Freir

Freir (or Prey), in Norse mythology, was the son of Niord; the latter became one of the Asas, after showing his power to perform wonders. Freir's mother was Skade. His sister Freia represents the moon, and correspondingly he represents the sun. Freir is called the most excellent of the Asas. He rules over the rain and sunshine, and must be invoked for fruitful years and for peace. He presides over wealthy people, gives to maidens their lovers, and restores to women their husbands, when taken in battie. Freir once seated himself on the throne Hlidskialf, from which he could look over the whole world. This throne was designed only for Odin, and Freir was immediately punished for the liberty he took by becoming enamored of a Jote maiden, namely, the beautiful Gerdur, daughter of the mountain-giant, Gymer, and of Aurboda. When he came home, he neither ate nor drank, nor said anything. A consuming melanecholy fell upon him, and no one dared to talk with him. Even his father Niord asked his servant, Skirner, to find out what was the troulble. Freir said he loved the beautiful Jote maiden and could not live without her any longer. Skirner then went out to woo Gerdur for him, after he had asked Freir for his trusty sword, which had been made by dwarfs, and possessed the singular faculty of killing of itself after it had once been drawn. Freir gave it to him, and thus, when he was attacked by the powerful Beli, he was forced to slay him with the horns of a reindeer. Skirner brought back the favorable answer that after nine nights Gerdur would appear to him. Then Freir said, "I cannot wait so long, for a single night is longer than a whole month." Gerdur is the northern light personified. Freir lives with her in Alfheim. As god of the sun, he also possesses the gold-colored boar, Guillinbursti. Besides this he owns the horse Blodughofi. He also has a skillful air-vessel, called Skidbladnir, made by dwarfs, the sons of Yvold. Oaths are given in Freir's name, in which case usually a boar is sacrificed to him, and a ring dipped in its blood, which is held by the swearer, who says: "So help me, Freir, Niord, and the mighty Asas!"

 
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