Ynglinga saga - 10 Chapter Ten
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Then Freyr took power after Njǫrðr. He was called lord over the Svíar and took tribute payments from them. He was popular and blessed with good seasons, like his father. Freyr built a great temple at Uppsalir and made it his capital, directing to it all his taxes in land and movable property. This was the origin of the Uppsalaauðr (‘Uppsala wealth’) and it has continued ever since. The peace of Fróði began in his time.
There was prosperity throughout all lands. The Svíar attributed that to Freyr. As a result of peace and good harvests, he was the more honoured than other gods the more prosperous the people of the land became in his time than before. His wife was called Gerðr Gymisdóttir.
Their son was called Fjǫlnir. Another name for Freyr was Yngvi. The name Yngvi was used in his family long after as an honorific title, and his descendants were called Ynglingar. Freyr caught an illness, and as the illness progressed people thought out what to do, and they let few people come to him, and built a great tomb and put a doorway and three windows in it. And when Freyr was dead they carried him secretly into the tomb and told the Svíar that he was still alive, and kept him there for three years. And they poured all the tribute into the mound, the gold through one window, the silver through the second, and copper coins through the third.
Then prosperity and peace continued. Freyja kept up the sacrifices, for she was the only one of the gods left alive, and she became the best known, so that all noble women came to be called by her name, just as now the name frúvur (‘ladies’) is used. Similarly everyone was called freyja (‘mistress’) of what she possessed, and húsfreyja (‘mistress of a household’) if she is in charge of a dwelling.
Freyja was rather fickle. Her husband was called Óðr.
Her daughters were called Hnoss and Gersimi. They were very beautiful. The most precious treasures are called by their names.
When all the Svíar knew that Freyr was dead, but prosperity and peace continued, they believed that that would last as long as Freyr remained in Svíþjóð, and they did not want to burn him, and they called him veraldargoð (‘god of the world’), and sacrificed to him ever afterwards for prosperity and peace.
Note 1: The marriage of Freyr and Gerðr is narrated in the eddic poem Skírnismál
Note 2: Both hnoss and gersimi are common nouns meaning ‘treasure’.
Note 3: Freyja’s ‘fickleness’ is exaggerated in the eddic poem Lokasenna where Loki accuses her of having slept with all the Æsir and elves present at the feast that is the setting for the poem.