© 2001 Ingeborg S. Nordén
Part 1: Who IS He?
When I began to seriously consider conversion to Asatru, I felt myself drawn to Freyr above the other deities--which shocked and confused me at first. What I knew about him didn't seem appropriate for my own life and personality at all. ("A god of agriculture, sex, fertility...come on, I live in a big city and don't even want a husband, let alone kids!")
I found at least one answer several months after I converted: Freyr also has a strong connection with Sweden, according to the Ynglingasaga. (He supposedly incarnated there as a human king and brought peace and prosperity during his lifetime; the people venerated Freyr's grave as a holy site, saying Sweden would still prosper as long as he was buried there. And yes, I have gone and worshiped there several times--at least once a year for the past seven years, if I can afford to! J )
Over the years, I've learned that my patron and I have other things in common as well:
He prefers to resolve conflicts without fighting, but will fight fiercely if someone or something he dearly loves is threatened. Freyr doesn't get angry easily, but when he does...look out! (Yes, that trait is also associated with Jesus, but there are others the two don't share.)
He is willing to sacrifice the best he has to be close to his true love, even if it kills him later. (Freyr gave up his magic sword in order to marry a woman with whom he had fallen in love "at first sight"...and will end up being killed at Ragnarok for making that choice.)
He deals with his mistakes resourcefully and bravely. (After losing his sword, Freyr ends up killing one enemy with his bare hands...and is supposed to fight his arch-enemy at Ragnarok with a stag horn, the only weapon he can find.)
He can be sensuous without necessarily being sexual. (In the story where Freyr falls in love, he's allegedly inspired by the woman's arms. Obviously someone who enjoys a good hug as much as I do...J)
In short, I found a god who seemed to resolve what I saw as theological conflicts: physical versus spiritual, universal versus specifically Swedish, love that has to be commanded versus heartfelt, inspired love. And now that I've found the one I needed, I'm staying with him.