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Snow White May Have Begun as a Sexy Goddess

September 26, 2015
Freya_by_Penrose

“Freyja and the Necklace,” by J. Doyle Penrose (1862-1932), c. 1913

In the myths of the Norse and other Germanic peoples, Freya is the beautiful goddess of sex, love, and fertility — and of war and death. She drives a chariot pulled by cats, treasures the pig as her sacred animal, and wears a powerful golden necklace called Brisingamen. According to one story, Brisingamen is the work of a troop of dwarves. While visiting the dwarves’ cave, Freya sees the beautiful necklace and begs to buy it. But the misshapen smiths already have plenty of treasure, so they demand a higher price. In exchange for the necklace, Freya stays in the cave until she’s slept with each dwarf.

Does the story have a familiar feel? Some scholars think it evolved into Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In fact, scholars think many fairy tales of the Christian ear (along with many saints) began as pagan myths.

This is one of the stories told in my book, The Jericho River: A Novel About the History of Western Civilization (p. 224).

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© 2015 by David W. Tollen. All rights reserved.

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