Happily Heathen: The Aftereffects of Meeting a Goddess

Freya, pictured as a red-headed woman in a flowing white robe, standing before a pond and flowers
Freyja and the Necklace / James Doyle Penrose / Wikimedia Commons

(Disclaimer: Freya has many facets; She is not only a love goddess. In this article, however, I focus on her Love and Beauty aspect. Also, my guess is that other goddesses with a Love and Beauty aspect have a similar effect.)

A good friend who belongs to the Morrígan and I had a conversation a few years ago, back when we were first sharing about our experiences with our deities. As one who is a daughter of the Morrígan the way that I am the daughter of Freya, she shared with me a lot about how the Morrígan works in the lives of those She chooses. The bulk of our conversation that day centered around how scary it could be to work for the Morrígan and some of the intense work that She puts many of her people through. I stated that my Goddess can be just as scary. Battle crow that she was, she was skeptical, so I explained.

People who don’t love themselves, or feel they aren’t worthy of love, are pretty unprepared for a meeting with Freya. If given half a chance, She will let them see themselves the way that She sees them. She makes them realize that they are beautiful and loved. This challenges some of the most deeply-held beliefs that people have about themselves: That they are not beautiful, and never will be. That no one loves them and never will. That love is conditional and only perfect people get it. That, for whatever reason, they are just not worthy of being loved.
Surprisingly enough, being shown that they are beautiful and loved often shatters people’s self-image in a pretty major way. In my opinion, it is one of the scariest things that She does.

the silhouette of a person making their fingers construct the shape of a heart against the setting sun
marcisim / pixabay.com

Even before I officially became one of Her priestesses, I sometimes had the ability to channel the pure love and acceptance that She gives. I usually shared this love on a one-to-one basis, either in divination or trance, and the result was often the same each time: man or woman, young or old, close friend or stranger, they cried–sometimes surreptitiously , sometimes blatantly bawling their hearts out. It worried me at first, but now I’ve come to accept that this is just a normal reaction to a meeting with Her.

Now, when I am trancing Her (or even just channeling some of Her energy), I pretty much except that I’ll be dealing with tears from at least one person there at some point. It’s just part and parcel of what Freya priestesses do. If people allow themselves to feel Her energy and are open to what She has to convey, they cry. (Hel, I cry too, sometimes—but usually only when She leaves.)

If you’ve never experienced a meeting with a Freya (or any other Love goddess, probably), let me explain.

Imagine, if you can, that you are standing in a room with the most beautiful entity you’ve ever met. She is powerful, charismatic, and magnetic. She brims over with a lust for life and all of the pleasures to be found in it. She notices you. Every ounce of Her considerable beauty, charm, and attention gets focused on you, and She has decided that you are the most beautiful, valuable person to ever walk the face of this earth. You have not done anything to earn this adoration; it just is. She does not just tell you any of this; you feel this to be true. It hits your soul and you can’t deny it. If you are at all open to the experience, you cannot escape this intense, visceral, unequivocal understanding. It bypasses your rational mind and goes directly to your gut.

a naked woman, Venus, with her back facing the view, gazes into a mirror displaying her face held by a cherub
Venus at her Mirror / Diego Velázquez / Wikimedia Commons

That’s the crux of it, really. Freya doesn’t bother with explanations. She doesn’t to try to convince you on some kind of an intellectual level that this is true. She doesn’t gather proof and present a budget-line analysis of your gifts and your flaws. She bypasses that justification crap and goes straight to the heart of the matter: You exist, you are beautiful, and you are loved. (Not “worthy of love”; actually loved.)

Many people do fight it, in my experience. It’s can be too overwhelming. Experiencing that level of emotion and cognitive dissonance can be a challenge for many people in even the best of circumstances. But if even a smidgen of that understanding seeps in, people can’t help but to be affected by it. Then the priest/esses, to the extent that we can, help people pick up the pieces of their personal walls and make sure they are ready to go back into the real world–protected, again, but having experienced that they are beautiful and loved.

In some ways, it’s a blessing that I get to be one of the people who help facilitate this experience. It’s a high to be ridden by Freya and experience the bubble of love and deep intimacy that She creates. I’ve also been on the receiving end and had some of the same soul-shattering experiences as those I help. However, the side effects of the experience can be hard for me, too. I often come down from that session crying my eyes out. Whatever level of this Love that the others feel through me, having Her inside me and feeling that love saturate me–quite literally–has to be ten times stronger. And when it goes away, it can be like being transported to a desolate Arctic outpost in winter. It’s the downside of this work. It’s useful work and I like to do it, but not unlike when Wolverine draws his claws, each time I do it, it hurts me as well.

I can sympathize with the people she talks to. Yes, She makes us cry. But sometimes that’s exactly what we needed to do.

a blond women her arms raised to the rising sun in a robe showing one breast
Brünnhilde wakes up and greets the day and Siegfried / Arthur Rackham / Wikimedia Commons

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