Forming the Tree

This is another of those very rough pseudo-verse poems that was dropped on my head a while back. The talk of how the wells and wyrd and memory intertwine with life and death seemed relevant to it, so I have brought it out to look at it again.

I want to convert it to a better Skaldic meter for a modern Vanic Edda that I am (very slowly) working on. I know people may disagree with what it says so far, but it’s what was given to me, so it’s what I have:

The Tree

The Heides of Vanaheim speak:

What there was of the previous worlds we can not know.
Where there is no language, there can be no story.
Where there are no shapes, there can be no image.
Where there is no space, there can be no form.
Before the worlds we know,
we have no memory, nor thought, only distant echoes.

What we have seen is this:

There was a flaw in the fabric, a void.
The threads stretched around the void as it grew.
The seed of wyrd grew from the void,
flowing along the threads.

The first world was Niflheim,
icy stillness, perfect form without function.
When the wyrd reached it, there were the waters formed,
and Hvergelmir, the first well.
Echoes of what was are imprinted within the ice still.

The second world was Muspelheim,
firey tension, perfect function without form.
When the wyrd reached it, there were the winds formed,
and Ond, the first breath.
Echoes of what was vibrate within the fire still.

From the ice and the fire was the green world made.
The third world was Jotunheim.
When the wyrd reached it, there formed the Great Tree,
and Orlog, the well-worn paths.

(It is now what it always was,
flowing and branching in the void
but it was not always a Tree,
its paths were not always well worn.)

Spinning from the void,
three worlds balanced on the Great Tree.
Three worlds touched.
Three worlds resounded.
Echoing, three worlds formed.

The fourth world was Vanaheim.
When the Great Tree reached it,
the Tree of Life grew, cycles began.

The fifth world was Asgard.
When the Great Tree reached it,
the Rift grew, choices began.

The sixth world was Alfheim.
The Children of Alfheim were mortal,
who lived and died, and mourned the loss.

A place was needed for those who were lost.
Out of Niflheim was spun a seventh world, Niflhel
To house the lost Alfar, who they called Ancestors.

Alfheim collided with the Great Tree.
(Only the Alfar know why. The Alfar will not speak of it.)

When the wyrd reached Alfheim, the land cracked,
splitting light from dark and dark from light.
Ljosalfheim chose eternal life and ephemeral art,
upholding the bargains with Helheim and Vanaheim.
Svartalfheim chose eternal art and ephemeral life,
returning to mortal life, no longer beholden to the Alflord.

Between them, a Middle World remained, the ninth world
in all ways ephemeral, and beholden to the Veraldrgodh,
whose blessings brought them life renewed with each season.

((c) Ember Cooke, 2014)

One thing this does not say that I may or may not have to sort out how to incorporate: The three Wells are also one Well, of Wyrd itself, at their heart. Perhaps that is implied, I don’t know.


About EmberVoices

Ember Cooke has been a member of Hrafnar and Seidhjallr for more than a decade, where she trained to be a Seidhkona, Galdrakona, and Gythia. She founded the Vanic Conspiracy and made ordination vows to the Vanir and her congregation in the summer of 2013. She has contributed to several publications on Heathen and Northern Pagan subjects and regularly presents rituals and workshops at festivals. Her personal practice is more diverse, as the Vanir have lead her into cross-training and service for the wider Pagan community. This has including medium and servitor training in American Umbanda, clergy training with the Fellowship of the Spiral Path, and jail ministry for local counties. She holds a BA with honors in Religious Studies from Santa Clara University. Ember has lived all her life in the south San Francisco Bay Area, and is intimately bound to the valley of her birth.
This entry was posted in Crafts, Divination, Dreams, Gnosis, Poetry, Polytheistic Theology, Praxis, RedWood Vanatru, ST4R, Trance Work, Vanatru and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Forming the Tree

  1. mirron91 says:

    I know this is super late, just going through your blog some, but I think it’s really beautiful.


    • EmberVoices says:

      Thank you!

      And there’s no need to apologize. Public posts stay fair game, IMHO. Granted, if you’re disapproving of a thought I had several years ago, maybe give me the benefit of a doubt on having grown since then, and trolling is never cool, but aside from that, this isn’t a realtime media so have at!



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