For the past month or so, I've felt a pull towards the Wanic deities. Well, that's not exactly right - I've been honoring Nerthus since before I knew Her name. But recently, I feel as if I'm being asked to explore Her children as well. Nerthus was the earth-mother Goddess of the Saxons before their migration to England, and it is assumed She was still very important to them, especially considering the Æcerbot's reference to the earth as a mother deity all the way in the 11th century. Ing Fréa, whose name can be linguistically traced to Freyr and is thought to have many of the same qualities, was one of the three most important Gods in Anglo-Saxon times (the other two being Woden and Thunor). Fréo, however, seems to have managed a complete vanishing act - though according to Alaric Albertsson in Travels Through Middle Earth, it's very possible that Her place-names are now impossible to distinguish from Frige's.
My interest catalyzed this past weekend when the local Heathen group offered a class exclusively focused on Freyja. It was so interesting to discuss Her roles and stories. As a hard polytheist, I do consider Her and Her Anglo-Saxon counterpart Fréo to be different deities; but in my opinion they are like close cousins. Learning about Freyja has increased my desire to try to connect with both Fréo and Her brother, Ing.
After a few offerings, I've decided to make representations of Them to sit on my nature altar next to Nerthus. I made them out of salt-dough, which is almost like playdough to work with, and super cheap to make. I shaped them based off of an image of Freyr from an archaeological dig in Sweden (though no visible penis - this is being displayed in my kitchen, after all!). After drying them out in the oven, I painted them with greens and golds to imitate vegetation and wheat. I painted Fréo an amber necklace, though I don't believe She was connected with an Anglo-Saxon version of Brísingamen - however, since we know so little of Her, there's no way to say Fréo didn't have an amber necklace of her own either.
I've been offering Ing and Fréo birdseed, which is what I keep to offer to Nerthus, but I may begin experimenting with other offerings related to the earth or plants. I've been saving some rose petal powder to burn as incense that I'd like to see if Fréo enjoys. If my readers have any offerings suggestions, please let me know in the comments!