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The dark side of Odin 
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I have been thinking a lot over the past 48 hours about this post http://polytheist.com/orgrandr-lokean/2 ... n-special/ 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. Very Dorian Gray. 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 curiously 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 brings 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 Odinist, always seeking.


Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:19 am
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Odin does NOT have a dark side, but he does have a "dangerous" side, as do all warriors.


Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:28 am
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Thank you OB. In some countries, dark side and dangerous side mean the same thing. Where I am from, this is the case. I agree that all warriors have a dangerous side, this is what makes them warriors. However, there are many of us who are not warriors in the modern sense, who also have this 'dangerous' side. The key to this is knowing how to harness it.


Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:21 am
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Since modern humans have become "civilized" we have taken to labeling things that we see as harsh as "dark", "dangerous" or "evil". We allow reality to frighten us. Sometimes this fear is fostered by those who wish to control us - parents use fear of harsh consequences to get children to obey, religions use fear of eternal damnation to keep people in line with their desired behavior, the laws of society are full of various levels of repercussions designed to control through fear. It is only when you no longer fear the consequences of your actions (or that which some view as dark, dangerous, or evil) are you truly free.
Do not think that I advocate disregarding consequences because I do not, I am just saying do not fear them. Seek to understand the entire situation - the nature of the "threat", what will trigger it and what the entirety of the results will be. Take snakes for example. A great many people fear snakes because they do not understand them. The vast majority of snakes are not poisonous, and only a few of those that are have aggressive natures. Once you learn how to identify them and how to handle them the fear goes away and it is replaced by respect (or at least it should be.)
Approach the Gods in a similar fashion, learn about them and spend time with them so that you understand them. This will bring understanding without fear.


Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:35 pm
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I concur with Tyrsman- It's a matter of "shaking off" the duelistic upbringing of modern culture of good/bad, dark/light, kind/evil...

These descriptors are human in origin to simplify what should never be simplified.

Our Gods are more complicated in nature than any human- and cannot be conclusively "judged"- any of them- by a simple descriptor.

Even the most seemingly warlike can be caring and gentle- and those called "gentle" can be angered.

Frigg is often underestimated, as an example, She can be a gentle comfort- but She is also the Righteously Vengeful Mother when angered.

...on the other side, Tyr is my greatest comfort.


Thu Sep 03, 2015 3:22 am
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There is a dark side to everyone. even the gods, anyone that says there is no dark side has clearly not done his research. The gods are closer to us than we would like to admit. They live, They make mistakes, they die. there is a dark side to all beings. Don't think Odin is a perpetual omnipotent all knowing and kind leader of the Aesir. He has passed unfair judgement and allows strong warriors to die before they should to join the Einherjar for his final battle. It is even said in the Poetic Edda he is unfair during combat for his own gain. You are an ignorant fool to think the gods make no mistakes, especially Odin.


Thu Oct 01, 2015 11:15 am
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Hallheim wrote:
There is a dark side to everyone. even the gods, anyone that says there is no dark side has clearly not done his research. The gods are closer to us than we would like to admit. They live, They make mistakes, they die. there is a dark side to all beings. Don't think Odin is a perpetual omnipotent all knowing and kind leader of the Aesir. He has passed unfair judgement and allows strong warriors to die before they should to join the Einherjar for his final battle. It is even said in the Poetic Edda he is unfair during combat for his own gain. You are an ignorant fool to think the gods make no mistakes, especially Odin.



Your timing is impeccable. Yes, the Gods make mistakes, I know because two have apologized to me and made amends.


Fri Oct 02, 2015 12:05 pm
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Tyrienne wrote:
Hallheim wrote:
There is a dark side to everyone. even the gods, anyone that says there is no dark side has clearly not done his research. The gods are closer to us than we would like to admit. They live, They make mistakes, they die. there is a dark side to all beings. Don't think Odin is a perpetual omnipotent all knowing and kind leader of the Aesir. He has passed unfair judgement and allows strong warriors to die before they should to join the Einherjar for his final battle. It is even said in the Poetic Edda he is unfair during combat for his own gain. You are an ignorant fool to think the gods make no mistakes, especially Odin.



Your timing is impeccable. Yes, the Gods make mistakes, I know because two have apologized to me and made amends.


how did they apologised to you tyrienne?


Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:22 pm
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In very lucid dreams....and in Loki's case through another Lokean, actually riding the poor boy like an African Loa indicating his veracity by telling me my own most secret thoughts I've never even spoken.

My friend is still VERY ****** off at me for that. It wasn't about me-- it was simply Loki angry at Tyr.

Through meditation I met Freyr-Jani, the ancestor of all Lettish peoples. I asked Him to mediate.

He laughed and offered me a beer.

So. I went to Fenrir, who wisely growled in the form of a Hexenwulf:

"Just wait it out...that's what *I* do."

If I drank as much in real life as I do with Gods in dreams, I would need rehab and a new liver (I don't drink outside of rituals, but most of ours are Urglaawe-we use apple cidar)

Sometimes, when I talk about my family religions in Odinism I sound like that weird foreign exchange student with the bizarre customs.


Thu Oct 08, 2015 9:28 am
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To "apologize" is unknown in warrior ethics. Repentance is viewed as an act of cowardice.

As our Odin Brotherhood texts make clear, if we make a mistake, we simply correct it. Since we do not apologize, it is unlikely that our gods would indulge in such a weakness.


Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:53 am
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OdinBrotherhood wrote:
To "apologize" is unknown in warrior ethics. Repentance is viewed as an act of cowardice.

As our Odin Brotherhood texts make clear, if we make a mistake, we simply correct it. Since we do not apologize, it is unlikely that our gods would indulge in such a weakness.

While this is very true it should also be pointed out that there is another side to the same coin. Anybody with a sense of honor, and especially those who belong to the warrior class, will take ownership of their mistakes AND strive to make amends for harm they did not intend to cause.

There is an important difference between this behavior and being apologetic, especially in today's culture where most people adopt an attitude of an apology being all that is needed to right a wrong. If you screw up, own up to your mistake and clean up your mess. THEN you can continue to pursue personal growth by not repeating your mistakes.


Sat Oct 10, 2015 5:05 am
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Tyrsman wrote:
OdinBrotherhood wrote:
To "apologize" is unknown in warrior ethics. Repentance is viewed as an act of cowardice.

As our Odin Brotherhood texts make clear, if we make a mistake, we simply correct it. Since we do not apologize, it is unlikely that our gods would indulge in such a weakness.

While this is very true it should also be pointed out that there is another side to the same coin. Anybody with a sense of honor, and especially those who belong to the warrior class, will take ownership of their mistakes AND strive to make amends for harm they did not intend to cause.

There is an important difference between this behavior and being apologetic, especially in today's culture where most people adopt an attitude of an apology being all that is needed to right a wrong. If you screw up, own up to your mistake and clean up your mess. THEN you can continue to pursue personal growth by not repeating your mistakes.


If it counts for anything at all- within a month, I ended up with a purebreed Husky rescue dog who came with the name "Ziu". That is certainly making amends. (although Ziu the dog has a penchant for 2 mile "walks" and didn't come housebroken. We have to work even for our gifts.)

Ziu is the name for Tyr to the Pennsylvania Deitsch.


Wed Apr 06, 2016 2:43 am
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