Frigga and Freya are two Goddesses with a lot in common. They are both skilled practitioners of seid, They both have the hability to transforms into falcons and the names of Their Husbands (Odin and Odr) are near identical (meaning ‘Lord of frenzy’ and ‘frenzy’, respectively). Just to name a few things.
But They are also different in many ways which can hardly be ignored. They have different Parentages and Children, are from different Tribes and are consistently referred to as two distinct Beings in the written sources we have. The names Frigga and Freya are, contrary to what one might believe, not particularly similar either and mean ‘beloved’ and ‘Lady’, respectively. Frigga is also said to be above Freya in terms of hierarchy, which hardly makes senses if They are the same.
Because of Their many similarities and differences, the topic of ‘Are Freya and Frigga the same Goddess’ has become one of the most discussed among both historians and Heathen believers. I’ve found that whatever side of the debate people fall on, this is one of the few ones were people seem to have very strong feelings about it. I recently heard a godhi say that he’s pretty open to varying beliefs and interpretations within Heathenry but that there is one hill he’s willing to die on and it’s that Frigga and Freya are NOT the same Goddess. And, interestingly, the majority of Heathens seem to agree with him on this topic. As do I.
There is, in my opinion, far too many things pointing to Them being separate Beings. Some of Their similarities can also be explained by the fact that They are the two highest ranking Goddesses. For example: the fact that both are skilled in the art of seid, which is closely tied to the Divine Feminine in general.
But to properly understand the relation between the Two, I believe it is important to know just who Frigga is.
Nowadays, She is primarily known as Odin’s Wife. Which can give the impression that it’s all there is to Her and even that She is beneath Him. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Frigga is the highest ranking of the Asynjor and the Queen of Asgård. She is the only Deity, besides Odin, who is permitted to sit on the throne Hlidskjalf, from which one can gaze over all the nine realms. She is not lesser than Her Husband in either importance or power and She is even known to outsmart Him.
Although, to be fair, it would be rather difficult to outsmart the Goddess who knows all fates.
Freya is second-in-command to the Highest Divine Feminine. Why does She have this honour? One theory is that Frigga is Njord’s unnamed Sister and therefore Freya’s Mother. For Frigga’s only Daughter to be the second most powerful Asynja would make sense.
It could also be that Freya was the most powerful among the Vanir Goddesses and therefore was given the special place as Frigga’s right-hand when She came to Asgård following the Æsir-Vanir war.
Either way it isn’t hard to imagine a Daughter-Mother kind of relationship between Lady Freya and the Goddess known as ‘the Mother of the Æsir’.
One difference I see between Them is that Freya is more associated with the things of this world: fertility of crops and animals, abundance, sex and passion. I find it also interesting that She is known to travel the world far and wide under varying Names and seeks all over for a Husband whose Name can be translated ‘inspiration’, ‘frenzy’ and ‘poetry’.
My personal UPG is that Freya’s purpose is to bring the touch of the Divine Feminine into the world and to gift us with the passion and love that makes us truly live and not just exist. Meanwhile, Frigg is the Great Mother whose unconditional and all-emcompassing love is always there for us to reach out to.