YGGDRASIL AND THE INDIVIDUAL – Part 1

| August 20, 2009

It is one of the great majesties of Odinism that our mythology is multi-layered and is therefore accessible to the Odinist at all levels of personal development. While this may at times be confusing to those studying the faith from a non-experiential point of view, to those actually and truly practicing it, it is a way of learning and growing.

It is important to remember that the core myth cycle, as well as relating to what we could term the multiversal events or the macrocosm, also relates to ourselves as individuals, or the microcosm. Of course by understanding this we truly see and understand how everything is linked and reflected and all the various components of existence actually follow a cycle. And in this learning we can indeed begin to evolve upwards and achieve the essential aims of our struggle.

The Odinic Rite seeks to restore and elevate our folk, for us we realize that our folk unit is greater than ourselves, yet at the same time we should be aware of the fact that we, as individuals, are important to the folk unit, it is a symbiotic and co-dependent relationship. If we as individuals are healthy (and I mean in all areas) then we improve and strengthen our folk and our folk soul and consciousness. If we are not healthy, then we diminish it. This does not mean we should become egotistical and self seeking, we must constantly be aware of the `Fenris` within us and the jormangandr (see the May Loki Be Bound Articles), but we must realize that though we strive to bring a revolution of spiritual awareness, which will translate also into this realm of reality, to be successful we must first ensure the revolution has been accomplished within ourselves first. And to accomplish this we can again, look to our mythology for an illuminated path to higher awareness. At their essence the myths refer to us as individuals. This has already been shown in earlier articles in ORB (including the May Loki Be Bound series) and I continue at that level here. In fact this understanding that the myths refer at a deep level to ourselves, our own being as it were, is a key, which leads the individual to a greater self-realization and understanding. A realization, which leads to a higher level of consciousness.

A central symbol in the mythology is the great tree called Yggdrasil. Within its branches all the nine realms are contained and it is in fact, the great cosmic axis on which all revolves. Now this is a very picturesque way of explaining the order of existence perhaps, but obviously it is not literal, there is not in reality a massive tree which holds all existence and I do not believe for one moment that our forebears believed this to be literal either, any more than they really believed in huge flying goats transporting Thor across the sky. Certainly the wise ancient ones who formulated the myth cycle did not take them as literal. But we need imagery, which we can understand, and a tree is an excellent image for the great axis. But it is far more than an excellent image; it actually is a very sophisticated symbol. For if we consider Yggdrasil as a symbol of `ourselves` we can see how fitting it is. The trunk is representative of our spinal column, our backbone and the roots and branches our nervous system. Interestingly the number of vertebrae the human spine contains is 24, the same as the number of runes in the Elder futhark. This indicates a runic path to a higher awareness and of course, Odin’s attainment of higher consciousness came with a realization of the runes, or a completion of this runic path, the understanding of energy and the life force and the ability to control this. It is the human nervous system, which means we are more highly evolved than the other species of life we see around us in this realm of reality.

At the roots of Yggdrasil exists a serpent or dragon, Nidhogg who constantly gnaws at these roots. While at the top sits an eagle with a hawk sitting between his eyes. These may seem unusual, strange even, symbols whose meaning is not clear. And running up and down Yggdrasil is a squirrel Ratatosk who conveys insults from the serpent to the eagle and back again. Once again a rather strange symbolism. However, in taking Yggdrasil as a model of ourselves, it becomes clearer and we see in fact how sophisticated our myths are. One could actually call them science, though not the conventional science we may think of today.

The serpent Nidhogg is representative of the primal life energy stored at the base of the spine. This energy activates our senses and if uncontrolled can lead to a negative craving for sensual experience which keeps us ignorant of higher levels of consciousness. The eagle is symbolic of our super-consciousness and the hawk between its eyes symbolic of the “third eye“ which when opened leads to intuitive understanding and higher awareness. It is the runic path (among others), which leads to the realization of this consciousness or the opening of the all seeing eye. Ratatosk is the flow of life energy, sometimes called in early Aryan kundalini, some may call it vril or Odic force, the title is not really important and there is no good reason to be pedantic about how you call it, recognizing it is the important thing. Now Ratatosk is seen as carrying insults, again this is not literal, there isn’t really some supernatural squirrel going back and forth saying “Nidhogg says you suck“ and then carrying an abusive retort back from the eagle. But what it does indicate is that there is a conflict between the urges of the senses and the striving to achieve a higher level of awareness or consciousness.

This does not mean that sensual urges are of themselves ‘wrong`, merely that they need to be balanced or the striving for a higher level of awareness will be subjugated by the desire for purely sensual experiences, which will never be sated and lead to an undermining of our being (the eating of the roots). When a control and balance are obtained, we can advance.

As you will see, the symbolism chosen again shows a very high level of understanding of our nature, our component parts. Our myths are very definitely not the fanciful tales of a primitive people, but the allegories for self -discovery and understanding into the nature of existence composed by very highly developed individuals.

Hail The New Awakening
Hail the Rite
Heimgest.

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Category: OR and Odinism

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