The Goddesses - Frigg, Jord and Freyja

Among the goddesses there are likewise, besides Odin’s wife Frigg,
twelve or thirteen of the highest rank, namely: Freyja, Saga, Eir, Gefjon,
Sjofn, Lofn, Var, Vor, Syn, Lin, Snotra, Fulla, and Gna; all of these are
enumerated together in Snorri’s Edda. Fulla and Gna,
and to a certain degree Lin as well, are merely handmaidens of Frigg; in
their stead may therefore be placed Idun, Nanna, and Sif, all of whom are


far more important. Next in order come Sigyn, Gerd, and Skadi, who
however are of Giant race; and thereafter some of the daughters of the
gods and the goddesses. Jord and Rind are also counted among the
goddesses.

Frigg is the daughter of Fjorgynn; she is the wife of Odin, the mother
of Balder, and chief among the goddesses. Her house is the splendid
Fensalir. The goddesses Lin, Fulla, and Gna are closely associated with
her. Lin is set to guard those of mankind whom Frigg desires to preserve
from harm. Fulla, a maiden with long flowing hair and a golden chaplet
about her brow, carries Frigg’s hand casket, keeps watch and ward over
her shoes, and shares her secrets. Gna runs errands for Frigg through the
various worlds, especially in matters requiring despatch, in which instances
she rides the horse Hofvarpnir, who races through the air and over the
waters. Something is to be learned of the cult of Frigg by means of
Norwegian and Swedish place names, and her name occurs also among
German and English tribes. The Frigg of the Eddas was no doubt derived
from an ancient goddess of earth or of fertility, according to the testimony of
daughter of Fjorgynn, and Jord, Thor’s mother, who bears the additional
name Fjorgyn.

Freyja, of the race of the Vanir, is a daughter of Njord and a sister of
Frey. As the story reads she was, at the treaty of peace with the Vanir,
delivered over by them and-accepted by the Æsir among the goddesses.
She was wedded to Od, but he left her and went out into foreign lands; she
often wept over him, wept golden tears. Her daughters, Noss and Gersemi,
were so beautiful that from them all precious gems have taken their names;
and from Freyja the designation freyja or frúva is likewise said to have
been formed. Freyja was in the habit of driving a cart drawn by two cats;
and she had in her possession the magnificent necklace called
Brisingamen. She dwelt in Folkvang, in the great hall named Sessrymnir.
Of all the heroes who fell in battle, half became her portion; it was her right
to choose them, and to her they came in Folkvang. She had special
authority in the relations of love, yet she was not the only goddess of love
to whom men had recourse; Sjofn had the power to kindle love between
men and women, and Lofn to help those who loved each other but who met
with difficulties in winning the beloved.

Freyja had several names. She was called Vanadis because she
came of the race of the Vanir. At one time she set out in search of Od, on
which occasion she adopted various names, as follows: Mardol, Horn (or
Hœrn?), Gefn, and Syr.

Sources:

Peter Andreas Munch: Norse Mythology: Legends of Gods and Heroes. The American-Scandinavian Foundation, New York. 1926, pp. 25-27.
Rasmus B. Anderson (Ed.): The Elder Eddas of Saemund Sigfusson and the Younger Eddas of Snorre Sturleson. Norræna Society, London-New York. 1906.


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