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In the Norse epic poem, Havamal, the world tree Yggdrasil, is a giant ash tree, eternally green, at the center of the cosmos. The mighty trunk rises to the heavens, and the roots reach deep to pierce the nine realms.
Yggdrasil has three roots, each at a well. The first well, Hvergelmir, is deep below thick ice, the well of poison, but also the well of life, and from which the first living beings were created. A dragon lies here and chews upon the root. His foil is an eagle who lives at the top of the tree, and the two communicate enmity via messages carried up and down Ygdrassil’s vast trunk by a squirrel. The second root lies at Mimirs well, the well of wisdom, and the third root is tended to by the three Norn fates (past, present, future), Urd, Verdanai, and Skuld, at Urds well.
In his pursuit of higher knowledge, the god Odin sacrificed himself, wounded with a spear, to hang from the tree for nine nights. On the final night, just before he fell from the tree, Odin acquired the secrets of the runes. The story is a reminder of how knowledge and self-transformation is never attained without personal sacrifice.
Size: 19 x 19 inches