Allfather or Aldaföðr in Old Norse (meaning Father of All)
Bileyg ( meaning Flashing Eye)
Fjorgyn (meaning land/earth)
Grim (meaning mask or hood)
Harbard (Hoary beard/Grey beard)
Oski (God of Wishes Granted)
Valfodr (Father of the Slain)
Wodan (from Old Germanic)
All of these are names and titles associated with the great one, Odin-
and only a few of the many.
I figure I could give you a little backstory on our boy- there isn’t much out there that’s clearly the story everyone agrees on- I mean there’s one guy who wrote the story and everyone is all, yeah, that’s it, but you have to remember- this was not the most well-documented culture…like, most of the stories that did get written down, were by people who might have heard the story from a guy who knows a guy who says he was there…it’s a total mess to be honest. But this one guy compiled (or wrote himself, no one really knows for sure) an official history of the Norse people. It’s pretty intense.
So in dude’s story, Odin’s parents are Borr and Bestla.
Borr is also Ymir. He’s Odin’s father and grandfather…tricky because he is a first being.
Ok, so there’s this cow- basically in space- in the vastness of the universe, and the cow licks this salty ice that’s there- because, obviously a cow in space needs a nice, icy salt lick, and so she licks the salt a few times and out pops Ymir. It’s a little confusing- I know. What can I say- there’s a few holes in these old stories- it was ok back then. Ok, moving on…
Now, Ymir/Buri/Borr is a prototype basically- he needs nourishment to live, so he drinks from the udders of his cow-mom. He then births a son and daughter, from under his armpits- and they get together and make Odin. He has some other kids too, Vili and Vé– together with Odin, they kill their father. (Lots of parent killing among gods…lots. I’ll make an entire, separate post for that if you want…
Out of this weirdness, Odin and his brothers make the earth from Ymir’s flesh, the oceans from his blood, the hills from his bones, the trees from his hair, the clouds from his brains, the heavens from his skull, and from his eyebrows the middle realm in which mankind lives, Midgard.
Damn. Talk about a weird family dynamic…
Now that the earth is a place and he can go fuck around there, Odin decides to head down and check shit out. He decides that he wants to knowledge. Like, the kind Gods have. His uncle, Mimir, just happens to guard the well of knowledge. So all Odin had to do was pluck his own eye from his head to drink from the well. He totally did it without flinching or making a sound. Badass.
Odin also outwitted a giant, who’s magic potion was guarded in a cauldron, deep underground. He tricked the giant into blasting a hole in the earth big enough that if he shapeshifted into a snake, he could fit through. Once the hole was blasted and Odin was inside, he fucked the giant’s daughter and got the potion, then busted outta there after he shapeshifted into an eagle, and killed the giant on the way out. From this, the art of poetry was passed to mankind. Also, “hide ya wives, hide ya daughters.”
Odin and Loki. The original bromance 🖤♂🖤 Loki was the son of a giant and a lesser goddess- but Odin LOVED Loki. They were brothers and Odin knew that Loki always had his back. He knew he could send the clever trickster, Loki, when he needed the application of brains over brawn.
On the History Channel’s Vikings show, Ragnar and Odin are paralleled several times throughout the show-
it is said that he was descended from Odin, and Ragnar has his own mischief maker/BFF in Floki the boat builder.
I’m a big fan of Odin. He’s just not your typical god. He sought knowledge. He was curious. The kind of curious that would be willing to pay dearly for information and do things the hard way…like the time he hung himself from a tree for 9 days to stave off aging and eventual death and master runes and the arts- cause that’s how Odin rolled- he literally said fuck you to death for NINE DAYS rather than eat the same magic apples all the other gods ate to stay young and not learn anything. All he had to do was eat the apples- but nooooo- Odin hung himself from a tree AND stabbed himself in the side with his spear.
*Wait…hung and stabbed with a spear? That sounds almost like Jesus, doesn’t it? 🤔✝🤔 Yeah, loads of the old stories have similar themes and plotlines…while Odin didn’t do this to save us from our sins, he did do it for us- he brought Runes to mankind and gave us magick, the real shit- with a K. In a way, he’s a cosmic father to anyone reading this right now.
I can see it…
Death: “You’re coming with me.”
Odin: “No I’m not.”
Death: “Yes you are.”
Odin: “No I’m not. Make me.”
Death: “Fuck. Fine. Stay here then.”
He did this with the grim reaper. Then basically took his job. Now Odin waits at the gates of Valhalla and shakes you down like a weird afterlife bouncer before you get to come inside for dinner and loads of killing- forever.
Badass. So very badass.
His name and legend are still with us. Wednesday was formerly know as Woden’s Day- Woden being an early Germanic version of the great one’s name. In some parts of Europe- they use a word that means “mid or half week” loosely translated- but everywhere else, it’s the Allfather the day is named for- or his Roman counterpart- Mercury.
Mercury and Odin kinda merged into one god when Scandinavian and Roman cultures came across one another. The word for Wednesday in the Romance language cultures is mercredi in French and miercuri in Romanian. Kinda cool huh?