Many heathens I have spoken to say not to attract Odins attention. For me, when I'm struggling with the darkness in my mind, when it seems like I'm losing the fight with my mental illness, it's Odin who sends me a sign. It's Odin who shows me a way forward. So I'm just wondering, why do so many of our community think or act like his attention is a bad thing?
Hm yea, I understand this sentiment – not that I would tell people to avoid his attention but I might suggest caution (though that could honestly be made the case for pretty much any god, so…)
Odin is, both in the reading of myths and in contemporary worshippers’ experiences, mm… surreptitious, I guess you could say..?
I might not be the best person to ask about this because I don’t tend to interact closely with Odin for my own reasons (and I feel as though he also, for the most part, isn’t particularly interested in me) and don’t really have much personal experience with him other than through general worship, but my own feelings (and what has been confirmed to me by some accounts from worshipper’s of his) are that he can be underhanded and dishonest, and ambitious so that if he’s decided he really wants something then there’s not much that will prevent it and he can go to just about any lengths to achieve his goals which can easily involve lying to or manipulating people; this isn’t a moral judgement of him – I don’t think it’s particularly accurate to judge the gods by our moral standards, anyway – but more of just a personal interpretation of the potentially negative aspects of his manner of interaction with some people. I’ve seen some say that he appreciates people who stand up for themselves and tell him to knock it off when he’s messing with them, that think for themselves and don’t just follow thoughtlessly. None of this is to say that he’s a harmful or harsh deity; quite the opposite, he can – as you’ve experienced – be very comforting, caring, and helpful. I feel that he clearly has strong ethics about inclusiveness, hospitable manners, knowledge and education, and equality and I’ve also recognised a connection between him and mental health. It’s just more that he can be kinda sneaky and shady and isn’t always upfront about his intentions or endgame. Having a certain level of scepticism with him – a questioning attitude – can be wise (and he’ll probably appreciate it).
It’s also important to note that people’s experiences and interactions with the gods can differ widely so someone else’s experience – positive or negative – is no guarantee of what yours would/will be. If you find him to be a beneficial presence then that seems like a good thing to me 🙂