Odin

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M. Presnyakov. Odin. 2008.

In Norse mythology, Odin was the king of the Æsir. He is a god of war and death, as well as a sky god and the god of wisdom and poetry. He is also heavily associated with magic. Odin rides on an eight-legged horse called Sleipnir, and his famous spear is called Gungnir. He also has a precious arm ring called Draupnir, and two ravens called Hugin and Munin who tell him all the things happening around the world. Odin only has one eye, because he sacrificed one to drink from the fountain of wisdom.

Half of the souls of heroes slain in battles will be guided by the Valkyries, battle maidens, to Odin's hall, Valhalla. The other half belongs to the goddess Freyja.

His wives are Frigg and Jord, the Earth. His eldest son is Thor, god of thunder.

Odin would be swallowed by Loki's son, the wolf Fenrir at Ragnarok.

In German, Odin is named Wotan. In older English, Odin is named Woden. It is from that name the weekday Wednesday in English comes from "Wodens day". In old Norse he is named Oden and the weekday Wednesday is today, in Scandinavia, "Onsdag", from "Odens day". Odin sacrificed his eye for wisdom. He threw his eye into a well of wisdom. He also impaled himself to a tree for many days, driving a spear through himself, and discovered runes. He got his wish, wisdom.

Odin was one of the foremost practitioners, along with Freya, of magic known as seidr. In traditional Germanic society a man engaging in seidr was an extremely emasculating act. But such was Odins thirst for knowledge he was prepared to sacrifice his honor and was subject to ridicule thereafter.

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