Odin’s Dark Side

I have been thinking a lot over the past 48 hours about this post here and how I feel about what is discussed.

I have a strong affinity with Odin, I look to him as my mentor, my guide and my confidante.  This article draws to the forefront a side of Odin I must say I have not previously considered.  That is, his dark side.

Having been raised a christian, I was quite used to hearing the stories of damned souls, fire and brimstone, and fear – the fear that can be instilled in children by fanatical catholic priests.  When I read this article I realised that I have been desensitized to this aspect of Odin.  As the author, Dagulf Loptson points out, there are passages such as those in the Ynglinga Saga where the Swedish King Aun made a deal with Odin to sacrifice one of his sons every 10 years and in return Odin would prolong his life.  Why is it that I read this and didn’t flinch?

The author then goes on to compare Odin to many of the ‘scary’ characters in literature and film, notably the Creeper, Freddy Kreuger and Dracula.  It makes for interesting reading.

What do I feel about all this?  Well, I guess if you look hard enough it is possible to find parallels to almost anything if you are prepared to ‘twist’ your boundaries.  However, having said that, this has given me  A LOT to think about.  I understand that Odin is the God of War, Chaos and Magick.  Without chaos there can be no calm, without war there can be no peace and without magick the non human beings in this world could not survive.  However, to have Odin portrayed as a psychotic serial killer, I think his darker side is misunderstood.  Odin is Knowledge.  Knowledge is the greatest gift any being can have.  Knowledge gives so much – understanding, patience, sympathy, empathy.  On the flip side it also bring with it a hunger for more, an obsession to know everything and with that – chaos?  Is this perhaps the side that the author is referring to?

I don’t see Odin as a monster.  I do not fear him, fear is for the weak.  I admire him but I also am weary, as I am weary of everyone.  Every being has a dark side and sometimes the dark side can appear for no reason.  To assume that you are safe with any being at any time is foolhardy.  So, I found this post to be interesting and thought-provoking.  To look at all the Gods from a different perspective, this is part of life as a Heathen, always seeking.

Hail Odin!


About Norse Stormr

I am heathen. My soul is ancient. I am a warrior but I do not bear arms. I believe we are here as guardians of Midgard, not as despoilers of Jord. I follow the Old Ways, the gods of the north. I am not part of any organised group or affiliation - I prefer to be alone, just as a wolf is until they find their mate. My beliefs are primal and dark. I am a Healer and Mentor - working with the Universe to live in balance. View all posts by Norse Stormr

One response to “Odin’s Dark Side

  • LadyEvergreene

    Thank you for this post!
    I too felt desensitized when I was first introduced to Odin and his…let’s just call it his “dark” side. I don’t know whether to credit my Catholic upbringing for that, or my fascination with dark, brooding characters.
    That being said, I find comparisons between Odin and horror movie monsters to be completely asinine; though I’ll admit they are compelling. Odin has often been the muse for many characters in the past: (Gandalf, anyone?) This is because there are many facets of Him. Naturally, you must take the good with the bad.
    I regard Odin more with a sense of intimidation than fear. Intimidation and respect; for he is both knowledge and chaos – both of which I feel are necessary at certain times.
    Hail Odin!

    Liked by 1 person

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