Norse Creation Story and Myths Part 2

About the Norse creation story, history and origins of the world created by the gods including Odin.


But Odin and his brothers thrust the dead Ymir down into the void of Ginnungagap and made of his body the world we live in. Hic ice-blood became the sea and the rivers; his flesh became the dry land and his bones the mountains, while the gravel and stones were his teeth.

Odin and his children set the sea in a ring round about the earth, and the World Tree, the Ash Yggdrasill, grew up to hold it in place, to overshadow it with its mighty branches, and to support the sky which was the ice-blue skull top of Ymir . . .

When Odin had set the stars in their course and had lit the earth with the Sun and Moon, he turned back to the new world which he had made. Already the Giants and other creatures of evil were stirring against him, so he took more of the bones of Ymir and spread the mountains as a wall against Giantland, or Jotunheim. Then he turned back to the land made for men, which he called Midgard or Middle Earth, and began to make it fruitful and fair to see.

Out of Ymir's curly hair he formed the trees, from his eyebrows the grass and flowers, and he set clouds to float in the sky above and sprinkle the Earth with gentle showers.

Then for the making of Mankind, the Allfather Odin took an ash tree and an elder upon the seashore and fashioned from them Ask and Embla, the 1st Man and the 1st Woman. Odin gave them souls, and his brother Vili gave them the power of thought and feeling, while Ve gave them speech, hearing, and sight.

From these 2 came children enough to people Midgard: But sin and sorrow overtook them, for the Giants and other creatures of evil took on the shapes of men and women, and married with them, despite all that Odin could do.

(Permission: Myths of the Norsemen. By Roger Lancelyn Green. London, Penguin Books Ltd., 1960.)

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