Óðinn is not Óðinn


When authors use the label Óðinn, what are they referring to? Do different authors use the label Óðinn to refer to the same 'thing'? I do not believe that. The label Óðinn is used for very different 'things'. That is what the title is saying: the label Óðinn at one place does not refer to the same 'thing' as the label Óðinn at other places.

According to scholars, the continental Woden is 'the same' deity as the Icelandic Óðinn. The Norwegian language has lost the letter 'V' or 'W' in front of many words. And Icelandic is derived from Norwegian. When you put a 'W' before Óðinn you get Woden. So it seems reasonable to assume, that the Icelandic Óðinn is similar to the continental Woden. But were the emotions, thoughts and feelings of the Icelandic authors around Óðinn similar to the emotions, thoughts and feelings of the continental tribal peoples around Woden?

The name Óðinn is derived from Woden. Scholars have tried to explain the etymological origin of the name Woden from words with the meaning of 'possessed, inspired, delirious, raging'. This is just a theory of linguists and nothing more. I believe that Woden refers to the origin of Woden: the woods. See: Woden woody as deity of the woods.


The label is not the thing that it is referring to

For a general introduction of this statement see Korzybski and General semantics.

A noun is a label (or pointer) that points to something. In computer programming a pointer usually points to only one thing, ambiguity is avoided. In human language we use words as pointers with a lot of ambiguity. When I say 'Mind your arms', what do I mean with arms? The extensions on your shoulders or your weapons? Usually this is clarified by the context.

When we use a word as a pointer to a physical object, we can agree on its properties. We can talk about a chair or a table without much confusion. But when we use a word as a pointer to a non-physical 'thing', it becomes hard to agree on anything. When you doubt this, try to agree with someone about the properties of the 'thing' that the word 'god' is referring to. Or to make it easier, try to agree on 'capitalism', 'socialism', 'liberalism', et cetera.


Meaning of Óðinn and Woden for various people

When I read books of scholars on old Germanic peoples, I see a lot of cultural bias. Scholars usually see Óðinn and Woden as mental constructions. They try to describe how pagans saw Óðinn or Woden and how they worshiped these deities. For modern pagans Óðinn is not 'just a mental construction'. They usually have an emotional, sentimental and spiritual connection with 'the thing' that the word Óðinn refers to. For Christian authors in medieval Iceland and continental Europe Óðinn was often an object of fear and was often the eguivalent of 'the devil'. And we can only guess what Woden meant for prehistoric pagans. Óðinn was 'the civilized version' of Woden. The continental Christians had a deep fear for Woden, much more than average educated modern people can understand. (Most likely psychiatrists that have terrified patients can understand this.)


Different meanings of the word Óðinn

I distinguish the following different meanings of Óðinn.

  1. Óðinn as father of all, as Anima Solaris.

  2. Óðinn as Hangatýr.

  3. Óðinn as father of the fallen.

  4. Woden woody as deity of the woods.

  5. Óðinn as a heroic person, a king, a sorcerer, a con-artist.


1. Óðinn as All-father, as Anima Solaris.

Snorri Sturluson refers to Óðinn as 'Allföðr' or 'Alföðr'. See: Gylfaginning ch 3.


gylfaginning 3

In the gylfaginning we read:

In the Codex Upsaliensis version and the Codex Wormianus version the text reads 'Alföðr'. in the Codex Regius and the Codex Trajectinus version the text reads 'Allföðr'. I assume that Allföðr should be read as All-föðr and not Alf-öðr. All-föðr means 'Father of all', while Alf-öðr means 'óðr of the elves'

The text refers to twelve names of Óðinn. Twelve is a 'Christian' number. The Germanic pagans usually used nine as the sacred number. This tells us, that the text is a Christian interpretation of the old lore.


I am not sure if the concept of Allföðr was used in writings before. In the Völuspá the words Valföðr and Vafodrs are used. See Völuspá. We do not have evidence in writing that the pagans saw Óðinn as allfather. But all the writings are from people that learned to write during their Christian education. Pagans did not write. In the Voluspa 29 Óðinn is called herfaðr or Herföðr. But what does 'her' mean? Is it short for 'herað' (district, country)? If so, does 'herað' refer to Midgarðr (Middle earth, the earth) and is Óðinn seen as the father of the whole planet? Or does 'her' refer to 'har' and does 'har' refer to kings? In that case Óðinn is the father of all kings. herra father also translates to 'father of kings'. But 'her-föðr' also translates to 'war-father'.


Snorri Sturluson was assassinated in 1241 by men claiming to be agents of the King of Norway. If Snorri named Óðinn 'Allföðr', then he put him in direct opposition to the god of the Christians. That would be reason enough for the King of Norway to get him killed.


Óðinn has always been seen as 'the god with one eye', as 'the god with the flaming eye' and as Helblindi (blinding as hell, fierce shining and blinding) in Grimnismal 46. In the Völuspá 28 we read:


Völuspá 28

Alone sat she out. Then the Old One came, the descendant of Yggr, the mighty Ace. He looked in her eyes. "What is your quest? Why do you test me?" Everything to know and everything to see. Óðinn, wherever thine eye shines. During your journey through the sea, Mímis well, you drink the mead of Mímir. At morning you return with the breath of the father of the fallen. Initiate you into or what?


Note. I interpret 'yggjungr ása' as 'young of ygg Ace'. 'yggjungr' can also be interpreted as 'the young Yggr' were Yggr is the name of Óðinn before he was hung in the worldtree Yggdrasil.

This describes a form of 'uti-seta' (out-sitting). You can imagine a volva sitting on a hill at dawn, gazing in the eye of Óðinn. Then the child of yggdrasil, the mighty Ace, looked in her eyes. And she wonders: What do you want from me, what should I do? Why do you test me? Everything that is to know or to be seen, wherever the eye of Óðinn shines. During the journey through the sea, Mímirs well, Óðinn's eye drinks the mead of Mímir. In the morning his eye returns. And from the wind of the father of the fallen, the volva is initiated, things are revealed.

In this writing Óðinn appears as Anima Solaris, the deity of everything. Or at least as the deity of the whole solar system. It's eye is the sun.

Note. When I use the term 'anima solaris' for Óðinn, I am definitely not saying, that the old Germanic pagans saw the solar system as we do around 2023. It seems probable to me, that they saw the earth, the moon, some planets and the visible stars as 'the whole universe' and Óðinn as 'the father of all'. The sun was his eye and he saw everything.

This verse is often interpreted in a very different way. It has been assumed, that Óðinn had only one eye left, because he sacrificed his other eye to the well of Mímir. But there is nothing that points in that direction.

The original text reads something like ienom mera. This has been interpreted as í inum mæra. But mæra means to praise. And mær means 'maid', 'girl', 'virgin', 'daughter'. mera means sea or ocean.


Óðinn as Hangatýr

A lot of names of Óðinn picture him as 'the god of the hanged' or hangatýr. In the time that the Icelandic writings about Óðinn were finalized, authors had embraced the idea that 'the hanged' were about people that were killed with a noose around their neck. There is little evidence, that Óðinn was about that kind of hanging. And I personally reject that idea. That idea is NOT supported by archaeologic evidence. There are very little findings of human remains that have been hanged in a ritual sacrificial way. For an overview see: D.R. Dutton, An Encapsulation of Óðinn.

Tacitus writes in Germania that 'the germani' worshiped Mercury the most and even sacrificed humans to this deity. Usually it is assumed, that Tacitus used Mercuri for Woden (Óðinn). Tacitus was not an eyewitness to human sacrifice or the worship of Woden. Everything he wrote is 'hear-say'. And we do not know about the people that talked with Tacitus. Perhaps the person who told the story was not an eye-witness and perhaps his knowledge of the Roman language was limited. So we should dismiss the writing of Tacitus as 'evidence'.

I believe that people were initiated by hanging them in a leather sack in a sacred tree in a consecrated forest. The initiant 'died' symbolically and was reborn and got a new name. If Tacitus did hear about such an initiation, he might have misunderstood and came to the believe, that 'the germani' really killed people in a ritual for some god. There is not much evidence to support that.

It is without doubt, that hanging of people to kill them happened a lot in Europe. In England the hanging of criminals continued to 1964. But usually the hangings were a punishment and not a human sacrifice.

Today there are serial killers who 'sacrifice' their victims as part of their insanity. It seems likely that in pagan times there were also deranged persons who sacrificed people. But that does not imply that people were killed by hanging as sacrifice to Woden.




Óðinn initiated himself by hanging himself in Ygg-drasil, the tree of worlds. Before Óðinn sacrificed himself to himself, his name was Yggr (the terrible one). After he prepared himself sufficiently, he went hunting and killed a wolf. He cut out the wolf's heart and devoured it raw. According to other sources, he roasted it first. He then carved a rune in his left side with his spear Gungnir. After that he hanged himself in a huge ash tree in a leather sack. He hung in the tree for 9 days and 9 nights. And during this time he traveled through the 4 times 9 worlds. After 9 days and 9 nights he knew the entire Universe, and he knew himself. Then he also knew the runes, the magical signs and staff rhymes. He saw and sang a magical rune and freed himself. The leather sack tore open, and Óðinn was born. The terrible Yggr (the ego or lower self) had died on the tree. And Óðinn the lord of victory was born.

There are some writings about eating the heart of a wolf and becoming stronger. Snorri Sturluson writes in Heimskringla 1 revised edition (on page 61 of the pdf-file)

They were six years old. Álfr, King Yngvarr’s son, and Ingjaldr, King Ǫnundr’s son, started playing a boys’ game, and each was in charge of a team. And as they played, Ingjaldr was less strong than Álfr, and he was so upset by this that he cried bitterly. And then his foster-brother Gautviðr came up and [64] led him away to Svipdagr blindi (the Blind), his foster-father, and told him that it had gone badly because he was less strong and more feeble in the game than Álfr, King Yngvarr’s son. Then Svipdagr answered that it was a great shame. The following day Svipdagr had the heart cut out of a wolf and grilled on a stick and then gave it to the king’s son Ingjaldr to eat, and from then on he became the fiercest and worst-tempered of all men.


Yggr's horse

Previously I used to believe, that the leather sack in which the initiant was hung in the tree was made of the hide of wolves. When I reconsidered this, I changed my ideas about this. It seems reasonable to believe that an Úlfhéðnar used the pelt of a wolf for shamanic rituals. But when you want to make a leather sack of hides of wolves, you need perhaps three or four wolf-hides. That could cause severe logistical problems.

There is some evidence, that the horse was particularly linked to the worship of Óðinn. The horse of Óðinn is the eight legged horse Sleipnir. The eight legs of Sleipnir refer to the Year of Óðinn with 8_months. The Catholic church tried to ban the consumption of horse meat because it had a strong connection to paganism. Eating the meat of a horse that was sacrificed to Óðinn was similar to communion with Óðinn. See Norse rituals, specially the story about Hakon the good. (Or search on 'horse meat devil worship'.)

Suppose the initiant was hung in the tree in a sack of horse-hide. The hide of one horse is probably enough to make a strong sack, large enough to contain a man. That would explain why the world tree is called Yggdrasil. This translates to 'the horse of Yggr'. Perhaps the name Yggdrasil is derived from the sack of horse-hide.

Farwerck (Noordeuropese mysteriën en hun sporen tot heden) writes on page 427:

... On one of these feasts, the spring-feast, new journeymen were accepted. This is like the initiation of young men in the bond of warriors, which also happened in the spring. We do not have much literature about these initiation rites, but we can deduce that death and resurrection was an important part, as we see in initiation rites to this day. In several cases the acceptance as journeyman was done by submersion in water, which can be seen as death and rebirth. But there are also similar rites known. With the guilt of coopers the apprentice was put in the hide of a donkey or a horse and he came out of it as a journeyman. Sometime (in simplified form) the apprentice was put under a bench and re-appeared as a journeyman. The other journeymen would beat him like it was done with the Bersekrs. They said while doing that: "A boy crawls under, a journeyman appears." ...

Unfortunately Farwerck did not supply the source of this statement.

germ_source/farwerck_427_kl.jpg germ_source/farwerck_428_kl.jpg


By wrapping yourself in a leather sack, you shut yourself off from the light. The leather sack symbolizes not only the womb, but also your mental shield with which you separate yourself from reality. After your initiation, the membrane with which you have surrounded yourself tears. Then the light flows into you and you get to know yourself and the truth about the universe. The universe is in Ginnunga-gap. Once you understand that the universe is not what it seems to be, you are free.

In 1988 I hung myself in a leather sack for nine days. See: Who and what is Firewolf?#initiation

The verses 138-142 of Hávamál seem to describe the initiation of a 'priest' of Óðinn. I made a new translation of these verses, that differ from traditional translations.


Hávamál 138


You should know that I fought and then was hung (in a leather sack) in a sacred tree at night. For nine days and nights I traveled through the (four times) nine worlds of Yggdrasil. With a spear I was marked and given to Óðinn. My lower self to my higher self. Nobody knows the origins of that tree or to where its roots grow.

I am not sure if this translation is good. In the manuscript it is written: 'geiri un [new line] daþ'. Usually this is interpreted as 'geiri undaðr' and translated as 'spear wounded'. I translated this as 'spear signed' with the meaning: a mark is made at the left side at the height of the spleen. In Old Frisian 'daþ' could mean 'death'. So it could also mean 'una death'. When you sacrificed yourself to Óðinn or another deity, it was assumed that you would die as a member of the sippe and tribe. And you would be reborn as a nar (someone who is cultic death). So we can explain this as: you mark yourself with a Rune with a spear at your left side and you are content to die in the tree and be reborn as a nar.

In the first line the word 'at' has many meanings. I interpret it as 'Yggr's at' meaning 'Yggr's battle'. It could be, that 'at ek hecc' refers to 'a battle at a hedge'. 'at ek hecc' is usually interpreted as 'that I hung', but that is just tradition.

Perhaps the translation should be like this:

Know I fought (with the wolf by a) hedge (near the) twisted tree (yggdrasil)

at night (i traveled through) all nine (worlds)

spear signed and given to Óðinn, quite happy to die

(sacrificed) myself (to) myself

on that tree

(of which) nobody knows

from where its roots grow


Hávamál 139

They gave me no food and nothing to drink. I peered down. Then I took up the secrets. I chanted the secrets to take them in. Then I fell farther and deeper into more mysteries.

Imagine an initiant in a leather sack hanging in a tree for nine days. After hanging for a while you get in a trance and start to see an alternate reality. You take in the Runes, you find out about the secrets. (The word 'runes' in this sense does not mean carvings on a stick, but secrets. That is what 'Runes' mean. They are magical signs but also secrets.) And then you fall deeper and deeper. You go to the deepest worlds of the three roots and to the highest worlds of the trunk.



Hávamál 140

Mighty songs did I learn, four times nine worlds I traveled through. I learned them from Óðinn, the famous son of 'Hard Dick', the father of Bestla. Then I was rewarded with precious mead, which sipped through a hole in the sack. This was poured out of óðr erendi.

Nine is the sacred number of the Indo-European peoples.

I replaced böl þorn with ból þorn. When you take a close look at the manuscript (below) it is not possible to see that it should be read as Bölthorn. It looks to me like 'bail þœr' or something like that, but these words make no sense. Bölthorn can be translated as 'evil thorn', which makes no sense. Ból means (1) lair or lying place (of beasts and cattle); (2) couch, bed. Then Bólthorn could mean "thorn that lies in bed". That is a kenning for a man in bed with an erection. So 'Hard Dick' seems a good reference for the father of Bestla.

These lines suggest, that 'Hard Dick' was not only the father but also the grandfather of Óðinn. 'Hard Dick' is the father of Bestla, who was the mother of Óðinn. And Óðinn is called 'the famous son of Hard Dick'.

I interpret óðreri as óðr erendi. It is a drank that sends your mind on a frantic mission, a quest for knowledge. According to this line, óðreri is a kettle. Some people and some old texts use the word óðreri fot the mead. Jan de Vries argues in 'Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte II' paragraph 390 that the mead was made in three kettles, like the Soma in ancient India. I have no doubt that óðreri refers to one of the three kettles. But perhaps later it was also used for the mead.

Imagine a person that is initiated by hanging her/him in a leather sack in a tree for nine days without food or water. Nine days without food is doable, but nine days without water is not possible. But when you hang the initiant in a leather sack in a tree nine days before Easter, you can expect rain. This rain seeps through an opening in the leather sack. And in a trance this water that seeps down through the leaves of Yggdrasil becomes precious mead poured out from the kettle óðreri from a higher world.



Hávamál 141

To become valiant and glorious, and to become learned, and to grow and to acquire the craft. My word begot more words. Words became a quest. My work begot more works. Works became a quest.



Hávamál 142

Secrets you shall find, and Rune staves for counseling and magic. Staves that are colored by the great thulr and created by the ruling powers. As they appointed Hroptr as supreme leader.

The thulr was a degree within the bond of wolves. The great thulr is probably Óðinn. The initiant was hung in a leather sack in a sacred tree. But who hung her/him in the tree? Probably some werewolves did that, lead by a thulr. Perhaps this thulr sat under the tree and chanted songs to help the initiant on her/his journeys.

Regin is translated as 'regents'. The regin are the divine powers, that rule Middle Earth and the other worlds. They are not mentioned by name. It is a reference to an abstract concept of ruling powers.

Hroptr is an alias for Óðinn. Óðinn is also referred to as king. As leader of the Wild Hunt his name is Harlequin or Har the King.

It seems, that the ginnregin or Mighty Regents are not subtantial, not material. Óðinn is one of the ginnregin but also a materialized power. As such Óðinn is 'the king of all', the All-father, the one that oversees and controls everything.




Óðinn as father of the fallen

One of the names of Óðinn is valföðr (father of the fallen). Many people assume, that this means 'father of the people that die in battle'. Carolyne Larrington translates 'valföðr' as 'father of the slain' (The Poetic Edda). I am not aware of old writings that really define the word 'valföðr' like that. There is another interpretation. When a warrior falls in his quest for higher consciousness he (or she) finds solace in the arms of valföðr.

During and beyond the time of conversion from paganism to Christianity the Scandinavian people became war-lovers and conquerors. Physical fighting and killing and enslaving other people became 'a way of life'. Valhalla became some sort of heaven for these people. When you fell during a battle, you would go to Valhalla and be happy. But if you would die a shameful strawdeath you would sink down to a hellish underworld or Hal. (Strawdeath means: dying in the straw, dying form old age, sickness or hunger. Hal, the deity of the underworld, rides on her horse Halhest, that has three legs: hunger, sickness and old age.) These people had the same attitude as the Lakota when they had become desperate and expected to be wiped out. These Lakota warriors had lost hope of a good life and embraced death as inevitable. They went into battle with an attitude like 'It is a good day to die'. This is very useful when you believe you have nothing to loose. But it is not a sign of a healthy culture. In a healthy culture you expect sayings like 'it is a good day to live, to be happy, to make love'. The Scandinavian pagans during the conversion time were in a similar desperate situation. And so they embraced a mythology that became centered around dying during a fight in an honorable way. But we should not believe, that this was a common attitude before the conversion time.

Hollywood is very good in the exploitation of foreign people and presenting a distorted image of their culture. The warrior culture of the Lakota and the warrior culture of the Vikings were very exploitable for Hollywood. But we should not believe Hollywood. They produce fiction and they do it very well. Hollywood does not produce solid knowledge of any culture. Even a Hollywood production about Hollywood is only fictional and for entertainment only. But when you look regularly to Hollywood productions, they cause a distortion of your ideas about other cultures. We need to make a conscious effort to free ourselves from Hollywood bias about 'vikings' et cetera.

In Grímnismál 14 it is stated, that half of the fallen go to Freya in Fólkvangr. Some people have tried to use the word 'fólk' as a word for battle or host of warriors. But this does not suit the lovemaking nature of Freya. We get a much better understanding when we interpret the word 'fallen' in a different way. The phrase 'fallen woman' was used for a woman 'who had lost her innocence'. Freya was the deity of the seiðr, of sexual rituals and fertility. She is also described as a whore, that went from town to town, searching for her lost husband, sleeping with every man she could find. When we interpret 'fallen' in this way, we get a better understanding.


Grímnismál 14

As ninth there is Fólkvangr, where Freya gives council in a hall piled with comfortable seats. She selects the fallen women, and Óðinn selects the fallen men.


A possible interpretation of Grímnismál 14 would be: The fallen men are for Óðinn and the fallen women are for Freya. But you have to keep in mind with this interpretation, that 'men' and 'women' in this sense are defined by behavior and not by the shape of the sexual organs. A person with a vagina and a masculine nature could very well be for Óðinn. And a person with a penis and a feminine nature could be for Freya. And also one must keep in mind, that they all were shamanistic people. Many shamanistic people are 'gender-benders'. (I write this carefully. But perhaps I should write 'ALL' shamans are 'gender-benders'.) Wikipedia writes:

In the Viking Age, the practice of seiðr by men had connotations of unmanliness or effeminacy, known as ergi, as its manipulative aspects ran counter to masculine ideal of forthright, open behavior.

There is another possible interpretation of the word 'fallen'. Most people never separated from their sippe and tribe. But some people were 'misfits'. They did not fit in civilized society. In Christian times this kind of people became a priest, monk or nun. In pagan times these 'misfits' could devote themselves to some deity. Mostly to Óðinn or Freya. After a very long training as an apprentice, they were initiated. This initiation involved a symbolic killing. As described above, I believe that the people that devoted themselves to Óðinn were hung in a leather sack for nine days. The old person died in that sack and a new person was born. People that were initiated like that were called nar.

And there is yet another possible interpretation. Imagine a thulr has hanged you in a tree in a leather sack. You have been in that sack for nine days without food and only with the water that seeps in your sack when it rains. How do you get out of that sack? By chanting a magical rune? Or perhaps the thulr cuts the threads that keeps the sack together. And then you fall down like a pea from a pod. You FALL down. So you are a fallen person. When it is stated, that Óðinn gets half of the fallen, it could refer to this initiation.

The following is speculative.

The interpretation of 'fallen' as 'fallen from the tree' suggests, that an initiation for Freya happened in a similar manner. Freya would get 'half of the fallen' according to Grímnismál 14. As far as I know, there is nothing written about how the initiations for Freya occurred. Perhaps the Völva's were also initiated by hanging them in a leather sack in a tree for nine days.

The phrase fallen woman refers to a woman with a bad reputation about her sex-life. Perhaps this term goes back to the priestesses of Freya, who were 'fallen women' and who had a bad reputation among the Christians. Among the pagans these priestesses had a great reputation and were honorable and respectable. And these Völva's were sexually active without being married.

When we see Óðinn as 'father of the fallen', we should not interpret this as 'father of people who died in a physical battle in a physical way'. In many old Icelandic writings it really does have that meaning. And in many modern novels it has that meaning. But before the conversion time it could mean 'father of the Úlfhéðnar'. In the oldest part of the Poetic Edda it probably had that meaning.


Woden woody

the deity of the woods.

The name Woden probably comes from wood.

Scholars have tried to explain the etymological origin of the name Woden from words with the meaning of 'possessed, inspired, delirious, raging'. This is just a theory of linguists and nothing more. I believe that Woden refers to the origin of Woden: the woods.

The following can not be understood by people who only read and follow mental studies. For shamans it is self-evident. A mental study of shamanism can only cover the outer appearance of shamanic practices. It doesn't even scratch the surface of what shamanism is really about. If you want to know more about this, click on the button below. In short: By reading and by mental studies, you stay in a mental virtual world, that is not even remotely like the sentimental virtual world. A real shaman can connect directly to the sensoric or sentimental layer and sense the world. This is not something you can understand on the mental layer. It is like explaining colors to a person who is blind since birth.



The tribal Germanic peoples of continental Europe lived in vast woods without roads. Only a very experienced woodsman or woodswoman could travel through and find his/her way. And these woods were alive. A vast wood is a living entity with some form of awareness.

Woden woody was not and is not an abstract idea or concept. For a shaman and for the tribal Germanic people it was something that could be sensed. The early Christians that came to the Germanic tribes were not 'mental humans' like western people in the 21th century. If they had an education, it was mostly practical and not mental. These early Christian people were also able to sense, to connect with the sensoric system. Western education trains you to disconnect from this sensoric system. That is why most western people can not understand tribal people. Western people are conditioned to believe that their mental virtual world is real and that people that have some other view of the world are either primitive or have a mental illness.

When these early Christians sensed the presence of Woden in a consecrated wood, they usually became terrified. Woden is not a civilized deity. A shaman can feel it as 'woody', as a direct connection with trees and with a wood as a living entity. I know this, because I can sense Woden. And to me Woden feels warm, welcoming and secure. But when early Christians sensed Woden, it challenged the foundation of their fate. And then they had two options:

  1. Abandon Christianity and become a pagan.

  2. Resist Woden and convince yourself that Woden is the devil.

No other Germanic deity was so much feared by the early Christians as Woden. For many centuries they had to fight Woden, keep people from worshiping the sacred woods and from eating horse meat. Woden was in many parts of continental Europe worshiped with offerings of a horse and the people took some kind of communion by eating meat from the consecrated horse. The Catholic church tried to ban the consumption of horse meat because it had a strong connection to paganism. Eating the meat of a horse that was sacrificed to Óðinn was similar to communion with Óðinn. See Norse rituals, specially the story about Hakon the good. (Or search on 'horse meat devil worship'.

The old Germanic tribal people sacrificed their young boys to Woden at the first day of Yule. See Nine religious feasts#yule. At the first day of Yule the 'Yule young men' (unmarried men) put boys that had come into puberty in leather sacks and took them to a consecrated place in the wood. Then they hung them in these sacks in a large old tree. I believe they hang for four nights and three days in the tree, but I have not found any writings to substantiate this. So perhaps they hung there only for one night. It was assumed, that the boys 'died' in the sack (symbolically) and were transformed into men. After this hanging the young men were born from that tree. The tree in which the boys were hung was named 'Der Kinderbaum' (Children's tree). Wikipedia in Dutch writes about the Kinderboom: A Children's tree is a special tree, from which the souls of newborn children were thought to come from in the past. ... The thick tree in Slochteren in the forest behind the Fraeylemaborg was one of those. (Fraeylemaborg can be translated as 'Freya's burgh', were burgh has the meaning as 'a stronghold for safekeeping people' or 'fortress'.) The Children's tree is the world tree Yggdrasil. The people were the children of Óðinn and Freya, they were all born from Yggdrasil.

The early Christians wanted to baptize children as soon as possible to protect them against Woden. They fostered the believe, that children could only be saved by baptizing them in the name of Jesus Christ. If people were negligent with baptizing, then Woden could come in the night, steal the child and replace it with a child of his own. Such a changeling would grow up as a 'child of the Evil One' (Woden). If it was a boy, he could become a warlock and leader of a coven of witches.

Many scholars in the past have tried to understand the worship of Woden, Tiwaz (Týr) and Donar (Thor) and tried to establish which of the deities was worshiped most. They tried to find evidence in the names of places, counted the number of places with a name of one of the deities and proclaimed that one was more worshiped than the other. This behavior is the result of a conditioning by a mono-theistic culture. The deities of the Germanic tribes were 'worshiped' simultaneously, but not in a manner that most western people can understand. Christians are submissive towards their lord. Germanic tribal people were certain, that the deities were part of the world and their fate was woven by the norns. And the tribal people cooperated with the deities. They were not submissive like Christians.

Jan de Vries writes in 'Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte' 360: "We get the impression that the significance of Týr in the first centuries (after Christ) became less and that he was replaced by Wodan-Odin." This kind of reasoning seems wrong to me. Týr was the civilized deity and role-model for the leaders. He was the deity of law and organized society and the deity of the Thing. Thor was also civilized and the role-model of the farmers and freemen. Woden-Óðinn was the opposite of civilized. Specially Woden Woody was the deity of the woods. He was 'the god of the hanged'. 'The hanged' were shamans that had hung in a leather sack in a tree for nine days and nights. They were were-wolves (men-wolves) and civilization meant nothing to them.

The earliest Vedic texts lists four social classes or Varna.

The varnas have been known since a hymn in the Rigveda (the oldest surviving Indian text) that portrays the Brahman (priest), the Kshatriya (noble), the Vaishya (commoner), and the Shudra (servant) issued forth at creation from the mouth, arms, thighs, and feet of the primeval person (purusha). Males of the first three varnas are “twice-born” (dvija): after undergoing the ceremony of spiritual rebirth (upanayana), they are initiated into manhood and are free to study the Vedas, the ancient scriptures of Hinduism. The Shudra live in service to the other three.

Source: britannica.com topic/varna-Hinduism.

In the Poetic Edda there is a chapter called Rigsthula or "The song of Rig". In this writing the deity Rig gives birth to three classes: servants, freemen (farmers, carpenters, fishermen) and leaders. These classes are similar to the Vedic classes of Shudra, Vaishya and Kshatriya.


The three civilized classes of the Germanic societies were the leaders, the freemen and the bondsmen. The fourth class were the warrior-priests. They did not belong to civilized society. These warriors were respected but also feared. They were considered as 'other worldly people' and they were in the service of the regin. (The 'regents', the invisible powers beyond the physical layer.) They waged a continuous battle with themselves and were completely out of civilized society. And they were strongly connected to Woden Woody. They were also strongly connected to the Wild Hunt. For more information about the Wild Hunt see Otto Höfler, Kultische Geheimbünde der Germanen.

The early Christians could convert leaders and freemen. The bondsmen would follow their owner. The open resistance came mainly from the people devoted to Woden. The women were not in a position to resist visibly. So the Völva's were more careful and avoided confrontation. And that is also a reason why the Christian priests saw Woden as their principal opponent.


Óðinn as a heroic person, a king, a sorcerer, a con-artist

Snorri Sturluson introduces Óðinn as a man.

... he had a son named Vóden whom we call Odin; he was a man famed for his wisdom and every kind of accomplishment. His wife was called Frígída, whom we call Frigg. Prose Edda Prologue.

Perhaps Snorri wanted to avoid a conflict with the Christians by introducing Óðinn as a person. If the prologue is from the same person that wrote the Gylfaginning.

In the Grímnismál Óðinn travels to Geirröðargarða (the garden of Red Spear) under the name of Grímnir. Grímnir can be translated as 'masked man' or 'person with a mask'. The story can be read as if Grímnir is a human being and Geirröðargarða is a place on the physical earth. It can also be read as if Grímnir is a spiritual being and Geirröðargarða is one of the worlds of Jötunheimr. In both ways Óðinn appears as con-artist and sorcerer.

Among the continental Germanic peoples there are many stories about the Wild Hunt. In France the Wild Hunt is often called Maisnie Hellequin (the company of Hellequin). In the Netherlands Hellequin is called Harlekijn which means 'Har the King'. Har means Lord. In German Herr, in Dutch Heer. Har is also a standard name for Óðinn in old Icelandic texts.

It is beyond the scope of this article to explore all the ways in which Óðinn was imagined as a person or as a human. In many writings Óðinn was simply used as a hero in a tale for entertainment without a deeper spiritual meaning. We should be aware that stories about Óðinn often are about fiction and that in that texts Óðinn has nothing to do with the deity of the Germanic peoples.



With Light and Love, Andreas Firewolf


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Who and what is Firewolf?

Old Germanic calendar

The Year of Óðinn had eight months of one and a half moon. Then followed the 'time between the years' of Yule. This period lasted a half moon.

A year consisted of 12 and a half moon. As a result, the year started alternating with a full moon or a new moon. This resulted in feminine and masculine years or positive and negative years.

In this calendar a year is 3.89 days to long. In nine years this amounts to 35 days. So once in every nine years the last month was shortened by a whole moon or with one and a half moon.

Nine religious feasts

Nine is a sacred number for the old Germanic peoples and their ancestors. So they had nine feasts.

Read here about Yule, Halloween, Saint John, the Walpurgis Night, Easter, Sinterklaas, et cetera.

Secret societies in old Germanic culture

About Úlfheðnár, Bersekr, Goat-riders and other strange people and strange societies.

Ginnunga-gap, the Great Joke Hole

The beginning of everything is ginnungagap. This is a kenning for the universe. It is a deceptive (ginna, ginning) hole. It is also the open space (gap) for the great jester (ginnungr): Óðinn. At the same time it is the great (ginn) young (ungr) chaos (agi). You can compare these meanings with the maya concept of the Brahmins. According to the ancient indo-european insights, creation is a deception and you can only find the truth within yourself.

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Nine layers

A model of the cosmos

This is a description of a model of the cosmos. A new cosmology. This model has nine three-dimensional layers. Several forces connect these layers through the fourth dimension.

Most people believe, that they can see the physical world, but that is not possible. Our senses perceive an abstraction of the physical word. What we 'see' is a mental image of the world.

Man and god

A modern vision of man and god.


Anima Mundi is the soul of the world. Individual people can be seen as 'nerve cells of the earth'. Humanity can be seen as 'the nervous system of the earth'. Is the totality of humanity causing a higher consciousness? Is Anima Mundi self-conscious?

Gaia and Anima Mundi

According to the Gaia hypothesis, the earth is a living being. Anima Mundi is the world soul, who gives life to the earth.

We can compare individual people with individual nerve cells in the human body. And humanity as the nervous system of Mother Earth.

Questions: Does Anima Mundi have self-awareness? Does humanity collectively form a self-conscious being? Do we as humanity enable the self-awareness of Anima Mundi?

The Harmful Consequences of Selfishness

You can solve problems together with others!


Don't be a green frog that lets itself boil because it doesn't dare to jump out of its comfort zone. Jump out of your pan and become a fully human!

Spiritual Materialism pollutes the astral worlds

Materialism is the attachment to possessions, status or wealth. Spiritual materialism is the attachment to spiritual status, attachment to a particular belief. The idea that you are higher because you have a certain faith, or follow a certain spiritual teaching, is an expression of spiritual materialism.

Spiritual materialism is also the use of spiritual means to achieve selfish earthly goals.

Mental, emotional and sentimental hygiene

Today (2018) there are many non-physical epidemics. One epidemic of madness and/or idiocy is not over and the next is already on its way.

Non-physical epidemics arise from lack of:

Save the world or save yourself?

There is nothing wrong with the world

Change yourself

The world is changing

How do you save yourself?


high, tall, highest | thole | hair | dog-fish | name for Óðinn


to say, to tell, to declare

that, such




father of all


towards, against, to, along, around, at, in | was not | an incited conflict or fight




speech | language | tale | sentence | Lawsuit | contract, agreement, wages, soldier's pay


but, and, if, when


in, within, among, during, in regard to, by means of, through


ás-garðr (the garden of the Æsir)


in, into


old. ancient


the eighth, family, race, offspring








one, alone


who, which, what | am, is




master, lord




Lord of hosts


mind, feeling | song, poetry | mad, frantic | furious, vehement, eager


master, lord


alone, one






out, out-of-doors


then, at that time, there-upon, in that case, when


in, into


Old One


comes, to come


young of ygg | 'the wise one'




and, as, and yet, but, then, also




search, look


who, which, what


to ask, to question, to request






testing, trial, trying, tempting


my, mine


everything, all, anything


to know, to see






where, in or at what place, whither, wherever








sea, ocean




well, wellspring, source


drinks, to drink








rotates, circles | to be lost of sight, to disappear | to retreat, turn back from something


off, from; out of; past, beyond; of; with; denoting parentage, descent, origin; on account of, by reason of; by means of, in regard to;


wind, scent, weather




reveal, to show (a vision)


you, thou


in, into, the






to praise, laud



to hang, to be suspended, to cling, to be hanged | hedge




longitudinal beam|pole, log|(gallows) tree


on, upon, in




everybody, everyone, all




gore, triangular strip | spear




to give, grant












no man, nobody




flows, streams, runs


to be content, to dwell, to abide, to enjoy, be content with a thing


against, towards, along with, among, by, at, close to, towards, at, with


loaf of bread


hand over, deliver, part with





to pry, peer


son, kinsman, relative


to take (possession), to take in, to learn, to consume


up | drink or eat up | to find out | upon



crying, shouting


fell, (isolated) hill, mountain


farther back


thence, from there, after that


down, downward


mighty songs


to make famous




bólþorn (man with an erection, maternal grandfather of Óðinn)


bestla (mother of Óðinn)




drink, drank


great quantity, excess, pride, too (much), too (long)


hole, opening | got, begat


rewarded, payed


high priced, valuable, precious




poured out




errand, message, mission, business | breath (ørendi)


bale, misfortune


thorn, spike


lair or lying place (of animals), couch, bed, farm


valiant glorious


knowing, learned, well-informed


to be, to exist, to happen, to last, to dwell, to stay


to wax, to grow to increase, to grow in fame


artifice, craft, device, cunningly


to have


word, message








work, piece of work, deed


verse-making | deeds


works, deeds


shalt, wilt, certainly you will, must


to find, to meet one, to visit, to find out (invent), to discover, to perceive, to notice, to feel


advising, giving counsel


staves, rune-staves


much, greatly, very


strong, mighty, powerful


stiff, rigid, adamant


painted, colored


the mighty sage or speaker


made, created


mighty regents, great gods


raised, erected, risen


hroptr (name for Óðinn)


prince, king


field of kinsfolk




there, at that place




give advice, counsel


(comfortable) seats




room, hall




choice | fallen


choose, select, elect


day, daily

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