An exclusive interview with Freya Aswynn, author of Leaves of Yggdrasil
Freya Aswynn, who felt a personal calling to become a priestess of Odin, hails our All-Father. Behind her stands a secular political "deity" conceived, funded and built by Northern European-descended folk in the 1800's.
Originally published in Winter, (Runic Era) 2243 (1993) Vor Tru Magazine
[EDITOR'S NOTE (in 1993): The purpose of in-depth interviews published by Vor Tru is to document important personalities and viewpoints in various areas of the Asatru movement. All interview subjects are given the opportunity to proof their talks for errors and to correct unintended statements. The views expressed by interviewees do not necessarily reflect the official views of the Asatru Alliance or even the personal views of its office-holders, representatives, or members.]
THOR: Good evening. I am Thor Sannhet. It is Friday night, just after 10:00 PM on the 12th of March 1993, and I am with Freya Aswynn, and with me also in my quaint apartment sharing some bottles of mead is Oak Thorgeir. We are going to conduct an interview of Freya for Vor Tru magazine for this upcoming 2243 spring issue. By way of introduction, I just want to say, welcome to America! Now that we have visited sites in Manhattan ranging from Central Park and the United Nations to the Statue of Liberty, what is your immediate impression, Freya?
FREYA: My immediate impression, what struck me immediately, is that the streets are so clean. Some parts of the subway are dirty, but the streets themselves are so much cleaner than in London. I also was pleasantly surprised to see a substantial amount of white people in New York. I didn't expect that. I expected New York to be pretty well dark. But no, it is fine. The only other complaint that I have is that it is bloody cold! As cold as a witch's tit!
THOR: A Wiccan witch's tit by chance?
FREYA: Or an Asatru witch's tit. Whichever. Tits are tits. Witches are witches.
THOR: How well have you been treated by the Ring of Troth and the Asatru Alliance?
FREYA: Like royalty! Like the first lady of Asatru!
THOR: I understand you had a mishap during your four day stay in Ottowa, Canada just before coming here, but it came out for the best with a Valknut tattoo!
FREYA: It was a complete disaster.
THOR: How so?
FREYA: A lot of things went wrong. I can not even remember most of them. The main things that went wrong were that Andy [Biggins of the Ring of Troth] ordered books, Leaves of Yggdrasil. They did not arrive. They just disappeared. No more to be seen. The tapes I ordered from L.A. They didn't arrive. And the poor bastard in L.A. paid $40.00 for a 24 hour shipment by UPS, and the f- -ers did not arrive. So that is a dead loss. Then I decided, I met the pagan community.-there, which is a friendly, happy community, partly Wicca and partly Asatru, but the distinctions are absolutely unnoticeable. They are a very fraternal community. Everyone gets on well. I met this woman Dana. A Wiccan high priestess with Asatru leanings. And she does tattoos. Now I always thought I ought to have a Valknut. Right on my chest. I have been putting it off for a long time, partly because Lionel is going to kill me if he finds out that I have a Valknut on my chest. Because always I mentioned it. "No tattoos! Don't ever get any tattoos!" And it has always been a bone of contention. No tattoos. But the opportunity was there. So I opted for a Valknut tattoo, which was a DRAAMMAAA!!! What happened was I got the kindred standing in a ring around me and the tattooist. I stripped off to the waist. They were chanting "Odin!" to draw the power of Odin into me. Well, Donna burnt in the tattoo. She made an impeccable stencil of the Valknut taken from my Valknut ring. And she printed it on my chest, and then started zzzzzzzzz tattooing it. IT HURT LIKE F- -!!! Anyway, that was the sacrifice. The worst thing was to come. For some reason, the stencil got turned over. And all of a sudden, Donna said, "It is all wrong. The lines don't connect." And I went absolutely ape s- - berserk. I was screaming around the house. Half naked. Half screaming, "Odin! Odin!! What!?! You bastards!!!" I just went completely mad. There. I was with half an aborted Valknut on my chest. This to me was the worst thing. that could happen. I offer a Valknut to Odin to be carved on my chest, and the bastard was wrong. It was complete collective hysteria until one bright bugger picked up that book of Edred [Thorsson], The Nine Doors, and said, "I can't see anything wrong with it. It is exactly on Edred's book. And he put the book across the unfinished Valknut and said, "Yeah, so what the f- - went wrong?" So someone grabbed the stencil and said, "Look, you turned it over." It was visible on both sides. It was seeing through paper. So the mystery was resolved. I sat down again, and Donna finished the tattoo. And I now I am having a sacred Valknut tattooed over my heart, chacra, as a sign of my dedication and my pledge to ODIN!!! Forever! Odin!! EENS EN ALLTYD!!! ["Once and Always" in Dutch]
OAK THORGEIR: [raises his mead horn] ODIN!!
THOR: ODIN!!! [he pauses to toast and then lay down the horn] Now, wasn't there a problem with a meeting hall that got burned down to top things off?
FREYA: Yes! Later on I found out that there had been more mishaps. I was scheduled to speak before about a hundred people. A thousand dollars of tickets were sold, which of course the idea was that would pay a substantial amount of the cost that the Ring of Troth incurred getting me over here. And of course some of it would have ended up in my pocket, not that I am worried about that. I wouldn't give it a thought. But, Friday afternoon, while I was in transit from JFK [International Airport] to Ottawa, that hall burned down. The tickets had to be refunded. And all that money, basically, went down the tube. So nobody has got f- - all. Another sacrifice on the pyre. So we had a sacrifice of blood, and a sacrifice by fire. Then we had a sacrifice by air, the mail did not arrive. The tapes and the books. Only one more element to go. THOR: You yourself, Freya, seem to be unsinkable, and we are glad to have you here, and you are still going strong. And I think that actually with your stay in New York we are back on to an auspicious start. Let us talk about the other ways that you feel that Odin has put His mark on you. What are they?
FREYA: Well, I have some runes in my hands. I have got an Odal [or Othila] rune and an Ansuz rune clearly marked in my hand. And that is the main mark I consider as Odin marked me. The other one is an inherited defect in the right eye. I have had five eye operations to correct it. And it looks better, but it is still a mankey eye. And the other synchronicity is the date of my birth, which is completely Odinic. It is Wednesday, the ninth, November, "Nove" is nine in Latin, in the old Anglo Saxon ways it was the Blotmonath, the month in which the blood sacrifices were performed. And of course in the sign of Scorpio, which is Odinic in itself. And I was the ninth child out of the fourteenth. This altogether I found out when I first started exploring Asatru. And looking at my personal [aspects]. What compels me to this path? What is the intent, devotion, and attraction to Odin specifically more than any other God or Goddess? As a woman, as a Wiccan woman, I should be more in touch with Goddesses. But no, it did not work out that way. It was Odin, and it always will be Odin. He has marked me. I am his.
A distinguished Runic Ambassador from England visits
the United Nations Headquarters in New York City
THOR: Can you give us a biographical sketch of the process that you went through to dedicate yourself to Odin?
FREYA: Well, basically, I was born with certain psychic abilities, in a family which did not accept that. So at an early age, I was fostered in different families. At the age of ten I was locked up after a considerable amount of physical and other abuse. I know nowadays it is a fashion, everybody has been abused and can remember things, but in my case it actually was true. After spending nine years locked up, I came out at the age of 19, and within two months I was involved in spiritualist circles where I received some elementary training in mediumship, clairvoyance, psychometry, and I studied astrology, generally the occult. The occultic discipline. From there I moved on to the AMORC and I was a member of AMORC [Ancient Mystical Order of Rosicrucis] for seven years. After that, I went to England specifically to seek out Wicca, of which I was very interested. I arrived in England, I didn't know a soul, but within three days, I ran into people who directed me to Alex Sanders, who initiated me in his coven. After that I went back to Holland. Three months later I moved to England, again for a major occult festival. And I met Lionel Hornby, also known as Ravensong, who is a Gardnerian witch. So via him I got involved in starting a Gardnerian coven. Now in that coven, we invoked the old gods. Those gods were, for the main, Greek, Roman, Celtic. Fairly soon after, I was initiated and working in Wicca, with those gods, I went along with the ritual, and I performed as a high priestess, but very soon after, something was lacking. These gods were not my own. And I started looking at my own sources. Wodan. Donar. Freya. I did not even know about Odin, Thor, and Freya. So, at one time there was a situation in the coven in which a situation arose between Lionel and a guest, a female guest in that coven. This for me was basically it. Wicca is too much centered around sexual attractions and fertility magic. I could not accept that. So, at that day, after I had had a massive row with me husband, I broke with Wicca the same evening, emotion- ally I made a break, I went down to the basement. I rolled out my blanket, the way the Red Indians do. I went down to the basement and started calling on Wodan. The whole night I started calling on Wodan. My own God. My own ancestry. My own blood. Me own bones. F- - Wicca! F- - them! Bugger the lot of them. Wodan! Wodan!! Wodan!!! It was then that I made the contact. A week later I had made a Valknut ring, for me especially. And I did a blot. And I swore my allegiance to Odin forever. And I have been true until now, and I will always be true. That is how I met Odin. That is how I made the contact with Odin as my personal guardian and Allfather.
Freya made it about Manhattan and managed to avoid getting mugged
...with a little help from Sannhet to the right, in this Midtown photo.
THOR: Weren't you in Iceland in 1985?
THOR: And you got to meet Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson.
FREYA: Yes. I was in Iceland, and I met Sveinbjorn for a short time. However, we could not really communicate. He did not speak English. I did not speak Icelandic. And although we had a translator, the conversation was very, very general. He obviously did not know me from Adam. At that time I was not as well known as I am now. I was just one of the many. I did not feel that he paid particular attention to me. He gave me a copy of his record and signed his book, and I wrote my name in his guest book, and that was basically the end of the matter.
THOR: Did not word spread in Icelandic towns about your abilities with runic readings?
FREYA: Oh, hell, yes. Yes. Yes. I stayed there for three weeks basically doing readings and living off it until the money ran out. I had a ticket for three weeks, but I just let it expire. And stayed another three weeks. Some people just bought me another ticket to get me out. I did an interview with a local paper, which got the stuff out in the open. Freya Aswynn, volva, doing the readings, which of course they had not seen somebody like me for at least a thousand years. There's plenty of tarot readers and astrologers, but a genuine volva who actively works the old ways, the Icelanders had not seen it for at least a thousand years. I must have been the first one after so many years. So I made my mark there.
THOR: Let us talk about the role of women in Asatru. Do they have superior psychic abilities compared to men?
FREYA: I do not know whether they have superior psychic abilities per se. I know of some very gifted men with psychic abilities. But on the whole, women have more time to develop their abilities in the home with other women whereas other men are either going out a Viking or are going out to work. It is more of a social [condition]. I do not know if it is a genetic disposition that women are predisposed by nature to be more psychic or whether it is a social issue that women simply have more time to develop their psychic abilities. I am not one hundred percent convinced this is the case. I have met too many men who are gifted.
THOR: How does a woman go to Valhalla?
FREYA: The same way as a man. You die in battle. Alternatively, I am quite confident, that when my time comes, Odin will just wrap his cloak over me and sneak me in the back door.
THOR: But did not women have a major level of status in the old Viking society that would merit a reward in the hereafter?
FREYA: I think so. If you look at the religion, any religion, is a reflection of the social and ethical values of a people. We only need to look at contemporary positions of women in Nordic countries, not per se Iceland, but everywhere, to see that she was held in equal regard to men. Only in the oldest Germanic tradition, women were thought to be superior to men, certain women at least. And as such, one could deduct from there that women had their place in Valhalla. The myths were written up relatively late by male, mostly Christian scholars, who of course, it was not in their interest to promote feminine interests, let alone feminine mysteries. But I am quite confident that I have earned my seat on the mead bench in Valhalla and not as a servant either.
THOR: Here, here. What would you suggest for women in Wicca who are looking at Asatru?
FREYA: I would suggest that they study the Vanic mysteries. Frey and Freya, the lord and lady of nature. It is a nice way in, and an overlap between Wicca and Asatru. Or probably, Vanatru.
THOR: How does the Odinic path differ for a woman as opposed to a man?
FREYA: It is harder.
THOR: How so?
FREYA: The sacrifices involved. The fact that there are more men on the Odinic path than women would say that it is harder. Especially if you totally dedicate your life to Odin as a woman. It is extremely hard.
THOR: Can a woman still have children and enjoy family if she has dedicated herself to Odin?
FREYA: Within an Asatru community, an extended family situation, this would be possible. Within society as it is, I am afraid not. One would preclude the other.
THOR: Is that simply because of economic factors? Does it put a squeeze on women financially to try to be heathen activists and at the same time try to have a family?
FREYA: The family would suffer. And as Asatru is a family religion, if a woman decides to have children, those children have to come first and foremost, because those children are the future and the heritage of the folk. I can not have anyone or anything come first. Odin comes first.
THOR: But did not you make a personal decision to not have children before you found Asatru?
THOR: So that decision was for personal reasons before you came to Odin?
FREYA: That decision was consciously made for personal reasons because I wanted to be involved in magic and occultism, and the same reason stands, you can only do one thing good. But unconsciously I believe that decision has been guided by Odin.
Oak's pet pooch Dane stole the show by climb-
ing a tree. Since Dane could not smile like Oak
or Freya, he stuck his tongue out at the camera
THOR: You made that decision with your first husband who died a long time ago?
THOR: When did he die?
FREYA: In 1972.
THOR: Apparently you had an operation to not be able to have children?
FREYA: I had the operation. I had no sex before that time, anyway. There was no need for an operation.
THOR: So you had the operation on what date?
FREYA: The 14th of February 1975.
THOR: You had a ...
FREYA: A platonic relationship with me husband, yes.
THOR: I see. Can you describe the influence that your membership in various occult organizations such as the Order of the Temple of Orientalis (OTO) or the llluminus Order Thanatheros (IOT) have had on you?
FREYA: Well, the OTO did not have a lot of influence on me. Of course I have studied Crowley, and I was particularly impressed with Liber Astarte which is a magical technique described in Magic in Theory and Practice [by Crowley] which is purely designed in longstanding magical training to get a kind of mystical union of consciousness with ones chosen deity. It involves about a six month discipline in which you immerse yourself totally in the mythology, the colors, the attributes, the sounds, the smells, any kind of correspondence with that deity you can find until you make the contact. This was the main influence of Aleister Crowley that I picked up on. This is the path of devotion rather than magic. The path of mysticism rather than casting spells. The path of transformation of consciousness to the level of communication with Odin.
THOR: Could you describe -
FREYA: The IOT. I meant to talk about the IOT. The IOT, the membership of the IOT is for so-called chaos magic. It is based around the principle of chaos from the physical physics, like quantum physics, the law of probabilities, and the manipulation thereof. One of the aspects of chaos magic that attracted me, is that in chaos magic, they develop the techniques that are employed to achieve possession and trances by the god forms and achieve direct communication. This is what the IOT has to offer. This is the technology I went in for, to learn, to adopt, and to teach, and to spread in Asatru. I joined all of these organizations basically to rip off their technologies and adapt it to our people. And I have never made any bones about it. The leadership of the pact, the IOT, knows exactly why I joined. My allegiance is to Odin. Not to any specific magical order. But like Odin, I gain knowledge wherever it is to be found. Odin himself goes on a quest for knowledge. He accepts knowledge of giants, Vanir, whatever beings he meets. He accepts the knowledge. So do I. Any knowledge can be applicable to Odin to the service of Asatru. And I don't give a damn where I get it from.
THOR: What can Asatruar learn from many of the esoteric pagan orders? For example, would you distinguish Asatru as being more heathen than pagan or is there a problem of Asatruar intermarrying with Wiccas?
FREYA: It depends which aspect you look at. Pagan and heathen mean exactly the same. Heathen means dweller of the heath. Pagan comes from the Latin paganus which means dweller of the countryside. So linguistically in the meaning of these words there is no distinction. However, in practice we find that pagans are softer, more goddess-oriented, working with the moon, the tides, with nature. The heathens are more warrior. Outspoken, and more socially active in the sense --they will basically go to battle for what they believe in. You can't see many Wiccans doing that. The intermarriage between Asatru and Wicca is certainly possible. Again, from the Vanic perspective. And maybe at this point it is better to speak of Vanatru and Asatru. Asatru particularly, refers to the Aesir. Vanatru refers to the Vanir. And certainly, interrelated, intercrossing, and intermarrying between Wicca and Vanatru is absolutely possible. I myself am Asatru. I have been in a common law marriage with a Wiccan for the last fourteen years, and we have a system of mutual support which is absolutely fantastic. I have no problems with it.
THOR: What would you consider a reputable source to learn about Wicca?
FREYA: Well, a reputable source is basically Stewart and Janet Farrar. They have written some very good introductory books. And Vivien Crowley who wrote an excellent thesis about Wicca, an old religion in the new age, which is one of the best books written on the subject. But personally, I feel done with that.
THOR: Here in New York City a lot of Wiccans are homosexuals. Is there a place for that in Asatru?
FREYA: Traditionally, there might have been. We know from historical sources that in the Frey cult, in Sweden, cross-dressing was practiced by male priests of Frey. Whether or whether not homosexual activity was absolutely implied we do not know. There are certain aspects of the darker side of Seidr in the mythology and the sagas which would imply that these practices went on. And from a Vanic perspective, yes, I have met a Frey's godi in Iceland, Uti, who was a homosexual, and I personally have no problems with that. However, if I would meet a homosexual who professed to be an Odin's godi, my hair would raise on end.
THOR: Why is that?
FREYA: Because Odin is just too masculine. Frey, yes. Odin, no way. Thor, no way.
THOR: What can Asatruar learn from other Indo-European religions such as Druidism or the Greco-Roman religion or early Hindu faith?
FREYA: I honestly do not know. I have never looked at those religions. I am basically not interested in them. I am totally 100% Asatru.
THOR: But don't some of these other faiths show a common Indo-European ancestry?
FREYA: Yes, but I am not interested in Indo-European ancestry. I am interested in Nordic ancestry. I am a Frisian. I am not an Indo-European.
THOR: Isn't Indo-European taken to be synonymous with Nordic?
FREYA: Certainly not. Indo-European encompasses everything from Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, India...
THOR: Well, the theory, as I understand it, is that the Indo-European peoples [were originally] spread from Scandinavia across Eastern Europe and into the steppes of what is now Russian and Northern Eurasia.. In the Ynglinga Saga, Odin comes from Asgard, which is east of the Don, which of course is deep inside modern day Russia. People who were very Nordic spread from those kinds of places down into the Indus Valley. The Dorians, Achaeans, and Ionians who founded ancient Greece and the Italic invaders and Sabines and Oscians who founded Rome and the Roman Republic had a similar Nordic-related, possibly a part Celtic or Alpine genetic background.
FREYA: Probably. But I do not consider it relevant to modern Asatru.
THOR: In other words you are putting more emphasis on the mystical aspects of Asatru?
FREYA: Yes, absolutely.
THOR: But how would you describe the character of your own Rune Guild?
FREYA: It is early days yet. It is only a year ago since Edred [Thorsson] installed me as Drighting over England and Holland. And since then we have done some work. We have about thirteen members. And, the work we do is mainly to be transformative magic. Doing rituals and ceremonies for the Gods to get closer contact and communion with the Gods. And to develop the individual personality within the priesthood of Asatru, generally and specifically, the Rune Guild.
THOR: What has your relationship been with the Ring of Troth?
FREYA: I am a member of the Ring of Troth. And I support it. They have been very good to me. There are many specifically within the Ring of Troth, my closest friend is Kvedulfr. And I hope to do a lot of good work with the Ring.
THOR: What was your feeling about the situation that developed with Edred Thorsson?
FREYA: I have no comment. I owe Edred my loyalty as well. I will not take sides.
THOR: What has been your relationship with Kvedulfr Gundarsson, since he has been in England pursuing his Phd studies?
FREYA: Kvedulfr and me are as close as brother and sister. We are on the phone. He visits me. He helps me out with my correspondence course. He helps me out in any way possible. He has been extremely supportive, and I am very grateful to the Gods that Kvedulfr is there. I would not manage without him half the things that I am doing.
THOR: What has your relationship been with the Odinic Rite of England?
FREYA: Virtually nonexistent for the last six years. They are not a practicing magical order. I have not really that much with them in common. However, I will support them. I will speak for them. I will turn up at meetings when I am specifically asked to do it. And against the outside world, I am a member of the Odinic Rite. I will stand firm with them in the shield wall, if needs require.
Ring of Troth member Dan O'Halloran on the right enjoying himself.
Oak is on the left, also having entirely too much fun. So is Freya (center).
THOR: Why did the Odinic Rite split in two fairly recently?
FREYA: There was an argument about The Book of Blots. Who had written it. Who put it out. I wasn't involved in that argument. My position, again, is that the leader of one faction of the Odinic Rite, Stubba, professed me. And as such, I owe him. I have a bond of blood with him. But I am the one who professed Heimeist, the leader of the of the other faction of the Heimgest, the leader of the other faction of the Odinic Rite. So I owe him equally allegiance and blood brotherhood. So I will not take sides in this argument.
THOR: How do you feel about such practices as fire-walking in the Odinic Rite?
FREYA: I do not know anything about it. I was not there.
THOR: I understand that you promote a balance between respect and tolerance for alien races and cultures and loyalty to our own folk?
FREYA: Absolutely. The Germanic people always put loyalty to kin above everything else. Loyalty to ones immediate family, and the village, the tribal group, and the country you live in. That is first and foremost.
THOR: Does that go back to the earliest times?
FREYA: That goes back to Tacitus' time, to Germania [The Agricola and the Germania by the Roman writer Tacitus]. And of course undoubtedly the same would go in the Viking Age, and in Anglo-Saxon England. Loyalty to kin is first and foremost. That is how any nation survives.
OAK THORGEIR: Freya, on the subject of different organizations, do you have any initial thoughts on the Asatru Alliance, and what you have learned of it?
FREYA: Well, I do not really know very much about the Alliance. From what I gather, that the diversity between the Alliance and the Ring of Troth are mainly concerned with mundane matters, like politics, one is too liberal, the other is too conservative. I think that people should learn to live with those differences in the expression of a faith, but the overall transcendental factor should be the service to Asatru, to the Asafolk as a whole, and the worship and service of the Gods. Unity on the level of cooperation and sharing of resources. More interaction and more contact between the Troth and the Alliance. It is too silly for words. If Catholics and Protestants can join forces under the banner of one Christianity, I do not see why we as Asatruar can not do the bloody same. We should not be squabbling with our own kin.
THOR: I understand that you have friends back in England who are of a variety of racial and religious backgrounds?
FREYA: Abso!utely. Each to their own. "Do what thou willt" shall be the whole of the law. As long as they leave me alone with my worship, I have no qualm with anyone else.
THOR: Apparently you have been involved in some controversy, when there was an effort to have a Negro act as Odin in a Wagnerian Opera performance in England. What was that all about?
FREYA: Me and another member of the Rune Guild once had a conversation, in private, and we said that the greatest degradation for our folk would be --ah, I had better not say this --let us put it this way, we would consider it very offensive if a Black man were to try portray Wotan in the Ring. Coincidentally, three weeks later, this bloke comes up to me smirking all over his face, with a newspaper article. A Black man was playing Wotan in The Ring in this Scottish Opera Das Rheingold. Now there is certainly a place for Black people in Wagner. Alberich could be Black. Svartalfe. And even earth mother Erda could possibly be black, the dark goddess [Editor's Note: Based on what factual sources?]. But not Wotan. That to me was a personal sacrilege and an affront. And I had to get off my ass and do whatever I could to stop this by any possible means.
THOR: Would that be as ridiculous as having a white man play Malcolm X?
FREYA: Of course it is just as ridiculous.
THOR: Did you organize some picketing?
FREYA: Yes, I did. Yes, I had the pickets out from Scotland all the way back to Oxford, with the help of the Odinic Rite. In the later stage, when everyone saw it was safe, they all came out of the closet and joined me. But initially it was only me on me own sticking my neck out.
THOR: Apparently you got smeared by some press accounts?
THOR: What did they say?
FREYA: They said I was a Nazi terrorist. They blamed me for a bombing in 1982. And they said I was wanted by the Dutch police for Nazi terrorist activities.
THOR: What kinds of papers made these accusations?
FREYA: It is a magazine called Searchlight, which is basically an anti-fascist magazine. It spends its time and money hunting down fascists and seeing racists under the bed. No, we do not need to theorize who funds that paper. In Britain it is well known.
THOR: How would you compare Odinism and German National Socialism?
FREYA: Well, I do not think there is any comparison possible. National Socialism was in the first instance a reaction of Christianity against the Jews. An economic phenomena of Germany in the 20's. It has nothing to do with Odinism. Odin is God of Victory. He would not back Hitler. Hitler was a loser. From the start.
THOR: What about in terms of the tribal democracy that the Asatru Alliance promotes?
FREYA: There was no tribal democracy in Nazi Germany. It was basically a fascist regime where the law was laid down from above. democracy at all.
THOR: What about the way the Nazis treated your own people?
FREYA: Well, exactly. My father fought in the Resistance and won a cross, the equivalent of the V.C. cross.
THOR: The Victoria Cross?
FREYA: Yes, I think so, yes. He was a Resistance hero. So were a few of my uncles.
THOR: Did the Nazis treat the Dutch badly in terms of taking foodstuffs out of the country?
FREYA: Initially, not too bad. It was only when they started to round up the Jews and the Dutch started hiding them, and started a railway strike in February 1941, to prevent the trains being ridden, you know, these special trains they had, that the Germans really stomped down on the Dutch and took the gold out of the country. They took the resources, the money, everything they could lay their hands on. They treated the Dutch abominably. Absolutely disgusting, considering that the Dutch on the whole are more Germanic and Nordic and Teutonic than the bloody Germans who are half mixed anyway. You look at those Nazis. None of them look the part. Heydrich, that was about it. The rest, they all looked like bloody mongrels.
THOR: More Alpine than Nordic?
FREYA: Well, Alpine and all bits slung in together.
THOR: You refer to Dr. Karl Jung in Leaves of Yggdrasil. Was not he involved with Nazism?
FREYA: Well, I do not know if he was involved with Nazism, but he was certainly was the man, who during the Third Reich, ran the Volksgerundheit, which is basically, what do you call it, national health, I suppose, for mentally psychiatric patients. This of course was after all of the Jewish psychiatrists were removed from the scene.
THOR: You talk about his work on archetype analysis and many words that he used such as the collective unconscious.
FREYA: That is absolutely, completely valid. Jung is one of the greatest thinkers of the century. And he brought the psychoanalytical movement directly into mainstream occultism and mysticism. My biggest gripe I have with him is in that night in 1936, if I am correct in his book Civilization in Transformation, he wrote a defamatory article called "Wotan" in which he more or less implied that Wotan, Odin, was the controlling power behind Hitler. That I do not accept. I can never accept it. The first time that I read that I was so outraged, so in a state, that when I went to sleep, I actually went out on the Astral and had a significant dream-type experience in which I met Jung in the British Library and I slapped him across the face for this insult. And unfortunately, consecutive authors, like Jean Houston, one of the main promoters of esoteric psychology and humanistic transcendental psychology in the United States, now, has quoted exactly this quote in her book The Search of the Beloved, she quoted Jung and she supports it. People keep repeating this s- - without really looking at it, what Odin really stands for.
THOR: After the war, didn't Jung undergo some ideological changes?
FREYA: Well, he probably did. He obviously had his job to think of like everybody else. After the war, nobody did anything. Nothing happened. Who was going to own up to it? Ich habe nicht gewusst. That is what we say in Holland. Don't trust any German over the age of fifty.
THOR: It sounds from your description of London that the British Government has gone entirely in the opposite ideological direction.
FREYA: Yes. Yes. Britain is f- -ed.
THOR: Well, doesn't a lot of that have to do with what you call the "Loony Left" in Britain...
FREYA: Well, yes it does. This is the extreme excess of the Labor Party, however, the official Labor Party they tried to disown it now, promoting all ethnic minorities, and weird things, like you can not say "black board" or "black bag" or "bye-bye black sheep," they outlawed it all. You can't tell Irish jokes. Because that is racism, let alone Jewish jokes. The fact is that the Irish and the Jews are the best about their own jokes. They are always spouting them about. But we can't do it because it is absolutely and completely racism. Everything is called racism. If you tell an Irish joke, it is racist. What is racist about it? The Irish are not a different race to us. It is nonsense. Complete utter nonsense.
THOR: How does the liberal white middle class feel about the [late] Islamic leader Khomeini's desire to bump off Salmon Rushdie. Isn't he still in hiding?
THOR: Are the liberals condemning that [as much as they love to condemn any form of white racism]?
FREYA: I think that they are lip-servicing to condemning it. But to be totally honest, the British Government should not stand for that. The British Government should not expect that one of its citizens should have to spend a whole life in hiding, just being intimidated by Iran. I think it is a great act of cowardice not to go in there and not sort them out. It is bloody ridiculous.
THOR: When will the white middle class in England start showing some folk cooperation in economics and politics for their own kind?
FREYA: As long as they have got their paychecks coming in, and their little council jobs and civil service jobs safely, and go to the weekly therapy classes, they do not give a f- -ing damn. As usual it is up to the working class to sort out the s- -.
THOR: You have been involved in other forms of activism, for example to save the White Horse stone. What is the significance of the White Horse Stone?
FREYA: The significance of the White Horse Stone is that it is the burial place for Horsa of Hengest and Horsa. They were one of the first English, Anglo-Saxon settlers of this country. And they were pagan. That stone commemorates that battle and one of them who died there. [Editor's Note: An army of Angles, Saxons, and Jutes from northern Germany led by the two brothers Hengest and Horsa defeated an army of Britons at this site in 449 AD and Horsa was killed at the height of the battle]. It is being reclaimed by the Odinic Rite as a sacred site for Odinists to meet. However, it is fair to say that Wiccan groups also meet there. It is pretty well shared. And there is no conflict.
THOR: Well, the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes were Odinists when they first came to England, were they not?
FREYA: Yes, this was firmly within the pagan period.
THOR: But before they came, England was called Briton?
FREYA: It is England because of "Ing" [Ingavonnes or the Angles of the region of Angeln --Editor].
THOR: The Odinists, who came in, took it over?
FREYA: Initially they were invited in by Vortigern, a local Celtic chieftain to fight the Picts and the Scots [when Britain was abandoned early in the 5th century by the Romans the country quickly degenerated into chaos --Editor]. And Vortigern made promises he did not keep. So the Saxons just said, "Up yours, here we are, we are going to stay here. We are going to take this land." And they did.
THOR: Why do many Englishmen insist on calling themselves Odinists and do not use the term Asatruar?
FREYA: Because they do not want to be aligned with Iceland. Everybody takes the term Asatruar from the Icelandic Asatruarmen, who first mentioned it, and so far as I am concerned, I have no problem with that. But the English want to distinguish themselves in the Anglo-Saxon tradition, not the Icelandic-Scandinavian tradition.
OAK THORGEIR: Doesn't the word Odinists to some degree invalidate the other Gods and make them just singly Odinists?
FREYA: This is problem with the term "Odinist." This is why I personally prefer "Asatru." However, I AM AN ODINIST! I worship and will extol Him above any other God or Goddess.
THOR: How did the Vikings themselves relate to indigenous peoples. Do you see a streak of tolerance there?
FREYA: All I can say is that Lionel Ravensong saw a program on television while I was out, which dealt with the celebration of the Columbus business, and referred back to the Viking ships arriving here in 1991. And it drew a comparison that when the Viking ships arrived here in this age, the Indians were there dancing, clapping, and applauding, honoring the Vikings. Whereas during the Columbus celebration, the Indians objected. They demonstrated. They tried to stop it. And quite rightly so. Our people had friendly, respectful relations with the Skraelings. Columbus and his people wiped them out. Polluted them. Infected them with diseases. Forcefully converted them to Christianity, and stole away their wealth and their natural resources and destroyed their tribal structure, something our people, the Vikings, never did. They might have fought them on the battle ground, yes, sure, but the Indians like a good fight as well. They are warriors. We are warriors. You meet on the battle ground and you respect each other. Even although you fight.
THOR: Some people get confused when they see symbols like the swastika in Leaves of Yggdrasil and song titles like "Panzer Rune" in your recent album. What are you trying to accomplish by resurrecting this imagery?
FREYA: I am not resurrecting any imagery. The imagery of the swastika is an integral part of our folk tradition as well as other people's. The Red Indians use it. The Tibetans use it. The Greeks called it the gammion. They used it. It is simply a pictographic representation of the sun and in the Nordic tradition specifically, the hammer of Thor. And I am not going to compromise to anyone. Not to be able to use the symbols of my folk, shared by other people as well. The Indians, the people from India, in Leceister and Bradford, still paint it. They pray to Krishna. They use the swastika quite heavily as a solar symbol, and I will be buggered if I am not going to do the same. So far as "Panzer Rune" that was a title track given by Dave Tibet on record. I just did the chanting. I had nothing more to do with that, what he called it, that was his business, it was his record.
THOR: [In the song title] "Swastikas for Noddy;" "Noddy" means what?
FREYA: Noddy is an English children's figure. Out of sheer bedevilment Tibet started treating this character as a god just for fun. That is David Tibet.
THOR: I see. Well your book has certainly received high acclaim from many Asatru quarters. Valgard Murray, the editor of Vor Tru, says that it is the only Llewellyn book that he carries, yet oddly enough, Llewellyn stopped printing your book for a while. Why was that?
FREYA: Well, I suppose it was an economic reason. They can not print everything at any given time. They are like everyone else and have only limited resources. They can only print according to their means.
THOR: How many copies have you sold to date?
FREYA: About 5,000 from Llewellyn, and about a 1,000 from a private edition. And of course there is the new edition out. Apparently there is another 5,000 on the market right now.
THOR: Was there a write-in campaign that helped to get the new printing?
FREYA: Yes, when I found out that I was going to go to the States, I had some British book source asking Llewellyn when it was going to be reprinted, because I had my students complain that they could not get my book. And Llewellyn said in June. And I wrote to every Asatruar I knew and said, "Give Llewellyn hell. Get their asses in gear. That book should be out when I corne over to the States." Blimey! It is in their interest. They are making most of the money out of it. All I get is a lousy 10%.
Freya wore the Wulfing Kindred's Valknut button gift
while seeing Lady Liberty with Oak (right) and Thor
THOR: What kinds of letters have you received from readers of your book?
FREYA: I have received lots of letters. I have never received a negative feed back letter. I have had so many letters acclaiming it. One of the nicest ones, people usually write that it is the best book on the runes yet, or it is one of the best, equating it with people like Edred Thorsson, but the nicest letter I had was from somebody who wrote that in this book, you could feel the Gods speaking for themselves. And that is the nicest complement, and the most valuable complement I have ever had, because in actual fact, this is true. The Gods do speak for themselves, and so far as is possible, to be fed through my consciousness, and be interpreted and put in the proper language, English. And the inspiration and the spirituality involved in it are directly derived from the Gods. That is not me. That is Odin, and some other Gods.
THOR: How did the book evolve into its final form? Didn't it start out as some notes?
FREYA: It started out as a magical diary. I went through runic meditations and kept a record. Then I started giving weekend runic seminars at my house. Usually I was so carried on by it that I got in a trance and the information was passed through. Someone put a tape recorder on and taped the bugger and it all became part of the book.
THOR: You have claimed that many of the ideas, as you just said, have corne to you in a trance state.
FREYA: That is absolutely correct.
THOR: And what happens when you go into a trance state?
FREYA: Well, it usually happened that I was giving a talk on the runes, and starting with the Futhark or talking about the Gods or talking about Odin, talking about our religion, and I got really involved, and then He just takes over. My eye goes back. And I start really talking hyperactively, pushing out a lot of energy, and I can talk and talk and push it all out as quickly as is possible. And usually I do not remember half of it afterwards. I am not unconscious though. I am conscious. I know what goes on, and I totally surrender and cooperate with that.
THOR: How does altered consciousness differ from, say, the Hippies who are into drug use?
FREYA: I do not know. I do not use drugs. Shamanic people use drugs for spiritual purposes to achieve a trance state. And I think that as long as the drugs are naturally grown by mother earth, I can not see no problem with it. If they are chemically manufactured, that is where absolutely I draw the line. Anything mother nature grows; mushrooms, pot, booze, goes. Anything manufactured and dealt with on the street, no bloody way.
THOR: Do you see a real scarcity of any form of mind-altering drugs, natural or otherwise, in the old Nordic religion?
FREYA: There was some evidence that mushrooms were used. Aminitus muscara certainly. Although not for the berserkergang the aminitus does not have that kind of working. It is a hallucinogenic and probably was used in the same manner that native Americans used peyote. And of course pot was burned in the sweathouses. They just threw it on the hot stones in the fire and smoked, and people breathed it and got stoned.
THOR: What is the evidence for that?
FREYA: The evidence is basically archaeological.
THOR: Cannabis has been found in digs?
FREYA: Yes. In the smoke pits. Don't forget it wasn't a drug culture. was another herb that grew. They might have put all sorts on it: parsley, I don't know what the hell they used. Cannabis is just another
THOR: It really is not openly stated in any of the sagas, is it?
FREYA: The mead of inspiration, the Bragi's Cup, there is some indication that that was a combination of mead, apple, and cannabis. There are some old recipes floating about. But there are other people who know more about this than I do, such as Richard Dufton and Bernard King, and they reckon, yes, this was the Bragi's Cup. Definitely cannabis was one of the ingredients in it.
THOR: That is something that would take a lot of scholarly research to try to get a definitive opinion on one way or another. Cannabis mugroot, plant.
FREYA: I just take the other's scholar's word for it. Let us face it. Mead is a bloody drug. Alcohol. It spins the mind off.
THOR: Yet unlike people who claim to be divinely inspired with "The Word," you are surprisingly non-dogmatic in your approach. You appear to have no fixed guides to runic divination.
FREYA: Well, you can't have a fixed guide to runic divination. Divination is inspirational. You can not tie inspiration down to structure. Inspiration comes and goes. You can not tie it down to any structure or dogma. As soon as it becomes dogmatic, it becomes dead letters, and the inspiration is gone. The spirit is gone.
THOR: In astrology they do have structure.
FREYA: Yes, of course, you have a structure, and I have a valid structure. I work within the runic system. I have certain outlays I feel comfortable with. Astrology only has a structure in so far as the mathematical and the planetary configurations appear in the sky. The interpretation, of it, how it applies to an individual life, is not structured. There are no hard and fast rules. Like a runic divination, you start talking what you pick up, and that is the way it goes. It triggers the mind into a state of clairvoyance from which you pick up information.
THOR: This is different from fortune telling?
FREYA: Of course it is. Fortune telling is bull s- -. You can not do fortune telling. Wyrd is not that fixed. The wyrd is a main blue print of your life. But within the parameters of your own individual wyrd, you can shape that wyrd to a very large extent. This is the way of the warrior. Not slavishly submitting to the laws of fate, but actively intervening. Actively battling. Actively taking control of your own life. Control of your own will. Shape it to the best of the abilities and the best possibilities you have.
THOR: What is your concept then of shape changing?
FREYA: Shape changing I have experimented with. It is basically a technique I employ by projecting my consciousness out in the shape of an animal and then do some business.
THOR: But it is not an actual physical change; it is more a psychic change?
FREYA: It is a psychic change. An emotional change. If you go deep enough into it, you will find yourself growling, snarling, or whatever that animal noises make.
Freya quaffs a horn of mead and squints an eye as she
tunes into the Odinforce and divines runes for Oak
THOR: Did you not have an experience where you chased off a male pursuer?
FREYA: Yes I did, yes, I was walking along, this was in 1981. I was not into Asatru, I was just generally into the occult. And this male of a certain hue spoke to me and was quite friendly, and pleasant, and I had nice chat, and then he started getting personal. Making suggestions. And I just couldn't get rid of the bugger. He started following me. I started walking harder and harder, and he followed me. At one point I got so fed up, I just invoked Horus, shaped my astral body, my force field around me, in the shape of the beak of Horus and the wings. I turned around 180 degrees and faced him head on and chased him all the way back. That was my first experience with shape shifting.
THOR: You talked about how the Gods need us and we need the Gods, could you explain this?
FREYA: Well, this is a fairly mystical concept. The Gods can not find expression for Their will and Their movements on this plane without the intervention of humans. Without us, the Gods do not exist. They have no way of expressing themselves. The Gods work through the human consciousness. Transformation of the human consciousness, and their own personal aims of development and growth and gaining more power on the inner planes. Each time, when we do a ritual or a devotional, we invoke the God and we concentrate on that God. We give it life-force by our attention and our emotion. And we charge that God form, and it feeds back to us. It is a symbiotic relationship.
THOR: How does that symbiotic relationship relate to the concept of meta-genetics that apparently you like and that Steve McNallen has written about? FREYA: Meta-genetics, the concept, the Hamingja, the oversoul, is in the blood. The blood gets transferred by the genes. Therefore it is absolutely essential for the purest dedication in the worship of the Gods to keep the purest genetic line. This is true for every nation. This is true for the Voodoo people. It is true for African people. For Nordic people. For everyone. The Gods are the mythological ancestry. You keep your line as pure as possible. Because if the race dies out, the Gods die out. And this is not only the prerogative of the Nordic race. Each race should be aware of that.
THOR: How did the runes Ansuz and Wunjo come to shape your last name of Aswynn?
FREYA: I was given the name Freya in the Craft, and I needed a surname to go with it. Especially when I went public, and I just asked Odin. And just those runes came up. Aswynn. Ansuz. Wunjo. Aswynn. That is it.
THOR: Can you explain the special meaning of Ansuz and Wunjo in this context?
FREYA: No, I won't. No I won't. That is to each individual to decode.
THOR: I see. Well, what are some of the most significant runes to you now that you are willing to decode?
FREYA: Ansuz, of course. First and foremost. Wunjo, Othila, Eiwaz, and, Gifu [Gebo in the elder Futhark or "Gifu" in the Anglo-Saxon Futhark] is paramount in my life.
THOR: How is it paramount?
FREYA: It is the gift, the giver, and the receiver all being one. The gift transcends the giving and receiving. Gifu is the unifying rune of the consciousness. Between me and Odin. Gifu is all.
THOR: Is there another rune that you would like to talk about?
FREYA: Well, yes. Othila, of course, is a very important rune. It represents the folk collective. The establishment of our folk traditions, and our own ethnic and spiritual heritage. Othila, if you look at it, is composed by two runes. An Inguz and a Gifu. The gift of Ing. Ing being the God of fertility and ancestry transmitting the gift of consciousness to the next generation. Gifu. Inguz. Then of course there are the dark runes of the Goddesses. Hagalaz, Isa, Nauthiz, collectively Urd, Skuld and Verdandi. Of course Pertho, the rune of Wyrd, the rune of space, and Jera the rune of time. These are the runes for divination and the shaping of ones individual web of Wyrd.
THOR: It was interesting to me when earlier you told me that you have not tried to cash in on your runic readings by setting up a fortune-telling shop.
FREYA: Of course not. That would debase the runes to the market place. Someone with a deck of cards telling fortunes for the public for a few quid. No, no way would I do that. That is not the way the runes are meant to be. Not by me at any rate. When I do a rune cast, it is a sacred act, I am communing with the God or Goddess to that particular person. That is something that I can not sell on the market place. It would be prostitution.
THOR: What is your understanding or relationship to Gods such as Loki in addition to Odin?
FREYA: I have always ignored Loki, mainly because Lionel already was linked with Loki, and he caused enough mischief for me and Odin to clear up. But fortunately, Kvedulfr taught me a main lesson in this respect. If you invoke Odin, you will sooner or a later have to invoke Loki?
THOR: Why is that?
FREYA: Because they are blood brothers. It says in the story in Aegir's Hall that every time Odin is offered a drink, Loki must be offered one as well. So whenever you call on Odin, you must give some kind of acknowledgement to Loki. If only to shut the bugger up and stop him from interfering.
THOR: Do you see Loki as being truly evil?
FREYA: Oh, no. No. A pest, certainly. But evil, not particularly. No more than any of the others. Odin is pretty nasty in his dark side. He is a right old sod.
THOR: What about Surt?
FREYA: Surt is evil. Surt is total, unmitigated destruction. Loki is transformation. Loki is chaos. Loki is the bugger factor. The unknown variable that comes in and screws things up for everyone to learn. To rebuild. To test. Challenge. Surt is just total destruction. No purpose at all.
THOR: What about the Gods who are at the other end of the scale? That are edifying. Such as Heimdal or Thor?
FREYA: Heimdal is very important. He is essentially the opener of the way. Especially if you work with higher trance states and traveling, then you have got to acknowledge Heimdal as the guardian of the bridge, otherwise you will not pass. Thor, is just nice. Thor is the one you invoke when you have got a bit of trouble going on. Then you call on Thor. He does the business. He is very protective. Very friendly. And very, very close at hand. He is really with his people all the time. Protective, you know. Defensive. Very very nice. But Odin transcends them all. Odin is just cosmic consciousness. Odin is just all.
THOR: What direction would you like to see Asatru develop in the future?
FREYA: I want to see more development of traditional magic. Platform magic. Seidr. Galdr. All sorts of traditional magic. Reconstructed from the sagas with the help of looking at other people's traditional magic which has not been wiped out. But more magic as an individual group to raise the consciousness of the individual. They will raise the consciousness of the folk.
THOR: To a Westerner who is trained to think in rationalistic terms, how would you define the term "magic" that you practice?
FREYA: Well, there is a set definition of magic as an act of will for a specific result which is the Crowley definition. Magic is the art of causing coincidence and the will, and this is all true, but personally for me, the way I practice magic, is purely for transcendental purpose. My magic is geared to get a closer communication and unity with Odin. That is all my magic is aimed at. Not casting spells or gaining money or gaining favors. It is purely in terms of the transcendence of consciousness. And to me the aided consciousness back to the folk, to inspire, to teach, and to bring the people closer to the Gods. So actually this is mysticism, not magic. Magic is a technology of how to cast spells. How to do certain working. Mysticism ought to be the aim of magic.
THOR: How would you describe the art of Galdr?
FREYA: It is verbal magic. It is anything to do with poetry, incantations, mantra-type runic chants. Or create an altered state of consciousness.
THOR: I see. How would you describe Seidr magic?
FREYA: Seidr magic has more to do with the feminine mysteries. This altered state of consciousness by deep trances and sitting out, sitting on a platform, hanging on trees, anything. It is on the sharp edge of magic. And sexual magic would be a part of Seidr.
THOR: What about this "sex magic" that we have heard about? How do you feel it can be used or abused?
FREYA: How can it be used? Again, I can not really speak from experience, because I have never met --well I have met the person I would like to experience this with, who is Bernard King, but it did not work out. In other traditions, sexuality is used as a method to elevate. ones consciousness to a higher plane. Again the object being the communication with the Gods, to use that energy of the life force directly for the communication. And inspiration with the Gods. But it has to be done on such a high transcendental level of consciousness elevation that I have not found the proper person with whom I could celebrate this mystery. I still hope. As time goes on.
THOR: This is different from using it as a tool for promiscuous relations as opposed to practicing family values.
FREYA: Of course not. It has nothing to do with promiscuity. The priest and priestess are in sacred union like a God and a Goddess, and you just can not achieve that with everyone on a promiscuous level. You might be lucky if it happens once in a lifetime.
THOR: What is your concept of what is called "sending."
FREYA: AHH!! Sending. Well that is basically creating a physical structure like an animal or a hat or a series of runes or a bowl or whatever, and you charge that, as a receptacle for an indwelling familiar spirit, a servitor, that you then can send off to do your bidding. That is a sending.
THOR: I am aware of a lot of primitive cultures such as the Native Hawaiians who engage in sending. [Editor's Note: Thor worked on a documentary film project that covered elements of the old Hawaiian religion. According to Thor, an excellent source is Na Po'e Kahiko: The People of Old by Samuel Kamakau, Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1964. Samuel Kamakau lived in the 1800's and is an authentic source on pre-contact pagan Hawaiian religion. In chapter six "Magic and Sorcery" Kamakau discusses the "sending" practices of dreaded kahuna'ana'ana who, among other things, prayed people to death. Of course these practices had a distinctively Polynesian as opposed to Nordic flavor to them. If you ever visit the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, check it out].
FREYA: This [sending] was done in Iceland.
THOR: So apparently it has been done by peoples across the globe.
FREYA: Across the globe. We call it the sending, they call it something else.
THOR: Do you see this as something that is on the periphery of Asatru?
FREYA: It is not on the periphery of Asatru. It is right in the center of it. Like Odin has his Huginn and Muninn as his familial spirits. We all ought to have a couple. One of them guards your house when you are not there. Another one looks after your finances and your daily business. Another one is there to attack enemies. To divert enemy attack coming in. They are practical mechanisms.
THOR: So this is creating a kind of spirit force?
FREYA: Yes, yes.
THOR: Like a force field?
FREYA: A force field, yes, but with indwelling elemental spirits. You create an environment for them to dwell in. And give them a foothold on this plane. In return, they will do what you ask them. But you have to be nice to them. You treat them more or less as pets. You do little blots for them. For example, this is linked with alfarblots. People had elves. They put honey and milk outside the door to please the elves. The elves looked after the farmyard. The elves looked after the household. This is basically the same principle.
THOR: Apparently you will continue writing books? Can you describe some of the book projects?
FREYA: The Shadow of Yggdrasil [is one of them]. The Shadow of Yggdrasil is basically an attempt in the future to define the meaning of Asatru in terms of certain political slurs that have been leveled at it. I intend to trace down the historical origins of anti-Semitism and Nazism, and prove beyond any doubt that they are not a part of Odinism or Asatru. To put things in perspective. That is not part of our folk fate. It does not have a place in Asatru, and never had a place in Asatru. The term shadow comes from Jung again, that part of the subconscious which is suppressed. People do not want to acknowledge. The same way, if you look at a tree in the sun, that tree will shed a shadow. Likewise Yggdrasil, the cosmic tree, will have its its shadow side, the darker side. That has to be illuminated. It has to be exposed to the light. The light of reason. The light of understanding. To eliminate this erroneous concept that Asatru is Nazi.
THOR: There is another book project--
FREYA: Roots of Yggdrasil. This will go into more technology of sorcery, sending, of sigils, of practical magical workings in daily life, and also it will contain an in-depth analysis of the inner meaning of Wagner's Ring as a narrative of an initiation process seen from the perspective of Wodan or Wotan. That has been in preparation.
THOR: You have been very active in terms of musical recordings. Can you describe your most recent albums?
FREYA: Well, I have done Fruits of Yggdrasil, which basically was purely intended to express what I feel about my faith and Odin in particular. Shades of Yggdrasil is basically a re-recording of that. A revamped version after the original sold out. It is a celebration of Asatru. It is empowerment of the runes. And of course it is my own feelings expressed in song and voice about Odin. Certain songs convey my soul. In that record I opened up my soul to the folk. To show the beauty of the worship of Odin.
THOR: Do you think there a place for recapturing some of the sublime kinds of hymns that we often hear in a Christian church, except that we adapt them to Asatru lyrics. I understand that Christians have ripped off some beautiful hymns from pagans and heathens. Is it possible that we can do the same thing [back to the Christians]?
FREYA: I do not think so. The taint would always be there. If you wanted to take a Christian tune and put Odinist words in it, I mean, the taint would still be there. I could not get it through my throat. The only way to do it is to start from scratch and write your own hymns with your own music. We have got enough quality musicians and song writers. Like Kirby [Wise]. I mean, we do not need to borrow from Christianity. I wish someone would write me a real hymn of Odin, expressing everything about his sublime, majestic consciousness. I would gladly put it out on a record. Any challengers? Vor Tru should forward any mail on this.
THOR: Could you describe some of the people you are currently working with in London? For example, Bernard King apparently has come out with --
FREYA: Ultima Thule.
O'Halloran displaying his Thor's Hammer amulet
FREYA: Well, that book --Bernard has been working on the concept of Thule for a very long time. He has written a trilogy called The Keeper Trilogy which has to do a lot with the Thulian concept, he also wrote Asatruar novels, retelling the Ynglinga myths and Staruadder and other heroes. He has done a marvelous job on that. But at the moment I do not know whenever I will Dan tried to charm Freya with his over-sized Thor's Hammer ever cooperate with this man ever again. There has been great, great personal disappointments which prompted me to sever at this point. I am looking more to Kvedulfr for cooperation on the level of the correspondence course and the direction of Asatru in England.
THOR: How is your time preoccupied these days?
FREYA: Well, in the correspondence course. Answering the students. Writing more letters. Writing on the next book. And running a housing association as managing director and financial administrator.
THOR: You own or run your own cooperative, as I understand it.
THOR: Is this what you direct or is this something else that you do?
FREYA: No, it is the same cooperative.
THOR: I See. What does your correspondence course cover that is not in Leaves of Yggdrasil?
FREYA: At the moment it is difficult to say. The original correspondence course was written mainly by me and Bernard. It is now in the process of being re-written by Kvedulfr. I have not seen his latest work yet, but it is bound to be absolutely good. A lot more. It is basically for people who are on their own who want to know more about Asatru, who want to find a safe guide into different types of magic of Asatru. To do their own rituals. To do their own workings. To gain their own understanding of the runes without being taught by me what this rune means or what that rune ought to do. They are given a framework to develop their own intuitive and magical abilities to the greater service of the Gods and the folk. And unfortunately this correspondence course does not come cheap. The production of it costs a hell of a lot of money.
OAK THORGEIR: How does one get involved in this correspondence course?
FREYA: You sign up for it.
OAK: Write to you directly?
FREYA: Write to me directly. It is a twelve month course in all basic Asatru magic and lore.
THOR: And the address is BM ASWYNN, London, WCIN 3XX, England?
FREYA: That is correct.
OAK: What is the cost of the course?
FREYA: The cost of the course is nine pounds per lesson. For the American market, I set it up where they can order three lessons as a block for sixty dollars. But of course they do not have to order these lessons every month; they can do it twice a year. Unfortunately, it costs a lot to make them. To print them. To typeset them. This is just the cost. And the amount of time that goes into them. This is just the cost. And the amount of time that goes into it, I have to make some money out of it to cover the time.
THOR: What is next on your agenda here in America?
FREYA: I am going to Phoenix to meet up with the Troth with some Troth kindreds to do some work shops and some practical work on Seidr, Galdr, and more advanced forms of magic. The way I understand it, a lot of good work, a lot of advanced magical work, has been accomplished in the Troth, and I will gladly get involved in that.
THOR: And then you are going on to San Francisco.
FREYA: Then going on to San Francisco to the Ostara thing which is run by the Ring of Troth. Again, I will be doing workshops, lectures, readings, and have a good time with the folk.
THOR: Can't argue with that. Those of us with the Vinland Kindred of the Asatru Alliance have had a good time with you, and can only wish that this visit to the U.S. will be an extraordinarily memorable, productive, and happy experience for you.
FREYA: Thank you.
A threesome consisting of Lady Liberty, Freya Aswynn and Thor
Sannhet face our sacred Northern European lands across the ocean
* * * * * * *
William B. Fox is a former Marine Corps officer with experience in logistics, public affairs, and military intelligence. He is an honors graduate of the Harvard Business School and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of Southern California. He is also publisher of America First Books at www.americafirstbooks.com