Mother Frigga frightens me

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Mother Frigga frightens me

Post by John T Mainer on Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:30 pm

This is opinion, with a little lore for illustration, and not a presentation of dogma.

I am an Odinsman, one who has known the touch of the Feeder of Ravens, one who has faced death upon the field, who has won from death those who seemed lost to it, and known more joy than fear when blood was spilled for wound or weal. Having said that, my few encounters with Frigga scared the curls right out of my beard. I would characterize her interactions as being both familial and positive towards the interests of my family, but there is a ruthless focus to her that makes the Battleglad her husband seem a sentimentalist. While modern paganism mistakes the mother goddesses of old as being something of a hippy daycare worker, a look at our lore, and at our ancestors world paints a different story entirely.
The honour of men was derived from earned status, wealth, and fame of great deeds. The honour of men was both ephemeral, and personal. Men’s honour was a political reality, a very real measure of importance and power, that brought with it tangible benefits to family and line. Male honour was something that rose or fell with actions that were often within the power of the man, and thus fell into the realm of personal ambition and drive. The honour of women was different both in scope, and in practice.
The honour of women was not derived as much from personal accomplishment, but from the family line. Where a man’s honour and interest was measured in the current generation, in the now, the woman’s honour rested on the rise or fall of her house across many generations {http://libres.uncg.edu/ir/asu/f/Rivenbark,%20Susan_2011_Thesis.pdf}. This built in difference between male tactical thinking, and women’s strategic thinking in matters of honour was mirrored in the gods. Odin sat in the high seat, and used his dearly won knowledge to plot and plan against the rise of the Jottun, to stave off the end times that may or may not await us. He is depicted as moving men like game pieces, and often sacrificing those dear to him for advancement of his strategies. While this makes him the most forward looking of the gods, his vision pales beside that of his wife.
Frigga is sometimes also depicted as sitting on the high seat, sharing her husband’s vision, even as she if often seen with the Norns as patron of the Norns and Disir. While Frigga knows the fate of all men, she does not share that information. While Odin may plot the rise and fall of men, and even nations, Frigga plots and balances the futures of whole lines over centuries, weaving a tapestry of hundreds of generations of kindreds in which the rise and fall of nations are but footnotes.
We think warriors of old to be hard men, beyond the ken of most modern men in their acceptance of hardship and easy familiarity with death, but the hardest warrior often came home to one who was much more intimately acquainted with death than he; his wife. In ancient times, infant mortality in Northern Europe ran between 30-50%. Modern psychologists predicted we would see distancing behaviours to protect the mothers especially from bonding with one who will be so loved, and yet so frequently lost, as a beloved child. We like to point to children’s being used to work in field and farm as evidence of this lack of care. In fact, the opposite is true. At a time when there was neither birth control, nor medicine as we know it, where the act of love would nearly as often bring death as life, there was great joy and love that awaited Nordic and Germanic children {http://historymedren.about.com/od/medievalchildren/a/child_survival_2.htm}. Our ancestral mothers were loving, and so strong and hard they could give that love, and lose it again and again without choosing to protect themselves by distancing themselves from the child loved who might yet be lost. There is a reason Germanic men brought statues of their Disir to distant battlefields; to no other spirit or god could a man call with greater reverence that those who embraced the love and fulfilment of their line reguardless of personal cost, beyond death itself.
A woman may have to serve her family by marriage to an ancient enemy to end a feud. In this she is forced to give aid to one who was an enemy of her house, and with whom there may be considerable blood debt. This action is taken for the generations to come, and her sacrifice will forge a bond of blood that may end the shedding of blood through endless feud.
As a mother, the woman’s honour is that of the line itself, and her duties to the line will often clash with her husband’s understanding of the needs of the moment. While women may often call for peace to prevent the coming of strife (Bergthora early in Njal’s Saga), when an insult has been done that will threaten the honour of the whole line, it is frequently women who will not accept favour, payment, or political advantage, but rather demand blood vengeance to avenge a wrong (Gudrun in Volsung Saga, Bergthora late in Njal’s saga). Indeed in both Volsung’s saga and in Tacitus Germania we see women who are willing to kill their own children if their husbands failure of courage or honour should make his blood a threat to the honour of the line. The duty of the woman being to the line for all time, not just the generations living.
Modern man may have grown soft in may respects, but the most dangerous thing he has done is forgetting the ancient role of women. Mother Frigga, the spinner of fates, the distaff bearer, the first Disir is the embodiment of that ancient role. She who watches from beyond this life over all the children of our line, making sure that which is needful for their continuation and welfare of the lines of our people comes to pass, whatever the price may be today. I honour her, I ask for her to watch over my children, especially my troubled middle one, and I trust her. Having said all that, while her touch brings the awareness of love and peace, she scares me more than heavy artillery fire, bullets, or bear attacks. While Odin may play games with men and nations, Frigga’s concerns make the fate of nations almost beneath her notice, for the family is all.


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Re: Mother Frigga frightens me

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:17 am

And when Frigga ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! Laughing

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Re: Mother Frigga frightens me

Post by wmdkitty on Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:16 pm

You just don't mess with mama.
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