YGGDRASIL )))))))))))))) by Ron McVan
"The living tree Yggdrasil, with the melodious prophetic waving of its world-wide boughs, deep-rooted as Hela, has died out into the clanking of a World-Machine. "Tree" and "Machine": contrast these two things. I, for my share, declare the world to be no machine! I say that it does not go by wheel-and-pinion "motives", self-interests, checks, balances; that there is something far other in it than the clank of spinning-jennies, and parliamentary majorities; and, on the whole, that it is not a machine at all! ---The old Norse Heathen had a truer notion of God's-world than those poor Machine Skeptics: the old Heathen Norse were sincere men. But for these poor Skeptics there was no sincerity, no truth. Truth for most men, meant plausibility; to be measured by the number of votes you could get."
In the study of the Teutonic Pagan religion of Wotanism one soon becomes familiar with the rather odd name "Yggdrasil", the huge "World Ash Tree of Life", the "Axis Mundi", which symbolically represents the Cosmic Axis. Yggdrasil serves as an image of realms outside of time and space, a visual map depicting the adventures and virtual essence of Aryan man, his gods and the extended universe. The word Yggdrasil means, "Horse of Ygg", and Ygg is a synonym for Wotan. Thus the "World Tree" finds an additional symbolism as "Wotan's Horse", the pathway upon which he rides between the worlds, mounted on his eight-legged stead Sleipnir. In that Odin/Wotan is capable of riding his mighty stallion down into the realm of the dead, the eight legs of Sleipnir become symbolic of the eight legs of the four pallbearers that carry a coffin. Wotan's mighty and beloved spear, "Gungnir" was made from a branch of the sacred Yggdrasil Tree. Yggdrasil is often referred to by numerous other names such as: Life Supporter, the Shade Giver, the Soil Mulcher, the Noble Ash Tree, Wotan's Horse or Wotan's Gallows, as Wotan is known to have crucified himself upon the World Tree for nine days and nine nights to learn the secret of the runes. The fruits of life and living are Knowledge and Wisdom and the great World Tree Yggdrasil bears these precious fruits to both the gods and man.
Located in that great mystical emptiness known as Ginnungagap, Yggdrasil represents the symbol of Life, (generation) Time and Destiny. The three massive roots of the tree are called The Spiritual, The Terrestrial, and The Infernal. They signify respectivity, Spirit, Organization, and Matter. The spiritual root has its source in Asgard, the home of the Aesir, or gods, and is watered by the Urdar Fountain; (Well of Fate) the terrestrial root has its source in Midgard, the abode of Man and is weathered by Mimir's Well; (Well of Wisdom) the infernal root has its source in Niflheim, the abode of the dead and is watered by the spring Hvergeimir (Roaring Kettle). The advantage of working through the Underworld is two-fold; not only does the ancestral or ethnic mythology offer foreknowledge of the symbols that one is likely to encounter, but it also provides the basic keys that unlock the Inner-worlds initially.
The three branches of Yggdrasil support Midgard, (earth), in the midst of which rises the sacred mountain upon whose summit stands Asgard, the City of the Gods. "Gard" means (dwelling) and is related to "garden", so "Midgard" is the (Middle Garden), and Asgard is thus the "Garden of the Gods". In the great sea surrounding the earth is encircled the giant serpent Jormungand, known as the Midgard Serpent, with his tail in his mouth. Bounding the sea is the wall of cliffs and ice, fashioned from the eyebrows of the Titan giant, Yimir. Wotan and his two brothers, whom themselves were born of the Titan giants, carved up the body of Yimir to create Midgard, the livable World of Green Nature. Yimir's bones became mountains, his teeth became the rocks, his blood the rivers and seas, his skull the vault of the sky, his hair the forests and grasses. The realm of the gods above is connected by the Bifrost Bridge to the dwelling place of men and infernal creatures below. On the topmost branch of the tree---which is called Lerad, meaning "Peace Giver"----sits a grand eagle. Between the eyes of the eagle is a falcon, Vedfolnir, whose piercing glances notes all things taking place in the universe. Yggdrasil is known to have marked the place of assembly for the gods, where great decisions are made affecting them and mankind. The fruit of the tree was linked with human births, and was also a source of healing.
The never withering green leaves of this sacred tree, serve as pasture area for Wotan's goat, Heidrun, who supplies The Drink of the Gods. The stags---Dain, Duvalin, Duneyr and Durathror---also, graze upon the leaves of the tree and from their horns drips its bounty of glistening honey dew upon the earth. Ratatosk, the squirrel, is the embodiment of the "Spirit of Gossip" and running back and forth between the eagle above and the Nidhug the serpent below, seeks to stir up discord between them. In the world of darkness below, Nidhug continually gnaws at the roots of the divine tree. He is assisted by numerous worms, all realizing that if they can destroy the life of the tree, the rule of the divine gods would cease. On either side of the World Tree are primordial giants casting ice and flames into the fathomless void, known as Ginnungagap.
"Through all our life a tempter prowls malignant. The cruel Nidhug from the world below. He hates that the asa-light whose rays benignant, on the heroes brow and glittering sword bright glow." ..............Viking Tales of the North
Not unlike mankind, Yggdrasil has many ever present worries to contend with to sustain its life. The stags bite above, on the side it rots while serpents gnaw beneath, wiggling worms writhe through the roots below as trolls tear at its trunk. Yggdrasil illustrates to us, man's own birth, life and death, past, present and future and reminds us just how vulnerable we remain in life. To sustain life, comfort and happiness we must fight for it every single inch of the way and to that end, there are no other alternatives. True peace has never existed and never will exist here in Midgard. At best we can only consider it a testing ground for the human soul and spirit in our short stay here in this, our conscious life upon this planet. The imminent fate of Yggdrasil has long been prophesied in a variety of ancient folklore. In The Spaewife's Song, it reads...."Shrilly Shrieks the horn of Heimdall up in the sky; Wotan whispers with Mimir; Yggdrasil wavers, the long-standing World Ash, the tree judders and the giant is free." In the Volva's vision of the final destruction, the "towering ash trembles, and World Tree howls, until it is consumed by the demon of fire." With all death comes renewal and when mankind and the gods expire in the final "End of Days" at Ragnarok, a new age of man and gods will begin once again. In Teutonic Wotanism, it states that a new god of light Baldur (Wotan's son) will replace Wotan as Allfather. The two selected humans, Lif and her mate Lifthrasir, having taken shelter in the sunlit branches of the Cosmic Ash Tree, Yggdrasil, after Midgard have been purged by fire and flood, they both will climb down into a fresh new age in which they are destined to re-populate the world, and in so doing, renew the race of mankind.
Yggdrasil suffers and endures more than mankind can imagine! But the Norns---the three goddesses representing past (Urd), present (Verdandi), and future (Skuld) ----give solace and renewal at the Well of Urd, from which they pour water daily on the World Tree, so that it does not wither. The female Power, exemplified by the mysterious witch, queen of fairy women in the old songs, myths and sagas, is the power of the Left Hand, (matter) the negative pole of the Tree of Life. The Norn’s are older than all the gods and originated at the very beginning of time. The Yggdrasil Tree, symbolizes the formidable ability to move into and between the different worlds of reality, upper and lower, of the living and the dead, of the gods and of humankind. The body of man likewise serves as a living symbol of Yggdrasil. As symbolized as "tree without" and as "tree within" man, we come to understand the life journey and cosmology of ancient Aryan man revealed before us. At the very heart of this metaphysical landscape we also discover the central characteristic symbol of our indigenous folk consciousness and a prototype of the regenerative principles within our universe.
In his book on the ancient mysteries titled "The Peacemaker" by author William Henry, the author makes some interesting findings concerning the mystic aspects and understandings of the World Tree: "Ancient teachings reveal that a serpent (or soul) cannot stand erect of its own accord. By analogy, a serpent needs a tree to wind its way up toward the world of spirit. Thus, the spine represents a tree on which the spiritual life force can ascend; and thus comes the association with the Great Tree of Life. Unless it has a vehicle in which it can ascend, a serpent is doomed to isolation in the lower worlds. Likewise, a body without spiritual animation is a meaningless heap of chemical compounds. Without spiritual fire, nothing can exist."
The greatest teachers to have ever walked the earth are always represented holding their staff which represents the World Tree, but far more is symbolized from that sacred staff as we are now beginning to learn. When the staff is entwined by serpents the meanings are even more profound and complex. The staff of Hermes with its double entwined serpents exemplifies our human DNA and it is little wonder why it has always been referred to as The Staff of Life. We see that same staff in the hands of the Sumerian teacher Enki. To the Egyptians Enki was known as Ptah (The Developer) depicted always with his staff in hand. Plato referred to Ptah and Poseidon as one and the same entity and named Ptah as founder of Atlantis. Posei, or originally, Potei, is a title which means "Lord". Don, means, Wisdom. Potei-don was the Atlantean name of Poseidon and he was symbolized by the white horse---a wild, galloping stampeding, thunderous stallion. Thus he was known to the ancient Greeks as the "Earth Shaker".....the white horse is the symbol of man. Wotan is also never without his spear Gungnir, fashioned from a branch of the World Tree, and also depicted riding his wild eight-legged thundering hooved stallion Sleipnir. Both Wotan and Hermes are often concluded to be one and the same entity and in light of what we know today, it may well be likely that all four were one and the same.
It is believed that 450,000 years ago, according to the historical accounts of the Sumerians, a group of extraterrestrials called An-nun-aki----(those from heaven to earth), splashed down in what is today the Persian Gulf and established a colony called E.RI.DU. (Home in Faraway Built), on its shores of what is now present day Iraq. They were led by ENKI (Lord Earth or Lord of the Waters) and came to Earth to mine minerals they needed to repair the atmosphere of their home planet, Nibiru. The planet Nibiru is the massive twelfth planet in our solar system that makes a 3,6000 year revolution around the Sun in an elliptical orbit far beyond Pluto. They are believed to busily colonize other worlds including Mars, which scholar Zacharia Stichin believes is a "midway station" between Earth and Nibiru. Nibiru is also called the "Planet of the Crossing", and is symbolized by an enclosed circle and cross within. This is the very symbol we have come to refer to as the "Eye of Wotan" as well as the "Celtic Cross" and is one of the very oldest and most prolific of the symbols known to man. The Sumerians claimed that Enki actually knew how to infuse a "life force", (soul force) or "breath" (word) of God into the human body. So too did Ninharsag. They appear to have literally been able to transfer souls from another dimension to selected human bodies here upon earth.
Within Yggdrasil are revealed the Nine Worlds of Being. The shaman must ascend the tree, in order to find diagnostic knowledge or healing power. It was necessary for Wotan to hang himself upon the World Tree to obtain the secret knowledge of the runes. In the story of, "Jack in the Beanstalk", Jack, the giant killer, (Thor was also known as the giant killer) must ascend the beanstalk, (Yggdrasil). to slay the giant. The giants (spawn of the gods) as we know, are semi-divine beings which live in the higher realms between man and God. The Tree of Life to the ancient Greeks was known as Gogard. According to one account, it was a sacred oak, and amidst its magnificent foliage dwelt a serpent which no one was capable of dislodging. The Finnish people also have their World Tree which they call the "Tree of Eternal Well-Being", and its fruits confer "the delight that never ceases". In translation of an early Babylonian fragment, A.H. Sayce describes the great tree which grew up from the center of the earth and had its roots in the very depths of being. The roots of the tree were of crystal, its seat was the central place of the earth, and its foliage was the couch of Zikum, the Sky Mother. "Into the heart of its holy house, which spread its shade like a forest, hath no man entered. In the midst of it was Tammuz. There, is found the shrine of the two gods." The possibility of interpreting these many World Tree myths in terms of anatomy and physiology is unlimited.
The ideological organization of the Aryan Mythos is accurately reflected in the World Tree's rune graphic representation of the elongated Hagal rune out of which is derived the Life rune and the Death rune. This symbolic bind rune encapsulates Yggdrasil and the entire matrix of mythic concepts. Below are described The Nine Worlds of Yggdrasil. Wotan crucified himself upon the world tree for nine days and nine nights as it was the necessary amount of time to experience all complete nine levels of being.
(1) NIFLHEIM = the unconscious (misty) spiritual realm of the unkindled (frozen) Aryan race soul.
(2) JOTUNHEIM = the non-conscious outer-world (Utgard) of the frost/rock/earth; hateful spirits of the naked ego and the extinguished soul.
(3) HEL = the semi-conscious/subconscious spiritual realm of the dead, (the foggy mental landscape/barren wasteland of ever-diminishing folk memory.
(4) ASGARD = the folk-conscious over-world of perfect righteousness/enlightenment, alignment with Nature, Truth, Justice and blood virtue.
(5) MUSPELLHEIM = the unconscious (dark) spiritual realm of the psychotic/destructive (fiery) spirits of naked ego.
(6) VANAHEIM = the folk detached/transcendent overworld of misplaced righteousness (domain of the wise Vanir)
(7) MIDGARD = the visible middleworld of reality, the terrestrial domain of an embattled mankind (eternal struggle for life/power)
(8) LJOSSALHEIM = the short-sighted/diminutive overworld of self-righteousness/false pride; ideals rooted in exaggerated self-importance. (domain of the light elves).
(9) SVARTALHEIM = the dark home/diminutive subterranean underworld (Nidavellir) of the dwarf, dark elves; spirits of lust, envy, selfish desire, corruption, racial decomposition.
The divine archetypes represented in the pantheon of Aryan Wotanism further symbolize the prime spiritual and heroic potential of the will to self-preservation. The Yggdrasil World Tree and its representative nine realms provide an instant glimpse into the heart of Wotanism. It is a single great ethnic tradition and ancestral spiritual path, received at birth, membership automatic! Through this ancient and gnostic science, emanates the essence of universal principles, as well as the purpose, and potential of our ethnic being, handed down from the continuous Golden Chain of our heroic forefathers here in Midgard. Where is the origin of the cosmos? What is life and whence its source? There is no answer...."The Great Creator did not reveal it, but through the ancient mysteries, mythologies, symbols and a profound study of sacred geometry, runes and the World Tree Yggdrasil, we are greatly gifted with the privilege and ability to understand it.