Pagan Blog Project 2012 - Y is for Yggdrasil

In Norse mythology, there is a giant ash tree, Yggdrasil, supporting the universe.  This tree roots travel from the underworld, Niflheim into the land of the giants, Jotunheim and a third into the Gods home, Asgard.

Urdarbrunnr or the Well of Fate, Mimibrunnr or Well of Wisdom and Hvergelmir or Roaring Kettle.  These three wells at the bottom was said to give the knowledge of Odin.  It is said that Odin gave one of his eyes for this knowledge.  

Sometimes depicted as a tree with large branches and roots that mirror them, Yggdrasil is often used in pendants and tattoos.  I’ve seen it with the words of the Wiccan rede around it and “As above so below”.

This is Yggdrasill, the World Tree, Tree of Life or Laerad.

Photo Credit - Elijah Olson - Tattooist

Within the tree four deer live in the branches and eat the buds representing the four winds.  Also in the tree is a snake (Vidofnir) a rooster and a squirrel (Ratatosk) noted for gossip. The roots of the tree are chewed upon by Nidhogg.

In the myth, demons are trying to destroy Yggdrasil this represents the constant power struggle between good and evil.  

On the day of Ragnarok, or the end of the world, a fire giant named Surt will send fire in all directions and the nine worlds held up by Yggdrail will burn causing the earth to fall into the sea.

I had read this several years ago and even played an online role playing game that referenced this story.  We always had to get back to the tree!

Namaste and Blessed Be

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