View Full Version : Odin's Eye and the Well

Friday, December 9th, 2011, 02:57 PM
There seems to be some confusion as to which eye Odin sacrificed to Mimir. Is there a consensus on this? Also, I know this seems silly, but, for those who choose to emulate Odin (Odians), there is no serious self-sacrifice like this type of self mutilation expected, correct? I mean, we don't have access to the well anyway, but humor me. We're not expected to hang ourselves from a tree. lol. Besides, he already did it himself and received the runes. Arggg....this Odinic fear!!!!

Saturday, December 10th, 2011, 12:27 PM
I think you have to read myths metaphorically, not literally. Odin made a sacrifice to gain knowledge; if you truly seek knowledge then be prepared to make some sacrifices.

But I really don't think he expects you to gauge out your eye.

Now, having said that, if there were cults of young men who dedicated themselves to being Odin's warriors (like the Beserker types), I am sure after 20 years of such a lifestyle many of them probably did lose an eye or a limb in battle.

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012, 05:55 PM
I don't really think which eye he sacrificed is material. Though I think there is some hard reality behind the Eddas, I also think they have been corrupted by conquering religions and copied and translated by people wit an agenda, so that they can no longer be taken at face value.

But the meaning of them, I think, it still there for the thinking man. Odin getting a vision of the runes, is one of the economic principle of opportunity cost. Or, in short, everything costs something. The greater the acquisition, the greater the cost.

He gave up vision for a vision: he lost one eye, to gain a great knowledge.

So many want great things, then lament that they do not receive them, yet do not recognize that they don't receive them due to an unwillingness to pay the great price that great things cost.

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012, 07:29 PM
Sacrificing his real eye for a draught, I believe, could be telling us that one cannot always see things for what they are and taking them at face value will blind one to what cannot be readily be seen, so one must then look deeper into the source of knowledge to and by looking deeper one can consume that knowledge.

Odin's eye is said to be deep within Mimisbrunnr so that could represent that he can see more deeply into the knowing of things.

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012, 09:56 PM
I see this as having several meanings, lessons to learn (like all the myths and sagas). What you allready mentioned is about the cost of learning, that you need to be ready to sacrifice.
Another important lesson is that we should have always one eye on the here and now, and the other on the future, on planning, on achieving knowledge etc. If you have both eyes on one of those you are blind for the other. I think its that what it wants to teach us : to sacrifice one eye, and ONLY one eye. If you always have one on the future you see a little less in the here and now, but its worth the effort, you still see enough. But take care you don´t sacrifice both or you are blinded, in the metaphorical and practical sense.

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012, 10:20 PM
There is definitely no intent to require followers to gauge an eye out.

For a variety of reasons, a human doing that would be simply goofy.

Take another example, in the Bible, Jesus tells followers to cut off their hands, or gauge out their eyes if either causes the follower to sin. This is not at all intended to be a literal command, but rather a metaphor on how to treat sin.

Likewise we see a metaphor in Odin's sacrifices. He made major sacrifices to make major gains for his folk, and his community. To make similar gains, we should all understand that a sacrifice might be necessary.

Thursday, January 12th, 2012, 01:11 AM
The left eye is the side of 'essence', the right eye is the side of 'personality', or also explainable in terms of left brain and right brain.

As the spring is interpretable as the origin of great things (every river stems from a spring) it can be interpretated that he took an eye to look into the origins of all things.

Water is also considered the source of life (in baptism it is the connection of the spirit to life), so one also could see it that Odin wanted to find out the origin of life.

Though Odin has been known to carry the head of Mimir around which spoke all the wisdom, he hardly needed to sacrifice an eye to gain wisdom, unless he wanted to see the wisdom himself instead of hearing it from a head. (obviously the head only cannot act which means Mimir was only able to speak).

It is also curios that Mimir drank from the well and gained wisdom so why was it not possible for Odin to drink from it?

Heimdallr also drank from the spring and he had to sacrifice an ear(lobe). (I guess that should indicate that Heimdallr could 'hear' the wisdom.

It was also Heimdallrs horn, the gjallahorn, with which Mimir drank from the

The spring was at the root of Yggdrasil. The 3 branches of Yggdrasil led to different areas. The root connected to Mimir's well span over the world of the frostgiants.

We know that Odin was concerned over the darkness falling over the worlds and how he could avoid it. That was the real reason to search for wisdom.

We also know that at the root of Yggdrasil which led to Asgard was a spring, called Urdabrunnar, this well was guarded by the 3 Nornes. With a little logical jump one could assume that these wells hwere connected to the fates of those, whose rootbranch of Yggdrasil was connected to.

It might well be that Odin tried to find knowledge of the frostgiant's fate and might as well be able to change things at the origin of them. Hence changing the past would mean changing the future and thus be able to deflect the coming night of the worlds.

Saturday, February 25th, 2012, 10:40 PM
Every artistic rendition seems to have his left eye gouged out.