God of Gods
Odin ruled a group of deities in Norse mythology called the Aesir. God of
battle, wisdom, magic, and poetry, his name means "fury." Odin was
married to Frigg, the guardian of marriage.
Odin spanned the history of the Norse mythic world from creation to destruction.
Before the world existed, he and his two younger brothers, Vili and Ve, killed
the primal frost giant Ymir. They used Ymir's bones, blood, and flesh to form
the universe. Odin arranged the heavens for the gods, the middle world for
humans and dwarfs, and the underworld for the dead. He then created the first
man and woman from an ash tree and an elm tree.
Among the deities said to have been Odin's children were Balder and Thor*. Odinóthe
favorite deity of princes, nobles, and warriorsócame to be seen as the supreme
Norse god, the one to whom the other deities turned for help and advice. He
ruled them from his palace Valhalla in the heavenly realm called Asgard.
As the god of war, Odin watched over warriors who fell in battle. Valkyries
carried the fallen ones straight to Valhalla.
Odin was credited with great wisdom, including knowledge of magic and
divination. He had paid a high price for this gift, however, giving one of his
eyes in exchange for a drink from the well of Mimir. The waters of this well,
which seeped from among the roots of the World Tree Yggdrasill, contained great
wisdom. Another myth says that Odin stabbed himself with his magical spear,
called Gungnir, and hung from Yggdrasill for nine days and nights in a living
death. This self-sacrifice gave him knowledge of the runes, the Norse symbols
used for writing and fortune-telling. Yet although Odin was wise, he could also
be sly and treacherous. It was not unusual, for example, for him to break his
word or to turn people against each other to start conflicts.
*excepts from Mythencyclopedia
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