Over the years many scholars have attempted to demonstrate the influence of the xtian scribes upon the mythology of the Eddas, most notably on the Havamal and the Voluspa. This article is concerned in particular with Odin's sacrifice upon the world tree as outlined in the Havamal. The part of the Havamal which relates this mythological event is called the Runatal and is contained in the Elder or Poetic Edda.
"I know that I hung on a windy treenine long nights,
wounded with a spear, dedicated to Odin,
myself to myself,
on that tree of which no man knows
from where its roots run.
No bread did they give me nor a drink from a horn,
downwards I peered;
I took up the runes, screaming I took them,
then I fell back from there." (verses 138-139, Larrington translation)
As a means of comparison I also offer the older translation of these verses by Benjamin Thorpe who numbers the aforesaid verses as 140-141.
"I know that I hung, on a wind-rocked tree, nine whole nights, with a spear wounded, and to Odin offered, myself to myself; on that tree, of which no one knows from what root it springs.
"Bread no one gave me, nor a horn of drink, downward I peered, to runes applied myself,
wailing learnt them, then fell down thence."
What is described here is most clearly a shamanistic experience; the hanging on a tree (upside down, although not explicitly stated), the pain of being stabbed by His spear and the hunger and thirst. These are all typical components of a shamanistic self-initiation. Odin is the great initiator and He shows us the path to knowledge. By comparison the crucifixion of Christ is meant as a sacrifice for the "sins of mankind". In a sense Christ sacrificed 'himself to himself' as did Odin. However it is clear from the gospel naratives that this was not necessarily Christ's intention. He was forced into this predicament through his betrayal by his disciple Judas Iscariot. Odin however willingly placed Himself onto that windy tree. It was His intention to obtain initiation and subsequent knowledge via this experience. Knowledge and enlightenment always follows genuine initiation whether it is carried out by a human initiator as in Odinic/Wodenic profession or via a form of self-initiation through a shamanistic experience which is markedly different. This experience was known to the Indo-Europeans thousands of years before the crucifixion and there is no evidence that either the crucifixion ever took place or that Jesus Christ is an historical figure, deluded or not.
Christ's crucifixion has been interpreted as a means of universal 'cleansing from sin' which is appropriated to the individual through faith in this act. By contrast the Germanic path does not acknowledge 'sin' and thus no 'cleansing' is required. Odin placed Himself onto the tree. He was not forced to do this as Christ was. This was no degrading experience. Unlike the crucifixion this was not a public event but one which was extremely private as most shamanistic experiences are and He embarked upon this for His own self-advancement, not as a sacrifice for the masses. Neither was this a means of punishment as the crucifixion was.
Odin's spiritual insight developed markedly after His winning of the runes for immediately after the verse quoted above He outlines 18 'spells' which are the basis more than likely for the 18 runes Armanen Futhork.
As previously stated Odin must have hung upside down (unlike Christ but like St Peter) for it is stated that "downwards I peered; I took up the runes....". It does not make sense to interpret this in any other way. As an aside it is clear to me and other Initiates that Odin's shamanistic sacrifice is depicted on the 12th card of the Major Arcana of the Tarot, the 'Hanged Man'. It is clear that the acquisition of the runes or runic knowledge was the purpose of Odin's sacrifice of 'Himself to Himself'. Odin sacrificed his 'lower Self' to His 'higher Self'. Although Odin's hanging on the world tree was primarily for His own advancement it did consequently bring benefits to Germanic man as verse 164 states:
"Now is the song of the High One recited, in the High
One's hall,very useful to the sons of men,
quite useless to the sons of giants,
luck to him who recites, luck to him who knows!
May he benefit, he who learnt it,
luck to those who listened!" (Larrington)
"Now are the High-one's songs, in the High-one's hall, to the sons of men all-useful, but useless to the Jotun's sons. Hail to him who has sung them! Hail to him who knows them! May he profit who has learnt them! Hail to those who have listened to them!" (verse 166, Thorpe)
Clearly the xtian church used this comparison between Christ and Odin, albeit in a very superficial way to convince their Germanic converts that the 'White Christ' was not so different from their own Woden/Wodan/Wotan/Odin but promised them the fruits of an easy an unearned 'eternal life' through mere belief without any human effort and by the same token threatened eternal punishment (in true semitic fashion) to those who refused to believe in this desert god and comply with the church's demands. As we know the masses can be easily bribed and cajoled into doing what they are told through threats. The missionaries realised that whole peoples could be converted much more quickly and thoroughly by converting their kings and tribal chiefs first. They took advantage of the hospitality and the tolerance of heathen Germanic man. It would have been far better to have speared these shavelings as soon as they landed on our shores, sacrificing them to our Gods and this would have spared the Germanic peoples centuries of fratricidal conflict and the genocide we are experiencing now via unrestrained alien immigration-which the churches (always an enemy of the blood and the folk) are actively encouraging.