Asteroid Files: Freia

Thumbnail-HeliosHelios: Brrr…. I dont know about you guys, but I am definitely sensing a chill in the air. We’re not in Leo season anymore, that’s for sure! As such, I think it’s only fair that we look to the frozen North for our inspiration, no?

The Astronomy: 76 Freia is a very large main-belt asteroid. It orbits in the outer part of the asteroid belt and is classified as a Cybele asteroid. Its composition is very primitive and it is extremely dark in color. Freia was discovered by the astronomer Heinrich d’Arrest on October 21, 1862, in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was his first and only asteroid discovery. It is named after the goddess Freyja in Norse mythology.

The Myth: In Norse mythology, Freyja ( Old Norse for “(the) Lady”) is a goddess associated with love, sex, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr, war, and death. Freyja is the owner of the necklace Brísingamen, rides a chariot pulled by two cats, keeps the boar Hildisvíni by her side, possesses a cloak of falcon feathers, and, by her husband Óðr, is the mother of two daughters, Hnoss and Gersemi. Along with her brother Freyr (Old Norse the “Lord”), her father Njörðr, and her mother , she is a member of the Vanir. Freyja rules over her heavenly afterlife field Fólkvangr and there receives half of those that die in battle, whereas the other half go to the god Odin’s hall, Valhalla. Within Fólkvangr is her hall, Sessrúmnir. Freyja assists other deities by allowing them to use her feathered cloak, is invoked in matters of fertility and love, and is frequently sought after by powerful jötnar who wish to make her their wife. Freyja’s husband, the god Óðr, is frequently absent. She cries tears of red gold for him, and searches for him under assumed names. Freyja is attested in the Poetic Edda, in several Sagas of Icelanders; in the short story Sörla þáttr; in the poetry of skalds; and into the modern age in Scandinavian folklore, as well as the name for Friday in many Germanic languages. Scholars have theorized about whether Freyja and the goddess Frigg ultimately stem from a single goddess common among the Germanic peoples; about her connection to the valkyries, female battlefield choosers of the slain; and her relation to other goddesses and figures in Germanic mythology. Although the Christianization of Scandinavia beheld a new institution in Scandinavia, the church, that sought to demonize the native gods, belief and reverence in the gods, including Freyja, remained into the modern period and melded into Scandinavian folklore. Britt-Mari Näsström  comments that Freyja became a particular target under Christianization: “Freyja’s erotic qualities became an easy target for the new religion, in which an asexual virgin was the ideal woman […] Freyja is called “a whore” and “a harlot” by the holy men and missionaries, whereas many of her functions in the everyday lives of men and women, such as protecting the vegetation and supplying assistance in childbirth were transferred to the Virgin Mary.” Various plants in Scandinavia once bore her name, but it was replaced with the name of the Virgin Mary during the process of Christianization. Rural Scandinavians continued to acknowledge Freyja as a supernatural figure into the 19th century, and Freyja has inspired various works of art.

Why She Matters: Good lord, there’s a lot to go into there, and I promise this is the HIGHLY edited version of that text! Okay, so for starters Freyja is a goddess par excellence, not just a simpering girl in a feather cloak; No, above all else she is a WARRIOR. The vikings wouldn’t have had anything less, even from their goddess of love. And truly isn’t that the most real portrayal of love that there is? Freyja represents a fierce, unyielding love, strong and unmoving as ice, but warm and inviting like a bonfire on a chilly night. There is something about her which is altogether indomitable, and she is at least on the level of Odin, if not higher. She is so ridiculously OP that she survived the CHRISTIANS. Actually, most of the Germanic gods did, at least the heavy hitters- They just called them saints instead of gods. Freyja is different though- She was in the hearts and minds of the people, and survived well past when lesser gods crumbled to the aegis of memory. She was even conflated with the Virgin! While there is a narrative of the subjugated woman to be told, I prefer to notice a feminine force that resisted the forces that tried to
lessen her, to break her, and now re-emerges victorious!

To find out where she shows up in your chart, go to astro.com, put in your birth details and in the extended options, all the way at the bottom, there will be a menu of additional objects. Under that is a blank space where you can enter the number 76, for Freia. Once you have it entered, generate the chart! Where does Freia affect your life? Let us know in the comments below!