Norse Mythology – Odin’s Horse – “Sleipnir”

Happy Tyr’s Day!

I am not much for horses. I prefer to walk or drive a car. But mythology has Odin possessing a horse which is a product of Loki being a mare and the builder’s horse in one of the stories being a stallion that impregnates him. Loki gave birth to Sleipnir, a horse with eight legs and considered the best of all horses. Odin rides Sleipnir during the Wild Hunt and he is the only known horse that can ride into Helheim and come back.

Based on this mythology, the Vikings most certainly valued horses for their speed and endurance. You don’t see Vikings with calvary that I am aware of but you do see them being used to delivering messages and the occasional rescue. Mostly Vikings fought on foot or with their longships. The longship was their mode of transport which made them truly one of the first effective amphibious assault warriors as well as using their ship to engage in hit and run tactics. Horses seem to be more specialized for them.

Odin doesn’t start out with Sleipnir as in some of the stories he flies being able to transform himself into flying birds. Transport isn’t the issue for Odin. Sleipnir seems to be an addition to Odin’s menagerie but it does make me wonder if Odin rode in the early stories of the Wild Hunt or did he just go on foot.

There are practical things in life that change for us. Sometimes gaining something new gains us abilities we didn’t have before. For me, I suppose this is best seen in the fact that I don’t run from new technology. I actually enjoy it. Perhaps it is my way of adding Sleipnir to my life. My apartment is a slightly smart one with Alexa, smart lights, and a camera for security. I don’t know specifically what Sleipnir would be to me other than this. Maybe I will think of something that makes philosophical sense at a later time.

I remain.

The Rabyd Skald – Wandering Soul, Bard, and Philosopher.  The Grey Wayfarer.


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