The goddess Freia is said by Hengist in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia regum Britanniae to be worshiped next after Wōden who is called “the goddess who is the most powerful of them all, Freia by name, to whom they dedicated sixth day, which after her we call Friday.”
In fact in Old English tradition, Friday was associated with the goddess Frīg, who was named Frigg in Old Norse texts. Frīg was one of the Planetary Gods. Another Norse goddess named Freyja here appears to be involved, who in the Norse texts is distinguished from Frigg but is very similar to her and arguably just as important.
Worship of FreyEdit
Frejya means simply ‘Lady’ and she has a brother named Freyr ‘Lord’ who is god of crops. Freyja’s husband is barely mentioned in extent texts, save that he was named Óðr and often left Freyja alone to go on long journeys. This husband appears similar to Óðinn in name and attributes. According to one of the Norse sagas, the Sörla þáttr, Freyja is Óðinn’s main concubine.
Freyja is also partnered with Óðinn in the afterlife. In the poem Grímnismál, Óðinn (disguised as Grímnir) tells the young Agnar that every day Freyja allots seats to half of those that are slain in her hall Fólkvangr, while Óðinn owns the other half. Freyja is several times indicated to be the owner of the necklace Brisingamen, a necklace mentioned in the Old English poem Beowulf.
Freyja appears to be unknown outside of Scandinavia, unlike Frigg, but Danish and Norwegian raiders settled in England and France in the 9th and 10th century which may have brought about worship of Freyja where they settled, possibly leading to confusion between Frīg and Freia, or even identity in some cases in Geoffrey, Wace, and Lawman.
Some Name VariationsEdit
LATIN: Freia; FRENCH: Frée; ENGLISH: Frea, Fræa, Freon; OLD NORSE: Freyja; WELSH: Frey.