Wednesday, 22 August 2012

frost giants or manheimr steamroller

Here’s a clever and cute depiction of the nine worlds of Norse mythology, linked together by the cosmic tree of life, Yggdrasill. The legend of the map is accepted by most, the populations of each planet, like Manheimr home world to the humans or Jötunheimr for the Giants and with the same cast of characters, like the Squirrel, Ratatoskr, a mercurial figure that spreads gossips and carries insult from world to world, the different creatures assaulting the tree and the Eagle perched high above and stirring the winds on Earth with its wings. There is quite a bit of disagreement, apparently, on how these realms are arranged and relate to one another.
Were there supposed to be three levels, triads grouped together and clinging to the tree, like the chthonic, mundane and Olympian hierarchies of Greek mythology—or something completely different?
It is interesting, I think, how there are nine distinct regions and the Earth is acknowledged as just one among these—like the ninish planets of the Solar System, and that the Sun and Moon are not figured into the cosmology. Here is also an illustration from Carl Gustav Jung’s Red Book (Liber Novus) representing a similar archetype but perhaps as a tree of self-actualization. Having devoted sixteen years of work and reflection to this tome in order to better understand and explore his own theories on the collective unconsciousness and myth-making, I am sure that Jung also wondered about the ways we could map the universe and firmly believed in the importance of imagery and imagination.