Today is a good day for Norse mythology. It’s not only Odinsday (Odin = Wotan = Wotan’s Day), it’s the 9th. 9 is a number sacred to Odin. Nice symmetry, there.
Since I can’t actually honor the god with human sacrifice, as such is illegal (and would be a silly thing for an atheist to do anyway), let me just share with you one of my favorite bits from the Eddas:
The Lord of the Gallows
I hung from that windswept tree,
hung there for nine long nights,
I was pierced with a spear,
I was an offering to Odin,myself to myself.
-Kevin Crossley-Holland, The Norse Myths
And he did it all for knowledge. Fucking awesome, says I.
Look. Just because I’m an atheist doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good myth, all right?