In Norse mythology, Freyja receives the souls of those who have died in battle on her field of Folkvangr, which means “field of the host” or “people field.” On this field is the place where Freyja lives, called Sessrumnir, which means “room with many seats.” Freyja accompanied the Valkyries on their flights toward battles and by agreement between herself and Odin, half of the slain went to Valhalla and the other half went to Folkvangr.
Freyja was not originally of the Aesir group of deities but of the Vanir, which “may” have been associated with the human and earthly condition, while the Aesir seem to be perhaps the prime archetypes or powers that hold the universe together. According to the early Norse poets, there was a war between the two deity groups, and the outcome was a god-for-god trade; Freyja was the Vanir delegate to the Aesir world. More than that, she eventually became beloved of the Aesir and took on many attributes with the other deities of the Aesir. Perhaps that is the reason that Freyja may take 1/2 of the dead from battlefields, and Odin the rest. No, us warriors do not all go to Valhalla. Just saying.
She had cats. I can relate. A tough chick with war kittens. Yeah. Therefore… Freyja.
Thinking about this intellectually, my mind immediately jumps to the symbolism of the “war” and the “trade” and even the sharing of the dead. It intrigues me that there would be this “war” with Gods and Goddesses, and how that translates to our human condition. What did each group represent? Was it one religion versus another? Was it symbolic of a mutual alliance of work between earthly warring tribes or perhaps some kind of metaphor for human advancement? Who knows? I find it intriguing enough to know more.
But, I think I might be digressing. Let me focus on Sessrumnir for a moment.
Why have I been obsessing about Freyja’s “room with many seats?” I have been searching for a name for the house we’re going to build. Building. Sort of. Right now it is mired in red tape, needs of contractors, and local town ordinances. In short, we are behind. Be that as it may, we still gave the house a name, “The Vicarage.” However, flaky…er, fickle, um, indecisive as I may be at times, I’m not sure this will fit. I want alternatives. I won’t know it’s true name until it’s born, and that may be moving day. Yes, really.
And yes, I name things. So sue me. You know that I believe words have power.
So, what else would I call it? I’ve seen Candleglow (street name near me), Saint Michael (my birthday = his feast day, Michaelmas and he was a bad ass angel), and now Sessrumnir, the home with many seats. You see, I just can’t settle on one yet. Like some 3-months-to-term expectant mother, I want options, damn it. And no, I don’t know the sex of my child. Maybe I need some independent evaluations from friends, a poll as it were. Wait! A SURVEY! I need more names to fill the suggestion box, though. To me, the soul of the house must speak to me and Doyle, with a clear voice and meaning; but, there must be choices! I probably should ask Doyle right?
In order for me to actually name this baby, I need to understand its unspoken energy. Will it be a place of love, warmth, hominess, comfort, eccentricities, learning, art, refinement, or laughter? Maybe all of the above? Maybe something I can’t think of, being so close to it? What will it look like, how will it smell? How will it feel? Maybe I won’t be able to give it a proper name until she begins to take shape. Maybe he. I guess we’ll see what our DNA bears out. In the mean time, I’m still trying to figure out what color tile the kitchen walls will have. Not unlike designer DNA. Hmmm.
I want my very own Sessrumnir: a place to transition from day to night, to live my life with cats, magic, friends, family, books, pens, paper, gardens, nature, and life. LIFE. Perhaps that is the mantra that is driving me now – LIFE! While this house will sustain me, it’s the name I chose, and our lives within it that will give it its soul. Words have power, so I will chose wisely.
“What’s your name,’ Coraline asked the cat. ‘Look, I’m Coraline. Okay?’
‘Cats don’t have names,’ it said.
‘No?’ said Coraline.
‘No,’ said the cat. ‘Now you people have names. That’s because you don’t know who you are. We know who we are, so we don’t need names.”
― Neil Gaiman,