Freyja - Goddess of Abundance, Fertility and War

Freyja is a goddess of both fertility and battle.
Imgorthand/E+/Getty Images

Freyja was the sister of the god Freyr, and was one of the Vanir, the Norse deities of earth and water that lived in Asgard. Venerated by women, heroes and rulers alike, she was the Scandinavian goddess of fertility and abundance. Freyja could be called upon for assistance in childbirth and conception, to aid with marital problems, or to bestow fruitfulness upon the land and sea.

In some traditions, she is known not only as Freyr's sister but his wife as well. Like Freyr, she is associated with material wealth. She was known to wear a magnificent necklace called Brisingamen, which represents the fire of the sun, and was said to weep tears of gold. In the Norse Eddas, Freyja is not only a goddess of fertility and wealth, but also of war and battle. In fact, she is the lady of the hall of the battle-fallen in Valhalla. While some have theorized that she was the leader of the Valkyries, the Eddas don't specifically identify her as such. She also has connections to magic and divination.

Daniel McCoy, who runs the excellent Norse Mythology for Smart People website, says Freyja is

"considered to be something of the “party girl” of the Aesir. In one of the Eddic poems, for example, Loki accuses Freya (probably accurately) of having slept with all of the gods and elves, including her brother. She’s certainly a passionate seeker after pleasures and thrills, but she’s a lot more than only that. Freya is the archetype of the völva, a professional or semiprofessional practitioner of seidr, the most organized form of Norse magic. It was she who first brought this art to the gods, and, by extension, to humans as well. Given her expertise in controlling and manipulating the desires, health, and prosperity of others, she’s a being whose knowledge and power are almost without equal." 

Freyja was similar to Frigg, the chief goddess of the Aesir, which was the Norse race of sky deities. Both were connected with childrearing, and could take on the aspect of a bird. Freyja owned a magical cloak of hawk's feathers, which allowed her to transform at will. This cloak is given to Frigg in some of the Eddas.

In The Lost Beliefs of Northern Europe, Dr. Hilda Ellis Davidson says, 

"Most of the goddesses who became the wives of the gods came from the underworld, and were said to be the daughters of giants. The greatest of the goddesses was Freyja, sister of Freyr and daughter of Njord; she is a goddess of many names, and may originally have been the same as Frigg, the wife of Odin, since elsewhere in Germanic tradition we hear only of one goddess, Frigga, who was the wife of the sky god." 

Honoring Freyja Today

You may want to make offerings to Freyja if you're doing workings related to your love life–especially if it has a sexual component. Honey, chocolate, and other sexy foods are a good start, but you also can include a song, prayer, or poem in her honor.

In some traditions, Freyja is called upon for protection, and can be called upon if you've been in a domestic violence situation. Qarinth is a Pagan from Tucson who says, "I was in a relationship with someone who hurt me, not just physically, but emotionally. I connected rather unexpectedly with Freyja when I was trying to work through it all, and she's really the one who gave me the strength and courage to get out and move forward with my life. I made an offering of blood to her, and while I don't know if that's what she specifically wanted, it felt right at the time and she accepted it, and looked after me when I needed her the most."

Finally, you can set up a shrine to Freyja in your home by decorating your altar with symbols of femininity and strength, in whatever manner resonates with you.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Wigington, Patti. "Freyja - Goddess of Abundance, Fertility and War." Learn Religions, Apr. 5, 2023, Wigington, Patti. (2023, April 5). Freyja - Goddess of Abundance, Fertility and War. Retrieved from Wigington, Patti. "Freyja - Goddess of Abundance, Fertility and War." Learn Religions. (accessed May 29, 2023).