The World Tree

(Image source: popten.net)

The World Tree is a fundamental spiritual concept found all over the world. I believe the Tree of Life is an original Magickal teaching stretching back to the dawn of human history. In my opinion, none is more complete or beautiful than the pre-Christian, Norse mythological, World Tree called "Yggdrasil."

Yggdrasil means "Ygg's Horse" or "Odin's Horse." Odin (Woden) is the pagan Germanic god of occult wisdom.

As Wizards, our intention is to directly interface with the nine worlds and the eleven dimensions of the World Tree. Like Odin, we will mount our Magickal eight-legged steed, Sleipnir ("Slipper") who has the ability to "slip" through the cracks between the worlds.

It is no coincidence that the Tree of Life has nine worlds and that Sleipnir, the Magickal horse of Odin has eight legs. Our Sun Wheel mandala has eight spokes but when you include the center hub, we have at total of nine worlds.

The Nine Worlds of Yggdrasil, The World Tree are:

  • Asgard (Fort of the Celestial Gods)
  • Jotunheim (Giant Home)
  • Svartalfheim (Dark-Elf Home)
  • Muspelheim (Fire Home)
  • Helheim (Hel Home)
  • Vanaheim (Wane Home)
  • Ljossalfheim (Light-Elf Home)
  • Nifleheim (Mist Home)
  • Midgard (Middle Earth)

In order to interface with the Tree of Life, we first need to know where on the Sun-Wheel each world of the World Tree is placed. Next we need to know what type of energy each world represents.

First let's look at a modern version of Yggdrasil according to Modern Teutonic Animism:

In Sun-Wheel Magick, Life-Force manifests through the eight directions of the World Tree in a clockwise manner. Through understanding the meanings of the nine dimensions, we can see how Energy creates the entire Universe.

Let's take a look at each of the nine worlds:

North-East (Asgard) represents the highest, most pure Energy during the conception stage. This is best symbolized by the highest expression of Divinity. For this reason, the NE direction is called As-G(u)ard or "Fort of the Heavenly Gods."

East (Giant-Home) exudes with expanding Life Force Power as it begins its descent into the physical plane. This is the energy of the expansive Element of Ether. The Norse symbolized this expansion with the home of the Giants who represent primordial life. This is the birthplace of Qi energy and the origin of the reptilian brain.

South-East (Dwarf-Home) represents the realm of Humanity. This is where the internal fire of awareness takes form. The Norse symbolized this force with the power of the "Dark Elves" or the "Dwarves." The Dwarves represent the power of the subconscious mind that gives physical form to ideas. This is the realm of the internal, spiritual fire of Kundalini.

South (Fire-Home) embodies the power of self-expression. This is where the external fire fully expresses itself in the physical realm. This is the home of the fires of entropy that eventually destroy the manifested Cosmos before it is re-born. This is the outward manifestation and expression of individuality. This is also the realm of transformation through destruction. This is why the South is the energy of war and of the Fire Element. Here resides the Power of emotions and of the individual self.

South-West (Hel-Home) is the direction of the underworld known as Hel. (Notice that there is only one 'L'.) This is not the flaming eternal, punishing Hell of the Christian religion. Human souls come to the underworld to purge themselves of unfinished karmic attachments and prepare for reincarnation. Hel is a place of healing and regeneration. It is also the realm of the Unconscious. But, beware, the rulers of the Underworld can deal out some very serious "tough love" to those with excessive pride. When working in this direction, be mindful of your faults and humbly seek to release your defects of character. Otherwise, Hella, the goddess of the Dead may decide to gift you with a very challenging life-lesson.

West (Wind-Home) is the home of the Wind-People or the Vanir. The word "Vanir" comes from the same Indo-European root word for Wind, Vision, Wisdom and Venus. The Wanes are the gods of Earth and fertility. This is a place of practical Magick and deep wisdom. It is the home of the Air Element as it begins it condensation into Water. The West is the realm of meditation, peace and spiritual liberation. This is why the Vanir are called the "Elder Gods." This is because they embody Life Force Energy after it has been purged in Hel. This direction represents the relaxed mastery that comes through experience. This is the realm of Higher Consciousness.

North-West (Light-Elf Home) is the dimension of the "Light Elves." These beings are more commonly referred to simply as "Elves." This is the home of the Ascended Masters who guide and instruct humans in Middle Earth. This is the realm where Life Force pauses just before it is re-absorbed into the Void. This is the dimension of the Bodhisattvas who have decided to help others through their journey of spiritual evolution. This is the realm of Super-Consciousness.

North (Mist Home) is the empty Void of pure potential. This is where energy is re-absorbed before it is once again manifested through pure light and sent into Asgard. This realm is not truly empty. In fact it is highly charged and seeking to be actualized. This is the realm of dark, foreboding Magick. One should not venture here without a clear objective, otherwise the power of the Void may swallow you whole. A wizard armed with a strong, clear objective and knowledge of self can manifest powerful spells through the sheer Power of this dimension. This is the place of the Abyss or No-Consciousness.

Center (Middle-Earth) This is the center of the Sun-Wheel that connects to all of the other eight worlds. This is where humans live. In the Center, Odin (the Wizard) is mounted on his steed Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse of shamanic awareness. The eight spokes of the Sun-Wheel are the eight legs of Yggdrassil or the eight branches of the World Tree. Midgard is the place of Waking Consciousness and for Wizards, it is the realm of Complete Mystical Awareness.

The number 11 is the number of Infinity. When these eight branches of the World Tree are combined with the three levels of the Axis Mundi (Upper, Middle and Lower worlds), we see the complete 11 levels of the Magickal Tree!

In the FREE online Sun-Wheel Magick apprenticeship course, you will learn how to work with each spiritual dimension of the Tree of Life and the Axis Mundi.

For more info on the Norse Tree of Life, click Yggdrasil

Click World Tree to learn about other versions of this concept in different cultures.

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