The free fancy of the ancients, which wove the web of their myths and legends, was consecrated by faith. It had not, like the modern mind, set apart a petty sanctuary of borrowed beliefs, beyond which all the rest was common and unclean. Imagination, reason, and religion circled round the same symbol; and in all their symbols there was serious meaning, if we could but find it out. They did not devise fictions in the same vapid spirit in which we, cramped by conventionalities, read them. In endeavoring to interpret creations of fancy, fancy as well as reason must guide: and much of modern controversy arises out of heavy misapprehensions off ancient symbolism.Morals and Dogma:PRINCE OF MERCY, OR SCOTTISH TRINITARIAN
By Glen Kealey:
Odin was also called the Raven God. He had a throne, Hlidskjalf, in a watchtower in the heavenly realm of Asgard, from which he could see anything that happened in the nine worlds of the universe, and nothing escaped his gaze. Odin would sit on this lofty throne with two ravens, Huginn (Thought) and Muninn (Memory), perched on his shoulders. He sent these birds out into the world each day, and they would return to whisper in his ear everything they had seen. Odin also traveled the world himself, assuming other shapes, such as a bird, serpent, fish, or other beast, and he could move about, spiritlike, while his body slept.
Physically Odin was depicted as an older but still handsome man, who rode into battle wearing a golden helmet and coat of mail. But he was often represented, especially when he traveled in the world of humans, as a gray-bearded man with only one eye, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and carrying a staff. His visage could change with the viewer: he appeared so noble among his friends that they rejoiced at the sight of him, but to his enemies he would appear fearsome and terrible. He possessed a magic spear, Gungnir, that, once hurled, never stopped until it hit its intended target. He owned a magic gold ring named Draupnir, forged by the master craftsmen, the dwarfs Brokk (or Brokkr) and Sindri. Every ninth night, Draupnir would produce eight more rings just like itself. Odin's steed was the mighty, gray, eight-legged horse Sleipnir (Slippery), fastest in the world.
In his function as a war god Odin was also a god of the dead, and he employed his handmaidens, the Valkyries, to snatch up the souls of the most valiant warriors as they died on the battlefield and lead them to Valhalla, his banquet hall in Asgard. Here these souls, called the Einherjar, would enjoy an endless bounty of food, drink, and revelry, and practice their fighting skills until the time of Ragnarok, the battle at the end of the world, when they would fight with Odin as their leader against all the forces of evil. Odin presided over the feasts in Valhalla, but he himself did not eat. Wine was both food and drink for him. He would give his meat to his two wolves, Geri (Greedy) and Freki (Fierce).