Thursday, March 20, 2014

Goddess Series: Freyja (Freya)

This collar style necklace was inspired by Freyja's Brisingamen (or the Brising Necklace), which was described as golden like the sun.  It features a front toggle clasp with gold rhinestones.  A spearhead hangs from the clasp as a symbol of the Freyja's role as a war goddess and the Valkyries; the women-warriors that Freyja led, gathering the souls of fallen heroes who died in battle.  The hand-fractured glass marbles represent her tears, which turned to gold or amber, depending on whether the landed on land or sea.  The wire-wrapped quartz shards represent wisdom and light (traits that were ascribed to the Freyja's race, the Vanir) and the ice of the cold Nordic regions.

Freyja was the Norse goddess of love, sexuality, beauty, war, and sorcery.  It is believed that she and several other Norse goddesses stem from a single Germanic goddess.  Freyja's name has been found in various Scandinavian, Germanic, and Nordic regions.  (Her name is also spelled as follows: Freya, Frejya, Freyia,Frøya, Frøjya, Freia, Frejsha, and Freja.  Some of her aliases are: Gefn, Hörn, Mardöll, Sýr, Valfreyja, and Vanadís.)

She was greatly drawn to gold and jewels, the story about how she obtained the Brisingamen being based around this trait.  She was a member of the Vanir (along with her brother, father and mother) and was taken hostage or traded to the Aesir (the gods of Valhalla).  Her Valkyries collect half of the souls of slain warriors to dwell in the afterlife fields she rules over, called Fólkvangr; the other half would go to Odin's Hall, Sessrúmnir.  Though she was married to Odur and bore him two children Hnoss and Gersemi), he abandoned her or disappeared for unknown reasons.  One story explains him leaving when he learned of a trade she made with the four dwarves that created the Brisingamen; one night with her for each of the necklace's artisans.  Other stories state that Odur goes on long journeys, which leaves her alone for extended periods of time.  In both stories, she is stated to weep tears of gold and amber, and takes up aliases while in search for her husband.  In his absence, she was stated to take lovers and was sought after as wife by the jötnar (frost giants).

Among her symbols are a feathered cloak, two blue/grey cats, a boar, a spear and chariot, amber, and the Brisingamen necklace.

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