Who or what is Odin?

Odin is a Viking God in Norse Mythology. But much more than this he is thought of as being the head God: Vikings having multiple Gods. He could also be thought of as being the father God; his sons include Thor and Loci. However quite separate from popular culture is the fact that he embodies wisdom and magic: while also being the God of war. Odin was the creator of the runes: the written language of the Vikings and also used today for divination. Odin hung himself from the world tree named Yggdrasil: also thought by some as the tree of life. He hung there between heaven and earth. He had no food or drink, for nine days. On the ninth days he saw the runes in the tree. He grasped them and was released. This is the story of how Odin gave the Vikings written language: in fact Vikings written language probably evolved out of others written language. So he gave this wisdom to his people. It was also said he gave an eye in exchange for greater wisdom.

It should be noted that the Norse people had lots of Gods: so people had a lot of choice of what Gods or God they worshiped. But Odin was the all father, the father of all Gods. So from one perspective that he embodies war is not that strange as certainly many Vikings believed that to die in battle was the only way to "Valhalla" which is Viking heaven. But he also embodies knowledge, enlightenment and wisdom. These two things may seem, to many people now as quite separate, even opposites: after all most of us think that, if we were truly wise and enlightened then there would be no war. But for the Vikings there was no such problem.

In popular cultures Odin has appeared many a times. In fiction he has appeared many a times but mostly as a father God or God of war: less emphasis has been placed on his role as wisdom possessor and giver. He has appeared in a comic by Stan Lee and in the film Thor (2011). So you probably have seen or read a fictional account of Odin. What is important to note is that the Brotherhood of Odin still worship Odin. Indeed Vikings Gods are still used in occultism by some people. How Odin is said to look quite straight forward. Unlike the Gods of many places he is not seen as having any animal element: he is seen as human in appearance. Whereas Gods and occult entities in many cultures were part animal: for instance the ancient Egyptians had many Gods with animal heads and the ancient Greeks had many creatures like centaurs and the Minotaur which were animal and human hybrids. So how people envisaged Odin was probably quite similar to, how, many Christians view God today: a human man with a beard.

But in other ways it was quite different. Vikings had many Gods: they were polytheistic. This is difficult for many people to imagine as many of us are brought to believe in one God and the idea of there being many Gods is quite alien to us. However unlike many other entities this means that sightings of Odin in modern times would be difficult to find: there are many bearded men in the world. Even Santa Claus has a beard so maybe any sightings of him could be of Odin. So Odin is a person. But who is he? He is a Viking God of war. He is very powerful and thought of as being the God of all, and father of the Gods. He is thought of as looking like a human man with a beard, who has lost one eye. He is thought of as bringing written language to the Vikings, and possessed much wisdom and magic. He was worshipped a long time ago, and still is my some: the brotherhood of Odin included. Although he was the father of Gods, all the Gods were separate not one as in the holy trinity from Christianity. He was an important God in a culture of polytheism.

Written by: S Rob, an Occult Consultant, UK

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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )

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