A stylized image of Yggdrasil, the Norse World Ash, the giant mythological Tree that holds together the Nine Worlds or realms of existence. This image appears on the famous Överhogdal Tapestry, which dates to the year 1066 and depicts the events of Ragnarok, the apocalyptic prophecy of Pre-Christian Norse legend. The World-ash encompasses the Nine Worlds, and is guarded by the serpent Jormungandr. Yggdrasil is one of many variations of the Cosmic Axis or Universal World Tree known to all human cultures.
Yggdrasil is home to many creatures, most notably the serpent or Dragon Nidhogg, who lurks in the base, The Rooster Gullinkambi (golden comb), who lives at the tree’s peak, and the squirrel, Ratatosk, who carries messages between them. These animals can be viewed as metaphors for the human body. According to Norse legend, Yggdrasil is where the god Odin hung upside-down for nine nights in order to obtain the Rune Alphabet. Beneath the roots of the World Ash lies the spring, Mimir, to which Odin sacrificed an eye to gain wisdom.