Norse Goddess Freya - Forerunner of Women's Liberation
Written by: Lory Woortman
Published on: January 9, 2012
"The day will come when men recognize women as his peer, not only at the fireside but in the councils of the nation... Then and not until then, will there be the perfect comradeship, the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development of the race." - Susan B. Anthony
No goddess annoyed Christian officials more than the Norse Goddess Freya. As a result, ironically, Freya survives more vividly than any other female goddess. The constant condemnation that the Christian Church gave her kept her from fading into obscurity.
Freya was described as a "Witch goddess" by a Christian at the Althing (Parliament) of Iceland. This insult initiated the final round of debate over the country's Christianization.
After this Freya was denounced as a "Queen of Witches." Women who venerated her were automatically branded as "witches. " And of course Freya's rites did encourage magical practices, mediumship, shamanism and female autonomy, with Freya as the role model. Such behavior this new regime considered hateful and sinful.
Freya was not some obscure goddess but was beloved and worshiped over a vast European territory including Scandinavia, Iceland, Greenland, the Germanic lands, Holland and Anglo-Saxon Britain.
Freya's last surviving temple, in Magdeburg, Germany, was destroyed by edict of the Emperor Charlemagne. Devotees of Freya refused to surrender their faith. Up until 1668 the worship of "Frau Venus" was still prevalent among the Saxons of Magdeburg.
But it was at this time Freya was banished to the mountain peaks of Norway, Sweden and Germany to Dance with her devotees in the The Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains of central Germany. Where she presides over annual Mid-Summer and Walpurgis Festivals. To this day Freya remains among the most beloved of deities among modern Neo-Pagens.
I would say The Goddess Freya was the synthesis of the "Liberated" woman.
Lory Woortman is a writer, water color artist and garden designer. Lory is interested in the study of quantum physics, Norse Myths and Religion. She lives in a small country town in North East Pennsylvania with her writer husband, Ellis and her little dog Dixie. Lory has a blog and written many articles that are "Free," pertaining to Norse Mythology, Shamanism, Runes and Quantum Physics.