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Freyja, Cats and Angels, by Blommer

The Norse goddess Freya or Freyja, sometimes thought to be the Vanir cognate or avatar of the Aesir goddess Frigg or Frigga -- who, in fact, is in some sources described as a Vanir by birth, suspiciously enough.

 

Freya rides a chariot drawn by cats. I love that here Swedish painter Nils Blommer (1816-1853) has utilized not tigers or wildcats but these adorable little tabbies. Mrowr!!

 

Freya is moderately sexier and exceedingly creepy (often the same thing to me) in this Anders Zorn image, where she looks bizarrely like she's nodding on her throne, the needle having been airbrushed out.

 

Some interesting theories exist about the Aesir-Vanir war in Norse Mythology, in which an invading race of warlike gods battled with existing fertility deities in Scandinavia. This was thought by some researchers to be the mythological remnant of an early invasion of the region by an Indo-European people represented by the Aesir, which I've read is a cognate for Asian -- ie, Russian, Baltic. In an extremely cursory search, I haven't been able to find any decent linguistic source for that cognate. But damn! That Freya does have some fine cats.

 

Image by Nils Blommer, from Wikipedia.

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Taken on June 14, 2008