Throughout history, in modern times, and across cultures, gods and goddesses have played key roles in people’s beliefs. They have been and are invoked in prayer and meditation to help a person or society receive wisdom and provide grace in the area overseen by the deity. This article, and ones that follow, will look at various deities, their roles, and how to invoke them as guides and benefactors. The deity for this article is Odin, the All-Father God and leader in Norse mythology.
Who is Odin?
Odin is the leader of the Norse gods, known for his relentless pursuit of knowledge and wisdom. So great was his desire for wisdom that he sacrificed one of his eyes to see everything in the world. He is the biological father to Thor and the adoptive father to Loki. He hung himself upside down from the world tree, Yggdrasil, in order to gain the knowledge of other worlds and understand the runes, which he gave to mankind as a divinatory tool.
He is the god to call upon when you need to act wisely, understand a difficult situation, and see through to the truth, no matter what. Also, Odin is a god of leadership, patience, and strategy. Known by other names, Woden and Wotan, he is part of Germanic mythology as well as Norse mythology. He rules Asgard and the Nine Realms connected by the world tree, Yggdrasil.
There are numerous symbols associated with Odin. Foremost among them are his ravens Huginn (thought) and Muninn (memory). They fly all over the world and bring information back to Odin.
Illustration – 18th-century Icelandic manuscript
He rides an eight-legged horse named Sleipnir.
Hung from the world tree, Yggdrasil to gain the wisdom of the runes.
“The Ash Yggdrasil” (1886) by Friedrich Wilhelm Heine
And carries the spear Gungnir, a three-pronged spear made from the metal Uru, which is unique to the realm of Asgard.
Photo of Anthony Hopkins playing Odin the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A Modern Take
Here is his card in the oracle deck, Gods and Titans, by Stacey DeMarco:
From the booklet:
Odin teaches us that education and listening to various wise voices is invaluable to our own growth and development. The more we know about a situation, the better we can assess it; research is rarely wasted. He also suggests that you can find wise teachers among those who have many direct experiences regarding your situation, or those who have many years of experience at your task. If you need guidance in any situation, Odin is a solid choice to turn to, and he can guide you toward the answers you need.
Why Invoke Odin?
You would choose to invoke Odin when you need to solve a problem in a situation or relationship. Keep in mind that invoking Odin means that you want to know and face the truth no matter how painful it may turn out to be. If your invocation is successful, Odin will show you the truth and the wisdom you need to follow to handle what has been revealed. He will show you the many different outcomes possible based on different choices, as well as which of those outcomes is best for you.
Odin is also the god to invoke when you need to lead or take care of others. He can provide you with strength and fortitude to endure any difficulty, much in the same way he spent nine days hanging from the world tree to gain the wisdom he sought. You can also invoke him when you need direction or support when you are lost, both metaphorically and literally.
Specific Request, Temporary Guide, Council Member
All deities are available to us. Some may prove to be spiritual council members for us, while others serve as temporary guides or best fulfill a specific request.
You can ask Odin’s guidance for a specific request, such as, “My partner and I are having trouble getting along; what is the root of our problem … what am I not seeing?” If you decide to ask for a specific request and he is not a member of your council, then be sure to make a proper sacrifice or payment ahead of or during your request. You may honor him by putting food out that ravens prefer, such as dog or cat food pellets, eggs, or unsalted nuts. Or you can get some runes and ask for a specific message based on the rune you draw from bag of runes.
You can ask him to be a temporary guide through a business negotiation, learning a new skill, or when taking on a leadership role. The greater the request, the greater the honor, so you might want to purchase one of his symbols to wear while you are working through your situation.
If you recognize that Odin is a member of your council, he should be acknowledged as the head of your council. He will not have a secondary role. If he is the lead of your council, then you have chosen to be like Odin in your life. You will help further wisdom and constantly seek to learn. Make the effort to reach a high degree of learning or master a skill at an expert level and teach it to others. Seek guidance and give guidance.