Working With The Gods: Mimir

Knowledge is the most precious thing one can possess, besides love. Your home can be lost, loved ones can go away, wealth, power, health, also could be taken from you, even your own freedom and your own life… but no one can take away the things you know, the knowledge you gained with time, that is a treasure well preserved and no one can get that from you unless you give it to them. But with all that knowledge, you have to use it well, with great purposes.

In the Norse pantheon, there is a god, whose gift is, knowledge it self. His name is Mimir, the oracular god who dwells in the sacred well Mimirsbrunnr in Jötunheim. The god gives great wisdom to those who seek him, but nothing of what he gives is free, even the gods must pay a price to learn from him, for instance, Odin gave his own eye to earn Mimir’s wisdom.

People speak about Mimir in two different myths. In one, he is a mountain giant, guarding his sacred well. For too long he stood still that he grew with the mountain and became part of it, and in this way, he was turned into a guardian of living stone.
In the other myth, he is brother to Bestla, mother of Odin, Vili and Ve. He was the keeper of the sacred well of wisdom, and whomsoever drank from those waters, gained great mental powers. When his sister married into the tribe of the Aesir, he was also welcomed there. After the war with the Aesir and with the Vanir, both sides agreed in exchange hostages, so Odin sent two gods to the Vanir, Mimir and Hoenir, the Vanir were not pleased with this, and decapitated Mimir. Odin took Mimir’s head and cured it with magic and herbs, and brought it back to life. This last myth has two versions. In one, Odin is carrying Mimir’s head with him and consulting it for advice, in the other version, Odin droped Mimir’s head into the Sacred well of Wisdom, Mimirsbrunnr, and whenever Odin is wandering, he goes to the well and asks Mimir for wisdom and in one time he asked for magical gifts, and so Mimir gave him two ravens, Huginn and Muninn ( Thought and Memory) and what he asked from him in turn, was to dig out his own eye and drop it into the well, in this way, Odin lost his eye and ever since Odin was one-eyed. This shows the importance of wisdom, that one might even lose something of great value in exchange for knowledge, for knowledge might also bring other things of great value if it is used with wisdom.

Mimir does demand offerings in exchange for his wisdom or for some answer to a question you might ask him. He has the power to go into the depths of the sacred Well of Knowledge, but he always wants something in return. He may ask for a lot of things from your part, all sort of things. Sometimes he might ask for a drop or two of blood (your own), and some times alcohol or perhaps a deed that you must perform before he will give you your answer. Be certain of this, that even if the deed sounds easy, when you actually are in the verge of doing it, it will be difficult. Mimir wants to see you work for it, because knowledge never comes for free, you know that, even in your daily life, you have to study or pass through certain happanings in your life, to learn from life it self, and sometimes it isn’t pretty.
Another possible offering to him is to offer to be his eyes for a day. If things come up to this, then for one entire day, everything you see, he sees as well. While he may request that you make an effort to observe certain things, he is more likely to let you choose and then see what you pick. He will judge you on what you choose to show him, and he may reject it if he feels that it was not worth the answer.

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