Gamers' Corner

Search Articles

Creation Myths: From Ginnungagap to Odin

Written by The Editorial Staff

Page: | 1 |

Welcome to the Creation Myths Column of the "Through the Eyes of History" section. This column's purpose is to introduce you to the creation in a mythology. In this article, we will take a look at the beginning of the Norse Mythos.

In the beginning there was the void. And the void was called Ginnungagap. Within the void there existed the land of cold, Niflheim, which was located near the gates of Hel. There was the land of fire, Muspelheim, in the south. It was light and hot, and so incredibly bright and dazzling that no stranger could stand it. Muspelheim was guarded by Surth. He had a flaming sword in his hand. It is said that at the end of the world he will come and harry; conquer all the gods; and burn up the whole world with fire.

From Niflheim eleven rivers flowed, originating in the well of Hvergelmer. These rivers were called the Elivagar, and they were frozen, like the rivers of molten material of Muspelheim. Where they met and mixed Ginnungagap was filled; drops making the forms of the evil giant Ymir and the cow Audhumla. The cow's milk was Ymir's food. While Ymir slept his under arm sweat begat two frost giants, one male and one female, while his two legs begat another male. Meanwhile Audhumla nourished herself by licking the salty ice, and thus formed the god Buri. Buri begot a son Bor, who begot Odin, Vili, and Ve. Then Bor killed Ymir. In the flood of blood all frost giants died, except for Belthomir and his wife who escaped in an ark.

Odin, Vili, and Ve used the dead body of Ymir to create the world and the heavens by placing the body in the middle of Ginnungagap. His blood became the seas and rivers, his broken bones the rock and pebbles, and they made the sky from his skull; held up by four dwarves.The clouds were his brains. The moons and stars were sparks from Muspelheim. From his eyebrows they created a burg that protected all men, Midgard.

As Bor's sons traveled along the sea-strand, they found two trees. These trees they took up and made men of them. The first son gave them spirit and life; the second endowed them with reason and power of motion; and the third gave them form, speech, hearing, and eyesight. They gave them clothes and names; the man they called Ask, and the woman Embla. From them all mankind is descended, and a dwelling-place was given to them under Midgard.

Page: | 1 |