A major component of the Entschtanning season is the concept of bringing things into being, making things manifest, and the emergence of existence from ideas. This ties in with the idea that Entschtanning is the “baby bump” phase of the Lewesraad, and brings in the honoring of motherhood and feminine energies in the context of the goddess Freid.
Who is Freid?
Freid is known by several names within the Deitsch community. For example, Braucherei reports this time of year as being sacred to the Hearth Goddess (Haerdgeddin, Haerdgeddern, or Haerdziebin) or Hearth Lady (Haerdfraa). Some Hexerei practitioners report the names Frigg and Freid, the latter of which shares the same etymology as the Deitsch name for Friday, Freidaag. The name Frigg was originally more prevalent within Urglaawe until late in 2015, when more interviews reinforced the use of the name Freid. Additionally, the availability of Franz Xaver von Schönwerth’s Woud and Freid (The Turnip Princess, pp. 171-172. New York: Penguin Books, 2015) presented us with a story that is remarkably similar to the Norse story of Freya, Odur, and the tears of amber. In the case of Freid, though, the tears are of pearl, which, in turn, has a link in oral tradition to the Hearth Goddess.
Fertility and Motherhood
The choice of this time for the Freidsege observance stems from the fact that we are usually starting to see the first signs of the return of the fertility of the soil at this time of year, which ties into other components of the observance that will be discussed on later nights.
Freid is seen as a goddess who is particularly concerned with motherhood, the hearth, the home, and the garden. Over the years, many have noted that Freid and Her Norse cognate, Frigg, have developed an increasingly strong presence within the Heathn community. Anyone who relegates Freid to being at home washing dishes while Wudan or Odin is out changing the universe misses the true power of this benevolent goddess. The home is, perhaps, the most important aspect of one’s life. We may be successful in our work endeavors or in our hobbies, but if, at the end of the day, we do not have a safe and secure place to rest our heads, our lives are challenging, at best, and miserable and in jeopardy, at worst. Thus, one cannot underestimate the importance of Freid and Her concerns in our lives.
Family and Personal Effects
Freid Herself is viewed as the consort of the god Wudan, the mother of Balder, and the sister of the twin deities Volla and Voll. Oral reports on the lineage and the familial relationships are relatively scant and sometimes conflicting, so they are under continuing research.
Keys are seen in the lore of most Heathen groups as being a symbol of Freid. These keys represent not only the doors and locks to the home but also the keys to unlock portals to greater understanding of the functions of the universe.
The distaff is the tool of Freid, and spindles are used in Urglaawe rites to hallow the spaced in which a Freidsege would be held.
Some Deitsch historians, such as Dr. Edwin Miller Fogel (Beliefs and Superstitions of the Pennsylvania Germans. Millersville, PA: Center for Pennsylvania German Studies, 1995.) report on traits associated with Freid, but they are conflated with traits ascribed elsewhere to Holle and Frouwa. However, some of what he describes is supported by oral and practical tradition within the living Deitsch communities. For example, on page 17, Fogel describes a difference in the understanding of Friday. Heathen aspects that remain see Friday as a lucky day because of its association with Freid (Fogel uses the name Frigg). He cites it being a popular traditional wedding day due to that association. However, he notes that, when Christian perspectives dominate, Friday is seen as unlucky, presumably due to Good Friday.
The wedding day idea actually turns up quite a bit of lore in Deitsch culture because, until relatively recently, the three popular days for weddings were Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. The associations with Ziu, Dunner, and Freid play a role in these choices historically. Plain sectarian wedding days are still mostly commonly held on Tuesdays an Thursdays, though the origin of that practice is likely lost to those communities. Some Braucherei and Hexerei practitioners firmly state that blue as a wedding color, particularly on Friday, has its roots in the lore of Freid. Indeed, Amish wedding dresses even now are traditionally blue, and the groom often wears a blue bowtie on the wedding day.
Spinning and Wurt (Wyrd)
As is the case with much of Heathenry, several of the goddesses of Urglaawe are associated with spinning. This is spinning from the most mundane of functions to the most esoteric and cosmic senses.
Freid is seen as spinning the very material from which the Wurthexe (Norns) weave our Wurt. This to us places Freid so high in the Cosmic scheme that She is essentially a goddess beyond linear time, energy, and matter as well. Many believe that She may not be subject to Wurt Herself, though the matter is up for debate and research.
It is, though, widely believed that Freid’s placement in the cosmic scheme provides Her with clarity and understanding that exceeds that of many (yet, in our lore, not all) other deities. Some Heathens say that Frigg knows all but does not speak; Deitsch lore indicates that She will proactively guide those who follow Her and that She will provide clues regarding that which is to come.
Freid touches the whole of the Entschtanning season, so you will see references to Her role in subsequent posts about other components of the observance. This short write-up is far from being able to cover the complexity of his powerful, wondrous goddess.
All hail Freid, the Cosmic Seamstress, the Keeper of the Keys, and the Beloved Protectoress.