The Myth Of Yggdrasil
The mighty ash tree, Yggdasil, supports the entire universe (Known, as well as Un-Known). It sprang from the body of Ymir (the Roarer), and has three immense roots, extending one into MidgardR (the dwelling place of mortals), another into Jøtunheim (the abode of the fierce giants), and the third extends below Niflheim (the realm of Icy Energy), into the region of Death and Decay. By the side of each of these three roots lies a spring, from which it is watered. The root which extends into MidgardR is carefully tended by three Goddesses,––the Norns, who are regarded as the dispensers of fate, or wyrd. They are known as Urd (that which was), Verðhandi (that which is), Skuld (that which could be). The spring in the realm of the Jøtuns is that fabled Well of Mimir (the Wise One), in which wisdom and wit lie hidden, and where Odhinn (the AllFather) daily consults. That third spring, Hvergålmer, flowing from below the realm Niflheim, also refreshes the dark dragon of despair, Nidhogg (the back–bitter), who perpetually gnaws upon the root of the tree of life. Four harts, Dain, Dvalin, Duneyr, & Durathror (the four directions), run across the branches of the tree, nipping the buds with their icy teeth. While a goat, Heithrun (ever filling the crocks with clearest mead for the Chosen of Volholl) and a hart, Eikthyrnir (the source of the Hvergålmir), continuously nibble at, while worms bore into, the bark. A squirrel, Ratatosk (of the Rat Tusk), runs constantly, exchanging malicious messages and insults from the abode of Nidhogg, up to the topmost branches where an eagle, Räsvälg (the source of all winds), resides with a hawk, Veðrfolnir (the far-seeing), perched between it's brow. Boughs overshadow MidgardR, always dripping the sweet nectar of dew, while under the Tree the Goddesses and Gods hold their meetings, or Tings, deciding upon the proper course of action for events which continually change from one moment to the next.
It is obvious to those who look, of the sublime patterns which underlie the boundless expressions of mythical scriptures. All give an overview of the Universe, its function and cessation, and then show how divine consciousness reflects itself as a creation in time and space; always requiring personal insight on the part of the observer. For you see everything relates to and is connected with everything else, from the Super Nova to the Falling Leaf, a linking of all parts dependent one upon another, upon another, upon yet another. These symbolisms are everywhere, just be and you shall notice sights, sounds, elements, quantities, qualities, etc. Look to the abstract and you shall see anew. Reach for the intangible and you shall feel for the first time. Let not your preconceived mentality restrict you. As the singer/songwriter/author Jimmy Buffett states: "changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes, nothing remains quite the same." He's not only singing about moving physically, but about opening the mind up. Try it, you'll be pleasantly surprised, I was.
|An ash stands, I know, by name|
That tall tree is watered by white icicles
Thence comes the dew that drops in the
It stands ever green above Urth's deep
Yggdrasil, the Northern Tree Of Life is an excellent example of symbolisms. One can see this as the Northern center of the manifest universe, linked to, and by various creation myths and legends which can be followed by a reasoning mind through the attainment of various sources of information (the Edda's, Saga's, and Folk Tales) left us. Each contains within it's Self not only outer or 'macrocosm' concepts, but also buried within are inner or 'microcosm' notions for those Seeker's willing to discover them. This then instantly brings to mind three distinct levels of consciousness. They are quite simply the physically obvious, the mentally obscure, and the spiritually sublime. Perhaps the myths are simply referring to a complete Universe of Worlds, bearing all existing worlds on its branches and nothing more. Yet we must in fact realize that each one of us is, in our own right, rooted in the divine as well. Therefore do we not then contain an equally omnipresent spirit which draws its nourishment through our own triadic roots.
These roots which can then in turn be symbolized by the Nornier. Urd, containing both facts of natural information and of cosmological events shows cause and effect or free destiny within a self~created condition. Verthandi, drawing from absolute experience of the divine moment thereby interprets wisdom and consciousness into mortality. Skuld, containing all of the requirements needed to fulfill the different expressions of consciousness shows nothing is immortal, for destructive forces are continuously re-shaping the present towards the future ensuring further advancements, or total extinction of Life.
We have an exact replica of this process within Nature herself. Occurring every Spring with the budding and blooming hue of Life. This then continues into the Summer by an abundance of ripened fruit. Followed in the Autumn by the withdrawal of sap into the foundation of Life to nourish the root system. Winter therefore becomes Death where the re-generational process begins once more. This, in turn, provides yet another example through symbolism of the complex intelligence and wisdom of our Ancient Ones. For do they not hint at these same conclusions through what has survived of their diverse teachings? Remember to Deny nothing, Question everything, and Learn ever more!
Unlike other religions, our Tradition holds more to a concept of 'worthship' which can readily be seen as an acknowledgement of recognition betwixt related Beings. Whereas the concept of 'worship', as seen within other Traditions, is likened more to an act of suplication purely betwixt unequals. This Northern mentality of ours thus enables one to attain an awareness that the physical world is a natural part of the cosmos and thus a rightful place for all of Human-Kind to learn and fulfill their own spiritual destiny known individually as Wyrd. We are Free, healthy, curious, challenged, and above all guiltless!
copyright © 2000 Reverend Godhi Yens Jensen all rights reserved