Viking Cosmology Map Picture

My final project for Viking Mythology class! This is a diagram showing how the Vikings believed the universe was arranged. Basically, the World Tree (Yggdrasil) acted as a sort of 'skeleton', and then its roots and branches connected the Nine Worlds (Nilhel) together. Here's a key so you can look up what all the figures in the picture are:

Alfheim – the realm of the light elves

Andlang – The realm between Asgard and Vidblain

Asgard – The realm of the gods, specifically of the family of the Aesir. Is also where Vahalla and Weird’s Well are located.

Bifrost – The rainbow bridge between the realms of Asgard and Midgard. Is guarded by Heimdall of the Aesir.

Dain – one of the stags of Yggdrasil

Duneyr – one of the stags of Yggdrasil

Durathror – one of the stags of Yggdrasil

Dvalin – one of the stags of Yggdrasil

Gimlé – The safe haven for the righteous who survive the events of Ragnarök (the apocalypse). Is said to be located in Vidblain.

Hati Hrodvitnisson – The celestial wolf that chases the moon around the heavens. Is said that at the time of Ragnarök, Hati Hrodvitnisson will finally catch the moon and destroy it.

Heidrun – The she-goat that lives atop Vahalla. Is said to eat from the leaves of Yggdrasil, and gives mead instead of milk.

Hel – The land of the dead. Is ruled over by Hel (daughter of Loki), and is said to be the place where those who don’t die in battle go to live in the afterlife.

Hraevelg – The great eagle of the north who creates the wind. His name means ‘The Corpse Eater.’

Hrimfaxi – Night’s horse

Hvergelmir – The spring from which the rivers of Niflheim flow – Svol, Gunnthra, Fiorm, Fimbulthul, Slidr, Hrid, Sylg, Ylg, Vid, Leiptr, and Gioll

Iormungand / Midgardsorm – ‘The World Serpent.’ Is said to be coiled around the realm of Midgard, holding it together. Is the archenemy of Thor, and will fight him at the time of Ragnarök, during which he will uncoil himself from around Midgard, causing it to fall apart.

Jotunheim – the realm of the frost giants

Midgard – the realm of mortal human beings

Muspelheim – the realm of fire

Nidavellir – the realm of the dwarves

Nidhogg – The great serpent of Niflheim. Is said to eat away at the roots of Yggdrasil, and exchange insults with the eagle atop Yggdrasil via Ratatosk.

Niflheim – ‘The Realm of the Mists.’ Is where Hel is located, along with Nidhogg, and Hvergelmir with its rivers.

Ratatosk – The messenger squirrel of Yggdrasil. Is said to run up and down the trunk of Yggdrasil to exchange insults between the eagle perched atop Yggdrasil and the serpent Nidhogg in Niflheim.

Skinfaxi – Day’s horse

Skoll – The celestial wolf that chases the sun around the heavens. Is said that at the time of Ragnarök, Skoll will finally catch the sun and destroy it.

Svartalfheim – the realm of the dark elves

Vahalla – The hall of the gods. Is also said to be the place where the souls of men who die in battle are taken to live in the afterlife, where they enjoy feasting, drinking, and fighting until the day of Ragnarök. On that day, it is said that these warriors will fight alongside Odin and the forces of good in a great battle against the forces of evil.

Vanaheim – The realm of the Vanir, the second family of gods.

Vedrfölnir – The hawk that is perched between the eyes of the eagle* (name unknown) who sits atop Yggdrasil.

Vidblain – The realm where Gimlé is located. Is said to be above Andlang and Asgard.

Weird’s Well – The sacred well where the gods ‘have their court.’ Is looked after by the three Norns (goddesses of fate), and is said that its waters are so pure that anything that goes into the well will be completely purified. The Norns use this water to refresh Yggdrasil every morning.

Yggdrasil – The World Tree. Its name means ‘Fierce Horse.’ Yggdrasil connects the Nine Worlds (Nilhel) together. The hardships of Yggdrasil include the four stags (which eat away at its branches), rotting wood along its trunk, and Nidhogg eating away at its roots.


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