Yggdrasill

Yggdrasill

The tree you are standing beside is called Yggdrasill. You must imagine a big—bigger—enormous tree! So high that it reaches up to the sky. And with branches that spread out like a gigantic umbrella over the heavens.

Down in the earth its big roots spread everywhere—all the way down to the depths of the earth. And three roots are especially important, as you will hear in a moment.

The tree stands in the middle of the world of the gods, in Asgård.

This tree is full of life both above ground and deep down by the roots.

High up in the top you must picture a huge eagle sitting looking all over the world. Between its eyes sits a hawk with its claws on the beak of the eagle. This is Vidofnir—the name meaning "he who is bleached by wind and weather".

In the crown of the tree there are four deer walking and leaping amongst the branches while they eat the fresh green shoots and leaves—but the tree, however, never withers.

In the crown there are also many bees which live off the morning dew which falls from the leaves. It is called honney-dew.

And now back to the roots.

There are three big and important roots and you can follow them walking on the tree stumps. Each reaches out to its own world and ends in a well or a cave.

One of the roots stretches all the way out to the foggy and cold North and ends in the ice cold well called Hvergelmir. It is here the goddess of death, Hel, reigns.

On the root leading to Hel's kingdom of death lives the frightening snake or dragon Nidhogg. All the time he gnaws on the root but when he meets the dead on their way to Hel, he attacks them and sucks their blood so the dead become pale and look like ghosts.

Hel is gathering an army of ghosts which is going to fight on the side of the giants when the world comes to an end.

Nidhogg and the eagle in the top of the tree are forever fighting each other. A squirrel named Ratatosk runs up and down the trunk to bring gossip and swear words from one to the other.

The other root stretches far down to the well of Mimir. It is in this well that Odin has pawned one of his eyes with Mimir, who is so clever that he only consists of a head.

The third root goes down under Asgård to the cave of the Norns.

You can hear more about Hel, Mimir and the Norns if you use your mobile phone.

In the tree you are standing beside now there is an aerial runway. You have to go through two wings to use it. It is to show that some of the gods had bird skins. They put on a bird skin and the they could fly. The goddess Freyja had a falcon skin which she often lent and that is the one you walk through when you are going to hover like a bird.

This was the story about the gigantic ash tree Yggdrasill which stands in the middle of the world of the gods and will stand there untill all things come to an end.


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