Monday, April 18, 2011

ODIN

We start off this week with the Father of Gods, Odin

God of war and death, but also the god of poetry and wisdom

Odin's father was Bor. Odin was Married to Frigg and their family inclduded, Baldur, Hod, Hermoth, Thor and Vidar. Together they were the chief divinity of the Norse pantheon, the foremost of the Aesir. 
Odin had to put himself through some very rigorous ordeals to become the great God that he was. One of these ordeals included the sacrifice of one of his eyes. Mimir was an ancient being noted for his wisdom. Mimir was the guardian of a sacred well (known as Mimir’s Well) that gave knowledge to those who drank from it. Odin so coveted wisdom that he gave up one of his eyes to Mimir to gain the privilege of drinking from the well. Mimir placed the eye in the well, where it shone as brilliantly as the Moon.

The well of wisdom lied under the second root of Yggdrasil, which allowed the Dew of Knowledge to seep into it. So Odin stabbed himself with his own spear and hung himself on the tree for nine days and nights. He was then allowed a peep, and saw magic runes appear on rocks beneath him.With a superhuman effort he lifted them and running his eye over the mystic symbols, he was instantly freed of all encumbrances. Restored and rejuvenated with everlasting vigour he droped lightly to the ground. His ordeal accomplished, Odin was at last able to drink from Mimirs well, making him the wisest of all.

Odins self-sacrifice gave him knowledge of the runes, the Norse symbols used for writing and fortune-telling. Yet although Odin was wise, he could also be sly and treacherous. It was not unusual, for example, for him to break his word or to turn people against each other to start conflicts.
ODIN
Minnie-ism for today:
"Odin knew that to get ahead in the world means you have to keep one eye open so he sacrificed one of his eyes. How cool is that?"

Odin's attributes were the spear Gungnir, which never missed its target, the ring Draupnir, from which every ninth night eight new rings appeared, and his eight-footed horse Sleipnir. He was accompanied by the wolves Freki and Geri, to whom he gave his food for, he only consumed wine or mead.

Odin could make the dead speak to question the wisest amongst them. His hall was ├ůsgard and Valaskjalf ("shelf of the slain")  was where his throne Hlidskjalf was located. From this throne he could observe all that happened in the nine worlds. The tidings were brought to him by his two raven Huginn and Muninn. He also resided in Valhalla, where the slain warriors were taken. If you think a wise one-eyed Norse super power on an eight-legged horse would be easy to recognise you would be wrong because one of Odins many talents was that he could shape-change, and travel incognito under a variety of false names and shapes.

Sharing  God status with brothers Ve and Vili, the Great Odin helped bring the world as we know it into being.. The legend tells that in the ice-laden wastes of Nifleheim, he got into an extreme snowball fight with Ymir, the king of the Frost giants. Ymir was slashed into pieces and Odin made the world from all the left over bits and pieces. On the day of the final battle, it is said that Odin will be killed by Lokis pet wolf Fenrir.

25 comments:

Bob Scotney said...

My son's ex-partner has a son named Odin.

Bossy Betty said...

Thanks for these lessons! I am learning a lot!

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

I've been waiting for the story of Odin! LOVE it :) Have you seen the movie The Vikings with Tony Curtis?

By the way, I really enjoyed, The Long Kiss Goodnight. Thanks for telling me about such an awesome movie.

Craziness abounds said...

The great Odin! I love these myths! Great post! My question to you however would be... Is the sawing almost done?

shelly said...

Very cool.

Siv Maria said...

Answer to question. The sawing will never be done. The saw and I shall hate eachother until the day I die, If I don't end up in jail for killing it first. At this point, jail sounds like a nice vacation :)

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, I love the world created from the detritus of a snowball fight! Fabulous. And I find it interesting that the same god is war and wisdom... Normally the norse stuff seems smarter than that *shifty* Seriously, though--love all this!

Lauracea said...

Oh Valhalla - that was the place I used to read about all the time! I knew it - today was going to be Odin. And a great post. There's something about his self-sacrificing that makes me think of Christianity. What a huge source of inspiration all this is: wells, spears, eight-footed horses (hope he had 8 legs too), ravens. Aaah - stuff of dreams. Fascinating.

Marjorie said...

You know it's funny that Odin is probably my least favorite Norse god. I even favor Loki over him. haha!

Siv Maria said...

Ok I have to say it now. I am not a fan of the Norse Gods, but I am of the Goddesses and I can't wait to tell you guys about the Valkyrie and Freya, my favorite Goddess of all!

Laura Eno said...

I am sooo looking forward to the Valkyrie! Didn't Odin also create berserkers?

N. R. Williams said...

By looking at these gods, one can learn what was important to those who created them. Wisdom is very important, but the brutality of the effort would have killed a normal human. Thankfully, none of us must endure such a trial.
Nancy
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

The Golden Eagle said...

Another interesting post! Odin certainly has a story behind him. :)

Emily Rose said...

Whoa, that is one serious God. I like his name too LOL.

Gail M Baugniet said...

So Odin stabbed himself with his own spear and hung himself on the tree for nine days and nights. Ah, Neil Gaiman used this as an entire subplot in his book, American Gods.

Dafeenah said...

Very cool. I think you may have sparked a new interest for me. I am going to have to dig up some books on these legends.

Rachel said...

Mythology is always interesting! Great post!

Tea said...

Never heard this tale. Shows how much Odin really wanted wisdom.

Josh Hoyt said...

Amazing information. I will have to start showing my sons your posts, because they love mythology as much as I do.

Lynda R Young said...

Odin sounds like a cool fellow, but not one I'd want to know personally ;)

Sylvia Ney said...

Great post on a wonderful blog! I'm so glad I found you. I'm stopping by from the A to Z challenge and I look forward to reading more from you.

Charmaine Clancy said...

Odin's a mean looking dude!
Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

Ella said...

I'm amazed at the depth and details. It is fascinating; so glad you are sharing with us~

Yes, let's open that store! ;-D

Michael Di Gesu said...

He is pretty fierce looking..... But a wise mischievous god is not big trouble.

As always I enjoyed your post SIv. Thanks for keeping us informed to the Norse myths and legends.

celestial elf said...

Great Post, i thought you might like my Mead Of Poetry machinima film,
a new poetic account of the ancient Norse tale and written in the old Norse form of Fornyrdislag.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUlrcii0ljs
Best Wishes
Celestial Elf ~