The Three Wells of Yggdrasil in Norse Mythology
If you read Norse mythology from time to time then you’re probably familiar with the Yggdrasil or the Great Tree of Life. This tree was considered the spine and the one unifying the Nine Realms (Asgard, Álfheimr/Ljósálfheimr, Niðavellir/Svartálfaheimr, Midgard (Earth), Jötunheimr/Útgarðr, Vanaheim, Niflheim, Muspelheim & Hel). However, not a lot of people are aware that it was watered by three holy wells and that’s what we’re going to talk about in this blog post.
This was the first well that nourished Yggdrasil and according to Norse mythology, three norns (female beings assigned to rule the destiny of gods and mortals in the cosmos) lived here. These norns were Urd (Past), Verdandi (Present) and Skuld (Future) and they usually watered the tree on a daily basis.
This was also the place where the gods would go to justice-related meetings. Most of them would ride their horses to get here, while others like Thor preferred to ride his goat-pulled chariot.
Another interesting information worth sharing is that the mud beneath this well was so pure that it was considered the purest of all the white shades.
Hvergelmir Well or Hot Spring Boiler
If the Urdarbrunnr well was where meetings took place in Norse mythology, it wasn’t the first well to exist in the cosmos. It was actually the Hvergelmir well which was said to lie in the land of ice and frost in Norse mythology called Niflheim. According to sources, it was said that this well was near the home of a serpent-like creature that would chew the roots of Yggdrasil to make it collapse. However, despite his efforts to take it down or get rid of it, the tree never succumbed to death and stood as straight as it always did.
This well was considered the Well of Wisdom because of its holy water. It was guarded by Mimir or the God of Wisdom and those who had the chance to try its water would gain incredible knowledge and wisdom. However, not everyone would be able to do so unless they made a sacrifice. One of the gods who was known to sacrifice something was Odin the allfather. He was said to sacrifice his only eye to gain the wisdom and enlightenment he sought.