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Woden's Cross / Odin's Cross

The pagan Woden's Cross pre-dates the Christian symbol by thousands of years.



Woden's Cross / Odin's Cross

Woden's Cross
Woden's Cross

The same symbol known as a Sun Cross is also used to represent the chief god in Germanic paganism, Woden, and in Norse paganism, Odin. Woden and Odin are usually considered to be the same god; famous for being a bit of a trouble-maker and fond of starting wars. His symbol is not meant to be a cross, but like Taranis, it represents a wheel.

This wheel symbolizes the turning of life, into death. Perhaps this is why Hitler was fond of another rotating wheeled cross, the Swastika. In more recent times, Woden's symbol has been adopted by white nationalists. (See also the Yellow Cross.) These people glorify Aryan, Teutonic and Norse heritage, hence their appropriation of Woden's symbol and similar symbols.

(Of course, there are other people who appreciate some of the more spiritual things that Norse heritage provides them and some, such as the Scandinavian Asatruarfelagio, employ the same symbol. But this does not mean they are white supremacists. The Asatru Alliance, the Asatru Folk Assembly and the Troth are the three largest Germanic Neopagan groups in the US and have publicly denounced racism.)

As mentioned above, the symbolism of Woden's Wheel differs from that of the Sun Cross, but like the sun, Woden has given us a name to use on our calendars; the middle of the week, Wednesday. It's the day that's furthest away from Sunday. "Wednesday's child is full of woe" alludes to Odin never being attributed with any cheerful disposition.

In Norse mythology, Odin was the highest ranking god and his symbol was a cross in a circle. Being the leader of the Wild Hunt, streaming across the skies in his chariot pulled by white horses, he is one of the foremost candidates for being the original Santa Claus. (See also St. Nicholas's Cross.)

Rather strange that Odin (or Woden), that grumpy old god, should be associated with jolly Santa.

See also Sun Cross