The Creation Story
In the beginning, Muspelheim is in the South. Niflheim is in the North. In between is the great spring Hvergelmir. Hvergelmir is located in Ginungagap, a chasm between Muspelheim and Niflheim. Ginungagap means "gap of gaps." Niflheim is nothing but ice. Muspelheim is nothing but fire. Hvergelmir is a huge boiling spring of water slowly melting the ice of Niflheim is the largest area. The action of the ice melting creates a giant called Ymir. Ymir emerges from the ice and is hungry. A second creature also emerges: Audhumla a cow which provides Ymir with milk. Audhumla licks the ice for salt, and as she licks she revels more beings. From Ymir come more creatures as well. From his legs a race of giants is created. Man and woman are created from his armpit. Audhumla uncovers the head of a god. He is called Buri which means "He Who Is Born." He comes out of the ice and takes a giantess for a wife. Audhumla then finds Borr he too takes a giantess for a wife. They give birth to Odin, Vili, and Ve.
Borr fathers Odin, Vili, and Ve. Odin, Vili, and Ve recognize that Ymir is evil and begin a war against him and the giants. They kill Ymir, and his blood pours out and floods everything. It drowns the humankind and all of the giants except one couple: Bergelmir and his wife escape in a boat. Later the races of giants give the gods much trouble because of this escape. When the blood subsides Odin, Vili, and Ve roll the body into Ginungagap and cut it up and create the universe. His skull becomes the sky. His bones become rocks. His flesh becomes the earth. His blood becomes the oceans, lakes, etc. His hair becomes vegetation. Odin, Vili, and Ve find maggots in the corpse. From the maggots they create elves and dwarves. There are light elves and dark elves. Dark elves are sometimes seen as being the same as dwarves. The skull of Ymir has to be held up by the sky. They use four dark elves for this job: Nordri, Sudri, Austri, and Oestri the four directions. Odin, Vili, and Ve take a walk along the lakeshore. They then from two trees, from which they create a man and woman to tend the earth: Ask (the ash tree = male) and Embla (the elm or elder tree = woman).
RAGNAROK "Destruction of the powerful ones." A day is going to come for the Fimbul winter (winter of winters) when brothers will be fighting brothers, parents will abandon their children, children will turn on their parents. There will be three winters with no summer. At the end of the winter it will be Ragnarok "the Twilight of the Gods,". On Ragnarok, many things will happen. Nidhug will gnaw through the roots of Yggdrasil at which time Jormungand will arise from out of the ocean and Fenrir will burst his bonds. Then Loki will be broken free and will lead the Frost Giants and all their dead souls into open combat against the Gods. They will have to cross a river on a raft Nagilfari which must be completed before Ragnarok. The raft is made from the fingernails of corpses. Hela has to release everyone. Garm breaks out of the Gnipa cave. All of this is accompanied by a great noise and commotion. Heimdall sees what is happening, blows a long blast on the Gjallar horn. All the Gods know what is happening and arm themselves. There is a tremendous number of horrid beings to face but the Gods are in high spirits. They are joined by the Einheriar who awaited this day for all time. Loki leads the horde across the river, headed toward a plan called Vigrid. There they meet in the battle of Ragnarok. Garm comes charging out of nowhere. Tyr faces Garm and the battle is long they kill each other. Loki comes charging up to face Heimdall. A long battle ensues, ending in the death of both. Even Surtri from Muspelheim appears and fights agains the Gods. Only Frey can equal him in brilliance. They meet in battle Frey doesn't have his sword and he is killed Surtri lives. Odin spies Fenrir coming. Odin has Gungnir, but Fenrir attacks him from his blind side and kills him. But Vidar, Odin's son, jumps forward and steps on Fenrir's lower jaw, grabs the upper jaw and rips the wolf in half. Thor can't wait to get at Jormungand, who is likewise full of fury. Thor blasts him with a blow that completely crushes his head. But his mouth is full of poison which pours over Thor. Thor staggers back nine steps and falls down dead. Then Surtri gathers his fire demons and they pour fire forth and destroy most of the universe. It is the end of the world. There is a ray of hope: Mimir the Wise takes two human beings and hides them in the folds of the trunk of Yggdrasil asleep. Lif (male) and Lifthrasir (female). They live through the battle. They sleep for years. The earth begins to turn green again they wake. They come forth to begin repopulation. And they see that some gods are now reappearing. Honir, Thor's sons Magni and Modi, Odin's sons Vidar and Vali, and Hoder and Balder.