Northern Tradition Paganism

4 Pillars of Fensilir

As I went for a walk with Frigga, the mist surrounded us and I didn’t see much other than her. She stood tall, so much taller than me that I had to look up to see her face when she turned in her strolling to look down at me. Her long white-blonde hair was perfectly coiffed in a soft bun with a silvery pin and her lean body was wrapped in a blue-silver dress with a white ruff around the shoulders. I am always stunned by her grace and how she seems to flow from step to step. My own movements are clunky and childish next to her.

I receive images instead of words sometimes. I always get the feeling that she is not fond of my language or that she would simply rather I use hers if I only could.
My son comes up, the darling grinning at me toothlessly. I tell her he is well, though I feel like this is simply chitchat and she likes to ask about him even when she already knows. I tell her he is still teething. I receive the images of the herb chamomile and nod, yes I’ve started to give him the tea.
I get the feeling this visit wasn’t a social call, I’m not sure if Frigga even makes social calls.

Frigga informed me that there were 4 important tenents I was meant to keep and to teach to others that would hear. These are the 4 Pillars of Fensalir:

  • Kindness
  • Cleanliness
  • Charity
  • Hospitality

I asked why love of children and spouse was not included, as she is the Goddess of family, children, and marriage.
She turned to me and raised a brow, asking, “Do you need to be told to love your child and husband?”
“No,” I responded, feeling a little ridiculous for having asked.
She shrugged as if to say “there you go.”

Hospitality

Hospitality is an important act among the people of the North – and elsewhere in ancient days. For one reason, you never knew who you were welcoming into your home. There are many legends and fables of people welcoming a stranger only to learn later they were gods, elves, messengers of the gods, or angels. These creatures and gods, being more powerful than man, could either curse or bless a home so it was a big deal to be hospitable.

What might be a little ironic is, when it comes to this tenet, I often think of the Satanic 10 Commandments that tells its followers to be respectful and hospitable, however, if someone disrespects you in your home, destroy them. This is an important matter of hospitality that isn’t often discussed – the guest honoring the home and those that live there. Hospitality goes both ways.

I have been in homes were I have been disrespected as a guest but, rather than fight the ones who lived there, I and those with me simply left the premises and did not return without receiving an apology and a welcome back (even then we did not go back quickly or linger long).

Frigga, as the Lady of Fensalir and the Queen wife of Odin, is well acquainted with hospitality and its effects on everyone involved. She welcomes guests to her own marshlands as well as to the great halls of Asgard. She has also used the rules of hospitality to have her way – in the case of Odin (in disguise) visiting King Geirröðr.

Another part of hospitality, she informed me, is to ALWAYS accept gifts when given. I feel that this might be more directed at me than anyone I might be talking or writing to but I felt the need to share anyways. I have a habit of, when someone wants to give me a gift, of saying things like “you shouldn’t have” and getting embarrassed if I have nothing to give them in return. This is, of course, the true nature of gift giving – to give without expectation. The gifts can be non-physical items even, such as a friend buying me lunch or even a simple compliments. I am still learning to receive without diminishing myself or making the person giving insist that I take it.

Cleanliness

If you have worked with Frigga or read about her, you probably know she is a stickler for cleanliness. She likes a clean home especially, but also to make sure your personage is clean and your children are clean.

I need to hold onto this concept hard as I am not much of a house cleaner, I must admit. There are just so many things I would rather be doing in general, much less in the short time I have free from my little one – cleaning is just not something I enjoy doing. Frigga has no interest in this excuse from me and if I so much as pick up my crochet hook when the house is a mess, I am suddenly bombarded with “mom voice” in my head reminding me of that pile of laundry or that I haven’t vacuumed in a week.

I’m reminded, with a giggle, of this image from a 1940’s Singer sewing machine:

Cleanliness goes a step further with Frigga who is ever the lady of the home and this also means a lady of the hearth. Frigga is a fan of “real food.” She turns up her nose at the idea of over-processed food-stuffs and would prefer a cleaner diet and cleaner body. This by no means includes “fat-free” or low calorie foods. She would have me drink whole or raw goat milk, bake and eat my own bread, and eat exclusively home raised or hunted meat if possible. This, to her, is clean living.

Kindness

The biggest point I want to get across is kindness does not mean being a door mat nor does it equate to the Wiccan rede of harm none. Kindness, at least here, means decency, courtesy, and good will (unless you have a reason, such as inhospitable people, not to be).
Frigga sees a lot of rudeness being very common in our lives and would like to encourage us, especially in our homes and personal lives, to be kinder to ourselves and each other. Pretty simple, at least in saying if not in practice.

Charity

It is said, if you have more than you need, build a larger table, not a higher wall.
Frigga has a big heart for charities that help women and children as well as charitable acts towards people in our lives.