Odin' s most famous , " Waking of the Dead " , moment comes from Balder's Draumr ( Balder' s Dreams ), when Odin needs to know the true meaning of his son Balder ' s dreams. Odin saddles Sleipnir and takes off down the road to Hel to speak with a long dead Sibyl. When he reaches the Eastern Door, " Where a Sibyl sleeps in her grave " , Odin chants charms over her mound.
The story in the Eddas actually calls him the " Master of Magic ", and his " magical words", force the dead witch to rise up out of her grave mound against her will, and speak to him. An angry Sibyl asks: " Let me know the name of the stanger who willed me to come this weary way . Deep under snow and drenched with rain, the dew drifting over me, I was long dead. " Odin never actually tells her his name, but simply calls himself " the wanderer ", son of War Wise.
Then Odin asks the Sibyl one question at a time about the future as it relates to the dreams that Balder has been having. After each answer she says wearily : " You made me speak, but you shall hear no more. " To this Odin answers angrily: " Witch I will ask you, and you shall answer, until there is nothing more to know. " The witch then tells Odin that Balder' s death is the first of many tragedies that will lead up to the end of days for the old Gods ( Ragnarok ).
The end of this conversation, actually more of an interrogation, is very telling. The Sibyl /witch realizes : " You are not the wanderer, now I know that you are Odin, Oldest of the Gods". Odin replies : " You are no witch nor are you wise, but mother you are to three monsters. The Sibyl is actually Angrboda, the mother of Fenrir, Jormungand, and Hel. She better than anyone would know the horrid future that her offspring will bring to the nine worlds.
To be informed of the present Odin has his high - seat known as Hlidskjalf. Hlidskjalf is mentioned in the Eddas as both a place and a thing. The first time Snorri mentions Hlidskjalf he states : " There is one abode called Hlidskjalf, and when All - Father sits in the high seat there, he looks out over the whole world , and sees what is taking place, and he knows all things that he saw. "
Later he states that : " Another great abode is there which is named Valaskjalf. Odin owns that dwelling. The Gods made it and thatched it with sheer silver, and in this hall is contained the high - seat known as Hlidskjalf from this seat All - Father sees out over the nine worlds.
Unlike some of the things that are mentioned in the Eddas, there are actually examples of the high - seat Hlidskjalf being used. In Grimnismal Odin and Frigga are sitting on Hlidskjalf, where they speak of Agnar and Geirrod. Frigga accuses Geirrod of being a miser, and inhospitable , while his son Agnar, who lives in a cave, is giving and friendly. Odin then sets out to find out for himself. When he finds out that what Frigga said was true he kills Geirrod, ( Makes him slip and fall on his own sword ) , and makes Agnar king of the Goths, where he ruled for many years.
When Loki is found to be the one who tricked Hodr into killing his brother Balder, it is Odin who finds the hiding place of the trickster from his high - seat. Obviously there is no where to hide that Odin cannot find you. Loki is then captured in a waterfall and bound to a rock for his treachery.
The most famous use of Hlidkjalf, however, actually comes from a love story. Freyr sitting upon the hallowed seat Hlidskjalf spies a beautiful Jotun maiden walking from her father's hall to her own abode. Freyr describes her as being very beautiful : " So white were her shining arms they lit the sky and the seas. " Although Freyr does eventually meet his great love Gerd, he is tormented by the wait. " So for the presumption he had shown in sitting on that holy seat he paid by going away full of sorrow. " Sometimes I guess knowing too much is not a good thing !
Odin has one, well actually two, final " aces up his sleeve. He has his two wonderful ravens Hugin, and Munin who : " Sit on his shoulders and bring to his ears all the news that they see or hear, they are called Hugin and Munin. He sends them out at daybreak to fly over the whole world and they come back at breakfast time. By this means he come to know a great deal about what is going on. " Odin values his ravens greatly saying : " I fear that Hugin will not come back, though I am more concerned about Munin.
With so many sources of information to pull from it is little wonder that Odin is so well informed about the past, the present, and the future. He truly is the God of wisdom and knowledge !
Go with Odin' s wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !