Ingvi, Lord of Winter?

Full Cold Moon (Age: 16 Days)
Current Sign: Void of Course
Weather: Bitter cold, windy, some lake effect
Snow Pack Depth: 3 in, approx.
Drought Status: Moderate

So many people point to Freyr as the lord of spring and summer. I will confess, I was one of those people. Then life got interesting. Over the last few years, I am finding that things between him and I become more ... intense in the time of year from Samhain to Beltane. I was inclined to consider it my attention was drawn more to him because there was less stuff going on to distract me.

Now, I'm not entirely sure that assessment is correct. I have a feeling that there are people who are going to get offended with this. But, he is very strongly encouraging me to put this out there for others to take and consider. Freyr is a gentle god. But he is not always gentle. And he is not always what we would perceive as kind. He has kindness in him. I am not saying that is not there or that he is maliciously inclined. Woe betide the one who earns his anger. I've glimpsed his anger. It is fearsome. He is not one you should seek to intentionally cross or offend. He will simply destroy you. Consider it fortunate, Freyr is not quick to anger and the things that move him to it are not small matters. Things like the business of what is happening in Aleppo are what moves him to fury. People choosing to act inhumanely and with out regard for other lives, they are the ones he gets angry with. Failing to properly observe your devotional activities or act in proper ways, tends to get exasperation in my experience.

Right now, the weather is bitter. Depending on how the winds shift, we may have blizzard like conditions tonight at my home. The wind is blowing hard enough that it has nearly blown a partially filled bird feeder off of the branch it hangs on and we have a draft. It seems an odd time for Freyr to be so viscerally present right now in my awareness. And yet, he is here. His presence has a sharper edge to it than during the warmer months. I feel him with me in many ways. He smiles. It is a beautiful smile, but it makes me uneasy because he challenges me.

I was sitting here quietly panicking over the idea of dealing with some relatives that I do not have a very good relationship with. Suddenly, he was here. He said to me with a mixture of bemusement and confusion, "My brave, beautiful girl. Why don't you know how wonderful you are? Why don't you know how courageous you are? Who stole that from you?" It knocked me for a loop. All of this was on the heels of a health problem that forced me to seek help from others in situations that were, for me, humiliating. The act of sitting in the doctor's office in so much pain that I could not breathe properly and depending on my husband to help me figure out words to describe what was wrong was painful and difficult for me. It just got even more so as time went on, resulting in trips to the hospital for pain and a few rather terrifying incidents where I found myself even more dependent on others for help. And then, not five minutes after Beloved said to me, "Do you even know why you are apologizing?" and I realized with great grief that I was expecting emotional harm for being vulnerable from someone who has never and would never do so, the cause of all my pain was revealed and a solution was given.

I was shaken by Beloved's question. I was equally shaken by Ingvi's question earlier this evening. They say that in winter, he goes into the mound. Some say he goes into Hel's realm for a time. Others say different things. Either way, in winter, he comes to me. And he challenges me. The same one who pushes the plants to grow from tiny, hard seeds by cracking their painful, confining seed coat and drawing them up through the cold earth, he comes to me and breaks the hard shells of unhealthy thoughts and habits that surround me. He pushes me in a manner that is hard and unyielding. To the person looking from the outside, this seems uncharacteristic behavior of Freyr. Freyr is the gentle, golden god who pined for Gerda and was so distraught by love sickness he sent his friend as a go-between.

Ingvi, however, is also a lord of a fearsome host. It is my experience that he joins the Wild Hunt in their winter ride. He laughs and moves through it all with a fierce, if not possibly savage joy. In winter, he is the force of life that thrives despite the cold. He is also the one who keeps company with the dead and leads them forth when it is time to go a-hunting. Some people will be highly offended by this characterization of him. Some may say that I am not actually dealing with Freyr but an imposter. That may be their thought, but this is who I know him to be and how he has revealed himself to me.

And I love him in all his ways. Even when the lessons I am learning are painful. Because I know that he is leading me to healing and deeper love.