(1/?) BUCKLE UP, FRIEND, BECAUSE DO I HAVE A TON OF BAGGAGE TO UNPACK AND RANT ABOUT AND I NEED YOUR OPINION. Okay, so, I have been part of this particular religion (we'll call it XYZ) for a while, and at first, I was really digging it, but then once I fully joined the community, I realized What The Fuck I Got Myself Into™, and I'm not happy about it at all. First things first, I found out that a lot of the members are terfs and radfems (and I do not agree with it AT ALL), and apparently the —
CONT’D: majority of NORMAL members don’t feel like it’s a big deal and won’t rebuke the terf crazies. Some of them try to make trans members feel welcome, but they’re very few, and a lot of them feel the need to explain why trans people exist or why they’re acting against the will of the deity. (I’m not trans, I’m a cis lady, but two of my good friends are trans and that shit gets me HEATED. ANYWAY.) SECOND, I feel like this religion is super contradictory? Like, it’s matriarchal, but at the same time, the women are supposed to be meek and quiet and veiled and childlike and you aren’t supposed to swear and you have to be modest, like wtf? I mean, I tried it for a little while because I thought, hey, I’ll try working on my inner peace and zen and try to be kind to everyone no matter how much I don’t like them. BUT THEN, I started talking to a few of the members about being troubled and conflicted because my abuser is trying to get me to let him back in my life and I’m just NOT FEELING IT. This person is a flippin white nationalist, racist, narcissistic, manipulative, mentally and verbally abusive, gaslighting piece of monkey dung that used to beat the shit out of me and I still have scars from it. The members of my church told me to forgive him, mend fences, pray for him, let him back into my life, and play nice. I was hoping that these people would support and empower me when I needed it because I was feeling scared and conflicted, AND THEY WERE ALL FOR LETTING MY ABUSER BACK IN, EVEN KNOWING THAT HE WOULD LIKELY TRY TO MESS ME UP AGAIN. I want to cry, but I’m honestly so fed up and angry. I’m done with it. Done with being quiet and meek and absolutely DONE BEING A DAMN DOORMAT. Seriously FUCK that. Now, here’s where this becomes relevant to you: I used to read a lot of Norse mythology. I remembered reading about Freyja, and she’s a total badass on the battlefield, she’s a STRONG AF independent woman who takes no shit, she’s gorgeous, she’s full of love, she is totally free and powerful and confident in her sexuality, and she is just all around what I need in my life. I’m very interested in worshipping her, like I’m legit so pumped and burning right now because of her that I’m inspired to go to the gym tomorrow and work out and make myself into a badass like her. I have a small problem though – the Norse pantheon is very rough and tumble and war is a big thing, right? WELL, I was in the military for a short while, got my back fucked up in a training exercise, and they ended up medically discharging me for depression and damage to my spine. I feel like a big loser because of it, and very guilty, and I’m nervous that the Norse gods won’t accept me because I feel like I failed in my duty as a servicemember. Will they refuse me…? Like I said, I want to worship them, Freyja in particular, but she’s also the goddess of war and I’m not sure if she would want me. Thoughts? Also, I have NO FLIPPING CLUE where to even start with worship, both in general and specifically of Freyja. So where would I even start with that? OKAY, DONE, I’M SORRY FOR DUMPING MY LIFE STORY ON YOU, BUT HEY, I AM/WAS HAVING AN EPIPHANY/CRISIS AT 1:54 A.M., AND I APPRECIATE YOUR TIME.
I am buckled and ready, let’s do this!
So to begin with, (I hope you don’t mind me including my emotional response first, and that you feel some solidarity from it ‘cause that’s my intention), just going from what you’ve described; fuck all those people! Fuck them all the way to Helheim, Muspelheim, and then back to Helheim again – major ugh..! That piece of shit doesn’t need “playing nice”, he needs a boot to the gods’-damned skull – abusers deserve nothing from the survivors of their abuse except for retribution (if the survivor wants to have it) >:/ grrr..! I am sympathetically livid to hear about all of that, that’s just straight up bullshit! I am so sorry that you not only had to survive his abuse but have now had all these fuckwits accost you with their dipshittery, please don’t listen to their ignorant fuckery; you are 100% correct and valid in not feeling it and you absolutely deserve the safety, security, and happiness of his complete and utter absence from your life. You are admirably strong for being able to get away from that situation in the first place <3
Also your description of the contradictory nature of the practice strikes me as almost a perfect analogy for TERFs, themselves, interestingly enough… by Freyja, I fucking despise them…
(I mean, inner peace and outer kindness are wonderful, don’t get me wrong, but the way they’re putting those ideals into practice is absolutely fucked up!)
Okay, emotional response more or less done haha
That anger that you’re feeling is good! In my experience with Freyja, she deals heavily with openly feeling your emotions, revelling in them, harnessing them, making them your strength, and using them to progress. I swear I can almost picture her grinning in encouragement of how you’re feeling, wanting to seek the empowerment of your own strength.
Everything that you’ve listed recalling about her is right by my account, and I relate very much with that feeling of pumped-ness and burning; She’s been extremely inspiring/strengthening for me recently, as I’ve been getting back into a regular exercise routine.
Now about the war stuff… this is interesting for me to answer as, being an anarchist, I’m opposed to pretty much all national militaries, and wars waged by states…
I think it’s incredibly important to recognise the context in which the gods have been associated with war. Just as is the case today, there has always been a certain level of propaganda used to convince people to go to war, whether it’s dressed up as a preemptive strike, an effort of liberation, or to win the gods’ favour. The truth is that it’s not the soldier who benefits from war, but the king. And I believe it is kings who influenced these associations to better convince their people to fight and die in their name. This is not to say that I don’t think Freyja is associated with war – she is definitely associated with war – but rather that the perception of that association has been twisted by the influence of the ruling class throughout history to better serve their own interests.
The wars that our governments wage are not wars that I believe the gods support; because while the individual soldier’s intention may be just and honourable – exactly like mine was when I dropped out of school to join the army (though I didn’t end up doing it) – the intent of the orchestrators is nothing but callous greed.
But there are other wars.
There is the constant daily battle of being a social minority, such as a woman existing against the patriarchy. There is the war between rich and poor, the worker and the owner, the state and the people. There is the war against fascism which encompasses all of that. There are wars fought by people against their rulers and oppressors, and the systems set up to exploit and dehumanise them. The constant war of progress and evolution against regression and conservatism. Real wars of freedom. There are the individual battles that we face in daily experiences throughout our lives; To have been in an abusive relationship is to have fought on the frontlines and you are a veteran for it. That trauma is profound.
Freyja is with us in every moment that we need strength and fierceness to oppose that which seeks to destroy us and she puts the fire in our blood, the thorns on our skin, and the fury in our souls to fuck. it. up!
You are no loser.
You are a gods-damn warrior!
A survivor, and a battler. Strong, wilful, hearty, and persevering.
From what you’ve said I can think of no reason that The Lady would feel anything but pride and love for you, and the same goes for the rest of the gods as well. I feel that they all would be very happy to accept you 🙂
Okay. Now as for beginning to worship, here are some links:
- My general advice for worshipping any god
- Some advice for starting out (1)
- Some advice for starting out (2)
- Some recommended reading lists
- A basic walkthrough for offerings
- A list of some suggested material offerings for Freyja
- A list of some suggested offering acts for Freyja
- My Freyja tag for pieces I’ve written for/including Freyja
- My FAQ and Info page
I also wrote this protection piece for survivors of abuse
Also please know that requests are always open, and welcomed 🙂
And even apart from the gods’ feelings, I would be proud to share a common faith with you,