[Heralds] Yet another name question

C. L. Ward gunnora at vikinganswerlady.org
Fri May 4 05:48:08 PDT 2001

>My husband has a book entitled _Leaves of Yggdrasil_ by
>Freya Asywnn in which the wolf is listed as one of
>Odin's animal associations and the color silver was also
>listed as an association with Odin.

I doubt I need to make any caution against the usefulness of using New Age
books on pagan religion or divination as a source for documentation, so of
course you already know to treat such material with great suspicion -- the
New Age presses don't have any standards for documentability or accuracy,
they just want to sell books.

In this case I think Aswynn is wrong.  I don't know how she got the "silver"
association for Óðinn.  The single color most often associated with Old
One-Eye is that dark black-blue color of bruises and post-mortem lividity,
blár or hel-blár.  The "blue cloak" that the Allfather is said to wear is, I
think, actually a description of post-mortem lividity, wherein all the blood
in the body drains to the lowest point (the back, in the case of a corpse
laid out for burial) and then shows up against the dead pale skin looking
like an ugly blue-black bruise, and metaphorically it is therefore like a
cloak, covering the back of the body.

The god is closely tied to the various animals that are associated with
death and battle, the wolf, the raven, and the eagle.  Little silver spear
amulets are found all across the Germanic world, and are usually thought by
modern scholars to be tokens of Óðinn, as are little silver "barrel-chair"
amulets, which may represent the high-seat of the god, or his aspect as god
of kings and rulership.  And all of these can be made into heraldry.


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