Freia

Freia in Norse mythology, was the most excellent among the Asas next to Frigga, the wife of Odin, being daughter of the dark Niord and the shady Skade. Freia was the goddess of the moon, in the ancient Scandinavian religion of nature. Later she was the goddess of love. She favors suitors, and finds great pleasure in songs, which she teaches to the scalds. She loves spring and flowers, and is gracious to the elves. In order to secure greater swiftness she makes use of a pair of falcon wings, which she allows other deities to use. The glittering necklace which the dwarfs presented to her is called Brising. Freia was married to Odur, and had two daughters by him: Hnos (beautiful) and Gersemi (attractive). Some time after, Odur made a journey, and as he did not return, Freia sought him, travelling through many countries, and assuming different names: Mardol, Horn, Gefion, Syr, Vanadys; but it was all useless. She therefore shed bitter tears, which were changed into gold. Her journey made her known in all lands, and she was worshipped under various names. In North Germany, Denmark, Friesland, and Saxony, she retained the name Freia. She was represented with helmet, armor, bow, and sword, above in male, below in female dress. Odin receives valiant warriors into Valhalla; Freia receives all virtuous and lovely women into her heavenly dwelling, Folkvangur. She herself loves mostly to stay in her hall, Sesrumner, and has melancholy thoughts about her departed husband, Odur. The Swedes dedicated a number of temples to her, among which that at Upsala was the most celebrated. Her name is connected with the German verb "freien," to woo, and the sixth day of the week, Friday, is named after her.

 
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