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Ginnungagap (Norse)

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Forums -> Norse Paganism -> Ginnungagap (Norse)

Ginnungagap (Norse)
By:
Post # 1
Ginnungagap
Norse Mythology

This is a rather short post.
____

In Norse mythology, the 'Ginnungagap' was the broad void that existed until humans and gods alike came to be. It is said that its existence was prior to that of the manifest universe.

In the northern part of Ginnungagap resides the icy cold of Niflheim, and to the more southernly part lay the equally intense, fiery heat of Muspelheim. The cosmogonic process began when the effulgence of the two met in the middle of Ginnungagap.

In the beginning, before the world of men and gods existed, the spring Hvergelmir, deep in the frozen wastes of Niflheim, gave rise to eleven rivers known as the Elivagar.

Over a long period of time, the glistening water of the Elivagar ran across the icy Niflheim and poured into the northern part of Ginnungagap. Thus, the water froze, forming vast sheets of ice in the void. Hot air from the fiery Muspell melted some of the ice, creating a zone of meltwater amid the ice and snow. Supposedly, it was here life began, the first living thing said to be was a frost giant.

Ginnungagap appears as the primordial void in the Norse creation account, the Gylfaginning, states:

"Ginnungagap, the Yawning Void... which faced toward the northern quarter, became filled with heaviness, and masses of ice and rime, and from within, drizzling rain and gusts; but the southern part of the Yawning Void was lighted by those sparks and glowing masses which flew out of Muspellheim"

Scandinavian cartographers from the early 15th century attempted to localise or identify Ginnungagap as a real geographic location from which the creation myth derived.

A fragment from a 15th century Old Norse encyclopedic text entitled Gripla places Ginnungagap between Greenland and Vinland.

____

Sources/References:
The Prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson, translated by Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur.
Gripla, Codex No. 115 translated in The Norse Discovery of America, A.M Reeves, N.L. Beamish and R.B. Anderson.
Seaver, Kirsten. "Maps, Myths and Men.''
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginnungagap
http://www.pantheon.org/articles/g/ginnungagap.html
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Re: Ginnungagap (Norse)
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 2
Thanks for this post, Pse. As you know, I love and adore all things closely associated to this.
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Re: Ginnungagap (Norse)
By:
Post # 3
No problem. Glad you liked it.
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Re: Ginnungagap (Norse)
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 4
This thread has been moved to Heathenism from Misc Topics.
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Re: Ginnungagap (Norse)
By:
Post # 5
Nice post there brother very interesting and informative.
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Re: Ginnungagap (Norse)
By: / Beginner
Post # 6
So would this then mean that frost giants were the first beings to come into existence? And if so, are there any alive still from that time? Does the place still exist? (To be accessible by journeying of course) I find many of the giants and such pretty interesting. I find many Norse concepts interesting in fact.
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Re: Ginnungagap (Norse)
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 7

So would this then mean that frost giants were the first beings to come into existence?

Some of the first. It's actually thought the oldest being is Surt, who is the Lord of the Fire Jotun. The fire and ice jotun both appeared around the same time.


And if so, are there any alive still from that time? Does the place still exist? (To be accessible by journeying of course).

Yes, the jotunfolk in general are still alive. There are several realms on the world tree, Yggdrasil, that are inhabited by the jotun and are accessible through pathwalking/journeying.

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Re: Ginnungagap (Norse)
By: / Beginner
Post # 8
Thank you Personified. I hate to ask what are easily explained questions. XD So, thank you again for explaining that to me.
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Re: Ginnungagap (Norse)
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 9

No problem. If you ever need clarification or anything feel free to mail me.

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Re: Ginnungagap (Norse)
By:
Post # 10
A good read.

Shame, this account has been deleted. Would have loved to speak with him/her.

:/
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