Freya and Sankt Valentin

The origin, the development and why Valentin is a bigger Love symbol today than Freya

In the midst of the symbolic universe of Love – the 14th of February – Freya & Thor of Sweden let’s Norse mythology’s Freya, and Christian Sankt Valentin intersect. As a brand we unquestionably derive our inspiration for love from the Goddess Freja, yet we salute the saint on this day… we though ask ourselves the question – why has Sankt Valentin become the international symbol of Love, instead of Freya? Let’s, in short, take it from the beginning.

Freya, the Enchanting Norse Love Goddess

Within the Norse mythology, Freya is embodying the essence of love, beauty, and fertility. As the daughter of Njord and sibling to Freyr, Freya’s presence is synonymous with passion, desire, and the untamed forces of nature.

Freya’s association with love though extends beyond romantic entanglements; she is a goddess of unabashed self-love and empowerment. The strongest symbol of her strong and intense love is in regards to her tears – that transformed into gold as they fell from her cheeks, (read more about that tale in our blog post “A symbol of joy & love”), symbolising the enriching power of emotional experiences. It is within this rich mythological context that Freya becomes an inspiration for the jewellery designs at Freya & Thor.

Sankt Valentin, Martyr of Love in Christian Tradition

In the early days of Christianity, we encounter Saint Valentine, a mysterious figure surrounded by stories of love and sacrifice. One popular narrative suggests that Valentin, a Christian martyr, defied the Roman Emperor Claudius 2’s decree against marriages for young men, continuing to perform marriages in secret. This act of rebellion in the name of love led to his eventual martyrdom.

In another version, it is believed that Valentine, while imprisoned, sent the first “valentine” greeting to a young girl, possibly his jailer’s daughter, signed “from your Valentine.” This heartfelt note is considered the origin of the modern Valentine’s Day card.

A Symbolic Fusion through our jewellery

Freya & Thor of Sweden, at least at the 14th of February, bridge the gap between these two iconic symbols of love. Our two collections “Lynx of Freya” and “Tear of Freya” inspired by our dear Love Goddess, and our two collections “Hammer of Thor” and “Capra of Thor” are all four designed and empowered by the strength and beauty associated with Freya and Thor. On this particular day though we let ourselves also be inspired by Valentin, who ones upon a time stood up for Love and committed to that power, creating a legacy.

Why has Valentin taken the spot as the love symbol and not Freya?

Norse mythology, including the story of the goddess Freya, may have had the equivalent level of recognition back in the days, up to the conversion over the years 850 to 1000, now in modern times and the year 2024 the global recognition of love belongs to Valentin. It could probably have become a different story if Norse Mythology had received a “cult status” earlier on. The commercialisation of “Valentine’s Day” in many parts of the world has further elevated Saint Valentine as a universal symbol of love.

We believe that the perceived passion for love, no surprise, is stronger with Freya – the cultural and historical contexts, the songs, the tear meaning. We will continue to charge our jewellery with this symbolism, and you know you will not only carry a celebration of love inspired by Freya (or Thor)  but also the essence of stories that have transcended time and cultural boundaries, making them relevant even as Valentine’s Day draws near.

To finish off, should we make a new day in the calendar? “The Day of Freya” – let us know what you think – we look forward hearing more of your thoughts. For now we say “Happy Freya Day the 14th of February.”
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