Scandinavian for many more characters in Norse
A Sun-god. Husband of Freya. Father of Gersemi and Hnoss. He once left
Freya for a long time and she wandered the face of the Earth in search of him.
They were eventually happily reunited. Also identified as Od, Odin, Odr, Odnir,
Odin is All-Father, spear-wielding, an one-eyed chief ruler of the gods.
He is the leader of the Aesir (chief) gods. he is associated with war,
wisdom, sovereignty, magic, poetry and the dead. Odin is compared to Mercury.
Odin is the son
of Borr and Bestla. They have two sons more - Vili and Ve.
So Odin has two brothers - Vili and Ve
Odin's wife's name is Freya.
Odin has a son - Vidar
He has two sons - Baldur , the Beautiful, and
Hadur who is blind.
Baldur was killed by his own brother blind Hadur on the advice of Loki.
He is depicted as tall, old, and wise. He has a long white beard, and he
broods deeply over the mysteries of life and death. He sacrificed his
eye in his youth to drink the magic mead from the Well of Mimir. Odin is
said to summon kings and heroes who die in battle to Valhalla, where
they spent their time feasting and fighting, ready to defend Asgard in
the event of attack. Odin teaches that there must be self-sacrifice so
that wisdom and power may be obtained.
Odin is killed by
the wolf Fenrir at the end of the world. His son Vidar rips the wolf
apart, avenging his father's death.
When Odin's son
Baldur has bad dreams, he goes to the edge of Hel to investigate the
reason of those dreams.
Odin's Throne -
Hlidskjalf is the high seat of Odin. From there he can see all nine
realms. Usually only Odin and his wife Frigg sit on Hlidskjalf, but in
the Skirnismal, Freyr sits on the chair and sees his future wife, Gerd.
Odin also used this seat to find Loki after the murder of Baldur.
Lance/Spear - Gungnir
In Norse mythology Gungnir is the spear of the god Odin. It is
made of Yggdrasil's sacred ash and Odin wrote his magic verses on its
tip. It was created by the Dverger known as the Sons of Ivaldi under
supervision of the master blacksmith Dverger Dvalin. It is described as
a lance that is so well balanced that it never misses and will always
strike its target when thrown, regardless of the skill and strength of
It was also said that Odin had a crossbow that could fire ten arrows at
once, each hitting separate targets.
Odin's Horse - Sleipnir
Odin has a horse -
Sleipnir, the best of all horses. His eight legs give
him extraordinary speed. This horse is the child of
Loki with the union of Svadhilfari (the orse of the mason who built
Odin's Ring -
Draupnir which means "The Dripper," it is a gold ring worn by Odin. It
has the ability to multiply itself by letting eight new rings 'drip'
from it every ninth night, each one of the same size and weight as the
original. It was forged by the Dverger brothers Brokkr and Eitri.
Odin was accompanied everywhere by the wolves Freki and Geri, both of
these names mean Greedy. It has been said that Odin gave all of his food to the wolves and consumed
nothing but wine himself. They normally sit at his feet. There are too
many tales of a traveler appearing out of the snow at a Chieftanís
feast, eating, drinking and telling stories over the meal, beating his
staff in time with the singing.
After eating his fill, this traveler, in his cloak and wide floppy hat,
would vanish as mysteriously as he had arrived.
Odin has two ravens named Huginn and Muninn, Thought and Memory.
Each morning he would send them forth into the world to see what they
could see. Each night they would return and sit on his shoulders to tell
him of all they had seen.
In this way Odin always knew everything that went on in the world of
men. If you see two ravens flying overhead, remember that they will tell
Odin what youíve been up to.
Odin's Day is
Most days of the week were named after the
Northern Gods. We still use them to this day.
Our Wednesday is from the Old English Wodenís day.
In Germanic myths, during the time of Romans, Odin was called Wodan and
the classical Roman writers identified him with their god, Mercury.
Latin languages name Wednesday after Mercury.
Odin the Wanderer, Chief of the Viking Gods, is the Wizard of the North
who gave up an eye for one sip from the Well of Wisdom. He is the
wisest. He is the half brother of Loki and is a good Devtaa.
His domain was over dragons and dwarves, bright elves and werewolves,
and trolls which turned into stone. Legend tells us how he made the
first man and woman from an ash tree and an elm tree. For this, he is
called All-Father for he is indeed father of all.
If you have read Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, you will recognize Odin in
Gandalf. Odin is easily recognized in the early stories of the now familiar
wizard who sleeps under hedgerows, enjoys a drink down in Hobbiton, and
appreciates a joke.
How Odin became Immortal
Just as we mortals grow old, the gods too, grow old, and like us search
for rejuvenation. The Gods of the North ward off ageing by eating the
magical Apples of Youth kept by the goddess Idun. But Odin, in
typically male fashion, went about it in a much harder way. He pierced
himself with his own spear and hung himself for nine days from the great
cosmic tree Yggdrasil.
Hanging suspended like this, he won immortality. It was here also, that
he learned 9 powerful songs and 18 powerful runes ( letters in a set of
related alphabets known as runic alphabets which were used to write
various Germanic languages), to become
the master of the runic inscriptions that can accomplish any mortal
purpose, either beneficial or baneful.
How Odin Lost His
Gandalf, however, has two eyes while Odin, with his vast store of
riddles, runes and after-dinner tales, has only one. And hereís why.
In the spot where the sky and ocean meet, the giant
Mimer kept guard
over his hidden well, in the bottom of which lay such a treasure of
wisdom as was to be found nowhere else in the world.
One night, when the sun had set behind the mountains of Midgard, Odin
put on his broad-brimmed hat and, with his staff in his hand, walked down the
long bridge to where it ended by Mimerís secret grotto and asked for a
drink. But the giant, recognized his visitor. He was wise by drinking
the water from the well he guarded. So he became crafty and asked for
"Ask your price," said Odin, "I promise that I will pay it."
"What say you, then, to leaving one of those far-seeing eyes of yours at
the bottom of my well?" asked Mimer. "This is the only payment I will
Odin didnít hesitate. "I pledge you my eye for a draught to the brim."
Mimer filled his drinking horn from the fountain of wisdom and handed it to Odin.
"Drink, then," He said; "drink and grow wise."
Odin seized the horn and emptied it without delay. From that moment he
became wiser than any one else in the world, except Mimer himself.
When Odin went away, he left at the bottom of the dark pool one of his
clear blue eyes, which twinkled and winked up through the magic depths
like the reflection of a star.
This is how Odin lost his eye, and why from that day he was careful to
pull his gray hat low over his face when he wanted to pass unnoticed.
Odin's Quest for
Mead of Poetry
In a story he tells his wife Freya that he loved Gunnlod too because he
wanted to drink the elixir guarded by her below the Suttunger mountain -
the Mead of Poetry.
Odin as Psychopomp
Psychopomp is the word which describes an Usher of the Dead, a Guide, a
Conductor of Souls to the place of the dead. Throughout all
cultures and belief systems, the Psychopomp has appeared in diverse
forms to open the way to the Mysteries of Death and Rebirth.
Most common is the idea of the Dog as Psychopomp but Odin, on his great
eight-legged steed, Sleipnir, is that Usher in the North.