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~ By Courtesy of Others ~ 


The Arising of Wisdom:
The Enlightenment of Woden

When Woden came to be,
he and his brothers rose up and killed
Ymir, the primordial material force.
From Ymir's body
Woden crafted earth and sky
and filled it with numerous creatures
including wolves and human beings.
He did all of this
but he did not know, why ?
He searched the whole of this universe,
nine worlds did he search,
and still could not discover
the answers he had sought.
So he went to the World Tree
and at that time he knew
what he needed to do.

The Norns came forward;
Urth and Verthandi lifted him up against the tree,
while Skuld took his spear.
Woden shook his head in agreement
and Skuld drove the spear into Woden's chest.

Woden offered himself to himself,
(mythical Woden to Woden as ultimate-reality-as-it-is)1
[the mysterious god for whom the gods build temples]2
spear pierced he hung
nine days on wind swept tree.

They gave him no food;
no drink did they serve.
Thru pain and sacrifice he came to great realization.
He searched thru past, present and future;
the keys to these three became manifest.
Looking down from the tree
he saw the runes;
Now he knew "why".
Ripping himself free from spear bondage
he seized the runes;
in creative ecstasy he fell.

He awoke to great knowledge
and sought out Bolthorn
to learn nine songs of power;
from Mimir's well he gave his eye
and drank of wisdom deep.

Wisdom gave birth to wisdom;
great deeds spawn even greater deeds.
Woden became wise,
for now he knew why.

To walk in Woden's path
take up the runes.
Strong magic they possess;
they are wisdom's spawn.
A gift to human beings from Woden himself
to his children below.

To take up the runes
is to share in Woden's enlightenment;
is to learn why:
how to write,
how to interpret,
how to understand,
how to test,
how to pray,
how to sacrifice,
how to transmit,
and how to repay.

It is best not to sacrifice too much,
one may get too much,
excess often turns to evil.
So cautions Woden the All-father.

© Jim Davis
Published in: "Drunk on the Mead of Inspiration", March 1997.

Author of "Basic Anglo-Saxon Paganism".

Author´s Notes:

1 Odin as the One equal to the Brahman of Vedantic Hinduism.

2 This is mentioned in the "Seeress's Prophesy" poem of the Poetic Edda. It is very unusual in mytholgy to find gods building temples. I seek here to offer an explantation why.

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