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(a god)

Inspiration, wisdom.aspirations and communication

This is the Father Rune, the rune of Odin, the All-Father.

Odin was desperate to acquire the wisdom and knowledge of the older order of giants. Having traded one of his eyes for wisdom and obtained the knowledge of the runes by sacrificing himself on the World Tree, he desired the gift of divine utterance. Odin was desperate to obtain the mead of poetry, made from the blood of wise Kvasir, which made everyone who drank of it either a wise man or a poet. Kvasir, himself a creation of the gods, had been killed by dwarves Fjalalr and Galar and the Mead taken as blood price by the giant Suttung whose parents the dwarves had killed.

Odin obtained the mead by seducing Gunlod the daughter of Suttung who had stolen it. As Odin carried it back in his form of an eagle he spilled a little outside the walls of Asgard, one of the realms of the gods. Thus some fell to earth and inspired mortal poetry and from time to time Odin would favour mortals or one of the deities and share a little of the poetic mead.

The Norse Rune Poem talks of `estuary as the way of most journeys’, conveying the concept that communication is essential for transforming inspiration into reality. The gift of the mead involved the death of Kvasir, the death of two giants and trickery by Odin - as with the Norse Runes there is often a harsh price to be paid for anything. Their power is not in the stark contrast of good and evil with good always winning through, but a philosophy whereby there is a struggle to reconcile opposites, to acknowledge man’s own weaknesses and to rise towards a greater understanding. What we say and how we say it can be crucial.