Yggdrasil (Norse Tree of Life)

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.

Related Symbols:
Nine worldsCeltic world treeIrminsul


Ravensight January 29, 2018 at 2:07 am

Is the yggdrasil symbol of scandinavian origin? Looking to get a tattoo that represents my culture.

bri June 11, 2016 at 5:01 pm

Is there a rune symbol for yggdrasil?

Hughes February 14, 2016 at 9:47 pm

I have found Wagner’s Ring Cycle to be invaluable. Although, Richard Wagner used the Niebulungunlied as part of his source.

Hughes February 14, 2016 at 9:44 pm

Thank you,

I have always wanted to know the complete list of days.

Michael September 16, 2013 at 3:33 am

The tree is often depicted with six norse characters. I’m trying to find more information? I think the first character is “sun”.

Halvdan December 27, 2013 at 10:15 pm

In Sweden our days of the week are named, Måndag = The moon’s day, Tisdag =Tyr/Ti’s day, Onsdag = Odin’s day, Torsdag = Thor’s day, Fredag = Frej’s day, Lördag = lögar dagen/washing day and Söndag = Sun’s day. You’ve got 6 gods right there. Hopefully that answer’s your question.

Michael Johnson December 7, 2015 at 2:20 pm

Never knew that.

Ethan February 1, 2016 at 2:17 pm

In America the days are Moons day, Tyrs day, Odins day, Thors Day, Frejs day, Saturns day and Suns day

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