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Faces of the Golden Queen

By Glaux

[Snip] Frau Holle is an ancient figure. The name Hludana is found in five Latin inscriptions: three from the lower Rhine, one from Münstereifel and one from Beetgum, Frisia all dating from 197 AD- 235 AD. Many attempts have been made to interpret this name. The most steadfast connections are with Frau Holle and Hulda on one hand, and the Old Norse Hloðyn, a byname for the Earth, Thor’s mother, on the other. She is also frequently equated with Nerthus, who also rides in a wagon, and Odin’s wife, Frigg, from her alternate names Frau Guaden [Wodan], Frau Goden, and Frau Frekke as well as her position as mistress of the Wild Hunt. The similarity of meaning and etymology between German “Holl(d)a” and Old English “Hella,” as well as both being described as leading the dead, could point to a link between them.

Frau Holda is matron of all of women’s domestic chores, but none so much as spinning, an activity with strong magical connotations and links to the other world. Spinning traditionally was a woman’s task, and one of the few from which they could earn money. Holda first taught the craft of making linen from flax. She governs the cultivation as well as the spinning of flax, and in many respects is similar to the Norse goddess Frigg who governed the spinning of wool and was also close to women.

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