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Thread: Questions About Odin

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    Questions About Odin

    Apologies, i'm still very ignorant on the subject, and learning more and more each day.

    However, i have to ask.

    Was Odin worshiped (through prayer, rituals etc.) or was he always just revered ? Does he require worship ?
    If he was worshiped, should he be worshiped today ?

    Thanks for everyone's input.

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    Senior Member Rodulf's Avatar
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    I think the only true answer, at this time in history, is "Who Knows?" We have lost so much. My personal take is I hate ritual, worship, prayers, etc. To the best of my knowledge and experience the Gods were seen as personifications of natural forces. One might become filled with the Fury of Odin and fight a battle. A man would seek the favor of Thor for many things. The idea of bowing down to a god and "worshipping" was foreign to our North European ancestors. The best metaphor I have found is that we walk with our Gods, as companions, as we act on our Wyrd and the Wyrd of the world. We're in this together. Our Ancestors certainly sacrificed animals to various Gods, something I do not feel the need to replicate. I do pour out libations of dark beer and mead when asking for Their protection before travel and to thank Them for all I now have. Is this "worship"? I certainly don't bow down, get on my knees or perform any other version of Xtian subservience as I think our Gods have contempt for such boot-licking.
    In short, my personal way of approaching this, is to remember that our Folk spirituality was highly individualistic and varied from region to region. Learn all you can about our Elder Kin. Never bow down. Our Gods and Kin respect courage, strength and honor and if you are cultivating these qualities I would say you are on the true path...
    "This World We Cannot Tolerate,
    It's Time To Seal All Preachers Fate,
    And Hang Them All,
    From Odin's Tree!"
    Amon Amarth

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    Senior Member Theunissen's Avatar
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    Tacitus wrote about this:
    Of all the Gods, Mercury is he whom they worship most. To him on certain stated days it is lawful to offer even human victims. Hercules and Mars they appease with beasts usually allowed for sacrifice. Some of the Suevians make likewise immolations to Isis. Concerning the cause and original of this foreign sacrifice I have found small light; unless the figure of her image formed like a galley, show that such devotion arrived from abroad. For the rest, from the grandeur and majesty of beings celestial, they judge it altogether unsuitable to hold the Gods enclosed within walls, or to represent them under any human likeness. They consecrate whole woods and groves, and by the names of the Gods they call these recesses; divinities these, which only in contemplation and mental reverence they behold.
    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2995/2995-h/2995-h.htm
    I'd guess Tacitus gave Odin/Wotan the name Mercurius. Mars and Hercules would be Tyr/Ziu and Thor/Donar. Of course it's fair to assume some Roman bias towards the ancient Germans, but it's one of the only sources we have.

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    Senior Member Uwe Jens Lornsen's Avatar
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    Odin is the Ferryman on the one side of the Sound called "Milky Way" ,
    and the Edda says , he does not want Thor setting over from the
    other shore .

    Not sure , how the Northern Constellations are visible from
    Down Under South Africa .

    At least , when the nights become longer , one could try to spot
    a hammer , a milk giving goat , Uller's Bow , Gray Wolves ,
    if there are little clouds to overcast the view .
    Mk 10:18 What do you call me a good master, no-one is good .

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    Senior Member SaxonPagan's Avatar
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    Norse religion was a folk one that was very decentralised. There may have been some religious 'leaders' at a local level but no real organised hierarchy and few places of collective worship.

    It would be fair to assume that rituals to honour Odin (and other gods) followed no strictly-set pattern and varied according to the individuals who carried them out. I've never come across any specific prayers to the gods that were used during these times, although you can find a lot of prayers on today's Pagan websites.

    There were some larger gatherings at important periods of the year but no surviving records of exactly what these ceremonies entailed. I'm always wary of stuff about human sacrifices, which we've only obtained via Christian sources that are hardly noted for their objectivity

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    Senior Member Theunissen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SaxonPagan View Post
    .....
    There were some larger gatherings at important periods of the year but no surviving records of exactly what these ceremonies entailed. I'm always wary of stuff about human sacrifices, which we've only obtained via Christian sources that are hardly noted for their objectivity
    Tacitus is hardly a Christian source. But it's fair to assume some Roman bias in his portrayal, which seems to stem again from information he got via third parties.

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    Senior Member SaxonPagan's Avatar
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    You're quite right, Theunissen.

    I was actually reading another thread on here about the Vikings at the time of posting and had in my mind that our knowledge of them comes primarily from Christian sources. This somehow slipped into the final sentence of what I was saying about Pagans and human sacrifices, so (a) I must focus on one thread at a time from now on and (b) I should go to bed much earlier

    As for Tacitus, I'll have to read his 'Germania' book sometime because I've never got round to doing this. Even sources that are not entirely neutral (such as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle with its heavy Christian bias) have their value when there's such a dearth of information available. I can well imagine the tales that arrived back in Rome about those barbarian tribes up in the North

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    I view it as our gods are not physical and they are our spirits of our ancestors and nature combined. I also believe we sprang from these spirits, so I don't really pray to our gods as a Christian would pray to their god. I do offer mead, bier, meat, wine, as a way of thanks to honor them. I consume these offering as part of that.

    One big thing I do is observe Yule and to a lesser extent Midsummer.
    Life is like a fire hydrant- sometimes you help people put out their fires, but most of the time you just get peed on by every dog in the neighborhood.

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    Senior Member Rodulf's Avatar
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    This quote from the Odin Brotherhood sums it all up for me:

    As a warrior religion--a creed that glorifies the hero over the saint--the "mailed fist" over the "nailed hands"--the Odin Brotherhood represents strength over weakness, pride over humility, and knowledge over faith.

    In an era of ugliness, impotence, and death, we glorify beauty, power, and life.
    Ours is a religion that creates no laws, only virtues. A revolt against the modern world–with its laws and moral codes–its hangmen and its priests–Odinism

    In an era of ugliness, impotence, and death, we glorify beauty, power, and life.Ours is a religion that creates no laws, only virtues. A revolt against the modern world–with its laws and moral codes–its hangmen and its priests–Odinism teaches men and women how to rule, fight, hunt, and procreate.
    "This World We Cannot Tolerate,
    It's Time To Seal All Preachers Fate,
    And Hang Them All,
    From Odin's Tree!"
    Amon Amarth

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    I have to say that Odin doesn't quite capture my imagination as much as Thor and I'm sure this is true for many other Pagans. It certainly was during the Viking era, where Thor became the most popular deity by far.

    Odin has so many diverse attributes (warfare, knowledge. poetry, sorcery etc..) that it's difficult to focus on any one in particular, whereas with Thor you know exactly what you're getting -

    The Nordic gods represented different sections of society. Thor would obviously have been the main god for the warrior classes, Freyr for the farmers and the upper echelons would have in general been more Odin-orientated, although there were some blurry lines and this is a gross oversimplification.

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