ve had questions about his connection to the Hindu god Yama. Apart from the similarity of their names, I don’t think they really have that much in common, but you can judge for yourself:
Yama, from Mahavidya
The image at the top can be found here.
Ymir, the first being in Norse myth, is the first creator, who gives life to a number of beings, and a giant who is more serviceable dead than alive. (Odin and his brothers make the world out his body.) There is a real tension in the Ymir story between these two views of him, reflecting the ambiguous attitude of Norse myth towards giants in general. Continue reading
On the Capitoline hill in Rome three deities had their temple, Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. This cult was important enough that every city in Italy and later the Empire had its temple called the Capitola. If you’re thinking that this seems a heavily feminine group of deities to represent the warlike and male-dominated Romans, then you may also wonder how they came to replace the original trio of gods: Jupiter, Mars and Quirinus.