Odin, Vili and Vé: creation of man

Odin Vili and Vé and the shaping of man

In the previous post the dwarves had been created, in order to divide the cosmic wisdom into smaller packages, in a way they became consumable for humans. Of course this was preparation work, and man as we know it, didn’t exist in that phase yet. That’s why we need the sons of Borr: Odin, Villi and Vé. In this story they are called Odin, Hoenir and Lodur. Somewhere in a previous post I already explained that the initiate often is identified with the being that inspires him. In simple words: If the hawk inspires you, you are the hawk at that moment. Since this all happens in the non-physical world, it’s not too hard to imagine to shift yourself into another being and become it. Well that is exactly how it goes a lot in the stories told in the Edda’s – Odin has lots of names, and so do the others. So please do not be confused with the name switches.

With that said, let’s do some volüspa quotes from  the 3 Edda versions on how man is called into consciousness:

Otten (Edda author, modern rendition):

Then three got separated from the group,

Mighty and soft the Aesir came to a house

On the beach they found strengthles and weak

Ask and Embla: undecided was their destiny.

They had no breath, they had no spirit/mind/soul –

(note: the word geest is used – geist in german, choose your own english word for it, because it has many meanings and associations in my language)-

No colour, no voice, and no (facial) expression.

Odin gave them breath, Hoenir a mind,

Lodur gave them colour and their expression

Same part from De Vries (official translator, old but very accepted in the netherlands)

Three gods made, gentil and strong

from the breed of Aesir their way to the house,

Found at the banks, unmighty and weak

Ask and Embla. Life lacking.

They had no breath, nor insight,

Voice nor warmth, nor signs that would suggest they were a being;

Breath gave Odin and insight Hoenir,

Lodur gave warmth and signs of being alive

(note: Wezenstrekken is what lodur gave – it needs extra explanation. Wezen= a living being, like a plant, animal, spirit etc. Trekken= recognisable signs in expression. Like someone can have the “trekken”of his father. It can be recognised, and at the same time makes it individual. Quite important to understand it clearly what is meant.

Same part from Sweers (Translator not of my choosing, too romantic and putting his own view on it too much, steering it in a way that fits his philosophy, instead of just translating the texts)

And there came after that meeting,

three strong and loverich Aesir to the shimmerdark;

they found on the land little able

Ask and Embla without life destiny.

Breath they didn’t have yet, nore understanding, nore head,

lifewarmth nore gesture, nor individual features;

Breath gave Odin, understanding gave Hoenir,

lifewarmth gave Lodur and individual features.

(Note: where I translate to “understanding” – it says “verstand”, again it’s a word in our language with many associative meanings. It refers to the brain, to have knowledge about something, to be able to think – use your brain, is: gebruik je verstand. So he gave everything related to the brain – the capability to understand.

In the Edda of Snorri (Gylfaginning 9) it says:

When the sons of Borr walked on the beach of the sea,

they found two tree trunks, picked them up and created humans out of them.

The first son gave them breath and life, the second consciousness and move-ability,

the third appearance, speech, hearing and sight. They gave them clothing and a name:

the man named Askr and the female Embla. From them the human-breed stems that was allowed to live by Midgardr.

That was the technical part, to try to translate it correctly. As you might notice, translations allways have something subjective. Just like I might loose meaning, by translating it to English, so did all the translators before me. It is also why I think languages should be protected and preserved, and be encouraged to keep speaking them, because it holds tons of hidden knowledge. But that’s a different subject. I have to mention this though, because it is wise to look at different versions,  to see who’s visionary world fits you best. Because wether we like it or not, we aren’t robots, we always add that own touch of individuality. Our words hold emotions that taint a view into a certain colour, and address an emotion that invokes images. Find the image that fits you by listening to the voice that speaks your language.

Okay, to proceed.. The three brothers found them in a plantlike-state, as tree stems. It’s there physical-etherical body. We can see that we stem from plants, still in our nervesystem, and vains, it has the exact same structure as trees and leaves. So you have to imagine that is the state they found us in. Minerals that have been shaped by the life-force (ether) body into organic substance.

Odin gave them breath = pneuma = spirit and thus life – the book refers to genesis2, so if u have a bible, i dont lol… look it up and tell me if they are right 😀

Hoenir gave consciousness, understanding, and the other brainy things, which basically means he gave us the tools to gain insight.

Lodur gave lifewarmth and something own, which connects it very much to the Loki aspect. Individuality, senses, all the tools you need to develop the self and independance. The book refers to lucifer as well, where lucifer works together with the spiritual world. And again, it comes from a source of knowledge i know too little about. However, it holds some interesting things that I’m slowly discovering in a different book. It also deals with evolution of man, from a vegative state, and has quite strong visions. So eventho I dont really like biblical reference, simply because my world does not spin arround mesopothamian mythology, there is a branch therein that seems to keep pulling my attention haha, we will see where that will lead.

Odin, Vili and Vé did the pre-work of the mind-soul part of man. They planted the seeds of thinking (Odin/Wodan), Will (Vili/Willi) and feeling (Vé/Wee). Not only do they plant the seeds in the astral body from which the soul will develop, but they guide the process of making a connection beteween the astral and the physical-etheric (plantlike) body. From thereon the real development of man into a being starts that will be so aware, that it will become able to carry it’s “self” (I) within itself.

(small note – I = Ik = Ich  = ygg… Yggdrasil = I – carrier, the carrier of the self). So man can hold the universe within himself. As yggdrasil is the tree that connects all worlds, in which everything exists. From this point on, it’s possible for man to make use of that, and become aware of it with its senses, mind and emotions. It only needs to experience it’s surroundings to internalise it and make it own in order to use it as tool. – This put aside, I will carry on, because the clock starts ticking again haha.

By the breath of life, man can start thinking with its physical instrument (brain) and develop an inner-soul life. By the capability of developing insight, and move internally, man can get a grip on his will-area. In his emotional area there springs a multitude of impressions that flow inwards. By processing these influencing on its own, there evolves a sort of individuality. Sounds, noises, colours, smells etc. are impressions that work in the emotional area, and later on there also develops the skill to express sounds from the self and with that you can express your feelings to the other. The basics are made! Man gets a place to live: Midgard, the Aesir create their own place as well: Asgard. In the next post more about Yggdrasil, the carrier of I.

Exactly on time 😀 11:00AM, I’m content!

Hope you enjoyed the read,

With kind regards,



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Interested in germanic heathenry, lore, original fairy- and folktales, shamanism and lots of other related worldly stuff. I walk and cycle alot in nature, read, play various instruments etc.

2 thoughts on “Odin, Vili and Vé: creation of man”

  1. I really enjoyed this. I’ve always taken the creation of Ask and Embla to refer to the moment when early homosapien was imbued with the divine spark of the gods.

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