What is Yggdrasil?

An introduction to the tree of worlds of the old Germanic people.


The structure of Yggdrasil in the online course is an interpretation.

The horse of Yggr

The literal translation of Yggdrasil or Yggr's Drasil would be 'The horse of Yggr'. Zoega translates Yggr as 'anxious'. But often Yggr is translated as 'the terrible one'. You can see Yggr as the symbol of your lower self, which is often terrible. In the mythology Yggr hung himself (or was hung) on the tree of worlds. After nine days he was initiated and transformed into Óðinn. See The initiation of Óðinn So Yggdrasil is a tool to transform your lower self into a divine being.

In many European countries the gallows was called 'horse of the hanged'. One can believe, that Yggdrasil got its name from this custom. But I believe it was the other way. The gallows got its name 'horse of the hanged' after Yggdrasil. The world tree was like a horse, on which shamans traveled the spirit worlds.


The origin of Yggdrasil

Wikipedia about Yggdrasil

The old Germanic people had a notion of a tree of worlds. This is a common notion among shamanic people throughout the world. Siberian shamans believe they can travel across a tree, which connects the spirit worlds. See: Siberian shamanism and worldtree. In the QaBaLah, a heathen-Jewish tradition, there is the tree of life, with four divisions and worlds in each division. Ancient people in the region of Mexico also had a tree of worlds with ten worlds.


I use the phrase "heathen-Jewish tradition" because orthodox Jews can not believe in the QaBaLaH. See: Christian D. Ginsburg: The Kabbalah, its Doctrines, Development and Literature. In the QaBaLah there is an image of the creator, with a head, a beard, etc. This image is heathen. Jews are not allowed to make images of the creator. Orthodox Jews often believe, that a mental image is also forbidden.


Why an interpretation?

In ancient Icelandic texts there are fragments of information about a tree of worlds. There is no complete system in these texts. Some texts contradict each other. It is more or less like the bible: you can find anything if you look hard enough.

If you want to read more on this subject go to Truth about the Germanic people.


Was there ever a complete system of teachings about Yggdrasil?

Probably there were shamans and shamanic traditions, with a more or less complete system. Not 'complete' in the meaning that the system was finite, but in the meaning of comprehensive.

There never was an official doctrine for all tribes and all sibbes. Each sibbe had it's own system of philosophical, mythological and spiritual ideas. There were no heretics, because there was no church with a doctrine. From this we can conclude, that there was room for multiple complete systems about Yggdrasil or Irminsul.

Wikipedia about Irminsul




The Ulfhedhnar

Through all my studies on the subject, I came to believe, that the Germanic people were kept together by Secret societies of shamans. Members of these societies were all nars. A nar is someone who was killed in a symbolic way and then came back as a 'born-again-pagan'. They were dead to the sibbe (the biological family) and to the tribe. And because they did not belong to a specific family group, they could travel between the tribes.

The Ulfhedhnar were the society of wolves. Ulf means wolf, hedh means skin. Nar is often translated as 'corpse'. But this is not the right translation. A nar was someone who was dead to the family and the tribe. To become a nar, you had to die symbolically and to be reborn as a new being. A nar was considered to be living partly in the common world and partly in the spirit world.

Translated to English a member of the Ulfhedhnar is a werewolf. But not as this word is abused by Hollywood. See: Shamanism: Werewolves and Werebears

The Ulfhedhnar were the teachers of the mythological and spiritual ideas of the old Germanic people. They had three degrees, just like the druids of France. The lowest degree was the Skald. It was their job to scald the old knowledge. The second degree was the Thulr. It was his job to oversee the rituals and to make sure that everything was done properly. The third degree was the Kennari. A Kennari was considered to be a master of all Kenningr. A kenning is a word that reveals the nature of something. 'Devourer of wood' is a kenning of fire. The Kennari was allowed to accept apprentices and to prepare them for a live as an Ulfhedhnar.

The Ulfhedhnar taught about Yggdrasil and how to travel through this tree of worlds in a shamanic way. They also taught about the Runes and how to use them. But these teachings were only given at Utiseta's. Uti-seta literally means out-sitting. But it really means 'sitting at a crossroad'. This is often interpreted literally. But it should be interpreted as 'a moment in time and space were two people really connect'. Or when the path of the Kennari really crosses the path of the apprentice. That is the moment were a Kenningr can be taught.

The Utisetas are similar to the Upanishads. The Brahmins and the Germanic tribes have the same origin. See Truth about the Germanic people.

The Ulfhedhnar did not write. So there are no written sources of their knowledge. And we do not know about the ideas about Yggdrasil among the Ulfhedhnar.

The most valuable teachings about Yggdrasil are the writings of Snorri Sturluson. But Sturluson was not a pagan. He studied with Christian priests and he learned to read and write. We do not know how much Sturluson really knew about the shamanistic ideas about Yggdrasil. Most likely he was not a pagan shaman. The study with Christian priests and the study with pagan shamans are mutually exclusive.


Interpretation of Yggdrasil

In order to make sense of Yggdrasil, you have to interpret. Without interpretation you have only fragments of information. And as soon as you interpret, there is room for debate, differences of opinion, etc.

Because we grew up in a society that is programmed to think in terms of an official doctrine, the ultimate truth, etc., we are inclined to consider people with different opinions to be heretics. This is not only true for religion. In (medical) science there is no room for alternative healing, for example.

In a heathen culture there is no official doctrine and there are no heretics. There is room for your own interpretation. You have to interpret the world to make sense of it. And it is your own interpretation. You live in your own reality.


I have attended workshops of Native American shamans. One of them stated: "Only half of the knowledge of an apprentice comes from his teachers. The other half has to come from himself."

The only way to learn about Yggdrasil is by traveling it yourself. By reading of travelers books, you can prepare yourself for a travel. But whatever you read, it doesn't come close to the real experience of traveling.


Who wrote the ancient texts? Are ancient texts reliable?

Christian writers

People tend to believe, that ancient writers knew what they were writing about. If we consider the writers today, one can see, that most writers write things, that differ from the beliefs and paradigms of most people. The writers today try to be opinion-makers and they have there own agenda. Do you believe that it would be different in Iceland a thousand years ago?

The old Germanic people did not write. They had runes, but they were not characters of an alphabet. The Runes were magical signs and secrets and were used by shamans and sorcerers. Attempts to write with runes start with Roman influences. The Icelandic people who learned to write, learned it from Christian priests. So we should consider the fact, that they are at least influenced by Christian culture, if they were not Christian priests themselves.

In ancient Iceland around 1.200 AD it must have been hard or even impossible to follow the shamanic path and in the same live study with Christian priests. So one should question the dept of the shamanic knowledge of writers like Snorri Sturluson and others. And you should not believe everything you read on this website. I try to describe Yggdrasil as truthful as possible. But a written description is vastly different from the real thing. At best, the written description is in structure identical of the real thing. I do not believe it is possible to make a description of Yggdrasil that is in structure exactly identical to the real tree.


Sources of Yggdrasil

Shamanic and heathen interpretation of Yggdrasil

In 1988 I started in the Netherlands a correspondence course with the name 'Yggdrasil'. It was at that time a course with 48 lessons and 24 TRANCE-FORMATION sound-cassettes, with two TRANCE-FORMATIONS on every tape. Each lesson was about a world on the tree-of-worlds Yggdrasil.

One objective of this course was to give 'searchers-for-knowledge' information to develop their own mind and soul.

I combined many sources: Germanic writings, yoga from India, Persian-yoga, Persian magy (teachings of the priests of magoi from ancient Persia), alchemy and shamanism with Jungian psychology, alpha-training & mind-control and my own experiences. When you study the course Yggdrasil, you get expert knowledge about your own mind and soul, to the deepest levels.

Another objective was to help people heal themselves and to spread Light (in the meaning of insight, clarity, consciousness, knowledge) and Love (the universal kind) throughout the world, starting in the land I was born (the Netherlands). All TRANCE-FORMATIONS of Yggdrasil are about ancient Germanic deities and contain knowledge to transform oneself and the archetypes in our mind. With these TRANCE-FORMATIONS you can restructure your mind and soul to the deepest levels.


My own experiences

I come from a dysfunctional family. My father and his father were free-masons. I was abused in free-mason rituals and spiritistical seances from my birth to the age of four. Then my parents divorced. At seven I was placed in a home for children. At eleven I was placed by my psychotic mother. When I was twelve, I started with a Mazdaznan course, which was my salvation. I became familiar with breath-exercises and Persian-yoga to heal myself and to stabilize my mind. I also became vegetarian.

One of the participants of the Mazdaznan course was member of an ancient order, that claims to be derived from the order of Melchizedek. In that order I learned magic, alchemy and several forms of yoga. I also learned old Germanic shamanism and shamanic healing. When I was 18 I followed a course Silva Mind Control and a year later I did the Graduate Seminar and the Ultra Seminar. During my teenage-years I started to read books about the brain, endocrinology, many forms of psychology (Freud, Jung, Behaviorism, Transformational psychology). When I was 18 I gave a lecture about endocrinology in English to Mazdaznan-youth. Two of them were German medical students. They were very much impressed about my knowledge about the subject.

As a teenager I was quite different from my peers. My study of psychology made it clear to me, that something had gone wrong in my upbringing. I had some talks with a psychiatrist specialized in the treatments of juveniles, but he could not help me. Once he said: 'You have read much more about any subject than me'. Then I went to the psycho-analytical institute of Amsterdam and asked for complete analysis. They studied the papers of child-care about me, had a talk with me and concluded: 'We can not treat you. Your traumas are to severe, you lack a firm psychological foundation, but you can cope with the world. Analysis can bring up the old trauma's and destabilize you.'

Of course I did not accept this. Yes, I could cope with society. But I was not happy. Thus I decided to analyze and transform myself, using meditation, alpha-training, yoga, shamanism, Jungian psychology, etc. I created a brain-machine: a flip-flop circuit with LEDS in diving goggles, combined with electric-stimulation (TENS) in the same rhythm. I also created cassettes with guided meditations for myself. Step by step I went deeper in my mind, my knowledge increased.

My experiences with alpha-training, guided meditations, etc. helped me to create the course Yggdrasil.




Yggdrasil helps you to slay yourself !!!

As I described above, I was able to develop Yggdrasil after diving again and again into the deep unconscious with the aid of LSD. That is why Yggdrasil goes much deeper than most courses and teachings. But for the record: You don't need LSD to travel through Yggdrasil. I broke the trail an paved the way. The TRANCE-FORMATIONS can guide you without Entheogen drugs.

A very important part of Yggdrasil is slaying yourself. In the first part you first kill Ymir, the giant-of-old, which is a symbol of your father, patriarchal society and god. From its corpse you create heaven and earth. Then you meet Yggr, a symbol of your primitive self. You slay Yggr and you eat his heart. Then you are ready to climb Yggdrasil. Then at every level you slay yourself and you cast yourself into the fires of Jötunheimr.


Yggr is often used as an alias for Óðinn. I disagree with this interpretation.

Your lower self is Yggr. Yggr means 'the terrible one'. Yggdrasil comes from Yggrs Drasil: the horse of Yggr. This is a Kenning. It is the gallows of Yggr. See: Yggdrasil.

You have to hang yourself (symbolically), you have to die on the tree of worlds. And when you come back, your are no longer Yggr, but the manifestation of Óðinn. You come back as a Nar. See: Nar. You will be death for your family, your tribe or nation. And you will be a member of the Einherjar, the one and only army of Óðinn Atriðr Sigtyr (Odinn the lord of victory who rides to battle).


Yggdrasil is a very violent path, not intended for sissies. By climbing the tree-of-worlds you challenge your most primitive and basic fears and you simply devour them. If you have a living soul, you should realize, that you are the devouring fire. There is nothing that can stop you.


Yggdrasil is an interpretation

I have studied ancient Germanic resources as good as I could. I have tried to avoid contradictions with ancient texts. This course of Yggdrasil is a pure heathen system of knowledge. But in order to make a complete system, I had to fill the gaps of knowledge. Other people can fill the gaps in another way, interpret the heathen cosmology in an other way. And that is the heathen way.

Yggdrasil is not 'the ultimate truth', 'the final system of Germanic teaching', or something like that. Every Germanic tribe had it's own interpretation of the Germanic cosmology. Each sibbe had it's own deities. And don't forget this: The Germanic tribal knowledge goes back thousands of years. Do you believe that a Germanic shaman at 3.000 BC had the same ideas as a Germanic shaman at 100 BC? If so, you deny progress, evolution of ideas, evolution of cosmology.

I do NOT want to go back to the old Germanic cosmology. Yggdrasil is a modern interpretation of the old cosmology. And it has meaning for people in a modern society.


Yggdrasil is something new, it is not historically correct

A new form of shamanism and yoga

When I created the course Yggdrasil, I also used my knowledge of the Parsis and of yoga from India. Sometimes I made a big leap from ancient Germanic mythology, filling in large gaps in our knowledge. It was not my intention to write about the beliefs of our ancestors or to be scientifically correct. Yggdrasil is based upon ancient mythology, but it is also based upon Jungian psychology. It is not a study of the past, but a path towards the future.

There are people, who want to live like the Germanic tribes. I don't. I like a hot shower, my computer, central heating, modern medicine (when alternative medicine fails), internet, human rights, etc. When you don't like your society, it is easy to flee into fantasies about ancient cultures. But living in those days was hard. Each winter there was hunger, even starvation. Before the winter, there were bands from other tribes who could steal your food. Many men died by violence, many women died while giving birth. I do not want to go back to such circumstances.


Shamans are travelers

A shaman is not only a psychic healer. Foremost it is someone who travels to other worlds. Some people believe that these other worlds exist only in our mind. Other people believe in an objective astral world or objective other worlds. I don't have enough hard evidence to choose for one of those possibilities. And it really doesn't matter. When you close your eyes and you visualize yourself in another world, you start a transformation process. You change.

For me, shamanism is not particular for healing others, but for healing and transforming yourself. In many countries shamanic healing of others is discouraged or even illegal.


If you claim that you can heal someone and that person dies, the priests of modern medicine will blame you. In the Netherlands we had a psychic healer (Jomanda) who claimed that she could heal. A cancer-patient died, refusing regular cancer-therapy. The family of the cancer-patient testified, that the healer was not to blame. But the media started a smear campaign. A civil servant broke the law to obtain 'evidence' of some wrong doing of the healer. The healer was prosecuted but the court found her not guilty after five years. The healer had to emigrate.

But what had the priests of modern medicine to offer to this patient (named Silvia Millecam)? If they had been honest to her, they should have said: 'Silvia, we will cut off both your breasts, will poison you with "medicine" so that you will be sick and loose all your hair, and than you have a 50% chance that you will survive!' Put it like that, modern medicine is not very appealing.

Generally speaking, the priests of modern medicine are unreasonable. As unreasonable and almost as violent as the inquisition in the late 16th century. And they are in power. So I suggest you avoid confrontation with them and claim only to heal yourself.


I do not claim that Yggdrasil will heal your physical ailments or that you get the power to cure physical ailments of other people. Maybe it does, maybe it does not. Yggdrasil is for healing your mind and soul, and for development of your own consciousness. It is a system to bring light and love in your innermost being. And if you desire to do so, you can form a Circle of Light and Love and share your light and love with other psychic explorers, shamans and other misfits.


Read further about the Structure of Yggdrasil


With Light and Love, Andreas Firewolf


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Werewolves and Werebears

There is no truth

Germanic tribes lived from about 3500 BC to 100 AD. Each tribe had its own myths and customs. And they changed over time.

So we can not say things like: "The Germanic people were like this and they believed that".

Secret societies in old Germanic culture

About Úlfhéðnar, Bersekr, Goat-riders and other strange people and strange societies.


I do not like social media

and I am firmly against privacy violations.


This site respects your privacy. Read here more about it.

How to navigate these websites


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Native European shamanism

The world tree Yggdrasil

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