A month for Freyr: day 30

There are a few aspects of Ingui-Frey I didn’t focus on throughout this month because I’m unsure about them. A few matters connected to death have already been mentioned – the afterlife, the boar, etc. – and there are two more issues that were hinted at, but not developed. Uncertain as they seem, at least at this point, I nonetheless would like to say a few words about them before the month is over.

The first aspect I didn’t focus on is health. Yes, the Vanir don’t see the body as evil and your physique is a tool to experience the world’s pleasures and joys. This means you should take good care of your body, which made me wonder if Ingui-Frey has an aspect as a god of health. Not necessarily as a healer, but as preserver of the body. The distinction may seem irrelevant, but there is a difference between doing your best to prevent diseases and having to resort to a specialist when you fall ill. As a Power of agricultural bounty and the food that results from it, Ingui is already a nurturer; as a phallic deity, He’s present in the making, enjoyment and protection of the body. Perhaps He also has a role to play in preventing physical harm, in keeping things healthy and well fed, and even if He cannot heal them once they fall ill. Maybe I’m taking things a bit too far or maybe there’s something to it that I can’t put my finger on.

The second aspect that I did not expand on is His role as a guardian of the assembly. This is basically a combination of Ingui as a god of friðr and His warrior side. If He values the nurturing of communal bonds, which often require debate, compromises and official decisions; if assemblies in the old days took place in a friðgarðr or peace-enclosure and if He has an aggressive side that He resorts in case of need, should it not follow that Ingui can be like a parliamentary guard? He’s not there to threat those discussing and voting, but to protect them, to prevent violence from invading the peace-enclosure and disrupting the works. And should any menace manifest itself, a guard acts to ensure that those on hallowed ground remain unharmed. Ingui does have a warrior side, while protection is to be expected from the apotropaic nature of the phallus.

This is still largely my UPG. Not sure how other devotees feel about this, if they have a similar insight or not. This is, however, how ancient worshippers developed ancient cults: a feature of a god or an object of His opened the way for a variety of cult associations, either because it lend itself to it symbolically or because of the multiple uses of similar objects in everyday life. Apollo’s bow and arrows, for instance, made Him a patron of archery and spoke of His role as a deity of health and disease, which was sometimes described as the shooting of arrows. Does it overlap with the roles of other deities? Most certainly! But that is only to be expected in living religions whose gods are not mere archetypes with fixed functions.

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