Circle Symbol in Norse Mythology

Posted by Ms Elly on

Circle Symbol in Norse Mythology

Attempting to study each line in Norse mythology, we will find out nearly all of them are stuffed with meaningful symbols and hidden ideas. In this blog post, we are to discover the circle symbols in Norse mythology. Some of them come from writer's personal opinions, so some of them might be hard to imagine for the readers.

Jormungand the Ouroboros symbol 

Ouroboros was the symbol of a snake or a dragon biting his tail. It presented the circle symbol. A perfect symbol with neither beginning nor ending. In Norse mythology, Jormungand happened to be the same as the Ouroboros symbol. 

Jormungand was the son of Loki and Angrboda. He was the brother of Fenrir and Hel the Queen of Helheim. In Norse mythology, there was a prophecy stating that Ragnarok would be fueled by the children of Loki. Because of this, the gods tried to get rid of Loki's children. But it was not by slaying them. They separated them and disabled them to attack anyone. Jormungandr was cast into the ocean by Odin the Allfather to prevent this dragon-like snake from biting anyone. 

Jormungand encircled Midgard

Jormungand encircled Midgard

That ocean encircled Midgard the land of humanity. There, Jormungand grew up to the point that he could encircle the whole Midgard. There came the symbol of Ouroboros. Jormungand bit his tail and perfectly encircle Midgard. 

Circle of Life

In Norse mythology, life had the shape of a circle. When this generation fell down, another generation would rise. Life never stopped in Norse mythology. Even the great battle of Ragnarok could never put a full stop to life. Rather, it was the ending to the Norse Pantheon at that time only. After Ragnarok, there came another generation of gods and giants. They carried on the stories of their ancestors and joined a new period of age, rebuilding the world with their own hands. 

Just like Odin and his brothers once shaped and built the world after their father and grandfather fell down. Life diagram was not a straight line. Rather, it was a circle. What changed in the circle was the names of those who lived. It went with: Creation, Development, Destruction, and Reborn. 


The symbol of circle would always evoke a sense of perfection, balance, and just-enough feeling. Similar things happened in Norse mythology. Everything was on the balance scale. 

There were two parties: peace and chaos, good and bad, virtuous and evil, gods and giants, etc. The huge Yggdrasil tree standing in the middle of the cosmos granted everything to be in the balanced mode by holding all worlds on his branches. 

Yggdrasil Tree of LIfe holding Nine Worlds on its branches

Nine Worlds on the branches of Yggdrasil Tree of Life


The circle makes us feel like the universe is non stop. Time is non stop. There is neither beginning nor end in the circle. And so is life. We don't know the starting point of life and we don't know when it will end. Perhaps it will never end. The only thing that ends is the lifespan of each individual. But our children and legacy carries on. Life starts again. With or without us, everything has to move on. That's the rule. 

One cool thing is, Midgard is always the center of the circle. Imagine when you try to draw a circle, you have to choose the center point and then you can draw the round line around. That center point is Midgard the land of humanity. 

When the ocean encircles, it encircles Midgard. When Jormugand encircled, he encircled Midgard. And when we look at the map of Yggdrasil, the center part never belongs to Asgard land of gods. It belonged to Midgard. Why things happen to be like this remains a mystery. Humble should we be when talking about this. Maybe through this point, the ancestors are trying to tell us something about our missions. 

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