Freyja does not have “fur-children”

Argunov portait ofa ukrainian woman and cat

Freyja’s cats are mentioned twice in the Gylfaginning, first in his general description of the Goddess:

Sessrumir, her hall, is large and beautiful. And when she travels, she drives two cats and sits in a chariot. (24)

And again when Snorri describes the Gods attending Baldr’s funeral:

…Freyr drove in a chariot with a boar called Gullinbursti or Slíðrugtanni. But Heimdallr rode a horse called Gulltoppr, and Freyia her cats. (50)

Additionally in the Skaldskaparmal we are told:

How shall Freyja be referred to? By calling her daughter of Njörðr, sister of Freyr, wife of Óðr, mother of Hnoss, possessor of the fallen slain and of Sessrumir and tom-cats…

And that’s pretty much it until the Romantics.

Nowhere are their names given, which has led Neopagans into some rather fanciful speculation. 

Most people are probably familiar with the names Diana L. Paxson provides in her fantasy novel Brisingamen: “Tregul” (Tree-gold, or Amber) and “Bygul” (Bee-gold, or Honey.) 

Cute. Doesn’t really resonate with me, but one could certainly do worse. 

Amy Sey’s suggestion, for instance, that they are named after her daughters Hnoss and Gersemi. 

No. Just no.

Someone who so loves her daughters that she names them both “Treasure” isn’t going to turn around and give that to her cats, no matter how fond she is of them.

Unless Amy was suggesting that Freyja’s daughters were her cats which … again, just no. Besides, Skaldskaparmal calls them toms so they’d at least have the male form of the word. Though I suppose she could have more than just two cats, but I doubt any of them were named after her children, even Komos. Plus that would mean she yokes her children to her wagon or chariot, and that seems out of character to me. 

3 thoughts on “Freyja does not have “fur-children”

  1. Is it possible that the cats are from the “big cat” family such as Lions, or lynxes or panthers?

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  2. I’m not sure what kind of person would name their pets after their still-living children. Don’t get me wrong. Pets are great (and I’m sure divine pets even more so) but I feel like that would be disrespectful to say that your cats are important enough to equate them with your actual daughters. That’s not something Freya would do. I’m not sure I can think of any deity that would do that

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