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Freya wearing her necklace (about 800 AD)

Freya wearing her necklace (about 800 AD)

Who is Freya?

Freya is the only important goddess of the Germans. She was married to Odin, and she’s a kind of fertility goddess like Hera or Aphrodite or Venus.

Who was Odin?
Norse gods
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What does “Freya” mean?

Her name just means “lady” in old Norse and old German. Friday is named after her. That’s because in Latin Friday was Venus’ day (Vendredi in modern French). Freya was like Venus, so people translated Venus’ day into Freya’s day.

Roman goddess Venus
Greek goddess Aphrodite
Greek goddess Hera
West Asian Astarte

Sometimes Freya seems to have been another name for the goddess Fricka, but in the story of the Niebelungenlied they are certainly two different goddesses.

The Niebelungenleid

Freya’s magic cloak

Freya was also a goddess of magic, and she had a lot of magic stuff, like a cloak of robin or falcon feathers that let her change into any bird she wanted (Aztec and Peruvian people wore real feather cloaks!).

Why does Freya have a necklace?

She got the famous necklace called Brisingamen in exchange for spending a night with each of four dwarves.

Learn by doing: draw Freya’s feather cloak and necklace
More about Odin

Bibliography and further reading about the Norse gods:

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