A month for Freyr: day 23

At this point, there’s not much more to add about Frey’s phallic aspect. I’ve mentioned His role as a procreator, a giver of general prosperity and the penis as an apotropaic symbol. That’s all well within Ingui’s realm, but there is one side of Him that’s yet to be mentioned: pleasure! Because among His several masks, there’s that of a sensual and carnal god.

In Ynglinga saga, in the final lines of chapter 10, Snorri says the Swedes called Frey the veraldargoð or god of the world. The sense of the title is unclear, but it comes in the context of good seasons and peace, so it is usually assumed that it means god of worldly well-being. That naturally includes having plenty of food to eat, a comfortable amount of wealth, a healthy body and yes, enjoying yourself physically.

Your body is not evil and this, I believe, is a basic feature of Vanir-thinking. Freya would agree, while Njord, who has the most beautiful feet among the Gods, would probably support the idea too. You shouldn’t be ashamed of your body and, as a rule, you shouldn’t feel compelled to censor your physical desires or be too embarrassed to talk about them. Your body is part of who you are and it has natural needs, some of which are a source of great joy and pleasure: taste, smell and touch; the sense of being well fed or drunk, the explosion of great flavours in your mouth, the laughter that makes you roll on the floor, the fresh air during a hot day, the smell of wet land on a rainy day, to swim in the ocean during summer, the pleasure of sensual contact with one or more human beings. Your body opens you up to these things and you should cherish it for it. Be comfortable with your body, even proud of it and even if that takes work. But be careful with it as well. As with anything in life, enjoying your body has risks: accidents, food poisoning, STDs, to name just a few general examples. Yet the possibility of getting hit by a car or eating something bad doesn’t prevent us from going out, travelling or eating – we simply take precautions to reduce the risks as much as possible and then enjoy things. Why should it be any different with sex? It is only a trapped mind by puritan shackles that finds sex dirty, even though the process needed to produce food seems okay. Break those chains and take physical pleasure as naturally as your other bodily needs and joys.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that anything goes. Health is something you should take into consideration and the same goes for people’s personal freedom, which is part of the realm of friðr. Rape and abuse break the bonds of protection and assistance between members of a community, mocks hospitality when you’re a visitor and is contrary to Frey’s role as a liberator. Enjoy the body, but respect it – yours and others’.

That’s the lesson of the cock: embrace it with respect and enjoy! Every time I say this I realize why there’s a feeling that Frey tends to draw a lot more gay men that most northern gods, but a phallus can stand for sexual joy in general and not just the male side. There’s pleasure to have in a vagina too, as well as in an ass. And it’s a good thing! It feels great, it’s uplifting and liberating. The fact that your body shall one day die shouldn’t mean bodily experiences are pointless: if anything, it means you should enjoy them while you can and within reason. Embrace the cock: it is life, it is pleasure, it is joy. The cock is good. Hail Ingui’s divine cock!

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