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Questions on Odin - Round 1


So on my blog i've invited people to ask me about Odin. Post your questions there and I will answer them either there, or more likely here, at Heathen Heretic. 

Reader Tannim broke the ice with two very interesting questions, which I've decided to answer here. Thank you, Tannim! I encourage my readers to keep the questions coming. in the meantime, here are my answers to Tannim's questions.


Tannim asked:

1. I am striving to learn the runes but having a hard time with it due to being used to visual cues in divination. Would you suggest making an offering to Him as Runatyr for aid in this and what kind of offering would you suggest?


I'd actually suggest a couple of things to get you started there. Divining with runes is not like using a relatively inanimate tool. You're engaging with a family of non-human beings, spirits who are sentient, intelligent, and who can engage back. Part of learning to divine, over and above learning to rely on something other than visual cues (which can be difficult if one is coming from tarot--I had issues there too at first) is learning to interact with the runes themselves, to comprehend their language, and to communicate and above all else negotiate effectively. Part of that learning is patterning your consciousness for them. They have to learn also, how best to communicate with you. it's not a one sided deal. 

Firstly, know that visually you're dealing not with images but with patterns and with the flow of things. reading runes is as much about how the flow of energy feels as it is about what you're seeing. Then you let the runes themselves guide you. 

Secondly, in answer to your question, you might make an offering to Odin as Runatyr. I can't say that's not dangerous. You might get His attention and that can take you places you may not be willing to go. Sometimes we pay for the privilege of asking after all, not for whatever answer we might receive.  In the end, if you're working with the runes, seriously working with them, you're bound to encounter Him anyway. It's all a matter of degree. I wouldn't just make an offering to Him though. 

I'd suggest first making an offering to your ancestors for guidance, and then making an offering to the runes themselves: alcohol, tobacco, high quality cacao, and a few drops of your own blood, drawn with a diabetic lancet, on each rune tine. The actual rune tiles or tines are conduits by which one may communicate and feed the rune spirit in question. It creates a tie from you to them, and is the coin in which they most often like to be paid. 

For Odin as Runatyr, I would set up an altar, and make Him a feast. I'd make sure there was aquavit or good whiskey, and tobacco. Because I belong to Him, i would not hesitate to give my own blood in offering, drawn with a lancet. But if you don't belong to Him, this can be a very, very dangerous thing to do. It's the signing of a contract for which you don't necessarily get to read the fine print. Instead, if you are uncomfortable with that (and if you are, you may want to rethink the runes all together) i might suggest contacting a blot priest, someone skilled in sacrifice and contracting to have an animal offered to Him in your name. Baby pigs are ideal. I usually give chickens because it's what I'm able to acquire. Before doing any of that though, i'd have a good diviner throw the runes and see what they and He *want* from you in this. That is where i'd start actually. 


Tannim also asked: 

2. If one is walking (or strongly suspects they are) walking the Madness Road what heiti should one call on and what are the appropriate offerings?


i always think the best way to determine appropriate offerings is to divine on it. I never assume that i know, based on previous interactions what Odin may want in offering *now*. I ask Him and divine. That holds true for any Deity actually. And after i make my offerings, I divine again to see whether or not it was accepted. 

I'd actually divine on which heiti to use too (heiti for those who may not know are epithets or by-names by which a God may also be called), though first to mind for me is Yggr. Grimnir knows of it too, and Odin was once called Furor. I would call on Hjarrandi, knowing this is madness put in service to power; I would call upon Him as Wodenaz, and Haptsoenir, for sanity is a fetter to this world. I would hail Him as Hroptr, and Hvethrungr, and finally Odhinn first and foremost, alone. And then I would give myself over to His madness. 

But I'm an Odin's woman, a spouse and godatheow. There is nothing I would allow to stand between Him and me and my service. Your own mileage may vary. 

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 Galina Krasskova is a Heathen priest, author, and Northern Tradition shaman. She holds a Masters degree in Religious Studies and is currently working toward a PhD in Classics. Galina is the author of several books including “Essays in Modern Heathenry” and “Skalded Apples: A Devotional Anthology to Idunna and Bragi.”
(Photo by Hudson Valley photographer Mary Ann Glass.)


  • Tannim Wolfkin
    Tannim Wolfkin Thursday, 09 May 2013

    Thank you for the information Galina. You have given me much to think about and work with.

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