Why are there no females in the Hammer Prayer?

In the Northern Way we have a prayer that states:
“Odin, Balder, Frey and Thor, Guide my spirit forevermore.”
While doing so we make a Hammer Sign by touching our forehead when we say “Odin.”
Then we move our hand down to touch the center of our chest when we say “Balder.”
Then we move our hand left to touch our chest over our heart when we say, “Frey.”
Then finally we move our hand to the other side over the right lung when we say, “Thor.”

Recently I was not only asked some questions about the Hammer Prayer of why are there only gods and no goddesses in the prayer, but also are the places we touch to make the Hammer Sign related to the gods we refer to by those locations?

Regarding the question of why there are only gods in the prayer and not goddesses, I will say this. Gods are male. In dream language, males are more the “thought” of the things they represent. So the Hammer prayer inspires us to “think” about the things we want in life. Whereas, goddesses are female. In dream language, females are more the “feeling” of things they represent. Goddesses therefore represent the “feelings” we want in our life. So we have another prayer for the goddesses, we call the “Circle Prayer,” in short for the circle of life in Odin’s Eye, that states:

“Frigga, Freya, Sif and Eir, Guide my way free and fair.”
(“fair” meaning both “just” and “beautiful”)

While doing so we make an Odin’s Eye cross and circle sign by touching the center of our chest when we say “Frigga.”
Then we move our hand down to touch our pelvis when we say “Freya.”
Then we move our hand up and to the left to touch our left side when we say, “Sif.”
Then we move our hand straight across to the other side over the right side when we say, “Eir” (pronounced “air”).
As we say the last part, “Guide my way free and fair” we make a circle with our hand crossing through the four points we just marked on our body, from the right side up to the chest, down to the left side, on down to the pelvis, then circling back up to the right side. In nature, it is the feminine element from which living things proceed. So the prayer expresses the life we want to proceed from our souls and bodies with their divine inspiration.

I will break the compressed ideas of the gods and goddesses in the prayers so that you can decide competently what you would want to focus on at the time you perform it.
Freya is Frey’s twin sister and thus the feminine aspect of him. However, he does connote a different quality of life than Freya. So I will break both down.

I’m going to go from the simple to the complex by linking more and more around the simple central idea of the gods in the prayer to help the mental progression while keeping the core concepts clear. Our ancestors used “kennings” which were kind of nick-names for things in a riddle form because they wanted you to unpack the truths they contain in those compressed ideas. By doing this, they could compress a great amount of information in a few words.

Okay here we go from the simple to the complex.

Odin: Wisdom
Balder: Truth
Frey: Prosperity
Thor: Will-power
Frigga: Love
Freya: Beautiful Pleasure
Sif: Refined Tradition
Eir: Health

Odin: God of Wisdom
Balder: God of Truth
Frey: God of Prosperity
Thor: God of Will-power
Frigga: Goddess of Love
Freya:Goddess of Beautiful Pleasure
Sif: Goddess of Refined Tradition
Eir: Goddess of Health

Odin: the Good of Wisdom (He represents the “good” of wise life.)
Balder: the Good of Truth (not all truth is good. He represents the “good” of it.)
Frey: the Good of Prosperity (not everything about prosperity is good. He represents the “good” of it.)
Thor: the Good of Will-power (not everything about power is good. He represents the “good” of it.)
Frigga: the Goodness of Love (She represents the “goodness” of love.)
Freya: the Goodness of Beautiful Pleasure (not everything about beautiful pleasure is good. She represents the goodness of it.)
Sif: the goodness of Refined Tradition (not everything about refined tradition is good. She represents the goodness of it.)
Eir: the goodness of Health (She represents the goodness of a healthy life.)

Odin: the Good of internal Wisdom of the soul
Balder: the Good of internal Truth of the soul
Frey: the Good of external Prosperity of the body (or natural prosperity of the body)
Thor: the Good of internal Will-power of the soul acted out in the body and nature. Frigga: the Goodness of internal Love in the soul manifested in loving way of life.
Freya: the Goodness of external Beautiful Pleasure (Or natural beauty & pleasure of the body.)
Sif: the goodness of internal Refined Tradition of the soul manifested in a fine traditional life.
Eir: the goodness of internal Health of the soul manifested in a healthy life.

Odin: the Good of internal Wisdom of the soul
The King of Asgard: The “Ruler” (king) who makes the rules of the “internal-gods” or the “internal-good” of the “Aesir” = (As) “garden” = (gard) or guarded enclosure of the soul. All-Father (or Alfather): The fosterer, protector, provider and teacher of all the gods, or all the internal and external sources of good.
Balder: the Good of internal Truth of the soul
His name Balder means “Bolder”. So he represents the “Boldness” of truth.
Son of Odin and Frigga: Odin is fatherly wisdom. Frigga is motherly love. So the “good of truth” is made from the combination of wisdom and love.
Frey: the Good of external Prosperity of the body
His name Frey means “Lord”. So he represents the “mastery” of external prosperity. “Prosperity” comes from the roots “pro” = for and “spes” = hope + “spei” = to succeed. So he represents the good of our hopes succeeding in the body, not just in a dream. So calling upon him is like asking your dreams to come true. Frey was given Lossalfheim for his tooth-fee. That means when he first started cutting his teeth he was given the world of the light-elves (loss-alfs). That became known as the realm of the fairies in English territories. His story is the origin of our “Tooth-fairy”. The significance of Frey being Lord of the Light-elves is they are the source of “bright-ideas” we have. Frey is the god who makes them happen and prosper in the natural world.
Thor: the Good of internal Will-power of the soul Son of Odin and Nerthus (Earth): Odin is fatherly wisdom. Nerthus is the giantess of the natural world. Generally, giants are destructive forces. Giantesses are creative forces. Just as there are internal and external gods and goddesses, there are internal and external giants and giantesses. Internally, they represent “forces of desire”. Externally, they represent “forces of nature.” Therefore, Nerthus represents the life-force of the natural world. So the “good of will-power” is made from the combination of wisdom and the life-force of the natural world. Since his mother is of the natural world, he has an external aspect like the Vanir gods and goddesses, whereas, since his father is of the inward soul, he has an internal aspect like the Aesir gods and goddesses. His internal aspect is raw will-power represented by his willingness to fight and striking quickly with his hammer. His external aspect is raw natural-power represented by lightning strikes and thunder.

Frigga: the Goodness of internal Love in the soul manifested in the loving way of life.
The Queen of Asgard, the garden of the gods. She rules beside her husband Odin sitting on one throne called “Hlidskialf.” Her name “Frigga” means “love” of husband and wives, family and friends, extended even to strangers as hospitality. She is the goddess of home and hearth. She has loving female attendants. So, she is also the queen of loving servants. She is the spinner of the thread of the Web of Wyrd. So, love is the very fiber of its intention. When she rides as “Holda” in the Wild Hunt, she is the seeker and protector of the souls of children.
Freya: the Goodness of external Pleasure & Beauty of the body
Her name Freya means “Lord-ess”. So she represents the feminine “mastery” of external beauty & pleasure. Since sex is the most beautiful natural pleasure we can experience in the body, Freya was associated with mastering the fertility that often came with sex. She was also associated with who came back to a new life through rebirth in the body.
Sif: the goodness of internal Refined Tradition of the soul manifested in a fine traditional life.
The wife of Thor. Her name “Sif” is the origin of our English world “sift.” Thor breaks open the seeds of intention with his hammer, Mjolnir, which means “miller,” to expose the wheat and the chaff. Sif refines his work by the careful diligent hard work of sifting out the rough contents until only the finest flour remains. Sif was known to have long golden hair. Her hair represents the length of time the traditions of her finest thoughts have flowed from her mind. Combs in boxes were given as pledge to kings and queens, which represent their diligence to keep the linage and traditions straight and untangled. Loki cut off her hair, which reveals his dislike boring tradition. Yet even he had to replace it with strands of actual gold that grow from her ways if kept straight and refined. Eir: the goodness of internal Health of the soul manifested in a healthy life.

The Hammer Sign

So when we touch our forehead and say the prayer, “Odin…Guide my spirit forevermore.” We are praying that the “good of wisdom” will be in our thoughts. When we reach down and touch the center of our chest and say, “Balder…Guide my spirit forevermore.” We are praying that the “good of truth” will be in our soul. When we cross over to our left breast over our heart and say, “Frey…Guide my spirit forevermore.” We are praying the “good of natural prosperity,” or physical well-being will fill our heart and lives. If we call on “Freya” instead, we are praying the “goodness of beautiful pleasure,” or physical enjoyment will fill our heart and lives. When we cross over to our right breast over our lung and say, “Thor…Guide my spirit forevermore.” We are praying that will-power will make it so with every breath…as we use our life-force to fight for the good-life with the hammer of action.

May this clear up any questions about the Hammer Prayer and give it a deeper richer meaning than the simple words we say.
Sincerely, Gothi Andrew Webb

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