Odin: Work and Thoughts

A few weeks ago I put out a call for topic requests, ideas for blog posts here that folks were interested in or wanted to learn more, both here and on tumbr. The first one I received was from Satsekhem about my work with Odin, so that’s what I’m planning to write about today.

In truth, there isn’t a whole lot about my work with him, but I can write on my history with him. Yes, there’s a difference.

Thinking back to the first time I heard of Odin, I get a little stumped. I’m not as familiar with the Norse pantheon as I am with the Greco-Roman pantheons, but when I try to recall when I first learned of them, it gets hazy. I know I was aware of him before my freshman year of college, as I was wondering what gods to work with on this crooked Pagan path and I thought of him, among others. I do recall learning more about him in my Medieval Studies course that year. Since the professor was a scholar of folklore and mythology, with special emphasis on the Anglo-Saxons and Norse, I guess that’s no surprise.

At first, I didn’t know if I should pursue a relationship with him. I knew him as a Patron of knowledge and poetry, war and drink, and prophecy, to put it simply. It didn’t seem to fit entirely right with me, so I pushed thoughts of working with him away, though he was never very far from my mind.

Over the next few years, I would think of him from time to time, but never pursued much. It wasn’t until I was abandoned by Anubis and began seeing crows and ravens everywhere, in groups of two and three, that I began to wonder if this wasn’t a sign to work with and find other gods.

And I’ll admit: I had a bit of a soft spot for Gaiman’s portrayal of the American-ized version of Odin (Mr. Wednesday in American Gods), though it was the Icelandic Odin we meet in the epilogue that really affected me. I first read that book the summer of 2008, not long after my initial thoughts of working with him. Honestly, I probably should have taken it as a sign.

Time passed but I never got a very strong vibe from Odin. I think we were both cautiously circling each other, wondering if it was right or not. And then I happened across him at a crossroads. Since then, he’s been back to his usual quiet self. Sometimes I wonder if meeting him was a test and I didn’t pass. I don’t think I failed, either, as I can still get a sense of him around, curious-like in the background. Then again, that event could have just been coincidence, a normal man staring down the road. Then again, it might not have.

I worship Odin quietly, as reflective of my relationship with him. Though I haven’t done it in many weeks – illness and frequent migraines and poor weather have forbidden or canceled many of my plans – my divination experiments are meant to be devotions to him, due to his connection with prophecy. Though these techniques aren’t the runes, I get the feeling he appreciates the efforts and my attempts to gather more knowledge on divination all the same.

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