The World Tree | A Musing on Yggdrasil

Why did we come into this world? Why was I born? The premise behind birth–be it of a child, a creative endeavour or a business–has its roots in the world tree of which we are all a branch that bears fruit.

The world tree is a metaphor for the interconnected nature of all living beings: from plants, to animals as well as humanity and the heavens. The tree represents life; all life. It is a reminder that we have all sprung from the same source and that we are connected to each other in ways that we cannot even fathom.

In Norse mythology, Yggdrasil is the world tree. Yggdrasil is an immense ash tree that is sacred and holy. The branches of Yggdrasil extend far into the heavens, and the tree is supported by three roots that extend far away into other locations: one to the well in the heavens, one to the spring, and another to the well of Mímisbrunnr. Creatures, too, live within Yggdrasil.

After Ragnarök (Doomsday), the world tree, though badly shaken, would go on to be the source of new life. The myth of Yggdrasil emphasises that the tree is not only sacred–it is ‘human’, much like us, and therefore in need of compassion and protection.

We often wonder why we were created and for which purpose we were born. We know that it happened, even if we don’t know how, why and so on. In relationships and even in friendships, it is often ambiguous; the role that we are meant to play in another person’s life.

But one thing is for sure: we are all part of this world tree and it is undoubtedly a part of us.


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