I honestly can’t tell. I’ve written before on the reason why I bought my Freyja cord from Beth Wodandis Designs, but there’s been a few other things that have made me wonder whether a certain lady is trying to get my attention.
To start with, I’ve ended up with connections to aspects of Freya’s divinity; I do HEMA and historical battle re-enactment, and my LARP and RPG characters are all warriors as well. Yes, I’m a geek. I’ve also been reading tarot cards for over eight years and runes on and off for longer, I’m very much a cat person, and aside from the whole libido-not-always-awake-when-I’d-like-it-to-be thing, I’m happy and comfortable with my sexuality. I’ve also been fascinated by the battle-woman/lover mix since I was aged eleven, through reading a pair of books by Susan Price – Elfgift and Elfking – which I would highly recommend and should probably do a review of at some point. As a re-enactor and Living Historian I go to re-enactment markets about twice a year to restock and upgrade my kit, and buy new shinies. One of the stalls that’s there frequently is Viking Crafts, and while I don’t do Viking re-enactment I love the miniature god figures they sell; so much so that I bought two of them years ago – Odin and what’s listed on the website as ‘Large Valkyrie’. I also now have a Heimdall sitting above my front door. Anyway, I bought the large valkyrie figure as she was closer to Odin’s height than the other female statues, and Mike pointed out when I was looking at her that she was an alternative Freyja figurine in her Valkyrie aspect. So I have a small amount of history/association with the goddess, but it’s a one-way thing – I do things that fall under her spheres of influence, and now own two devotional items associated with Freyja.
However, recent events that have led to my wondering whether these associations are becoming more two-way, or at least have the potential to become so. Unfortunately for my discernment, everything returns to Beth’s Etsy shop. The first ping I got was when I saw the listing for a Freyja God-in-a-Box shrine last year, and while the other portable shrines that were listed at the same time were beautiful and very well-made, I didn’t think any of them held a candle to Freyja’s. Photos of the shrines that were available (including Freyja’s) can be found here under the custom listing, and I’m not sure if it was the gold detailling on her feather cloak, the coppery-gold glow of her hair and body, the simple elegance of the sculpture, or all three, but I couldn’t stop looking. So that was ping one. Ping two was the sudden sense of ‘this would be good for you’ which led to me buying my cord, and ping three led on from that when I began to notice the other Freyja-related items in Beth’s shop. The one that stands out in particular is a Freyja spirit communication talisman made from ruby-in-zoisite – I love the dark, bold colours, and again, keep going back to look. Now there have been plenty of other things that Beth’s made that I’ve gone back to look at several times, but they’ve been items that weren’t connected at all. So there’d be a necklace for Hera, Odin prayer beads, a Cernunnos pendulum, a Sacred Queens crown, but I’d just be admiring the beauty and aesthetics and the devotion that Beth puts into her work. The items I talked about above are the only ones which I’ve had the sense of ‘I could own that’ with (aside from a couple of the Yule cords), without too much of the ‘I’d be taking it away from someone who actually derserves it/has the right to own it’ feeling.
This could all just be my brain going ‘lookit pretties’, which is entirely possible, but it’s the concentration of ‘lookit Freyja pretties’ and buying the cord that has got me wondering whether there’s something more to all this. I said in a previous post of mine that ‘I can’t feel energy; for example, I’ve handed a sachet I’d made during a ritual in circle to two pagan friends of mine at different times, and they gave me nearly identical answers when I asked what the energy felt like. Me? Felt no different than when I’m holding a box of tissues or a jar of jam’, so the likelihood of me picking up any kind of message is very low. To use a word I’ve seen used a fair bit in the Pagan areas of the internet, I don’t think I even own a godphone. But I am an Earth personality, grounded in the physical world of things I can touch, so I can see how trying to get my attention through the medium of objects could work – subtle pressure from a deity to buy/own a thing which would help bring me closer to that deity. Rinse, repeat, and in using the things I might finally become aware enough to notice I’m being talked to. And in writing that I’ve just realised that this might be why I’ve collected so many different sets of Christian prayer beads over the past ten years. If that is the case it’s been a long and subtle process from the Christian side, while the Freyja thing has happened all of a sudden.
Now I know I could meditate on the Freyja question, or I could cast a circle, use my rattle to raise some energy and invite Freyja in and see if she comes (and if I notice anything because I am useless at sensing energy), or I could just sit in front of my altar, clear my mind, and say ‘speak Lady, I’m listening’, in the same way that Samuel did, and see what happens. Except I know I won’t. Some of it is due to my Christianity, as while I don’t deny the existence of other divine beings outside of the Trinity, there’s a part of me that’s worried that I’d be doing Christo-Paganism wrong (even though I’m reasonably sure that’s not possible), and God would be pissed off at me if I tried to include other deities in my religious practice as a result. I know that sounds silly, and I have no fears that I will burn in Hell if I do (Methodist theology for the win!), it’s just this niggling concern that it would be disapproved of somehow. But the main overriding reason I’m avoiding anything direct is down to my relationship with the Divine.
I have a personal relationship with Deity. I don’t believe I need a priest or other intermediary (such as a saint) to talk to God for me, so when I pray I can just chat, or do ACTS (Christian acronym/mnemonic for structuring prayer – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication) if I’m being formal. I can communicate directly with God, I believe He has an interest in and cares for humanity, and that He listens to me. What I don’t have, however, is an intimate relationship with Deity. The kind of relationship that at least two of my Christian friends have and that a lot of the Pagan blog authors that I read have, whether godspouse or not. The kind of relationship with the Divine where they feel the deity’s presence on a regular or daily basis, where they get messages from their deity (omens, dreams, internal certainty, strong feelings unconnected to how the person’s feeling etc.), where they have opened up their life to whatever deity it may be and essentially said ‘I’m in your hands now’. I don’t have that kind of relationship. Hell, I don’t consider myself to be a devotee (even a Christian one), because while I’d love to have that closeness the thought of it fucking terrifies me.
And that is why I’m wary of doing anything too direct with this ‘is Freyja trying to get my attention?’ thing. I’ve re-read Ember Cookes’s post titled ‘When Godphones Ring – discernment for Pagans‘, and while she gives very good advice I’m not how much of it I can apply to my situation – it’s not really a message, more a feeling of someone trying to get my attention. No, not even that, it’s mostly a sense of someone waiting to see if I notice them with occasional moments of trying to get my attention. It’s all very subtle, which is why I’m questioning whether it’s actually a thing or just my brain going ‘lookit pretties’, but it’s still there and still noticeable, and it’s bugging/intriguing me. So when I’m feeling less ‘thank God it’s Friday zzzzz’ I’ll do a tarot reading and rune draw and see if that helps, and much as it’s tempting to buy the Freyja spirit communication talisman in case it makes things clearer I’m going to be sensible and wait until my cord arrives and see what happens with that. Partly because of my bank balance (although layaway or the current Valentine’s Day sale are options) and partly because I don’t want to get it and then discover I was wrong, when a devotee of Freya could have purchased it instead. I figure that if I’m meant to have it, it will still be there if/when I have an answer. And if this is a thing I just hope my cynicism/skepticism doesn’t get in the way – I don’t deny or disbelieve that this sort of thing happens to other people, I’ve just always felt that it’s not a thing that’s ever going to happen to me.