The Hávamál Project – Day 28, verse 158
Continuing with Odin’s spells is Verse 158, in which we learn that Odin can speak to the dead. In particular if the dead person was killed via hanging. This harkens back to one of Odin’s earlier forms of worship. Several of Odin’s names give reference to his connection to the gallows: Hangadróttinn (Lord of the Hanged), Hangaguð or Hangatýr (God of the Hanged), Hangi (The Hanged One), Heimþinguðr hanga (Visitor of the Hanged), Valdr galga (Ruler of the Gallows), and Farmr galga (Gallow’s Burden).
This verse has always captured my imagination. I’m not entirely sure why, but I love the image of speaking to the gallows dead. One little detail I can share are the runes I chose for Odin to mark on the corpse’s chest. The bottom most rune is Naudiz, meaning “need or distress” and is often associated with death. The middle rune is Ehwaz means “horse”, an animal sacred to the Norse and used in sacrifice and divination. The topmost rune is Gebo, meaning “the act of giving.”
If you want to read more about my Hávamál Project check out DAY ONE.
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