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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in world tree

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

In the recent Loki series on TV, Marvel-Loki says "I can rewrite the story." He's talking about controlling time, alternate timelines and universes, and time travel. Comics fans are now calling him God of Stories, a title he had in the comics. 

Asa-Loki never held that title, but was certainly a driver of stories, being central to the plot of many myths. He makes change happen.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 When is the Best Time for Sugarmakers to Tap their Maple Trees? | Spring  2011 | Articles | W


Hungry is the lodge without a hunter.

There was a woman whose husband had died of the coughing ill. Without kinsfolk in the winter village to help them, times were hard for her and her children.

One year there came a time at the end of Winter, when nights are cold but days begin to be warm, that no food was left in the lodge. While they had strength, the children wept for hunger.

Then the woman nicked her breasts with a knife and let the children suckle her blood. In this way, their lives were saved.

But with time the woman herself grew weak from this blood-suckling, and in the end she died. When the ground had thawed, they buried her. From her grave grew a tall tree with beautiful silver bark.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs


I don't know if you have this thede (custom) where you come from, but around here the first ornament on the Yule Tree—after the lights and star, of course—is the Luck.

First ornament on, last ornament off. That's the Luck o' the Tree.

I don't suppose that there's any particular form that a Luck has to take, but here at my house it's a huge, clear glass bubble, big as your two fists held together. (Being the largest ornament on the Tree, it makes good aesthetic sense that it should be the first to be placed, as well.) After a lifetime of collecting, there are many rare and beautiful ornaments on my tree, but the plain, unadorned Luck is always the most beautiful of them all: in it the lights of the Tree, and in fact the whole Tree itself, are reflected (upside-down, of course). It's the whole Tree in little, the World-Tree in small. I suppose that's what makes it the Luck.

Last year, while decking the tree, I heard something bounce, and land. An ornament from one of the upper branches had slipped its twig and fallen onto the hearthstone. Fortunately, it hadn't broken when it landed. Whew, I thought.

It wasn't until I crunched glass underfoot that I realized what had happened. In its fall, the ornament had bounced off of the Luck and—gods, what an omen—broken it.

No wonder 2020 turned out the way it did.

Heartsick, wondering what the omen meant, I turned to take down the Luck. As I did so, I realized that, though the accident had broken out a section of the glass bubble's surface, the Luck itself was still largely intact. From a few steps away, you couldn't even tell that it had been broken.

I left it up for the remainder of the season, and it was the last ornament off the Tree, as usual.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

Yggdrasil is the World-Tree in heathen mythology. It grew by itself in the deeps of time, before the worlds came to be. The worlds are the fruit of its branches. Some art of the World-Tree depicts all nine worlds in the branches, while some depicts the worlds of fire and ice below the Tree with the Tree's roots going down into them. That image references the story of the birth of the universe in which the magically charged void divided into two main powers called fire (energy) and ice (patterns.) The dynamic combination of those two powers gave rise to matter and everything else, including the Tree, the Sacred Cow that woke up the gods and the giants, the Well at the root of the Tree, and all the raw materials from which our world was made.

Throughout most of the retellings in Some Say Fire of the stories collectively known as The Lore, the World-Tree is pretty much as described in the mythology. During the parts of the story that take place during Ragnarok, though, the main human character P sees Yggdrasil from the deck of the Naglfarr, the boat made of nails. She is basically in space, but also in a higher dimension, and the boat is not as it seems. It’s not literally a Viking longship despite how it appears. The view she has of the Tree is meant to be literal within the story, though. And the Tree is rotted in the heart-wood, hollow, and the Well below it is on fire. This shows how messed up everything is, and how much Ragnarok is needed by that point. At that point in the story, someone really needs to push the reset button on the universe and make a new one, because the old one is no longer sustainable.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    It's interesting to see how the myths of my ancestors are interpreted in a different country. The Norse gods appear in Oh, my God

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

A worldly empire does not provide safety. There is only the Great Void. It is my safety. It is the Goddess’ nurturing and loving Self.

A possible problem when pursuing success, in business or your personal life, is a false sense that you’re building an empire in which you will find safety. There is no secure empire, there is only the Great Void. And it is the one secure Empire.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tree with Suns

Check out this early 5th-century gilded silver pendant from West Gotland in Sweden.

If Stockholm University's Anders Andrén is right, this is an image of the ancestral universe.

According to Andrén, what at first looks like an abstract design—known to art historians as a pelta (“shield”) or mushroom-shaped design—is actually the World Tree (Andrén 140).

(Andrén does not say why it is that, if so, the World Tree's branching volutes should end in animal [=serpent?] heads, although the design has parallels in other contemporary art from Gotland [Andrén 141]. My own eisigesis [= ”reading in”] would be that here we see the Tree of Life resolving into animal life.)

At the top, we see the long-rayed zenith Sun, flanked by the short-rayed Suns of Sunrise and Sunset.

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  • Tyger
    Tyger says #
    What a beautiful way of looking at the world!

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Dark Stranger

There's a Dark Stranger standing in the living room.

He who, yesterday, stood between Earth and Heaven, now stands between ceiling and floor.

The son of the forest now comes indoors.

His fragrance fills the house.

Soon we will bestow him with lights, and all the royal heirlooms of the feast: every one a prayer.

But for now he stands in shadow, and naked beauty.

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