The Perennial Role of Yggdrasil in Magic

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It has been a little while since I wrote an article for my friends at Witches of the Craft, so I wanted to talk about a great article they published on the tree Yggdrasil. This is a prominent part of Norse mythology.

If you want to cast a spell to Odin, the goddess Freyja or other Norse gods, then you must show reverence to this tree. Here is the historical overview, which will help you show your respects to it. We will cover some spells to Yggdrasil at the end.

Yggdrasil – the Mighty Tree that Binds the Nine Worlds

Yggdrasil (tree of life) in Nordic mythology is a perennial ash tree whose roots and limbs bind the nine worlds together: Asgard, Helheim, Niflheim, Midgard and the other worlds would all collapse if this tree vanished. The fountain that supplies the water to the well of all knowledge comes from the root of Yggdrasil. The fountain of Yggdrasil is closely protected by the brilliant safe and counselor of the gods, Mimir.

Heimdall is the god that was assigned the task of protecting the tree itself.  Heimdall had to protect the tree from many foes, including Niöloggr, one of the most vicious dragons of Norse mythology and a number of parasitic worms that tried to consume Yggdrasil’s roots and dethrone Odin and the other gods. The gods used a bridge to connect Yggdrasil with Bifröst, the rainbow that they dwelled in.

The great ash tree is inhabited at its top by an eagle, the Ratatosk squirrel runs along its trunk, and under its branches four foals nibble at its buds. Three are its main roots; one extends towards the kingdom of the aces gods, and there is the fountain Urder, where the parents of the swan race swim, and with whose waters the Norns water the tree. The Norns who decide the fate of all creatures, and who are actually many more than three, descending in some cases from elves, even dwarfs. Here, too, the Gods go to preside over the judgment.

Another root extends to the kingdom of the Giants, and there is the fountain of Mimmer, in which wisdom is found, and in which Odin himself pledged his eye to take it. The third extends into the kingdom of cold and darkness, gnawed by countless snakes (according to dragon versions) among which is Nidhurg.

The Nine Kingdoms or Worlds of Yggdrasil

For the Nordics, the world of man was nothing more than a branch of the great Yggdrasil, the ash of the world. Nine worlds possess Yggdrasil, and Odin passed through them before obtaining the secret of the runes. The tree is divided into three parts. Niflheim, Midgard and Asgard (root, trunk and crown, respectively), one can notice in this the representation of the cycle of birth, life and death.

There are three roots. The first one goes to the Hvergelmir Fountain. The second to the source of Mimir. The last to the House of the Norns, Destiny. The worlds are the following in ascending order:

  • Helheim, the Kingdom of the Dead.
  • Svartálfaheim, the Kingdom of the Dark Elves
  • Niflheim, the kingdom of snow and intense cold.
  • Jötunheim, the kingdom of giants.
  • Midgard, the Kingdom of Men (also known as Mannaheim.)
  • Vanaheim, the Kingdom of the Vanir (a tribe of gods).
  • Alfheim, the Kingdom of the Elves of Light. (also known as Ljusalfheim.)

Asgard, the Kingdom of the Gods (Aesir).

Muspelheim, the primordial world of fire, there is the Ginnungagap.

The image of Yggdrasil articulates a worldview in which nothing is excluded, a perfect order in which each element has its own function, coordinated with the rest, in which the positive and negative aspects are balanced. It links the sky from its unfathomable heights, with the darkest depth; what is to come with what came first, and links the different species of nature animals, spirits and gods.

A Spell to Yggdrasil from Nordic Wicca

The blog Nordic Wicca has a great spell to this wise tree that we wanted to share. This spell is cast to Helheim and there is another spell that can be cast on Earth Day. Make sure that you use them to show your appreciation to the tree, so you can get the most from future spells.

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