Hello friends, how are you? I’m Arith Härger. And today I’m going to talk about Ymir This has been a video requested by many subscribers of this channel as well as by my patrons one of whom mr. Dave Anderson is particularly interested on this subject So I hope this video it’s to your liking and that it can match your expectations or even surpass them There’s a lot to say so let’s just go straight to the subject without delay and I do hope you enjoy this video The accounts of the Nordic myth of creation that survived to this day, it’s quite clear on how things came to be unlike the usual myths of creation we are used to from the biblical sources that everything began from emptiness, nothingness or Creation coming from an omnipotent deity in Norse mythology creation actually started from a great abyss an endless gap in which two elements – fire and ice Each with its own world, came together and the process of creation started. So let’s start from that point with the myth of creation and from there develop the rest of the subject In the beginning before the creation of the world as we know it, the Norse myths tell us that within Ginnungagap – the great void or the gaping abyss exited two worlds; a world of fire named Muspell, or Muspellheim, situated in the south, whose borders are guarded by the fire giant Surt with his flaming sword And there was the world of ice, Niflheim, the land of eternal mist with an important spring called Hvergelmir, from which all rivers of life flown from Which are said to be poisonous and made out of pure black ice Which in fact, we now know that the most common form of water in the universe is actually black hot ice, which is called “superionic ice”, which is black and hot I may speak about this one of these days because within the Norsecosmology indeed we get this over and over again This primordial black ice, but that stays for another video anyway at the point where the poisonous rivers drifted from their source, Hvergelmir The rivers froze and frost rose and accumulated along Ginnungagap – the great abyss Whose northern side was covered with a heavy layer of ice But to the South Muspell’s heat reigned supreme its fires sparking and emanating their brightness and heat so in the center of the great abyss the temperatures were mild And when the frost of nifflheim crossed with the heat of the land of fire Drops of water fell and life came into being in the form of an entity called Ymir from whom the primordial giants of ice come from the rhym-Thursar, and among themselves they called Ymir by the name of Aurgelmir Due to the combination of fire and ice The temperatures and climate were ideal for creating life. And so from the melting ice Ymir came forth From the melting waters that fell on Ginnungagap another being came to be, the great cosmic Cow named Audumla, and from her udders four rivers of milk poured through feeding, or nourishing young Ymir, the first form of life, or the first form of consciousness while Ymir slept this primordial being also generated life, such powerful dreams this first conscious must have had to create into being something purely out of imagination Under his left arm, or from his left arm or left hand, two giants were born, and in other versions the first man and woman came to be, but I have my suspicions on this last part which might have some Christian influences in it, but we shall get to that From Ymir’s legs or feet, came a third being and from which the family of frost giants was begotten At the same time Audumla fed upon the salty ice blocks, and as she licked the ice, hair started to appear from it, and a head, and then the entire body of a being named Buri Buri had a son called Bor, and the sons of Bor were the three gods Odin, Vili and Ve These three slew Ymir, and from the blood that poured out from Ymir there was a great flood, and the giants drowned, all by one named Bergelmir, in other versions not only Bergelmir escaped the great flood, but also his wife, and they escaped on an ark. Yeah. We shall get to this, don’t forget and note it down if you must The sons of Bor, Odin Vili and Ve, took Ymir’s body into the centre of Ginnungagap, and thus they began to shape the world of men from Ymir’s body From his blood the sea and lakes were made, and from his flesh was made the earth, from the bones the three gods made the mountains, from his teeth and jaws and all those little bits of broken bone they formed the rocks and the pebbles From Ymir’s brains they made the clouds and from Ymir’s skull they made the dome of the sky, placing a dwarf in each of the four directions to support it and hold it high above the earth The dwarfs were so named Austri, Vestri, Nordri and Sudri. This world of mankind was protected from the giants by a great wall made from the eyebrows or eyelashes of Ymir The three gods took the uncontrollable sparks and flames that came from the fires of Muspellheim, and placed them in the heavens to illuminate the new world, called Midgard What happens next will be the subject of a future video, because this video today is about Ymir and it will serve as an introduction to many other subjects And don’t worry, on Adhumla and the creation from fire and Ice, I shall develop videos solely for that but today I want to focus on Ymir so now let’s begin to analyse this myth, as best as we can, to try to understand what this is all about So let’s analyze the previous myth as best as we can and feel free to add more information And ideas in the comments below, but only after you have heard everything I have to say Because I’m going to make several analysis on this. I’m afraid we are going to be here for quite some time Right on a Scandinavian perspective of the geographical reality the Norse culture lived in and had contact with in their daily lives perhaps this idea of Fire and Ice can be understood from the eyes of those who composed these myths during the 13th century and observe their own geographical reality the elements fire and ice in this myth can be a reflection of the Icelandic landscape, the combination of volcanic activity and Glaciers, so this part of the myth might be from the point of view of Icelanders alone Which means the creation myth in other parts of the Scandinavian world Might have been quite different and did not include fire and ice after all, but then again This is a myth that belongs to the oral tradition far before it was put to parchment in Iceland if this is an oral tradition from the Viking period and the activity of seafaring rapidly being a way of life among late Iron Age and Viking period Scandinavians perhaps this idea of fire and ice is their own perception of the world well as far north as one goes it gets colder, the further south the climate is warmer hence the idea of nifflheim to the north and Muspelheim to the south But as I said before there’s a lot to explore from the fire and ice myth Which I would like to talk about on another video. And in fact, I think this is quite an ancient understanding Beyond mere observation of a geographical reality The point here is that from the reaction of two elements comes a third From mild temperatures life is created and the first being comes into existence Ymir out of the extremes of Ice and Fire Freezing cold and heat, it propitiated the right conditions that gave origins to the primordial stages of fertility and so life emerged Ymir in the beginning represents the first and crude consciousness and from him other Giants come into being perceived to be evil in nature Which I don’t believe they were purposely evil but because they came from Primordial chaos and the space in which they are formed and exist Represents an archaic era of a natural hostile environment. I think indeed this evil notion and the wrath- Represented in the first beings – the Rhym-Thursar – the frost giants, is the representation of a crude form of consciousness Wild in nature, completely empty of laws notions of right and wrong, free of dogmas social rules It is the mind in its primordial stage pure and simple with nothing but instinct to guide this primordial conscious and this instinct is shaped by the chaotic and hostilel reality it lives in so the wrathful impulses of the Giants are just a reflection of their own essence and nature or their chaotic minds without any idea of order primordial consciousness that lives in freedom without the limitations of any rules and laws of the universe and certainly free from any preconceived ideas of reality therefore a Consciousness that is free to create its own reality. I have expressed that on the video about Ginnungagap and this is Ginnungagap itself; a formless reality that created in freedom and so it created Ymir, which is the first reflection of consciousness In fact Ymir is the first raw matter, and we know that all matter vibrates and vibration creates resonance, which is the heart of consciousness and physical reality But I shall get to that by the end of this video this Consciousness knows nothing, it lies in the darkness of Ginnungagap, in the primordial stages of life like a child who is born into the world and knows nothing of reality until its mind is shaped by the Religious, political and social ideas that influence our own perception of reality reality is greatly shaped by the Information we gathered through our lives, and that alone is a form of limitation, placing limitations on our own thinking for instance, if someone tells us that we should not do something Solely based on what a religion dictates what is right and wrong We won’t do that, because it’s not right according to what we have been taught So we won’t do something and we won’t get information from doing that while another person does it, does the thing, and so that person will have information we will never possess because We have been given certain limitations on our own ability to think and as such we won’t act so our actions are also limited I think Ymir in its first stage of life represents the mind without limitations Therefore the actions come on impulse because it’s a mind that doesn’t know- anything so it acts and discovers things for its own. And when Ymir sleeps he creates more life his mind was free to create Just like Ginnungagap, it had no limitations Therefore the mind was pure to create and shape into reality its own dreams Because there are no notions of reality, no notions of right and wrong no limitations imposed So the primordial mind shapes its own reality due to its own freedom So we have a picture of Norse belief in ice as the cosmic primordial matter of all creation the originating substance of all life in contact with heat, it melts, and whatever substances lie within the primordial ice it gives Nourishment and under the warmth of fire it creates life. It creates the first sentient being, the first vestiges of raw consciousness The adhumla element in the myth is somewhat confusing, and that may be because the only source we have of it is precisely from Snorri Sturluson’s Prose Edda Even though I want to make a video solely about adhumbla, I want to express that this element in the myth of creation isn’t clear and we can’t say for sure if it is a genuinely pre-Christian religious element For all we know it might indeed be an invention composed by the 13th century Icelander Snorri Sturluson If so, we understand why such a confusion and contradiction Adhumla appears out of nowhere without any explanation, so it seems to be an element added to the story While Ymir has a clear source of origins Even though cattle was a symbol of wealth in pre-Christian Scandinavia and an important religious symbol among the elite, I think Snorri added Adhumla here just so he could give a different genealogical branch to explain the origins of the gods Snorri creates a completely different genealogical line for the gods, separating them from the first being Ymir We must take into consideration that Snorri lived in a time, during Catholic Iceland, that it wasn’t safe to openly speak about heathen religious conceptions Ymir was perceived to be evil in nature, the giants are the enemies of the gods In fact it is Snorri that says that Ymir and his offspring were evil in nature, as a justification of their death and destruction by the hands of the gods So it seems to me he tried to separate the gods from what in a Christian mentality were perceived to be evil entities Although in the pagan mentality without a doubt the gods come from Ymir Ymir is in fact the ancestor of all the gods, and when Odin and his brothers kill Ymir, They are killing their direct ancestor You have certainly noticed by now that when Snorri writes about the myth of Ragnarok, he constructs a work with many parallels with the biblical apocalypse In fact, if you read Norse mythology first and then read the apocalypse accounts in the bible, it feels like you are reading Snorri’s Norse mythology, particularly the account of Ragnarok Snorri constructs a work in which the giants are clear enemies of the gods, that represent all that is evil and chaotic, demonic forces against the order and goodness of the divine So in the myth of creation Snorri couldn’t simply maintain the divine connected to the very beings that same divine would fight against in the “final days”. It would be awkward having the gods of heaven being the offspring of beings- that in the Christian consciousness were considered to be demonic in nature But without a doubt, the gods are the direct descendants of Ymir, and if we think about that in a pagan sense, well, it perfectly makes sense, because the Norse gods are not flawless and perfect as the Christian god is perceived to be The Norse pagan gods, much like many other gods of different pagan pantheons, are imperfect and they reflect human behaviour The Norse gods have completely different attitudes towards a variety of things and behaved differently in a variety of situations They can cause both good and evil They are not boring perfect entities of pure order and goodness. Of course the gods are the direct descendants of Ymir This pagan understanding just puts humankind, which are perceived to be the descendants of the gods (by pagan standards) in equal with the gods themselves The gods are not better or worse than us The gods are just like us because everything was created from the exact same primordial chaotic soup This is something inconceivable to the Christian mentality because their God is perfect and better than everyone else and Humans must be subjugated to the will of this divine entity in a Christian medieval mentality Humankind must fear God Whilst in a pagan mentality humankind loves the gods because they reflect our own essence They are us and we are them We evolve, we become better But our origins is the same primordial chaos Which can still be reflected in our mentality, in the most wild side we have the genuine curiosity to explore To know, to act on impulse and instinct, and create our own just as Ymir did Anyway, the original form of the creation myth in Northern Europe is by no means easy to determine Yes, indeed, this account comes from Snorri And yes, he was a Christian, but not everything is a Christian interpretation and creating parallels Snorri knew at least three different accounts to compose this one, or we can divide this into three accounts first indeed the forming of ice in the north and the fire in the south Is a pagan motif This picture of life forming from the meeting of heat and cold and the giant Ymir took shape in the ice as it melted It is indeed a pagan account Ymir was the ancestor of the Giants and the gods, he was slain and from his body the mortal reality was shaped We have indo-european parallels with this which I will talk about further ahead the formation of the world using the body of an ancient being is something repeatedly expressed in the indo-european religious universe We will get to that calm down Now secondly the sons of Bor were said to have been licked out of the salty ice blocks, although the cosmic cow myth as said before is somewhat dubious From Ymir came the first couple of giants which no name is given to them so indeed one of them could be Bor or Buri and from him the rest of the Giants came to be and the gods; in fact pay close attention at this In indo-european myths of creation and the perception of the divine We always seem to have the perception of the cosmos as a being the anthropomorphization of the universe, and it is divided into three parts, the head, the upper body and the lower body the upper body for instance from which the first couple of giants came to be, was perceived by indo Europeans to represent those in their social reality to be the warriors and the lower body represented the ones that provided, farmers, artisans, and craftsman I will get that that, don’t worry The point here, and you will better understand this further ahead, is that the first couple comes precisely from the body part that represents warriors, those who both defend and attack and protect, in the Indo-European society. The first thing that comes to mind when speaking about Norse gods is that the great majority are indeed either war-like figures or have this protective connotation, they are the gods, the Aesir Whilst the most rune gods, fertility gods, are often associated with the earth, the lower world, the lower part of the body specifically representative of farmers and craftsmen So I believe Bor, the one who would generate Odin, Vili and Ve, came from the upper part, as it is said that the first couple of giants came from Ymir’s left arm These are the gods When Ymir dreams he releases sweat and from the sweat comes the first two beings Body fluids are salty, hence the reason why bore was licked out from the salty ice blocks they came from the sweat of Ymir, from his upper part and not from some random salty ice block Audumla licked and thirdly Snorri also for- forms this myth from another account, that of a giant named Bergelmir who escaped in his boat or in another account an ark, from the flood caused by the blood of Ymir witch overwhelmed the world and from which a new race of Giants came to be Now this last story sounds less convincing than the other two accounts Indeed Snorri may have based it it on an interpretation of his own, of the verse about Bergelmir on another source in Vafthurdismal Bergelmir is said to be the son of Thrudgelmir who in turn is the son of Ymir This is the only thing expressed in this account, that Bergelmir is the grandson of Ymir, nothing more But Snorri gives a lot more information and places Bergelmir escaping the flood Without a doubt he is fusing the account in Vafthurdismal with the biblical story of the flood The name Bergelmir itself is suspicious, and seems to belong to a group of river names Perhaps one of the rivers coming out of the primordial spring of life, Hvergelmir The idea of a destroying flood is also a contradiction to that of the sacrifice of Ymir itself, which created the world About the body part of Ymir being used to create a wall that protects Midgard from the world of the giants, I’ve already talked about that on another video The eyebrows or eyelashes of Ymir When Odin, Vili and Ve created the mortal reality, the world, this world, the land of midgard actually, was surrounded by the ocean, and in the exterior margins that land was given to the Giants So to protect midgard from the land of the giants over the oceans, a great wall was constructed from the eyelashes of Ymir This fortified space is midgard, the middle land I’m not going to explore that subject in here because I have already done that on another video It’s the concept of uttengard and Innangard within the Hearth Cult Uttengard and Innangard is a very archaic concept of the world, of reality perceived by ancient tribal cultures, in which the world is the reflection of the home, the family, the tribe and everything else that lies outside To archaic tribes the world and the cosmos was the reflection of their social tribal life What lies in the interior is the home, and the family, which is inside the tribe, the enclosure of the familiar reality, the community, the familiar space, this is innangard – inside While everything else outside the community is Uttengard, the outside, the world of chaos and the wilds Please do watch that video if you can about the Hearth Cult and you will understand that concept Just click on this upper corner and it will show you the list of videos I’ve recommended for you that help you to better understand certain concepts in this video, so I don’t have to repeat myself a lot and show you something new that I haven’t spoken before But this concept of creating a wall from the eyelashes of Ymir, indeed reflects a very archaic cosmological idea, which just shows how old the myth of Ymir truly is This is in fact an idea even before Indo-Europeans In fact this idea is still reflected in many accounts within the Old Norse literature And not only that, but in the Old English poem Beowulf, this idea is still very much present even though that account has clear Christian ideas all over the place Grendel was tormented by the singing within the newly constructed great hall, in fact the song that is tormenting him is the account of creation, precisely So Grendel coming prowling round the newly built hall, and hears sweet music within This is not something random, this is a contrast between the order and beauty of creation and the dark formless world of monsters, expressed here with an artistic contrast So even thought this is an Old English poem, it has clear Christian motifs, there are a lot of pagan motifs as well and in this short moment in which Grendel is outside, and sweet music is being played inside, reflects this archaic cosmological understanding of Uttengard and Innangard; it is a heathen tradition still kept in later literature Which is also reflected in the myth of creation; the formless void of chaotic storms and the origins of life and the giants and all the monster that came after, and the creation of Midgard, an orderly world and everything perceived to be chaotic is left outside In Beowulf the building of the bright hall in the wild country where monsters walk freely, is an echo of the creation of the fair world whose destruction was sought by the chaotic powers An image quite familiar within the heathen tradition In fact it’s quite curious this idea of sweet music being played within the newly built great hall, the representation of a new orderly world As we shall see further ahead song is indeed a component in the creation of order. So I thought this might be interesting to share It is a very archaic cosmological perception reflected in the myth of Ymir itself It’s important to understand which elements in this myth are actually pagan perceptions and which ones are Christian, so we can read Snorri’s work with a critical mind and try to reach the actual pagan religious concepts Sort of separating the Christian from the Pagan so we can better understand the ancient pagan mentality The formation of the world by using the body of an ancient entity is quite common in the IndoEuropean religious universe, as has been said before For instance, Ovid’s Metamorphoses tells us that the giant Atlas gave origins to a mountain, and its beard and hair give rise to forests The Persians also said that heaven and earth, mountains and plants were made from the skin, flesh, bone and hair of a demon In India we have a similar tale, with the sun, fire, wind, and earth rising from the eyes, mouth, breath, and feet of a being sacrificed by the gods Therefore Ymir’s death and the use of his body in the process of creation is a reflection of a very old myth with a proto-Indo-European origin So, in the story of Ymir we have the slaying of the primeval being, in order that the earth may be formed Ymir’s name has been related to Sanskrit yama, meaning “hybrid” or “hermaphrodite” According to Tacitus the Continental Germanic peoples had a primeval ancestor named Tuisto, whose son Mannus was the father of mankind Mannus had three children, each one of them gave origins to three different tribal groups: Will put the names of those tribal groups somewhere in here So the genealogical pattern in here is almost identical to the one of Ymir presented in the Edda And pay close attention to the number three and the dismemberment of Ymir, I will express that further ahead Speaking of Tuisto, we may say that we can find some parallels with the Old Swedish word “tvistra”, meaning “separate”, and just like Ymir, it means a double being Returning to the account of Vafthurdnismal, we are told that a man and a women were born from under the arm of Ymir and a giant came into being from his feet So this “separation” and “duality” reflected in the name is perceptible, with the creation of two beings from one Ymir is indeed a two-fold being in the sense that from him both giants and gods are born, or giants in general, the gods also being giants, and humankind I know what you might be thinking, that this idea of Ymir creating mankind might come from borrowing concepts of the Judeo-Christian mythology; Adam is created from God and Eve from a piece of Adam, or even from the Talmud accounts and such other sources that state that the creation of the world comes from the body of Adam But it’s not likely Snorri added to the Norse myths a lot of Judeo-Christian concepts, but not this one Expressions such as Ymir’s skull for heaven in skaldic poetry before Snorri, show that the idea of the slaughtered giant was widespread and can hardly be due to a late borrowing from Christian or Jewish sources As said before, there are plenty of parallels with Indo-European and Proto-Indo-European myths of creation, so Ymir’s dismemberment is quite old indeed, very archaic actually Returning to this double-expression of Ymir, It’s possible that in some older myths, forgotten myths, or purposely forgotten myths It’s possible that Ymir Had a twin brother the root of the name Ymir can certainly originate from the Indo-Germanic root iemo or “twin” As stated earlier, it is the same root of the primordial deity Tuisto of the Old Germanic peoples and the same etymological root that gave rise to the English word “two”. The idea of primordial twin brothers is not unknown in the Indo-European universe For example, the Indian myth that tells us about Yama, which means twin, and Manu (man), where the first dies and the second gives rise to the human species Again, the names are reminiscent of Ymir and the Germanic deity Mannus, Tuisto’s son, Tuisto who is equivalent to Ymir, and his son gives origin to the three Germanic tribes So it is not at all impossible that there was a pair of primordial twin brothers in a later stage ) of Norse mythology earlier stage By the way, notice that Snorri himself says that Ymir was known as Aurgelmir among the giants Is this two names for the same being or traces of the name of the twin? But in the poem Vafthrudnismal it says that : the world was made from the body of Ymir and that Aurgelmir’s origins was in a poison river called Elivagar, and it was from there that the ancestor of the race of giants appeared It is possible that Ymir and Aurgelmir were independent figures, primordial twins Perhaps Snorri has misunderstood this and concluded it was the same being Perhaps the Icelandic author has oversimplified this account, or even a misreading and misinterpretation of the older poems he would have had in his possession Perhaps indeed Ymir and Aurgelmir were originally independent figures; Ymir being killed and Aurgelmir generating living beings, just like in the Indian parallel Of course, let us not forget that the root of the word Ymir also means hermaphrodite, that is, the being that by having both sexes can generate life alone Something to think about But I do believe the name Ymir means something else quite different, and personally I’m not very inclined to this idea of a Twin, and I shall express that further ahead Because the name Ymir in Old Norse means Screamer, and that changes the entire view of Ymir and what this figure actually meant to pre-Christian Scandinavians Another important aspect in this myth of creation and to show you that not everything that Snorri wrote is Christian, is in fact the sons of Bor, the three gods that kill Ymir and out of his body parts shaped the world The names of these primordial gods have their roots much earlier than the 13th century, when Snorri wrote this creation myth, since the triad Odin, Vili and Ve show traces of a much earlier period when the names of these three gods began with the same sound: Wodan, Wili, We Before the Edda was written, the three gods were already in a group However it should be noted that in the myth that Snorri wrote there is a father – Bor and three sons, Odin, vili and ve, but this is what Snorri attributed to these characters To the ancient Germans, Wodan, Wili and We could very well be children of another character, other than Bor, and do other things other than the creation of the world As we have seen before, the lineage of the deity Tuisto, a god equivalent to Ymir, served to represent or trace tribal origins, while the same genealogical pattern in Snorri’s hands, or perhaps just before him, in the hands of the Nordic peoples nearly 1000 years after the accounts about Tuisto it served to explain the origins of the gods So indeed it may be that these three deities never came from Bor at all, but directly from Ymir, as said before, as Ymir is the ancestor of the gods and mankind Certainly in the figure of these three gods slaughtering Ymir we can find some parallels in Manichaeism which was a major religion founded by the Iranian prophet Mani around the 3rd century It is said that a demon was slain by three brother gods in order to form the world But it’s highly unlikely the three brothers that kill Ymir is an account borrowed from other religions As said before, we already have this perception of three gods in Old Germanic religious conceptions, as well as Indo-European as we shall see ahead Furthermore, there are traces of Odin’s brothers elsewhere in Scandinavian tradition In Lokasena, in the Ynglinga Saga, which are literary sources that mention Odin’s brothers We have the Scandinavian case that Odin and his two companions in the account of the creation of human beings These two companions are not Vili and Ve but Hoenir, the silent god, and Lodur It is expressed in völuspá which greatly influenced Snorri in the creation of the myths, these three gods, Odin, Hoenir and Lodur found two trees on the seashore, Askr and Embla, and breathed into them the gift of life So this remotes to what I said earlier, that these three gods might not have been the ones in the creation of the world, but something else, and as you can see from the account of Voluspa, these three gods were responsible for the creation of mankind, or responsible for giving the attributes and essence required to create a functional life-form, which I have already talked about that on the video about the parts of the self So there is a long tradition involving the number three and linked with creation From Ymir come the three gods that will eventually kill him and create the world and humankind Even though I’m a bit reluctant in accepting this last part, because, as we shall see in this video, Ymir seems to be the one that created matter, and the three gods gave life to that matter Anyway, this is now the time to express the importance of the number three expressed in the Indo-European religious panorama which will help you to understand what I said before about the anthropomorphization of the cosmos and the dismemberment of Ymir This account of creation given by Snorri Sturluson in the Prose Edda, in many aspects the material is remarkably similar to the material in the creation hymns of the Rig Veda, committed to writing in India a thousand years before Snorri was born, and of course derived from an even earlier tradition In the earlier Proto-Indo-European perception of creation we get the idea that there was the belief that the cosmos wasn’t created out of absolute nothingness but from a combination of elements or a reaction between two opposing elements catalysed by a third element The cosmos was seen in anthropomorphic terms, created from the body parts of a being who was created from the primordial interaction of elements and raw material And of course this is reflected later on almost in the entire Indo-European system of traditional beliefs, which revolve around certain basic ideas such as: The component parts of the cosmos were made from the body parts of a gigantic man or man-like being; human beings were created from elements of the cosmos; the cosmos and the human body therefore have the same structure; and this all leads to the perception that the human body becomes the structural model for human social organisms Meaning, the human body is simultaneously the central point of the physical cosmos and the embodiment or representation of the cosmos as a whole Let’s see The belief that the cosmos is the reflection of the human being and vs versa, is a very archaic belief, which evolved and we can still see the very division of the social structure of IndoEuropean cultures as an anthropomorphic figure The human body was divided into three parts and each part represent the main social divisions in Indo-European societies: The head represents those who ruled in such societies, be that Kings or the Priesthood; the upper body, the arms and chest represent the warrior class, and the lower part of the body, abdomen, genitals and legs represent those who provide – farmers and artisans This can actually still be found in the caste-system of India nowadays; we see it among the ancient Mitanni and Hittites from the fourteen century BCE, in the tripartite Gaulish social structure, Late Chalcolithic and Bronze Age Iberian societies, and in the pagan temple at Uppsala in Sweden, this tripartite hierarchical structure in the figures of Odin, Thor and Freyr; in other words, Rule and Magic, Strength and War, Wealth and Sexuality And there are many more examples of this trifunctional pattern This wasn’t simply a belief system, this was a world-view in the full sense of the term; a united and coherent understanding of the cosmos, the human being, the magical and the divine This world-view is the foundation of virtually all Indo-European magic, philosophy and traditional science, as well as the rules that govern everything And all of this is reflected in the myth of creation for Northern Europe and in the figure of Ymir, not only in his dismemberment but also precisely in the image we have of the gods coming from his upper part and the giants from the lower part Ymir is the anthropomorphization of the cosmos, and we, human beings, are made from the exact same thing the cosmos is made of Human beings are the tiny representation of the cosmos itself, and we hold in ourselves parts of the cosmos and the living consciousness of the cosmos and even its physical structure, is reflected in our own structure The cosmos is the body magnified, and the body is the cosmos in miniature I think it’s important to speak about the dismemberment of Ymir have already talked about that on the video about Kvasir; the idea of dismemberment reflected in the mythological character Kvasir, is also reflected in Ymir On that video I have expressed the idea of dismemberment in shamanic terms So to avoid repeating myself, if you want to understand this idea on the point of view of shamanism, Please do watch that video if you can Now I would like to talk about dismemberment of Ymir or of the cosmos and reflected in the act of sacrifice We know that the primordial reaction between fire and water, according to the broad spectrum of Indo-European tradition, this event gave origins to solid matter This event gave origins to the base material of the cosmos, which requires further transformation before the physical cosmos can come into being The secondary shaping of the cosmos is reflected in th- dismemberment and the use of body parts of a primal being, semi-divine creature, and the rearrangement of those parts will provide the cosmos with its physical features and characteristic essences This being is killed, in the case of Northern European traditions Ymir is killed by Odin and his two brothers, Vili and Ve, according to Snorri Sturluson, but it is Odin, Lodur and Hoenir who take the role of creators, of humankind, in the poem Voluspa Always this idea of three entities, as we have seen before in several examples and you know the importance of the number three reflected precisely in the world-view of the cosmos being an anthropomorphic figure divided into three parts So, the three gods take the body of Ymir into the middle of Ginnungagap, the body is divided into several parts and the pieces rearranged to make the cosmos and its essential parts From Ymir’s Flesh the earth was shaped, from his sweat or blood the seas, rivers and lakes were made, from his bones the mountains were shaped, trees from his hair and from his skull the sky You are already familiar with it now, the function of ritual is what glues the ties that binds a society together and it’s exactly that which links the society of the present to its past to remind the community, the group or tribe of its history and to maintain alive the identity of the people so in ritual in many indo-european societies or Societies whose basic religious understandings are from an indo-european past used sacrifice as a means of ritual By cutting the victim it was a recreation of the creation of the cosmos Repeating the process and creating it anew the primordial slaughtered is ritually identified with the human or animal victims so that the sacrificial dismemberment is of the same nature and has the same effect of the cosmic dismemberment to create anew In ancient India the horse sacrifice was the focus of a similar recreation of the cosmos The dawn was represented by the head of the sacrificial horse The Sun were its eyes, the wind its breath, the year is the body of the horse The sky its back, the atmosphere its belly, the earth was the under part of its belly, and so on and so forth the horse sacrifice thus contains the whole cosmos within its body When it is slaughtered and dismembered each part renews the appropriate cosmic feature Perhaps another example is needed in the Latin rites the annual sacrificial festival at which all Roman cities were given an appropriate share of the victims a rite that serves to pave their traditional friendship and to redefine their positions within the regional hierarchy The animal used for meat is divided into portions According to the status and prowess of those present. For instance, the best part is given to the best fighter The same is reflected in the ancient Greek society. The ritual involve the killing of an animal beginning with prayers then the slaughter and skinning and cutting up the pieces roasting and distributing the meat parts of the meat were divided and distributed according to the occupation and rank of each one present in the sacrifice in other words, the dismemberment of the cosmos is transferred to the body of the victim and distributed among those involved in the rite a ritual which not only is to affirm the hierarchies is present in the ritual but also to consolidate the social order the main theme here is the recreation and renewal the idea of recreation of the cosmos into something new and orderly is reflected in the rituals that transmit a recreation and renewal of social order In northern Europe there aren’t clear evidences of Dismemberment of the sacrificed victims, be that animal or human, in fact in northern Europe the preferred sacrificial act Of a human being was actually hanging But we have a truly interesting account that reflects this idea of dismemberment of the cosmos We have the case of King Halfdan, whose reign had been blessed with great seasons which influenced the fertility of the land and the crops It was an especially great period, a very prosperous time under King Halfdan’s reign People placed so much trust in the King himself and clearly his rulership had been blessed That when he died His body was immediately carried away to be buried in a specific place so that the blessings of fertility During his reign blessings propitiated by the king himself Could continue on after his death the point here is that people relied on the king and on his sacrifices to the gods to ensure prosperous seasons and after the King’s death people did not want to lose the blessings because the king was dead and could no longer sacrifice. So the idea was to bury the king on Sacred ground and sacrifice to the king and as such through those sacrifices to the dead king Prosperity could go on The King was meant to be worshipped after his death to propitiate the fertility of the soils Where he was to be buried However, people from many different districts wanted the King’s body for their own to bury him in their own lands to ensure prosperous seasons in their own regions so what people did was to divide the King’s body and bury each part in different places so everyone could continue to worship Him to have his beneficial influence bestowed upon them each influential person of various regions that came to the funerary ceremonies Took one part of the body, and laid it in a burial mound in their own regions burial mounds raised with the sole purpose to place part of the Kings remains and make sacrifices to the mound to acquire the Kings blessings and good fortune to continue to propitiate fertility in the land This is the same idea expressed in the previous examples important people rulers of their own districts took part of the king the same idea of recreation and renewal of social order and to express the Hierarchical structure and just as Ymir’s body parts made the world, created the life This sense of fertility, so did the body parts of King Halfdan were taken to ensure fertility prosperity nourishment of the soils in other words Ymir’s body parts created the structure of the physical reality that sustains life and King Halfdan’s body parts will also sustain life Take the example of ritual dismemberment in the mythological accounts of ancient Egypt and the ancient Near East, the dismemberment of the gods: Osiris, Attis, Tammuz, Aleyin and Mot Their deaths were associated with the seasonal cycle the annual death of the crops and vegetation The rituals associated with these gods are processes of renewal, of recreating particular conditions according to the traditional worldview the dismemberment of the Cosmos s reenacted with every sacrifice every sacrificial victim represents the primordial twin and the priests figure Presiding over the sacrifice is the victim’s brother The sacrifice is not meant to be carried out in Thanks or in celebration, but rather it is a creative act the ritual dismemberment and preparation of the victim and the distribution of its parts is a parallel with the mythical foundations of the cosmos and the construction of its parts This type of ritualistic sacrifice was carried out in times of change to destroy and recreate, create anew, to continue on the cycle to ensure the orderly aspects of society reflected in the order established after the dismemberment of the cosmos and the creation of the physical cosmos To finalize this video I would like to talk about the name of Ymir, again but its meaning in Old Norse which might give us a better perception of how pre-christian Scandinavians perceived the creation of the cosmos and all life Ymir also comes from the Old Norse “ymja”, which is to cry, scream, or screamer, groan or wail from the noun ymr Which is scream or noisy sound, therefore Ymir means screamer Ymir is also known as Aurgelmir, or Aurgelmir is his twin brother The name comes from the suffix gelmir, from gella and galmr, which is scream, from gala – to scream as said before To the name Ymir, the primordial giant, is given another etymology linked to the meanings of twin or hermaphrodite derived from the theoretical Indo-European word iemo This etymology has been generally accepted by scholars, even though this has been suggested almost 90 years ago But in Old Norse it would seem the name Ymir derives from ymja, as said before, to scream, the noun ymr, scream and noisy sound It’s important to take notice that Snorri Sturluson did not reflect upon the name of Ymir his general focus was to give evil attributes to Ymir as the justification for the three gods having to kill him and he focuses on Ymir as the raw materials or or primordial matter of the creation of the world and the gods and subsequently all mankind It’s possible that Snorri saw in Ymir, the four elements of creation: fire, air, water and earth, and they’re respectively qualities: hot, dry, moist and cold According to the Christian philosophy of the Middle Ages. I’ll leave a note in here so Snorri wasn’t really concerned in exploring the actual name of Ymir notice that Ymir comes into being by the reaction of the collision of nifflheim and muspelheim these realms provide the four elements of the creation myth as is reflected in Christian philosophy the four elements that make the primal matter Reflected in a figure of Ymir. So Snorri might have only focused on those aspects due to being a christians and the myth reflects his own philosophical religious understandings Perfect match so I think he failed to actually understand the name of Ymir, what it really implies The point here, is that fire and ice is in the creation myth of the heathens, and those who composed that perceptions clearly had a different message They were trying to pass on while Snorri tried to express a completely different message that fits into the Christian panorama of his own time Which shows that Snorri’s writings reveal His clear inclination to depart from the heathen source materials and he added layers of medieval Christian thinking to the accounts of course as previously seen Snorri doesn’t utterly destroy the pagan mythical accounts of creation But overshadows many important aspects of the pagan mentality So the meaning of Ymir was completely lost to Snorri He wasn’t interested in that at all. He was more interested in creating parallels with Christian philosophical religious ideas Ymid is screamer, and Aurgelmir is the “screamer from the deep” now bear it with me a Scream is a wordless voice. It is the raw material from which words are made It is sound, wail a roar, resounds and vibrates words and speech are vibrations. Remember that Ymir is killed and dismembered what if in pain he screams and the gods make words out of his screams, make creation out of vibration? Furthermore Ymir himself is the screamer So maybe Ymir screamed himself into existence and just as the same way he screamed our world into existence Which immediately makes sense, to me, at least, since in most Arctic native spiritualities It’s the breath that gives life and creates just as in Seidr the breath of the soul, the mind is placed into objects or animals to send forth the mind or even in Galdr, being the very breath that gives shape Creates and infuses incantations; the power of the soul in one’s breath Gala is scream Galdr is enchantment, incantation through the voice the power to create, to speak and give shape and form and manifest into reality the power of the spirit that is expressed in words in Vibration in the Nordic myth of creation to the world is given shape by the parts of Ymir’s body Ymir seems to be the metaphor for the cosmic scream the great Explosion and vibration that gave shape to existence or our own existence The physical world this vibration could be interpreted in a spiritual sense as the primordial consciousness, the cosmic consciousness and through its breath Scream, explosion, vibration, gave shape to existence, it gave shape to its own mind projecting the thoughts of the mind into reality Remember that Ymir was sleeping and from his sweat came the first beings; he was dreaming His dreams gave shape to reality, the projection of the mind From Ymir’s body everything is created, and from his hair comes the trees and The first humans in Norse mythology are trees, logs. So they to come into existence through Ymir Odin, Vili and Ve by Snorri’s hands are the creators however, in other accounts within the völuspá It’s Odin, Hoenir and Lodur, and they seem not to have been the creators at all They seem to represent the spiritual essences Humans need to be humans all the spiritual essence that matter requires to be alive Ymir screams things into existence Ymir creates matter, creates reality out of vibration while the three gods seem to be the forces that provide life to matter the required components Qualities and essences to give life to a functional living entity. While Ymir provided existence to that matter So that matter could be alive and live in the first place Ymir creates existence itself and projects reality into the physical while Heimdallr, which I will talk about in the future, creates mankind out of the matter that Ymir created and Odin, Hoenir and Lodur are the spiritual forces that give mankind- mental capacities the essence of the soul itself and let’s not forget that according to the myths the gods are the direct descendants of Ymir Let’s also not forget that we humans also scream ourselves into existence When we are born, we are often slapped, or sometimes it’s not necessary and we unleash our first scream That makes us draw our first breath What kind of metal impact the birth of a child may have had to archaic tribes in the past? as a matter of fact in shamanism Specifically Eurasian and the Arctic regions, it is said that the spirit only enters the body When the baby draws its first breath, the scream will make us take our first breath. And so the spirit enters the body This is well reflected in the myth of creation in Northern Europe Ymir creates things Unleashes vibration and creates matter and his scream creates all life but life is nothing without a spirit, a conscious, and so the three gods Odin his co-creators Lodur and Hoenir Give breath, conscious, spirit and all the attributes that that matter needs to be alive to be a sentient being Ymir is scream personified but how could we possibly create something from a scream? We turn it into words. Things are created by naming them, by putting words into them The gods gave a name to the sea and they called it Ymir’s blood, and so it was created They called the earth Ymir’s flesh and so it was created naming things is a form of defining something; it is to give a comprehensive thought and express what something is, and so things are created, everything exists by giving it a name Designated by a word if we don’t have a word for something we cannot talk about it We forget about it and the mind won’t interiorize it and so it won’t stay in memory Therefore it is forgotten and no longer exists The Scream is the raw material of words and words shaped everything else just as Galdr Singing incantation, transforming the scream and the breath into a tune it is the power to create, to give life, to enchant, to manifest spirit in the form of breath and give life the scream is the spiritual force that expressed the world of the mind and when unleashed the vibration of the scream will express that inner world and transform thoughts Into something visual or physical this is Galdr, singing incantation or in other words, Transforming The Scream which is the raw material of words into a tune a harmonious tune whose vibrations manifest the mind into existence. All things in our universe are constantly in motion Vibrating even objects that appear to be stationary are in fact vibrating resonating Resonance is a type of motion characterized by oscillation between two states and ultimately all matter is just vibrations as such at every scale all of nature vibrates When different vibrating things come together, they will often start to vibrate together at the same frequency brain waves vibrate consciousness vibrates Remember how geographically close Scandinavia is- with the Sami, the Sami of Lapland have the Joik It is a way to invoke an animal, a person or part of nature or the natural world the Joirk comprises sounds that rise spontaneously from the art- heart from the innermost thoughts The singer doesn’t merely joiks about something, he joiks something into being this is same thing among the shamans of the Amazon which by singing they call upon the spirits and the song gives voice to the power of the spirits that have been called upon song manifests the thoughts into existence and song is achieved by tuning it- Turning into a tune the scream, the breath, the raw vibration Alright my dear friends I hope you have enjoyed this video, quite a long one. I know I think I’ve scheduled this video for the 25th of December. So I hope you are enjoying the season and Obviously continue on enjoying this time of the year, happy yule! I do Hope you can still join me in this channel next year So a very special thanks to all of the subscribers of this channel and all those that come in stealth mode and don’t subscribe but watch the videos anyway, and of course a very special Thanks to my patrons. I’ve been at patreon for a year now and it has been remarkably helpful all the contributions given I have acquired so many sources to make these thorough works of Investigation So I’m quite happy about it. Thank you very much so Thank you so much for watching. See you on the next video, next year, and as always tack för idag!
(Thank you for today!) and Happy New Year!