The Poetic Edda, Grímnismál (st. 41-42)
Our Northern European ancestors had a vision of the world and multiverse that is radically different than the one that we are familiar with. We, as modern humans can only attempt to grasp the vibrant mytho-poetic consciousness that infused their reality, worldview and how they viewed their own placement in this unfolding drama. The microcosmic/macrocosmic model finds one of its most inspiring visions in the concept of our tangible world's origin being wrought from a gigantic "human" form that mirrors our own bodies. To view Midgard, and ourselves, as a chosen creation that is emblematic of a refusal to allow disorder to reign unchallenged, is an empowering inheritance that reaps great rewards when meditated upon.
Midgard was the first conscious creation to be executed (no pun intended) by the three sons of Borr, Odhinn-Vili-Ve, in response to what they viewed as an inhospitable and chaotic mess that served no other purpose beyond ceaseless perpetuation of non-evolving and monstrous beings. Keep in mind this was still a time outside of any enframing substance beyond the Ginnungagap's melding of polar elemental opposites. In form and essence it still was ur-life in a seething void without any true cosmic order or regularity.
The creator god triad of brothers, Odhinn-Vili-Ve, or Ecstatic Inspiration-Will-Hallowing, eventually synthesize into Odhinn after creating Midgard and giving life to humans. We don't hear of Vili and Ve again, due to their absorption into the Allfather's many nuanced personality. Their function and individual characteristics are in truth, inseparable qualities that help define and activate any magickal or creative endeavor. These three necessary ingredients must be present and effected before any transformation or "work" can take place. All three are essential; all three must work together as one. Odhinn is emblematic of what makes the human animal unique; a manifold whole whose many parts work in unison to effect change in one's surroundings.
So, carried away by the divine inspiration of how their universe could be shaped, Odhinn-Vili-Ve slaughter (sacrifice) Ymir, dismember his body and create the world that we as humans know. The divine triad are possessed by a new breed of consciousness that stands in opposition to the preceding age of titanic chaos. Indeed, they are the young and hungry triad seeking to topple the existing dominating reality triad of Ginnungagap-Niflheim-Muspelheim. This new world that they envision and create has vital cyclical order. It stands alongside and oftentimes in opposition to the forces of chaos; the giants and their realms of elemental extremes.
The creation of Midgard from Ymir's living body is a never ending source of symbolic imagery. It is the vital poetic mead that Skaldic wit in all its nuanced layers quaffs to see ever deeper into the mysteries! Ymir's body is our world. It is dead and not dead. It has changed form to become something other than what it originally was. Yes, creation is destruction is creation. This act of taking raw material and refining it is indeed a murder and a creative endeavor. Both virtuous and treacherous simultaneously.
It appears that after Midgard is set up in the Ginnungagap the framework of the multiverse unfolds from its axis betwixt the extreme poles of Niflheim (Ice) and Muspelheim (Fire). Midgard can be viewed as the seed that sprouted Yggdrasil, the World Tree, and as a gate to access the other eight worlds that surround it. Ymir is a symbolic entity of the Ginnungagap's womb, if you will, and since Midgard is made of Ymir's body, the Mother Void does live on in a significantly altered state. Ginnungagap ceases to exist as an inhospitable void and is now functioning as a pivot point for the eight worlds that revolve around it. Yggdrasil (Stead of Ygg) has unfurled itself and cosmic order has been born.
We will next take two paths that explore the Yggdrasil's Nine Worlds and the creation of Humans...