Freyr – God of the World
Freyr, the Norse God of nature, sexuality, peace and prosperity is known by several names – Ing, Ingvi, Ingvi Freyr, Frea, Fro Ing, Frey, Freyr, Lord, and God of the World.
Farmers often seek Freyr’s blessing for the vitality of their fields and livestock.
He is often depicted in statues and rock carvings with an erect phallus.
The name Freyr is commonly believed to mean ‘Lord‘ as in ‘Lord and Lady,’ which is often how Freyr and his sister Freyja are perceived. Another possible meaning for the name, put forth by Lennart Elmevik (2003) is the Old Norse the meaning of the word, used as an adjective, to suggest fertility. This view is supported in Snorri’s Edda:
Freyr is the most glorious of the Æsir. He is ruler of rain and sunshine and thus of the produce of the earth, and it is good to pray to him for prosperity and peace .
Evidence for the worship of Freyr, comes from rock carvings in Ostergotland, Sweden that date to the bronze age.
Ingvi Freyr is thought to be the divine ancestor of the old Swedish royal family, the Ynglinar, as told in the Ynglinga Saga. The importance of Freyr in Sweden is supported by the account of Adam of Bremen in describing three Gods at the temple of Uppsala, one of them being Freyr, who is called Frikko in this account, the other two being Wodan and Thor. It is thought that human sacrifice was made to Freyr at Freyr’s-blot in Sweden. The Swedish also called Freyr God of the World.
In the Old English Rune Poem referencing the rune Ingwaz, it is suggested that Ing is a king and a hero:
Ing was first among the East Danes,
Beheld by men, until afterwards to the east,
He went over the waves, (his) chariot ran after,
Then the warriors named the hero thusly.
Freyr is son of Njord and brother of Freyja. They originated in Vanaheim but now reside in Asgard after they traded themselves as spoils of the Aesir/Vanir war.
Freyr was gifted a ship called Skidbladnir by dwarves. This ship was magical as it could be folded small enough to fit in a pocket.
Along with agriculture in general he is known to specifically have associations with the wild boar, stag, horse, and cattle, or oxen.
Freyr was also given a boar by dwarves, named Gullinbursti, which was made from a pigskin in their hearth. It’s mane and bristles were made of gold:
To Freyr he gave the boar and said that it could run across sky and sea by night and day faster than any horse, and it never got so dark from night or in worlds of darkness that it was not bright enough wherever it went, there was so much light shed from its bristles.
It was common to sacrifice a boar at Yule for Freyr and many Heathens still do this at Yule.
There are many stories of Freyr, including his wooing of the giantess Gerd, wherein he trades his sword in order to marry her. Please check out the sources below!
A Practical Heathen’s Guide to Asatru by Patricia M. Lafayllve, Ch 12, Llewellyn, 2013
The Elder Troth by KveldúlfR Hagan Gundarsson, Lesson 5, The Troth, 1996
Gods and Myths of Northern Europe, H. R. Ellis Davidson, p 92-110, Penguin, 1990
Volundarkvida, Fafnismal and Skirnísmál in The Poetic Edda, translated by Lee M. Hollander, University of Texas Press, 2008
Snorri Sturluson: Edda, translated by Anthony Faulkes, Everyman, 1988
Teutonic Religion by Kveldulf Gundarsson, p 90-96, Llewellyn, 1993
Our Troth: History and Lore, Vol.1, Ch 14, The Troth, Booksurge, 2006