Wednesday, February 27, 2013

And on a personal note....

I know, I know. I have the time to do a another day's devotional to Odin but I haven't really written anything regarding me here in days. So, it's time for the obligatory update! :D

Finally got my federal tax return in and was so happy seeing my account hit the 1k mark. It's been years since that happened. Sadly that didn't last long. Not that it went to something bad. It actually went to Grendal's Utilikilt for the wedding!! He should have it by next week and then begins the battle of making sure he fits and doesn't wear it constantly before our wedding date. That and I think I need to start bothering his mother to begin my dress. :I

Speaking of wedding stuff, we still have to figure out invitations and food and all of that. I feel like I'm going nuts with the whole thing and June is inching closer and closer. We decided to just to get the roast pig rather than full catering and then running to Sam's Club for the extra vittles. Seems reasonable enough.

Works been slowly crawling by and Grendal is chugging through his class. He's talking in positive ways, referring to the railway job as if he already has it and he's gotten me to do the same thing. Positive thinking all around in that regard. Figured with that job I could cut back on my hours at work and focus on home stuff. I don't think I could actually function without a job, becoming nothing more than a bump on log in no time. Grendal has planned things out in regards to that. For the first year we save his paychecks as much as possible and then, with hope, purchase some property. There is a nice little blue house next to his parents' place that we've been eying and, with all the luck in the world, it should be vacant still and ready to purchase. Another year of living with his parents', and saving up some more, we should have enough money to tears down the existing house and hire someone to build something to our designs. Something akin to Tumbleweed Homes and all that. Energy efficient, a garden of our own, and a fenced in area for Yuko to run around without being leashed. And, if we can work things out, chickens but that has to do with possible zoning and laws.

In the meantime, though, I've been making myself sad by eyeballing acreage and farmland for sale  on different sites. It's our big dream to move a little more north and homestead. Grendal doesn't think I have it in me but I know I do. Seriously, 10 years ago I would have been more than happy living in a city(not a big one). After being with Grendal and living in this township/village, I don't think I could move back to the area my parents are in. It's too crowded. And don't even get me started on Chicago(oh the smell).

When all is said and done, things look rather good. I have some rants in the back of my head about our current situation thanks to some people, but that will be saved for another possible post. Besides, I don't want to kill my good mood.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: 21 & 22

Music that makes you think of this deity.

I don't remember how I stumbled across this and I had listened to the whole album. LOVE it and this thong really made me think of Odin. Don't know why, but yup.

A quote, a poem, or a piece of writing that you think this deity resonates strongly with.

Ooo, this is a hard one.  I'm not much for poems and quotes, and pieces of writing are few and far between unless I'm reading a book. I am reading something right now, Fellowship of the Ring, but I don't know if I can throw a passage from that in here. I suppose I could, especially after saying that Gandalf reminds me of Odin in a way.

Um, how about "It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succor of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule."

I don't know. XD  If anything else strikes me, I will post it.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: 19& 20

What quality or qualities of this god do you most admire? What quality or qualities of them do you find the most troubling?

The qualities that I admire would be the ones in the vein of writing (I.E. Poetry, songs, novels) and wisdom. I'm always writing or thinking up stories, and knowledge and wisdom is something I strive for constantly. Just ways of bettering myself I suppose.

What I find troubling would be Odin's war aspect. Conflict is not my thing.  I understand that it is a large part of Him but I try to bring the peace as much as possible. I mean, if there is conflict that I cannot avoid then I'll wade through it and weather any blows that come my way, but I don't search them out.

Art that reminds you of this deity.

There has been a bunch of pieces that remind me of Odin, ones that purposely do so and others that aren't supposed to. I mean, I look at Ian McKellen as Gandalf and see Odin more than anything else.  Looking around the collected pieces over the years I suppose this one sticks out:

It is from an artist on Deviantart (LINK) and it's a wonderful piece. Love this to no end.

Friday, February 22, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: 17 & 18

How does this deity relate to other gods and other pantheons?

I believe Odin would mesh rather well. We have the Romans comparing him to Mercury, so those two could possibly do well together.  Then there is the similarities between Odin and Lugus as well.  I think any deity dealing with wisdom and magic could be on decent terms with the Allfather and vice versa. He could also work alongside the deities of war without an issue.  Other than that I believe he could move amongst them with little problem, being a voice of wisdom in needed times.  He seems more like the type just to wander and pop in when he decides to.

How does this deity stand in terms of gender and sexuality? (historical and/or UPG)

I mentioned this in a previous post, but the majority of people seem to pin Odin as being very misogynistic and he-manish. Very much a man's man. Me? When it comes to gender and sexuality I think Odin is very much relaxed with it. While I haven't seen any note of him laying with another man, he seems to have little if no reaction to Loki saying he is less then a man because he was taught 'woman's magic'(by Frigg). Odin has probably reached a point that both subjects mean little to him until, perhaps, he feels the urge to lay with someone.  Gender wise, who know who that could be with.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: 15 & 16

Any mundane practices that are associated with this deity?

None that I know. I think one could argue that composing some form of written work or performing in a play could be a mundane practice for Odin.  Honestly I don't know much about this.  Not many people really set out how the worship a deity point by point, and it always seems like the one you want to know about isn't present.

So personally, it is the composing of written work.  I write stories and if/when they are published, I will dedicate it to Odin in thanks.

How do you think this deity represents the values of their pantheon and cultural origins?

There are nine virtues which I think you could say are the values of the pantheon.  Here is what I've been told:

  1. Courage
  2. Truth
  3. Honour
  4. Fidelity
  5. Discipline
  6. Hospitality
  7. Self Reliance
  8. Industriousness
  9. Perseverance

I do think Odin represents these virtues, though some may argue. I suppose the only argument would be against Fidelity. There are stories of Odin laying with other people, his wife doing much of the same, but the two always come back to each other. Odin loves Frigg and vice versa. For me, I don't think I need to explain each point and how Odin represents them. I will if someone speaks up, but He speaks for himself.

Monday, February 18, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 13 & 14

Hey now, don't judge me. I told you this week was going to be hectic. :P

What modern cultural issues are closest to this deity?

This is all my own personal feelings so this may different from what is out there.  I think things like education is a big deal for Odin.  He is a deity of wisdom and brought the runes, so knowledge is something near and dear to to him.  The lack of good schools or omitting knowledge or even perpetuating misinformation about something would bother him.

War would be another major thing for Odin.  While being a deity of battle, I do think that even he would tire of it and fighting over such menial things would be against what he strives for.  He would know that war is an evil necessity( in some cases).

I'm trying to think of other issues that could be in Odin's sphere of effect.  Perhaps the future of wolves, due to two companions. Maybe even keeping the wild horses roaming free and healthy due to his connection to Sleipnir.  The state of schools in the world.  Mead making, because, well, he brought us mead!

There are so many aspects to Odin that picking a few is seeming to be a little difficult.

Has worship of this deity changed in modern times?

I would have to say yes.  The sacrificing of humans has stopped, as far as I know, and animal sacrifices have probably come to crawl but I do believe there are some that do so.  Since I haven't found any notes of other ways of worship to Odin, I can only speculate after the sacrifices.  We still sacrifice but not in the same way.  We offer items to Odin and pledge to him, but probably in a different manner.  Who truly knows?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Did it again....30 Days of Devotion: 11& 12

I hope this isn't a habit but I do know my work schedule next week is a little hectic. :I  On with the show, yes?

Day 11-  Festivals, days, and times sacred to this deity.

Well, I do know that Wednesday was Wodansday, which made said day Odin's. He's not the only one with a specific day of the week but since I'm discussing him, I'll just stick with that. I'm not sure if anything special was done on this day in honor of Odin but I suppose in this day and age one could present offerings to him.

The only other thing I can think of in terms of days, festivals and what not is the Wild Hunt during Yule. Kids would leave their boots by the hearth filled with hay and sugar for Sleipnir and, in return, Odin would leave little gifts. Over time and with the changing of influencing religion, Odin morphed into our modern day Santa Clause and Sleipnir become a multitude of reindeer.

Day 12- Places associated with the deity and their worship

This one......this one seems hard to answer. All my searches uncover nothing on the idea of specific places for Odin.  There are places with his name in the name but other than that there is no 'holy site' that I can dig up.  I suppose one could argue that Odin's place is the battlefield, and I could argue that it could be in places of learning as well.  In my opinion Odin's places are where ever you feel him most.  He seems more like a wanderer these days and with many of the old Norse settlements gone and being discovered he needs a new place.  Until something is brought to my attention to better answer this question, this is it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Oops....30 Days of Devotion: 9 & 10

Well, that sucked. I was doing so well about posting every day. Anywho, time to continue!!

Day 9- Common Mistakes about this Deity.

This may just be my personal view/UPG but I think the big mistake or misconception about Odin is that he is misogynistic.  I had never gotten that vibe from him at all.  While he led a people that seemed very pro man, but had some very great views on women before converting, that doesn't appear to be the case. He expects the same from a man and woman, and won't baby one or the other.  The Eddas and the other old stories have the same problem that the Bible does: it was written by human hands.  The author(s) could put in what ever they wanted and we, many years later, don't have a clue.

Day 10- Offerings: Historical and UPG

The only historical offerings that I have noticed for Odin were that of sacrifice or killings in war.  Sacrifices were usually either male slaves or male animals, which were hung from the branches of trees after said sacrifice.  There are accounts of kings being sacrificed to Odin as well, but other than sacrificing I have yet to hear much.

Since I don't personally want to sacrifice men or animals of any gender, I have a tendency to put mead or other alcoholic drinks on the altar to him.  I also light candles and incense.  Some people put food out for Odin but I am iffy on doing that myself, mainly because in the Eddas he only consumes mead.  All others are given to his wolves.

I will say I have thought about putting jewelry or personally made items out for him, but have yet to do so.  I have also been thinking of something that I love dearly to 'sacrifice' in his name.  What that would be, I don't know.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 8

Variations of this deity.

Ah, variations on Odin.

I know of Wodan, in old High Germanic, but I believe there is a similarity between the figures(if ANYONE reading this knows any different, please let me know. Knowledge is power!).

There is an odd coincidence between Odin and the Celtic god Lugus.  They are both gods of intellect, wield spears, are accompanied by ravens, have control over poetry and magic.  I remember seeing a picture of Lugus in a book that Grendal's mother owns and pointing out to Grendal how similar they looked.  He noticed it right away as well.  While they may not be the same deity, Lugus and Odin have strong parallels and is worth peeking at.

The Romans referred to Odin as Mercury in many of their texts, so you could say they are a variation of each other.  Personally, though, I don't see it as such.

Other than those few, though, I am not sure on variations of Odin.  Not much turns up for me.  Hmmmm. If anyone can point me in the right direction for this information, please do!

Monday, February 11, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 7

Names and epithets.

I guess I should've looked ahead when I was creating my initial post for the 30 Days of Devotion.  In my first post I covered a few of the MANY names of Odin but I have no problem posting them again.

The most familiar is obviously All Father.  Odin is the deity 'in power' for the Norse and has brought much to the world as well as the gods, so referring to him as such seems rather logical.

Val-Father means father of the slain.  With many of Odin's followers going into battle or raids, it is not too surprising this is a name for him.  He welcomes the slain with open arms and those worthy join him in Valhalla.

Gangleri/Ganglari means the wanderer or traveler.  Odin wanders the Nine Worlds in many of the tales, whether it is just to wander or on some personal mission it's up to him.  But referring to him as a wanderer is supported by those stories.

I suppose in the realm of epithets I can draw out the names that refer to Odin, or things associated with Odin, in various kennings.

Odin's fire would be an allusion to a sword, while Odin's weather could be another phrase for battle or war.  I've seen someone point out a phrase 'One-eyed dweller in Frigg's embrace' which is rather simple.  Then you have Mim's friend, referring to Mimir.

Um, yeah. Can't think of much else.  Looking at the list of names for Odin, it is rather extensive and some not so obvious as others.  These few here and the others mention in my initial post seem rather straightforward and resonate with me.  For others it may be different.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 6

Other related deities and entities related with this deity.

The biggest relation to another deity that Odin has would be to Loki.  While only mentioned in two stanzas, it is said that Odin and Loki are blood-brothers and that Odin would not accept drink unless it was offered to Loki as well.  This always stuck out to me, even before I fully dove into Asatru and Heathenism.  Now as I wander through posts about the deities and see huge arguments over the exclusion or inclusion of Loki I wonder what others think of the relationship.  Do these people disregard the bond the two have?  Do people only see the bad Loki will do/has done?  I will not deny that there is some negative things in the tales of Loki but he did much good.  I think the reason why everyone is so upset with Loki is Baldr's death and the coming of Ragnarok.  If it wasn't for Loki, none of it would have happened.  In my mind, though, there is no positive without negative and vice-versa.

Then there is Mimir.  He is the wisest of the Aesir and was given to the Vanir as a hostage during their war.  Unfortunately he was beheaded and his head was returned to the Aesir.  It was Odin who preserved Mimir's head and conversed with him.  Mimir gave Odin his wisdom after the Allfather sacrificed his eye.

As for other entities, one could point to the Ravens of Odin, his wolves, Sleipnir, and even Fenrir, who will kill Odin during Ragnarok.  While each of them play specific parts, for some reason I am not urged to describe them.  Mimir and Loki are more prevalent on my mind. Perhaps I'll go into further details on these creatures at a later date.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 5

Members of the family – genealogical connections

 Ah, the family of Odin. Well, Odin's consort is Frigg, though both deities have hard their share of sexual relations outside of that relationship. There are really only three children that are attested to Odin and that would be Thor(obviously), Baldr, and Váli.  Snori Sturluson does claim that Vidar is a son of Odin by way of the giantess Gríd. He also places Heimdalr, Bragi, Tyr, and Hod as sons of Odin, but these are only mentioned once.  So the only ones we are sure of, in the sense of literature, is Thor, Baldr, and Vali.

There are no daughters of Odin mentioned and I have never seen a claim to it.

Odin did have two brothers, Vili and Ve, whom helped Odin slay Ymir and create Midgard, all born from the same parents: Borr and Bestla.

As far as I can tell, other than the usual claims of kings being descendents from Odin, the relation to other deities ends there.

Friday, February 8, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 4

A favorite myth or myths of this deity.

 While I can't find the specific stories that I wanted, my favorite myths about Odin is his sacrificing his eye to Mimir to gain knowledge as well as hanging himself from Yggdrasil to gain the runes.  :I  I will do some searches and see if I can find these stories any where but I at least wanted to get this post out here.

Another is the story about the wild hunt!  Taken from Timeless Myths:

The Wild Hunt was a popular folklore found in Scandinavian and Germanic myth, as well in later folklore in Britain and northern European countries, which had changed over the centuries.

The group of hunters were variously known as the Furious Host or Raging Host. The hunt usually takes part during winter, where a spectral host of horsemen riding through the stormy sky, with their ghostlike hounds. The chillingly sound of the hunting horn can be heard reverberating through the woods and meadows.

In the Norse myths, the original leader of the hunt was the god Odin, known in Germanic myth as Wodan. Odin rode his eight-legged horse, called Sleipnir. His company of hunters were the Valkyries and the dead warriors who resided with him in Valhalla.

The hunt begins on Winter Nights (October 31) and doesn't end May Eve (April 30) of the following year. These two nights were special, because lights go out on all Nine Worlds and the spirits and goblins are free to roam on the earth's surface. However the height of the Wild Ride falls on the night of midwinter festival, known as Yule (December 21), traditionally the shortest day of the year in Scandinavia and Germany.


I found part of Odin's Rune Song, which is the poem retelling how he gained the runes. I won't post all 27 stanzas, so no fear.  Here are the first few:

Wounded I hung on a wind-swept gallows 
For nine long nights, 
Pierced by a spear, pledged to Odin, 
Offered, myself to myself 
The wisest know not from whence spring 
The roots of that ancient rood. 

They gave me no bread,
They gave me no mead,  
I looked down;
With a loud cry
I took up runes;  
From that tree I fell.

Nine lays of power
I learned from the famous Bolthor, Bestla' s father:
He poured me a draught of precious mead,
Mixed with magic Odrerir.

Waxed and throve well;
Word from word gave words to me,
Deed from deed gave deeds to me.

Runes you will find, and readable staves,
Very strong staves,
Very stout staves,
Staves that Bolthor stained,  
Made by mighty powers,
Graven by the prophetic God.

For the Gods by Odin, for the Elves by Dain,
By Dvalin, too, for the Dwarves,
By Asvid for the hateful Giants,
And some I carved myself:
Thund, before man was made, scratched them,
Who rose first, fell thereafter.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

30 Days of Devotion: Day 3

Symbols and icons of this deity.

 Symbols and icons, huh?  I suppose the most forefront symbol would be the Valknut, or Knot of the Slain:

The meaning of the symbol has been debated but many modern day followers have said that this is a symbol of Odin, they wear it to show their dedication to Odin and the gods of the Norse. Some claim that you shouldn't tattoo this on your body because those who do will die a warrior's death.  People think it represents the Nine Worlds, the tree Yggdrasil.  Personally, I don't know.  It's an interesting symbol none the less.

Another symbol is obviously in the form of a Raven.  There is little doubt as to why this is one of Odin's symbols.  This pairs with Sleipnir and the spear, Gungnir.  All items or creatures that are at Odin's side.

For me the last symbol is that of an eye or, perhaps, the lack of said eye.  Over the winter holidays Grendal and I made ornaments.  He made one and held it up asking, "Do you know what this is?"  I took one look at it and recognized the shape.  "Odin's eye?"  All I got was a smile of confirmation.  There was no detail to the eye; it was just the basic shape of one, without the pupil or the iris.  We placed it on the altar as a reminder of the sacrifice Odin had made to gain knowledge.

Out of all my searching I couldn't find other symbols/icons that people said belonged to Odin or ones that jumped out at me saying as much.  People have pointed at certain runes as belonging to Odin but that could just be a modern take on it.  While Odin brought us the rune and they can be a symbol of his all together, I'm not sure about one particular rune being his and his alone.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

30 Days of Devotion- Day 2

How did you become first aware of this deity?

 I'm not sure if this question is referring to how I became aware of Odin in general or as a deity that I was going to follow.  I suppose I could cover both.

Growing up I was always interested in mythology. It was mainly the Greek/Roman stories and some Hawai'ian tales but I had a healthy appetite for it.  At some point I did come across Norse myths but I can't remember exactly when. Thinking back on it, it seems like the Norse deities have always been in my mind but I know that isn't necessarily true.  I guess I just can't think of a time when they weren't there.  Even through college the Norse myths weren't much of a big thing to anyone.  I took a religions of the world course and they were just barely mentioned.  Though I do take pride in being the only one to pick up on the instructor's vague description of Loki.  He was rather shocked as well.

Odin did approach me early in high school but I don't think I was ready for it.  I believe I mentioned this in a previous post but I'll give a quick summary here.  While sitting on the back porch chatting on the phone, two LARGE black birds settled into the yard.  They were two big to crows and I knew just enough about hawks and the like to know that these two weren't that.  They walked together, not bothering to peck at the ground, and came towards me.  Halfway through the yard I freaked out and went back inside.  At that point in my life I hadn't thought about deities choosing a person or anything other than the basic Triple Goddess and Hunter God in Wicca.

It's been within in the last two years that I've embraced the Norse deities.  I had, I believe, confused Thor with another deity that dealt with lightning and thunder but things were soon set straight.  When searching for a deity to connect with I honestly didn't bother with Odin.  I wanted someone else.  Maybe Thor, Heimdalr, or Sif.  I even wore Mjolnir for some time, but Thor wasn't the fit for me it seemed.  Odin, though, began to send more and more signs my way.  Crows constantly being seen and heard on my walks to work was the biggest thing.

I suppose what really solidified EVERYTHING was finding two crow feathers.  Not at the same time but in the same spot days apart.  Out of the many weeks of walking the same path over the course of a year I had never seen any bird feathers laying across the sidewalk.  On these occasions I found a single black feather.  It was just sitting there.  Honestly I continued to walk past it, both times, but something made me stop and retrieve it.  They were placed on my altar and I think that was the beginning of my wandering with Odin.

The altar is for all but he has images of himself and Huginn and Muninn.  He is the one that brought me home.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

30 Days of Deity Devotion

I've always kinda eyeballed these '30 Days of -'  ideas and posts, wondering if there was something out there that would pop up for me. Wandering through tumblr I found one such thing: 30 Days of Deity Devotion. I liked the idea and it will do two things: help my focus on the Deity and have me post here more often. It'll start some good habits!  :D    So, here goes nothing!

Day 1: A brief introduction of the deity

Well, Odin is one of the major deities in Norse mythology, some going as far to say he is the chief deity.  He is the ruler of the Aesir.  Odin is a god of war, knowledge, death, poetry, divination, magic, and wisdom.  He brought us the runes, after he hung himself as sacrifice for this knowledge.  Odin also sacrificed an eye to Mimir so he may drink from Mimir's well, the water bestowing upon him much of his wisdom.

He is known by many names, many common and others listed in Grimnismol, Skaldskaparmal, and the Gylfiginning, among others.  The following are but a few of what He has been called:

Val-father-  Father of the Slain
Omi-  The Shouter
Oski-  God of Wishes
Fjolnir/Fiolni-  The Many-Shaped
Gangleri/Ganglari-  The Traveler or Wanderer
Harbarth/Harbard-  Greybeard
Vofuth/Vafud-  The Wanderer

Odin has two ravens, Huginn(thought) and Muninn(memory) which sit on his shoulder.  These two are set out each day and after going over the world they return and relay to him their findings.  He rides the eight legged horse Sleipnir, one of the children of Loki.  Two wolves, Geri and Freki, sit beside Odin, taking food that is offered to the god because Mead is both food and drink to him.

He weilds the spear Gungnir.

He is a traveler and he wanders the worlds, usually dressed in a wide brimmed hat, a grey cloak, and a walking staff.