The idea of Mother Earth and Father Sky is without beginning, and will no doubt be without end. The Old Ways, the Forn Siðr, the Knowing / Cunning Ways, have all preserved the folk memory of our most primal Lord and Lady.
What many in Asatru and Heathenry today choose to ignore is that Frey and Freyja, divine twins, and siblings, are that Lord and Lady.
Let us look at this closer.
-Lord, is Old English hlāfweard and means “loaf-ward”; and
-Lady, also Old English, is hlāfdīge and means “loaf-kneader”.
The names Frey and Freyja are the oldest known names for the Lord and Lady, the roots of which are found deeply threaded to the Old Ways – the pre-Christion, pre-Conversion Ways. For example, the names Frey and Freyja are found in both Old Norse fyøsa and Old High German hefe, words commonly translated as foam, froth, and yeast. Equally as they are ingredients and results of fermentation, especially in loaf / bread making. Today, we don’t easily equivocate the Lord and Lady to fermentation yet Pagan practices always include “cakes and ale” or food and drink. Other examples of fermented foods include bread and cheese, wine and beer, mead and cider, coffee and tea, pickles and sauerkraut, miso, kimchi and kombucha, soy and tempeh, yogurt and kefir. What makes each of these foods remarkable is that – aside from being kitchen staples – our ancestors discovered the ability to transform food through fermentation and so extend its usefulness. They also noticed how fermentation was related to healing; as such, Frey and Freyja are both the primal law of Frothing Life – of a cauldron brimming over – and the assurance of individual health.
Frey and Freyja are twins, birthed by parents who are also twins, emphasizing, their divine nature and connection back to the beginning of all life. They are associated with horses and the sea, have an astral or star nature, are healers, bringers of fertility, warriors and providers of aid in battle, associated with birds and sacred dance, love humans as their children, assist in childbirth, and are the founders of cities and societies. They are All that Compasses human life; they alone reside over All Worlds. Frey and Freyja are the Scandinavian names of the original God and Goddess of those who follow the Old Ways. As twins, lovers, siblings, spouses, their conjoining manifests in the world around us as increased vitality and abundance. The two threads of their primal nature intertwine and support each other while maintaining a separate and independent existence in all the worlds. Their divine pairing is a cosmic dance of Above and Below, Sea and Land, Dawn and Dusk.
So how did the Wiccefolk – from Old English wicca and wicce, “sorcerer / sorceress” (male and female, respectively; and a demarcated from the 1960s influence of Gardner) – preserve the Old Ways? How did they bend and shape the energetic threads of the world around them to conform to their will? According to the Anglo-Saxon Law Code, a Wicce was someone who:
-Sang magical songs (galdr),
-Spoke with unseen beings (spá / spæ),
-Were skilled in herbs and healing (læknis þreifa, “touch healer”),
-Functioned as both midwife and veterinary (midwife and beifrau),
-Able to write and read ancient texts (sometimes in older / foreign languages),
-Were hālig (Old English) meaning “holy, whole”; and
-Were called upon to recite the Ancient Laws, to perform the Ancient Rites, and maintain the Old Ways (lagsaga / lögsögu / fornsaga).
But how was this done? How did the Wiccefolk preserve the Old Ways so that future generations could remember and return to the beloved Lord and Lady of All Creation? Through what clever art and craft did they leave us the knowledge and tools to re-remember the Old Ways? The ancient Pagans knew these tools as the six Fehus:
Flag, Folk and Family,
Flax, Fodder and Frith.
Frey and Freyja: Old Europe’s Lord and Lady –
Heathenry’s Flag, Folk and Family, Flax, Fodder and Frith
written 2007, revised 2009.