Chief god of Norse mythology, god of war, and the source of wisdom. A sky god, he lived in Asgard at the top of the world-tree Yggdrasil. From the Valkyries, his divine maidens, he received the souls of half those heroes slain in battle, feasting with them in his great hall Valhalla; the remainder were feasted by Freya. His son was Thor, god of thunder. Wednesday or Woden's day is named after him.
Odin's knowledge was acquired through his own enquiry and personal sacrifice; he frequently travelled in disguise and could assume many shapes. He had to give an eye to his uncle Mimir, guardian of the Fountain of Wisdom, for permission to drink of its intelligence, while to gain his runic wisdom he was hanged for nine nights as his own sacrifice, before reaching down in agony to pick up the rune staves. He transformed himself into a serpent to drink all the poets' mead in the cauldron Odrerir, and then into an eagle to return to Asgard before disgorging the magic potion. Ravens and wolves were his familiars.
He was identified by the Romans with Mercury, Wednesday being their Mercurii dies and subsequently the French mercredi. Royal dynasties in England and Scandinavia claimed descent from him.
List of Norse Beings
rune stone, Tängelgarda
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