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Odin

 
  

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The Ghost of Tom Winter
19:44 / 07.11.06
I'm interested in knowing more about this god.
I'm curious of otherís reactions, interactions and the like.
Iíd like to get more familiar with him and figured a general survey of Barbelith would allow me to dive deeper than just reading a few poems from the Edda and looking up stuff on the internet.
From searching Barbelith this is the most in depth post about him, My Evocation Experience but Iíd like to learn more than just this.
So, whoís seen him, contacted him, been around him? What methods do you prefer to use to contact him?
What are some good stories to read about him?
What are some traditional Nordic ways to contact/be familiar with him.
Any advice youíd give someone who is interested in becoming familiar with him?
Iím probably missing a bunch of questions, Iíll just leave it at this for now.
 
 
Less searchable M0rd4nt
20:16 / 07.11.06
What did you want to know, specifically? Odin's a very complex God.

Don't get me wrong here--I love the Old Man to bits--but He's... well, He's dodgy. He's the God of many things, including some scary shit that you may or may not want in your life. I've been having dealings with Him for about a year and a half and I can certainly furnish you with some of my own experiences as well as some reading recommendations, but it might be a good idea to flesh out why, exactly, you want to go knocking on His door.

Here's a personal perspective from one of His people to be going on with.
 
 
Mr. Austin
20:47 / 07.11.06
That is a very complex portrait of Odin right there Mordant Carnival. I offered him some of my marijuana and felt his presence channelling through my body. Immediately he laughed, got up, and practiced some physical moves. He then proceeded to make wisecracks about my body and further exercised me before settling down with the marijuana. Now the old man seems to be napping, but he's still here.

I can definately see how Odin's an enjoyable fellow to be around, but he is involved with many things considered to be darker.
 
 
Less searchable M0rd4nt
20:58 / 07.11.06
Little things like human sacrifice and having bloody battles dedicated to Him, you mean.
 
 
Less searchable M0rd4nt
21:06 / 07.11.06
All joking apart, Mr. Austin, I wouldn't recommend that kind of approach with the Old Man. Dope is a reasonable offering since all intoxicants are within His balliwick, but randomly yelling "Hey Odin! Wanna come over and share a spliff?" and hoping for the best looks like a recipe for disaster down the line.
 
 
The Ghost of Tom Winter
21:30 / 07.11.06
About a year and a half ago I felt a strong desire to find a diety. I started with searching within the Norse realm of mythology and Odin appealed to me a lot. I decided that finding a god would not be as easy as finding the first god I see. So I kept exploring and went from Greece, to Mesopotamia, to Africa, Australia and Mesoamerica. It always came back to the Norse and Odin.

The Nordic mythologies have always appealed to me for countless years; I also have felt a connection to it since some of my family hails from that area. (Not saying that is required though, just that I feel connected to it more so than other traditions.)

That site, Mordant, is extremely helpful. Iíve read most of it thus far and further confirms why Iíd like to follow under him. Namely his areas of expertise, magic, runes, poetry, wisdom.
I just feel a draw towards him that I havenít felt so much for other deities.
I suppose this post will also allow me the chance to figure completely whether or not Iíd like to work with him.
 
 
Mr. Austin
21:46 / 07.11.06
I appreciate the advice. I'm incredibly new and inexperienced at doing anything even remotely related to this. To be fair I wasn't high, and only used marijuana out of flat-out curiousity after reading the article and thinking of invocation rituals I've read about (just basic voodoo stuff: leave stuff out for them to enjoy, give them something to do).
 
 
Less searchable M0rd4nt
21:50 / 07.11.06
If you're serious about working with the Old Man then I'd strongly recommend reading some of the primary texts. You can find English translations over here. A good place to start would be with the HŠvamŠl, "Words of the High One," where Odin sets forth advice for the reader, talks about His own adventures and ends with some enigmatic verses on the Runes.

You should also read texts written by His worshippers and people who have personal experience of Him. I'll get back to this thread later with a few links.
 
 
Mr. Austin
21:56 / 07.11.06
Thank you very much. Reading now, will comment later.
 
 
illmatic
22:47 / 07.11.06
I find Odin fascinating also. Not quite sure why...

Perhaps starting to work with the runes would be a good way in? I bow to the knowledge of well, pretty much everyone else, in this field.

BTW, not really with a recommendation as such, just a book I thoroughly enjoyed: Kevin Crossley Holland's The Norse MythsMordant's covered the proper stuff, but it's a fun enjoyable read. How's he viewed by trad scholars, Mordant? If he is at all...
 
 
Less searchable M0rd4nt
23:12 / 07.11.06
Crossley Holland is on a lot of recommended reading lists. Any re-telling is going to have a certain amount of artistic license on the part of the writer but he sticks closely to the source texts, and more importantly the spirit of the myths.
 
 
Earlier than I thought
23:56 / 07.11.06
When I was even more inexperienced than I am now, I had a chat with the Man in question. It was ill-thought out and left me rather mangled emotionally for some time; plus a string of hanged man coincidences that plagued me and continue to do so around the anniversary of my messing about. To rather an extreme length, let me tell you...

I did have some very valuable and instructive experiences, but I'm incredibly wary now. Sorry if this seems vague and anecdotal, but I suddenly find it hard to actually be precise about this kind of thing - which is maybe asking for trouble in itself. Ramble.
 
 
EmberLeo
00:04 / 08.11.06
Yeah, Crossley-Holland is the most reccommended re-telling I'm aware of for straight-up learning of the myths. I would definitely reccommend it for folks just getting started. It gives you a plain-language point of reference for when you start digging into older versions, and other people's UPG. Reading it cover-to-cover won't take terribly long, as it's well re-told, and so paces well.

I have entirely too much to say about the Old Man m'self, and I fully admit to ... well not prejudice, more like post-judice. My first knee-jerk response to somebody walking in out of nowhere and saying "I'd like to work with Odin" is "No".

I had a bad experience and I'm still working through that.

On the one hand, I used to like Him just fine, and considered Him a friend. He's very charming, intelligent, witty, humorous, and He knows an awful damned lot. I think He's an obvious and loud place to start - hel, He and Loki are who got my attention to start working with the Norse. I was promptly handed off to Freya of course, but He likes to pop in and remind me hopefully/pointedly that He has His fair share of me too thankyouverymuch.

But, well, He's a right bastard, and proud of it. His ethics are quite solidly in the ends-justify-the-means category, and while He does know exactly how we feel about things, that doesn't give Him much pause, really - if He sees a need to break us, He will.

He enjoys banter, and wit. Stupid people bore Him, and spineless people piss Him off. When somebody comes into an Oracular Seidh session and asks to speak with Odin, and then proceeds to submissively request permission to worship at His feet, we all cringe and brace ourselves for His response...

... Which then depends on His mood. If He's in a stern mood He may give the supplicant a lecture in a booming voice as to why such a sniveling pup should know better than to presume they are ready to work with the likes of Him. If He's in a playful mood He may give them all kinds of dubious and/or embarassing orders. If He's feeling kind He may quietly point out that He prefers more backbone, and if the supplicant is really serious, they should look Him in the eye like they mean it. And those are preferable responses - we don't tend to hand Him a spear when He shows up on a seer in the high-seat, after all.

This is not to say it's appropriate to be disrespectful. Don't presume it's His privelage to teach you. Don't expect to be treated as more than you're worth, but for goodness sakes, don't ever volunteer to be treated as less than you're worth.

I agree that studying the runes is actually probably one of the best ways to get to know Him - it's gradual, it gives you useful knowledge even if a more direct relationship with the Old Man turns out not to be your thing, it introduces you to His context, and others near Him that may interest you, or take an interest in you, and it allows you and Him to gague your level of dedication.

Again, I'm biased, but I highly reccommend from experience Diana Paxson's book Taking Up The Runes. It's thorough, scholarly, and practical, and includes rituals for learning the runes (though some Heathens have complained that Diana's rituals have too much of a classic Wiccan/Western Magic flavor to them. She comes by it honestly, and knows from experience that they work well.)

--Ember--
 
 
EmberLeo
00:06 / 08.11.06
Odin Speaks is a collection of automatic writings from Odin through various people who work with Him in a direct trance capacity.

--Ember--
 
 
The Ghost of Tom Winter
01:19 / 08.11.06
This is great guys. Thanks for all of your input. I'm really starting to learn about the Old Man. He seems like a harsh guy if you donít do shits right. Last night I offered him a cigarette, just kind of getting some good terms possibly out there, I then went inside and burned my hand pretty badly on the stove. So I opted to try this posting method instead.

I've been trying to dive into runes for some time now, I even found a nice stick to carve mine into but have yet to make the leap of crafting them.

A quote from the Uppsala site Mordant directed me to:

And at the end of a life of sacrifice he kills those who serve him, often at a young age.

What do you think of this? How much do you see this holding up in those you've seen or maybe even in your own life?

A lot of you seem to have had undesirable results stemming from your work with Odin, would you, if you could (can you?) break off your ties with Odin? (I use undesirable loosely, I do understand the idea of sacrifice for knowledge.)

What have you gained from working with Odin? Do the ends justify the means so to speak? Is the trouble worth the outcome?

How important is Odin to you in regards to other gods within and outside the Norse tradition?
 
 
Less searchable M0rd4nt
01:32 / 08.11.06
Not cigarettes. He prefers loose pipe tobacco.

My first knee-jerk response to somebody walking in out of nowhere and saying "I'd like to work with Odin" is "No".

So it should be. People need to start from Accepted human sacrifice, guys! and work backwards from there to runes, wisdom, etc.
 
 
EmberLeo
02:16 / 08.11.06
I am not in a position to completely break ties with Odin, no. I am heavily involved in my Heathen community, and currently working towards ordainment. All-Father isn't about to start ignoring me completely, but He seems to be giving me the space I demanded, for the most part.

Besides, my role with regards to the overall community seems to be that of pushing to create space designated for the Vanir outside of the Old Man's direct influence, and I get the impression Odin does actually want that to happen.

"And at the end of a life of sacrifice he kills those who serve him, often at a young age."

What do you think of this? How much do you see this holding up in those you've seen or maybe even in your own life?


I have seen all kinds of nasty injuries - usually to one eye - in His followers, and yes, we do tend to call the Valknot the "insert spear here" symbol that marks His devotees for sacrifice. That said, He doesn't seem to simply throw them away - right now He's in the process of spreading the word, and so it behooves Him to keep their mouths going for as long as productively possible, eh? Most of the work He's currently doing isn't about a physical war, per se, so the deaths are also not permanent physical ones via battle.

But, as I said, He has no qualms when it serves His purposes. Still, "He kills them" doesn't do much to express the ecstatic side, or the fact that we all die anyway - He just makes sure it happens for Him, and on His terms when it comes to His people. So I guess it's a toss-up. Those who seem most gung-ho about that aspect of Him are often tough guys and thrill-seekers who are all but courting death anyway. Those of His followers I know who are more cautious by nature don't encounter quite as much of it.

It's almost like there's the idea of Kismet somehow - "I won't die until Odin takes me, and He'll take me when He will regardless, so I don't have to be careful." Er, no - working for Odin does not mean you're Invicible until your Inevitable death.

--Ember--
 
 
charrellz
06:55 / 08.11.06
A buddy of mine who is too busy to get registered asked me to say a few things on his behalf. The following is from my friend, whom we shall call 'Finn'.

Finn:
Jeez, that Odin is a crazy, crazy one-eyed bastard. Well, I've been pretty interested in this sort of thing anyway, since he's more or less chosen me anyway. Every time I do a rune reading He's always there. I'm a writer, and as such a follower of poetry and inspiration. I wander the Earth, and can never stay in a house for more than a year. My life, as His, is greatly dependent on the many, many women who surround me. My hands have several scars across them, and yes, I'm practically blind in one eye. So, I feel like I have a bit of a connection, and I'm willing to exploit it, just like I know He will with me. I'm mainly worried about the fact that if I follow Him, He'll make my life nothing but a series of ever changing obstacles, for which I too must constantly change and shift. But honestly, the idea of it excites me as well. So, be sure to let me know of any techniques to invoke Him and bring him into my life. Me and the God of War got some things to do.
 
 
EmberLeo
11:39 / 08.11.06
Well, your friend might have better luck approaching Him not so much as the God of War, but as the God of Wisdom and Ecstasy...

How to invoke Him? Just do it. Really. He's got countless names, many of which are listed in the Younger Edda. Pick the kennings that mean things you actually would want to invite to dinner, and intone them.

It certainly does work.

I remember trying to sleep at a campout after a late-evening Odin blot. Instead of dreaming, I got nothing but a chant of His kennings that I'd heard, over, and over, and over, until I woke up the next day with it fully committed to memory.

--Ember--
 
 
Less searchable M0rd4nt
12:01 / 08.11.06
I hate it when They do stuff like that.
 
 
Less searchable M0rd4nt
14:33 / 08.11.06
I've been trying to dive into runes for some time now, I even found a nice stick to carve mine into but have yet to make the leap of crafting them.

Hold off on that. I know this is going to sound a bit risible given that packs of plastic runes are on sale in every Noo Age bookshop, but I've come to veiw the runes as heavy gear. They are very, very potent. Give it time and make a serious study before you get carving.

I would also say that it's not necessary to go running off to the One-Eyed Bastard to learn about the runes. Other Gods and Goddesses can help you too. Thor was called upon to bless the runes in the old days. Freyja knows them and teaches them. Sigyn and Hela too. Loki knows them and will teach them to some, but He's as dodgy as Odin and you might not like some of His methods. You may well end up with Odin eventually, but there's no need to go looking for trouble.

A quote from the Uppsala site Mordant directed me to:

And at the end of a life of sacrifice he kills those who serve him, often at a young age.

What do you think of this? How much do you see this holding up in those you've seen or maybe even in your own life?


I see this as specifically something faced by the people who dedicate themselves to Him, rather than those who work with Him on a less formal basis. You may face more hazards and difficulties in your life as a result of dealing with Odin but if you're not one of His people I think working with Him is unlikely to prove fatal. It's important to point up that aspect of His character to give people fair warning before they start working with Him, but it's not necessarily a risk that everyone will face.

A lot of you seem to have had undesirable results stemming from your work with Odin, would you, if you could (can you?) break off your ties with Odin? (I use undesirable loosely, I do understand the idea of sacrifice for knowledge.)

Speaking personally, I couldn't really do that if I wanted to. Firstly, I'm a Heathen and that means learning to accept all the Gods, even the ones I find scary and problematic. Secondly, He's my patron's blood-brother and They do rather seem to come as a pair. Thirdly, I've made a fairly deep deal with the Old Man of my own free will, trying to ditch Him would put me in breach of that.

And even if I could, I wouldn't. Yes, a lot of my experiences with Odin have been painful, physically and emotionally, and have left lasting alterations and even damage, but I wouldn't change anything.

What have you gained from working with Odin? Do the ends justify the means so to speak? Is the trouble worth the outcome?

What have I gained... difficult to quantify. Just being in His presence from time to time benefits me in way I cannot easily describe. Having elements of my nature that I'd previously regarded as unacceptable valued and even loved. Guidance and encouragement coming from Him through signs and dreams. Slowly grokking the runes in a way I never could just by reading a few books.

For all His fearful aspects, knowledge of and communion with Odin is a gift in its own right. He's taught me a tremendous amount, often about things I did not expect to learn from Him--healing, for instance. Sacrifice. Trancendance. Being prepared to step outside your garth, to do and experience anything for wisdom and for the good of your tribe.

How important is Odin to you in regards to other gods within and outside the Norse tradition?

Not quite sure what you mean here.

I honour all the Aesir and Vanir, and certain of the Jotnar. Some of them I offer worship to without being especially involved, others I've got a more personal connection with. I guess Odin is the God I'm closest to after my main guy. Because I'm a pretty abnormal Heathen, all witchy-woo-woo and stuff, the Old Man is much more important in my day-to-day life than He would be for the average Joe. Back in the day He would have been loved on a lot less by most people than Thor and Freyr, and most modern Heathens follow the same pattern. That's how it should be, IMO.

I make devotions to Odin weekly; sometimes He figures more strongly than at others. If I want to make offerings to Odin, I either make them at the small permanent harrow in my home, set up a bigger temporary harrow, or I go out to a crossroads.

If you want to make contact, starting outside the home is probably a good idea. A six-way crossroads is appropriate (three roads crossing each other), but a three-way one is better. If you can go out into the woods and find a big oak or ash tree, that is also a good place to honour Odin. Other good spots are war memorials, the sites of old battles, and places where executions were carried out. Take a suitable libation: mead, wine or beer (He takes His mead and wine very dry but has been known to enjoy a little honey in His beer). Dedicate the drink to Odin, take a good swig, then pour the rest out on the ground. Hang around and see what happens.

I gave a rough outline of an altar service over in this post, and I'm still using pretty much the same format although I've Heathenised things a bit more since. It's always been pretty successful. I would favour dry wines or gin over apple schnapps as a libation. Foodwise, remember that in lore Odin does not eat (although presumably He must enjoy the odd apple) so food offerings should be things He can feed to Freki and Geri--meat or fish. If you don't want to offer meat, stick with apples and vegetables symbolising growth and life--onions and leeks. Salt is also good. Your own blood mixed with the libation is a good offering but best avoided until you are ready for a long-term commitment.

Good luck and don't say I didn't warn you.
 
 
Less searchable M0rd4nt
18:38 / 08.11.06
You might also find some interesting bits and bobs in these threads:

Asatru, Heathen & Northern Magick Surgery (featuring comments from my n00b-heathen days which should amuse and entertain with their cluelessness)

Invited possession/horsing and channeling/divine inspiration makes some mention of what it's like to work with the Old Man in that context, with comments on His nature

The wiki page on runes has links to all our rune threads, as well as some other topics of interest.
 
 
The Ghost of Tom Winter
19:31 / 09.11.06
You guys are wonderful, thanks for all your advice, help and warnings.
At the moment I do not think Iím quite so ready to deal with the Old Man. I still have bits of passivity and cowardice to attend to within the realm of my personality.
Aside from that, I may continue down the path of the Norse and attempt to align friendship with Thor and possibly Freyja. From here, if Odin still seems like a desirable deity of worship then I shall travel down the path. Now however, I donít believe I have the time for fucked up crazy shits in my life do to some upcoming events.
Thank you all once again for your advice, it really has been helpful in determining a clearer goal for my magical and creative travels.

I will definitely come back to this when the time comes however.
 
 
Less searchable M0rd4nt
19:54 / 09.11.06
Thor's a thoroughly decent sort. Solid guy. Likes Jack Daniels. Scary temper, but you're not planning to wind Him up so you shoud be okay. If you get Him in an at-home mood He's a great stabilising influence.
 
 
EmberLeo
21:05 / 09.11.06
For some reason, Thor seems to like walnut chocolate chip cookies 'round these parts. And a good beer of course. And of couse Goat cooked with Apples (but NEVER with broken bones).

--Ember--
 
 
godhole
03:19 / 10.11.06
Letting my first Barbelith post begin with gratitude, I also thank you very much for this thread. I find myself also inconveniently drawn Odin-wards.

Can someone/s speak to the differences between being owned by a Deity and having a Deity as one's patron? I know this reads like a more general question, but I am curious about how it works with Odin in particular, given his propensity to make an impact and claim on a person - whether that claim is flavored as painful or joyous. (For the latter, I am thinking of Galina's works.)
 
 
courier5
06:58 / 10.11.06
Neil Gaiman's met Odin (and a bunch of other gods), you can read American Gods for proof..."fictive" accounts seem to work quite well when it comes to defining a personal relationship.
 
 
EmberLeo
07:29 / 10.11.06
Can someone/s speak to the differences between being owned by a Deity and having a Deity as one's patron?

Erm, I think different people mean it differently.

The way I handle it is a lot like how I handle hierarchical polyamory.

If I call Odin somebody's "Patron", I mean it's a primary relationship. If I call somebody an "Odin-head" I mean it's a primary relationship, and I'm implying it involves direct trance work. If I say Odin "owns" them, I mean all of the above, with an implication that He's been giving the human in question fairly direct, difficult orders contrary to choices they would otherwise have made.

All of these words imply, to me, an acknowledgement of formal relationship on some level, though sometimes I'll call somebody an "Odin-Head" when there are all kinds of obvious signs surrounding them that they haven't yet acknowledged.

Mind you, those aren't technical definitions, they're just the usage I realize I employ, and percieve in my local community.

I say I "works with" Odin. It's not my Primary relationship (though I seem to have three or four relationships I consider Primary in one context or another). That doesn't mean it isn't intense, or that I'm not getting undesireable instructions, or that it's easy, but it means I understand there to be significantly less obligation to actually follow His orders.

--Ember--
 
 
Mr. Austin
08:17 / 10.11.06
Odin has definately claimed me in the past few days. I can't quite explain the how or why quite yet but I feel the influence apparant from reading texts off of here.

He's definately a guy you don't want to have to answer to sometimes, but feel his influence regardless. I'm not sure about primaries and so on yet.
 
 
Less searchable M0rd4nt
10:48 / 10.11.06
Neil Gaiman's met Odin (and a bunch of other gods), you can read American Gods for proof...

Really? Because I found American Gods slight, uninspiring and full of deities behaving in rather out of character ways. I'd question whether someone who'd had a personal encounter with any God would still subscribe to the hackneyed "Gods need worship or they fade away and die!" model of deity; and one would have thought that Odin might have mentioned the fact that He has quite a thriving following in the US these days.
 
 
Less searchable M0rd4nt
11:19 / 10.11.06
Can someone/s speak to the differences between being owned by a Deity and having a Deity as one's patron?

Pretty much what Ember said. Some people have patrons--a special friend amongst the Gods, the being they are closest to. And some of those people, for reasons I don't fully understand, are claimed in a particularly intense way: they belong to the God completely, and that God can make demands upon them--sometimes very heavy demands--which they can't refuse without serious consequences. Nor can they necessarily cut ties with their patron and walk away. It's very rare for things to get quite that extreme but it does happen. It's rather a sticky subject amongst pagans and heathens generally: some insist that their nice fuzzy Gods wouldn't doooooo that, and others are still stuck in the Gods-as-consumer-goods mentality (where you can take your God back to the shop and exchange Hir if Ze doesn't go with your curtains).
 
 
EmberLeo
13:03 / 10.11.06
Really? Because I found American Gods slight, uninspiring and full of deities behaving in rather out of character ways.

I'd say Gaiman's characterization of Odin certainly fits aspects of Odin I have spoken with on many occasions - but there are an awful lot of aspects of Odin.

But mostly, I think Gaiman is first and formost a storyteller, not a pagan. If a device, however inapplicable to modern practice, suits the story, he'll use it. Odin is enough of a storyteller Himself that I suspect that's not a problem for Him.

Still, the end of the book demonstrated an interesting point - it's only any given manifestation of a god that must have attention paid to it lest it fade away. There's some implications that the base from which those manifestations are sourced plays different rules entirely.

--Ember--
 
 
EmberLeo
13:08 / 10.11.06
*devious thought* If American Gods is directly Odin-Influenced, He'd want a story that produces the desired effect in His audience - which isn't necessarily at all the same thing as a story that tells the truth about Him...

On a sepparate note, I'm rembering Sandman, and that Gaiman has written more than one story that had Odin in it, and they're not the same faces of Odin, but they're all recognisably Him.

--Ember--
 
 
Less searchable M0rd4nt
14:24 / 10.11.06
Possible SPOILAAAARRRS but not really.

I quite liked the characterization of Mr. Wednesday, the way he acts from page to page, and I liked Low Key Liesmith too--the way they interact. But I didn't buy his motivation or his actions. Seemed selfish to me. I hate to be all "Odin wouldn't do that" about a piece of popular fiction, but--well, Odin wouldn't do that. (And the idea that Thor of all People would do away with Himself because He wasn't getting worshipped--forget that!)

Still better than Written in Venom though.
 
 
EmberLeo
21:00 / 10.11.06
Ah! Yeah, I had a similar reaction to both of those bits. Thor? Suicidal? Uhhhh.... no.

But that's where I shrug and say there's a difference between what's Necessary for plot vs. what's necessary for characterization.

Though actually, the collective Lore implies that Odin is indeed that selfish - or rather, that He looks towards the good of the Aesir and those Humans He favors, and feels no need to look towards the greater good, or even the humans His wife favors if they happen to be up against His own favorites.

If, as in the book, there weren't terribly many humans left that that particular manifestation of Odin cares about, and as AllFather for the Aesir, He is best able to help those He does care about by doing something a bit selfish, I can easily see Him going for it. The other pantheons aren't His concern, after all.

So I suppose it depends on where you set your premise down.

*Shrugs* We were always frustrated that He picked some chick in the Haight to answer Ostara's question. If they'd been in Berkeley they'd have had good odds on a dissertation. But of course, Mr. Wednesday knew that perfectly well, and got the answer He was looking for, eh?

My question is, why would Easter hang out in Golden Gate park when more of Her real followers hang out in Tilden? But that's where I toss it up to Neil Gaiman not being from the Bay Area, and it not serving the story much at all for there to be huge quantities of reasonably aware Heathens right there.

Odin characterizations come up in literature a lot more than the others, I've noticed. That makes sense on several levels, not the least of which is that He's the god of writers, and is likely to show up in their heads - if they're not particularly pagan or spiritual, they'll figure He's just a character, and write Him down. He's an awfully entertaining fellow. If they ARE pagan, and spiritual, and figure out who He is, they're even MORE likely to put Him in a story. They're just more likely to actually give Him His more concrete attributes.

When I'm conveying to somebody what Odin is like, I usually cite Mr. Wednesday, Gandalf, and Masterharper Robinton, combined.

--Ember--
 
  

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