Norway, Swedish, Icelandic, Finish

Odin god of the Vikings

"And Rachel said, With great wrestlings have I wrestled with my sister,
 and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali."

Naphtali is a hind [deer] let loose: he giveth goodly [beautiful] words.

And of Naphtali he said, O Naphtali, satisfied with favour,
and full with the blessing of the LORD: possess thou the west and the south.

Norse book of poetry
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Norway,    Sweden,    Finland,   Iceland,

Scandinavia map


Norway, Sweden,

Iceland, Finland


     NAPHTALI: #5321 Naphtali, means wrestling, to twist, to struggle, wrestled. Naphtali and Dan are the sons of Bilhah. Wonder if Jacob wrestling that ‘Angel’ took place during the birth of his son, Naphtali. 'And Rachel said, with great wrestling have I wrestled with my sister, and I have prevailed: and she called his name Naphtali.'

            During the 17th century, despite having scarcely more than one million inhabitants, Sweden emerged as a Great Power after winning wars against Denmark, Norway, Russia, and Poland. Both Sweden and Norway, as 'sister' nations, have wrestled the Vikings, Danish, and Russian troops. The Black Plague killed half of Norway's population in 1349, and this black death swept all across Europe in the most deadly pandemic known in human history, killing an estimate of 75 million people worldwide. Talk about 'Jacob's Troubles' – whew, those ‘dark ages’ were the lowest of low! Hopefully those days are over with.

            Moses’ benediction for Naphtali went like this, 'O Naphtali, satisfied with favor and full with the blessing of the Lord: possess thou the west and the south.' Naphtali’s territory in Biblical times was the northern most section of tribal territory, along with Asher’s, so have always wondered why Moses said west & south, unless these tribal land allotments were set before the Continent Shift, which I call the National Oceanic Alignment of Habitations, or N.O.A.H. Today, Norway is one of the richest counties in the world, and lies north northwest of Jerusalem today, much as it did in Biblical times, but much further north.

            Norsemen [the Norse] is the ancient name for the people of Scandinavia, or the Nordic countries. The Vikings were Norse merchants and warriors - but beneath their rough guise of exterior combat and fury, they were poets. After sailing the northern seas for years upon end, Naphtali needed to add a little spice to his life, and this was done through prose and stories.

            The meaning of ‘Norseman’ referred to the 'People from the North Country' and identified people from southern and central Scandinavia, which is Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, however for our purposes, Denmark is Dan, not Naphtali. Norseman was a term  used during the period from the late 8th century to the 11th century. Norse invaders and explorers were also known as Vikings. Norse, in particular, refers to the Old Norse language belonging to the North Germanic branch of Indo-European languages, especially Danish, Icelandic, and Norwegian in their earlier forms.

            Naphtali is a hind [deer] let loose: #355 & #365 'ayeleth {ah-yeh'-leth}- hind, doe, deer, he giveth goodly [beautiful] words. Odin is a Viking god of poetry and wisdom. The day of the week, Wednesday, is named after him [Wodan]. Amongst his gifts was the greatest of all, the gift of writing. Odin is also the origin of Santa Claus, aka St. Nicholas. ‘After nine days of fasting and agony, in which he [Oden] made of himself a sacrifice to himself, he fell screaming from the tree, having had revealed to him in a flash of insight the secret of the runes. Their initial manifestation took the form of eighteen powerful charms for protection, increase, success in battle, lovemaking, healing, and mastery over natural causes’. Oh, those goodly words of Naphtali, they still have a certain charm about them, don’t you think?



"Odin is the chief divinity of the Norse pantheon, the foremost of the Aesir. Odin is a son of Bor and Bestla. He is called Alfadir, All father, for he is indeed father of the gods. With Frigg he is the father of Balder, Hod, and Hermod. He fathered Thor on the goddess Jord; and the giantess Grid became the mother of Vidar.

Odin is a god of war and death, but also the god of poetry and wisdom. He hung for nine days, pierced by his own spear, on the world tree. Here he learned nine powerful songs, and eighteen runes. Odin can make the dead speak to question the wisest amongst them. His hall in Asgard is Valaskjalf ("shelf of the slain") where his throne Hlidskjalf is located.

From this throne he observes all that happens in the nine worlds.

The tidings are brought to him by his two raven Huginn and Muninn. He also resides in Valhalla, where the slain warriors are taken.

He is also called Othinn, Wodan and Wotan. Some of the aliases he uses to travel icognito among mortals are Vak and Valtam. Wednesday is named after him (Wodan).

Amongst his gifts to us, his children, was the greatest of all: the gift of writing. To accomplish this Odin hung himself upside down upon the World Tree, [Tree of Life] the gigantic ash Yggdrasil (a compound meaning "terrible horse"). [Odin is the origin of our Santa Claus, aka St. Nicholas.]

After nine days of fasting and agony, in which "he made of himself a sacrifice to himself", he "fell screaming" from the tree, having had revealed to him in a flash of insight the secret of the runes. Their initial manifestation took the form of eighteen powerful charms for protection, increase, success in battle and love-making, healing, and mastery over natural causes.

This story illustrates an important dynamic of the Northern pantheon, which did not allow for omnipotence - even Odin must pay his due. At Mimir's well, which lay deep under the roots of Yggdrasil, the World Tree, the god had earlier chosen to undergo an important forfeit. Odin paid with one eye for a single drink of the enchanted water. His mouthful granted him wisdom and fore-sight. It is due to this sacrifice that Odin's face is depicted with a straight line indicating an empty eye, or alternately, in a wide-brimmed hat pulled down low over the missing orb.

His quest for knowledge was never-ending. Upon his shoulders perched two ravens, Hugin ("Thought"), and Munin ("Memory"). These circled the Earth each day, seeing all, and then at night reported to Odin what they had learnt. He cherished them both, but particularly Munin, which seems to underscore the importance he placed on rune writing, record keeping, and honouring the heroic deeds of the past. There is another bird associated with Odin, the eagle. The god often transformed himself into this canny raptor, both to view the workings of the world and to intervene when an avian form was better suited to his ends.

Odin's fabulous grey horse Sleipnir was like no other. This is the eight-legged horse depicted so beautifully on the painted stones of Gotland, a now-Swedish island in the Baltic. Sleipnir was the offspring of a giant's magical stallion and the "trickster" god, Loki, who disguised himself as an alluring mare to distract the stallion from the task of building a wall around Asgard, home of the Gods.  If the wall had been completed by a certain date, Freyja, the goddess of beauty, war and sexuality would have been forfeit to the giant as payment for his labors. (The gods also stood to lose the Sun and the Moon, but did not seem particularly concerned about their impending loss!)

Loki was successful, but vanished for a few seasons as he had to bear the fruit of his trickery. He returned to Odin leading his equine offspring, which he presented as a gift. With his eight legs, Sleipnir could run twice as fast as ordinary steeds, and it is he who carries the valiant dead from the battle field to Valhalla. "

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