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Ingui Freya

By: Garman Lord

 



Garman here.


>However, given that our only evidence regarding who was the most popular comes from the aristocrats themselves......with even the hammer being but an everyman's luck charm as you say, replacing the doubleheaded axe charm of an earlier age....how do we know that Thunor was the most popular, the most important to the work of the common man? Afterall, the common life is fairly day-in-day-out, more about plowing and sawing and lifting and fetching than bashing and crashing and constant, non-stop, edge of your seat action. And while I would not casually dismiss the farmer's affections for a god like Thunor...for keeping the war out there, amongst other things.....it seems to me that Ingui for instance, the God of this World, might himself have a claim to being the most loved and intimate to the common folk.
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You're quite right, of course. I think I read somewhere that Thunor was the most popular god amongst the common people of a certain folk, and just thoughtlessly extended that idea to the notion of him being best loved amongst common folk generally; bit of sloppy logic there, when we of all people ought to know better. Chances are the common folk in various places had various favorites, perhaps more than one, and with no one predominating, unless he happened to be the one who was giving them the most generous gifts at any given moment, the folk being what they are.



>It seems to me that Ingui's gift is that which brings a certain magic to what would otherwise be day-in-day-out drudge in which work is "hard, because I'm ill-content". This seems ot me to be part of the meaning of frith.....belonging, team-work, team-spirit, joyous or fulfilling work, an fulfilling celebration, and fulfilling pay off.
One might also speculate that as a Wena, Ingui is very closely connected to all of those little nature spirits, spirits of the hearth, the home, the surrounding land, of Geard one might say, that, according to Grimm, the common folk relied on more often than they did the gods themselves.

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Chances are you're right again. Certainly there was every indication that Ingui Freya always tended to be very well-loved indeed by practically everybody; also, that the relationship of the common folk to the lesser wights they dealt with every day was apt to be more intimate and immediate than to that of the major cult-gods... such that it's no accident that myth seems to make Ing Frea Lord of AElfhame. And certainly Ing Frea is the kind of god who is easy to love. He is very powerful, but also very generous, and very accessible; almost as accessible as Lady Freo, who seems to be willing to give help and advice to anybody anytime. Considering the differences in he various god natures, it has always intrigued me that Woden is often called "Allfather," even though, in his nature, he tends to be somewhat remote, intimidating and dangerous, and not really very fatherly, in the ordinary sense, while Ing Frea really does seem quite fatherly in many ways... even though "father" is not necessarily the way I, for one, have ever really thought of him.

More than anything else, Ing Frea has always seemed to me like some kind of rich uncle, who got very rich in business, so much so that you wouldn't normally dare approach him if you weren't kin. When you do nerve up to approach him, however, he turns out to be very kind and generous and to treat you like family, notwithstanding the difference in your station. My experience of him has been that he seems to radiate power, yet to be very smooth and warm and sleek, unlike the bristly intimidating power of Woden. He listens to whatever you have to say in a warm friendly patient way, then tells you what you need to know, what you have been doing wrong, what you ought to be doing instead, and his advice, even if it might sound fairly unlikely at the time, always turns out to be spot-on; he makes solving big problems seem almost too easy. Of course Lady Freo is in many ways a lot like that too, albeit a bit more dangerous and intimidating, mainly because she is female and capricious and you have to be more careful around her, at the same time as her beauty is so head-turning that it's not easy to think all that clearly around her. Ideally, I think, to really succeed in the world, you would want Ing Frea for your fosterer and backer, and Lady Freo for your PR consultant, spin doctor and style coordinator.

This may make it seem like these wanes are mainly relevant to the elite, but actually that's not so. The common folk may be common, but that doesn't mean they are mere nameless faceless subhuman worker bees whose whole existence and only life is in work. It's way too easy to fall into those kinds of cliches when we are thinking about the human condition. The common folk may do most of the dirty fingernails gruntwork, they may not have the vision or high ambition or couth of the upper classes, yet when looked at on its own terms, we find the world of the common folk to be just as rich and varied in its own way as that of those who must daily deal in great affairs. The common folk are individuals, with personalities and lifestyles, aspirations and ambitions and concerns of their own to deal with amongst themselves and in their own way that don't necessarily concern the upper classes, they work hard, and also play hard, and are in fact apt to have more fun when they play than their betters usually do; anyone who has ever, say, spent a day at some obscure little non-commercial country fair off somewhere in the boonies, soon learns this.

What is more, it always tends to be the common folk who produce most of a culture's novel bright ideas and spontaneous innovations. The upper classes can never afford to do that; they are too busy maintaining their own status and the status quo, and the educated classes, especially, always tend to be tremendously conservative and mediocre. Thus it is that most cultural innovations tend to have their beginning in the lowest classes, where the native genius is freest to experiment, and only gradually to bubble up through to the upper classes. It is a sense in which the common folk produce much more than work and material wealth, and are much more valuable to any society than it usually acknowledges... none of which is lost on gods like the Wanes. If it may seem strange that Ing Frea gives just as good advice to a country landlord as to a king, or that Lady Freo is no friendlier to a queen than she is to a scullery maid, we need only remind ourselves that the lesser man's concerns are just as vitally important to him as the great man's are to him, and that gods like the Wanes see a lot less difference in degree between classes of us mortals than we mortals are apt to see amongst ourselves. There is so much of this stuff that is always really just a matter of perspective.


Godspeed......

Garman