This blog will focus on historical accuracy and reconstructionism but also on the contemporary religion and sometimes wander into other heathenry, like Anglo - Saxon faith, Odinism, Theodism and so on.
There will however never be any bigotry, homophobia, anti Semitism or stupid ideas of a "pure" Germanic race.
Odin (pronounced /ˈoʊdɨn/ from Old NorseÓðinn) is a major god in Norse mythology and the ruler of Asgard. Homologous with the Anglo-SaxonǷōden and the Old High GermanWotan, the name is descended from Proto-Germanic*Wōđinaz or *Wōđanaz. “Odin” is generally accepted as the modern English form of the name, although, in some cases, older forms may be used or preferred. His name is related to ōðr, meaning “fury, excitation,” besides “mind,” or “poetry.” His role, like that of many of the Norse gods, is complex. Odin is a principal member of the Æsir (Norse Pantheon) and is associated with wisdom, war, battle and death, and also magic, poetry, prophecy, victory, and the hunt.
As Odin is closely connected with a horse and spear, and transformation/shape shifting into animal shapes, an alternative theory of origin contends that Odin, or at least some of his key characteristics, may have arisen just prior to the sixth century as a nightmarish horse god (Echwaz), later signified by the eight-legged Sleipnir. Some support for Odin as a latecomer to the Scandinavian Norse pantheon can be found in the Sagas where, for example, at one time he is thrown out of Asgard by the other gods — a seemingly unlikely tale for a well-established “all father.” Scholars who have linked Odin with the “Death God” template include E. A. Ebbinghaus, Jan de Vries and Thor Templin. The later two also link Loki and Odin as being one-and-the-same until the early Norse Period.
Scandinavian Óðinn emerged from Proto-Norse*Wōdin during the Migration period, artwork of this time (on gold bracteates) depicting the earliest scenes that can be aligned with the High Medieval Norse mythological texts. The context of the new elites emerging in this period aligns with Snorri’s tale of the indigenous Vanir who were eventually replaced by the Æsir, intruders from the Continent.
Parallels between Odin and Celtic Lugus have often been pointed out : both are intellectual gods, commanding magic and poetry. Both have ravens and a spear as their attributes. Julius Caesar (de bello Gallico, 6.17.1) mentions Mercury as the chief god of Celtic religion. A likely context of the diffusion of elements of Celtic ritual into Germanic culture is that of the Chatti, who lived at the Celtic-Germanic boundary in Hesse during the final centuries before the Common Era. (It should be remembered that many Indo-Europeanists hypothesize that Odin in his Proto-Germanic form was not the chief god, but that he only gradually replaced Týr during the Migration period.)
Odin had three residences in Asgard. First was Gladsheim, a vast hall where he presided over the twelve Diar or Judges, whom he had appointed to regulate the affairs of Asgard. Second, Valaskjálf, built of solid silver, in which there was an elevated place, Hlidskjalf, from his throne on which he could perceive all that passed throughout the whole earth. Third was Valhalla (the hall of the fallen), where Odin received the souls of the warriors killed in battle, called the Einherjar. The souls of women warriors, and those strong and beautiful women whom Odin favored, became Valkyries, who gather the souls of warriors fallen in battle (the Einherjar), as these would be needed to fight for him in the battle of Ragnarök. They took the souls of the warriors to Valhalla. Valhalla has five hundred and forty gates, and a vast hall of gold, hung around with golden shields, and spears and coats of mail.
Odin has a number of magical artifacts associated with him: the spear Gungnir, which never misses its target; a magical gold ring (Draupnir), from which every ninth night eight new rings appear; and two ravensHuginn and Muninn (Thought and Memory), who fly around Earth daily and report the happenings of the world to Odin in Valhalla at night. He also owned Sleipnir, an octopedalhorse, who was given to Odin by Loki, and the severed head of Mímir, which foretold the future. He also commands a pair of wolves named Geri and Freki, to whom he gives his food in Valhalla since he consumes nothing but mead or wine. From his throne, Hlidskjalf (located in Valaskjalf), Odin could see everything that occurred in the universe. The Valknut (slain warrior’s knot) is a symbol associated with Odin. It consists of three interlaced triangles.
Odin is an ambivalent deity. Old Norse (Viking Age) connotations of Odin lie with “poetry, inspiration” as well as with “fury, madness and the wanderer.” Odin sacrificed his eye (which eye he sacrificed is unclear) at Mímir’s spring in order to gain the Wisdom of Ages. Odin gives to worthy poets the mead of inspiration, made by the dwarfs, from the vessel Óð-rœrir.
Odin is associated with the concept of the Wild Hunt, a noisy, bellowing movement across the sky, leading a host of slain warriors.
Consistent with this, Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda depicts Odin as welcoming the great, dead warriors who have died in battle into his hall, Valhalla, which, when literally interpreted, signifies the hall of the slain. The fallen, the einherjar, are assembled and entertained by Odin in order that they in return might fight for, and support, the gods in the final battle of the end of Earth, Ragnarök. Snorri also wrote that Freyja receives half of the fallen in her hall Folkvang.
He is also a god of war, appearing throughout Norse myth as the bringer of victory. In the Norse sagas, Odin sometimes acts as the instigator of wars, and is said to have been able to start wars by simply throwing down his spear Gungnir, and/or sending his valkyries, to influence the battle toward the end that he desires. The Valkyries are Odin’s beautiful battle maidens that went out to the fields of war to select and collect the worthy men who died in battle to come and sit at Odin’s table in Valhalla, feasting and battling until they had to fight in the final battle, Ragnarök. Odin would also appear on the battle-field, sitting upon his eight-legged horse Sleipnir, with his two ravens, one on each shoulder, Hugin (Thought) and Munin (Memory), and two wolves (Geri and Freki) on each side of him.
Odin is also associated with trickery, cunning, and deception. Most sagas have tales of Odin using his cunning to overcome adversaries and achieve his goals, such as swindling the blood of Kvasir from the dwarves.
On September 2, 2009 an amateur archaeologist found a small silver figurine at Lejre in Denmark. It has been dated to around AD 900. The figurine is only 2 centimeters tall and shows a person sitting on a throne adorned with two beast heads and flanked by two birds on the arm-rests. The excavator interpreted the piece as a representation of Odin, Hugin and Munin. Scholars specialising in Viking Period dress and gender representations, however, pointed out that the person is dressed entirely in female attire, making it more probably a goddess such as Freya orFrigga.
Freyr (sometimes anglicized Frey, from *frawjaz ”lord”) is one of the most important gods of Norse paganism. Freyr was highly associated with farming, weather and, as a phallicfertility god, Freyr “bestows peace and pleasure on mortals”. Freyr, sometimes referred to as Yngvi-Freyr, was especially associated with Sweden and seen as an ancestor of theSwedish royal house.
The most extensive surviving Freyr myth relates Freyr’s falling in love with the female jötunnGerðr. Eventually, she becomes his wife but first Freyr has to give away his magic swordwhich fights on its own “if wise be he who wields it”. Although deprived of this weapon, Freyr defeats the jötunn Beli with an antler. However, lacking his sword, Freyr will be killed by the fire jötunn Surtr during the events of Ragnarök.
Ultimately stemming from Proto-Indo-European religion, Thor is a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of the Germanic peoples, from the Roman occupation of regions of Germania, to the tribal expansions of the Migration Period, to his extreme popularity during the Viking Age, where, in the face of the process of the Christianization of Scandinavia, emblems of his hammer, Mjöllnir, were worn in defiance and Norse paganspersonal names containing the name of the god bear witness to his flourishing popularity. After the Christianization of Scandinavia and into the modern period, Thor continued to be acknowledged in rural folklore throughout Germanic regions. Thor is frequently referenced in place names, the day of the week Thursday (“Thor’s day”) bears his name, and names stemming from the pagan period containing his own continue to be used today.
In Norse mythology, largely recorded in Iceland from traditional material stemming from Scandinavia, numerous tales and information about Thor is provided. In these sources, Thor bears at least fourteen names, is the husband of the golden-haired goddess Sif, is the lover of the jötunnJárnsaxa, and is described as fierce-eyed, red-haired and red-bearded. With Sif, Thor fathered the goddess (and possible valkyrie) Þrúðr; with Járnsaxa, he fathered Magni; with a mother whose name is not recorded, he fathered Móði, and he is the stepfather of the godUllr. The same sources list Thor as the son of the god Odin and the personified earth, Fjörgyn, and by way of Odin, Thor has numerous brothers. Thor has two servants, Þjálfi and Röskva, rides in a chariot led by two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr (that he eats and resurrects), and is ascribed three dwellings (Bilskirnir, Þrúðheimr, and Þrúðvangr). Thor wields the mountain-crushing hammer, Mjöllnir, wears the belt Megingjörð and the iron gloves Járngreipr, and owns the staff Gríðarvölr. Thor’s exploits, including his relentless slaughter of his foes and fierce battles with the monstrous serpent Jörmungandr—and their foretold mutual deaths during the events of Ragnarök—are recorded throughout sources for Norse