ODIN & THE HEAD OF MIMIR
from HEIMSKRINGLA Volume 1
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Snorri Sturluson tells us that the Æsir & Vanir (the two god-tribes Norse Mythology) exchanged hostages after their war with each other. The Æsir receive Njörd & Frey; the Vanir receive Hœnir & Mimir. The Vanir are not happy when they realize they've been tricked. They thought Hœnir was a wise chief, but…
"Now, when Hœner came to Vanaheim [home of the Vanir], he was immediately made a chief, and Mimir came to him with good counsel on all occasions. But when Hœner stood in the Things [assemblies] or other meetings, if Mimir was not near him, and any difficult matter was laid before him, he always answered in one way – 'Now let others give their advice' – so that the Vanaland people [the Vanir] got a suspicion that the Asaland people [the Æsir] had deceived them in the exchange of men.
"They took Mimir, therefore, and beheaded him, and sent his head to the Asaland people. Odin took the head, smeared it with herbs so that it should not rot, and sang incantations over it. Thereby he gave it the power that it spoke to him, and discovered to him many secrets."
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The mythological material begins on page 216.
Art by illustrator Sam Flegal. Visit his website at samflegal.com