IV - Jörmungrund

1. Jörmungrund is the most ancient land, which was inhabited and decorated long before the other worlds.(1)Originally it was divided by three realms, each separate from the other.(2)

2. First, there is Niflheimr, which lies north of the Niđafjöll.(3)Here is the gloomy, muddy, and cold land of frost, which is shrouded by mist and fog.(4) Hvergelmir rests atop the Niðafjöll, the mountain region which serves as the boundary between it and the southern realms.

3. Next, there is that land which is owned by Mímir, called Glasisvellir or Ókolnir.(5)This is a place of indescribable magnificence, with flower fields and groves that are never ravaged by frost or winter.(6)Here is also where Mímir’s hall is located. That wonderful hall that the Æsir call Brimir’s hall, was owned by Mímir.(7)After his birth, Mímir became the guardian of the central well, Óðrœrir, or Mímisbrunnr, and the root of Yggdrasill borne out of it.(8)Because this well bore Yggdrasill’s seed, the great ash is called Mímameiðr as well.(9)Hidden in the glorious well of Mímir lies all knowledge,(10) and wisdom and intelligence are also hidden there.(11)He is full of wisdom because each morning he drinks of his mead from the Gjallarhorn.(12) It is from him and his well that the rúnar and Galdr have their origin.(13)Glasisvellir is separated from the south by the river Gjöll.(14)

4. Finally, there is the southernmost region, called Helheimr.(15) There arose from the sea, Urðarbrunnr, which stands under the tree, three maidens who were fostered by Mímir and Bestla.

They were given the names Urðr, Verðandi, and Skuld, and together they are known as Nornir. Urðr rose from the well.(16)They are Nornir who shape necessity.(17) They established laws, allotted life to the sons of men, and pronounced örlög.(18)These maidens shape men’s lives,(19)and rúnar are risted on their nails.(20) In the starry sky they weave the Web of Wyrd, whose threads would spread across all lands. These threads are called örlögþættir.(21) The Nornir became guardians over Urðarbrunnr, as well as Yggdrasill’s southern root extending over it. There the Goðin have their place of judgment,(22)which lies within the handsome hall that stands under the ash beside the well, which is called Gimlé or Vingólf.(23) This hall is the most beautiful of them all and is brighter than the sun. It will remain standing when both heaven and earth are gone, and good and righteous men will inhabit that place through all ages.(24)

5. Each day the Nornir take water from the well and pour it up over the ash so that its branches may not wither or decay. That water, or mead,(25) is so sacred that all things that come into the spring become as white as the membrane called the skin, which lies on the inside of the eggshell. Two birds nourish themselves in Urðarbrunnr. They are called swans, and from them comes the species of bird with that name.(26)The Nornir have wolves for steeds, and because of this wolves are called “The Nornir’s Dogs”.(27)

6. The mead from Hvergelmir is filled with a hardening substance that allows Yggdrasill to endure throughout the ages, in spite of its many afflictions. Its mead is called Svalkaldur Sær. The mead of Urðarbrunnr is called Urðar Magn, which gives Yggdrasill warmth and strength. Mímisbrunnr produces a drink known as Sónar Dreyri, which includes the creative force and wisdom to keep the great ash thriving.(28)

"The Asatru Edda": Footnotes

1 Our Father’s Godsaga ch. 3, Hrafnagaldr Óðins 25, Gylfaginning 4, Vegtamskvíđa 2.

2 Gylfaginning 15, Investigations into Germanic Mythology vol. 1 ch. 93.

3 Völuspá 65, Gylfaginning 52, Investigations into Germanic Mythology vol. 1 ch. 93.

4 Gylfaginning 5, “Nifl-“ = “Mist”, Our Father’s Godsaga ch. 3.

5 Gylfaginning 52, Bósa Saga ch. 8, Hervarar Saga ok Heiðreks, Investigations into Germanic Mythology vol. 1 ch. 45.

6 Eiríkr Viðforli’s Saga, Investigations into Germanic Mythology vol. 1 ch. 49, Our Father’s Godsaga ch. 3.

7 Skáldskaparmál 5, cp. 8 and 69 on Brimir’s head, Völuspá 38, Investigations into Germanic Mythology vol. 1 ch. 88 (cp. Gylfaginning 27 with Sigrdrifumál 14). 8 Gylfaginning 15.

9 Fjölsvinnsmál 21.

10 Hrafnagaldr Óðins 5.

11 Gylfaginning 15.

12 Gylfaginning 15, Völuspá 22, cp. Sveidal’s Ballad (Investigations into Germanic Mythology vol. 1 ch. 107).

13 Hávamál 143-144, Sigrdrifumál 13-14.

14 Investigations into Germanic Mythology vol. 1 ch. 49, Eiríkr Viðforli’s Saga, Gesta Danorum bk. 8, Gylfaginning 4, 49.

15 Gylfaginning 15, Investigations into Germanic Mythology vol. 1 ch. 56, 93.

16 Völuspá 2, 19, 20; Hávamál 165; Helgakviða Hundingsbana I str. 4; (Investigations into Germanic Mythology vol. 1 ch. 30, 85), Skáldskaparmál 48.

17 Skáldskaparmál 75, cp. Sigrdrifumál 7 to 17. 18 Völuspá 20.

19 Gylfaginning 15.

20 Sigrdrifumál 17.

21 Helgakviða Hundingsbana I 3-4, Daraðarljóð 9, Reginsmál 4.

22 Gylfaginning 15, Investigations into Germanic Mythology vol. 1 ch. 69, Ynglingasaga ch. 52.

23 Cp. Gylfaginning 3, 14,15, 17, 20 with Investigations into Germanic Mythology vol. 1ch. 69, 93; a thorough investigation can prove that Urðr’s hall is identical to Gimlé, where “all men who are righteous shall live” (cp. Völuspá 65).

24 Gylfaginning 17.

25 Hávamál 141, Gylfaginning 15, Völuspá 28, etc. The wells are mead wells.

26 Gylfaginning 16.

27 Hamðismál 30.

28 Hyndluljóð 37 (Völuspá inn Skamma 9), Hrafnagaldr Óðins 2, 5; Gylfaginning 15, Investigations into Germanic Mythology vol. 1 ch. 59, 63, 93.