Yggdrasil explored: Well of Urd

urd verdandi and skuld

The third root of Yggdrasil leads to the Well of Urd. Everyday the Aesir (gods) ride over Biföst (the rainbowbridge between Asgard and Midgard) to hold court at the well. At this well are the three Norns (weavers of faith) which take good care of this root by giving it water ad white clay. This is the area of the heart and strongly connected to the morality of man. The norns decide over the faith of life, their destiny.

This place could also be described as the area of emotions, but then more related to premonitions, suspicions, knowing from within and conscience (it doesn’t feel right) and in that way automatically connects to inner morality.

The Norns are Urd, Verdandi and Skuld.

Urd is connected to the past, her name is derived from Oer – like in the rune Uruz – Aurochs (oer os, ancient ox) Aurgelmir (Oer Galmer, Ancient sounding one) etc. – so her name literally means “long ago”, the deep past, far away. She gives us our life thread when we are born.

Verdandi (werdende, wordende) means “the becoming” and is connected to the present and she knots the life threads together whilst we are living.

Skuld (schuld) “Guild” is connected to the future and cuts the life thread when we die. She takes care of the balancing or development oppurtunities of destiny, so she rules over the build up of karma of the past life and the next life to come. Skuld in that sense can also be translated as “schooled” – that which you have learned in life is being weighed, measured and tested. Based upon that your next life gets prepared. In the fairytale of Frau Holle, Vrouw Holle, or Holda from the Grimm brothers, this process is very nicely described.

norns swan

So the norns are the ones that help us to build up karma and with personal development. The norns stem from the spiritual beings of the first hierarchy (serafins, cherubins and thrones – spirits of love, harmony and will).

The book suggests that they might be the same ladies as the three daughters that bulged in from Jotunheim (home of the Giants). That would be very plausible because the beings from the first hierarchy control both the world karma and the human karma. The karma of the world and the human karma are connected to eachother and ruled with iron laws.

Well if this is the case then Karma would be the consequence for slaying the Ancient giant Ymir. Because these three daughters of giants came walking towards the gods on Idavölr – “The field of Ida”- or “the weilding plain” – it is a metaphor for the empty earth where the gods are sitting together to organise and structure everything after killing this Ymir – the giant of which the cosmos is shaped… They chopped him into pieces and gave it names and places… But whilst they were doing that – these three daughters marched in… They represent, like all giants, the natural laws and indeed… karmic rule is a natural law as well. But since karmic law depends on so many forces, they say they could’ve come from anywhere:

“Very diverse, I think,

Is the heritage of the norns

not did they spring from one family:

Some children of the Aesir,

Some children of the Elves,

Some daughters of Dvalin (Dvalin is a dwarf)

So which beings are being used as servants (executers) by the first hierarchy seems to be depending on the situation. Different needs, different areas, different sorts of beings.

There are also two swans swimming in the well, from which all other swans stem. The book once again doesn’t focus on animal symbolism so much, but I do find it important. The swan is still a very important starsign in many cultures. Also the swan connects to purity, astral travel, dreamwalking, shapeshifting, the flight of the shaman. In it’s whiteness it is very pure, and it being a water bird it deals heavily with emotions and intuition. The swan comes back in many fairytales where people change into it, or transformation in general.

People still love to see swans, they still find them more beautiful and majestic / magical then all other water birds – like for example geese or ducks. I will not however hold a complete lecture on why swans are so important, but they are. I find it sloppy of the author to simply discard it and only use one line for it. But as said before, the author has a different purpose, she is only focussing on this forming of man… The development of our entire system before we were solid.. And I must say, she does a good and inspiring job doing so! Her insights and visions empower mine and lay deeper connections to the matter. In a way it feels like I’m working together with her – she has her logic, I have my deeper connection. It is nice to explore books in this way, it becomes a process!


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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.

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