Yggdrasil Tree

In Norse mythology the massive ash tree Yggdrasil, or World Tree, is said to support the whole universe and the nine Norse worlds.

It is said that Yggdrasil has three massive roots extending into three realms. One root extends into Niflheim, the underworld; Jötunheim, land of the giants; and the third into Asgard, home of the gods.

At its base are three wells of which one is called Urdarbrunnr, the Well of Fate, from which the tree is watered by the Norns.

The Norns are three women who spin Fate. By carving the Runes symbols into Yggdrasil’s trunk, they spread their plans throughout the Nine Worlds of Asgard, Álfheim, Niðavellir, Midgard, Jötunheimr, Vanaheim, Niflheim, Muspelheim, and Hel.

The Norse god Odin, who possessed an insatiable desire for knowledge and understanding of all things and the Runes in particular, was so intrigued that he allowed himself to be pierced with a sword and hung for nine days and nights in the branches of the Yggdrasil.

Odin did in fact learn all the secrets of the Runes and is said to have become the most powerful of Norse gods hence forth called the Allfather, or god of the gods.

The word Yggdrasil comes from Yggr, meaning “terrible” or “Odin,” and drasill, meaning “horse.” Literally, the name translates to Odin’s horse, but actually means gallows because of Odin’s hanging himself within the tree.