The divine patron of outlaws, warriors, seers, tricksters, and skalds, Odin appeals to many walks of life. His weathered, one-eyed face is often flanked by his two ravens, Hugin and Munin, who are manifestations of thought and memory that whisper secrets to Him from the furthest reaches of Asgard.
Known to many as The All-Father, Odin is perhaps seen as a guide or guardian just as much as a father figure. Introduced in the first entry of the Poetic Edda, His exact title – a word that could mean either “father” or “guide” – has been lost to translation and time.
Wayfarer and shapeshifter, Odin fulfills many roles and appears in numerous stories throughout the Poetic and Prose Edda. While some speak of a wandering, wizened old seer, other writings tell of a fierce protector, a frenzied warrior, a guardian, or a pernicious trickster. Shrouded in mystery, The One-Eyed God appears to each person in His own way.
In Norse mythology, Odin is the ruler of the gods of Asgard as well as mortal men. Presiding over Valhalla, Odin takes with Him half of the souls of those slain in battle after Freya first selects Her share for Fólkvangr.
Married to the goddess Frigga, Odin was the father of many gods, including Baldr and Thor. He is also the adopted father of Loki, making Him a patron to adopted children and mixed families alike.
Odin is a practitioner of seiðr, a form of divination in which information is thought to be pulled from the threads of fate itself. Although considered a feminine practice, Odin is not swayed by brash judgment in the face of divine knowledge.
Much like Odin gave His eye to peer into the Well of Wisdom, your personal journey with Him will be one of self-sacrifice. In doing so, however, you will discover your own source of wisdom and valor.
Although Odin is known for his role as the ruler of Asgard, the home of the gods, His essence is not one of absolute power. Following your own moral code, endlessly seeking wisdom, and living an honorable life to its end are far better ways to gain Odin’s favor than acting authoritarian.
Odin instructs you not to follow authority blindly, but to forge your own path based on your personal values and what you know in your heart to be true. He will not demand perfection from you, however, you must live by your own personal code.
No one has ever reached Valhalla simply by asking for it. Working with Odin requires you to take what you know is yours with confidence. He expects you to abide by a strong moral code, live a life of honor, and perform constant self-work.
Odin’s day of the week is Wednesday. Derived from Wodnesday, this day is named after the Germanic god Woden, who is often syncretized with Odin. As a polytheistic neopagan, I like to take this special day to find ways to honor The Great Magician.
You may leave offerings of food if you wish, but know that they may go instead to His wolves Geri and Freki, for Odin only drinks wine or mead. You may also leave crystals, herbs, or other items you personally associate with Odin.
Other ways to connect with and honor Odin include practicing seiðr, casting runes, or utilizing other forms of divination and spellwork in your practice.
Not only pleased with the passions of battle, the patron of skalds would likely enjoy it if you wrote a poem, song, or dedicated another creative endeavor to Him. If you’re feeling low on creativity, you can meditate with Odin to grow closer to Him and gain His insight.
Ruler of gods and men
He who breathes life into mortals
And receives their final breath in return;
Seer and Sorcerer,
Mover of Constellations
Show me the threads of fate.
May your ravens whisper their secrets to me.
Wanderer and Wayfinder
Guide me on my path to enlightenment
That I may keenly plot my own course.
Patron of Warriors
May you steady my honorable sword
As I commit the ultimate sacrifice.
Odin, God of the Gallows
Guardian of the Slain
May you guide my spirit home to Valhalla
At the end of my final battle.
These practices are primarily from a Neopagan viewpoint rather than a traditionally heathenistic one, but how you choose to honor The Great Magician or incorporate Him into your practice is incredibly valid.
Take your time to honor Odin in this life, hold yourself accountable in each and every action, and hold your blade steady when the time comes. Perhaps the Wise God of Warriors will welcome you into Valhalla after all.
It’s just the beginning…
Odin is a great place to start when it comes to Norse mythology, but there’s so much more! Explore the rest of these posts and learn more about the Nordic deities, their practices, and divination styles.
Loki – Norse God of Mischief
Many of us are familiar with Tom Hiddleston’s portrayal of Loki in Marvel’s enterprise. Few of us are familiar with Loki the God, though, and he has much more to offer than being “Thor’s brother”. In fact, he is not related to Thor by blood at all!
Online Divination: Draw a Rune!
Besides being an alphabet, each letter in the Elder Futhark also has spiritual and divinatory meanings. We can use the rune stones in a similar way to tarot, asking a question and casting runes for our answers.
If you would like to read runes but don’t have a set of your own, don’t worry! You can use our collection of runes here!
Thor ⚡ Norse God of Thunder
An ever-popular deity in Norse mythology and popular culture, Thor is the Norse God of War and Thunder. There is so much more to him than thunder, war, and Marvel, though. Explore Thor, his mythology, and why you might find working with him helpful!