Lesson 5 - Introduction to Norse Mythology: The Story of Creation and the Worlds

This Friday’s lesson delves into the realm of myth itself, however, it is mainly to provide a general understanding and not an in-depth study. I will summarize the story of how the worlds were formed. See “Sources” below for the material I used for this purpose.

The Story of Creation

Before the creation of the material worlds, there was a great void called Ginnungagap. In the words of the seeress:

Yet, two worlds existed on either end of this empty expanse. One is known as Niflheim, a dark world. It was made many ages before the earth with a spring at the center called Hvergelmir, meaning “roaring kettle”. From this spring came many rivers: Svol, Gunnthra, Fjorm, Fimbulthul, Slid and Hrid, Slyg and Ylg, Vid and Leipter, and Gjoll, which runs next to Helgrind, the gates of Hel. The other world is called Muspellsheim, which came to be before Niflheim. It is a bright and hot world, with flames so hot that it is impassible to those unaccustomed. It is said that Surt, the black one, waits at the land’s edge, defending it. He holds a flaming sword and will battle the gods at Ragnarok with victory on his side.

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