Let’s Spell it Out

Odin’s Ordeal

Odin, like the Greek Zeus, is the principle deity of the Norse pantheon.  Spelled Odin, Odinn, Odhin, Othin or Odhinn; his name is derived from Old Norse meaning “wind” and “spirit”.  One of his nicknames is “Thundur” which means “one who thunders” or “the stretched one”.  Odin received this title after what we now call “Odin’s Ordeal” where, according to the Edda, he hung himself from the Tree of the World for nine days and nights.

The World Tree, also called Yggdrasil, is where Odin sacrificed himself in an initiatory manner to gain the knowledge of the Runes.  For nine long days and nights, hungry, thirsty and in tremendous pain, he stared into the abyss after piercing himself with his own lance and sacrificing one of his own eyes.

The number nine is considered the most sacred in the Norse concept of numerology.  Odin’s nine nights hanging from the World Tree also coincides with the nine nights it takes the human soul to travel to the Underworld.  The Celts, who found the number three to be significant, felt that the power of three times three to be the most powerful as it multiplies to the sum of nine.  Just like Odin did when he sacrificed himself, the Norse saw how the number nine always “gives itself to itself”.  Take a look:

1 X 9 = 9

2 X 9 = 18 and 1 + 8 = 9

3 X 9 = 27 and 2 + 7 = 9

4 X 9 = 36 and 3 + 6 = 9

5 X 9 = 45 and 4 + 5 = 9

6 X 9 = 54 and 5 + 4 = 9

7 X 9 = 63 and 6 + 3 = 9

8 X 9 = 72 and 7 + 2 = 9

9 X 9 = 81 and 8 + 1 = 9

Odin’s passion for the knowledge of the Runes is what led himself to self-sacrifice and therefore brought the Runes to mankind.  This sacred event is commemorated from August 17th, the first day hanging from Yggdrasil, to August 25th, when Odin spied the Runes and with the last of his energy, fell from the World Tree screaming and seized them.

The Spell

This spell is designed to be as simple as possible.  You won’t need to make a run to the New Age Store for supplies, but you will need a few things:


* Something to work your spell for.  Pick something that you need or want or desire.  Perhaps you need a new job or a promotion at your current place of employment.  Maybe you need a new car or to be able to fix the vehicle that you already have.  Whatever it is that you need, you will be working towards it for nine nights in a row.  The happy new is that you will not have to go through the same ordeal that Odin experienced!
* 9 candles; color and size of your choice (you might want to try tea-lights as they are inexpensive and do not burn very long so you don’t have to worry about leaving them unattended or relighting them)
* Peace, quiet and time (you will need time each night to meditate undisturbed).  Also, try to perform this spell and meditate at the same time each night for maximum results.

On August 17th, light the first candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 1, on this night my spell’s begun.”

Take nine deep breaths and meditate on the things that you need to start to change to meet your goal.  If you need to, keep a notebook next to you to jot down any ideas that pop up.

On August 18th light the second candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 2, on this night I change my view.”

Take nine deep breaths and meditate on how you can re-program your thought processes to bring about the change that you desire.  What have you been doing that has impeded your won growth?  What can you do to get out of your won way?  Again, have a pen and notebook handy just in case you need to make yourself a spiritual “to do” list.

On August 19th light the third candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 3, one this night I am set free.”

Take nine deep breaths and meditate on how you are throwing away all of your old concepts and you are opening yourself to the positive changes to come.

On August 20th light the fourth candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 4, one this night I open the door.”

Take nine deep breaths and meditate on the fact that you have closed one door and you are ready to open a new one.  Open the door, and learn what is on the other side that will aid you in your spell-working.

On August 21st light the fifth candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 5, on this night I come alive.”

Take nine deep breaths and meditate on how you are like a seed that has grown into a plant that is now blossoming and will bear fruit.  Water yourself…give yourself fertilizer…feel the warmth of the life-giving sun…and watch yourself grow!

On August 22nd light the sixth candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 6, I stay vigil for mental tricks.”

Take nine deep breaths and mediate on how you may sabotage yourself.  We all hate change, and sometimes we can set bear-traps to step into to impede our own progress.  Find ways to keep yourself on track in spite of any roadblocks that may come your way.

On August 23rd light the seventh candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 7, I call in the power of Earth and Heaven.”

Take nine deep breaths and meditate on the power of Mother Earth and Father Sky.  Ask Them for Their help.  Ask Them for their wisdom and guidance.  You are Their child and They want to help you.  However you see Them, have a “family meeting” as to how you can obtain your goal.

On August 24th light the eighth candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 8, I call in the power of the ladies of Fate.”

Take nine deep breaths and meditate on the Norns, the three women that tend to Yggdrasil; who represent the past, present and future.  Or, you could tap into the Fates, their Greek counterparts.  Either will work.  Chat with them about what in your past has lead to where you are today.  Ask them what you are doing today that will lead you to tomorrow.  Finally, ask them what you can do tomorrow that will bring about your desire in the future.

On August 25th light the last candle and say nine times:

“By the power of 9 times 9, what I’ve worked for is now mine.”

Take nine deep breaths and meditate on the final outcome of your desire; what you’ve been working towards for the last eight nights.  Set a date; make a deadline if you can.  If you need to, use a calendar and a fire-engine red marker and make a big circle.   See the image firmly in your mind.  See how your life will change for the better after you have obtained your goal; how will it affect your environment?, your friends and family? or your day-to-day life?  Take the time to set these images in your mind like cement or concrete.

Finally, say your thanks nine times to the Universe and go about making things happen!


* Book of Runes by Ralph H. Blum
* Lammas: Celebrating the Fruits of the First Harvest by Anna Franklin and Paul Mason
* Northern Magic: Rune Mysteries and Shamanism by Edred Thorsson
* Pagan Book of Days by Nigel Jackson
* Rune Mysteries by Silver RavenWolf and Nigel Jackson