The Rune Legend of Odin


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The Rune Legend of Odin


The scholar Dr. Hammerbacher recounts the Rune Poem of the Edda as follows:

Rune Legend of OdinOne day Odin rode his white horse Sleipnir until he reached the world ash Yggdrasil. There he saw three women sitting at the well. They were busy spinning threads and weaving the garment of fate for gods and men. Nornes, they were called- Urd, Werdandi, Skuld. Thereupon, the three women revealed to the god many secrets of the distant past and foretold the far-off future.

But the god was eager to learn even more about the worlds. So the women referred him to the giant Mimir, who dwells at the spring of wisdom, whose nourishing liquids feed the world tree.

Odin rode to Mimir. But the giant did not want to give his knowledge so easily. Therefore, Odin pledged his left eye to the mighty one. Then Mimir showed him the mysteries of this world.

Still, the Allfather was not fully satisfied in his quest for wisdom. On the way back through the desolate heath, he came upon a leafless tree. It was the Fogmoon and the frosty twilight permeated the landscape. Suddenly, his coat was caught in the branches of the tree. Odin hung between heaven and earth. In vain, he tried to free himself. Herjafather's white horse "Sleipnir", also called "Glidehoof," circled around him, whinnying. His ravens "Hugin" and "Munin"-thought and memory- flew around him agitatedly and brought the world's thoughts to him.

Odin struggled with himself for the ultimate wisdom. Nine nights he hung on the windswept tree. His inner being gradually grew clearer and more luminous. Now he finally found the symbols of life's noblest values. He bent down deeply from the tree. Groaning with extreme exertion, he took up the signs and cut them into the trunk with his sword. Rune she called these sacred glyphs, because they whisper wisdom to the initiated (the word "rune" is related to the German "raunen"= to whisper). Now, Skyfather was possessed by the mighty ability to free himself from the tree. He fell down, jumped up, called his steed and rode back to Valhalla, the castle of the gods.

Odin-Wotan proceeded to initiate his divine companions into the lore of the runes. He also gave this gift to his most loyal men. Men who lived according to his laws and fought alongside him for the cosmic universal order and against the dark forces. Chosen women were also instructed in the runic arts by the god. Now the signs became the sacred writing of the Germanic people, as announced by the Eddic Rune Poem.
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This is great. I've never read any of the rune poems. Do you know if most scholars agree the runes were used for divination?
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Used for magic. (And for normal reasons).

B.
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This is a really nice rendering of Odin/Woden's quest - thanks for posting it!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernice
Used for magic. (And for normal reasons).

B.

thank you its just a shame our faith (odinist) seem to always get linked to nazis,
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Asatru? Sorry. wasn't able to conclude this post last night. Had to log off.

I'm afraid I've not heard of the scholar Dr. Hammerbacher. I only know of two translations of the Eddas. Neither give this Legend of Odin - at least not as you have given it. There are other books I have , but none by a Dr. Hammerbacher.

I like the way that Snorri writes, but I'm not convinced that it's 100% reliable.....

Bee
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Thanks for posting this! It really took me back. I went to a "tree hugging hippie" school in my early years (Montessori before there was such a term) and my favorite teacher told us this story in almost the same way... we had a "person of the week" at school, and one week was Odin week. (we also did Ghandi, MLK Jr, Allen Trammel [when the Tigers were doing well one year, lol], Jesus, Rachel Carson, etc).

Hearing this told so well was probably part of what planted the seed for my interest in tarot and divination... and writing, come to that. I was so captivated by it that it was one of the first stories I ever tried to re-tell.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernice
Asatru?

yes,no what you mean
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http://allfatherwotan.org/gods.html
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Quote:
This is great. I've never read any of the rune poems. Do you know if most scholars agree the runes were used for divination?


Legend also says, Runes were also known as a language between travellers / merchants ..
the runic symbols were etched upon stone or wood along the well trodden paths, between towns. to let the travellers following and future, what to expect up ahead. a bit like our road signs of today.
water, food, a town up ahead, thieves etc..
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