Norse Creation Myth: Between Fire and Ice
The Norse creation myth tells the tale of how everything came into life in the space between ice and fire. The story talks about how gods created the home planet of humans. Before the world was made, there was only a place known as Niflheim. It was a dark and cold region that is composed of frost, fog and ice. Niflheim is found in the northern region of Ginnungagap. Muspelheim is found south of Ginnungagap. It is the opposite of Niflheim because it is the land of fire. Here lives Surt, a giant who ruled over the fire giants and fire demons of the land.
Ginnungagap is a great void between the lands of fire and ice. The flames from Muspelheim and the frost from Niflheimmet in the void that resulted in the melting of the ice. The first drops formed Ymir, the first godlike giant. Ymir has the ability to reproduce asexually, and when he sweated, more giants were produced.
According to the Norse creation myth, the ice continued to melt, and Audhumbla came out of it. She is a cow that nourished the giant Ymir with her milk. She fed on the salt licks found in the ice. While licking the ice, she uncovered Buri, who was the first of the gods from the Aesir tribe. Buri had a son named Bor, who then married Bestla, the daughter of Bolthorn. Bor and Bestla are the parents of Odin, who is the chief of the Aesir gods, as well as his brothers Ve and Vili.
Odin killed Ymir with the help of his brothers and created a world from his corpse. According to the Norse creation myth, the ocean came from Ymir’s blood, soil from muscles and skin, clouds from the brain, skill from the skull, and vegetation from his hair. Four dwarves held the skull above the earth. The four dwarves represented the four cardinal points.
The Norse creation myth also talked about the other dwarves who went underground in a place known as Nidavellir. The dwarves were experts in craftsmanship and made most powerful weapons known in Norse mythology, such as the Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer.
Humans were created after the death of Ymir. Odin, Ve and Vili were walking on the beach when they found two logs, one from the Elm tree and another from the Ash tree. Odin gave the logs life and spirit. Vili gave them a speech, shape, five senses, and feelings. Ve gave them intelligence, mind, and movement. They were named Ask and Embla, and the gods decided that humans should live in the land called Midgard. The gods erected a fence around the land to protect them against the giants.
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