Does Yggdrasil Tree of Life Have a Soul?
Yggdrasil Tree of Life must be the most long-lived thing in Norse mythology. No one knew when Yggdrasil existed. All we know is, ever since the Nine Cosmos appeared, Yggdrasil stood tall long before. Many think that Yggdrasil was just a lifeless tree that had no important role in the Norse cosmos. However, Yggdrasil did have a soul. She played a vital role in Norse mythology that no one could ever replace her.
So before kicking off, take a look at what it means to have a soul. It's hard to clearly give a definition and it also depends on personal viewpoints. Mine is, to have a soul is to be able to feel happiness, to feel pain, to sacrifice, to love, and to live for others (not a selfish self). Coincidentally, Yggdrasil had all of these qualities.
Yggdrasil held Nine Worlds on branches
If you have read Norse mythology, you might find out that Yggdrasil Tree of Life held Nine Worlds within her branches. Nine Worlds - nine cosmos in mythology. They were the nine realms for all creatures in the story. Asgard the stronghold of gods was on the top branches and Helheim the death land was under the root of Yggdrasil.
Yggdrasil was just like a Big Mother for all creatures in Norse cosmos. That is one of the reasons I call Yggdrasil she. Yggdrasil gave the whole world with protection. During Ragnarok, she provided two humans with protection against the chaos outside. And these two humans later carried on repopulating the world after Ragnarok.
Yggdrasil Tree held Nine Worlds within her branches
Although she gave all creatures with protection, some creatures brought pain to Yggdrasil. Nidhogg the serpent-like dragon residing beneath the roots of Yggdrasil spent most of his time gnawing at the roots to make Yggdrasil collapse. From the first day until the final moment of Ragnarok, Yggdrasil suffered this pain.
Up in Asgard, there was a group of stags who consumed Yggdrasil's leaves. Thanks to these leaves, these stags produced the best mead-milk for Odin's warriors. Yggdrasil never said about the pain she suffered.
Yggdrasil shivered when seeing massacre
The most famous massacre in Norse mythology was the Ragnarok battle between gods and giants. The ones who triggered off Ragnarok were the giants but actually gods had their own faults to be blamed.
It was said that when Ragnarok began, Yggdrasil started to shiver. However, this detail has never been discussed much by scholars. It seems like we have been neglecting the pain Yggdrasil once had to endure. The pain of witnessing everything she built started to fall apart just in front of her.
Yggdrasil has always symbolized as interconnectedness and balance in Norse mythology. Because she held nine worlds on her branches. Although each realm had a different position, all of them lived on the same tree. It is a balance. But the balance she had been building just got destroyed by the giants and gods. She shivered because she just witnessed all of her efforts go in vain. She shivered because she knew it was an important hinge in history when the old things had to die for the new things to be born and flourish. She shivered because the prophecy became real. But no matter how hurt she had to suffer, she could finally handle it and live on. Standing in the middle of the cosmos was still the Yggdrasil who just came out of Ragnarok.
Does Yggdrasil have a soul?