Sunday, March 24, 2013

Odin


Odin

Edin

Appeal: Magic, Victory, Leadership, City Hall, Professors, Poetry, Death, Travel, Wisdom, Teaching, Father, War
Odin A is a chief God in Norse mythology and the ruler of Asgard.  Odin has only one eye, which blazes like the sun.  He is often pictured as an older man wearing a floppy hat and a blue-grey cloak.  His role, like that of many of the Norse Gods, is complex.  He is associated with war, victory and death, but also wisdom, magic, learning, sky, poetry and the hunt.  Odin is closely connected with a horse called Sleipnir, a spear called Gungnir, a pair of wolves named Geri and Freki and two ravens Huginn and Muninn.  From his throne, Hlidskjalf, Odin could see everything that occurred in the universe.  His description from the Temple at Uppsala gives some details on the God.

In this temple, entirely decked out in gold, the people worship the statues of three Gods in such ways that the mightiest of them, Thor, occupies a throne in the middle of the chamber; Wotan (Odin) and Frikko (Freyr) have places on either side. The significance of these gods is as follows: Thor, they say, presides over the air, which governs the thunder and lightning, the winds and rains, fair weather and crops. The other, Wotan—that is, the Furious—carries on war and imparts to man strength against his enemies. The third is Frikko, who bestows peace and pleasure on mortals. His likeness, too, they fashion with an immense phallus.

Gesta Hammaburgensis 26, Tschan's translation


According to the Prose Edda, Odin, the first and most powerful, was a son of Bestla and Bor and brother of Vili and Ve.  With his brothers, he cast down the frost giant Ymir and made Earth from Ymir's body.  
Odin hung from the world tree, Yggdrasil, impaled on his own spear, for nine days and nights in order to gain the knowledge of runes.  Odin brought down the wisdom of the runes and conveyed their information for the rest of humanity to learn from.  Therefore, the Ansuz A rune is often regarded as a rune of ‘communication.’  Linked to the Divine, it is a rune of inspiration, wisdom, aspirations and communication.

Odin has many sons, the most famous of whom is Thor.  With his wife, Frigg, he fathered his doomed son Baldr and the blind God Hod.  Many royal families in Midgard claimed descent from God Odin through other sons.

Up until about the tenth century, the Nordic people regularly made human sacrifices to Odin, often by hanging them upside down from ash trees and thrusting spears into their sides.  When Christianity came to Scandinavia, human sacrifices were outlawed.  Christian leaders often compared Odin with the Devil, a Christian evil spirit.  Some modern Asatru and Odinism groups, use a human shaped dummy, mead or other items as the sacrifice to Odin today.

He is also remember throughout the year in many feast days.  Depending on your area, Walpurgis April 22 (nine nights of Odin's sacrifice on Yggdrisal), Fall Equinox Feast September 20, Einherjar November 11 or the Wild Hunt December 20 (which over time turned Odin and Sleipnir into Santa and reindeer).

With the threat of Ragnarok, the death of all Gods, Odin built Valhalla, a great hall of the heroic dead.  Odin would then gather heroes and warriors who were slain in battle and bring them to Valhalla so they would fight alongside the Gods, in an attempt to strengthen and save the Gods in the final battle at the time of Ragnarok.  On the day of the final battle, Odin will be killed by the wolf Fenrir.
Wednesday is named after Woden, the English form of Odin (Woden's day).  Odin appears in the 1939 novel The Ship That Flew by Hilda Lewis.  Odin is the main God character in the 2001 novel American Gods by Neil Gaiman.  In the popular video game Age of Mythology, Odin is a major Norse god which also gives the player the ability to use his two ravens Huginn and Muninn to scout the map.  He appears in many other modern influences.


Odin's Prayer
The forests sing, the oceans cry.
The ravens soar through every sky.
Into the corners of Asgard.
Where Odin hears the score, thus far.
On Sleipner, he rides on through,
Surveys the bloodshed before you
Commands Valkries too fly you home,
Too sit and serve by Odin’s throne!

Hear my call,              
My soul belongs too thee

So I may rest with you!



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