Norse Mythology Creation Story

So what better way to kick off our blog than to start with a series of creation stories. A creation story tells us how a group of people thought the world worked. It shows what their values probably were and what the held close in their communities. I’m thinking of hitting some major regions, Greek, Norse, Egyptian, and some lesser known, something from Africa, Native American, Australia, maybe China and India too? There are just so many different creation stories, it’s hard to cover just one!

So, because I get to write this, I’m going to start with the Norse today. Norse mythology holds a special place in my heart. I come from a Nordic heritage and am a Norse pagan. These stories will always be close to me, however, I promise I won’t spend ALL the time on the Norse.

The Cosmo’s Creation

Norse Cosmology and Creation
The Norse Cosmological Model by Finnur Magnusson.

The fact of the matter is that the Aesir are a destructive people. This destruction though is what brings new life over and over. In their story of the Cosmos the first God-Giant, Ymir, was the first being created out of the flame-kissed ice of Niflheim. You know who else came from the ice of Niflheim? That’s right the primordial cow, Audhumbla. She fed Ymir her milk and survived on the salt in the ice. Ymir, being the God-Giant he is, was able to create his children from his own sweat and these children are what became the giants that we hear so much about through all of Nordic Mythology.

It is actually this licking of the ice that brought the first Aesir, Buri, to life. And here’s where it gets interesting, Buri had a kid. Bor. One of the Giants, Bolthorne, had a daughter. Her name was Bestla. Bestla and Bor got together and had three kids. These children are, big surprise, Odin, Vili, and Va.

Up to this point, we have been all about creation, but now. I got to tell you, it was Odin and his two brothers that killed Ymir to create the world as it is now.

The Death of Ymir before Creation by Inga Torfadottir
The Death of Ymir by Inga Torfadottir (mixed media)

The oceans were created from Ymir’s blood. The soil from his skin and his muscles. His hair became the plants and the sky is his skull. His brains became the clouds. And this was the creation of where we all live now. Midguard. The three brothers then created the first man, Ask, and the first woman, Embla from the trunks of two trees.

Thinking About It Now…

There is so much destruction in Norse mythology. It seems fitting that these are the gods that the fearsome Vikings would have worshiped. But what strikes me as I learn more and more about them is that they really get into the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Very little in Norse mythology comes from nothing it seems.

I love this story more than some of the other creation stories that we will get to in this little series. With how Ymir and Audhumbla were born of the ice of Niflheim that was melted by fires of Muspelheim. To me, this is where the whole point of destruction and creation starts. And it just cycles from there. The birth of the children, the destruction of parents then using their bodies to recreate the world yet again. It is wonderful.

Well, that’s enough for today! Tell me below what you like about Norse mythology! Where do you want me to go in this creation of the world series? See ya!

Sources:

The Poetic Edda, Völuspá – http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/poe/poe03.htm

The Poetic Edda, Vafþrúðnismál – http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/poe/poe05.htm

The Poetic Edda, Grímnismál – http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/poe/poe06.htm

The Prose Edda, Gylfaginning – http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/pre/pre04.htm

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