Freyja: Lady of Love and Life

Originally published in Sagewoman, Summer, 2002

Freyja

Lady of Love and Life

It is midnight in the far North of the world. The sun has gone down, but a gentle twilight still glows in the sky. You are dancing with your people around a bonfire. Music lifts your feet and your hearts– a birch bark flute is lilting merrily, supported by the quick tap tap of a drum. When the musician stops to breathe, many voices take up the song, praising the goddess who gives life to the land, dancing luck and fertility into the earth so that the cattle will thrive and the grain will grow.

You link arms with your lover, twirling giddily around the fire. Together you leap over it, then, laughing, dance away from the circle into the shelter of the pine trees and still embracing, fall to the ground. The drum beat throbs through the earth, pounding like the pulse in your veins.

Your bodies move in time to that compelling rhythm, pulling frantically at your clothing as you strain together. Mouths meet in devouring kisses; your hands are eager upon each other’s bodies, nipples tingle with excitement. And now your thighs open; you are melting within. For a moment you both try to halt at that moment of anticipation; then you can wait no longer. Your arms tighten, pulling your beloved down against you, and you are one.

Passion mounts as you move together, spiraling upward with such intensity that you wonder if you will survive. Suddenly you can contain it no longer. As you offer it to the goddess, the ecstasy is released in a great shout, and with it consciousness whirls away as well . . . .

The scene has changed. The grass on which you are standing is so green it seems to glow with its own light, starred with tiny golden flowers. Beyond the meadow are forests and mountains, and they, too, seem to shine with their own light. On the hill above rises a high-built hall. Its roof-timbers are carved in the forms of fantastic beasts, picked out in red and gold. Through the open door you can see many benches, but tonight, no one is sitting on them. Everyone seems to be outdoors, dancing around the fire.

There are a lot of men– some are young and handsome, others scarred by the years, but they all move with the centered grace of warriors. There are women there as well, of all ages, from young maidens to wisewomen wearing furs and amber. They dance with the warriors or with each other, around and around the fire. You blink, for now you see animals as well– golden furred cats, a white mare, a pig with a bristling hide. For a moment you wonder what you are doing there– they all, whatever their age or form, have an inner glow that makes them beautiful. Then someone takes your hand and draws you into the dance.

As you link hands with the others a shock of energy flares through your body. Now it seems easy to skip to the drum beat, moving faster and faster as you circle the fire. The forest, the meadow, the faces of the dancers become a blur of color. The fire itself shimmers and flows skyward in a column of light.

Sound vibrates through a hundred throats– a song, a shout, a name! “Freyja! Freyja!” you cry. Your spirit is opening, melting, knowing only desire . . . .

And the fire flares outward, shaping itself into the form of a woman whose body glows and whose hair whirls up like flame. Love flares outward, filling you as it fills the others, the earth and sky and all that is as the Goddess comes . . . .

Who is this golden goddess, this radiant figure who blesses the cold fields of the north? She is, of course, beautiful, able to inspire anyone with desire, but though she enjoys her sexuality, she remains independent, maintaining her own household and pursuing her own goals. She is the Lady of the Vanir, a goddess of wealth as well as love, and she is a witch, teacher of the most powerful magics.

Freyja (also spelled “Freya”) was the first of the Germanic goddesses with whom I had a “close encounter”, when she became the focus of my second novel, Brisingamen. Whatever they may do for other people, my novels are usually initiatory for me, and by the time I had finished writing the book, Freyja was a part of my life.

She was the last of the Norse gods to still be worshipped in Viking times, and one of the first to attract followers when the heathen religion began to revive. After Odin, she is the “pushiest” of that pantheon, being not only approachable, but often taking an active role in contacting those who need her. Furthermore, she is one of the few goddesses who is served in almost equal numbers by women and by men.

More information about Freyja than about any of the other northern goddesses has survived. In the Younger Edda, a compendium of lore for poets, we learn–

Freyja is the most glorious of the asynjur (goddesses). She has a dwelling in heaven called Folkvangr (army-plain), and wherever she rides to battle she gets half the slain, and the other half go to Odin… Sessrumnir (the many seated), her hall, is large and beautiful. And when she travels she drives two cats and sits in a chariot. She is the most approachable one for people to pray to. . . She is very fond of love songs. It is good to pray to her concerning love affairs.

Edda, p 24

One of the things she is known for is sexual activity. The giantess Hyndla says:

(You) ran, ever-longing, after Odhr,
you let many creep beneath your fore-skirt-
atheling-friend, you leap about at night
like Heidhrun among the goats.

(“Lay of Hyndla”:47)

We learn more about the sexual mores of the Vanir in a poem from the Elder Edda called “Lokasenna”, in which Loki crashes a party and proceeds to insult all the gods and goddesses. When he insults Odin’s wife Frigga, Freyja tries to defend her. Loki then says:

“Hush thee, Freya, I full well know thee:
Thou art not free from fault:
All Æsir and alfswithin this hall
thou hast lured to love with thee.”

and,

“Hush thee, Freya,a whore thou art,
and aye wast bent on ill;
in thy brother’s bed the blessed gods caught thee,
when, Freya, thou didst fart.”

at this point, her father Njordh steps in,

“Little sin me seemeth,though beside her mate
a wedded wife have a lover. . .”

(“Lokasenna” v.30-33)

This attitude is less surprising when one remembers that the Vanir were a different “clan” of deities, with different customs. “Whilst Niord was with the Vanir he had married his own sister (for that was lawful with them), and their children were Freyr and Freyja.” (Ynglingasaga, p.3)

It has been suggested that Njordh’s first wife was the goddess Nerthus. This cannot be proven, since our only information on Nerthus comes from Tacitus, a Roman who wrote about the religion of the tribes in the Low Countries in the first century, whereas all that we know about Njordh comes from Icelandic sources written down in the 13th century. However the similarity in names does make it possible that Njordh, who is responsible for getting wealth from the sea, and Nerthus, a goddess invoked at the spring plowing, were originally a pair of fertility deities like Freyr and Freyja. It is also possible that Njordh originally was Nerthus, and changed gender during the intervening centuries. . . .

Transmission of the stories from Frisia to Iceland can also be explained by supposing that the people who worshipped the Vanir (Njordh, Freyr, Freyja and presumably others) and those who followed the Æsir (all the other Norse deities) first encountered each other in the area which is now Denmark on the coasts of the North Sea. The Icelanders, located at the furthest extremity of Norse migration, conserved many aspects of the old culture long after the Germanic homeland had been absorbed into Christendom. They knew the stories of Sigfrid and Brunhild as well as many other legends from the Continent, though they may have given them their own interpretation.

Although the story of the Æsir and the Vanir has sometimes been interpreted as a myth about the conquest of peaceful, agricultural people by warlike, nomadic, barbarians, the evidence does not really support that view. At the beginning of “Völuspá” (“The Words of the Seeress”), we are told:

Then gathered togetherthe gods for counsel,
the holy hosts,and held converse:
should the Æsir a trucewith tribute buy,
or should all godsshare in the feast?

His spear had Othinsped o’er the host:
the first of feudswas thus fought in the world;
was broken in battlethe breastwork of Asgarth,
fighting Vanirtrod the field of battle.

(“Völuspá” 23-24)

In The Literary History of Hamlet, Kemp Malone suggests that the cult of Freyr was brought to Sweden and Denmark from some point farther east, and eventually displaced an earlier cult in which the Sky God Tiwaz and the Earth Goddess Nerthus were honored. By the time the Icelandic poets were writing, Odin had replaced Tyr as chief of the gods, but the important point remains the same– it is just as likely that rather than being the victims, the Vanir were a more advanced agricultural people who moved into the lands of the cattle-breeding Æsir.

The fact that the names of Freyr and Freyja do not appear in German or Anglo-Saxon mythology or place names suggests that they had an origin elsewhere, whether to the north in Scandinavia or somewhere further south and east, and that the two groups became part of the same religious system after the fifth century.

If one wants to become extremely speculative, the image of Freyja with her magic necklace, riding in a wagon drawn by cats, does bring to mind the statues of the Near Eastern goddess Cybele sitting in her cart drawn by two lions. Indeed, the association of the Goddess with two felines goes all the way back to the Neolithic birth-giving goddess of Catal Huyuk in Turkey, which would make Freyja a very ancient goddess indeed.

In the early Middle Ages it was traditional for nationalistic poets to trace the origins of their peoples back to pre-Classical times, which may explain why Snorri states that the name “Æsir” comes from the word for Asia, and that both they and the Vanir originally came from an area near the Black Sea. He therefore sets the story of the war between the two groups in this ancient period, and explains that after making a truce, they migrated north together. But no matter where they may have been living when the alliance was made, the story is essentially the same. The two groups exchanged hostages, and the Vanir who came to live with the Æsir were Njordh and his two children, Freyja and Freyr.

After that, life in Asgard was never quite the same. Freyja’s most prized possession was the necklace Brisingamen. It was said that she encountered four dwarves while they were crafting it, and was so taken with its beauty that she agreed to spend a night with each of them as payment. It is not known whether Brisingamen was made of gold or of amber, but it apparently had some magic power, for at one point Loki tried to steal it for Odin. Loki and the god Heimdall, guardian of the Rainbow Bridge and according to some, the father of humankind, fought in the form of seals until Heimdall won and recovered it. Sacred images clad only in a necklace and sometimes a short skirt have been found in bog burials from very early times, and it seems probable that the necklace was an emblem of the Goddess. I have always believed Brisingamen represents the power of the goddess to revitalize nature.

It is possible that the giants who were continually trying to acquire Freyja were motivated by lust, but it may also be that they coveted this ecstatic power. On one of the most notable occasions, the gods had hired a giant to build Valhalla, promising him Freyja and the sun and moon in exchange, because Loki assured them he would find a way to avoid paying. This is the episode that forms the basis for the plot of Wagner’s opera, Das Rheingold, although in the opera, Wagner appears to have gotten Freyja confused with Idunna, who guarded the apples of eternal youth. Wagner’s conclusion also differs from the original story. The Ring of the Nibelungs is not mentioned in the Younger Edda (it belongs to a different mythological cycle). Instead, Loki solves the problem by transforming himself into a mare in heat, who lures the giant’s horse away so that the work cannot be completed on schedule. Some months later (still in mare form), Loki gives birth to the eight-legged horse, Sleipnir.

As we have seen above, Freyja makes her own choices regarding sexual partners, and shares her favors freely. She may even act as a “spirit-wife” to mortal men who serve her. “The Lay of Hyndla” tells how Freyja transformed her devotee Ottar into a boar, and rode him to visit the giantess Hyndla, who alone had the information about his ancestry that would enable him to win a wager. In several places, Hyndla refers to Ottar as Freyja’s lover. But Freyja herself says only that he won her favor by making offerings:

“He a high altar made me of heaped stones–
All glassy have grown the gathered rocks,
And reddened anewwith blood of cows’ fresh blood,
For always believed Ottar in the goddeses.”

(“Lay of Hyndla”: 10)

Alfgeir Freyjasgodhi, a modern male devotee of the goddess, says, “On a very few occasions She, taking me ‘along for the ride’, lets me experience things through Her– no, this is not sex in any commonly understood sense, it is happening on a different level, and is much more, well, impressive. . . I suspect Ottar’s experience of Her in ‘Hyndluljod’ was comparable to the above. Whatever form these communions take, I am left feeling charged and ecstatic, and do the best I can to remember them in poetry.” (Idunna #35, p. 29)

Elsewhere we are told that she gets first choice of the slain warriors. Since as far as we know, none of the goddesses will be involved in the last battle of Ragnarök, we may assume that these warrior-spirits will help her to create life anew in the new world after the battle is done. After death, women might also go to Freyja, as when Egil Skallagrimsson’s daughter Thorgerd swears she will take no food until she sups in Freyja’s hall.

Although Freyja is given a husband, he is a rather shadowy figure about whom the only thing we know is that he left her. According to Snorri,

Freyja is highest in rank next to Frigg. She was married to someone called Odh (Ecstasy). Hnoss is the name of their daughter. She is so beautiful that from her name whatever is beautiful and precious is called hnossir (treasures). Odh went off on long travels, and Freyja stayed behind, weeping, and her tears are red gold. Freyja has many names, and the reason for this is that she adopted various names when she was travelling among strange peoples looking for Odh. She is known as Mardöll and Horn, Gefn, Syr.

(Edda, p. 29-30)

These names are interesting. “Gefn” means “the giver”. According to Ellis-Davidson, “Mardöll suggests a connection with the sea (marr). Syr ‘sow’ reminds us that the boar symbol belonged to her as well as to Freyr. Hörn is another name which occurs in the place-names in east Sweden, and may be connected with hörr, ‘flax’, indicating a special local variant of the cult of the vegetation goddess.” (p. 116)

Freyja is associated not only with the cat (the lore does not give us the names of the cats who draw her cart– in Brisingamen I assigned them the names “Tregul” (Tree-gold, or Amber) and “Bygul” (Bee-gold, or Honey), but with the pig (sacred in many cultures to the earth-goddess). We also know that she had a falcon-cloak which she used for shape-changing and travel because in another story, she loaned it to Loki so that he could rescue Idunna. In medieval sources she is compared to a she-goat or a mare in heat. I would associate her with fertile female animals in general. Her other major title is “Vanadis”– the dis, or guardian female spirit, of the Vanir.

Considering how essential sex is to human life and culture, it is not surprising that even after Christianity had replaced the worship of the old gods in most areas of life, Freyja still had worshippers. This may be reflected in what Snorri Sturlusson says of her in his History of the Norse Kings. The book begins with a summary of the mythology in which all of the gods are interpreted as having been human kings.

In this account, he also tells us that after all the other “gods” had died, “Freya held to the sacrifices still, for she alone of the gods still lived. She then became so very renowned, that they called all their noble women by her name, even as they are now called fruer; so every woman is called Freya (Frue) who rules over her own property…” (Ynglingasaga, p. 8) From this usage, some heathens refer to Freyja by a more ancient Germanic title, “the Frowe”.

Some of this, of course, is Snorri’s attempt to explain the etymology, but it has a number of significant implications. The first is that Freyja’s name means, in essence, “Lady”, or perhaps “The” Lady, just as the name of her brother Freyr can be translated “Lord”. The May King and Queen, garbed in green and crowned with flowers, may represent a survival of rites of the Vanir.

Taken together, they are “the Lord and the Lady”, a phrase which will ring bells for those who are familiar with Wicca, although as Gundarsson points out, “The main difference between the Frowe and the Wiccan lady is that the Frowe is not motherly in any way.” (Our Troth, p. 196) Wiccan traditions are fond of claiming Celtic roots, but in fact it is quite likely that a number of characteristic elements in English witchcraft were survivals of the cult of the Vanir, which came to Britain with the Vikings.

The Witch, whether young and beautiful or ancient and sinister, who lives alone with her cats and works magic, is as much a priestess of Freyja as is the May Queen. Snorri tells us that, “Niord’s daughter was Freya. She was a priestess and she first taught the Asaland people seið, which was in use with the Vanir. (Ynglingasaga, p. 3) Later we learn that Odin himself was a master of seið, which includes such skills as spirit journeying, weatherworking, affecting people’s minds and prophecy. Presumably, it was Freyja who taught him.

Of course, there is often a connection between the energies used for sex and those used for magic. At the end of the passage describing Odin’s skills in seidh, comes the statement, “. . .but after such witchcraft, unmanliness (ergi) followed so much that it was considered shameful for men to deal with it, and this craft was therefore taught to priestesses.” (Ynglingasaga, p. 5). As Jenny Blain points out, (applied to men, ergi is “. . .primarily an insult, that can be used to convey the meaning (perjoratively) of ‘homosexual’, or of ‘acted upon sexually’, or simply ‘coward’. . . . Ergi applied to women is most often read as ‘sexually promiscuous’ (Meulengracht Sørensen, 1984), but can be construed as ‘taking the initiative sexually’. In this sense Freya is ergi (Høst, pers. com.).” (p. 124). I have always felt that the term indicates “receptivity”, whether in a sexual or psychic sense. For a man conditioned to Christian European concepts of masculinity to “open up” to the kind of inrush of energy that can occur in trance might well have been considered dangerous and unmanly.

But it is possible that the Æsir had encountered Freyja’s magic even before she moved to Asgard. At the beginning of the passage describing the war between the Æsir and the Vanir, the seeress says,

I ween that the first war in the world was this,
When the gods Gullveiggashed with their spears,
And in the hall of H´r (Odin) burned her–
Three times burned theythe thrice reborn,
Ever and anon:even now she liveth.

Heidh she was hightwhere to houses she came,
the well-speaking Völva, she knew gand-craft,
seidh she knew,seidh she plied,
always was she welcometo ill (or wicked) women.

(“Völuspá”: 21-22)

Gullveig, a name meaning “gold-mad” or “intoxicated by gold”, has been identified as Freyja. If so, her first appearance among the Æsir frightened them so much they tried to kill her– and failed. For this reason, I call upon the goddess in this aspect as protector and patroness of all women who practice witchcraft. She has faced the fire and survived.

The exact meaning of the second stanza has been greatly disputed. As is usual in Norse poetry, the original is rather cryptic. “Heidh” can itself be a proper name, meaning either “radiant”, or “of the heath”, but it is also often translated “witch”. So this is a name the goddess calls herself when she is practicing magic. Heidh is also sometimes seen as a separate goddess, or as the wisewoman aspect of Freyja.

“Völva” is a title for a senior witch or wisewoman, especially for one skilled in prophecy, such as the speaker of the poem “Völuspá” itself. A “gand” is a wand, and its craft may involve work with talismans, incantation, or spells. “Seidh” is a term which is sometimes translated as “witchcraft”, and includes a range of practices, many of them shamanistic, involving changing one’s own consciousness or affecting the minds of others. Freyja is thus the patroness of those who practice oracular seidh today (for more information on seidh, see my website). The final line, “illrar brudhr“, could mean anything from “wicked women”, to “sick brides”– that is, women in labor– either an expression of male fears of women’s power, or a reference to one of the primary concerns of a village wisewoman.

It should be clear from the foregoing that Freyja is a goddess of many aspects, and one can work with her in many ways. She is a goddess of prosperity, whose revitalizing energy can bring you what you need. She is a goddess of magic, especially trance work. Her ecstasies can take place entirely on the non-physical plane. As Raudhildr, a priestess of Freyja, puts it,

She is the core of fire at the center of my being. She is the storm that washes over me in sleep. She is the heart of the dream. She is the lover of my soul. She is darkness unspeakable and light beyond bearing. . . .I am moved into places of resistanace that I do not understand and then into the twin-flames of pain and transformation. She does not ask me for my leave. It is as though the world shifts around me and I find I once more face the burning. Yet, She brings an unfathomable beauty into my days. She pours out joy like mead. Peace flows through my heart like water. Her love is a never-failing fountain of strength. I would never willingly be parted from her.

(Idunna #35, p. 38)

Certainly Freyja is a goddess of love, but it is a sacred sexuality– that of the Great Rite, which is not limited to personal fertility or individual orgasm. Indeed, to try and limit the power of Freyja’s ecstasy to a single couple might very well be dangerous. The energy of an especially intense orgasm, the kind of moment in which you feel that if it gets any better you will explode or die, can be offered to the goddess. So can the energy we raise through song or dance. Freyja’s ecstasy can begin in the body, through any sensual activity that gives pleasure, but when the goddess is involved it becomes more than that, a fountaining of energy that links us to the love that moves the world.

To work with Freyja, begin by making friends with your body. It is not by chance, I think, that one of her primary animals is the cat. Learn to relax, anoint yourself with scented oils, get a massage. Walk through a garden or a wild meadow, breathing deeply of the fresh green smell. Pleasing your senses will make it easier for the life force to flow through you. If you cannot dance wildly around a bonfire, move in whatever way you can, even if it is only by putting on some music and swaying as you sit in a chair.

Visit Freyja by meditating in front of her altar. Freyja altars tend to be draped in tones of amber and dark red or green. They acquire images of her totem animals, vases holding stalks of wheat or flowers, golden ornaments and large chunks of amber.

She likes scented oils, “amber” or sandalwood incense, chocolate and caramel, Goldwasser, fruit beers or cordials, and honey-mead. To honor her, wear comfortable, sensuous clothing in her colors and lots of amber. Other items commonly attributed to Freyja are the elder tree (whose name means “fire”), the herbs yarrow and dill, and the dog-rose. Her visual symbol is the heart.

In the past few years, the “Nordic Roots” movement has made many CD’s of Scandinavian traditional and folk-rock music available. Some of my favorites are listed at the end of the bibliography. You will find it very easy to feel Freyja’s energy when you listen to these dance tunes and songs.

A Ritual for Freyja

1. Boundaries

(carry a sheaf of wheat or a leafy branch around the circle)

Circle of life, circle of love,
Brisingamen binds us below as above……

2. Balancing

Austri and Vestri, Nordhri and Sudhri
(face east, west, north, & south)

Dwarves in all directions dwelling,
From the center here we summon,
Watchers of the world, now ward us.

3. Welcoming Song

You lead the dance among the witches,
and bring the people joy and riches,
radiant Lady, ever dear,
Freyja, hasten to us here!

4. Working

(This is a “moving meditation”, in which we allow ourselves to enjoy the movement of our own bodies while honoring the Goddess. As our energy rises, we may direct it towards a particular purpose, such as help or healing for an individual, the fertility of the earth, etc.)

Freyja is the Lady of Life and love, and we are dresses of hers.
We honor her with our bodies, moving to her rhythms,
feeling the flow of her power.
First we must teach our bodies how to move–

(sway and stretch)

Now we sing and dance in her honor–

(all sing the chorus to the following song, move into drumming and dancing, and from there, perhaps, to sitting and meditating)

Solo verse:

From Folkvangr a falcon comes a flying,
From Folkvangr a falcon comes a flying,
From Folkvangr a falcon comes a flying,
From Folkvangr a falcon comes a flying,

Chorus:

Freyja fairest, Vanadis, oh Freya,
Freyja fairest, Vanadis, oh Vanadis, oh Freya,

More Verses:

To win her favor stallions strong are vying, etc.
The golden cats that draw her cart are purring, etc.
Her love for all of Midgard is enduring, etc.
Upon her breast a necklace bright is shining, etc.
She wears a trophy of the dwarf-smiths’ mining, etc.
On golden boar she rides the skies to glory, etc.
We praise her name and sing of Ottar’s story, etc.
Lovely lady luck to us you’re bringing, etc.
Oh, when we love it is your song we’re singing, etc.
Drums beat out the pulse of life within us, etc.
Laughing goddess, all of life enhancing, etc.
Joyful goddess, set our feet to dancing, etc.
Blessed one, the gift of life bestowing, etc.
In the fields the golden grain is growing, etc.
In our blood the fire of love is burning, etc.
Vanadis, it is for you we’re yearning, etc.
Lead us in the dance of life unending, etc.
Lovely lady, grace and power lending, etc.
Mistress, Magic’s mysteries unfolding, etc.
Blest are we, your beauty now beholding, etc.
Secrets of the seidhhjallr revealing, etc.
Fire of magic in the blood we’re feeling, etc.

(additional verses can be improvised, with or without rhyme)

5. Feast

(when all are tired from dancing, bless food and drink in Freyja’s name and share it. Appropriate foods include sweet things, fruit, roast pork, etc., and drinks may be apple cider, mead, fruit beers, etc. Say something like:)

We give thanks to the Lady of Life and Love who has shared with us the delight of dance, music and movement, the sweetness of honey, the fire of wine. We give thanks for your gifts of spirit and flesh:

You may follow with this poem:

When sunlight gilds the growing grain,
And scatters gold upon the sea,
When apple-blossom scents the air,
In these things, Freyja, I find Thee.

The mare whose call the stallion summons,
The cat that swift pursues her prey,
Fierce falcons in their mating flight,
All these art Thou, and this Thy play.

Oh, I am drunken with desire!
Love-bright Lady, come to me,
And mirrored in my lover’s eyes
Immortal beauty let me see!

I am the dress that Thou dost don,
I am the fuel to feed Thy fire!
Make manifest in me Thy power,
The free fulfillment of desire!

6. Farewells

Everyone thanks Freyja for her gifts.

7. Returning to the World

Let us now thank the Powers which have protected us:
NORDHRI and SUDHRI, AUSTRI and VESTRI,
dwarf-kin, we dismiss you, with thanks for your kindness!

Open Circle.

In love, we part– Brisingamen’s round–
Circle of life, be now unbound.

References:

Jenny Blain, Nine Worlds of Seid-Magic, London: Routledge, 2002

H.R. Ellis Davidson, Gods and Myths of the Viking Age (originally, Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, (1964)), New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996

_____________, Roles of the Northern Goddess, London: Routledge, 1998

Stephan Grundy, “Freyja and Frigg”, The Concept of the Goddess, London: Routledge, 1996

Kveldulf Gundarsson, Teutonic Religion, St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn, 1993

Idunna #35, Spring, 1998, The Troth, Box 472, Berkeley, CA 94701.

Idunna #51, Spring, 2002, The Troth, Box 472, Berkeley, CA 94701.

Kemp Malone, The Literary History of Hamlet, (1923), New York: Haskell House, 1964

Britt-Mari Nästrom, Freyja, the Great Goddess of the North, Lund Studies in the History of Religions 5, Lund: Lund University, 1995

Diana L. Paxson, Brisingamen, New York: Ace Books, 1984

Our Troth, ed. Kveldulf Gundarsson, The Ring of Troth, 1993

The Poetic Edda (The Elder Edda) (“Völuspá”, “Lokasenna”, “Lay of Hyndla”), translated by Lee M. Hollander, Austin: University of Texas, 1986

Snorri Sturluson, “Ynglingasaga”, Heimskringla, or The Lives of the Norse Kings, translated Erling Monsen and A.H. Smith (1932), New York: Dover, 1990

Snorri Sturluson, Edda (the Younger Edda), translated by Anthony Faulkes, London: Everyman’s Library, 1987

Discography

Nordic Roots 1, 2, and 3, (1998-2001)
Wizard Women of the North (1999)
all available from: Northside, 510 North 3rd St., Minneapolis, MN 55402
Nordisk Sang
available from: New Albion Records, Inc., 584 Castro, San Francisco, CA 94114 (1991)
Suede-Norvege
Ocora, Radio France (1993)
The Sweet Sunny North
Henry Kaiser and David Lindley Shanachie 64057, Shanachie Entertainment Corp. (1994)