The tale of how the great Odin and his brothers killed the frost giant Ymir and fashioned the earth and sky from his body, how that land was given to the first man and woman made of an ash and elm, and how the gods rose up to Asgard to rule and watch over the worlds.
Listen and hear. I shall tell you the story of how Odin the All-Father came to kill Ymir, the father of the giants, and make an earth of his body and a sky of his skull. In Ginnungagap, the land of life between fire and ice, a great hatred of the savage-minded giants grew in the hearts of the sons of Bor. They rose up, Odin, Vili, and Ve and put an end to the life of Ymir. With their great strength they rent his body, they spilled his blood. The wounds of Ymir erupted into great rivers of blood, coursing across the land and drowning all the giants whom the gods despised. Drowned all – save one, Bergelmir and his wife, who had a hollowed tree and being quick of wit, floated away on the sea of blood.
The young gods saw that the body of the giant was good for land and took his remains to the middle of Ginnungagap and created the Earth. The ground they made from his flesh, rocks and mountains from his bones, lakes and seas from his blood. Taking the greatest of the seas, they encircled the earth, creating an ocean so vast none would dare cross it.
Having wrought the earth beneath, they looked to the sky. The brothers hefted the skull of Ymir to make a boundary for the air, putting it’s four corners at the far reaches of the earth and set them upon the shoulders of the four dwarves: North, South, East and West. The brains from the skull they threw into the sky, making great clouds for storms. Next, the creator gods travelled to Muspel for sparks of flame and threw them also into the sky, fixing each ember as a star in it’s place for evermore from this day, the great day of the making of the world.
The frost and rock giants greatly desired to live in this place, so the sons of Bor divided the land and gave the eastern tracts to the giants and named it Jotunheim. Seeing the ferocity of the giants, they took Ymir’s eyebrows and created a land in the middle surrounded by mountains to keep the giants at bay. This place they called Midgard, the Middle Earth. The sun rose and set on Midgard, giving green life to the land and causing leeks to grow.
After a time, the brothers were wandering the torn lands where the earth met the sea and saw two trees, an ash and an elm, uprooted and laying with their branches broken. Odin set them upright, gave them the form of man and breathed into them the spirit of life. Vili saw them also and gave to them quick wits and understanding hearts. Ve approached and placed his hands on them, giving them hearing and sight. Odin named the man Ask and the woman he called Embla and he gave to them Midgard, safe from the giants and with green plants to grow and eat. And so it was, that all the families and nations and races of men came from the line of the ash and the elm who the gods made man.
And after all these things had come to pass, the brothers desired a home for themselves, a place of green plains and mighty fortresses and brilliant palaces. So they rose above Midgard, over the sky and the stars they had made, and created Asgard – the realm of the gods. They sen the rainbow bridge, Bifrost, down to Midgard to link them to the men they had made. And then the Aesir, the guardians and gods of men, crossed the Bifrost and settled in Asgard with Odin, their great All-Father, ruling over them. He called to himself twelve great gods and twelve divine goddesses to be his assembly and help rule the Aesir. And so it was done, all under the branches of Ygdrassil who watches and nurtures all.