Odin (Wôdan – Wednesday)
Odin (from Old Norse Óðinn, “The Furious One”) is a major god in Germanic mythology, especially in Norse mythology. In many Norse sources he is the Allfather of the gods and the ruler of Asgard. Homologous with the Old English “Wōden”, the Old Saxon “Wôdan” and the Old High German “Wôtan”, the name is descended from Proto-Germanic “Wōdanaz” or “*Wōđanaz”.
“Odin” is generally accepted as the modern English form of the name, although, in some cases, older forms may be used or preferred. His name is related to ōðr, meaning “fury, excitation”, besides “mind” or “poetry”.
His role, like that of many of the Norse gods, is complex. Odin is a principal member of the Æsir (the major group of the Norse pantheon) and is associated with war, battle, victory and death, but also wisdom, Shamanism, magic, poetry, prophecy, and the hunt. Odin has many sons, the most famous of whom is the thunder god Thor.
Wednesday is named after Woden, the English form of Odin (Old English Wēdnes dæg, “Woden’s day”). It is an early Germanic translation of the Latin dies Mercurii (“Mercury’s day”) based on the Roman practice of understanding foreign gods by comparing them to Roman deities. The planet Mercury, associated with Babylonian Nabu (the son of Marduk) was in Sumerian times, identified with Enki.
Enki was the deity of crafts (gašam); mischief; water, seawater, lakewater (a, aba, ab), intelligence (gestú, literally “ear”) and creation (Nudimmud: nu, likeness, dim mud, make beer). He was the keeper of the divine powers called Me, the gifts of civilization. His image is a double-helix snake, or the Caduceus, sometimes confused with the Rod of Asclepius used to symbolize medicine.
Considered the master shaper of the world, god of wisdom and of all magic, Enki was characterized as the lord of the Abzu (Apsu in Akkadian), the freshwater sea or groundwater located within the earth.
Nabu is the Assyrian and Babylonian god of wisdom and writing, worshipped by Babylonians as the son of Marduk and his consort, Sarpanitum, and as the grandson of Ea (Enki). Nabu’s consort was Tashmetum.
In the Roman adaptation of the Greek pantheon, Hermes is identified with the Roman god Mercury, who, though inherited from the Etruscans, developed many similar characteristics, such as being the patron of commerce.
He is often depicted holding the caduceus in his left hand. After the Renaissance the caduceus also appeared in the heraldic crests of several, and currently is a symbol of commerce. Mercury was considered the son of Maia and Jupiter in Roman mythology.aene
Mercury has influenced the name of many things in a variety of scientific fields, such as the planet Mercury, and the element mercury. The word mercurial is commonly used to refer to something or someone erratic, volatile or unstable, derived from Mercury’s swift flights from place to place.
His name is possibly related to the Latin word merx (“merchandise”; compare merchant, commerce, etc.), mercari (to trade), and merces (wages); another possible connection is the Proto-Indo-European root merĝ- for “boundary, border” (cf. Old English “mearc”, Old Norse “mark”, Latin “margō”, and Welsh Cymro) and Greek οὖρος (by analogy of Arctūrus/Ἀρκτοῦρος), as the “keeper of boundaries,” referring to his role as bridge between the upper and lower worlds.
In his earliest forms, he appears to have been related to the Etruscan deity Turms, both of which share characteristics with the Greek god Hermes, an Olympian god in Greek religion and mythology, son of Zeus and the Pleiad Maia. In Virgil’s Aeneid, Mercury reminds Aeneas of his mission to found the city of Rome. He became the first true hero of Rome.
Hermes is a god of transitions and boundaries. He is quick and cunning, and moved freely between the worlds of the mortal and divine, as emissary and messenger of the gods, intercessor between mortals and the divine, and conductor of souls into the afterlife.
He is protector and patron of travelers, herdsmen, thieves, orators and wit, literature and poets, athletics and sports, invention and trade. In some myths he is a trickster, and outwits other gods for his own satisfaction or the sake of humankind.
His attributes and symbols include the herma, the rooster and the tortoise, purse or pouch, winged sandals, winged cap, and his main symbol is the herald’s staff, the Greek kerykeion or Latin caduceus which consisted of two snakes wrapped around a winged staff.
The planet Mercury rules over Wednesday. In Romance languages, the word for Wednesday is often similar to Mercury (miercuri in Romanian, mercredi in French, miercoles in Spanish and mercoledì in Italian). Dante Alighieri associated Mercury with the liberal art of dialectic.
In Indian astrology, Mercury is called Budha, a word related to Buddhi (“intelligence”) and represents communication. In Chinese astrology, Mercury represents Water, the fourth element, therefore symbolizing communication, intelligence and elegance.