Odin, The All-Father
Odin, the supreme Norse god, was the son of Borr and Bestla, king of the Aesir (Æsir, Asynur pl. pronounced "eye-seer") and lord of Asgard. He was also the god of war, wisdom, magic, poetry, prophecy, victory and the hunt. Odin was called by more than 200 different names revealing his many roles. Among others, he was known as Yggr (terror), Sigfodr (father of Victory) and Alfodr (All Father). When he went out to battle he rode an eight legged horse named Sleipnir. His weapon of choice was a magical spear called Gungnir, fashioned by the dwarfs that returns when thrown and always hits its target. His Old High German name was "Wôtan", in Old English "Wōden", and Old Anglo Saxon"Wôdan" Wednesday (Woden's day) was named for him. In the Völuspá, a völva chronicles the creation of the first human beings Ask and Embla by Odin and his brothers Hœnir and Lóðurr. His sons were Thor, Loki , Tyr by Erda and Baldur by Frigg among others. He was called "The wanderer" because he loved to travel the nine worlds disguised as an ordinary man but was also known for shape shifting into animal forms. He was often accompanied by two wolves Geri and Freki (Old Norse: "the ravenous" and "greedy one") These Wolf-warriors, were not mere animals but mythical beings: as Odin's loyal allies they bodied forth his might. He had two ravens, thought and memory fly to and fro in the Earth and report the activities of men to him in his Gladshiem, the grandest of Aesir palaces.
Beneath the roots of Yggdrasill in Jotunheim, the world of the frost giants is the spring of Mimir, whose mystic waters impart wisdom and understanding. In the Æsir home world its root taps the sacred wellspring of fate, the Well of Urðr, attended by the three Norn sisters, who live near it. Yggdrasill is revitalized each day as they nourish it with special waters and smear it with clay from the spring to preserve it. Its waters fall upon the earth as dew. It is to them Odin traded his eye for wisdom... that which he craved more than anything else. Odin, the king of the Æsir-gods quest for wisdom was never-ending, and he was willing to pay any price for revelation concerning life’s mysteries and to discover the runes . On one occasion, he hanged himself to a tree, on another he fasted for 40 days and nights and one other he gave his right eye to the guardian Mimir to drink from a horn filled from the well in hopes of gaining cosmic knowledge.