I’m not given to deity-worship. I don’t believe in encouraging the little bastards. But still, I have a certain amount of sympathy for Odin. Sure, everyone knows him as chief of the norse pantheon, but most people tend to look at him as Jupiter/Zeus figure, when he’s an awful lot more than that. He’s a christ-figure, a shaman deity, and a god of wisdom and knowledge. He has the more martial aspect present in Jupiter and Zeus, but with a grimmer, darker edge that I find more fitting to that role. He’s the Norse god of magic and knowledge, but everyone is so busy with Thoth or Mercury/Hermes that this gets forgotten, but unlike the book-magic that the others seem to favour, that hermetic tradition has imprinted on them, Odin’s magic is from that primal root, shrouded in visionquest, plucked from darkness and wind.
But today, listening to Julian Cope’s CD programme, I come across a single line “Myself a sacrifice to I”, and something kicks hard in my brain. This I like. The notion of a god whose power and knowledge comes not from outside, not from story or fable, not from simply being woven into his very being by his divinity (or from worshippers, or from the other means that you might think gods draw their power) from from their own effort to find it inside themselves.
A god whose basic example says “You don’t need gods. Anyone could do what I did, and get what I got.”