In de top of the tree sits an eagle. The eagle flies the highest of all birds, and closest to the sun, therefor the eagle has the best overview. Between the eyes of the eagle sits a hawk. A hawk has great reflexes: They react really fast. A hawk takes it’s prey very fast, and then retreats. The hawks symbolism stands for the sharpness of mind, speed and immediate action – living fully in the present or the infinite now.
Then there’s also Ratatoskr (Travelling Tusk) the squirrel, he runs up and down the stem of Yggdrasil rambling it’s mouth to spreads messages from Nidhöggr the serpent that lies under the roots to the Eagle in the crown of the tree and viceversa. So he connects the roots and the crown, I a very rapid hyperactive and gossipy way. Because of that RataToskr creates doubt between our existence in the physical world and our connection to the spiritual world. It is our job to find agreement between our root and our crown, so that Ratatoskr becomes more at ease, and the messages from below and above are more balanced, so there is less reason for doubt and tension in our bodies.
There are also four harts (red deers) which eat from the young fresh leaves of yggdrasil (the carrier of I – the vesself of the self). I’ve been looking for a lilbit extra information on these deers, because once again, animal symbolism isnt’t the authors strongpoint in investigating the deeper meanings of the images in the creation myth of the Edda.
Their names are Dain, Dvalin, Duneyr and Durathror. Dain means “deceased”- Die, died, dying, dead, it refers to that it has died. Dvalin is derived from “dwalen” and dwalen means to wander arround unawarely, to slumber – to dwell, it means dweller. Duneyr and Durathror have unknown meanings. Eyr refers to ear.. You could say Dun refers to thunder, then it would be thunder ear..
Duneyr – Probably it doesnt work like that… but I’m free to let my creative association run. Duneyr, Thunor, Donderaar, donar.. Thunder, duner, donder, donner – the ear of thunder could be the sound of thunder. Durathror is also described as “thriving slumber” – but also thror is used as reference to dwarves again.
See there is a lot of unclearity amongst what this might mean amongst scholars and people that really study this stuff for all their lives with many sources and a lot of knowledge at hand. But.. These four deers all have dwarven, or dwarf-related names. There is a legend that says that dwarves can transform themselves into harts (deers) to be able to walk in the sunlight.
And if you have four of them – you automatically think about the four cardinal points: The dwarves Austri, Westri Nordi and Sudri haha. These deers stand in the tree between the branches and eat from it. They could be the four seasons: Dain (the dead one) is definitely winter, Dvalin – the dweller slowly coming to awareness could be spring: awakening from the long sleep but not fully awake yet. Duneyr has also been translated as “feuer gänger” – Fire walker / mover – I don’t recognise the rootwords for it, but i’m no scholar either… – eyr indeed refers to the -aar or -er – Someone who walks is a walker, so someone who fires is a fire-er … Well IF this person is correct, and his source does look serious in the way he made his old norse vocabulary – then Duneyr would be summer.
(Dun-eyrr, an., M.: nhd. £Feuergänger‹, (Hirschname); L.: Vr 87a)
DOEn-hei¨-r, an., Sb.: nhd. ON: nhd. (Gegend an der oberen Weichsel); L.: Vr 87b
dOEn-i, an., sw. M. (n): nhd. Feuer, das tosende Feuer; Hw.: s. daun-n, d–-j-a; L.:
And then Durathror haha we can catch him for being autumn / harfst!
Die Bedeutung des Namens Durathror, altnordisch Duraþrór, ist dunkel. Das Wort setzt sich vielleicht zusammen aus altnordisch dura „schlummern“, durr „Schlummer“ oder dur „Stille“ und altnordisch þrór „Zwerg, Eber, Schwert“ beziehungsweise „Gedeihlicher“ (siehe Beiname Odins). Alle Kombinationen sind denkbar. Vorgeschlagen wird zum Beispiel „Schlummer-Eber“.
If you don’t speak German, don’t worry, I do. Basically the dura, from duration as I said, becomes to rest, schlummer is slumber…. So to doze off to sleep… And the “Eber” means wild hog / boar… In the Edda there is the boar GullinBürsti – GoudBorstel – GoldBrush. The boar is a sign of fertility and the golden brushy hair it has, is commonly known as the rays of the sun. So if Gullinbursti goes to sleep, it lays down, it becomes less strong… The decrease or retreating of the sun. If we didn’t already have Dain as being dead, a sleeping sun could be winter as well of course. But to slumber is not dead yet, I hope it is acceptable to look at it as a gradational process of waking up (spring), having the wake state of day (summer), starting to slumber / retreat / decrease in energy in the evening (autumn), and being away, in rest asleep at night (winter)..
So these four deers are indeed connected to the for directions, because they are the four seasons, and also the for states of being during the day. They sit between the branches, that means in our head. They eat from it, because that’s the energy we use during these phases, and one leads to another. And so the cycle continues.
There’s also the goat Heidrun (Delicious Secret – she who unravels the secrets of the bright clearity) and the stag / deer Eikthyrri (oak thorn) standing on Valhalla. On Eikthyrri I wrote a lot already when dealing with the well Hvergelmir, so more info is to be found there. Heidrun gives the mead, the drink of the gods – the divine inspiration. Eykthyrri feeds the collective consciousness, the cosmic knowledge, but heidrun gives the more uplifting inspiring vibrant creativity. It adds the golden glow of the honey, where the water of eykthirry is the silver.
I’ve done so much already on looking into the deer symbolism, that for the goat symbolism I simply will refer you to the goats of donar, but also to the satyr, saturnalia, saturnus, the age of capricorn, capricorn constellation etc. haha… But again also the fertility, masculinity, earthiness that it comes with. The goat is very solid, Donar is protector of humankind, it is not a coincidence that he has goats as his animals!
But as said, for now it’s enough, I have to go! More next time.