Caitlynn Abdow, Frigg, 2019

Abdow is one of us narrative painters here in Portland and recently finished this image of Norse goddess Frigg. Abdow explains “She’s part of the Aesir whose job it is to literally hold the chaos at bay, and she’s ultimately doomed to fail along with her fellow deities… She’s one of the goddesses, along with Freya, who can read and weave fate. In my painting she’s in the process of spinning wool into thread while the keys of fate hang in the balance. Spinning is associated with divination and trance states as well as storytelling due to the repetitive and seeming endlessness of the task.

“Through the loops in the thread we can see her visions of past and future events. The full moon represents fertility, the yellow flower is Frigg’s Grass or Lady’s Bedstraw and was used as a sedative for women during childbirth, and the mistletoe represents her son Baldur’s death at the hand of his blind brother Hod through the deception of Loki. Ignorance led by chaos to tragedy. Despite holding all this in her heart and head she stares back at us calm, collected, and unafraid.”

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