Odin, Ruler of the Norse Gods, Wednesday’s Name Sake

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Odin, Ruler of the Norse Gods, Wednesday’s Name Sake

In the Norse pantheon, Asgard was the home of the gods, and it was the place where one could find Odin, the supreme deity of them all. Connected to his Germanic ancestor Woden or Wodan, Odin was the god of kings and the mentor of young heroes, to whom he often gave magical gifts.

In addition to being a king himself, Odin was a shapeshifter, and frequently roamed the world in disguise. One of his favorite manifestations was that of a one-eyed old man; in the Norse Eddas, the one-eyed man appears regularly as a bringer of wisdom and knowledge to heroes.

He pops up in everything from the saga of the Volsungs to Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. He was typically accompanied by a pack of wolves and ravens, and rode on a magic horse named Sleipnir. Odin is associated with the concept of the wild hunt, and leads a noisy hoarde of fallen warriors across the sky.

Odin was said to summon dead heroes and kings to Valhalla, which they entered accompanied by the host of Valkyries. Once in Valhalla, the fallen engaged in feasting and combat, always ready to defend Asgard from its enemies. Odin’s warrior followers, the Berserkers, wore the pelts of a wolf or bear in battle, and worked themselves up into an ecstatic frenzy that made them oblivious to the pain of their wounds.

As a young man Odin hung on the world tree, Yggdrasil, for nine days while pierced by his own javelin, in order to obtain the wisdom of the nine worlds. This enabled him to learn the magic of the runes. Nine is a significant number in the Norse sagas, and appears frequently.

Odin continues to maintain a strong following, particularly amongst members of the Asatru community.

Author

Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert
Article published on & owned by About.com

A Very Blessed & Happy Yule To All of the WOTC Family!

Yule Comments & Graphics

Days like today are important.
Whether it is getting time to
spend with our offline family
or grasping a few moments with
our online family, it doesn’t matter.
 
 
Every moment is precious, now is the time we
give thanks to the Goddess for our many blessings.
One of my biggest blessings is all of you. Someone
that thinks like you, has the same beliefs and practices,
a kindred spirit.
 
 
I have found many kindred spirits here and for that I am truly
grateful. Some I know well, others I hope to some day. But it
doesn’t matter. Just remember as I celebrate my Yule this
year, I will be thanking the Goddess for each and everyone of you.
 
 
My wish and prayer for you, my dear family, is one of great happiness,
much love, and the Goddess’ blessings on you throughout the year.

Merry Yule,

Love,

Lady A

What A Glorious Day To Be Alive! It’s Yule, My Friends, It’s Yule!

Yule Comments & Graphics
To all our family, friends, brothers & sisters, we wish you a very Magickal and Blessed Yule!

May the Goddess & the Sun shine down on you, not only today but all the year long!

Brightest Blessings & Merry Yule,

Lady A and The WOTC

Calendar of the Sun for November 6th

Calendar of the Sun

6 Blutmonath

Herne’s Day II: Predator

Colors: Black and red
Element: Earth
Altar: On a black cloth lay the skulls and bones of animals, spearheads and flint arrowheads, arrows, and knives. The room should be dark, lit by a single red candle.
Offerings: Make an end to something that needs to die. Cull out things in your life.
Daily Meal: Meat.

Invocation to Herne II

All Hail the Mighty Hunter!
Leader of the Wild Hunt,
Hounds leaping and baying
At his command,
Alpha of the pack,
With teeth that close on the throat
Of the largest, strongest prey,
Predator against whom none can stand.
You who understand the cycle,
Who accepts the sacrifice,
Who takes the offering of your prey,
Wolf who runs with his brothers and sisters,
Great panther who hunts alone,
Bear huge and fierce of claw
Weasel and marten, dark and sly,
Faithful dog that runs to the kill,
Teach us that when Fate comes for us,
It is our place to surrender.
Teach us that when we are overrun,
It is our place to weed out.
Teach us to understand Death
From the side of your implacable eyes.

Chant:
Cernunnos Cernunnos
The Hunt is On

(Ritual ends in a great howl, after which the single candle is snuffed out and all leave the room silently.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Where Did All The Myths About the Besom Come From?

Where Did All The Myths About the Besom Come From?

Some authors claim that the oldest known source of witches flying on broomsticks is a manuscript called Le Champion des Dames by Martin Lefranc, 1440. This might be one of the oldest images representing a hag on a broomstick, but it is certainly not the first. A wall painting from the 12th century in Schleswig Cathedral (Germany) shows the Norse deity Frigg riding her staff.

If we really dig a bit deeper into history, we’ll find that from the Roman world
there are reports that mention witches flying on broomsticks as well as having
used ointments, as early as the first century. They were called Straigae (Barnowl) and the Lamiae from Greek culture had similar characteristics. Later in Roman history, the goddess Diana was the leader of the Wild Hunt:

“It is also not to be omitted that some wicked women, perverted by the Devil,
seduced by illusions and phantasm of demons, believe and profess themselves in
the hours of the night to ride upon certain beasts with Diana, the goddess of
pagans, and an innumerable multitude of women, and in the silence of the dead of the night to traverse great spaces of earth, and to obey her commands as of
their mistress, and to be summoned to her service on certain nights”.

Similar beliefs existed in many parts of Europe. From Norse mythology, we know
that the army of women, lead by Odin (Wodan), called the Valkyries, was said to
ride through the skies on horses, collecting the souls of the dead. In continental Germanic areas, the goddess Holda or Holle was also said to lead the Wild Hunt and is connected to chimneys and witchcraft. Berchta or Perchita, another Germanic goddess, which can be identified with Holda, has similar characteristics.

Again in Celtic Traditions, the Horned God Cernuous, and/or Herne the Hunter
was leader of the Wild Hunt and the Scottish Witch Goddess Nineveh was also
said to fly through the night with her followers. Eastern Europe sources also
have a wealth of folklore about witches flying through the air. So flying
through the air, evidently, was a deeply rooted mythological theme, associated
with the free roaming of the spirit, the separation of soul and body.

Calendar of the Sun for November 6th

Calendar of the Sun

6 Blutmonath

Herne’s Day II: Predator

Colors: Black and red
Element: Earth
Altar: On a black cloth lay the skulls and bones of animals, spearheads and flint arrowheads, arrows, and knives. The room should be dark, lit by a single red candle.
Offerings: Make an end to something that needs to die. Cull out things in your life.
Daily Meal: Meat.

Invocation to Herne II

All Hail the Mighty Hunter!
Leader of the Wild Hunt,
Hounds leaping and baying
At his command,
Alpha of the pack,
With teeth that close on the throat
Of the largest, strongest prey,
Predator against whom none can stand.
You who understand the cycle,
Who accepts the sacrifice,
Who takes the offering of your prey,
Wolf who runs with his brothers and sisters,
Great panther who hunts alone,
Bear huge and fierce of claw
Weasel and marten, dark and sly,
Faithful dog that runs to the kill,
Teach us that when Fate comes for us,
It is our place to surrender.
Teach us that when we are overrun,
It is our place to weed out.
Teach us to understand Death
From the side of your implacable eyes.

Chant:
Cernunnos Cernunnos
The Hunt is On

(Ritual ends in a great howl, after which the single candle is snuffed out and all leave the room silently.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Pagan Book Of Hours for April 24th

Calendar of the Sun
24 Eostremonath

Walpurgisnacht Day II

Color: Black
Element: Air
Altar: Upon a black cloth set the candle from the previous day plus a second one (each day of Walpurgisnacht adds another candle), a broom, a sheaf of grain, and the figure of a dog.
Offerings: The exercise for Gymnastika shall be running.
Daily Meal: Grain and greens.

Walpurgisnacht Invocation II

On this night the White Lady runs.
On this day she flees the Wild Hunt
In the guise of a white deer,
Her hoofprints flee along the track,
For she is Spring’s creature, and the Winter
Is far behind, chasing her, trying to bring her down.
But we will not let her fall,
We will not let her be caught,
We will not let ourselves be trapped
In the winter’s sadness,
For all things must come to an end,
And the green season is upon us.
Sheaf of grain in her hand,
She rides her broom like a steed,
Sweeping the winter away before her,
While the Wild Hunt bays at her heels,
Until the very dogs of the Hunt turn aside
And run instead at her side,
Whining for her attention,
Putting their noses into her hand,
And she has conquered them
As she will conquer the year.
Hail, Lady of the unknown name,
Waelbyrga, Waluburg, Holda’s child,
We who have run from our foes
And yet found that the best defense
Is to turn them into friends,
We salute you!

(The broom should be passed from person to person, and every room of the house should be swept with it, as a purification. Each chants wordlessly, or with any simple chant, during this.)

Calendar of the Moon

Willow Tree Month

Colors: Yellow, silver, and pale willow-green
Element: Water
Altar: Upon cloth of yellow, silver, and pale willow-green place three white candles, wreaths of willow-branches, a large clay bowl of water, flowers if they are available, and a silver moon.
Offerings: Contemplate an emotion, and how you use it, and how it uses you.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian, preferably cold food. Fruits. Only spring water to drink.

Saille Invocation

Call: Now is the time of the Willow Goddess.
Response: Now is the time of the Green Man’s courting.
Call: Now is the time when leaves are full.
Response: Now is the time when gold gives way to silver.
Call: Now is the time when Sun gives way to Moon.
Response: Now is the time when Lord gives way to Lady.
Call: Now is the time of the search and the quest.
Response: Now is the time of magic dew on the fields.
Call: Now is the time of the phallus rising.
Response: He seeks the doorway that is wet with spring rains.
Call: He seeks the moon in the river.
Response: He seeks the fishes in the winnowing basket.
Call: He seeks the fruit of Persephone.
Response: He seeks the mountain of the Muses.
Call: We crown his head with flowers….
Response: That he may reach the sky.
Call: We crown his head with ribbons….
Response: That he may touch the earth.
Call: We bring forth the pole from earth to sky.
Response: We lay the line from earth to sky.
Call: We blow like the wind from earth to sky.
Response: We fall like the rain from sky to earth.
Call: We descend like the sunlight from sky to earth.
Response: We climb like the trees from sky to earth.
Call: We are the children of earth and sky.
Response: We are beloved of sky and earth.

Chant:
We all come from the Goddess, and to Her we shall return,
Like a drop of rain, flowing to the ocean.

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Calendar of the Sun for April 23rd

Calendar of the Sun
24 Eostremonath

Walpurgisnacht Day II

Color: Black
Element: Air
Altar: Upon a black cloth set the candle from the previous day plus a second one (each day of Walpurgisnacht adds another candle), a broom, a sheaf of grain, and the figure of a dog.
Offerings: The exercise for Gymnastika shall be running.
Daily Meal: Grain and greens.

Walpurgisnacht Invocation II

On this night the White Lady runs.
On this day she flees the Wild Hunt
In the guise of a white deer,
Her hoofprints flee along the track,
For she is Spring’s creature, and the Winter
Is far behind, chasing her, trying to bring her down.
But we will not let her fall,
We will not let her be caught,
We will not let ourselves be trapped
In the winter’s sadness,
For all things must come to an end,
And the green season is upon us.
Sheaf of grain in her hand,
She rides her broom like a steed,
Sweeping the winter away before her,
While the Wild Hunt bays at her heels,
Until the very dogs of the Hunt turn aside
And run instead at her side,
Whining for her attention,
Putting their noses into her hand,
And she has conquered them
As she will conquer the year.
Hail, Lady of the unknown name,
Waelbyrga, Waluburg, Holda’s child,
We who have run from our foes
And yet found that the best defense
Is to turn them into friends,
We salute you!

(The broom should be passed from person to person, and every room of the house should be swept with it, as a purification. Each chants wordlessly, or with any simple chant, during this.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Earth Gods – THE GREEN MAN

Earth Gods – THE GREEN MAN

The Green Man is the vision of a face in the leaves – a face surrounded by or made from leaves. He embodies nature – wild, free, and primitive. He is known as Cernunnos, Herne, Pan, Faunus, Puck, John Barleycorn, and the Horned God, to name just a few. The Green Man is the male essence of nature. His face graces more churches and cathedrals than one can imagine, a unique feat for a pagan god.

Cernunnos is the Celtic god of nature. He is commonly seen as a horned god. The horn is a symbol of virility and fertility. As Cernunnos, his worship can be traced back to the Iron Age Celts through historical artifacts; however, very little is known about how he was regarded or worshipped.

In Britain, the nature god is known as Herne the Hunter. Herne was a favorite of King Richard II. He saved the king from a raging stag and was severely wounded. A stranger tied the antlers of the stag to Herne’s head, claiming his hunting talent as payment. Herne, devastated at this loss of talent, ran off into the woods. Later a man found his corpse hanging on a tree. Herne is said to appear in spectral form and to indulge in his favorite pastime – hunting. He is aid to lead the Wild Hunt.

Pan is the Greek nature god who watches over the shepherds and their flocks. He is known as Faunus in Roman mythology. Pan is consider to be older than the Olympians. He gave Apollo the secrets of prophecy and gifted Artemis with her hunting dogs.

Pan was originally an Arcadian god. He is described as a man with the legs, horns and hindquarters of a goat. Due to the Olympians disdain of Arcadians, they always treated Pan as a second-class god. However, his popularity among the primitive mountain people of Arcadia never lessened.

Pan was thought to inspire a type of sudden fear. In fact, the world panic is a derivation of his name. Pan was a lecherous god and was well-known for his indulgence in amorous affairs. One nymph name Pitys turned into a pine tree to escape his advances, while another, Syrinx, turned into river reeds. At the exact moment that Syrinx did so., the wind blew, creating a melodic sound. Pan much intrigued picked several of the reeds and turned them into his signature pan pipes.

All of the deities that are considered to be the male essence of nature are thought to follow a cycle of life, death and rebirth in sync with the seasons.

Samhain God – Odin

Odin is a major god in Norse mythology and the ruler of Asgard. Homologous with the Anglo-Saxon “Wōden” and the Old High German “Wotan”, the name is descended from Proto-Germanic “Wodanaz” 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. In the compound Wednesday, the first member is cognate to the genitive Odin’s. 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 (the major group of the Norse pantheon) and is associated with war, battle, victory and death, but also wisdom, magic, poetry, prophecy, and the hunt. Odin has many sons, the most famous of whom is Thor.

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 ravens Huginn 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 octopedal horse, 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 or Frigga.