Yggdrasil is the world cosmic tree in scandinavian mythology that connects the heavens, earth and the underworld through the nine worlds. It is similar to the World tree of the Sámi people of Lapland, Skambha the cosmic pillar of the Vedas and the Saxon Irminsûl. Yggdrasil sits on mother earth.
Yggdrasil is also known as Mimir’s Tree (Mimameiðr). Yggdrasil, is a gigantic ash tree, that symbolizes the center of the world and nuturing all life, knowledge and fate. Fire or technology can not harm it. Its fruits are known to aid in the healing of the people.
The nine worlds are wrapped within this tree and Yggdrasil connects them all. This tree is so gigantic it towers above the sky!
The three wells feed the roots that are entwined within the three worlds.
Root number one is buried into Niflheim, it is the shadowy underworld and Hvergelmir the boisterous spring is located smack in the middle of Hvergelmir.
Nidhogg the mammoth dragon nibbles from below at this root.
Root number two houses the frost giants and their well Mimir.
A chatty, gossipy, squirrel named Ratatosk resides in Yggdrasil and relays messages to the dragon Nidhogg. There is an eagle sporting a hawk between his eyes they watch from the top branches the worlds below them.
One of Yggdrasil’s roots climbs all the way up into Asgard where the Aesir gods dwell, along with The Springs of Uðr one of the three Norns, weavers of fate. Mímr a frost giant with the huge spring called Hvergelmir, a major source to the three rivers. Niðhöggr the dragon dwells there too.
The second root grows to Jötunheimer, the land of giants, and the third root goes to Niflheimer, the land of the dead.
The Scandinavian gods and goddesses reside in Asgard such as Freyja, Thor, Odin and Loki, Baldr and Frigga just to name a few.
The light elves live just below in Alfheim.
The dwarfs live in Nidavellir.
People reside in Midgard where we live.
The mountain and frost giants dwell in Jotunheim.
Vanaheim is the place where the Vanir and Aesir exist.
Muspell the fiery world is where Surtr dwells.
Hel is the place for dead cowards that would not bravely battle in war.
Eight reptiles chew on the roots: Niðhöggr, Góinn, Móinn, Grafvitnir, Grfvölluðr, Grabakr, Ófnir and Sváfnir. The Aesir hold their deliberations beneath Yggdrasil near Uðr’s fountain. Every day the three Norns sprinkle clay and water over Yggdrasil.
The Cosmic tree Yggdrasil ensures the vertical cohesion of the world, while th Midgard serpent supports its horizontal connection.
This cosmic mythical tree Yggdrasil is a reflection of a magnificent ecosystem that is similar to our Gaia mother earth, creating, nurturing and balancing life and death of all living creatures.
Source & Reference:
- Schröder, Franz Rolf (1931). “Germanische Schöpfungsmythen”. Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift. 19: 1–26.
- Yggdrasil, by Regis Boyer, 1989
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