Finding ourselves in stories
We have to make myths of our lives; it is the only way to live them without despair.
There are a great many human souls whom we should accept more kindly, and even appreciate more clearly, if we simply thought of them as people in a story.
Thoughts from Lesson 1 of Mystery School – Consider the stories that have shown up in your life. Which stories have chosen you?
Freya, the great fertility goddess, is searching for her husband, Óðr. She doesn’t know where he’s gone, only that he’s out there somewhere. Without his fiery passion to awaken her, her despair casts shadows over the land. Nothing will grow.
As she travels, she weeps golden tears, which seep into the earth and harden there. She takes lovers and imprints her beauty on them. She searches far and wide, until the old stories say she finds her husband and they wrap themselves up in each other once again. The earth explodes with abundance in the glow of their love.
Some say Freya is the same as the great goddess Frigg, wife of the All-father Odin, but I disagree. In my perception, Frigg never has to go looking for Odin. She is secure in her knowledge he will return. And he always does, drawn to her wisdom, her beauty, her discernment like a magnet. In my mind, Frigg is the keeper of the hearth, powerful and practical, while Freya is a wild dreamer, memorizing Joni Mitchell songs and sleeping on greyhound buses, always on the lookout for her missing beloved. Perhaps both Freya and Frigg live inside every woman. I know when I go out, it’s Freya who does the adventuring, while my inner Frigg stays home and tends to the garden, reads the changes in the weather, and gathers up insights to store for winter.
In my own version of Freya’s story, she’s stopped looking. She realizes (finally) that the one she’s been longing for is never coming home. But she’s still the goddess of fertility, beauty, and new life. She uses her longing for Óðr to awaken remembering in others, so they might bloom where she cannot. She does this with her seidr, her magic.
It is my yearning for affection
I harvested it from the air that cups my skin
It is perfumed with wild roses
Stirred with a raven’s wings
Lightning-sparked with loneliness
It is alive
Dab it like a potion behind your ears
Spike your lover’s coffee with its playful intentions
Pour its fuel on your unrelenting courtship
Savour your divine earthly body
Become a raving romantic
Woo and be wooed
Brandish your love like a sword
Battle against apathy
Battle against cold screen separation
Deep underground, Grief works the bellows
We’re all in this together