Origin Saga: The Nordic Beginnings of the Universe

Origin Saga: The Nordic Beginnings of the Universe

The origins of the universe have been an interesting topic in the scientific community, for the past century physicists and astronomers have come up with various theories for the origins of the universe and have proved it after extensive research. But, the people of yore who did not have access to all the knowledge the current world has came up with their own versions for example, the Greeks, the Norse, and Vedic Indians.  They were magnificent stories that enthralled children and elders alike. These stories from the age of gods may be real, or may not, we’ll never know. Today I will be retelling the origin of man from the Norse myths.

The Void, The Fire, The Ice

Before the creation, there was nothing, no heavens, no sky, no earth, no realms, no stars gracing the darkness, just a formless mist world whose north was accompanied by Niflheim, it was colder beyond comprehension, A well which sprang eleven poisonous rivers which cut through the mist, to the south was Muspellheim, a land ravaged by fire, its landscape was filled with flowing grey lava and molten rocks, everything in that realm was either burning or glowing from heat, at the border where it made contact with the mist, stood Surtr, A flame being with a towering sword whose existence predates the gods, and is said to lead in the destruction of the world, Ragnarok.

The Progenitor, The Nurturer

The formless world between the frosty Niflheim and the Blazing Muspellheim, the contrasting nature of the absolute cold and scorching heat had birthed gigantic glaciers in the void. The warm winds of Muspellheim blew gently over the ice, like warm winds blowing over the spring trees making leaves flutter. The ice melted, and in those waters of life, something resembling a person appeared, it was not male or female, and its size was incomparable to any world, there was no being larger than this and there was no probability that any being bigger than this to ever be birthed into this world. This was the progenitor of all giants and it was called Ymir.

Ymir was not the only being formed in the melting waters of life, A hornless cow, its magnitude was unfathomable, the milk from its udders flowed like a river, this river nurtured the progenitor of giants, and the cow came to be called Audhmala, Audhmala licked the glaciers of ice for food and drink, The ice she licked with her giant tongue, the first day it revealed a strand of hair, the second day a head and the third day, a whole man was revealed, This was Buri, the ancestor of all gods.

The First God

Ymir birthed two offspring when it slept, a male and a female giant were born from beneath its left arm, all giants are said to have descended from these two giants, Buri took his bride from one of these giants, and had a son called Bor, Bor married Bestla, another daughter of a giant, they had three children Odin, Vili and Ve.

The Creation

These three siblings grew into fine individuals, as they reached adulthood, the realization dawned upon them that they were living in a void, there was nothing, the north would freeze them to death and the south would burn them to cinders, they came to the ominous conclusion to slay Ymir, for death is the beginning of all life, The blood which flowed from Ymir became the bountiful rivers whose waters we drink, Odin and his brothers made soil from the flesh which gave birth to plant life, the sand, rocks and gravel we see are all made from Ymir’s teeth, the bones of Ymir are the mountains which touch the clouds, the clouds are said to be from Ymir’s mind, looking up to the sky we see Ymir’s Skull. This is how the children of Bor created the Earth we know today.

The Birth Of Mankind

The Three Brothers Created a wall of Ymir’s eyelashes, to keep the giants out, the place inside the walls was called Midgard, Midgard was beautiful, with fresh grasslands, beautiful mountains and pristine waters, but, it was empty, it cannot be called a world until it is inhabited, The trio looked above and beyond and found nothing, and in their search, they found a log made out of ash tree, and somewhere close by they found an elm tree log, they set it upright, Odin breathed life into the wooden logs, Vili gave them the power of will and thought, Ve carved their eyes, nose and mouth, the human form we know today. One was made a male and the other was made a female.

This is the tale of how Odin came to be called the “All Father”.

The Nordic Tales  

You must be thinking “Where is Thor?" , " Where is Loki?”, “What about Ragnarok?”, Nordic Myths are full of intriguing anecdotes, there is a story where Loki shaves Thor’s wife’s hair, how the gods tricked a dwarf into building them a wall which is one of Loki’s embarrassing moments, how the trickster tricked a mortal boy into eating Thor’s goat meat. But all these stories are for another day.