Friday, 25 May 2012
ODIN by MATTY JONES
“I asked him to sculpture me Odin. The sculpture has 3 faces. It was made out of a fallen oak and sculpted by Matty Jones with a chain saw. I see it from the window and it is a comforting protective powerful sculpture, fits with the garden. we intended to put it on the grassy area, but here it stands; and it is the right place.”
And I am immensely proud of Matty, my nephew’s achievement in this lovely work of art.
I love the tales of the old gods. The stories that men and women told in the distant past, beyond memory. Time out of mind. Northern European culture shows the influence of the Nordic gods and goddesses on us. Odin (Wodan) gives us Wednesday. Thor, Odin’s son and the god of thunder, gives us Thursday and Freya, the goddess of fertility and beauty, gives us Friday.
Odin is the chief god of Germanic mythology. Son of Bor and Bestla, The Vikings admired Odin's love for the battle, as he was known as the "father of the slain". Odin's prominence demonstrates the importance of warfare to Germanic traditions.
Odin loved to cause conflicts and shifts of power. He once aided Harald, a Danish King, instructing him in tactics and granting him victories for years. In the king's final battle, however, Odin took the place of Harald's charioteer and drove the king to his demise.
Although Odin embodied deceit, violence and war, he also embodied many admirable qualities. He was the most knowledgeable god, with a great love for wisdom. He would willingly sacrifice himself for it.
Odin is a god of war and death, but also the god of poetry and wisdom. He hung for nine days, pierced by his own spear, on the world tree. Here, he learned nine powerful songs, and eighteen runes. Odin can make the dead speak to question the wisest amongst them.
With the threat of Ragnarok, the death of all gods, Odin built the Valhalla, a great hall of the "heroic dead". Odin would then gather heroes and warriors who were slain in battle, and bring them to Valhalla so they would fight alongside the gods on the Vigrid plain, in an attempt to strengthen and save the gods in the final battle against the frost giants at the time of Ragnarok.
The scholar, Marjorie Burns, suggests that JRR Tolkein based the character of Gandalf, the wandering wizard, in “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, on the Norse god, Odin.