Saturday, March 03, 2007

Heathen Gods: Odin

I was given some advice by a friend regarding the beginning of learning about a new religion, in this case Heathenry. He told me to start with the Gods. So, that is what I am doing. And who better to start with than the God that is said to be the main God of Heathen religions? Today, I start with some of my notes that I have taken down as I have found information about Odin.

What Is Odin The God Of?

Odin is considered to be the chief God of the Æsir clan.

Although the most likely realm attributed to Odin is that of war, battle, and death, he is also the God of wisdom. He is considered to be the patron of poets, writers and thinkers. He also has been known to use magic, both rune and seidhr magic. Seidhr magic was typically used by women and for that reason Odin was driven out of Asgard for a while. Odin was the God who gained to the knowledge of Runes for the Æsir and used that power to resurrect himself.

He is the God that is most concerned with human affairs and watched the human race from his high seat.

He is said to be the shaper of Wyrd.

What Does He Look Like?

Most say that Odin appears as an older man with a long beard. He is most likely to be depicted as wearing a dark blue cloak and is carrying his spear, gungnir, which he uses as a walking staff. He is missing an eye after sacrificing it to gain wisdom at the well of Mimir. His eye is said to remain at the bottom of the well.

No one seems to know which eye is the one that has been sacrificed as there are depictions of him missing either eye.

He is also known for his ability to take on other shapes.

Odin’s Connections With The Other Gods

Frigg – Frigg is Odin’s first wife and helps him to look over the world.

Balder – Odin and Frigg’s son.

Hod – Odin’s blind son who represented darkness.

Thor – Odin’s son by the Goddess Jord.

Loki – A giant that is often sited as Odin’s blood brother. He is also the mother of Odin’s eight-legged horse, Sleipnir.

Common Stories of Odin

Sacrificing his eye, he throws it into the well of Mimir to be able to take a drink to gain wisdom.

To gain the knowledge of Runes, he hangs himself from a tree for nine days and nights and pierces his side with his own spear.

What Else Is He Known For?

He is known as the leader of the Wild Hunt.

Giving poets the mead of inspiration.

The slaying of the giant, Ymir, to form Midgard.

Updated 3/3/07 at 6:40pm to reflect corrections as told to me by Bernulf of Expanding Inward.


Autumn said...

Funny that you should post about Odin, He has popped into my thoughts twice this week for no apparent reason. I searched some information about him myself, but learned a few new things. Now I wonder what he wants me to know. When something like that happens (me thinking of him then reading this) I can’t help but feel that I am suppose to learn a lesson.

Sojourner said...

Autumn - Maybe there is a lesson to be learned. :) And it is good to pay attention to "coincidences" as there is something that is trying to get your attention (whatever that something may be).

I have also been thinking about him as well (one of the reasons for this post) and now I have been reading up more about Heathenry in general. It's been interesting so far!

Thanks for the comment!