III The Empress

Freya, the golden-haired, blue-eyed goddess of beauty, lave and lovers. The wife of Odin, she was the twin sister of Frey and the daughter of Niord and Nerthus.

Besides being the goddess of beauty. Freya was also the leader of the Valkyrs, the choosers of the slain. Together they transported half of the dead heroes to her hall. This was Sessrymnir (the many seated), in the realms of Folksvang. Here the dead would be served by faithful wives and the women who had died before marriage.

She had many followers amongst women. Some were known to go with their husbands into battle, being killed as their men were killed, or to have thrown themselves upon their husbands funeral pyres. They believed that if they died together, they would go side-by-side into Freya's joyful hall and be together forever.

Freya is the personification of the earth. She can both give and take away. She is fruitfulness and receptiveness. She could, when she so wished, take the shape of a bird. At other times she traveled in a chariot drawn by two cats. The cat and the swallow were two of the animals sacred to her. She is pictured in the card wearing the gold and green colours of the harvest. Behind her the ears of wheat bend gently in the breeze. The swallows fly in the warming sunlight and the cat sits contentedly at her feet. Dressed in the accouterments of the Valkyrs, she holds the shaft of a spear firmly in her hand.

Interpretation A motherly figure; maternal care; fertility; growth; abundance; domestic stability; happiness; pregnancy; beauty.

Reversed. Restriction by the control of a motherly figure; infertility; unwanted pregnancy; female domination.

The rune Ger, meaning the fruitful part of the year, the harvest. Abundance; reward for endeavors; fertility; marriage.