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Please ask me to specify if I am being unclear on the subject. Here comes my wall of text!
Magnus Olsen has interpreted Skisnimal to describe a pre-Christian agrarian fertility cult, or, as an allegory of sorts. Here Freyr represents the sun (and indeed in another writing he is mentioned to rule over sunshine) whereas Gerd is the cold, unyielding winter earth that must submit to the sun and become fertile. This Hieros Gamos - theme in the poem has been studied by other scholars as well and has recently been challenged, as I describe on my previous post. Of course, occultists tend to think a little differently than strict academic writers, as we are allowed a certain amount of freedom that academics don’t necessarily enjoy.
There are some themes in Skirnismal which are problematic, exactly as you point out. Of course, we can not be certain which parts (if any) are parts of the original, older story and much of this post is again, groping in the dark at best. I will go through some possibilities here.
The three Runes (Thurisaz):
which Skirnir threatens Gerd with are the base Runes for many nefarious formulae in the icelandic grimoire Galdrabók. In some Rune poems, Thurs is described to be “the torture of women”- but this poem might simply refer to war or forces of chaos which of course have the power to make many a woman widowers. Still, the Thurisaz Rune is the most destructive one of the lot, and basis for some seriously woe-working magic. (It does have it’s protective form as well, but it’s quite clear this is not what Skirnir suggests to carve “rista”).
In Skirnismal, Gerd is first seen by Freyr as he sits on Odin’s high seat and there sees far. Gerd emerges from her father’s house in a distant location. It can be that this is a mound, or other kind of location in the Underworld. Here I would like to suggest the possibility of some kind of Vanir-connection with Gerd, as the goddess Freyja is also closely related to mounds. I am not suggesting Freyja is Gerd even if we know that the Vanir tend to marry their own siblings or at least have erotic ties with one another. But the Vanir seem to be somewhat close to Jotun (the beneficial giants as opposed to the destructive giants, Thurs) as they are earthy and represent, in my opinion, a older cult than that of the Aesir. It’s also quite normal to make older gods into something “cthulhoid”, less sophisticated than the new ones by which “the need” for the newer deities / deity becomes “justified” so to say.
The giving away of the sword;
Certain Anti-cosmic writers have made the elaborate theory that begins with the witch Gullveig- Heith in the poem Völuspa. Heith comes to the home of the Aesir, and begins to spread her craft. The Aesir try to rid of her by burning her thrice in Odin’s hall. But she can not be destroyed. (Here I would like to suggest a connection to a goddess figure, drawing from other mythologies where Gods can die yearly, but a Goddess is forever. This is a kind of Hieros Gamos story as well, where a fertility God is sacrificed yearly, and in the spring, born again from the womb of the earth Goddess). The sword and the steed are indeed phallic, and they are also the markings of a warrior, or a king. The steed we may perhaps exclude as a shamanic vessel, but certainly not the sword.
Their idea is that Heith together with Loki plans Ragnarök, and that Freyr giving away his sword is all a part of this elaborate plan. I tend to disagree with this theory, as it is clearly stated in the writings that Freyr destroys his opponent with his antler, and he would not need a sword anyway, for he would kill the thurs with his bare hands. Also, I find a connection between Gullveig and Freyja to be too convincing.
As to sex and death;
I would think that there is a connection in this. Or, at least, in birth and death. The two were not considered so separate as they are thought to be now. Children were even thought to be ancestors reborn.
Sorry about the length of this post. I will stop here now, though could probably easy double this post