God of the Summer Sun


Speaking of Óðr, I’ve encountered some interesting theories about him in my studies recently.

Most scholars tend to view him as a strange double or Vanic counterpart of Óðinn associated with creative and battle frenzy, shapeshifting, shamanic ordeals and otherworldly journeys.

However a number of Neopagan authors apparently regard him as the God of the Summer Sun, and specifically heat, vitality, fertility and rejuvenation, with his absence in Winter prompting Freyja to go in search of him.

Something about that really resonates, although I’m not sure their arguments necessarily hold up to scrutiny. Then again, so little has come down in the lore concerning Óðr that most arguments end up being fairly speculative, mine included. (This is where being an Orpheotelest and mantis really comes in handy.) 

8 thoughts on “God of the Summer Sun

    1. Nope. Nor are they mutually exclusive. Hell, we could even be seeing the Winter vs Summer faces of the God. (Assuming Óðr even was a God, and there’s some evidence that may not have originally been the case.)


      1. You’ve alluded to that before. It’s definitely something I’d love to explore.

        Which reminds me of another deity that might not have been one: so what’s going on with Baldur in Starry Bear?


        1. He’s specifically introduced as such in Gylfaginning 35:

          Freyja er tignust með Frigg. Hon giftist þeim manni, er Óðr heitir. Dóttir þeira er Hnoss. Hon er svá fögr, at af hennar nafni eru hnossir kallaðar, þat er fagrt er ok gersimligt. Óðr fór í braut langar leiðir, en Freyja grætr eftir, en tár hennar er gull rautt. Freyja á mörg nöfn, en sú er sök til þess, at hon gaf sér ýmis heiti, er hon fór með ókunnum þjóðum at leita Óðs. Hon heitir Mardöll ok Hörn, Gefn, Sýr. Freyja átti Brísingamen. Hon er ok kölluð Vanadís.

          Freyja is most gently born (together with Frigg): she is wedded to the man named Ódr. Their daughter is Hnoss: she is so fair, that those things which are fair and precious are called hnossir. Ódr went away on long journeys, and Freyja weeps for him, and her tears are red gold. Freyja has many names, and this is the cause thereof: that she gave herself sundry names, when she went out among unknown peoples seeking Ódr: she is called Mardöll and Hörn, Gefn, Sýr. Freyja had the necklace Brísinga-men. She is also called Lady of the Vanir.

          The term manni doesn’t just mean “male” but a mortal man, on the level of Ottar and Svipdagr (humans beloved by Freyja) rather than an Áss or Van. Now it’s possible that Ódr had been a mortal who won immortality and a place for himself among the Gods like Herakles but nothing has come down to us concerning that, unless Ottar and Svipdagr are alternate heiti he bore, in which case you can start to piece together a plausible backstory for him.

          Baldr lies slumbering in Helheim until Ragnarök, when he will return. Rather than spite or a like motivation, I believe that Loki was scheming to keep Baldr safe and out of the way so that he could play the vital role he was destined to in that terrible conflagration and its aftermath, rather than being taken out prematurely by the nameless and its associates, or corrupted.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Not really. There are plenty of examples of solar deities being worshipped by the same culture. Dionysos is already a Sun God in the Mediterranean and no one ever worries if it leaves out Helios or Apollo or Hyperion

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.