Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day Eleven: Pantheon (Odin)

Oðinn is one of those gods that sets the spirit singing, for various reasons. He is utterly magnificent for all he is sneaky and restrained when he wants to be. He is fearsomely marvellous and marvellously fearsome, and I love and admire him very much.

I met Oðinn properly many years ago when I was a silly little chit of a witchling, and asked Apollo for advice on Runes. (Because Apollo is connected with divination, don'tcherknow.) Apollo tactfully suggested I talk to Oðinn about it. So I did.

Oðinn is a very layered god. He and I share a lot in common, which is why I think I like him as much as I do. We both like language, and words. We value wit, wisdom and poetry. We like to wander. We like to learn for the sake of learning.

He has so many sides to him, so many things in which he dips his fingers. Oðinn is a god of war.... and a god who practises an argr form of magic. (That is, ummanly. Shamefully feminine.) He is a Tricky Bastard of the highest order, with a tendency to smile on people in battle until they've reached the peak of their abilities and then let them die so he can add them to his personal army. "Hi, you know that magic sword I gave you that helped you win all your battles? Yeah, I'm gonna need that back now. Have fun fighting that huge great army that vastly outnumbers you. Ciao!" He's also a lover, a leader, the Most Wise, a god with more names than I've had hot dinners and some of them quite fearsome indeed. Ygg, the Terrible!

When I think of him, I acknowledge that he is a particularly frightening deity. Yet when I honour him or speak with him, I do not fear him but feel great love for him. He is patient with me though I've taken so long in learning his Runes. I am happy to do for him what he wants me to do, yet, I'm glad I'm not "one of his" as I hear he's rather harsh with them. I'm more comfortable and happy in his presence than I am with many of his folk. But he is big, and not in the sense of being physically intimidating. More in the sense that you're very aware that he could squish you if he wanted to. I associate a lot with him, more than I do with many gods, in the way of "correspondences". Many of them physical, or ineffable. He's grey and blue, like the sky, particularly dark grey-blue of heavy clouds. The scent of snow in the air. He's wolf and bear. He is winter, and blood on the snow. He's also things that keep you warm on a cold night, like mead, and stories by the fire, and sex. He's the clang of metal on metal and the taste of blood in your mouth.

I see him with grey beard and hair, and sharp eye (the other, of course, not being there), sometimes wearing a blue cloak and his traveller's hat, sometimes wearing a wolfskin cloak. He gave me one similar during a Walk once, and taught me things that day. One of those things is that one wears wolfskin if it is cold if the alternative is freezing. He likes mead, very much, and he doesn't like peach schnapps.

So don't give him any.

(As always, click the "30 days" tag at the bottom there to quickly find my other entries.)

No comments:

Post a Comment