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Former featured article candidate Freyja is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
August 3, 2004 Featured article candidate Not promoted


Feb 2008: this article is viewed 26430 times (Freya 8001 times, Freyja 18438 times). Overprotective Anonymous IP Guardian 08:59, 19 March 2008 (UTC)


Shouldn't the article mention somewhere that "Friday" in the English language is named after Freja? (Based on the old Greek planet/god/day of week Venus, the Goddess of Love was equated with Freja and thus in Germanic ares Friday is the sixth day of the week. In countries that have Latin derived languages the connection to Venus is intact. Italian: venerdì. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:18, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

This also grabbed my attention, for Edith Hamilton asserts the same in her Mythology. However, the articles on Frigg and Friday state that Friday is named after her. It seems to me that all three articles, Freyja, Frigg, and Friday, should mention the possibility. Helixer (talk) 03:06, 12 May 2010 (UTC)


Freja is the real name of the godess i Norse Mythlogy. Not Freyja or Freya, both of the names are anglicized.

Here is the Swedish article on Freja;

Here is the Danish article on Freja;

Here is the Finish article on Freja; —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:24, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

The normalized Old Norse spelling is Freyja. Old Norse manuscripts spell it as Freyia or Freyja (there was no distinction between 'j' and 'i' back then). The form Freja is a modern mainland Scandinavian form, not an Anglicization. Check page 9 verso of the Codex Regius of the Poetic Edda - look at the fourth word in line 18 - it is FREYIA, clear as day.[1] Haukur (talk) 16:51, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Since this is the English version of Wikipedia, shouldn't we be using the (popular) Anglicized version of her name, Freya? The many foreign variants are just confusing and seem to try to render invalid any links to Germanic heritage (ie. Beowulf)-- (talk) 04:06, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
No. The only correct form in English is the normalized Old Norse spelling, Freyja, as given above by Haukur. It's bad enough that only the English pronunciation is given. My understanding is that the Old Norse pronunciation was more like [ˈfrœʏ jɑ]. (talk) 23:53, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Rewrite launched[edit]

I have launched my rewrite of this article.

The old version was in outright mess. Problems were numerous, ranging from some sections without references to original research, theories presented as fact, numerous unattributed translation quotes, blatant agenda pushing, poor references, and incidents of confused, simply incorrect information (for example, stanzas from a 19th century poem attributed to an Old Norse text...).

The rewrite is incomplete and it probably needs copyediting (help?). There is much to be done here yet. Here's a quick to-do list:

  1. There are more attestations that need to be added to the "Other" section
  2. I'd like to go into a lot more detail about eponyms
  3. We need to bring in folklore information from Scandinavian sources outside of Sweden
  4. Freyja's names need attention. Perhaps a sub-article called Names of Freyja?  Done

In time... :bloodofox: (talk) 08:29, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Etymology section[edit]

Please "rewrite" articles on topics you understand. Etymology is clearly not among these. I am sure your Grundy reference is fine, but you keep misrepresenting it, I am with no sinister intention, but Hanlon says the effect is the same.

Haukur, perhaps you can address the etymology and Frigg-Freyja question? Bloodofox goes into a berserkergang of irrational antagonism every time he sees my name on his watchlist, so perhaps you can fix this with less noise and friction. --dab (𒁳) 10:48, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

This is comedy. So now you've actually looked at the Grundy reference, instead of blindly reverting to your old version ([2], containing a whopping one reference—to Grimm) and claiming that the section has "deteriorated"? What you need to do is sit down, take your foot out of your mouth, and actually read the reference. After that, do tell me what I'm "misrepesenting"! :bloodofox: (talk) 13:40, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, I think "Freyja is not a personal name but a title" would perhaps be better put as "Freyja is originally not a personal name but a title". In the Norse sources we do have, Freyja only ever refers to the goddess and is never used as a title for any other being. So, perhaps it was a title in Proto-Norse but I don't think you could call it a title when Snorri was writing and I doubt it was a title in the 10th century either.
I know you guys don't get along and prefer different styles of referencing and so on but there doesn't seem to be any very substantial disagreement over facts here. Or am I missing something? Haukur (talk) 14:52, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Lead Image Dispute[edit]

Freja by John Bauer (1882-1918)

A dispute has appeared between the image that should be in the introduction to this article, as is evident on the article history page. Rather than continuing to revert, let's discuss why the debated images or more or less appropriate for the lead section of this article.

My choice is the Bauer image (to the right of this text). My argument is that it better represents Freyja, and is thus more appropriate for the lead image, as the lead is a summary of the article contents. Here is my reasoning:

  1. Freyja is in an upright, assertive position, as the important and powerful deity she is attested as
  2. Freyja is depicted with gold hair, reflecting her connection to crop fertility (for example the name Hörn)
  3. Freyja is depicted in front of water; Freyja has major aquatic associations (for example the nameMardöll)

With those reasons supplied, I note also that the scan that we have of Bauer's painting is high resolution, whereas the Zorn image is not. But more importantly, the Zorn image depicts Freyja very differently than the lore we have about her does—in a perhaps defeated, perhaps drunk, reclined position and lacking all of the qualities she is attested as having—and while I do not necessarily have a problem with the painting, I do not think it is representative of Freyja nor an article about her. I vote that it be relegated to an appropriate subsection of the article.

Please provide your reasoning for your preference for the Zorn painting. :bloodofox: (talk) 20:40, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Anders Zorn "Freja" 1901[edit]

Freya, "Freja" [alt.] (1901) by Anders Zorn

The user's bias against Zorn's depiction is evident in his less than subjective interpretations. The fact that the user feels justified in disregarding a reputed artist's portrayal by ascribing derogatory terms such as "drunk", "defeated", speaks to motivations outside of what Wikipedia is touted to represent. While it is noble to interpret a work and to arrive at judgments in the forum of scholarly debate, it is quite a different matter to hurl prejudiced opinion without the slightest semblance of careful forethought. It seems that the user has conscripted misogynist insecurities upon a painting while attempting to mask those reservations in legitimate intellectual discourse. The assertion that the favored image by Bauer, "better represents Freyja" is dubious - revealing an irrational visceral attachment in preference to one painting over the other without logical reason. The user's dismissiveness suggests a lack of competency in understanding the subject which betrays a professed knowledge that the user would claim to represent. Simultaneously, the user lauds baseless criticisms that change according to whichever argument seems most convenient. The user appears unqualified in the capacity he would choose to elect for himself as an authoritative art critic, editor, or historian of Norse mythology.

In reconfiguring the article with Zorn's painting as lead image, no attempt was made for controversy or conflict, as the Bauer painting was repositioned and included as the very next image in the article. However, the user made no attempt, in subsequent edits, to even contemplate diplomacy by incorporating Zorn's painting anywhere in the body of the text. The gesture would have been appreciated by any user who wishes to cooperate collaboratively…. it is unfortunate that the user instead claimed ownership of the entire article - of the subject..

His criticism for the exclusion of the image in question is noncommittal, and deviates wildly from point to point: firstly, the claim was an objection to negative impacts on "formatting" - which, as any honest editor comparing both versions can see, is again, baseless. Secondly, the user expounds his claim that the image is of "low resolution", another erroneous argument made despite the fact that a higher resolution image had indeed been uploaded. The Zorn painting "Freja" is SUITABLE TO REPRESENT THE SUBJECT OF THE ARTICLE AS THE SUBJECT OF THE WRITTEN TEXT AND THE SUBJECT OF THE VISUAL DEPICTION ARE *BOTH* INTERPRATATIONAL BY THEIR VERY NATURE - AND CORRESPOND TO THE SUBJECT, WHICH IS ONE IN THE SAME. By this criteria, the Bauer painting is also suitable, nevertheless, the issue has now been posited as to which painting is more suitably "descript". Nowhere in Wikipedia does it state that resolution of an image is grounds, in and of itself, for removal from an article. In fact, Wikepedia suggests that an image that is too high in resolution may infringe on copyright - as it is therefore potentially usable beyond mere visual representation as an article of encyclopedic variety.

It is instructive to compare the two paintings at issue on their surface in addition to within the context of the electronic methods and means of the "scan". The Bauer image in question is fair and appears in faded pastel coloration; however, there is much variation between sources as to the appearance of the original piece. Furthermore, the stylistic approach present in Bauer's Freja appears dissimilar to some of his more refined works - leading to questions of viability of the work vs. damage to the original source vs. integrity of the file. Objectively, as a lead header image, the Bauer painting appears overly washed out, comparatively, to some of his more realized works, and therefore it is felt that the painting's impact is compromised in this venue to work effectively. Bauer's work being overly difficult to discern was the assertion which lead to the conflict at hand. Exactly what the image "is" must necessitate viewing at fuller resolution, which distracts away from the article itself.

Conversely, Zorn paints Freja boldly - the full bountifulness of her divine womanhood suggests, as it should, bounty as in fertility, as is appropriate for her associative role of the Fertility Goddess she at least partly represents. The boldness of her depiction is appropriate in that it echoes frequent descriptions of her character as wildly assertive and free in her untamed feminine sexuality. The Bauer image, other than the name of the painting, incorporates little in terms of recognizable iconography representative of what embodies "Freja". Besides the aforementioned color of her hair, there is very little to illustrate even a basic representation of Freja, as she is "traditionally" depicted. The association of the sea to Freja is far removed, at best, from the core of her mythology. In her role as presiding over the elements, she is aligned with the element of fire more closely than to water.

When discussing Freja as the Goddess who presides over love, she is related to "flames of desire" in terms of "the burning lust of passion and the warmth of love". In Zorn's painting, the palette is therefore suitably "warm". The primordial fires of creation, as described by the rune Feoh, are the same golden flames represented by Freja as a fertility goddess. According to record, the golden fires are said to spurn on Creation as well as the creative [artistic] spirit, which is intrinsically tied to her role as Goddess. The flames of fertility, and thusly, of creativity, can transform into energies of destruction if obstructed, which further relates to Freja's role as a Goddess of War. She is again allied more closely with fire, not water, when the light of her beauty is said to illuminate the underworld. In visual depictions of the rune Feoh, Freja's tears are the gold and amber showers of fire, not rain, which descend through the cosmos, forging worlds, and nourishing the earth. The significance of her tears factors heavily into her role as fertility goddess, testifying to her central role as a nurturing and creative force synonymous with the flames of creation in bringing about new beginnings and in providing for an abundance of wealth (which is tied to the original meaning as related to cattle as described by the runic alphabet ). Another of her alt. name is Sýr, or sow, more an association with cattle and livestock, and thusly Feoh, than anything else... It could be said that the embodiment of Freja herself is representative of the fires of creation. Fire is also manifest in her role as mistress of the inner seith-fire, or innate magical and spiritual ability. Freja, thereby, reaches into popular consciousness in the modern day with those who see her as having associations with old world Witchcraft. In any case, the grounds could be argued that she is more closely aligned with fire than water. The ne'er oft used name "Mardöll", as cited by the user, seems most pertinent in relation to her capacity as a fertility goddess, as her golden tears fall like rain. However, that an alternate name, Mardöll, connotes a link with the sea and that her father, Njörd, was the God of the sea, speaks little to her own legend overall. In a concession of goodwill, exclude either of the elements of fire or water, as they may or may not pertain to Freja - for the discussion of such details is highly interpretational depending upon translation and sources. The inclusion of fire as it relates to the topic, as it pertains to this dispute, was an attempt to illustrate a point…

As for the Zorn painting, to speak of the portrayal in terms of particularities towards her identifying characteristics: her "reclining" on what could be understood a "throne" is a narrative on her relaxed contentment in her sphere of being: as she has been widely described as absolute in her authoritative domain - from such divergent realms ranging from Goddess of Sexuality to her capacity as a Goddess of War. Here, she is depicted, in her grand hall, presiding over the field Fólkvangar in Asgard (Goddess of Death). This is integral to her role as Supreme Goddess over valkyries - in choosing half of the heroic slain from the fallen on the battlefield. Her disrobed state could be confused, as is often the case with Freja, with misinformed assertions of her tendencies towards lustful promiscuity. Rather, her relaxed nature has a dual context - the subtext of one is just as viable as the other.

One interpretation maintains that her depiction as a female nude has the inverse effect dispelling typical notions of a blushing demure femininity commonly signifying vulnerability, overt sexuality and/or denoting sin. Instead, she is displayed as goddess of both strength and sensuality, as is befitting, in her palace "Sessrumnir". It is an error to view Zorn's painting through a narrow guise - ascribing vulgar vices of human mortality... earthly concepts of drunkenness or slovenliness ... as others have inferred.

Another interpretation is that her stance is in recognition to her personal character, introspectively speaking, beyond outward appearances or to the titles of her mythology itself. She is "humanized" here, and perhaps this is what the user is objecting to. Morose, bordering on melancholy, deep colors of burnt umber, browns and blacks, recesses in darkness usher forth her white body in a glorious exposition, with a fittingly somber tone. After all, she was said to weep tears of gold and amber. A saddened state, it could be argued, was correct by Zorn's brush, as she forever wandered the earth in searching for her lost husband. Her lustrously golden hair, therefore, could be rightly interpreted as properly displayed in a darker hue, in shadow, closer to her true emotional nature. An attempt, it could be argued, was made to define Freja outside of her more primary "roles" of Goddess of war, death, beauty, sex, love, fertility... The chalice she nonchalantly holds has several connotations, as in partaking in pleasure, while more aptly suggesting another dimension to her status as deity: of her use of "seidhr" - loosely translated "chaos magic". The inclusion of the black cat at her feet is representative of the two felines which pull her chariot. Furthermore, on each of the arms of her "throne" are carvings representing a hawk, and on the other, a boar. Finally, while admittedly difficult to discern in this scale, passing reference is made to her feathered cloak, which is draped loosely by her side.

In it's totality, the Zorn painting presents an unabashed view of femininity, beauty, and sexuality, which is fundamental to defining Freja while rooting her identity in the substance of her mythology. The painting is atypical, in that it probes further into her psyche on a more humanistic level, presenting a goddess who is preoccupied with love and loss, romantically speaking, by which her sadness is central to her story. The emotional dimension of her story, however, is given more emphasis and is configured hierarchically, usurping even the multifaceted role of Freja as GODDESS. It is arguable, therefore, whether or not Zorn's decision to frame the subject in this manner results in a painting that diverges from presenting her recognizably -- or, as is the position taken here, it is precisely his treatment of the subject that results in a portrayal uniquely credible in describing Freja beyond conventionality. This may very well be an atypical portrayal of a deity who is commonly thought of in broad banners of one word concepts ie. "LOVE/WAR". Here, in Zorn's portrayal, she is a generously realized suitable to her mythology as the most divinely beautiful amongst all goddesses, while her character was treated with sensitivity. It is a more thorough portrayal, therefore, both in terms of the symbolism of her lore and accuracy in the substance of uncharacteristically complex and important descriptive traits - psychological, emotional, and practical..

As a lead image, the assertion remains that the Zorn painting is certainly more readily accessible as a picture in thumbnail form - functioning "provocatively", as Freja herself should. In terms of functionality, therefore, Zorn's portrayal is better suited to garner attention towards this article, and thereby, exposes knowledge of Freja - deservedly - to inquisitive and curious minds who might not otherwise inadvertently stumble upon her.........

:Häxa-gudinna: April 22, 20011 —Preceding undated comment added 06:30, 22 April 2011 (UTC).

While I'm going to sidestep your personal attacks and assumptions as you are a new user (but do see Wikipedia:Civility and Wikipedia:No personal attacks), I do need to correct you on a few points:
  1. Freyja is not attested as weeping amber, but rather "red gold" (ctrl + f on the article). Whether or not amber was in fact meant by this would require further evidence, which is not impossible. However, were such a case made, it would only strengthen the aquatic associations of the goddess (amber was collected after it washed up on shores). In connection, see my next point.
  2. Freyja is not attested as having any particularly strong association with fire. With water, however, she and her family line have strong connections: not only does Freyja bear the aforementioned name Mardöll but also Gefn—which points to various other sea associations—and, further, she also possesses the Brísingamen, which was most likely a sort of drift seed amulet (there's a bit about this towards the end of the Singasteinn article—I highly recommend tracking down Meaney's "Drift Seeds and the Brísingamen"). On top of this, her father is, yes, Njörðr who is highly associated with all things water, and her brother owns "the best of ships" Skíðblaðnir. All are very strongly connected to prosperity/fertility. Her unnamed mother/aunt is more mysterious, and I'll refrain from commenting on her here.
Anyway, while I disagree with the majority of your assessments above, I do think that the painting should be used, but not in the lead. Formatting remains an issue; too many images means that mobile devices and some other displays will have issues and so we've kept a little space. The image is also still an unfortunately low resolution, even if we have a larger version of it. If it's public domain, copyright is not an issue.
With all of this in mind, I've replaced an ho-hum image that was on the article with the Zorn image, which I think makes a nice contrast to the courtly image above it. Hopefully this will solve the issue. :bloodofox: (talk) 18:55, 22 April 2011 (UTC)


cats are unnamed. what are the names of the cats? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:16, 18 August 2012 (UTC)

The primary sources do not offer names for the cats, unfortunately. :bloodofox: (talk) 16:13, 1 September 2012 (UTC)
Bygul and Trjegul are the names of the cats, according to what sources I could find. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:33, 8 September 2015 (UTC)
Whatever the source for the two names you list, these names are not found in the Old Norse corpus. They are modern inventions. :bloodofox: (talk) 14:57, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

goddess of love/war & fertility/death?[edit]

There reads: goddess associated with love, sexuality, beauty, fertility, gold, seiðr, war, and death
Of those; love, sexuality, beauty and fertility are the usual ones. Every wikipedia I can understand has only those, so did the "regular" encyclopedia which I checked. And it seems odd that such opposite values are linked to same goddess. (talk) 01:26, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

None of these associations are particularly opposite; see, for example, the Thesmophoria. Death and fertility go hand in hand. While not complete, this is easily the most comprehensive encyclopedia entry on the goddess anywhere and you can find examples of all of these associations throughout this article. :bloodofox: (talk) 21:46, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
I agree. Freya is associate with beauty, love, sex, and fertility. (talk) 18:13, 30 December 2015 (UTC)


I have noticed there have been a number of repeated attempts to add Frejya as an alternate spelling of the name, as well as a number of other supposed "alternative spellings." While these alternatives may be personal names derived from the name of the goddess, as far as I am aware, none of these alternative forms are commonly used in application to the goddess herself. The most common English versions of the name are Freyja and Freya. Freja and Freyia are rarer, but still not unheard of, English transliterations. The new additions, by contrast, are not commonly used to refer to the goddess. I am, for instance, aware of people with the given name Froya, but I have never once heard anyone call Freyja "Froya." Unless someone can prove that these alternative names are commonly used in reference to the goddess herself, I think we can safely omit them. --Katolophyromai (talk) 04:52, 26 June 2017 (UTC)


I have reverted Dragovit's addition of an infobox. These are misleading—they imply equivalencies that are not necessarily so—and reductive—they impose a saint-like set of functions on deities who were not necessarily thought of that way (and may well have changed in function over time). It's not an improvement, and ArbCom has rejected the argument that there is some benefit to them for consistency's sake. Yngvadottir (talk) 01:05, 16 September 2017 (UTC)