My theme for the “A to Z Challenge” is World Mythology.
My A to Z posts will run concurrently with my usual posts. I hope they spark your curiosity. I find it fascinating how so many stories crossed the boundaries of countries and even oceans.
O is for Odin
“In Norse mythology … Odin is associated with healing, death, royalty, the gallows, knowledge, battle, sorcery, poetry, frenzy, and the runic alphabet… Odin was known in Old English as Wōden, in Old Saxon as Wōdan, and in Old High German as Wuotan or Wōtan….” (Wikipedia)
Stories of Odin spread during the Viking Age and later during tribal expansions and migrations. Odin can be found in rural folklore in all Germanic regions and the word “Wednesday” derives from Odin in many Germanic languages, including English.
Eight interesting facts about Odin
- is one-eyed and has a long beard (Old Norse texts)
- carries a spear called Sungnir
- wears a cloak and a hat
- has animal companions: wolves Geri and Freki and ravens, Huginn and Muninn who bring him information
- flies across the sky and into the underworld on an eight-legged steed called Sleipnir
- oversees Valhalla where he receives half of the warriors who die in battle
- consults with Mimir for advice (the disembodied head of a wise man)
- is associated with charms and magic in Old English and Old Norse texts
Now I’m going to think of Odin every Wednesday:)
Feature Photo: Odin the Wanderer (1895) by Georg von Rosen (from Wikipedia)
Do you Want More?
Go to my 2016 A to Z Challenge page to see my other posts on world mythology.