Odin is one of the main gods in Norse mythology with a reputation as the chief god of all the rest. He has a lot of myths centered on him due to his exploits, part of which got him immortalized as the god of wisdom, death, runes, war, healing, poetry, magic, and sorcery. He was born to Bor by Bestla, a giantess, and married Frigg through whose name the term for the weekday, "Friday" originated. And it was she who birthed the twin gods Bladr and Höðr. Odin is one of the Æsir (also written as Aesir) tribe of the god and resided in Asgard which is the very home of the gods.
Odin fathered four other gods, as they are also regarded in Norse mythology: Thor, Baldr, Höðr, Vidar and Váli, though, he has been said to also be the father of Heimdall, Týr, and Brag. To the Vikings, Odin is a god everyone aims to be like. There is a strong belief in his values and ideology that can be said to define them as a people, most especially in warfare which will be discussed later.
There are lots of fascinating things about Odin which have been compiled together to provide you with facts you might want to know about this worshipped god of war among the Norse.
Quest For Wisdom And Magical Power
One of Odin's main attribute is his everlasting question for wisdom, especially when it involves magical power. People of the past liked to be reputed for being magicians because of the high esteem magicians were held in. And Odin is no exclusion of such curious minds who could give anything to achieve that greatness.
One feature or disability of Odin one can easily observe is the socket wanting an eyeball on his face. That may not be an intriguing thing to discover, but the reason is. There are different stories surrounding the event of Odin's lost eye, though equally structured. But one thing unique to all is that Odin sacrificed it for wisdom.
Part of Odin's wisdom is manifested in his poetic verses and style of speaking. He had drank up the mead of poetry which he stole. That, however, required a great sacrifice which Odin, being a man driven by purpose made out of a free will.
In order to discover the runes (an alphabetical system of writing used in mystical and magical operations) Odin hanged himself on Yggdrasil, the world tree, for nine days and nights. Even with a spear that pierced him by the side, Odin turned down any assistance from his companion. It was because of his willpower to acquire knowledge that the runes were revealed to him. This is why he is regarded as the god of the runes.
As recorded by the Ynglinga Saga, Odin often goes on journeys to faraway lands, while at the same time he would be seen by some to be in bed, and to some dead. As popularly known of shamans, Odin is associated with spirits like, the wolves Geri and Freki, the ravens Hugin and Munin, and also the Valkyries that accompany him always. The Valkyries are supernatural warriors comprised entirely of women who carry out the objective of bringing the dead warriors to Valhalla. Odin's eight-legged horse with the name Sleipnir makes him fearful, and his spear made by the sons of Ivaldi the dwarfs is one that can never be avoided because it never goes off target.
Origin Of The Name Of The Day Wednesday
Just like the name of the day, Friday originated from one of Odin's wives, a goddess with the name Frigg, Wednesday also originated from Odin's name, in conjunction with Mercury, a Roman god.
In Old English, Odin is known as Woden, from which the name of the weekday Wōdnesdæg was derived. Later on, in Middle English, it became Wednesdei, which means "Woden's day." So, the term Wednesday, a day of the week is a reflection of the belief of the Anglo-Saxons in Odin, the Norse god.
Odin's War Mythology
Even though Odin is widely regarded as the god of war, he differs from the typical gods of war. Odin seldom engages in warfare, but he breathes the breath of war into warriors. Well, that still in some way describe him as a god of war.
Odin being a man that loves the supernatural rather associates himself with the berserkers and shamans who fight spiritual battles. Instead of being concerned with the reasons for war and the result, Odin is particularly interested in the contention of life and death about it.
Power and Rulership
Unlike other rulers who centered on justice, peace, and submission to the law by their people like Tyr was, Odin's rulership centered on his own everlasting curiosity, aim, and desire for governance by magical and trickery schemes. This indicates that Odin, though immortalized as a god has his deficiency as a ruler.
Odin's Valkyries lead half the souls of dead enemies, which mostly comprises of that of powerful people to his Valhalla, a beautiful and majestic paradise, while the other half is claimed by Freya, a goddess in Norse mythology. For this reason, Odin is feared as a great sorcerer no one wants to cross.
Ragnarök refers to a foretold chain of events in Norse mythology, which includes a battle that will cause the demise of certain gods like Odin, Týr, Freyr, Thor, Heimdallr, and Loki. Ragnarök is an event that has a similarity with Rapture; an event believed by Christians to be the end of the world.
It is believed that part of the reason why Odin frequently practice necromancy apart from trying to gain from the wisdom and knowledge they possess is to be ready in preparation for the Ragnarök. He knows he is certain to suffer death, so he is recruiting warriors who will fight with him during the battle foretold in the Ragnarök, which he knows will surely lead to his death in the battle against Fenrir, the wolf.