Among the god hailed and worshiped by the old German tribe known as the Vikings is the god Odin. He is well known as the god of war and battle, poetry, wisdom and a host of other things.
Who was Odin the Viking God?
Odin is well known as the god of war and death. He rules over Valhallar which is the place where all Vikings who died in battle go. He had one eye and is said to have lost the other in exchange for a drink from the source of freedom also known as Mimir’s well. He was well-worshipped by kings, warriors and guards who would call out his name or indent their jewelry, weaponry or armor with Odin symbols. This god has maidens working for him called Valkyries who pick up the dead souls of these Odin worshippers and takes them to Valhallar.
Odin is also known for more than war and death. He is also revered for his wisdom, victory, sorcery and great knowledge that he possessed. He is known as the son of Bor and giantess Bestla. Frigg, the goddess of marriage is his wife and he has sired Thor, Vali, Hoor and Vioarr.
Characteristically, his portraits depict a god who took the shape of a man and always had two ravens and two foxes with him. The foxes he called Geri and Freki and the ravens he called Huginn and Muninn. He also rides on an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir that was gifted to him by Loki, a sibling of Odin. He acquired his role as war god after his predecessors, Wodan and Tiwa. Responsible for bringing the mead of poetry to Asgard, Odin was referenced endlessly in tons of poems.
Odin is also the King of Asgard and he is responsible for giving life to the first people through listening to the counsel given by the headless being, Mimir.
Weapon used by Odin the god
Gungir / Odin’s Spear
This was a symbol of power, authority and protection. The meaning behind the name was they saying one and it represented the motion of victims who were swayed to Odin’s spear to be slayed and taken to Valhallar. The spear had magic blended into the tip increasing its accuracy and this was what drew in the attackers toward Odin. The magic in Odin’s spear caused his enemies to freeze up and rendered their weapons ineffective.
This magical weapon of death was created by dwarves who were revered as the most skilled blacksmiths in the cosmos. Odin has a ritual where when he went into battle, he would thrust his spear into his enemy’s territory to strike fear in their hearts and to declare victory. This trait of runes carved into spear heads and that of throwing them at your enemies at the start of a battle has prevailed over time.
Carvings of these stories of Odin continue to feature on pottery and other ceramic goods. His image of him with his dogs and ravens is a common symbol of death that is thoughtfully engrained onto urns.
Sons of Odin the god
He was Odin’s son with Joro. According to German mythology, Thor is a god of thunder, lightning, strength, sacred groves, trees, storms and the protection of mankind. He wielded a hammer that was a symbol of all he represented. He was depicted as red haired, red bearded and had fierce eyes. He was the husband of Sif and a father to many. His entourage includes a chariot pulled by two goats which he eats and resurrects. He wears gloves, belt and holds a mountain-crushing hammer and a staff. He remains relevant today with his name featuring in the days of the wee; Thursday.
Thors younger brother born of Odin and Frigg, is best known for the controversy surrounding his death. It is alleged that Baldr and his mother had a similar dream detailing his death. As this was considered pretty serios back then, his mother made a pact with the objects in their world never to harm him but they left out the mistletoe. His uncle Loki knows of this exception and goes ahead to device a plan to kill Baldr. During the regular pastime that included hurling objects at Baldr dur to his indestructible nature, Loki hands over a piece of mistletoe to Thor’s bling brother Hoor who proceeds to throw it and consequentially kills Baldr. In retaliation Odin and Rindr sire a child who matures in a day and slays Hoor.
Recognized as the god of vengeance, he is the son of Odin and Grior. After his father’s death, it is Vioarr who went seeking revenge and killed the wolf at Ragnarok.
Born for the sole purpose of avenging the murder of Baldr, he grew in one day and slayed Hoor. Then he went on to find Loki and bind him for all his adversaries.
Symbol of Odin the god?
Named Freki and Geri, these wolves were raised and nurtured by Odin and never left his side. They were so close that they even shared his food. Wolves symbolized warrior spirit that is brave, loyal and detests being chained down.
Another close confidant of Odin was the ravens Muninn and Huginn. They were thought to keep him updated on the affairs of the kingdom which helped him be a good king. They symbolize memory, story-telling and messages. Many depictions are used in weapons to date.
Gifted to him by his brother Loki, this horse named Sleipnir was an offspring of Loki from one of his many missions and could perform many magical acts.
A symbol of three interlocking triangles pointing north. Odin’s Knot a symbol pf transition between life and death representing the power of god to bind and unbind. This figure is made to escort the dead into afterlife. Here they will be gathered by Odin’s Valkyries and taken to Valhallar. It is offered as a welcome gift upon death when Odin is welcoming the fallen warriors to Valhalla.
In modern day it is used to symbolize the power in three. Like basic elements in the world, stages of the cosmos and the human connection of mind, body and spirit. These symbols are commonly engraved in jewelry or some customized accessories.
Triskelion/ Triple horn
Also connected to the divine number 3, Odin’s horns is an image of three interlocking horns to show poetic inspiration and wisdom. In the desire for knowledge, Odin upon stealing the mead of poetry showed it to the gods and shared it with humanity. That way anyone who drank of it would transform into a scholar and would have tons of wisdom. The three horns also symbolize the number of times Odin drank the Mead of Poetry.
This symbol could also be used to symbolize the sacrifice necessary to be made for wisdom. Like Odin who gave his time, wits, energy and eventually part life for the sake of finding knowledge and understanding.
Who killed Odin the god?
Some myths claim that Odin lost his immortality during the battle of Ragnarok in which his son Thor and brother Loki perished in. This battle had long been foretold of and its name means the fate of the gods. As the name suggests, it was prophesied that this war would break out to end the world and everything in it.
As the battle reached its peak and a few deaths had been sustained, it is said that Odin fell at the feet of the wolf Fenrir and that marked the beginning of the end for him. This wolf not only killed the “Allfather” but also ended the glory that reigned in Norse.
Odin’s death was a vengeful attack by the giants who had sworn to have him killed after he slayed one of them while he was still new to the Norse. That’s why his death was so quick and unexpected. His son Vidar rushed in soon after with an answer to his fathers’ death killing the wolf Fenrir by sticking a dagger down its throat.
However, there are other mythologies that claim that Odin died of his own indestructible magic filled spear when he decided to pierce himself as a sacrifice to himself for the sake of earning more wisdom from the headless being Mimir. He was curious about runes which are phonetic sounds that are so powerful they can instantly make or break things by just speaking them. He then proceeded to hang himself as a classic way to confirm death and to honor his commitment. As a god, part of him died and part remained active in another form for him to receive the gift of the runes for which he had just given his life for.
Much of what Odin did at death is carried forward over the years and in much recent times, it was the norm to stab and hang offenders in true Odin style.
Odin is considered a good and wise good who was ready to sacrifice anything in pursuit of wisdom and knowledge. While this is a good desire to have, it doesn’t seem like a worthwhile pursuit to lose your life over. Especially as a god.
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