Odin is the God of many things including war, death, wisdom, poetry and magic. Battle seems to have been common place in ancient society. Followers of Odin looked to him for aid and favor in battle. After a battle Odin received half of those who died. These warriors were chosen by the Valkyries and went to live with Odin in Vahalla(Hall of the Chosen), they were called Einherjar(Lone Fighters). Valhalla was Odin’s hall in Asgard.

As God of wisdom, Odin was known to have made sacrifices to attain greater knowledge. He gave up one of his eyes to drink from the well of Mimir. Drinking from the well gives a person wisdom. He also hung from Yggrdrasil (Odin’s Steed) for nine days and nights. During this time he acquired the knowledge of the runes.

Poets used to be considered very important people. Therefore being a God of poetry would have been a very important role, though it may not seem important to us in modern times. Odin took a vessel of mead from a giantess named Gunnlod. He took it back to Asgard to share with the other gods. Some of it spilled and it is said that it gave human poets inspiration.

He was also a God of magic. He was the only one of the Aesir that learned a type of magic called Seidhr. This magic was taught to him by Freyja. Being the master of the runes, was also a connection to magic. As the ability to read runes is a way of working magic. Odin also had the ability to shape-shift.

Odin is known as the wanderer. He is said to travel the nine worlds, often in disguise and most of the time using a different name. It is estimated that Odin has over 150 names that he can be recognized by.

Odin has several belongings that he is recognized by. His spear is called Gugnir(Swaying One) and is said to always find its mark. When people swear oaths on Gugnir, the oaths cannot be broken. He has a golden arm ring called Draupnir(Dropper). His throne is called Hlidskialf (Watch Tower) and when he sits upon it, he can see across all the lands.

Animals that are associated with Odin are his ravens, wolves, and his horse. His ravens are Hugin (Thought)and Munin(Memory) and each morning they travel through all the worlds and bring him back information about what is going on. He has two wolves that are his companions, their names are Freki(Ravenous) and Geri(Greedy). He has an eight-legged horse called Sleipnir(Runner), which can travel at great speed through the nine-worlds.

Artwork:  “Odin” by Victor Villalobos

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