Starting to talk about Viking mythology, the most important element is the Norse tree of life, which is called Yggdrasil (usually used as an ornament for Viking rings and pendants. It is the tree that connects the Vikings with the world of gods and giants, which for them was just incredible.
So today we are going to take a closer look at the Viking tree of life’s meaning and why it was so important to them.
Yggdrasil Viking world tree
Yggdrasil is called the main basis where all the stories and soliloquies from the myths and legends of the ancient Scandinavians take place. It is also popularly referred to as a circle, which brings together all the keys of the myths into one whole.
The tree is described as similar to the ash tree, just as incredibly large, always having green leaves and huge branches that can girdle the nine kingdoms of the Vikings.
In translation, Yggdrasil means “horse of Odin,” there is also a myth that Odin hanged himself on the branch of the tree to have the knowledge and to understand the runes.
There is also a variant that Yggdrasil wanted to be called Mimir, as it was the single wisest being.
Viking tree north reading
The tree is first mentioned in the 13th-century sources written by Snorri Sturluson. They all describe the tree, its history, its significance, and how it is directly linked to mythology. Also, Yggdrasil is very important because it is mentioned invaluable and ancient books where all the information is about the Gods, including Odin who is directly related, as the name of the tree and depended on the knowledge of the runes.
We learn from the books that the tree divides the world into three parts, namely the underworld, the middle world, and the heavenly world. There are also three Norns, three female minor goddesses, associated with Yggdrasil. The old and decrepit Urd is the Norn of destiny and the past. The mature and Verdani is the morn of becoming, present, and maturity. The young and beautiful Skuld is the norn of duty, the norn of the future. They live at the roots of the world’s ash tree Yggdrasil, watering its roots from the source of Urd, prolonging the tree’s life. They weave the threads of everyone’s destiny.
Just as importantly, the tree of life is remembered not only in the Viking sagas or mythology but also in the Book of Genesis, where detailed knowledge of good and evil is described. And according to them, it was planted in the Garden of Eden.
Why did the Vikings so exalt Yggdrasil?
First of all, Yggdrasil is a Viking tree of life symbol. It also has an important place in their mythology. Because it connects the world of the Vikings with the world of the gods. It was this tree that helped the Vikings know their place and purpose in this universe.
It is also worth noting that Yggdrasil is considered a valuable and beautiful pattern. It was also used on the jewelry of the Vikings, it is this symbol denoting glory, hope, and the emergence of a new world.
Today, the tree has even become popular in the world of tattooing and stands alongside popular runes and other Viking symbols. The tree of life very much carries a lot of energy in itself, and it is believed that it instills it in a person, as it was once very cherished and respected trees, also the Vikings believed that trees carry something mysterious and mystical.