By Mark Puryear
“Out of the initial, savage stage of creation was born the first living being, named Ymir. The icy poison-drops from the rivers in Jormungrund met the warm winds in Helheim in the south (where Urdarbrunn is located) and thus formed the Giant. “There was a quickening in these flowing drops and life sprang up, taking its force from the power of the heat. From the Elivagar river sprayed poison-drops, which grew until they became a Jotun, and he was named Ymir” (TOE III. 1).
We should then suppose that the Spirit/Air element was present as well, since all three (Fire, Ice/Water, and Air/Spirit) are required to create life. Even though he was a child of Chaos, born of poison, would this element not flow through him as well? He is a monster with four mouths, possibly four heads, whose feet mated with one another to give birth to Thrudgelmir, as ugly and malformed as his father.
From this Ymir became the progenitor of the Frost-Giants (Hrímþursar, Rime-Giants), the sworn enemies of the Gods and creation. But he also fathers Mimir and Bestla. Bestla becomes the wife of Burr and has with him the sons Odin, Hoenir, and Lodur, the first of the Gods, making her the divine progenitress.
Mimir creates the Alfar and is himself the most wise and beneficent being known in our lore, who becomes lord over the well of spiritual wisdom.
So, obviously Ymir had to have had a Spirit and was thus capable of producing both good and evil, for he becomes the earliest ancestor of the Gods of Order or convergence through Bestla, and the Giants of Chaos or entropy, through Thrudgelmir. This is because his creation comes in the midst of the Spirit element’s transformation stage from pure entropy to pure convergence.
Breaking these symbols down to a more materialist form we can say that Matter (‘Ice’) and Energy (‘Fire’) meet Consciousness (‘Spirit’ or ‘Wisdom’) to form life.
From Chaos arises Order, but from this comes the struggle for dominance over the elements, whence convergence (or divinity) seeks to keep the elements together and progressing, and entropy (‘Giants’) wishes to tear them apart and devolve back into the purely Chaotic state.
This latter part is the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which states that “in a natural thermodynamic process, there is an increase in the sum of the entropies of the participating systems.”
In other words, Raganarok is inevitable.
The elements feed and sustain one another so that life can evolve, just as Audhumla, the sacred primal cow, is born from the drops of icy rime to sustain Ymir. With his four mouths (one for each element?) he drinks from four streams of milk that flow out of her udders. It is likely that Ymir’s drinking from the streams of the aurochs allowed him to produce his children asexually, making Audhumla the earliest representative of the most holy power to us: fertility.
Audhumla impregnates Ymir (male/female) as Gullveig later impregnates Loki, showing the reverse sexual tendency of the Jotuns and their Chaotic nature (in contrast to the normal divine nature of the Gods who introduce the natural way men and women produce).
Ymir becomes so ravenous for this fertile force that he eventually kills Audhumla to get at the source of its power.
Thus the cow becomes the first animal sacrifice, and the fructifying nature of her milk and her flesh become the foundations for our own world’s development and growth of our lands, as we shall see.