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Odin
(myth) Norse

Odin

God

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The chief divinity of the Norse pantheon, the foremost of the Aesir. Odin is a son of Bor and Bestla. He is called Alfadir, Allfather, for he is indeed father of the gods. With Frigg he is the father of Balder, Hod, and Hermod. He fathered Thor on the goddess Jord; and the giantess Grid became the mother of Vidar.

Viewed in Scandinavian mythology as the all father and creator, Odin would often disguise himself as a woman. His relationship with his blood brother, Loki, had homoerotic overtones, and he studied the feminine mysteries of the goddess Freya.

Odin is a god of war and death, but also the god of poetry and wisdom. He hung for Odinnine days, pierced by his own spear, on the world tree. Here he learned nine powerful songs, and eighteen runes. Odin can make the dead speak to question the wisest amongst them.

His hall in Asgard is Valaskjalf ("shelf of the slain") where his throne Hlidskjalf is located. From this throne he observes all that happens in the nine worlds. The tidings are brought to him by his two raven Huginn and Muninn. He also resides in Valhalla, where the slain warriors are taken.

Odin's attributes are the spear Gungnir, which never misses its target, the ring Draupnir, from which every ninth night eight new rings appear, and his eight-footed steed Sleipnir. He is accompanied by the wolves Freki and Geri, to whom he gives his food for he himself consumes nothing but wine.

Odin has only one eye, which blazes like the sun. His other eye he traded for a drink from the Well of Wisdom, and gained immense knowledge. On the day of the final battle, Odin will be killed by the wolf Fenrir.

In Old Norse he is called Odínn, and also called Othinn, Wodan and Wotan. Some of the aliases he uses to travel icognito among mortals are Vak and Valtam. Wednesday is named after him (Wodan-day).

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