We have seen the origin of the cosmos and of the Gods as told in the Odinic creation story. That the elements examined must be external simply derives from observations of the natural universe, even to the furthest reaches of outer space. No matter where you look these elements persist and continue to play a role in the formation of life and worlds (cp. Supernovas).
The most important of them, Fire (energy), Ice (transmutable matter), and Spirit (convergence/entropy), simply can never reach a state of nonexistence. There can never be ‘nothing,’ so there must always be something, and therefore the universe and its basic components must be eternal. From them comes all of existence, including that of the Gods, our divine parents.
So now we move on to the creation of mankind, or more particularly of our folk: the Indo- Europeans. The story from our lore had already been briefly touched upon, but here we shall examine it in further detail and explain how it may relate to actual events and our actual makeup.
First, we must explain the development of the Earth element and how it plays a role in our existence. It has been demonstrated that, in our lore, the earliest manifestation of this element was the World-Tree, Yggdrasill, upon which the Gods built Midgard and Asgard for humans and deities to live in, respectively.
However, the Gods and Goddesses originated in the primal elements of Ice/Water, Fire, and Air/Spirit, whereas the fourth terrestrial element of Earth would be utilized in the creation of us mortals.
This element, which connects us to the land and to our planet as a whole, would be given a divine matron as its protector and defender, and we know her to be Frigga, our Mother Earth. In this capacity, she is also called Jord, Folda, Nerthus, Erde, Hlodyn, Fjorgyn, etc. all of which denote her position.
It is likely that our ancestors viewed the Earth as feminine due to its gestative and procreative properties in producing the fruits of the land.
In the same sense the first representative of fertility, the cow Audhumla, is female and it is unlikely to be coincidental that in the historic accounts cows would pull the cart of the Earth Goddess (Nerthus in Tacitus’ Germania ch. 40) in her yearly procession. Scientists have recently developed the “Gaia Theory” (Gaia being the Greek equivalent to Jord-Frigga) in which they recognize some form of intelligence in the way our planets’ ecosystems function.
According to the story, Frigga is the daughter of Hoenir, the niece of Lodur and Odin, as well as the latter’s wife. Her mother is Natt, or Night, possibly representing ordered darkness as Ginnungagap’s void was chaotic darkness.
If Hoenir represents Water, Lodur represents Fire, and Odin is Air/Spirit, why is Frigga, or Earth, their descendant and Odin’s consort? This is because her element is the newest of them all, and is also more dependent on the others than they are on each other.
In order to thrive, our planet needs the winds to bring the rains and the heat of the fiery sun to feed plants and animals with proper nutrients.
In the same sense, the three Underworld Fountains (Hvergelmir = Water, Urdarbrunn = Fire, Mimisbrunn = Spirit) sustain Yggdrasill (=Earth) with their respective elements.
That Frigga (Earth) is the daughter of Hoenir (Water) and Natt (Night) can be explained by the rising of the first world from the primordial rime out of Ginnungagap’s black void of chaos. The sea itself is said to have been created by Burr’s sons when they beheaded Ymir and his blood flooded the world.
Hoenir is also the father of Njord, God of the sea who thus continues his father’s legacy, and Frigga herself lives in Fensalir ‘Marsh- Halls,' obviously related to Hoenir’s name Aurkonung ‘Marsh-King.'
After Ragnarok, we are told that “A second time the earth will rise up from the ocean” (LXXXIII.1), so the God of the Water element being the father of the Goddess of the Earth is only fitting.Then she becomes the wife of our All-Father, the God of the wind and of the sky, Odin himself.
That Mother Earth and Father Sky are wed is an ancient Indo-European theme most commonly recognized in the Latin Heiros Gamos, signifying the marriage between the two. Obviously there is a symbiotic relationship between the sky, whose atmosphere protects our planet from the dangerous effects of outer space and whose clouds bring the beneficial rains that replenish its fields and forests, and the Earth whose trees and plants provide oxygen to the atmosphere through photosynthesis and whose waters feed the clouds when they evaporate.
Theirs is a marriage of equals, and in our sources we often find Frigga maintaining her proud stature and strong will when supporting her favorites, even against her husband.
So, in our creation story we have reached the point where Midgard has been formed from Ymir’s body, it has become beautiful and verdurous, and it has been given its divine matron in Frigga, our Mother Earth. Because of this the Hugrunar states that “Ask and Embla Odin and Frigga formed” (Hug. 5), and an Anglo-Saxon prayer recorded in the tenth century calls her “Mortal’s Mother” because her terrestrial element is the very nature of our mortality.
The plants and trees were made from Ymir’s hair, though all trees also have their origins in Yggdrasill’s seed, and these would become the substance from which the first man and woman were made.