Odin, Óðinn and Mazda, the supreme Ahura of Zoroastrianism

Mazdá is the Ahûrá/Æsir par excellence in Zoroastrianism and is closely connected to, if not almost identical to Óðinn, the greatest of the Æsir in Norse Mythology, with both their association with “imagination, creativity, powers of mind/spirit to recall and summon into being.”

The attested forms of Odin are derived from *Wōđanaz. In Old Norse word-initial *w-is dropped before rounded vowels and so Wōđan became Óðinn.

Wōđan comes from *wātus “mantic poetry,” wōtis “god inspired” wet “sacred vision,” wōto “true knowledge, shamanic wisdom.”

Latin vātes “prophet, seer” Old Church Slavonic aviti, Vedic vat with the prefix api- “to inspire to excite, awaken” (RV 1.128.2,) Avestan vaiti with the prefix aipi “ to inspire with true knowledge, to understand/have insight of, to excite/awaken with spiritual wisdom all come from the same ancient root as wātus and Wōđan and/or Óðinn.

The Proto-Indo-European meaning of the root of the Avestan vaiti, Old Church Slavonic aviti, Germanic wātus all are relating to “spiritual excitation, inspiration, true insight and sacred vision.”

Vaiti appears in the poetic gathas in Yasna 44.18, 4th rhymed verse line in the sense of “having insight, sacred vision of healing/curative powers and immortality.”

Óðinn is a healer god, a seer and shape-changer. Interestingly in the above gathic verse in addition to healing powers, there is refernce to shape changing in the 3th rhymed verse line. In the Avestan hymn of Tri-star and the hymn to the god-power of Victory plus the above gathic verse the inspired assumes various sacred animal forms.

In the poetic gathas, there is also vátö Yasnna 35.6 and váté Yasna 35.7, from the same root meaning “inspiration, true insight and sacred vision.”

In the younger Avesta the root appears in Yasna 9.25 and Vendidad 9.2, 9.47, 9.52, again in the sense of “showing, revealing, making visible.”

The idea behind Wōđan and/or Óðinn is “spiritual ecstasy, fierce energy and creative insight, inspiration.” Mazdá, the supreme ahurá of Zoroastrianism comes from the root men dhe. The root refers to “mind, imagination, wit, will-power, meaning, soul and sense” but more precisely it refers to “inspiring, energetic creativity through mind, imagination, sacred vision and insight!”

(See the poetic gathas: Yasna 28.4, mén gairæ vôhü dadæ hathrá man.ang.há, Yasna 31.5, mén-čá daidyái, Yasna 44.8, mén daidyái, Yasna 45.1, ma(n)z.dáv.ang.hö.düm,) Yasna 53.5 mén-čá-î mánz.daz.düm.)

While the etymology of Mazdá is closest to the Inspiring Muses, yet Wōđan and/or Óðinn are the closest, if not identical to Mazdá in both the idea and intention.





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1 Response to Odin, Óðinn and Mazda, the supreme Ahura of Zoroastrianism

  1. zaneta garratt says:

    very interesting when you make the connection between the old Nordic religion and Zarathustra’s teachings

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