Odin in Italy

I knew that in some areas, St. Michael was syncretized with Apollo but had no idea Michael was also syncretized with Odin. wow. (and it always amuses me that when Odin and Frigga — it’s Frigga here, not Freyja– go up against each other, He loses. ^___^).

On a slightly related note, I was having a conversation with someone about the Hebrew meaning of St. Michael’s name: “Who is like God?” It occurred to me that, in the Archangel responsible for leading the armies of heaven against evil angels, that it’s not a simple question. Rather, it’s a challenge: Who dares to think he is like God? Who dares to raise himself up to that level? It ‘s an exhortation to piety, humility, reverence, and respect.

so here is my final question, partly tongue in cheek, but partly serious. There’s a grotto in a cave in Italy that is sacred to St. Michael. was that originally a shrine to Apollo, to Odin, or licitly to Michael? *G* Inquiring minds and all that shit.

The House of Vines

tumblr_mh65ax6xIh1r8xssuo1_1280Paulus Diaconus in his Historia Langobardorumdiscusses how in the course of their migration from Scandinavia to Northern Italy a Germanic tribe changed their name from Wandals to Lombards, due to a contest of wits between the Gods Godan and Frea. 

8. At this point, the men of old tell a silly story that the Wandals coming to Godan  besought him for victory over the Winnili and that he answered that he would give the victory to those whom he saw first at sunrise; that then Gambara went to Frea  wife of Godan and asked for victory for the Winnili, and that Frea gave her counsel that the women of the Winnili should take down their hair and arrange it upon the face like a beard, and that in the early morning they should be present with their husbands and in like manner station themselves to be seen by Godan…

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About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on January 22, 2020, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Yes, St. Michael the Archangel has been associated to Wotan in German/Teutonic-speaking areas, including the Lombards. The mount in Italy that you mention is Monte Gargano, located in the south-east of Italy. As far as I can remember my readings, there was no association to Apollo.

    There are several sites in Germany now dedicated to St. Michael where you can trace their meaning back to pre-Christian times with a clear relation to Wotan. There´s a very interesting, non-scholar monograph (in German) from the late 1920´s/early 1930´s on the subject, and if I remember well from another reading, Jan de Vries in his seminal “Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte” also mentions this association.

    For me, St. Michael is Wotan.

    Wolfram.

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    • thanks. I know that St. Michael was actually associated with Apollo in antiquity (it’s driving me crazy — read a great book about it, discussing one of the earliest xtian communities and cannot remember the title) but I wasn’t sure about Mt. Gargano. I don’t syncretize Michael with either Deity myself, though for those who do makes for more shrine options.

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  2. More shrine options, especially if you live in a hostile area is always a good thing. Well, maybe always is too absolutist, but usually is applicable.

    I’m blessed with being able to go “get off my land” to anyone nosing around any shrine I’m liable to set up…though it would be wonderful to be able to set up a roadside shrine without fear it would be vandalized or invite persecution.

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  3. Interesting….Michael has been with me since I was a child….I will be doing some Communing on this thought.

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    • I personally honor the archangels as separate holy powers. I don’t syncretize Them. But i find it fascinating that there has historically been syncretism with both Apollo and Odin.

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