Frigga is one of the most beloved goddesses in the Norse tradition. Learn how working with Frigga can bring healing and empowerment—especially for matriarchs and mothers.
Frigga, also called Beloved of Odin, is considered the highest-ranking goddess in the Norse pantheon. She is complex, and many see her as among the most compassionate deities. Frigga runs the household and has many handmaidens to do her bidding, acting as an example of empowered womanhood and motherhood. Working with Frigga also requires some context of the role of women in the Viking Age.
Matriarchs in the Viking Age
It is important to note that “running a household” in the Viking Age was not what we may think of in the modern era. A woman in the Viking Age was more like a project manager, or even a corporate leader. Women in the Viking Age grew flax, spun it into fibers, then wove it into cloth. This created wealth for their families, as flax cloth was used as currency.
Women prepared meals, organized the long hall, and raised children. Matriarchs also promoted peace among warring factions, and held frith (sacred peace) between the men of warring bands. Women were seen as inherently magical creatures during the Viking Age and acted as herbalists and healers for their communities. They also had the right to get divorced at will.
A woman was the literal keeper of the keys to the main hall and all outbuildings, as well as the various caskets and locked containers. Matriarchs kept the budget, and while it was typically the ranking man or chieftain who gave gold and gifts to his men, it was she who saw to it that wealth was maintained. She also kept the animals and ran the farm. In many ways, the ranking woman of the household was the center around which everyday life ran.
Frigga as the Matriarch of the Gods
Matriarch, weaver, peacemaker, healer, and more—Frigga is all of these things. She is the keeper of the keys of Asgard, the land of the many Norse gods and goddesses. Frigga is known as a wise woman who has the gift of prophecy, who sees all but speaks nothing, keeping her counsel to herself. She alone is allowed to ascend Odin’s high seat, Hliðskjálf, from where she, too, can see all the activities in all nine worlds. Along with knowing deep wisdom, she also knows deep grief after suffering two losses: first, the loss of her only son, Baldur, and then, at Ragnarök (the Norse end of days and beginning of a new cycle of life), her husband, Odin.
How to Work With Frigga
Working with Frigga can be as simple as performing household chores with intention, taking a few moments to focus on the peace an organized household can bring, and seeing the sacred keeping of the home as a part of Frigga’s purview.
If your household is not very organized, that’s fine—any one chore, even doing the dishes, will do. If part of your working with Frigga involves asking something of her, always offer her something in return. An offering to Frigga can be a loaf of freshly baked bread, or a plate of whatever it is you’re eating for dinner left at a special place at the table overnight, then offered to the earth by composting.
Here are a few other ways to connect and work with Frigga:
If you are a fiber artist, crochet, knit, or embroider an object or length of cloth with the intention of connecting with Frigga. This can be kept in a central part of the home or burned as an offering.
Work on keeping your own counsel. Ask Frigga to know when to speak and when to stay silent. This can be harder than it seems!
Play with children, whether they’re your own or the children of a loved one. Ask Frigga to guide you as you guide them throughout their lives, and offer up a game of tag to Frigga, as well—children’s laughter is sacred and healing.
Many heathens use keys—sometimes antique, sometimes modern—to represent Frigga on their altar. Some will wear a key as a pendant so they can “walk with” Frigga throughout their day.
Light a candle on a quiet night and meditate on the presence of Frigga in your life. Thank her for her many gifts, then leave an offering of drink in a special place. Tea, apple cider, ale, mead, or another alcohol works, but fresh water is also fine.
Share a drink with Frigga. Brew some fresh tea or coffee, and pour two cups—one for you, and one for her. Sit at your table, talk out loud about whatever may be troubling your heart, and drink your beverage. Listen silently for an answer—it will often come as a deep knowing felt in the center of your ribcage, near the base of the heart.
The Wisdom of Frigga (and Freyja)
Frigga, like Freyja, owns a falcon-feathered cloak, which she uses to transform into a bird and fly across the worlds. In fact, there are many modern heathens who consider Frigga and Freyja to be one and the same. Others feel they were once the same goddess, but split off regionally an eon or so ago and are now distinct.
This is a mystery we will probably never know the answer to, but it seems that Frigga is most concerned with domestic affairs, and Freyja more concerned with wilder nature. They do share several similarities, but the Proto-Indo-European root words their names derive from mean different things—roughly, “ranking woman” for Frigga and “beloved” for Freyja—which suggests a split very early on in history.
Many modern heathens who work with Frigga find her to be a calming force, a compassionate goddess who understands loss and helps others grieve. She is also seen as firm and strong. Frigga is an example of female agency—she even tricks Odin at least twice, to the benefit of her followers—and can be perceived as the essence of strong, feminine power in all its complexity. One heathen, at least, has described her as a corporate business woman in a red power suit!
Frigga is a goddess who knows herself and lives her own way; she is unapologetically herself at all times. She leads the goddesses, both her own handmaidens and, in a way, all other Norse goddesses, and she is a giver of gifts. It is Frigga who guides, commands, soothes, and sternly cajoles to keep the order of the world intact.
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