ODIN TALKS TO HIS SON VIDAR

Odin showed himself not only to Giants and Men in the days when he went through Jötunheim and Midgard as Vegtam the wanderer. He met and he spoke with the Gods also, with one who lived far away from Asgard and with others who came to Midgard and to Jötunheim.

The one who lived far away from Asgard was Vidar, Odin’s silent son. Vidar sat far inside a wilderness, with trees and tall grass growing around him,. Nearby him a horse grazed with a saddle on it, a horse that was always ready for a speedy journey.

Odin, now Vegtam the wanderer, came into that silent place and spoke to Vidar, the Silent God.

” Vidar,” he said, “strangest of all my sons. God who will live when all of us have passed away. God who will bring the memory of the inhabitants of Asgard into a world that will know not their power. Vidar, I know why the horse that is always ready for a speedy journey grazes nearby you. It is so that you can spring on it and ride, a son speeding to avenge his father.

“I will only tell you Vidar what I have secretly been doing. Who but you can know why I, Odin, the Eldest of the Gods, hung on the tree Ygdrassil for nine days and nine nights? I hung on that windy tree so that I could learn the wisdom that would give me power in the nine worlds. On the ninth night the Runes of Wisdom appeared before my eyes, and slipping down from the tree I took them.

“I shall tell why my ravens fly to you, carrying in their beaks scraps of leather. It is so that you can make a sandal for yourself and with that sandal on you can put your foot on the lower jaw of a mighty wolf and tear him in two. All the shoemakers of the earth throw on the ground scraps of the leather they use so that you can make the sandal for your wolf-rending foot.

“I have told those on earth to cut off the fingernails and the toenails of their dead, or else the Giants will make for themselves the ship Naglfar from those fingernails and toenails and they will sail from the North on the day of Ragnarök, the Twilight of the Gods.

“Vidar, I will tell you more. I, living amongst men, have married the daughter of a hero. My son shall live as a mortal amongst mortals. his name shall be Sigi. Heroes shall spring from him who will fill Valhalla, my own hall in Asgard, with heroes in preparation for the day of our war with the Giants and with Surtur of the Flaming Sword.”

Odin stayed in that silent place for a long time talking with his silent son Vidar, who with his brother would live beyond the lives of the inhabitants of Asgard and who would bring into another day and another world the memory of the Æsir and the Vanir. Odin spoke with him, for a long time and then he went across the wilderness where the grass and the bushes grew and where that horse grazed in readiness for the sudden journey. He went toward the seashore where the Æsir and the Vanir were now gathered for the feast that old Ægir, the Giant King of the Sea, had offered them.