A basic introduction to Frigg
by Jessica Pape-Green
[This post was originally posted to WordPress and may have formatting errors as a result to being moved here.]
Hey, Best Witches! 💞 It's Jess!
Yet again, I'm finding myself behind in the update game. We have just had SO MUCH on our plate lately. Some of it a blessing, some of it not so much. But I really want to keep bringing content to keep an active relationship with our fans even if I don't have the time to conquer the more in-depth articles that I'd like to write.
So I decided to address the problem by trying out one of those "28/30/31 Day" challenges/memes/whatever you want to call them. Kendra helped me pick the "30 Days of Deity Devotion," which would also give me the chance to pay Frigg back for all the blessings she's given me this month, much less this year. I was able to find the full list here, though that's not the OP apparently. I don't actually know anything about either blog, so please don't @ me about them; this is just where I was able to find the full list of the challenge.
I'm also going to just go ahead and say that obviously there's no real schedule here since it's Sept 10 already and we are super busy, but I'm going to do my best to publish daily.
Okay, with all that out of the way, let's start on the first daily challenge - a basic introduction to Frigg.
Frigg is one of the goddesses of Norse mythology. She is best known for being the wife of Odin as well as the mother of Baldr. Her name most likely means "beloved" and evolved from the same Proto-Indo-European origin as the name Priya, which I happen to think is quite lovely. (Don't use this as an excuse to appropriate Priya, though.)
Anyway, this fact really shapes a lot of how I view their relationship. Despite all the extra-marital relationships, they're clearly absolutely in love with each other. They're never shown minding each other's quirks, but instead embracing it. She loves challenging and competing with her husband.
The other side of it is her role as mother. It's not really addressed in the existing lore, but it seems to me that she likely fostered most of Odin's children as they're often not shown being raised by their birth mothers (Thor, for example, was clearly raised Aesir though he had a Jotunn mother who would have raised him Jotunn), and Odin was away too much to be filling the father role. So it seems obvious to me that she was foster mother to many, though I have to admit there's no clear textual evidence. But the biggest part of her mother aspect, at least as far as her lasting mythology is concerned, is her grief for Baldr. Her grief over his death is constantly referenced, to the point that Odin's predicted death is called the "second grief of Frigg."
As well as being a wife and a mother, she also has some domain over things that were normal women's activities at the time - such a weaving, sewing, keeping house, cooking, and herbal medicine. She shares these aspects with Freyja, among other goddesses. It is barely mentioned that she has predictive ability, rarely sharing the secrets and futures she learns, and it should be mentioned that such magics were seen as feminine by the Norse peoples, though not a normal activity for the average woman.
She's also clearly nobility - She owns her own property (Fensalir) as well as managing Odin's property, and she has several handmaidens, including Fulla (who she might be related to, but there's little evidence for, or she might have a romantic affair with, the evidence for which requires "reading between the lines").
There's not as much evidence out there about her as other goddesses, but I feel what is available shows a fairly clear picture. She's a goddess of all things domestic and of what might be called "woman's work." She has domain over family, over romantic relationships, over grief, over foresight and cleverness, over love, ad over the whole complex spectrum of motherhood.