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Monday, October 3, 2011

Book review - Freya, Lady, Vanadis

 For this Monday's book review I am going to look at the book Freya, Lady, Vanadis: an introduction to the goddess by Patricia Lafayllve.
  This book is an excellent resource for anyone wanting to learn more about the Goddess Freya. This is an indepth, academic look at her which goes beyond the surface examinations found elsewhere. Each chapter deals with different aspects of the mythology and how they shape our understanding of this goddess in relation to sex, love, war, death, magic, wealth, other gods and more. What I particularly liked was that the author uses a wide array of traditional material to look at who the Goddess was in antiquity but also brings that information forward in a useful, viable way and includes a modern look at Freya, resulting in an academically and spiritually sound understanding of this goddess.
   The text itself is fairly short, only 91 pages, but is well researched and documented, including end notes for each chapter, four appendices, and a bibliography. The first 7 chapters look at the historical attributes of Freya as we understand them from mythology and secondary sources, and the final 8th chapter looks at different personal gnosis that people have had relating to Freya in a modern context. The appendices discuss the sources in lore, modern practice, offer an example of a blot to Freya, and a selection of modern poetry to her.
   I especially liked the final chapter which looks at modern interactions with the goddess as interpreted through a selection of different peoples' personal gnosis, something that is often lacking in books that are this scholarly in tone. Overall, while short, the book is an excellent resource for learning about the goddess Freya and really does encompass what is known about her as well as giving a view into modern ideas about her. This would be a good book to have on hand whether a person is interested in worshipping this goddess specifically, or is just seeking to better understand the goddesses of the Northern pantheon.

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