The Twelve Handmaidens of Frigga

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By Grace Palmer

 

At her hall of Fensalir, Frigga, the Norse All-Mother, has twelve handmaidens or ladies-in-waiting to attend to Her. Not much is known about who these handmaidens were since the Lore is scanty about Goddesses in general. Much of what is known today is by Group Verified Gnosis. Diane Paxson and Raven Kaldera, both, have collected this information and written their views about the Twelve Goddesses.

The listing is as follows from Snorri in The Younger Edda.

Saga
At her hall, Sokkvabekk (Sunken Hall), Saga drinks with Odin, the All-Father. The two Gods spend their time trading stories. In common usage, “saga” means “a long tale.” Since She is the Patroness of Historians, Saga collects and passes on knowledge.

Eir
A master physician, Eir lives with Mengloth, the Jotun healer, at the Mountain of Healing, Lyfja. As the Healer of the Gods, Eir could be considered a shaper of fate. She is the Patroness of Doctors.

Gefjon
As an Ancestor of the Kings of Norway and Denmark, Gefjon plowed Zealand into existence. Since She holds power the land and sea, Gefjon is the Giver of Gifts. In addition, all unmarried women go to her hall when they die.

Fulla
Because She looks after Frigga’s shoes, Fulla can be considered the Goddess of Footwear. Her other duty is guarding Frigga’s treasures, which are kept in a casket. She is also a close confidant of the All-Mother. Paxson says that Fulla is the “Keeper of Women’s Mysteries.”

Sjofn
Snorri writes Sjofn “who is much inclined to direct people’s hearts to love.” Sjofn could be considered the Goddess of Love. Not simply erotic love, She oversees all kinds of love. One of her duties is to heal quarrels between families and communities.

Lofn
Snorri writes Lofn “who is so kind and good to pray to that She gets leave from the All-Father or Frigga for people’s union… even if before it was refused.” Lofn shows the way to love for those who cannot. She can be called on to bless unions not permitted by society.

Var
One of the first oaths in Norse marriages is to Var, who oversees contracts between people. Var punishes perjurers and oath breakers. She is the Witness to Spoken Promises.

Vor
Snorri writes that Vor is “wise and enquiring, so that nothing can be concealed from Her.” She know what is kept hidden and what should not be. Vor is the Goddess of Divination.

Syn
As the Gatekeeper, Syn guards Frigga’s Hall. She also is the Defender at trials against things She wants to refute. Syn can be considered a Goddess of Boundaries and Justice.

Hlin
Frigga asks Hlin to protect those who She wishes to save. Hlin gives refuge to the fugitive since She could not save Baldur, Frigga’s son. For that reason, She also comforts those who mourn.

Snotra
Wise and prudent, Snotra encourages basic civility and courtesy towards others. She understands why there exists rules of conduct. Snotra can be regarded as the Goddess of Diplomats.

Gna
Riding Hofvarpnir (Hoof-tosser), Gna carries Frigga’s messages through the Worlds. Since She travels between the worlds, Gna can be relied on to carry prayers to Frigga.


Prayer cards for Frigga and Her Handmaidens can be bought at Frigga and Her Retinue

Diana Paxon’s writings can be found here at Her website.

Raven Kaldera’s writings can be found here at Northern Tradition Paganism

Virtual Shrine to These Goddesses: Shrine by Northern Tradition Paganism

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One thought on “The Twelve Handmaidens of Frigga

  1. Pingback: Gods of the Month: December | Neptune's Dolphins

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