What is Yggdrasil?

An introduction to the tree of worlds of the old Germanic people.


The structure of Yggdrasil in the online course is an interpretation.

The horse of Yggr

The literal translation of Yggdrasil or yggr's drasill would be 'The horse of Yggr'. Zoega translates Yggr as 'anxious'. But often Yggr is translated as 'the terrible one'. You can see Yggr as the symbol of your lower self, which is often terrible. In the mythology Yggr hung himself (or was hung) on the tree of worlds. After nine days he was initiated and transformed into Óðinn. See The initiation of Óðinn So Yggdrasil is a tool to transform your lower self into a divine being.


The origin of Yggdrasil

Wikipedia about Yggdrasil

The old Germanic people had a notion of a tree of worlds. This is a common notion among shamanic people throughout the world. Siberian shamans believe they can travel across a tree, which connects the spirit worlds. See: Siberian shamanism and worldtree. In the QaBaLah, a heathen-Jewish tradition, there is the tree of life, with four divisions and worlds in each division. Ancient people in the region of Mexico also had a tree of worlds with ten worlds.


I use the phrase "heathen-Jewish tradition" because orthodox Jews can not believe in the QaBaLaH as it is known by non-Jewish people. See: Christian D. Ginsburg: The Kabbalah, its Doctrines, Development and Literature. In the QaBaLah there is an image of the creator, with a head, a beard, etc. This image is heathen. Jews are not allowed to make images of the creator. Orthodox Jews often believe, that a mental image is also forbidden.

Ginsburg wrote about the Kabbalah as it is known to western people:

12. That Moses de Leon, who first published and sold the Sohar, as the production of R. Simon b. Jochai, was himself the author of it, was admitted by his own wife and daughter, as will be seen from the following account in the Book Juchassin, (p.p. 88, 89, 95, ed. Filipowski, London, 1857), which we give in an abridged form.32 When Isaac of Akko, who escaped the massacre after the capture of this city (A.D. 1291), came to Spain and there saw the Sohar, he was anxious to ascertain whether it was genuine, since it pretended to be a Palestine production, and he, though born and brought up in the Holy Land, in constant intercourse with the disciples of the celebrated Kabbalist, Nachmanides, had never heard a syllable about this marvellous work. Now, Moses de Leon, whom he met in Valladolid, declared to him on a most solemn oath that he had at Avila an ancient exemplar, which was the very autograph of R. Simon ben Jochai, and offered to submit it to him to be tested. In the meantime, however, Moses de Leon was taken ill on his journey home, and died at Arevolo, A.D. 1305. But two [173]distinguished men of Avila, David Rafen and Joseph de Avila, who were determined to sift the matter, ascertained the falsehood of this story from the widow and daughter of Moses de Leon. Being a rich man and knowing that Moses de Leon left his family without means, Joseph de Avila promised, that if she would give him the original MS. of the Sohar from which her husband made the copies, his son should marry her daughter, and that he would give them a handsome dowry. Whereupon the widow and daughter declared, that they did not possess any such MS., that Moses de Leon never had it, but that he composed the Sohar from his own head, and wrote it with his own hand. Moreover, the widow candidly confessed that she had frequently asked her husband why he published the production of his own intellect under another man’s name, and that he told her that if he were to publish it under his own name nobody would buy it, whereas under the name of R. Simon b. Jochai it yielded him a large revenue. This account is confirmed in a most remarkable manner by the fact that

See The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Kabbalah, by Christian David Ginsburg


Why an interpretation?

In ancient Icelandic texts there are fragments of information about a tree of worlds. There is no complete system in these texts. Some texts contradict each other. It is more or less like the bible: you can find anything if you look hard enough.

If you want to read more on this subject go to Truth about the Germanic people.


Was there ever a complete system of teachings about Yggdrasil?

Probably there were shamans and shamanic traditions, with a more or less complete system. Not 'complete' in the meaning that the system was finite, but in the meaning of comprehensive.

There never was an official doctrine for all tribes and all sibbes. Each sibbe had it's own system of philosophical, mythological and spiritual ideas. There were no heretics, because there was no church with a doctrine. From this we can conclude, that there was room for multiple complete systems about Yggdrasil or Irminsul.

Wikipedia about Irminsul




The Ulfhedhnar

Through all my studies on the subject, I came to believe, that the Germanic people were kept together by Secret societies of shamans. Members of these societies were all nars. A nar is someone who was killed in a symbolic way and then came back as a 'born-again-pagan'. They were dead to the sibbe (the biological family) and to the tribe. And because they did not belong to a specific family group, they could travel between the tribes.

The Ulfhedhnar were the bond of wolves. Ulf means wolf, hedh means skin. Nar is often translated as 'corpse'. But this is not the right translation. A nar was someone who was dead to the family and the tribe. To become a nar, you had to die symbolically and to be reborn as a new being. A nar was considered to be living partly in the common world and partly in the spirit world.

Translated to English a member of the Ulfhedhnar is a werewolf. But not as this word is abused by Hollywood. See: Shamanism: Werewolves and Werebears

The Ulfhedhnar were the teachers of the mythological and spiritual ideas of the old Germanic people. They had three degrees, just like the druids of France. The lowest degree was the skáld. It was their job to scald the old knowledge. The second degree was the thulr. It was his job to oversee the rituals and to make sure that everything was done properly. The third degree was the kennari. A kennari was considered to be a master of all kenningr. A kenning is a word that reveals the nature of something. 'Devourer of wood' is a kenning of fire. The Kennari was allowed to accept apprentices and to prepare them for a live as an Ulfhedhnar.

Julius Caesar wrote about the druids:

Chapter 13.

... But of these two orders, one is that of the Druids, the other that of the knights. The former are engaged in things sacred, conduct the public and the private sacrifices, and interpret all matters of religion. To these a large number of the young men resort for the purpose of instruction, and they [the Druids] are in great honor among them. ...

Chapter 14.

The Druids do not go to war, nor pay tribute together with the rest; they have an exemption from military service and a dispensation in all matters. Induced by such great advantages, many embrace this profession of their own accord, and [many] are sent to it by their parents and relations. They are said there to learn by heart a great number of verses; accordingly some remain in the course of training twenty years. Nor do they regard it lawful to commit these to writing, though in almost all other matters, in their public and private transactions, they use Greek characters. That practice they seem to me to have adopted for two reasons; because they neither desire their doctrines to be divulged among the mass of the people, nor those who learn, to devote themselves the less to the efforts of memory, relying on writing; since it generally occurs to most men, that, in their dependence on writing, they relax their diligence in learning thoroughly, and their employment of the memory. They wish to inculcate this as one of their leading tenets, that souls do not become extinct, but pass after death from one body to another, and they think that men by this tenet are in a great degree excited to valor, the fear of death being disregarded. They likewise discuss and impart to the youth many things respecting the stars and their motion, respecting the extent of the world and of our earth, respecting the nature of things, respecting the power and the majesty of the immortal gods.

The Gallic Wars By Julius Caesar, book 6

Translated by W. A. McDevitte and W. S. Bohn http://classics.mit.edu//Caesar/gallic.html


According to Caesar the training to become a druid was 20 years. In this time the student learned the sacred songs by heart. Nothing was written down, because that would make the people lazy. We should not believe everything Caesar wrote about foreign peoples. Much was based on 'hear-say'. But I do believe that there was a very long period of training and also that the students learned the sacred songs by heart.

I also believe, that the Germanic peoples had similar practices. I believe that priests of Óðinn were trained in a similar fashion. And that an apprentice had to learn all the sacred songs from the 'Vedda' before he/she would become a member of this bond of priests. (For the meaning of Vedda see Edda means wit) And I believe, that this bond had three degrees: Skáld, Thulr and Kennari. The skáld traveled between the tribes and sang the sacred songs around the fire at night. And he would exchange information between the tribes or negotiate about a truce or peace between warring tribes. So the skáld kept the knowledge of the religion alive among the Germanic tribes. The thulr conducted the rituals, consulted the runes, predicted the future and made sure that everything was done according to the rules of the faith. The Kennari was the wise master who taught and initiated disciples.

'Skandieren' in German and 'scanderen' in Dutch has the meaning of: 'shouting', 'proclaim (in a loud voice)'. (On the internet it is often translated as 'to chant', but that is wrong in my opinion.) Wiktionary states, that it is derived from scandere. I do not believe that. In Dutch there is also the word 'scalderen' with the same meaning as 'scanderen'. It seems likely to me, that the word 'scanderen' is derived from 'scalderen' or 'skalderen'. And that the skald the Edda songs 'Skaldeerde'. The old Edda songs had a special rhythm that was ideal for proclaiming the sacred knowledge in a loud voice. You can compare this with the rhythmic way rap-songs are proclaimed.

The word 'scalderen' in medieval Dutch can also mean 'schilderen' in modern Dutch. 'Schilderen' translates literally to 'painting' in English. But 'een schild' in Dutch translates to 'a shield' in English. The word 'scilder' in Late Middle Dutch refers to 'a shield maker' and to 'a painter'. The word 'scilderen' in Late Middle Dutch refers 'making a shield', to 'painting' and 'to stand guard' ('op schildwacht staan'). A Germanic shield was round and carefully painted with magical symbols. The Dutch word 'wapenschild' translates to 'coats of arms' and refers to heraldic symbols. The Dutch word for 'painting' is derived from 'making a shield and painting it with magical symbols'.

Jan de Vries states that 'scild' is derived from 'skel' ('splitting') and that the word 'scild' is named after splitted pieces of wood that were used to make a shield. (J. de Vries, Nederlands Etymologisch Woordenboek.)

In older Dutch the word 'scalderen' was used in stead of 'scilderen'. In Brabandsch museum voor oudheden en geschiedenis we find the text: "... tsamen met elkerbande materialen van calck, steenen, scalderen, nagelen, bert en yserwerck met dachuren ...". In this text the word 'scalderen' probably means 'painting materials'.

The making of a shield was a very important magical work for Germanic people. So perhaps making such shields was also an occupation of the old skálds. It would provide them with a source of income. To find out the importance of the magic involved in making such a shield search on 'shamanic shield' of 'sacred shield'.

Peculiar is the fact that the word 'scalderen' does not exist in 'de dikke van dale' (the standard dictionary of Dutch) and not in 'Nederlands Etymologisch Woordenboek' of Jan de Vries. Google can only find very few webpages with this word. But I remember, that I used that word around 1969 and that is was quite common in Rotterdam around that time. It could be a merged word, derived from 'scanderen' and 'schelden' (to scold).

skall in Old Icelandic seems related to the Dutch word 'schelden' (to scold), which is derived from 'scelden' (to rebuke, to reproach), 'sceldan' (to shout something to others), 'skelda' (to mock, to declare openly). Related to this are the Dutch words 'schallen' (to resound very loudly) and 'schal' (strong sound) 'schallen' is derived from 'schal' and an earlier form of 'schal' was 'scal', according to 'Nederlands Etymologisch Woordenboek' of Jan de Vries. It seems likely to me that 'scal-deren' meant 'singing the old sacred songs in a very loud voice' and that is what the skálds did. And that 'scal-deren' or 'scalden' is an ancient form of rapping. To illustrate this, take a look at the next verse from the Völuspá. There is a certain rhythm in this verse. Imagine yourself sitting around a fire with your siblings. And a skáld is standing in the light of the fire and he scalded a sacred song. Many young people today learn pop songs by heart without any difficulty. I remember most of the lyrics of pop songs from the 1970's in 2023. Most likely the young people learned the sacred songs simply by listening to a skáld and repeating it.


Völuspá 3

In the Völuspá we read:

At the beginning of the old cycle

the place were Ymir lived

there was no sand or sea

and no cool waves.

Jörð was not created

nor the sky above

empty space was mighty and young

and there was no grass.

The last line gives evidence, that this story is ancient. The old Germanic peoples probably came from tribal people that lived on horseback in Central Asia. No grass means no horses. See: Where did Germanic peoples come from.

I interpret 'ginnunga' as 'ginn ungr' which translates to mighty, great and young. 'Ginnunga' translates to deception, joking. Then the translation of the 7th line would be:

empty space was deceptive


I could not find webpages that see a relationship between the function of the skáld and 'to scold', 'skall', 'schelden' and 'scelden'. It seems likely to me, that one of the functions of a skáld would be to reproach people openly when they violated the customs of the community. In late medieval times during the twelve nights (Yule) Sinterklaas would visit the people in the company of 'black petes', which were originally young unmarried men with black painted faces who symbolized chthonic spirits. He was accompanied by Ruprecht. Rup-recht translates to 'reproach-right', the right to scold people for things they had misdone in the previous year. In late Germanic times this 'Ruprecht' was a function of the Yule young men (Jolasveinar).


The Ulfhedhnar taught about Yggdrasil and how to travel through this tree of worlds in a shamanic way. They also taught about the Runes and how to use them. But these teachings were only given at Utiseta's. Uti-seta literally means out-sitting. But it also means 'sitting at a crossroad'. This is often interpreted literally. But it should be interpreted as 'a moment in time and space were two people really connect'. Or when the path of the kennari really crosses the path of the apprentice. That is the moment were a kenningr can be taught.

The Utisetas are similar to the Upanishads. The Brahmins and the Germanic tribes have the same origin. See Truth about the Germanic people.

The Ulfhedhnar did not write. So there are no written sources of their knowledge. And we do not know about the ideas about Yggdrasil among the Ulfhedhnar.

Information about Yggdrasil are in the writings of Snorri Sturluson and in some songs of the Poetic Edda. But Sturluson was not a pagan. He studied with Christian priests and he learned to read and write. We do not know how much Sturluson really knew about the shamanistic ideas about Yggdrasil. See also Truth about the Germanic people#snorri. And some songs of the Poetic Edda seem Christian anti-propaganda. See Edda means wit#reliable.


Interpretation of Yggdrasil

In order to make sense of Yggdrasil, you have to interpret. Without interpretation you have only fragments of information. And as soon as you interpret, there is room for debate, differences of opinion, etc.

Because we grew up in a society that is programmed to think in terms of an official doctrine, the ultimate truth, etc., we are inclined to consider people with different opinions to be heretics. This is not only true for religion. In (medical) science there is no room for alternative healing, for example.

In a heathen culture there is no official doctrine and there are no heretics. There is room for your own interpretation. You have to interpret the world to make sense of it. And it is your own interpretation. You live in your own reality.


I have attended workshops of Native American shamans. One of them stated: "Only half of the knowledge of an apprentice comes from his teachers. The other half has to come from himself."

The only way to learn about Yggdrasil is by traveling it yourself. By reading of travelers books, you can prepare yourself for a travel. But whatever you read, it doesn't come close to the real experience of traveling.


Who wrote the ancient texts? Are ancient texts reliable?

Christian writers

People tend to believe, that ancient writers knew what they were writing about. If we consider the writers today, one can see, that most writers write things, that differ from the beliefs and paradigms of most people. The writers today try to be opinion-makers and they have there own agenda. Do you believe that it would be different in Iceland a thousand years ago?

The old Germanic people did not write. They had runes, but they were not characters of an alphabet. The Runes were magical signs and secrets and were used by shamans and sorcerers. Attempts to write with runes start with Roman influences. The Icelandic people who learned to write, learned it from Christian priests. So we should consider the fact, that they are at least influenced by Christian culture, if they were not Christian priests themselves.

In ancient Iceland around 1.200 AD it must have been hard or even impossible to follow the shamanic path and in the same live study with Christian priests. So one should question the dept of the shamanic knowledge of writers like Snorri Sturluson and others. And you should not believe everything you read on this website. I try to describe Yggdrasil as truthful as possible. But a written description is vastly different from the real thing. At best, the written description is in structure identical of the real thing. I do not believe it is possible to make a description of Yggdrasil that is in structure exactly identical to the real tree.


Sources of Yggdrasil

Shamanic and heathen interpretation of Yggdrasil

In 1988 I started in the Netherlands a correspondence course with the name 'Yggdrasil'. It was at that time a course with 48 lessons and 24 TRANCE-FORMATION sound-cassettes, with two TRANCE-FORMATIONS on every tape. Each lesson was about a world on the tree-of-worlds Yggdrasil.

One objective of this course was to give 'searchers-for-knowledge' information to develop their own mind and soul.

I combined many sources: Germanic writings, yoga from India, Persian-yoga, Persian magy (teachings of the priests of magoi from ancient Persia), alchemy and shamanism with Jungian psychology, alpha-training & mind-control and my own experiences. When you study the course Yggdrasil, you get expert knowledge about your own mind and soul, to the deepest levels.

Another objective was to help people heal themselves and to spread Light (in the meaning of insight, clarity, consciousness, knowledge) and Love (the universal kind) throughout the world, starting in the country I was born (the Netherlands). All TRANCE-FORMATIONS of Yggdrasil are about ancient Germanic deities and contain knowledge to transform oneself and the archetypes in our mind. With these TRANCE-FORMATIONS you can restructure your mind and soul to the deepest levels.


My own experiences

I come from a dysfunctional family. My father and his father were free-masons. I was abused in free-mason rituals and spiritistical seances from my birth to the age of four. Then my parents divorced. At seven I was placed in a home for children. At eleven I was placed by my psychotic mother. When I was twelve, I started with a Mazdaznan course, which was my salvation. I became familiar with breath-exercises and Persian-yoga to heal myself and to stabilize my mind. I also became vegetarian.

One of the participants of the Mazdaznan course was member of an ancient order, that claims to be derived from the order of Melchizedek. In that order I learned magic, alchemy and several forms of yoga. I also learned old Germanic shamanism and shamanic healing. When I was 18 I followed a course Silva Mind Control and a year later I did the Graduate Seminar and the Ultra Seminar. During my teenage-years I started to read books about the brain, endocrinology, many forms of psychology (Freud, Jung, Behaviorism, Transformational psychology). When I was 18 I gave a lecture about endocrinology in English to Mazdaznan-youth. Two of them were German medical students. They were very much impressed about my knowledge about the subject.

As a teenager I was quite different from my peers. My study of psychology made it clear to me, that something had gone wrong in my upbringing. I had some talks with a psychiatrist specialized in the treatments of juveniles, but he could not help me. Once he said: 'You have read much more about any subject than me'. Then I went to the psycho-analytical institute of Amsterdam and asked for complete analysis. They studied the papers of child-care about me, had a talk with me and concluded: 'We can not treat you. Your traumas are to severe, you lack a firm psychological foundation, but you can cope with the world. Analysis can bring up the old trauma's and destabilize you.'

Of course I did not accept this. Yes, I could cope with society. But I was not happy. Thus I decided to analyze and transform myself, using meditation, alpha-training, yoga, shamanism, Jungian psychology, etc. I created a brain-machine: a flip-flop circuit with LEDS in diving goggles, combined with electric-stimulation (TENS) in the same rhythm. I also created cassettes with guided meditations for myself. Step by step I went deeper in my mind, my knowledge increased.

My experiences with alpha-training, guided meditations, etc. helped me to create the course Yggdrasil.




Yggdrasil helps you to slay yourself !!!

As I described above, I was able to develop Yggdrasil after diving again and again into the deep unconscious with the aid of LSD. That is why Yggdrasil goes much deeper than most courses and teachings. But for the record: You don't need LSD to travel through Yggdrasil. I broke the trail an paved the way. The TRANCE-FORMATIONS can guide you without Entheogen drugs.

A very important part of Yggdrasil is slaying yourself. In the first part you first kill Ymir, the giant-of-old, which is a symbol of your father, patriarchal society and god. From its corpse you create heaven and earth. Then you meet Yggr, a symbol of your primitive self. You slay Yggr and you eat his heart. Then you are ready to climb Yggdrasil. Then at every level you slay yourself and you cast yourself into the fires of Jötunheimr.


Yggr is often used as an alias for Óðinn. I disagree with this interpretation.

Your lower self is Yggr. Yggr means 'the terrible one'. Yggdrasil comes from yggr's drasill: the horse of Yggr.

You have to hang yourself (symbolically), you have to die on the tree of worlds. And when you come back, your are no longer Yggr, but the manifestation of Óðinn. You come back as a Nar. See: Nar. You will be death for your family, your tribe or nation. And you will be a member of the Einherjar, the one and only army of Óðinn Atriðr Sigtyr (Odinn the lord of victory who rides to battle).


Yggdrasil is a very violent path, not intended for sissies. By climbing the tree-of-worlds you challenge your most primitive and basic fears and you simply devour them. If you have a living soul, you should realize, that you are the devouring fire. There is nothing that can stop you.





Óðinn initiated himself by hanging himself in Ygg-drasil, the tree of worlds. Before Óðinn sacrificed himself to himself, his name was Yggr (the terrible one). After he prepared himself sufficiently, he went hunting and killed a wolf. He cut out the wolf's heart and devoured it raw. According to other sources, he roasted it first. He then carved a rune in his left side with his spear Gungnir. After that he hanged himself in a huge ash tree in a leather sack. He hung in the tree for 9 days and 9 nights. And during this time he traveled through the 4 times 9 worlds. After 9 days and 9 nights he knew the entire Universe, and he knew himself. Then he also knew the runes, the magical signs and staff rhymes. He saw and sang a magical rune and freed himself. The leather sack tore open, and Óðinn was born. The terrible Yggr (the ego or lower self) had died on the tree. And Óðinn the lord of victory was born.

There are some writings about eating the heart of a wolf and becoming stronger. Snorri Sturluson writes in Heimskringla 1 revised edition (on page 61 of the pdf-file)

They were six years old. Álfr, King Yngvarr’s son, and Ingjaldr, King Ǫnundr’s son, started playing a boys’ game, and each was in charge of a team. And as they played, Ingjaldr was less strong than Álfr, and he was so upset by this that he cried bitterly. And then his foster-brother Gautviðr came up and [64] led him away to Svipdagr blindi (the Blind), his foster-father, and told him that it had gone badly because he was less strong and more feeble in the game than Álfr, King Yngvarr’s son. Then Svipdagr answered that it was a great shame. The following day Svipdagr had the heart cut out of a wolf and grilled on a stick and then gave it to the king’s son Ingjaldr to eat, and from then on he became the fiercest and worst-tempered of all men.


Yggr's horse

Previously I used to believe, that the leather sack in which the initiant was hung in the tree was made of the hide of wolves. When I reconsidered this, I changed my ideas about this. It seems reasonable to believe that an Úlfhéðnar used the pelt of a wolf for shamanic rituals. But when you want to make a leather sack of hides of wolves, you need perhaps three or four wolf-hides. That could cause severe logistical problems.

There is some evidence, that the horse was particularly linked to the worship of Óðinn. The horse of Óðinn is the eight legged horse Sleipnir. The eight legs of Sleipnir refer to the Year of Óðinn with 8_months. The Catholic church tried to ban the consumption of horse meat because it had a strong connection to paganism. Eating the meat of a horse that was sacrificed to Óðinn was similar to communion with Óðinn. See Norse rituals, specially the story about Hakon the good. (Or search on 'horse meat devil worship'.)

Suppose the initiant was hung in the tree in a sack of horse-hide. The hide of one horse is probably enough to make a strong sack, large enough to contain a man. That would explain why the world tree is called Yggdrasil. This translates to 'the horse of Yggr'. Perhaps the name Yggdrasil is derived from the sack of horse-hide.

Farwerck (Noordeuropese mysteriën en hun sporen tot heden) writes on page 427:

... On one of these feasts, the spring-feast, new journeymen were accepted. This is like the initiation of young men in the bond of warriors, which also happened in the spring. We do not have much literature about these initiation rites, but we can deduce that death and resurrection was an important part, as we see in initiation rites to this day. In several cases the acceptance as journeyman was done by submersion in water, which can be seen as death and rebirth. But there are also similar rites known. With the guilt of coopers the apprentice was put in the hide of a donkey or a horse and he came out of it as a journeyman. Sometime (in simplified form) the apprentice was put under a bench and re-appeared as a journeyman. The other journeymen would beat him like it was done with the Bersekrs. They said while doing that: "A boy crawls under, a journeyman appears." ...

Unfortunately Farwerck did not supply the source of this statement.

germ_source/farwerck_427_kl.jpg germ_source/farwerck_428_kl.jpg


By wrapping yourself in a leather sack, you shut yourself off from the light. The leather sack symbolizes not only the womb, but also your mental shield with which you separate yourself from reality. After your initiation, the membrane with which you have surrounded yourself tears. Then the light flows into you and you get to know yourself and the truth about the universe. The universe is in Ginnunga-gap. Once you understand that the universe is not what it seems to be, you are free.

In 1988 I hung myself in a leather sack for nine days. See: Who and what is Firewolf?#initiation

The verses 138-142 of Hávamál seem to describe the initiation of a 'priest' of Óðinn. I made a new translation of these verses, that differ from traditional translations.


Hávamál 138

You should know that I fought and then was hung (in a leather sack) in a sacred tree at night. For nine days and nights I traveled through the (four times) nine worlds of Yggdrasil. With a spear I was marked and given to Óðinn. My lower self to my higher self. Nobody knows the origins of that tree or to where its roots grow.

I am not sure if this translation is good. In the manuscript it is written: 'geiri un [new line] daþ'. Usually this is interpreted as 'geiri undaðr' and translated as 'spear wounded'. I translated this as 'spear signed' with the meaning: a mark is made at the left side at the height of the spleen. In Old Frisian 'daþ' could mean 'death'. So it could also mean 'una death'. When you sacrificed yourself to Óðinn or another deity, it was assumed that you would die as a member of the sippe and tribe. And you would be reborn as a nar (someone who is cultic death). So we can explain this as: you mark yourself with a Rune with a spear at your left side and you are content to die in the tree and be reborn as a nar.

In the first line the word 'at' has many meanings. I interpret it as 'Yggr's at' meaning 'Yggr's battle'. It could be, that 'at ek hecc' refers to 'a battle at a hedge'. 'at ek hecc' is usually interpreted as 'that I hung', but that is just tradition.

Perhaps the translation should be like this:

Know I fought (with the wolf by a) hedge (near the) twisted tree (yggdrasil)

at night (i traveled through) all nine (worlds)

spear signed and given to Óðinn, quite happy to die

(sacrificed) myself (to) myself

on that tree

(of which) nobody knows

from where its roots grow


Hávamál 139

They gave me no food and nothing to drink. I peered down. Then I took up the secrets. I chanted the secrets to take them in. Then I fell farther and deeper into more mysteries.

Imagine an initiant in a leather sack hanging in a tree for nine days. After hanging for a while you get in a trance and start to see an alternate reality. You take in the Runes, you find out about the secrets. (The word 'runes' in this sense does not mean carvings on a stick, but secrets. That is what 'Runes' mean. They are magical signs but also secrets.) And then you fall deeper and deeper. You go to the deepest worlds of the three roots and to the highest worlds of the trunk.



Hávamál 140

Mighty songs did I learn, four times nine worlds I traveled through. I learned them from Óðinn, the famous son of 'Hard Dick', the father of Bestla. Then I was rewarded with precious mead, which sipped through a hole in the sack. This was poured out of óðr erendi.

Nine is the sacred number of the Indo-European peoples.

I replaced böl þorn with ból þorn. When you take a close look at the manuscript (below) it is not possible to see that it should be read as Bölthorn. It looks to me like 'bail þœr' or something like that, but these words make no sense. Bölthorn can be translated as 'evil thorn', which makes no sense. Ból means (1) lair or lying place (of beasts and cattle); (2) couch, bed. Then Bólthorn could mean "thorn that lies in bed". That is a kenning for a man in bed with an erection. So 'Hard Dick' seems a good reference for the father of Bestla.

These lines suggest, that 'Hard Dick' was not only the father but also the grandfather of Óðinn. 'Hard Dick' is the father of Bestla, who was the mother of Óðinn. And Óðinn is called 'the famous son of Hard Dick'.

I interpret óðreri as óðr erendi. It is a drank that sends your mind on a frantic mission, a quest for knowledge. According to this line, óðreri is a kettle. Some people and some old texts use the word óðreri fot the mead. Jan de Vries argues in 'Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte II' paragraph 390 that the mead was made in three kettles, like the Soma in ancient India. I have no doubt that óðreri refers to one of the three kettles. But perhaps later it was also used for the mead.

Imagine a person that is initiated by hanging her/him in a leather sack in a tree for nine days without food or water. Nine days without food is doable, but nine days without water is not possible. But when you hang the initiant in a leather sack in a tree nine days before Easter, you can expect rain. This rain seeps through an opening in the leather sack. And in a trance this water that seeps down through the leaves of Yggdrasil becomes precious mead poured out from the kettle óðreri from a higher world.



Hávamál 141

To become valiant and glorious, and to become learned, and to grow and to acquire the craft. My word begot more words. Words became a quest. My work begot more works. Works became a quest.



Hávamál 142

Secrets you shall find, and Rune staves for counseling and magic. Staves that are colored by the great thulr and created by the ruling powers. As they appointed Hroptr as supreme leader.

The thulr was a degree within the bond of wolves. The great thulr is probably Óðinn. The initiant was hung in a leather sack in a sacred tree. But who hung her/him in the tree? Probably some werewolves did that, lead by a thulr. Perhaps this thulr sat under the tree and chanted songs to help the initiant on her/his journeys.

Regin is translated as 'regents'. The regin are the divine powers, that rule Middle Earth and the other worlds. They are not mentioned by name. It is a reference to an abstract concept of ruling powers.

Hroptr is an alias for Óðinn. Óðinn is also referred to as king. As leader of the Wild Hunt his name is Harlequin or Har the King.

It seems, that the ginnregin or Mighty Regents are not subtantial, not material. Óðinn is one of the ginnregin but also a materialized power. As such Óðinn is 'the king of all', the All-father, the one that oversees and controls everything.





Yggdrasil is an interpretation

I have studied ancient Germanic resources as good as I could. I have tried to avoid contradictions with ancient texts. This course of Yggdrasil is a pure heathen system of knowledge. But in order to make a complete system, I had to fill the gaps of knowledge. Other people can fill the gaps in another way, interpret the heathen cosmology in an other way. And that is the heathen way.

Yggdrasil is not 'the ultimate truth', 'the final system of Germanic teaching', or something like that. Every Germanic tribe had it's own interpretation of the Germanic cosmology. Each sibbe had it's own deities. And don't forget this: The Germanic tribal knowledge goes back thousands of years. Do you believe that a Germanic shaman at 3.000 BC had the same ideas as a Germanic shaman at 100 BC? If so, you deny progress, evolution of ideas, evolution of cosmology.

I do NOT want to go back to the old Germanic cosmology. Yggdrasil is a modern interpretation of the old cosmology. And it has meaning for people in a modern society.


Yggdrasil is something new, it is not historically correct

A new form of shamanism and yoga

When I created the course Yggdrasil, I also used my knowledge of the Parsis and of yoga from India. Sometimes I made a big leap from ancient Germanic mythology, filling in large gaps in our knowledge. It was not my intention to write about the beliefs of our ancestors or to be scientifically correct. Yggdrasil is based upon ancient mythology, but it is also based upon Jungian psychology. It is not a study of the past, but a path towards the future.

There are people, who want to live like the Germanic tribes. I don't. I like a hot shower, my computer, central heating, modern medicine (when alternative medicine fails), internet, human rights, etc. When you don't like your society, it is easy to flee into fantasies about ancient cultures. But living in those days was hard. Each winter there was hunger, even starvation. Before the winter, there were bands from other tribes who could steal your food. Many men died by violence, many women died while giving birth. I do not want to go back to such circumstances.


Shamans are travelers

A shaman is not only a psychic healer. Foremost it is someone who travels to other worlds. Some people believe that these other worlds exist only in our mind. Other people believe in an objective astral world or objective other worlds. I don't have enough hard evidence to choose for one of those possibilities. And it really doesn't matter. When you close your eyes and you visualize yourself in another world, you start a transformation process. You change.

For me, shamanism is not particular for healing others, but for healing and transforming yourself. In many countries shamanic healing of others is discouraged or even illegal.


If you claim that you can heal someone and that person dies, the priests of modern medicine will blame you. In the Netherlands we had a psychic healer (Jomanda) who claimed that she could heal. A cancer-patient died, refusing regular cancer-therapy. The family of the cancer-patient testified, that the healer was not to blame. But the media started a smear campaign. A civil servant broke the law to obtain 'evidence' of some wrong doing of the healer. The healer was prosecuted but the court found her not guilty after five years. The healer had to emigrate.

But what had the priests of modern medicine to offer to this patient (named Silvia Millecam)? If they had been honest to her, they should have said: 'Silvia, we will cut off both your breasts, will poison you with "medicine" so that you will be sick and loose all your hair, and than you have a 50% chance that you will survive!' Put it like that, modern medicine is not very appealing.

Generally speaking, the priests of modern medicine are unreasonable. As unreasonable and almost as violent as the inquisition in the late 16th century. And they are in power. So I suggest you avoid confrontation with them and claim only to heal yourself.


I do not claim that Yggdrasil will heal your physical ailments or that you get the power to cure physical ailments of other people. Maybe it does, maybe it does not. Yggdrasil is for healing your mind and soul, and for development of your own consciousness. It is a system to bring light and love in your innermost being. And if you desire to do so, you can form a Circle of Light and Love and share your light and love with other psychic explorers, shamans and other misfits.


Read further about the Structure of Yggdrasil


With Light and Love, Andreas Firewolf


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Who and what is Firewolf?

Werewolves and Werebears

There is no truth

Germanic tribes lived from about 3500 BC to 100 AD. Each tribe had its own myths and customs. And they changed over time.

So we can not say things like: "The Germanic people were like this and they believed that".

Edda means wit

When you put a 'V' before the word Edda, you get Vedda or Veda.

Vedda or Wedda is related to the Dutch word 'weten' and the Germand word 'wissen' (to know) and the English word 'Wit'

The Edda, the Rig Veda en the Zend Avesta have the same origin.

Old Germanic calendar

The Year of Óðinn had eight months of one and a half moon. Then followed the 'time between the years' of Yule. This period lasted a half moon.

A year consisted of 12 and a half moon. As a result, the year started alternating with a full moon or a new moon. This resulted in feminine and masculine years or positive and negative years.

In this calendar a year is 3.89 days to long. In nine years this amounts to 35 days. So once in every nine years the last month was shortened by a whole moon or with one and a half moon.

Where did Germanic peoples come from

According to DNA research of David Reich et al. the Germanic people came from Central Asia from the Yamnaya culture.

Secret societies in old Germanic culture

About Úlfhéðnar, Bersekr, Goat-riders and other strange people and strange societies.


Ginnunga-gap, the Great Joke Hole

The beginning of everything is ginnungagap. This is a kenning for the universe. It is a deceptive (ginna, ginning) hole. It is also the open space (gap) for the great jester (ginnungr): Óðinn. At the same time it is the great (ginn) young (ungr) chaos (agi). You can compare these meanings with the maya concept of the Brahmins. According to the ancient indo-european insights, creation is a deception and you can only find the truth within yourself.

I do not like social media

and I am firmly against privacy violations.


This site respects your privacy. Read here more about it.

How to navigate these websites


This website has a lot of pages and a lot of information. This page will give you information about how to navigate these websites.

Native European shamanism

Purpose of Yggdrasil and the Runic Tarot

Nine layers

A model of the cosmos

This is a description of a model of the cosmos. A new cosmology. This model has nine three-dimensional layers. Several forces connect these layers through the fourth dimension.

Most people believe, that they can see the physical world, but that is not possible. Our senses perceive an abstraction of the physical word. What we 'see' is a mental image of the world.






noise | mocking, derision


year | plenty | name of a Rune | oar | first beginning | anciently, of yore | early




a heavy (swelling) wave, a roller | time, age | old cycle


there, at that place


who, which, what | am, is






was | to warn, caution | to give (one) a foreboding of | wares


sand | the sea shore



sea | seen


balcony | to chill, cool




jörð (the earth, Mother Earth)




never | at any time | not




gap, empty space | ;shouting, crying


deception | joking


but, and, if, when


grass, herbage, herb


each, every one | whosoever | nowhere | by no means, not at all


mighty, great




to know, to see




towards, against, to, along, around, at, in | was not | an incited conflict or fight


to hang, to be suspended, to cling, to be hanged | hedge




longitudinal beam|pole, log|(gallows) tree


on, upon, in




everybody, everyone, all




gore, triangular strip | spear




and, as, and yet, but, then, also


to give, grant












no man, nobody


who, which, what




off, from; out of; past, beyond; of; with; denoting parentage, descent, origin; on account of, by reason of; by means of, in regard to;




flows, streams, runs


to be content, to dwell, to abide, to enjoy, be content with a thing


against, towards, along with, among, by, at, close to, towards, at, with


loaf of bread




hand over, deliver, part with




to pry, peer


son, kinsman, relative


to take (possession), to take in, to learn, to consume


up | drink or eat up | to find out | upon



crying, shouting


fell, (isolated) hill, mountain


farther back


thence, from there, after that


down, downward


mighty songs


in, into


to make famous




bólþorn (man with an erection, maternal grandfather of Óðinn)


bestla (mother of Óðinn)




drink, drank


great quantity, excess, pride, too (much), too (long)


hole, opening | got, begat


rewarded, payed


high priced, valuable, precious




poured out




mind, feeling | song, poetry | mad, frantic | furious, vehement, eager


errand, message, mission, business | breath (ørendi)


bale, misfortune


thorn, spike


lair or lying place (of animals), couch, bed, farm


then, at that time, there-upon, in that case, when


valiant glorious


knowing, learned, well-informed


to be, to exist, to happen, to last, to dwell, to stay


to wax, to grow to increase, to grow in fame


artifice, craft, device, cunningly


to have


word, message








work, piece of work, deed


verse-making | deeds


works, deeds


shalt, wilt, certainly you will, must




to find, to meet one, to visit, to find out (invent), to discover, to perceive, to notice, to feel


advising, giving counsel


staves, rune-staves


much, greatly, very


strong, mighty, powerful


stiff, rigid, adamant


painted, colored


the mighty sage or speaker


made, created


mighty regents, great gods


raised, erected, risen


hroptr (name for Óðinn)


prince, king

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